Nanny McPhee

  • Directors: Kirk Jones
  • Producers: Lindsay Doran, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
  • Writers: Screenplay, Emma Thompson, Books, Christianna Brand
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Imelda Staunton, Kelly Macdonald, Thomas Sangster, Eliza Bennett, Jennifer Rae Daykin, Holly Gibbs

Taking place in 19th century England, widower and undertaker 41-year-old Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) has seven children: 12-year-old Simon (Thomas Sangster), 10-year-old Tora (Eliza Bennett), 9-year-old Lily (Jennifer Rae Daykin), 8-year-old Eric (Raphaël Coleman), 7-year-old Sebastian (Samuel Honywood ), 5-year-old Christianna (Holly Gibbs) and 1-year-old Aggie (Hebe Barnes and Zinnia Barnes). He loves his children very much, but spends little time with them, unable to handle raising them all on his own. The children have had a series of seventeen nannies, whom they systematically drive out; it is a point of pride for them to get rid of each nanny as fast as possible. They also terrorize the cook, Mrs. Blatherwick (Imelda Staunton) but are cared for and loved by Evangeline (Kelly Macdonald), the young scullery maid.

Cedric attempts to hire another nanny from the agency that sent the past seventeen nannies, but the agency refuses him, as the children have sent the past nannies away, terrorized. Desperate to find another nanny, Cedric heeds the advice of a mysterious voice from the house, which says, “the person you need is Nanny McPhee.” After a series of mysterious events, an unusual and hideous woman named Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives at Brown home, introducing herself as a “government nanny”. With discipline and magic, she transforms the family’s lives. In the process, she herself transforms from ugly to beautiful. The children, led by Simon, attempt to play their tricks on her, but gradually start to respect her and ask her for advice. They change into responsible people, helping their hapless father in solving the family problems, and making Nanny McPhee less and less needed. (The storyline is, at this point, very similar to Mary Poppins).

Interestingly, not all of the lessons are for the children. In addition, the last one can vary depending on interpretation.

Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang

  • Directors: Susanna White
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lindsay Doran
  • Writers: Emma Thompson, Christianna Brand
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, and Maggie Smith

In England during the Second World War, teenager Norman (Asa Butterfield), a younger boy and a girl live at a farm with their mother, while the father is away as a soldier. Two spoiled cousins, a boy and a girl, are evacuated from the city and join them. At first the two groups quarrel.

Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives, telling the mother that she has been assigned to this family, and that the mother does not have to pay her a dime. With discipline and magic, she transforms the family’s lives. In the process, she herself transforms from ugly to beautiful, just like in the first film.

The farm is owned half by the mother, half by her mean brother-in-law. The brother wants to buy the mother’s share, and uses mean tricks to force her to do so. First he releases her pigs, which would be a serious financial loss, but Nanny McPhee and the children find and return them. Then he gives them a forged Killed in action notice regarding the father. Norman feels in his bones that his father is still alive, and after going to London with Nanny McPhee and one of the cousins it turns out that the father is “only” missing in action. Meanwhile the other children manage to delay the mother signing the contract.

The father returns safely. Nanny McPhee leaves, as she is no longer needed.

Smokin Aces

  • Directors: Joe Carnahan
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner
  • Writers: Joe Carnahan
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Jeremy Piven, Ryan Reynolds, Andy Garcia, Ray Liotta, Alicia Keys, Common

Las Vegas magician and wannabe gangster Buddy “Aces” Israel is hiding out in a Lake Tahoe hotel penthouse with his entourage, while his agent Morris Mecklen discusses a potential immunity deal with Deputy Director Locke of the FBI. Agents Messner and Carruthers learn that mob boss Primo Sparrazza has put a hit out on Israel worth one million dollars involving a mysterious assassin known as the Swede, with the added stipulation that he bring him Israel’s heart as well. A number of assassins are also after the reward, including Lazlo Soot, a Hungarian who specializes in disguises and impersonations; Sharice Watters and Georgia Sykes, a duo of hitwomen hired by Sparazza’s underboss; Pasquale Acosta, torture expert and mercenary; and the psychotic Neo-Nazi Tremor Brothers.

