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ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2013 | By Susan King
"Philomena," the latest film from Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Frears (“The Queen,” “The Grifters”), has been acquired by Weinstein Co. for distribution in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Spain after a bidding war with several studios. The announcement was made Thursday from the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Seven minutes of the film, which stars Oscar-winner Judi Dench (“Shakespeare in Love”) and Steve Coogan (“Tropic Thunder,” “Night at the Museum”)
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 4, 2014 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
He came in from the rain wearing a scarf, tattered pants, unlaced canvas tennis shoes and a sweater somewhere between the colors of plum and rust. His hair looked like an approaching storm, and he had missed a spot shaving just above the collar. His publicist - he's not crazy about publicists - whispered a friendly warning: "Have you met Stephen before? He can be a bit dry, he has a dry sense of humor. British. " Stephen Frears, the director, walked past the concierge, through a half-lighted, polished lounge at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 4, 2014 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
He came in from the rain wearing a scarf, tattered pants, unlaced canvas tennis shoes and a sweater somewhere between the colors of plum and rust. His hair looked like an approaching storm, and he had missed a spot shaving just above the collar. His publicist - he's not crazy about publicists - whispered a friendly warning: "Have you met Stephen before? He can be a bit dry, he has a dry sense of humor. British. " Stephen Frears, the director, walked past the concierge, through a half-lighted, polished lounge at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey
Much has been made of Judi Dench's finely nuanced turn in director Stephen Frears' excellent new drama, "Philomena. " But a shout-out too for Steve Coogan, her co-star and the film's co-writer, who adapted Martin Sixsmith's book with Jeff Pope. Most of us first got to know the Brit as a comic force - razor-sharp observations delivered with a dry deadpan for maximum effect. For the stripped-down version of Coogan comedy see the delightful "Trip," for the classic and crazed check out "24 Hour Party People.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 9, 2010 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
This must be the season for vanity documentaries. First Oliver Stone rounded up seven Latin American leaders for his misconceived "South of the Border" and now Angela Ismailos corrals 10 of her favorite filmmakers for "Great Directors." The results, as with the Stone film, are very much of a mixed bag. Ismailos, a cineaste making her feature debut, has acted on an impulse to meet her cinematic idols and try to "connect the films that had meant so much to me to these filmmakers who made them."
ENTERTAINMENT
May 29, 1997 | STEVEN SMITH, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Steven Smith is a frequent contributor to Calendar
At a glance, the career of British director Stephen Frears seems as schizophrenic as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the antagonists of his ill-fated 1996 drama, "Mary Reilly." For more than a decade, Frears' U.K.-based features and BBC television films have earned raves and solid box office worldwide ("My Beautiful Laundrette," "Prick Up Your Ears")--while his two forays into big-budget Hollywood filmmaking have been critical and commercial disasters ("Mary Reilly" and "Hero").
ENTERTAINMENT
September 23, 2001 | JON BURLINGAME, Jon Burlingame is a regular contributor to Calendar
Stephen Frears looks like he just rolled out of bed. Unshaven, hair tousled, he sits down wearily to discuss his newest film, "Liam." It's 10 in the morning--clearly not his favorite hour of the day. His disposition also seems to reflect an ambivalence about his up-and-down career in films--box-office successes and total bombs, critically praised as often as he's been lambasted, a resume consisting of major American films and small British ones. At 60, the English director is a survivor.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 3, 1993 | KENNETH TURAN, TIMES FILM CRITIC
"The Snapper" (selected theaters) is amiability itself. Good-humored and sassy, it is one of those charmingly off-the-cuff films that doesn't let its small scale stand in the way of pleasure. And, filled with the characteristic bawdy and biting wit of Ireland, it takes a satisfaction in the music of spoken language that is as engaging as it is rare. That language comes courtesy of Irish writer Roddy Doyle.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 23, 1991 | PETER RAINER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
If you've ever seen a movie from the '40s or the early '50s seething with trapped, doomed suckers, madcap psychos and black-widow vamps, then you've seen a film noir . A vintage noir, like "Double Indemnity" or "The Big Heat," is much more than a psychological thriller; it's an evocation of dread done up in shadow and rain-slicked streets and no-exit alleys.
