Press Archive 2020

It’s many Abbey returns for Downton’s dowager – Daily Mail

Maggie Smith will return to Downton Abbey for the Dowager’s last hurrah, in a film sequel that’s set to shoot in the spring

Maggie Smith will return to Downton Abbey for the Dowager’s last hurrah, in a film sequel that’s set to shoot in the spring

The Downton movie, released last September, included a moving scene where Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, confided to her granddaughter Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) that she was sick and ‘may not have long to live’.

Fans of the picture, based on the blockbuster television drama, assumed they would never see Violet again, and that any follow-up film would not feature the deliciously sharp-tongued matriarch.

However, the great dame has agreed to put on Violet’s posh frocks once again for a final outing.

She’ll be joined by her screen family, including Hugh Bonneville’s Lord Grantham and Elizabeth McGovern, as his wife Cora. Lady Mary will return (along with Matthew Goode as her husband Henry), as will her sister Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael).

Penelope Wilton’s cousin Isobel and Allen Leech’s Branson will also be back; along with trusted retainers Jim Carter (Mr Carson), Phyllis Logan (Mrs Carson, nee Hughes), Mr Bates (Brendan Coyle) and his wife Anna (Joanne Froggatt).

In the meantime, despite her very British stiff upper lip as Lady Mary, Michelle Dockery has been spreading her wings across the Atlantic to play the American mother of a boy accused of murder, alongside Chris Evans (Marvel’s Captain America), in the Apple TV+ mini-series Defending Jacob.

Downton will shoot from March until May next year under strict Covid-secure safety protocols. Maggie — who will be 86 by the time filming starts — will have a bubble of her own, to keep her extra safe.

In the meantime, despite her very British stiff upper lip as Lady Mary, above, Michelle Dockery has been spreading her wings across the Atlantic to play the American mother of a boy accused of murder

Creator Julian Fellowes told me just before the quarantine that he had written a draft script. And during the summer, Carmichael teased that he had been ‘polishing’ the screenplay during the lockdown.

Scripts were sent out to cast members last month; and casting has begun for the film’s guest stars.

Imelda Staunton and Tuppence Middleton were introduced in key roles in last year’s picture, and they’ll be back, too.

Producers at Carnival Film and Television and Universal’s Focus Features want to film in spring because it’s the best ‘availability window’ for the cast and creative team.

Scripts were sent out to cast members last month; and casting has begun for the film’s guest stars.

Imelda Staunton and Tuppence Middleton were introduced in key roles in last year’s picture, and they’ll be back, too.

Producers at Carnival Film and Television and Universal’s Focus Features want to film in spring because it’s the best ‘availability window’ for the cast and creative team.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-8895701/BAZ-BAMIGBOYE-Abbey-returns-Downtons-dowager.html?fbclid=IwAR2NHiT4mSk56QFMaFmnHzsZ7TOgMdtxFjcz0unjqltrsWCgbd2rsRCP3VY

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Keira Knightley gives us Christmas… with a twist – Daily Mail 18th September 2020

An unfinished version was shown privately to distributors at a series of Covid-secure screenings in Soho, London, this week, one of which I snuck into … keeping my distance, of course.

Knightley and Matthew Goode are Nell and Simon, a privileged couple who live in a country pile with their three sons.

Keira Knightley and the ensemble from Silent Night are preparing to complete post-production on the film

Keira Knightley and the ensemble from Silent Night are preparing to complete post-production on the film

Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode play Nell and Simon, a privileged couple who live in a country pile with their three sons

Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode play Nell and Simon, a privileged couple who live in a country pile with their three sons

The movie is directed by their mother, Camille Griffin, a first-time feature filmmaker who also wrote the screenplay.

Nell and Simon are preparing to welcome some old college pals, plus their partners and offspring.

They include Sope Dirisu, Lily-Rose Depp, Annabelle Wallis, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Lucy Punch, Rufus Jones and Davida McKenzie (a golden find).

Roman Griffin Davis in Silent Night

[Roman Griffin Davis in Silent Night]

The film is partly inspired by conversations that took place in the Griffin Davis household, about climate change and unconscious bias (racism and sexism in particular), among other stingers. For good measure, Griffin takes a few sly swipes at wealthy types from both sides of the political divide.

