Don’t let the cheery title fool you: Oranges & Sunshine actually tells a harrowing tale that’s all the more distubring for being true. In the first feature by director Jim Loach (son of The Wind That Shakes the Barley helmer Ken Loach), a social worker named Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson) encounters a woman seeking answers about her past. As Humphreys digs deeper, she uncovers a massive conspiracy to deport thousands of abandoned kids from British children’s homes to brutal work camps in Australia. Hugo Weaving and David Wenham also star.

Though it sounds like something out of a Charles Dickens novel, the events are actually chillingly recent — the real-life Humphreys conducted her investigation in the ’80s and learned that these injustices had taken place during the ’50s and ’60s. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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‘Fireflies in the Garden’ Trailer

If you need proof that the old movie star system doesn’t really exist any longer, here’s a trailer for Fireflies in the Garden, aka the ‘lost’ Julia Roberts movie. The film was shot in 2007 and hit festivals in 2008, and is only not getting a release date. Then again, Fireflies in the Garden is only kind of a Julia Roberts movie — it’s a family drama in which Roberts and Willem Dafoe are parents of a boy who grows up to become a bearded, very serious Ryan Reynolds. You’d think, however, that even with Roberts playing a supporting role — and a very important one at that — the film would have seen some release based on the fact of her appearance alone.

The film also stars Hayden Panettiere, Emily Watson and Carrie-Anne Moss, and if you’re wondering what a movie with all those recognizable people has been doing sitting on the shelf for almost four years, you’re not alone. Check out the trailer below and see if you can figure out why this one has been unseen in the States for all this time. Read More »

While Disney figures out what it wants to do with The Lone Ranger, would-be star Tom Wilkinson has entered negotiations for the indie Little Boy. Directed by Alejandro Monteverde, the historical family drama follows a developmentally disabled 8-year-old brother (newcomer Jakob Salvati) and his teenage brother (David Henrie). When the boys’ father is sent off to fight in World War II, the boys must contend with the cruelty of their peers.

Wilkinson will be joining a cast that includes Ben Chaplin and Emily Watson — but not, apparently, previously announced star Kevin James, whose name was mysteriously omitted from the Variety story. While I’m happy to see Wilkinson board, I’ll be disappointed if James really is out. I haven’t been a huge fan of his previous roles, but I was actually looking forward to him trying something completely different with Little Boy.

Shooting on the project began earlier this week in Baja California (which is in Mexico, not California, if you’re not up on your southwestern geography. Seriously, people make that mistake all the time). [Cinema Blend]

After the jump, Hilary Duff and Kevin Zegers exit The Story of Bonnie and Clyde, and Chazz Palminteri goes gangster once more.

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Sometimes there’s no way to make a casting roundup conform to any sort of sense. Such is the case here, as we’ve got info on a wild reality-based political thriller set in 1979, an animated sequel, and an indie family drama with a very unlikely cast. In other words, after the break you’ll find info on:

  • Monsters star Scoot McNairy joining Ben Affleck’s Argo,
  • Nick Frost and seven hundred other actors doing voices for the fourth theatrical Ice Age movie,
  • and an indie called Little Boy, which has Kevin James and Emily Watson set to star.

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Steven Spielberg’s ‘War Horse’ Trailer

The official movie trailer for Steven Spielberg‘s big screen adaptation of Michael Morpurgo‘s World War I novel War Horse has been released online. Watch it now embedded after the jump. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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Three years have passed since we last saw a Steven Spielberg-directed film and it’s been six since we saw a good one. After such a long layoff, it’s insane to think that, come this December, we’ll have two Spielberg films in theaters at the same time. First we’ll get his 3D, motion capture film The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn on December 23 and then, December 28 brings the equine period epic War Horse. The first eight official photos from the latter film, which is based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo about a horse who travels far and wide to reunite with his owner during World War I, have just surfaced. Check them out after the break. Read More »

While it has yet to be picked up for U.S. distribution, Oranges and Sunshine is opening in the United Kingdom in April and has already played a few festivals to generally positive reviews. It stars Emily Watson in the true story of a social worker who discovers that tens of thousands of children in the United Kingdom were forced to migrate away from their families and then struggles trying to reunite the broken families. Directed by Jim Loach, first time director son of Ken Loach, Oranges and Sunshine also stars Hugo Weaving and David Wenham both of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Watch the trailer for this tear jerker and read the official plot description after the jump. Read More »

While the 2010 Holiday Movie season has been a little lackluster, 2011 is looking amazing. Sure this year we get a sequel to TRON and a new film by the Coen Brothers but next December alone we get new films from Martin Scorsese, Cameron Crowe, Brad Bird, David Fincher, Guy Ritchie as well as two new films by Steven Spielberg.

Slowly but surely, we’re learning more about each of those projects and today we’ve got a minor update on Spielberg’s live action Oscar contender, War Horse. Set for release on December 28, just five days after Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, War Horse stars David Thewlis, Emily Watson and others and is based on a novel by Michael Morpurgo. It’s probably a safe bet that most of us haven’t read that book, so definitely check out the official plot description of the film after the jump. Read More »

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