The only nominee for this year’s Academy Award for Animated Feature Film still awaiting wide release in North America, The Secret of Kells, from the directing duo of Tomm Moore and Nora Twomey, will begin trickling into theaters beginning March 12.
The Baltimore Sun’s Chris Kaltenbach is “Getting back to Mo’Nique’s Baltimore roots.”
A box office boffo throughout mainland Europe and a bit of a film festival sensation stateside, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opens in the UK on March 12 and in the United States a week later. Based on the posthumously best selling novels by Stieg Larsson, the detective thriller is directed by Niels Arden Oplev and stars Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace. The predictably inevitable Hollywood remake is in the works.
In his weekly The Forgotten column at The Auteurs, David Cairns is “trousering the ghost” with an appealingly florid tale about a distinctly eccentric slice of British comic surrealism, 1980’s Sir Henry at Rawlinson End.
One Film Wonder: Dalton Trumbo was an accomplished screenwriter and novelist who became one of Hollywood’s most appreciated writers in the first half of the 1940s with a succession of successful screenplays, including Kitty Foyle and Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. In 1947, at a career apex, Trumbo was compelled to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee of the U.S. Congress. Trumbo refused to answer questions; subsequently, he was convicted of contempt of Congress and jailed for 11 months in 1950.
Following his release, Trumbo and his family moved to Mexico, where he continued to write screenplays during the decade, but never with his name in the credits. He used no less than six nom de plumes between 1950 and 1958. One of those pseudonyms, Ian McLellan Hunter — an actual writer of indistinct films in the 1940s and television thereafter — received the Oscar for Best Writing of a Motion Picture for Roman Holiday in the spring of 1954. The pseudonym used for 1956’s The Brave One — Robert Rich, which was simply the name of a relative of the film’s producers — won the 1957 Academy Award for Best Story. When the baneful blacklist abated, Trumbo returned to penning credited screenplays, including Spartacus and Exodus.
(Trumbo was presented with his Oscar for The Brave One in May 1975. A ceremony to honor Trumbo with his Academy Award for Roman Holiday was held in May 1993; Trumbo died in September 1976.)
In 1971, Trumbo directed his only film, Johnny Got His Gun, which was based on his 1939 pacifistic novel about a profoundly wounded WWI solider. Starring Timothy Bottoms, Jason Robards and Donald Sutherland – and including trivia-intriguing performances by David Soul and Tony Geary – the film is claustrophobic, powerful, and indelible. The 1972 Cannes Film Festival jury bestowed two awards on the movie which quickly secured cult status. Johnny Got His Gun underwent a renaissance of interest in 1989 when footage from the film was utilized heavily in Metallica’s first ever video for “One” from the …And Justice for All album.