Where’s Christmas, you may ask? Well, in the opening scenes, as guests travel to Nell and Simon’s, there’s a ditty called The Christmas Sweater song playing gaily on the radio. It’s sung by Michael Buble, who co-authored it with Matthew Vaughn, Gary Barlow and Jane Goldman.

There’s a Christmas tree and presents. And folks do sit down to a turkey lunch, though oddly there’s only one potato each, to go with the other trimmings. And what’s up with the murky tap water? No worries, though, because they’re knocking back the Prosecco like there’s no tomorrow. Much more I will not tell you, because the film contains an incredible twist that will become a mega talking point.

Suffice to say that Silent Night is a brilliant Christmas satire, reflective of the times we’re in. And that Marv Films (run by Vaughn and Claudia Schiffer, along with producers Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray) want it to open in cinemas over the Yuletide holidays.

During filming of the low-budget offering, Silent Night was a temporary, working title. But Griffin and the producers decided to make it permanent. Post-production will involve the actors doing voice work, further editing and the completion of its score.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-8745969/BAZ-BAMIGBOYE-Keira-Knightley-gives-Christmas-twist.html

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The Duke review, Venice Film Festival 2020: Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent shine in this zingy Ealing-style caper  The Telegraph 4th September 2020

5/5

Roger Michell’s fim about the real-life theft of a Goya masterpiece proves they do make ’em like they used to, and Oscars surely beckon

Cert tbc, 96 min. Dir: Roger Michell; Starring: Jim Broadbent, Helen Mirren, Fionn Whitehead, Anna Maxwell Martin, Matthew Goode, Jack Bandeira

Everything about Kempton Bunton is improbable. For one thing, his name. For another, the fact that in 1961, at the age of 57, he allegedly broke into the National Gallery in London, stole Francisco Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington, then took it home to Newcastle and hid it in a wardrobe, hoping to use it to blackmail the Macmillan government into funding free TV licences for pensioners.

Bunton’s absurd-but-true quest has the unmistakable zing of a classic Ealing caper – and it has now been wonderfully adapted by director Roger Michell and screenwriters Richard Bean and Clive Coleman into a film that could stand alongside the very best of them.

The Duke, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday evening, is that rarest of things: a comedy that knows a twinkle in the eye and a fire in the belly needn’t be mutually exclusive. Although the England it depicts disappeared half a century ago, it speaks mindfully and movingly to our own divided times – asking how institutions should best serve the public that funds them, and speaking up for those who find themselves excluded by class, geography or birth. However long the 2021 Baftas and Oscars end up being postponed – the current plan is April – this wise and wry film should be a non-negotiable presence at both.

So too, in person, should be Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren, who give two of the finest performances of their careers here as Kempton and Dorothy, his wife. The pair are soulmates in many ways and opposites in others, but both clearly learned long ago how to rub along together in curmudgeonly accord. (You can see every year of their marriage in Broadbent and Mirren’s interplay on screen.)

There is considerable fun to be had in watching Kempton’s scheme unravel, particularly since it was barely ravelled in the first place. The Ealing feel is only enhanced by Matthew Goode, who could be channeling Alec Guinness as Kempton’s barrister, while George Fenton’s playful, jazz-driven score matches the screenplay’s wit step for step.

The Duke premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 4, and will be released in UK cinemas in early 2021

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The King’s Man Theory: The Movie’s REAL Shadowy Villain – 22nd June 2020

The trailers for The King’s Man have showed the villainous Rasputin, but obscured the film’s main antagonist. Who is this shadowy character?

https://screenrant.com/kings-man-villain-secret-identity-shepherd-matthew-goode/

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Scene Extra: Metro goes on the set of Four Kids And It to talk modern families and childhood inspirations