Locke dispatches Messner and Carruthers to be ready to take Israel into custody when the deal is struck. A team of bail bondsmen, Jack Dupree and his partners, “Pistol” Pete Deeks and Hollis Elmore, have been hired by the firm that posted Israel’s bail. The bondsmen are attacked by the Tremors and only Elmore escapes alive. Messner is dispatched to the murder scene while Caruthers proceeds to Israel. Meanwhile, each of the assassins gain access to the hotel in their own various ways.

Messner, furious over the unnecessary deaths, especially Carruthers’, protests and is ordered to leave the hospital. Instead, he walks into the emergency room, locks the doors, and pulls the plug on both men. He then lays his gun and badge on the floor and sits in disbelief as Locke and the doctors desperately try to break in.

The Boat That Rocked

  • Directors: Richard Curtis
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Hilary Bevan Jones
  • Writers: Richard Curtis
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Music, Romance
  • Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh

Carl (Tom Sturridge) arrives on the pirate radio ship, Radio Rock, after being sent to stay with the ship’s Captain, his godfather, Quentin (Bill Nighy), to hopefully set his life on a different track after being expelled from school. Here he meets Radio Rock’s crew of ramshackle disc jockeys, led by The Count (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a buoyant rock-loving American, along with the suave and bawdy Dave (Nick Frost) and the naive but good hearted Simon (Chris O’Dowd). Also filling the airwaves is self proclaimed New Zealand “nut,” Angus (Rhys Darby), the mysterious Midnight Mark (Tom Wisdom) and the even more mysterious, reclusive and downright disillusioned late-night DJ Smooth Bob (Ralph Brown). Serving as the ship’s crew are the shy lesbian cook Felicity (Katherine Parkinson) and radio assistants, Harold (Ike Hamilton) and the appropriately nicknamed Thick Kevin (Tom Brooke).

Dave wastes no time in introducing Carl to women, only for both of Carl’s attempts to be foiled by Dave himself, including Carl’s first crush, Quentin’s niece, Marianne (Talulah Riley), although, by the end of the film, Carl and Marianne make up and get together. Simon also is unlucky in love, meeting and marrying the too-good-to-be-true Elenore (January Jones) only to find her affections are really placed with the returning “king of the airwaves”, Gavin (Rhys Ifans). The Count objects to Gavin’s antics with Elenore, leading to a clash of egos that ends in a truce after both suffer physical injuries jumping from the top of the ship’s radio mast in a contest of courage.

The film concludes with captions stating that, despite the end of “the golden age of pirate radio”, the dream lives on, with 299 music radio stations across the UK playing rock and pop music 24 hours a day, and that, forty years on, rock and roll is still going strong, ending with a montage of successful music albums covering the entire forty year period.

Green Zone

  • Directors: Paul Greengrass
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lloyd Levin, Paul Greengrass
  • Writers: Book, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Screenplay, Brian Helgeland
  • Genres: Drama, War
  • Actors: Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, Amy Ryan, Khalid Abdalla, Jason Isaacs

Green Zone is a thriller that takes place in the Green Zone in Iraq before the surge by the United States.[1]

Love Actually

  • Directors: Richard Curtis
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Duncan Kenworthy
  • Writers: Richard Curtis
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Rowan Atkinson, Laura Linney, Martine McCutcheon

The film begins with a voiceover from David (Hugh Grant) commenting that whenever he gets gloomy with the state of the world he thinks about the arrivals terminal at Heathrow Airport, and the pure uncomplicated love felt as friends and families welcome their arriving loved ones. David’s voiceover also relates that all the known messages left by the people who died on the 9/11 planes were messages of love and not hate. The film then tells the ‘love stories’ of many people, culminating in a final scene at the airport enacted to the tune of The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” that closes their stories. The film ends with a montage of anonymous persons greeting their arriving loved ones that slowly enlarges and fills the screen, eventually forming the shape of a heart.

