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'I'd be up for being a baddie’: Ruth Wilson on turning to the dark side
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'I'd be up for being a baddie’: Ruth Wilson on turning to the dark side

When Ruth Wilson got the script for Clio Barnard’s ‘Dark River’, a drama set in Yorkshire farming country, she may not have been expecting to get into the actual river. ‘On a higher-budget film, you’d probably have a tank,’ she laughs. ‘But when the camera’s rolling, you’ve got superhuman powers.’ If you’ve seen ‘The Affair’ or ‘Luther’, you’ll know how often she’s proved that. Raised in the shadow of Shepperton Studios, the actress has built a rep on the big and small screens, as well as the stage. We had a chat over some Yorkshire Tea... You play Alice, a sheep farmer. How were your shearing skills?‘I had no skills, so I spent three weeks on a sheep farm. Shearing is a real skill. It was a physical workout every day: running up those hills, chasing sheep.’ What did you connect with in the material?‘Clio drew me to this film, but it was the physicality, really. I went on a sheepdog training course and there was a red-haired collie who would refuse to look humans in the eyes and was very jumpy. But when she was on the field with the sheep, she was in charge. I thought: Okay, I’m going to base Alice on that sheepdog!’ Alice is a traumatised person and you did research into the psychology of that.‘I researched psychopaths a lot for “Luther”, but with “Dark River” Clio and I talked to lots of people about intrusive memories, because a lot of this is trauma and PTSD-based. It’s a ghost story in a way, because she’s haunted by her past.’ ‘The Affair’ is back soon. Is Season 4

'I didn't think it would happen for me': Allison Janney on 'I, Tonya' and the Oscars
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'I didn't think it would happen for me': Allison Janney on 'I, Tonya' and the Oscars

Allison Janney is asking me to forgive her. ‘I’m so jetlagged. Just know that…’ she laughs as she sits down. It turns out she has nothing to apologise for. Jetlagged Janney is more switched on than the best of us on a bad day. We’re in a central London hotel room to talk ‘I, Tonya’, the dark comedy-drama biopic which has already earned her Oscar and Bafta nominations and a Golden Globe win for Best Supporting Actress. The film will tell a familiar tale for many; the globe-rocking, 1994 figure skating scandal had everyone glued to the news. If it’s not, though, ‘I, Tonya’ is about remarkable figure skater Tonya Harding, and her possible connection to an attack on Nancy Kerrigan, a rival and Olympic teammate. Janney plays LaVona, Tonya’s abusive, difficult, profane, chain-smoking mother. It’s a captivating performance – and she did an awful lot of it with a bird called Little Man perched on her shoulder.The bird must have been surreal.‘It was, but there's real footage of LaVona with a fur coat and a bird on her shoulder. I'm a huge animal lover but birds kind of freak me out, so I auditioned three. A couple of them kept crawling up in my hair. Little Man just sat on my shoulder and hung out so I decided that he was going to get the part. It was my first casting session. I felt pretty powerful. When we started shooting he kept pecking at me. It pissed me off a little bit but I think it fuelled my performance. We ended up being a good duo.’ Do you remember ‘The Incident’?‘I lov

Isle of Dogs review
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Isle of Dogs review

If Wes Anderson’s 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' was a joyful slice of whimsy, his latest foray into stop-motion creature features is a more complex beast. Set in a near-future Japan, it’s a dystopian, fitfully funny tale in which crusading young people take on a corrupt establishment. But it’s mostly about the dogs: Banished from Megasaki city after outbreaks of snout fever and dog flu, cute canines are dumped on Trash Island and left to fend for themselves amid piles of garbage. In an instant, prize poodles find themselves on equal footing with scrappy strays. Their barks are conveniently translated directly into English for us by a typically Andersonian voice cast: There's a tight pack led by alpha dog Rex (Edward Norton), gossip Duke (Jeff Goldblum), sports mascot Boss (Bill Murray) and pooch actor King (Bob Balaban). Snarling on the sidelines is Chief (Bryan Cranston), who’ll rip your ear off to get to a can of maggots but who slowly emerges as the heart and soul of the story. Chief’s story kicks in when a 12-year-old Japanese boy, Atari, lands a tiny plane on Trash Island, intent on finding his banished Spots. Atari is the nephew of Kobayashi (voiced by co-writer Kunichi Nomura), the mayor of Megasaki city who bought the animal as a guard dog, only to make Spots the first to be exiled to Trash Island. Atari enlists the help of the pack to roam the dangerous island, with Chief emerging as an unlikely ally. Depicting the bond between boy and dog is what 'Isle of Dogs' does best, an

