Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh give their verdict on the week's big film releases, including relationship drama By the Sea, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt.
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On tonight's show: Growing old disgracefully.
Lily Tomlin packs a punch in "Grandma."
Some people should not grow beards, your face looks like an armpit!
Brad and Angelina embrace happiness and heartbreak in "By The Sea."
And a long time ago - in a galaxy far, far away? We look
back to the birth of "Star Wars." Plus, keeping a sense of humour
British movie Hector, starring Peter Mullan and Gina
And joining us is the Independent's critic Ellen E Jones.
Hello. Hello. Hello. But, that went well.
Actress, stand-up comedienne and all-round super-star.
If she were British, she'd be a Dame by now.
Once a favourite of top-indie director Robert Altman,
now she's winning fresh acclaim in indie comedy Grandma,
When? When are you going to have to ask is? Now. You are asking? Yes,
you are disturbing the customers. I am a customer, do you know what a
customer is. A customer pays for your services so I am a customer.
What other customers are we disturbing? Them? Ozzie and Harriet?
Yes. Else is a lesbian feminist poet and her granddaughter shows up on
her doorstep and her granddaughter is in a tight place, she needs
money. I need $600, 603. For what? I am pregnant. And so Elle joins her
on a road trip to find the money for the abortion.
Do you think I am a shut? No, no. But I don't want you using that word
again. It is a comedy drama which makes one
cringe, the hardest film to do correct me, the success ratio is
low. But at the same time, some of my favourite films like the graduate
that. You have to take responsibility for that. Why did you
not use a condom or for the sake of humanity, get a vasectomy! Who is
this? She is my Grandma. In some ways, she is conventional. The grand
daughter is making a mistake she might have made. Get out of my
homecoming you crazy old... I liked your boyfriend, he is special.
Nobody is able to be as aggressive. And yet as charming and funny as
Lily. She is already pregnant. Grandma! Just saying! The character
is gay. The character is in her 70s. There is ageism and transgender
character played by Laverne Cox. Your Grandma helped me out a long
time ago. That is some sort of essence of what the movie is about.
Don't reduce people. I am assuming you went to her for money but she
doesn't have any money either so of course you came to me. I figure
Conservative America will not love the film! That has been borne out!
Most of them do not see the film. There has been stupid stuff on the
internet about it. A presidential election is coming up and the old
Raft of Republican candidates have made political hay out of this issue
and lies have been spread around. You need to be able to say, screw
you sometimes. I say that. You did not say that about little creep back
there. Screw you, Grandma! Not bad. The movie is a welcome
change of the issues and the way it is handled and the way people
relate. What about those can Dons I got you? We used them. You can get
more. -- condoms. I know, you do not have to yell at me! This is not
yelling, I will show you yelling. It is not pro-abortion, I cannot think
of anybody who is. They are pro-choice. This young woman is in a
dilemma and she clearly is not in a position to be a parent. Any aid it
can seat you need to be supervised, right? -- idiot. You saying I am any
idiot? What do you one? A kiss. I am going
to be there because this is my granddaughter. What do you think,
acquitted? This is a Paul Weitz movie and he made American Pie but
this is more of an American indie, low budget feel. This is about
abortion, two women going to get an abortion. We're watching it in the
UK and thankfully in this country abortion is not a fraught issue and
it takes on a different tone, it is more about the granddaughter and
grant parent relationship. -- grandparent. In many movies, she is
a caricature but she gets to be a character and that is interesting. I
could just watch her and you realise it is really tight, it is succinct
and she is so fantastic as a character that if they made a film
just about her going shopping let alone what they have to do, I would
watch that. Lily Tomlin is fantastic, I have been scared of her
since All of Me in 1984 and I was 12. New cow in the best way and that
is a condiment. She still has that, she is why a wall on legs. A 70
something punk rocker. It works well as a buddy movie and you need two
people and Julia Garner who plays her granddaughter is great and they
have a great dynamic. It should not make sense as she is frail and
serial, hop on Marks blonde curls, but she is a top cookie and that is
one reason that the -- the film works. A lot of fantastic actors
appear. You think, that was a day and a half of work. That did not
cost a lot of money. Each interaction is meaningful. In this
kind of movie, people coming in and out. Several great scenes in this
movie, Sam Elliott is another great character to who plays an old flame
of the character of Lily Tomlin. And Marcia Gay Harden. She is fantastic.