RUSSELL BRAND has just spent the morning chasing It. No, not another It Girl. The ‘It’ in question is the Psammead, the creature at the heart of Jacqueline Wilson’s 2012 book Four Children And It. The comedian, who plays villainous Tristan in the movie adaptation, takes aim at the puppet… ‘Then they take it away,’ he says, ‘and I swing a broom at the limitless nothingness that we all live within.’
[Combined effort: Matthew Goode and Paula Patton as David and Alice with their children from previous relationships]

We meet in the grounds of a cottage in rural Ireland, Brand dressed in shorts and a light green shirt that’s speckled with white excretion. Four Kids And It is his first live-action children’s movie (although he’s voiced several animations) and he’s the perfect choice to play Tristan, an English eccentric desperate to capture the Psammead, which is voiced by Sir Michael Caine, no less. To Brand, Tristan isn’t such a bad chap.

‘You have to play the character in a way where you think, “He’s a nice person, really. He’s just trying his best,”’ he says. ‘But when I’m staring down some delightful creature or manhandling a child, you have to think he’s got his reasons.’

[Wishful thinking: The Psammead voiced by Sir Michael Caine and, below, the eccentric Russell Brand]

Adapted from Wilson’s story — itself inspired by Edith Nesbit’s 1902 children’s classic, Five Children And It — the film begins as dating couple David (Matthew Goode) and Alice (Paula Patton) bring their kids from other partners for a getting-to-know-you holiday in Cornwall. While this goes predictably badly, things change when the four children encounter the Psammead, which has the ability to grant wishes.

On the set, the four kids are bright, noisy presences. Billy Jenkins, who featured as the young Prince Charles in the first series of The Crown, and Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen, half-sister of singer Lily Allen, play David’s kids, Robbie and Ros. Newcomer Ellie-Mae Siame and Ashley Aufderheide, who made her debut in Infinitely Polar Bear with Mark Ruffalo, play Alice’s children, Maudie and Smash. The chemistry has been there from the off, says Patton.

‘Ellie-Mae just sat on my lap and Billy is so loving — he came over and hugged me,’ she says. ‘You can’t make these things happen. That’s the thing with kids, they don’t have all the walls up that we adults have. They can love straight away, they haven’t had their hearts broken.’

Patton, famed for her role in Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol opposite Tom Cruise, was immediately drawn to her single-mother character.

‘She’s a bit frazzled, trying to handle her kids and this new romance at the same time, so I could definitely relate to that,’ she says.

Patton divorced her husband Blurred Lines singer Robin Thicke in 2014.

‘You have this separate life when you get divorced,’ she adds. ‘You become a teenager again and you have this time alone when you’re not with your kids, so then new love can blossom.’

As a mother — to nine-year-old Julian — she connected to the awkwardness of bringing a new partner into the family fold.

‘It’s not introducing him to your parents like when you were young but introducing them to your kids,’ she says.

[Uplifting story: Filming special effects]

While Brand hasn’t endured this — his two daughters, Mabel and Peggy, are both from his relationship with wife Laura Gallacher — having kids has inspired his movie choices.

‘I think it has an influence,’ he says. ‘This film is delightful — it will become part of the fabric of their imagination.’

Or you could be in Goode’s position. He has three children — Matilda, Teddie and Ralph, all under the age of 11 — with his wife Sophie Dymoke.

‘I was looking to do something my children could watch without my a*** bobbing up and down!’ he laughs in reference to films on his CV such as Watchmen, Stoker and Allied that were geared towards adult audiences. ‘It’s over the last few years that I’ve realised there’s nothing I’ve done that they could see.’

Thankfully, Four Kids And It offers good, clean fun for all the family.

‘The whole film is about the children so we’re just window dressing,’ says Goode. ‘Glorious window dressing!’

As Goode sees it, director Andy De Emmony’s movie has a quaint charm about it, like an old-school children’s cartoon. He says: ‘I can’t imagine if you made The Flumps now that CGI’ing the s*** out of it, would make it any better. I don’t think you’d find an audience.’

Well said.

Four Kids And It is out now

Scene Extra: Metro goes on the set of Four Kids And It to talk modern families and childhood inspirations

 

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‘Four Kids and It’ set visit: Reinventing the Psammead for the 21st century

Hanna Flint – Yahoo Movies March 30, 2020