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Academy Award® Nominated: The Last Station

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy


The Countess Sofya, wife and muse to Leo Tolstoy, uses every trick of seduction on her husband’s loyal disciple, whom she believes was the person responsible for Tolstoy signing a new will that leaves his work and property to the Russian people.

The film explores the final year of the Russian writer’s life with Christopher Plummer in the lead role and Helen Mirren portraying his wife, Sofya. Paul Giamatti, James McAvoy, and Anne-Marie Duff co-star in the Warner Bros. production, directed by Michael Hoffman from the novel by Jay Parini.

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The cast includes: Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, Paul Giamatti, James McAvoy, Anne-Marie Duff, Kerry Condon, and Patrick Kennedy

Reviews

IMDB member from Auckland
“If you are familiar with the name,Count Leo (Lev)Tolstoy,but have never read ‘War & Peace’,or any of his other novels,fret not. It’s not necessary to enjoy ‘The Last Station’. A young man,Valentin Bulgakov (played by James McAvoy)is hired by Vladimir Chertkov (played by Paul Giametti,adding a touch of class to his already impressive backlog of film work),who oversees the written work of Count Tolstoy,to spy on him at his commune/ashram in the Russian country side,in the guise of Tolstoy’s personal secretary. Bulgakov arrives to find a homestead overseen by the Tolstoy’s,Leo (played to perfection by veteran,Christopher Plummer,who has come a long way since ‘The Sound Of Music’),and his wife,Sofya (Helen Mirren-always welcome on screen). During his stay at the Tolstoy residence,Valentin finds out that things are not what he perceives (Tolstoy doesn’t exactly practice what he preaches in real life). He manages to take a tumble to Tolstoy’s youngest daughter,Sasha (played by Anne Marie Duff). All of the dirty laundry & family drama comes out to make this a tart,funny,entertaining film with winning performances by all. Michael Hoffman writes & directs the screenplay,from the novel by Jay Parini,in a film that will hopefully garnish attention beyond the art house screen.”


Did You Know?

Marks the first joint venture of real-life spouses James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff on a feature film.

Helen Mirren and Anne-Marie Duff, who play mother and daughter in the film, have both portrayed Queen Elizabeth I (Mirren in “Elizabeth I” (2005) and Duff in “The Virgin Queen” (2005)).

Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer replaced Meryl Streep and Anthony Hopkins, who were originally scheduled to play the roles of Sofya and Leo Tolstoy.

Two Nominations

Best Actress~Helen Mirren
Best Supporting Actor~Christopher Plummer

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Art, Best Actor, Best Sup Actress, Books, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, Women's Issues, World

Nominated for Best Actor ~ Jeremy Renner ~The Hurt Locker

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

Jeremy RennerJeremy Renner recently starred in 28 Weeks Later, the highly anticipated sequel to 28 Days Later, for director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and co-starring Rose Byrne and Robert Carlyle. He played the heroic soldier Doyle, who goes against military orders to save a group of survivors. Renner also starred in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, directed by Andrew Dominik. In the film, Renner stars alongside Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck in the role of a key member of James’ gang, Wood Hide. He also costarred opposite Minnie Driver in the independent film Take, scheduled for release later this year.

In North Country, Renner starred opposite Academy Award winner Charlize Theron in a fictionalized account of the first major, successful sexual harassment case in the U.S. Renner is at the center of the unfolding drama as miner Bobby Sharp. Renner also starred in the acclaimed independent film 12 and Holding, which was nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards’ John Cassavetes Award.

Other recent credits include the independent film Neo Ned, in which Renner starred opposite Gabrielle Union. Neo Ned was screened at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival and swept the feature film category at the 11th Annual Palm Beach International Film Festival in 2006. Neo Ned was awarded Best Feature Film and Best Director while Renner won the Best Actor prize. The film also was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking/Best Feature Film Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival in April 2006, in addition to the audience awards at the Slamdance, Sarasota and Ashland film festivals.

