The Last King of Scotland

  • Directors: Kevin Macdonald
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Novel, Giles Foden, Screenplay, Peter Morgan, Jeremy Brock
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, History, Thriller
  • Actors: Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington, Simon McBurney, Gillian Anderson

The film opens in Scotland in 1970 as Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) graduates from medical school. Faced with the dull prospect of joining his bourgeois father in the family’s village practice, he decides instead to seek adventure abroad by taking up a position in a Ugandan missionary clinic run by Dr. David Merrit (Adam Kotz) and his wife Sarah (Gillian Anderson). Garrigan quickly becomes attracted to Sarah; she enjoys his attentions, but refuses to engage in an extramarital affair with him. This reveals that one of Garrigan’s character flaws is his attraction to married women; this will become significant later in the film.

Coinciding with Garrigan’s arrival in Uganda, General Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker) is concluding a successful coup d’état to overthrow incumbent president Milton Obote. The two men meet at the scene of a minor car accident, where Garrigan treats Amin’s injured hand. Amin who admires Scotland for its long resilience under English rule, is delighted to discover the doctor’s nationality. Garrigan is impressed by Amin’s charisma, affability, and by his vision of an egalitarian golden age for Uganda. Their friendship is cemented when Amin exchanges his military shirt for Garrigan’s “Scotland” T-shirt. Some days later, Amin invites Garrigan to become his personal physician and to take charge of modernising the country’s health care system. Garrigan accepts, leaves the clinic, and moves to Kampala.

Forty-eight hours later, Israeli forces stormed Entebbe and liberated all but one of the hostages. International public opinion turned against Amin for good. When he was finally overthrown in 1979, jubilant crowds poured onto the streets. His regime had killed more than 300,000 Ugandans and expelled tens of thousands of Asians who had made Uganda their home for years. Amin died in exile in Saudi Arabia on 16 August 2003. Nobody knows if that was the date he dreamed about.

The Last Station

  • Directors: Michael Hoffman
  • Producers: Jens Meurer, Chris Curling, Bonnie Arnold
  • Writers: Michael Hoffman, Jay Parini
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, Paul Giamatti, Anne Marie Duff, Kerry Condon

The film explores the turbulent final year in the life of the Russian writer and philosopher and his troubled marriage.[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.

Wanted

  • Directors: Timur Bekmambetov
  • Producers: Marc Platt, Jason Netter, Jim Lemley
  • Writers: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Chris Morgan
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, Angelina Jolie, Common, Thomas Kretschmann, Terence Stamp

A young man named Wesley Gibson works at a dead-end desk job with an overbearing boss, takes anti-anxiety medication for panic attacks, and has a live-in girlfriend who cheats on him with his best friend. During one of his trips to the pharmacy, Gibson is told by a mysterious woman named Fox that his father was a recently murdered assassin, and the killer, Cross, is behind him. Cross and Fox engage in a shoot-out followed by a car chase in the streets of Chicago. Fox brings Gibson to the headquarters of The Fraternity, a thousand-year-old secret society of assassins. The group’s leader, Sloan, explains that Gibson’s panic attacks are actually the untrained expression of a rare superhuman ability; when stressed he has drastically increased heart rate and adrenaline levels that result in bursts of superhuman strength, speed and reflexes. The Fraternity can teach him to control this ability, so Gibson can follow in his father’s footsteps as an assassin, beginning by inheriting his fortune. Gibson is initially reluctant and returns to work, only to finally snap when discovering his online bank account balance is over 3 million dollars. He tells off his boss in front of the entire office and on his way out, hits his “friend” Barry in the face with his keyboard. The keyboard breaks apart, and 6 keys and one of Barrys teeth spell “Fuck you”. Fox is waiting outside to take him back to the Fraternity headquarters – an unassuming textile mill.

Gibson, penniless once again, does not know what to do with himself. While Gibson provides a voice-over, the audience sees a man sitting in front of a computer much like Gibson did at the beginning of the film. Sloan appears and points a gun at back of the man’s head. At that moment, the man turns around and is revealed to be a decoy. Sloan is then killed by Gibson using a long-distance untraceable bullet. Similar to the comic,[2] the film ends as Gibson turns to the camera and breaks the fourth wall, saying, “This is me taking back control of my life. What the fuck have you done lately?”

