The Film Fatale

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MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT

Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in this new Woody Allen movie, “a romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue” (x). Not an endorsement or indictment of Allen’s alleged past indiscretions, but it’s a little hard to ignore that the story involves a relationship between two people with such an age discrepancy. 

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE

X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn trades in mutants for mischievous British spies in Kingsman: The Secret Service, based on the Mark Millar comic book. The story revolves around a secret organization that recruits a talented but rambunctious youngster and puts him through rigorous training in order to transform him into a super spy. Colin Firth stars in the film, dapper, debonair and channeling his best James Bond. Also in the film are Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong and Michael Caine. The Secret Service sneaks into US theaters on October 24, 2014.

DEVIL’S KNOT

Starring Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Dane DeHaan, Bruce Greenwood, Mireille Enos, Elias Koteas, Stephen Moyer and Amy Ryan, Devil’s Knot tells the story of the West Memphis Three, a nickname coined for the three individuals who were tried and convicted of the 1993 murder of three young boys in Arkansas. The film is based on a screenplay penned by horror film scribes Paul Harris Boardman and Scott Derrickson, which certainly explains the creepy vibe of the trailer. How close the script stays to the facts of the case could be dubious; after all, this is a Hollywood adaptation. West of Memphis, a documentary produced by The Lord of the Rings filmmaker Peter Jackson and directed by Amy J. Berg, is worth checking out for another look at the chilling events that captured the fascination of a nation. 

Slate Magazine reported that in 1999, when Queen Elizabeth II was preparing to bestow a new noble title to her son Prince Edward, she originally wanted to make him the Duke of Cambridge. But after he saw Shakespeare in Love, he asked her if he could instead be the “Earl of Wessex,” after Colin Firth's character, Lord Wessex, even though the character is villainous and unlikable. He requested and received the “Wessex” title and is sometimes known as Edward Wessex (x)