With the help of his longtime manager Joe (Gregor Fisher), aging rock and roll legend Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) records a Christmas variation of The Troggs’ classic hit “Love Is All Around.” Despite his honest admission that it is a “festering turd of a record,” the singer promotes the release in the hope it will become the Christmas number one single. During his publicity tour, Billy repeatedly causes Joe grief by pulling stunts such as defacing a poster of rival musicians Blue with a speech bubble reading, “We’ve got little pricks.” He also promises to perform his song naked on television should it hit the top spot. Mack keeps his word—albeit while wearing boots and holding a strategically placed guitar. After briefly celebrating his victory at a party hosted by Sir Elton John, Billy unexpectedly arrives at Joe’s flat and explains that Christmas is a time to be with the people you love, and that he had just realized that “the people I love… is you”, despite simultaneously hitting Joe with insulting comments about his weight. He reminds Joe that “We have had a wonderful ride” touring around the world together over the years. He suggests that the two celebrate Christmas by getting drunk and watching porn. Billy and Joe’s story is the only one exploring platonic love, and the two characters are unrelated to any of the other characters in film, although a few of the other characters are shown watching Billy Mack on their TVs or listening to his song on the radio.

Rufus is a minor but significant character played by Rowan Atkinson. He is the Selfridges jewellery salesman whose obsessive attention to gift-wrapping nearly gets Harry caught buying Mia’s necklace, and later at the airport, his distraction of an attendant allows Sam to sneak through security and see Joanna before she goes back to America. In the original script, the character was revealed to be an angel, and the airport scene showed him disappearing as he walked through the crowd, but this aspect of the character was removed, although he does give Daniel a wink indicating he knows he is giving Sam cover to slip through. Richard Curtis says that with all the storylines already complicating the movie, “the idea of introducing another layer of supernatural beings” seemed over-the-top.[1]

Wimbledon

  • Directors: Richard Loncraine
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Liza Chasin, Eric Fellner
  • Writers: Adam Brooks, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Sport
  • Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Paul Bettany, James McAvoy

Paul Bettany plays Peter Colt, a journeyman British professional tennis player ranked 119th in the world. He earns a wildcard spot to the Wimbledon tournament. Tired of it all, he resolves to quit after this last tournament, and even gets a job to coach tennis at a country club. However, as Wimbledon begins, Peter meets and falls in love with Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst), a young, brilliant, American tennis pro. As their love grows, Peter’s game gets better and better, winning his semi-final match in straight sets — while Lizzie loses hers, having lost her focus after a night together with Peter. Peter begins playing the final match against Jake Hammond, an arrogant American star who Peter has already had an argument with involving Lizzie, but finds himself outclassed. Lizzie, on her way home to America, sees an interview in which Peter apologizes, and comes back to Wimbledon. With Lizzie cheering him on, Peter wins the title, and retires. He and Lizzie marry, and Lizzie goes on to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon twice. In the last scene Peter is with his and Lizzie’s youngest child, a boy, watching Lizzie and their eldest child, a girl, play tennis together on a New York court.

Bean

  • Directors: Mel Smith
  • Producers: Rowan Atkinson, Peter Bennet Jones, Tim Bevan, Richard Curtis, Eric Fellner, Rebecca O Brien
  • Writers: Richard Curtis, Robin Driscoll
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Rowan Atkinson, Peter MacNicol, Burt Reynolds, Pamela Reed, Richard Gant

Mr. Bean, a hopeless caretaker at the “Royal National Gallery”, London, is sent by his employers, who wish to get rid of him, to America under the pseudonym of “Dr. Bean” to oversee the transfer of Whistler’s Mother to a Los Angeles art gallery. Once at the airport, he is surprised to see policemen with guns and pretends to have one. He ends up being detained by Lieutenant Brutus, who is unsettled by his odd behaviour. Once released, he meets David Langley, an employee of the Grierson art gallery, and David’s family, with whom Bean is to stay for his visit. Despite winning the affection of David’s son (played by Andrew Lawrence), David’s wife is hostile about having to look after him, while David’s rebellious teenage daughter finds Bean “ugly as Meat Loaf’s butt”. His wife later leaves after Bean breaks a family heirloom while fiddling with a CD player. In his wife’s absence, David decides to take Bean on a tour of the Los Angeles art galleries. However, Bean decides that he would rather go to Pacific Park. The pair go on a motion simulator ride. Having modified the ride to be more exciting (to the expense and horror of other riders), Bean is swiftly detained by Brutus again. Back at home, Bean’s attempt to cook a turkey for David’s boss and his wife fails when the microwave explodes, spraying turkey flesh all over the kitchen. Afterwards, David asks Bean simple questions about art and finds that he is not a doctor after all.

