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Posts Tagged ‘Dominic Cooper’

Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe

“MY WEEK WITH MARILYN” My rating: B- 

99 minutes | MPAA rating: R

An actress portraying Marilyn Monroe faces the same daunting obstacles as an actor playing Jesus.

No matter how good your performance, it pales in comparison to the real thing.

Michelle Williams, one of our finest young actresses, does a perfectly credible job as the  immortal blonde sex symbol in “My Week with Marilyn,” a melodrama unfolding during the filming of “The Prince and the Showgirl” in London in 1957.

But as good as Williams is, not once did I mistake her for Marilyn. It’s a passable impersonation, but no one will ever fill the screen the way Monroe did.

Simon Curtis’ feature directing debut  (after a long career in television)  is based on “The Prince, The Showgirl and Me” and “My Week with Marilyn,” Colin Clark’s memoirs about his experiences as a young production assistant on the film. (more…)

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Dominic Cooper as Uday Hussein

“The Devil’s Double”:

If Brit actor Dominic Cooper doesn’t get an Oscar nom for his work here we should start an Occupy Hollywood movement.

In Lee Tamahori’s film Cooper (he was the bridegroom in “Mamma Mia!”) plays both Uday Hussein — Saddam Hussein’s psychotic and murderous older son — and real-life Iraqi officer Latif Yahia, who looked enough like the young despot to become his double, filling in for Uday at boring affairs of state and, on at least one occasion, drawing an assassin’s bullet.

It’s a delicious star turn, with Cooper reveling both as the piggish, ultra-violent Uday, and as Latif, a decent guy forced to live side-by-side with a man he despises.

Tamahori doesn’t bring a whole lot of style to the proceedings, but then he doesn’t have to. This is Dominic Cooper’s movie and he owns it from first frame to last.

“13 Assassins”:

Takashi Miike’s samurai tale may not score many points for originality (it’s yet another clone of Kurosawa’s timeless “Seven Samurai”), but it’s hugely enjoyable.

A dozen jobless ronin and a comical forest-dwelling goofball join forces (more…)

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Dominic Cooper as Uday Hussein...

“THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE” My rating: B (Opening wide on Sept. 26)

109 minutes | MPAA rating: R

The right role can turn a journeyman actor into an overnight star.

Take, for instance, Dominic Cooper’s performance in “The Devil’s Double.”

Up to now the British Cooper has been recognized mostly for playing the groom in the movie version of “Mamma Mia!” But here he tackles not one role but two, and in the process pretty much burns up the screen.

Based on real incidents, “Devil…” is the story of Latif Yahia, an officer in the Iraqi army who in the 1980s was tapped to serve as the official double of Uday Hussein, Saddam Hussein’s notoriously spoiled and violent oldest son.

(more…)

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“CAPTAIN AMERICA” My rating: B  (Opening wide on July 22)

125 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

Just when it seemed the whole comic book/superhero thing had burnt itself out in a conflagration of too much money and not enough inspiration, along comes “Captain America: The First Avenger” to make us remember why these movies can be so much fun.

“Captain America” is corny in all the right ways. It’s tongue-in-cheek funny, touching when it needs to be, warmly nostalgic and it perfectly captures its WW2 setting. (more…)

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