NEWS
May 27, 1993 | DOUG LIST
"The Hit" (1984), directed by Stephen Frears. 98 minutes. Rated R. Terence Stamp is a hit man in hiding who's kidnaped by mobsters. But though he's on the road to his death, he seems to be having a great time. Or is it just an act to put the mobsters off guard while he plots his escape? This standard mob-vengeance plot is combined with the offbeat world of road movies and a heavy dose of Sergio Leone's existential Westerns.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2013 | By Mary McNamara
"Parks and Recreation. " Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) is married! Again! What can it mean? Well, for last week's season premiere it meant a double episode including a trip to London that was among the best the show has aired. Andy (Chris Pratt) met his sweet and goofy match in a wealthy nobleman and philanthropist who hired him for a three-month gig, which means April (Aubrey Plaza) will be on her own for a while. Leslie (Amy Poehler), who went to London to accept an award in the hopes the citizens of Pawnee would stop trying to recall her, has returned with her spine and spunk back.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 11, 2013 | By Glenn Whipp
TORONTO -- The true story of a woman searching for the son that Catholic nuns forced her to relinquish shortly after his birth in 1952 wouldn't seem, on the face of it, to be a laugh riot. And yet, "Philomena," starring Judi Dench as the mother and Steve Coogan as a reporter helping her sift through five decades of lost leads, dead ends and uncooperative church authorities, scored as much laughter as any film playing at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. "It's strange because it's not a comedy, but it's a lot funnier than a lot of supposed comedies," says Coogan, who co-wrote the movie with Jeff Pope.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 2013 | By Greg Braxton
Muhammad Ali's most fierce and important fight might have been outside the ring. HBO's upcoming film "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" looks at the legal battle that ensued when the boxer refused to serve in the Vietnam War, a move that also saw him stripped of his heavyweight title. The film, directed by Stephen Frears ("The Queen"), looks at the famed boxer's Supreme Court battle from the perspective of the justices who ruled on the case. The cast includes Frank Langella, Christopher Plummer, Barry Levinson, Ed Begley Jr. and Danny Glover.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2013 | By Susan King
"Philomena," the latest film from Academy Award-nominated director Stephen Frears (“The Queen,” “The Grifters”), has been acquired by Weinstein Co. for distribution in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Spain after a bidding war with several studios. The announcement was made Thursday from the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Seven minutes of the film, which stars Oscar-winner Judi Dench (“Shakespeare in Love”) and Steve Coogan (“Tropic Thunder,” “Night at the Museum”)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 6, 2012 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
What has happened to director Stephen Frears? The filmmaker of so many satisfying and sophisticated comedies and dramas has seemed a bit off his game since his best picture Oscar nomination for 2006's brilliant "The Queen," with Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth in the days after Princess Diana's death. But his new comedy, "Lay the Favorite," is beyond the pale. If you're not a betting man or woman, the title might lead you to believe the movie is about bedding the right one. But this is a comedy about the shady sports-book scene and an unlikely prodigy in the shapely form of a naive Las Vegas cocktail waitress named Beth (Rebecca Hall)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 8, 2010 | By Robert Abele, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Ah, to be in English farce. Rolling country hills, quaint farms and grazing cows might be the sun-dappled backdrop for "Tamara Drewe," but muddier passions and ill-timed tomfoolery are the driving engine of director Stephen Frears' latest, a verdant ? if somewhat vacant ? helping of sex and comedy. Adapted by Moira Buffini from Posy Simmonds' plucky, bittersweet graphic novel, the film first introduces us to a few seemingly peaceful yet inwardly roiling characters in picturesque Ewedown: hack mystery novelist and not-so-secret philanderer Nicholas ( Roger Allam)
ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 2003
Re Rand Richards Cooper's article on Stephen Frears and his film "Dirty Pretty Things" ("London, Through a Mind Darkly," July 20): I was intrigued by Cooper's observation that Frears' characters live in a "cinematic nightmare of life beyond the pale of middle-class comforts [which] traces to a childhood eked out during World War II and the hard years afterward." I'm a year older than Mr. Frears and I have a good memory. Mr. Frears grew up in Leicester. I grew up in the country around Norwich in Norfolk -- a few miles to the southeast of Leicester.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 26, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey
Much has been made of Judi Dench's finely nuanced turn in director Stephen Frears' excellent new drama, "Philomena. " But a shout-out too for Steve Coogan, her co-star and the film's co-writer, who adapted Martin Sixsmith's book with Jeff Pope. Most of us first got to know the Brit as a comic force - razor-sharp observations delivered with a dry deadpan for maximum effect. For the stripped-down version of Coogan comedy see the delightful "Trip," for the classic and crazed check out "24 Hour Party People.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 19, 2010 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Director Stephen Frears has known graphic novelist Posy Simmonds long enough to forget exactly how they met, only that it was about three decades ago. For years, he had followed her quirky comic musings on rural English life, fame and the general discontent of writers in her popular British newspaper comic strip, "Tamara Drewe. " But adapting the comic into a film? That he never saw coming. "It never crossed my mind that you could make a film with it until I got the script," Frears said on a recent swing through Los Angeles on his way to Telluride and then the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film played over the weekend.
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