It is perfect sense because Little Miss sunshine was a perfect movie
but had unfortunate consequences like American indie movies, you get
half a dozen random people and each has a quirk and they like a family
and it makes no sense but the family makes sense. They even look quite
alike. Lily Tomlin, it makes perfect sense and Marcia Gay Harden is a
driven woman and her daughter is Julia Garner who is a slightly
uncertain character. We needed a film about the relationship between
that hippie generation and their children. And not the usual Grandma.
And not just the one that has toffees and is sweet and knitting,
but also very grumpy, she isn't a mixture. She is a smart, she is a
rocker and she is soft and she changes. It has the American
trappings, chapter headings in lower case. You think, could it not be
capital letters? It does not push that too far, there is no ukelele
and I always breathe a sigh of relief. Grandma does not need a
ukelele. Not expensive, a contention for the wards? Lily Tomlin might be.
A lot of good feeling for her. , cost $600,000 and the funny thing
about awards and we are about to enter that corridor of hysteria,
awards season, and if you make films that are not blockbusters, that is
history were because you have to make nominations. I do not think
that is bad in the case of Grandma, it fits the movie. Tangerine was
another film benefiting from not having as much money. But you
realise you have to do that if you do not get the film industry
economy, if you do not get nominations, you make a film in a
cover shop with no extras for half $1 million.
Written and directed by Angelina Jolie, she stars
with her husband, Brad Pitt, as an unhappily married couple
trying to save their relationship in the South of France.
Can I just say, there was only one screening of this and I could not go
because I had to do other stuff. I have not seen it. People have been
vile about it. In my world, she can do no wrong. With that, Danny.
Delightful as that clip was, we need to put flesh on it. The film is
directed by Angelina Jolie and about a pair of ridiculously good-looking
married couple played by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. She is a famous
dancer and he is of course a famous writer but despite their success and
good looks, they are not happy, the marriage is going bad. They fetch up
in the French Riviera in the South of France in a beautiful Andy Dilip
result. They get stuff unpacked and spend the rest of the film having
rows, drinking gin for breakfast and having mascara running down their
cheeks. It is very self-indulgent and in places shrivelling great goal
but I quite like it. It is also smite and self-aware and it has
slight whipped -- smart. It is a based around these beautiful perfect
people stricken with Ms Rhee, even luggage is perfect and even though
the room is perfect and Brad Pitt's slacks, they are perfect and
Angelina Jolie's lips, they are perfect on her big and bubbly head.
It is not big and bubbly, it is perfect. Continue as you are! That
is a condiment. They are consumed with self loathing. Why have people
been so mean? People are confusing a beautiful film made by a beautiful
woman with a vanity project. The character is quite vain but it is
not a vanity project because there is more than her showcasing her
beauty and talent. Good ideas as well. And she is quite smart to
focus on the beauty because if you cast Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie,
they cannot just stand in a garage forecourt, they have to be in a
beautiful location, it makes sense. It is tradition for the director to
fall in love with the leading lady even if the director is the leading
lady! What is weird is me listening to you two, I think of course I will
see it but having read the reviews, you'd two come at it from a
different angle. It is far too long. Seven days long? It is getting
there! Neither of us wants this on our epitaph, I liked By The Sea. It
is too late! There is a lot to stick up for. So many interesting ideas.
For Angelina Jolie, she is self-aware and she knows she is one
of the world's most sought-after actresses and she makes herself a
peeping Tom. There is a hole in the hotel room wall and she is the one
looking at the couple next door, that is interesting. What are my
favourite scenes is short, it is her and him ready to go out together and
they look in the mirror and she puts lipstick on with a cigarette hanging
out and it is fabulous. You said vanity project but everything is a
vanity project. We do not normally notice because it is normally a
director's project and we do not recognise their name. Actors
constantly, even when they do not direct, like she has, they
constantly make vanity projects because everybody is dependent on
that to get the finance. Writers and direct has turned into skeletons
waiting for Ryan Gosling to say yes to their movie. Every film is a
vanity project. Let of Angelina! -- lay-off.
It won seven Oscars, ranks as one of the world's top
grossing films and is, quite simply, the stuff of movie legend.