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Annihilation review
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Annihilation review

It starts with a meteor crashing into a lighthouse on an average sunny day, and widens – over what’s whispered to be a few years – into a government secret called Area X. You pass through the 'Shimmer' (basically a jellyfish-tinted screensaver) into a zone where time stops, compasses spin out and the beaches sprout crystal trees that wouldn’t look out of place at a fancy ET’s Christmas party. 'Annihilation', a visually rapturous and sometimes unsettling movie, derives from a serious piece of sci-fi writing, Jeff VanderMeer’s Nebula-winning 2014 novel of the same name. The film, creatively adapted and directed by 'Ex Machina'’s Alex Garland, has grand concepts in mind, ideas about self-destruction and rebirth. If it gets to them via some old moves out of the Ridley Scott playbook, so be it. Cellular biologist Lena (Natalie Portman) is one of those grieving 'Arrival'–style widows, still not over the presumed-dead disappearance of her husband, a military officer who vanished a year ago. Just as she’s working up the strength to repaint the bedroom, long-lost Kane (Oscar Isaac) is back, but he’s basically a ghost, mumbling non-answers and bleeding from the nose and mouth. He’s a belated casualty of Area X, Lena learns, and too quickly, she’s on a covert mission of her own, alongside an all-female squad of heavily armed soldiers led by the terse Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Why all women? That’s part of 'Annihilation'’s mystery, which comes into focus amid the swampy, shif

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
From 'The Hunger Games' to the trenches: Sam Claflin talks 'Journey's End'
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From 'The Hunger Games' to the trenches: Sam Claflin talks 'Journey's End'

As the buff Finnick Odair in ‘The Hunger Games’, Sam Claflin has past experience of combat, but nothing like the violent crucible of his new film. In ‘Journey’s End’, an adaptation of RC Sherriff’s Great War drama, he swaps that trident for a service revolver as the brave but traumatised and booze-soaked Captain Stanhope. Did you spend time wondering how you would have coped in the trench?‘It was impossible not to. As a cast, we liked to think that we had the strength of Paul Bettany’s character, but we decided we’d end up being more like Stanhope. I’ve never seen a dead body in my life, so I don't know how that might change me, especially if it was a best friend.’ You have a lot of young fans from your time on ‘The Hunger Games’. What do you want them to take away from ‘Journey’s End’?‘I hope people who don't know much about World War I learn what happened there, and want to learn more about servicemen and what they endure. We were fortunate enough to sit with four ex-servicemen who all suffered from PTSD and who shared the obstacles they've had to overcome. It was the most eye-opening few hours I’ve ever had.’ What did you learn that helped with the film?‘That you spend most of your time trying to survive the waiting. That's the real challenge: when your head starts going places and you start panicking. RC Sheriff originally toyed with calling the play “Waiting” or “Suspense”. It’s about how people react when they’re waiting to die.’ Was it challenging to play an alcoh

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The best films of 2017

2017 is far from over and there are countless movies headed to our cinema screens over the coming months (here are 50 films we are super excited about just for starters). But this year has already bought us some amazing films, from modern day musical 'La La Land' to Best Picture winner 'Moonlight'. Here's our round-up of the best films of 2017 so far. We'll be adding to it as the year goes on so keep checking back to make sure you haven't missed any cinematic crackers.  RECOMMENDED: The best films in cinemas right now

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