Jeremy Renner as Staff Sergeant William James in The Hurt Locker

Jeremy Renner as Staff Sergeant William James in The Hurt Locker

Renner’s other credits include A Little Trip to Heaven, in which he starred opposite Julia Stiles; The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, directed by Asia Argento as adapted from the critically acclaimed novel by J.T. Leroy; Lords of Dogtown, for director Catherine Hardwicke; and the independent film Love of the Executioner, written and directed by Kyle Bergersen.
In 2003, Renner was seen in the action hit S.W.A.T. opposite Colin Farrell and Samuel L. Jackson. But the role that put Renner on the map and earned the actor an Independent Spirit Award nomination was his unforgettable portrayal of a real-life serial killer in the indie film Dahmer.
With a background in theater, Renner keeps his acting chops in shape by performing in plays throughout the Los Angeles area. Recent credits have included the critically acclaimed “Search and Destroy,” which he not only starred in but also co-directed.

Between film and theater, Renner finds the time to write, record, and perform his own brand of contemporary rock. He has written songs for Warner Chapel Publishing and Universal Publishing.

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Best Actor, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Iraq, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, World

Police: Lone Shooter Kills 8 in Central Virginia

posted by: GeoT

Suspect in 8 Va. slayings surrenders after hunt
APPOMATTOX, Va. (AP) — A gunman suspected of killing eight people before disappearing into dense Virginia woods and firing on a police helicopter surrendered at sunrise Wednesday, ending an overnight hunt by dozens of law enforcement officers.

Christopher Speight, 39, approached officers at the scene of the shootings at about 7:10 a.m. and turned himself in, said Sgt. Thomas Molnar of the Virginia State Police.

This image provided by the Virginia State Police shows shooting suspect Christopher Speight, 39, who is being sought in connections with the fatal shootings of eight people in Appomattox, Va., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Virginia State Police)

Associated Press/Larry O’Dell

~Police with dogs and heat-sensing equipment hunted for a man they say shot eight people to death Tuesday and then nearly took down a police helicopter that was trying to flush him out of the woods near this central Virginia town.

State police said officers had the suspect, Christopher Speight, 39, circled in the woods late Tuesday near the home where seven of the bodies were found and they believed he was still alive. An eighth victim was found barely alive on the side of the road — which led to police being called — and died on the way to the hospital.

All the victims were adults and both men and women were killed, state police Sgt. Thomas Molnar said. Three of the bodies were found inside the home, and four just outside it, Molnar said.

Police refused to speculate on a motive and would not say what type of weapon was used. Molnar also gave no background on the suspect. Speight’s last known address was along the block where the shootings occurred, but Molnar did not know if the suspect was still living there. He also would not say if all the victims were shot at the home.

Virginia State Police gather while searching for a man that is possibly connected with multiple fatalities outside of a house on Snapps Mill Road in Appomattox County, Va.

The drama paralyzed the rural area as police swarmed forests trying to catch the suspect who fired at a state police helicopter, forcing it to land with a ruptured fuel tank, police said. No police were injured after one or more rounds struck the helicopter.

A National Guard helicopter with thermal imaging equipment were being used to search the woods.

They are searching the area and will continue until the suspect is apprehended,” Molnar said.

The violence began shortly after noon when the injured man was found on a rural stretch of road. A deputy who went to investigate fled after he heard gunshots, police spokeswoman Corrine Geller said.

When the deputy arrived on the scene, that’s when he heard several shots,” Molnar said.

Police did not release the victims’ names or the suspect’s possible relationship to them.

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Rachel Maddow: The Truth About ACORN Series (Part One)

Posted by Audiegrl

The Rachel Maddow ShowThis is the first segment of a series that The Rachel Maddow Show will be telling the truth about the lies about ACORN and the right-wing political machine that took them down.

Rachel Maddow is joined by Occidental College politics professor Peter Dreier, who authored a study on how myths about ACORN were manufactured and how easily the mainstream media – not just the right wing media – was led into reporting falsehoods.

Manipulating the Public Agenda: Why ACORN Was In the News, and What the News Got Wrong
Study authors: Peter Dreier, Ph.D. and Christopher R. Martin, Ph.D.
Click here to read the study

Click here for Part Two

Click here for Part Three

Click here for Part Four

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Filed under Democrats, Media and Entertainment, Money, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, TV Shows, Uncategorized