Nothing was the same again after Star Wars.
But we've waited more than 30 years to find out what happened
to Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Hans Solo.
On the eve of the new Star Wars release, we go back to 1977
and Star Wars fever, first time around.
Star Wars THEME. Make sure your seats are securely fastened. For the
most part, like any fairy tale, it is timeless. Just making a movie
that I thought would be enjoyable, that I wanted to make, telling a
story I wanted to tell. Now, Star Wars is a world-famous
brand but in 1977 it was an unknown quantity. The sci-fi B-movie
directed by a relative newcomer starring a cast of unknowns.
Expectations were low. My agent said there was an American making a cheap
little budget science-fiction movie where the money was going on the
sets and costumes and special effects. He wanted to see me for the
part of... And she paused, a robot! Don't take that look with me! I said
no! We thought it was a bit of a turkey. It blew everybody's mind,
what I was doing. Not very reassuring! George's style of
film-making was difficult, he never said anything, he never asked me to
do a scene in a particular way, he would just say action and cut.
Sometimes he would say terrific. Often he said nothing. I have a very
bad feeling about this. We were several weeks behind schedule and
the studio cut us off. We ended up with the 80% shot movie. It looked
like the ship had sunk. Hello there. Is it true that you didn't know what
character you were playing in Star Wars? I don't know quite what he was
meant to be come I must admit that. Darth Vader, now that's a known I
have not heard in a long time. -- Obi Wan. I thought oh, grams. Star
Wars, science-fiction, not for me! We will have no more of this Obi Wan
Kenobi gibberish. I feel something terrible has happened. The dialogue
was pretty childish. That's the real trick, isn't it? I said to George,
you can type this shit but not say it. And it's still true. There is a
bit of a trick to say" it will take a few moments for it to get the
coordinates". At the rate they are gaining? It isn't like dusting
crops, boy! I thought, who talks like this? Do you know what he's
talking about? Star Wars was pretty difficult to read as a script
because a lot of the description was of special effects and it looked
like a description of something that was impossible to create. I don't
think George thought of them as a special effects, he wanted to make
his movie. It took 6-8 months to get that stuff functioning. It was very
difficult to make the schedule. It hadn't been done before. George is
like a great builder. When he has it in his mind that going to make these
Star Wars, you know, I'm told billions of dollars, nothing is
going to stop him. George created his own world, his own industry in a
way. You wonder what it's going to be in the future in terms of an
injury, going to visit George at the ranch. A piece of junk! I hate great
confidence that we would make it -- had great confidence. Even by the
standards of Hollywood, a place where nothing succeeds like success,
Star Wars is phenomenal. It is already the biggest box office hit
in cinema history. One reason for this is that it somehow combines
elements of the best loved themes of romantic adventure, from Arabian
nights to the Western, science-fiction and fantasy. We did
it! We did it! Fantastic imagination. I didn't like it when
the man chopped off that persons arm. Why not? Because there was
blood! I think a lot of people feel that George and Star Wars
transformed the industry. It transformed the exhibition, allowing
a film to be released into Morse in the Mars than anybody had put a
movie before. People love the movie, not only for the content but what it
represents, in their minds, ushering a new era merchandising driven
movies. With the success of the film, the country goes Star Wars
crazy. Star Wars pretty much created merchandising in movies. Did I
enjoyed that? Yes. There was a shampoo where you could twist my
head and pour liquid out of it. Yes, the Force can be with you at
breakfast! The problem is, you make a film, people take it, especially
if you are successful, and they use it however they need to. Many people
used it emotionally and intellectually and some people used
it, surely. But that was a long time ago, and
far, far away. Now a new generation of fans will get to feel the Force
once more. Camera, action! When Star Wars the Force Awakens hits in a
Mars next week. -- hits cinemas. These characters come and they know
it is in a galaxy far away, a journey that people can relate to. I
have been a Star Wars fan as an adult and a child. Oh, my gosh.
That's something that George Lucas started and we are definitely
carrying it on. He has signed his action figure! Ciabatta! We are
home. -- Chewbacca. It is the characters that people love, a world
we want to go back to immediately. We are going back to the stories
that people feel intensely about. And we'll be reviewing "Star Wars:
The Force Awakens" next week. Next, Hector, starring Peter Mullan
as a homeless man in search Early Christmas present coming up.