After another week in Los Angeles with the Langleys, Bean goes home. At the end of the movie, Bean is back in his London flat, and is shown to have taken the original Whistler’s Mother home with him, still having the cartoon face he drew on it. The credits close with Mr. Bean walking into the viewing area and breaking the fourth wall: “Yes, I normally stay to the end as well…bye.”.

Definitely Maybe

  • Directors: Adam Brooks
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Studio Canal, Working Title Films
  • Writers: Adam Brooks
  • Genres: Comedy, Mystery, Romance
  • Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Abigail Breslin, Isla Fisher, Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz

Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) is a 38-year-old father who is in the midst of a divorce. His 10-year-old daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin) lives with her mother but is with him once or twice a week. On one of these occasions she questions him about his life before marriage. After her first sex-ed class, Maya first asks and then insists on hearing the story of how her parents met and decided to get married. Will gives in, but decides to change the names and some facts, thereby creating a love mystery, with Maya guessing which of the women will be her mom. The story he tells Maya is depicted in long flashbacks. From time to time the film switches back to the present, where Maya comments and asks questions.

The story begins in 1992, where Will, a starry-eyed aspiring politician, moves away from Wisconsin and his college sweetheart, Emily (Elizabeth Banks) to New York to work on the Clinton campaign. She gives him a closed packet and asks him to give it to her friend Summer Hartley (Rachel Weisz), a reporter. In New York, he meets April (Isla Fisher), the copy girl for the campaign. Before bringing the packet to Summer, Will opens it- it is Summer’s diary. Encouraged by his roommate, he reads it, and comes across pages describing a love affair between Emily and Summer. He visits Summer to bring the diary, and meets her roommate and sometimes-lover, her college professor, a famous writer named Hampton Roth (Kevin Kline). When Will leaves Summer kisses him, leaving Will shocked and confused.

Maya is happy that she figured out the story, but also realizes that her father still loves April, as even though Will changed the names of Emily (Sarah in real life), and Summer (Natasha in real life), he did not change April’s name. Encouraged by Maya, who wants her father to be happy, Maya and Will go to April’s apartment. Though April refuses to open the door at first, she hears Maya demand that Will tell April the story exactly as he told it to her. April still doesn’t emerge, but as they turn to go back home, she comes outside. Will confesses to April that he held on to the copy of Jane Eyre because it was the only thing he had left of her. As the three enter into April’s building, April jumps into Will’s arms and kisses him.

O Brother Where Art Thou

  • Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
  • Writers: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
  • Genres: Comedy, Adventure, Crime, Music
  • Actors: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson

Ulysses Everett McGill, known as Everett (George Clooney), Pete (John Turturro), and Delmar O’Donnell (Tim Blake Nelson) escape from a chain gang and set out to retrieve the $1.2 million in treasure that Everett claims to have stolen from an armored car and buried before his incarceration. They have only four days to find it before the valley in which it is hidden will be flooded to create Arkabutla Lake as part of a new hydroelectric project. Early on in their escape, they encounter a blind man traveling on a manual railroad car. They hitch a ride, and he foretells their futures, similar to the oracle of Homer’s Odyssey.

The group sets out for the treasure, and when they pass a congregation on the banks of a river, Pete and Delmar are enticed by the idea of baptism. As the journey continues, they travel briefly with a young guitarist named Tommy Johnson (a character with similarities to blues guitarists Robert Johnson and Tommy Johnson, played by real-life blues musician Chris Thomas King). When asked why he was at a crossroad in the middle of nowhere, he reveals that he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the ability to play the guitar. Tommy describes the devil as being “White, white as you folks… with empty eyes and a big hollow voice. He loves to travel around with a mean old hound.” This description happens to match the policeman who is pursuing the trio.

The group sets out to retrieve the ring, which is at a cabin in the valley that Everett originally claimed to have hidden the treasure in. When they arrive, the police order their arrest and hanging. Everett protests that they had been pardoned on the radio, but the leader of the police force tells them that it is of no consequence, since the law is only a human institution, plus they have no radio. The guys begin to despair while Everett improvises a prayer to be saved. Suddenly, the valley is flooded and they are saved from hanging. Tommy finds the ring in a desk that he is floating on in the new lake, and they return to town. However, when Everett presents the ring to Penny, she tells him it is the wrong one and demands that he get her ring back. As Everett protests the futility of trying to find it at the bottom of the lake, the blind prophet the trio met earlier rolls by on his railway handcar, ending the film.