The Chronicles of Narnia The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

  • Directors: Andrew Adamson
  • Producers: Mark Johnson, Perry Moore, Philip Steuer, Douglas Gresham
  • Writers: Novel, C S Lewis, Screenplay, Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
  • Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone, Dawn French, Rupert Everett, Liam Neeson

The film begins with the 1940 bombing of Finchley, London, during the Blitz. The Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, are in direct danger from the falling bombs – a scene which did not appear in the original C.S. Lewis book and which at the very start introduces the underlying tension and jealousy between Edmund and his siblings which would have a major role in the later plot.

Subsequently, the children are – as in the book – evacuated to the country home of Professor Kirke. One day while they are playing hide and seek, Lucy discovers a wardrobe and enters a wintery fantasy world called Narnia. She spends a few hours in the home of the faun, Mr. Tumnus, who explains that the White Witch cursed Narnia, and it has been winter for one hundred years. In accordance with her orders, if a human is ever encountered, a Narnian must bring them to her. However, Tumnus likes Lucy and can’t bring himself to kidnap her so he sends her home. When she returns, hardly any time has passed in the normal world, and when the other children check the Wardrobe, all they see is a normal wooden back – the portal is gone.

The Pevensies become Kings and Queens and stay in Narnia until they are older. When chasing a white stag to receive wishes, they find the lamppost and the wardrobe and go back to England, where they magically appear as children again. The Professor then tosses them the ball used to break the window and instructs them to tell him the story. Later, Lucy attempts to go back to Narnia, but the Professor tells her he has been trying for years, and they will probably get back to Narnia when least expected.

Atonement

  • Directors: Joe Wright 1
  • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster 1
  • Writers: Novel, Ian McEwan, Screenplay, Christopher Hampton
  • Genres: Drama, Mystery, Romance, War
  • Actors: James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai, Vanessa Redgrave

The film comprises four parts, corresponding to the four parts of the novel. Some scenes are shown several times from different perspectives.

Briony Tallis (Saoirse Ronan) is a 13-year-old girl from a wealthy English family, the youngest of three, and an aspiring writer. Her older sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) is educated at Cambridge University alongside Robbie Turner (James McAvoy), the son of their housekeeper (Brenda Blethyn), whose school fees are paid by Cecilia’s father. Though Robbie is headed for medical school soon, he is spending the summer gardening on the Tallis estate. The ginger-haired Lola Quincey (Juno Temple), age fifteen, and her younger twin brothers, Jackson and Pierrot (Felix and Charlie von Simson), are cousins of Briony and Cecilia who are visiting the family amidst their parents’ divorce. Lastly, Leon (Patrick Kennedy) â€“ Briony and Cecilia’s brother â€“ brings home a friend named Paul Marshall (Benedict Cumberbatch), who owns a chocolate factory that is acquiring a contract to produce army rations. The Tallis family is planning a special dinner, to which Leon happily invites Robbie, who accepts, much to Cecilia’s annoyance.

Briony has just finished writing a play entitled The Trials of Arabella, which she describes being as about “the complications of love”.[4] Her cousins, however, are being unmanageable about staging the play, and she is considerably frustrated. Alone in her bedroom, she witnesses a significant moment of sexual tension between Robbie and her sister by the fountain, when her sister strips down to her underwear and dips into the fountain, to retrieve the lost part of a vase that Robbie has clumsily broken. Because Briony cannot hear what the two are saying, and has witnessed only a fraction of the scene, she misunderstands its dynamics, and the seed of her misplaced distrust in Robbie is sown.

The film suddenly shifts forward to 1999, when an elderly Briony (Vanessa Redgrave), interviewed on television (by Anthony Minghella) about her latest novel Atonement, is overcome with emotion and memory. She reveals that she is dying of vascular dementia, and that this novel will be her last, but that it is also her first, as she has been drafting it intermittently since her time at St Thomas’s. Briony admits that the story is autobiographical and expresses great remorse at her actions. She admits that the end of the novel is, in fact, a fiction; in reality, both Robbie and Cecilia died before Briony could make amends, Robbie succumbing to septicemia the day before the evacuation at Dunkirk, and Cecilia perishing in the Ballham Tube Station flooding. Briony explains that she has altered the ending to give her sister and Robbie the chance at the happiness they both deserved, and which she took away from them. The film closes with a scene of a simple, seaside bliss between Cecilia and Robbie, together at long last. The scenery of the English cliff-side beach around them echoes that from a postcard that Cecilia gave Robbie on his departure for duty, as a promise that they would be together someday.