Lovely Hazel, looking after my bank. What else have I got? For you, for
being such a lovely dog. And I almost forgot, Lord Douglas, for
being a clever old bastard. You are a locking MAC Gold mind reader.
He has been homeless for 15-20 years and he has embarked on an annual
pilgrimage to a homeless shelter in London. It is a kind of Odyssey, you
know. Who he meets on his journey and what he encounters on the
journey. Just passing through? Have you got a girlfriend? A few years
ago I did some volunteering work for Christmas and I met some
extraordinary people with amazing stories, including a particular man
who travelled and came to stay in the shelter. I came to realise that
it was a story. Hey, you! Nearly gave me a heart attack! We were on
location in the middle of the Scottish winter, it was never going
to be easy. It was cold but you know, you are an actor. You wear
jumpers. It's not working down a mine. It isn't sleeping rough on the
streets certainly. Private contractor for the council. Driving
one of those trucks for the recycling. RU a bin man? Lock off!
Recycling, doing my bit for the planet. Some people, Hector being
one of them, you could argue that he has chosen this particular way to
live. When somebody has a mental breakdown and cannot face the
responsibility of keeping a job, I for one cannot condemn that person
for making the choice. Nobody willingly wants to sleep on the
street. Slow down, OK? I can't, the brakes have gone. It is sometimes a
hard watch. Introducing a bit of humour, it is true to life but it
makes the difficult things easier to watch. Trying to change the subject?
Yeah. Let's go. You are my family now, that's the way it is. Want my
cracker? Danny? One of the things I liked about Hector, it reminds us
that Peter Mullan is more than a monster. He was great previously but
he was also a bully, he was very good in it. He keeps being cast in
those roles but this is a reminder that it wasn't always like that, it
doesn't have to be that Peter Mullan arrives and almost the Jaws music
arrives. In 1842 when he made my name is Joe with Ken Loach, it was a
different Peter Mullan. There was the gentleness and these and see, so
it's nice to be reacquainted with that. Yes, he has the twinkle in his
eye. I like the fact that it shows as a different side to the British
motorway that we don't normally see. A lot of films about American roads,
very romantic but you don't often see a nice roundabout, nicely shot!
I found it incredibly... It may be the perfect Christmas movie because
it feels like it's about kindness and I thought I would like to take
my 12-year-old to that. That's a better way to judge it rather than a
Peter Mullan movie rather than a social realist movie. It isn't
really about homelessness, it is about a homeless guy and lots of
nice things happen to him so it is a bit schmaltzy if you are wanting
gritty social reality. Difficult to make films about goodness and so on.
A previous firm has done the same thing, making drama out of goodness
and decency, really tricky stuff. We mentioned in Granma, we talked about
how lovely it was, brilliant people popped up and the same thing happens
here, Keith Allen, and so on, they may have only worked for two days
but they are strong. Yeah, if you watch a lot of telly, there are many
good TV actors, you have the hostel worker who everybody is the spirit
of Christmas. We are running out of time. Film of the week? I'm going
with By The Sea. Are you? The only person! I'm going with by the CX is
Mac but I'm also talking about Reflecting Skin which has come out
on DVD and Blu-ray, people should see it.
Playing us out tonight is the late, great Nora Ephron's rom-com classic
When Harry Met Sally, which is re-released
Most women at one time or another have faked it. Well they haven't
with me. How do you know? Because I do. Right. I forgot. You are a man.
What does that mean? Nothing, all men are sure that it does not happen
to them and most women have done it. You don't think I can tell the
difference? No. Get out of here. MOANS SOFTLY. Are you OK? Oh, God.
Oh, God! Ooh! Oh, God! Oh, yeah, right there! MOANS WILDLY. Oh, God,
yes, yes! Yes, yes! Sir! Oh, yes! Yes, yes! Yes, yes, yes,
yes! Oh, oh! Oh, God. Ooh...
Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh give their verdict on the week's big film releases, including relationship drama By the Sea, starring husband-and-wife team Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt. Plus Lily Tomlin stars as an unusual role model in Grandma, and we take a look at the enduring appeal of Star Wars.
Joining them in the studio is critic Ellen E Jones.