The Railway Man

What would you do if you had the opportunity to face the individual who made your life a living hell, half a lifetime ago? That’s the question Colin Firth faces in The Railway Man, playing a World War II veteran who, decades later, is still haunted by the torment he suffered as a prisoner of war in Japan.

With the help of his loving wife (Nicole Kidman) and a fellow vet (Stellan Skarsgård), Eric manages to track down and have his say with the Japanese soldier (Hiroyuki Sanada) who tortured him. Initially, it looks like he plans to get his revenge — but as the two men face each other, Lomax finds himself reacting in more complicated ways. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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The Railway Man

Almost three years after he nabbed an Oscar for The King’s Speech, Colin Firth is revisiting World War II from a very different perspective. Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky (Burning Man), The Railway Man tells the true story of veteran Eric Lomax (Firth), who was held as a prisoner by the Japanese during the war.

Decades later, still haunted by that period of his life, Lomax seeks closure by tracking down the army officer (Hiroyuki Sanada) who once tortured him. Nicole Kidman co-stars as Lomax’s wife, and Stellan Skarsgård as his best friend. Jeremy Irvine and Tanroh Ishida play the younger versions of Lomax and his tormentor. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Taraji P. Henson and Idris Elba have boarded No Good Deed, a thriller written by Aimee Lagos (96 Minutes) and directed by Sam Miller (Luther). The Screen Gems project centers around a district attorney who gives up her career to stay at home with her two young children. When a tall, dark, and handsome stranger shows up claiming to have car trouble, she invites him into her home, only for him to kidnap and terrorize her and her family.

Though neither Variety nor THR confirm which character each will be playing, we can probably assume that Henson will be the mom and Elba the charming but dangerous stranger. The film marks Elba’s third time working with Screen Gems, having previously made Takers and Obsessed for the studio. Not such an auspicious track record, but for the sake of these talented actors let’s hope for the best.

After the jump, Nicole Kidman subs in for Rachel Weisz, and Emmy Rossum is a beautiful creature.

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One intriguing film that’s currently making the rounds at TIFF is the grief drama Burning Man, starring Matthew Goode. Written and directed by Jonathan Teplitzky, the film centers around Tom (Goode), an English chef in Australia who falls into self-destructive behavior following a crushing personal tragedy. Trying to save Tom from himself are his 8-year-old son Oscar (Jack Heanly) and a rotating slate of beautiful ladies — because if you look like Goode and are an incredible cook, women will flock to you even if you’re being kind of a dick. Bojana Novakovic, Rachel Griffiths, Essie Davies, and Kerry Fox also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Oscar winner Colin Firth has just added another project to his slate: the epic drama The Railway Man. The film will be directed by Jonathan Teplitzky (Better Than Sex, Burning Man) from Andy Paterson and Frank Cottrell Boyce, adapted from Eric Lomax‘s memoir of the same title. Lomax’s book focuses on the torture he experienced at the hands of the Japanese during his time working on the Burma-Siam Railroad (a.k.a. the bridge on the River Kwai) as a World War II POW. Upon learning decades later that one of his torturers was still alive, Lomax arranged to meet with him.

The story certainly sounds compelling and intense, and worthy of an actor of Firth’s talent. The Railway Man is set to begin shooting February in Great Britain, Thailand, and Australia. [Variety]

After the jump, Shirley Maclaine, Alan Arkin, and Vera Farmiga team up for a spin on Romeo & Juliet, and Thomas Haden Church signs up for a horror flick produced by Slash of Guns N’ Roses.

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If you’re more interested in the typical fall slate of festival entrees than summer’s glut of tentpole action fare, this is a great week. The Toronto International Film Festival announced the first wave of films that will play the fest in September. This is a batch of about 50 titles, which makes up only a small chunk of the programming. Usually TIFF features between two and three hundred films. But these are some of the highest-profile entries.

Below you’ll find rundowns on the new films from George Clooney, Bennett Miller, Jay & Mark Duplass, Todd Solondz, Francis Ford Coppola, Cameron Crowe, Sarah Polley, Fernando Meirelles, Lars von Trier, Marc Forster, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and Lynne Ramsay. No announcement yet of the Midnight Madness programming choices, always some of my faves, but this is a great start. Read More »

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