Following its critically acclaimed World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Pathé is delighted to announce that Sony Pictures Classics has acquired THE DUKE for distribution in multiple territories including the US, Latin America and Scandinavia. All other world territories had been sold by Pathe International prior to the Venice Film Festival.
Directed by Roger Michell from a script by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman, the comedy drama stars Oscar-winners Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren and tells the delightful and moving true story of a man determined to live a meaningful life:
In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and remains the only) theft in the Gallery’s history. Kempton sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government agreed to provide television for free to the elderly. What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only 50 years later did the full story emerge – a startling revelation of how a good man set out to change the world and in so doing saved his son and his marriage.
Pathé will release the film in the UK, France and Switzerland. Other sales already announced include: Australia (Transmission), Benelux (Paradiso), Canada/Germany/Spain (eOne), China (Huanxi), Czech Republic (AQS), Former Yugoslavia (MCF), Israel (Forum), Italy (BIM), Japan (Phantom), Middle East (Front Row) and Poland (Monolith).
THE DUKE is a Pathé, Ingenious Media and Screen Yorkshire presentation of a Neon Films Production. Nicky Bentham is the Producer and the Executive Producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé, Andrea Scarso for Ingenious Media, Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire, Peter Scarf and Christopher Bunton.
For further information please contact:
Sophie Glover - Pathé UK / Sophie.email@example.com
Nicki Foster – Premier / Nicki.firstname.lastname@example.org
Pathé operates as a film studio in France, the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It is involved in all aspects of filmmaking, from development and production through to international sales, distribution and exhibition.
Films produced/distributed by Pathé range from The Queen to Slumdog Millionaire and from Philomena to Selma. In recent years Pathé’s productions have won 17 BAFTAs (70 nominations) and 14 Oscars (50 nominations), most recently the Best Actress Oscar and BAFTA for Renee Zellweger in Judy.
Pathé International handles the international marketing and sales of Pathé’s own productions and also acquires third party films for worldwide representation. As one of Europe’s leading sales agents, Pathé International has a significant presence at all major film markets and festivals.
THE LITTLE STRANGER
July 6th 2017 marks the commencement of principal photography in the UK of the feature film THE LITTLE STRANGER, based on Sarah Waters’ best-selling novel. The film is directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Oscar nominated for Best Director for Room) and stars Domhnall Gleeson (Brooklyn) as Dr Faraday; Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair) as Caroline Ayres; BAFTA winner Will Poulter (The Revenant) as Roderick Ayres; and Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) as Mrs Ayres. THE LITTLE STRANGER is a chilling ghost story written by BAFTA nominee Lucinda Coxon (The Danish Girl) adapted from Sarah Waters’ novel of the same name. THE LITTLE STRANGER tells the story of Dr Faraday, the son of a housemaid, who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. During the long hot summer of 1948, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked. The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. But it is now in decline and its inhabitants - mother, son and daughter - are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life. When he takes on his new patient, Faraday has no idea how closely, and how terrifyingly, the family’s story is about to become entwined with his own. The film is produced by Gail Egan (The Constant Gardener), Andrea Calderwood (The Last King of Scotland) and Ed Guiney (Room); and executive produced by Cameron McCracken for Pathé, Daniel Battsek for Film4, Andrew Lowe for Element Pictures, Celine Haddad for the Irish Film Board and Tim O’Shea for Ingenious. Director of Photography is Ole Birkeland (The Crown), with costumes by Steven Noble (BAFTA nominee for The Theory of Everything) and hair and make-up by Sian Grigg (Oscar nominee for The Revenant). Simon Elliott (The Iron Lady and BAFTA TV winner for Bleak House) is Production Designer. Pathé will distribute the film in the UK, France and Switzerland. Focus Features acquired the film from Pathé International for distribution throughout the rest of the world. Focus will release the film domestically and Universal Pictures International will distribute THE LITTLE STRANGER in non-Pathé territories. THE LITTLE STRANGER is a Focus Features, Pathé, Film4 presentation in association with Ingenious Media and the Irish Film Board, of a Potboiler production, in association with Element Pictures. The film was developed by Film4 with Potboiler. For Further information; Premier Jonathan Rutter / Eugene O’Connor / Ellen Steers email@example.com / +44 (0)20 7292 8330 POTBOILER Potboiler Productions is a leading UK independent film and television production company headed and run by Gail Egan and Andrea Calderwood. Driven by a passion for producing unique and bold international-scale projects and for working with exceptional talent in front of and behind the camera, their productions include; the John le Carré thriller The Constant Gardener, directed by Fernando Meirelles, starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz who won an Academy Award for her role in the film and Kevin Macdonald’s The Last King of Scotland, which won an Oscar for Forest Whitaker, as well as the critically acclaimed A Most Wanted Man, directed by Anton Corbijn and starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rachel McAdams, A Little Chaos, directed by Alan Rickman and starring Kate Winslet, Susanna White’s Our Kind of Traitor, starring Ewan McGregor and David Simon’s ground-breaking Iraq-set mini-series Generation Kill for HBO. Most recently, Potboiler has produced Final Portrait, written and directed by Stanley Tucci, starring Geoffrey Rush and Woman Walks Ahead, written by Steven Knight, directed by Susanna White and starring Jessica Chastain. ELEMENT PICTURES Element Pictures is headed by Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe, with offices in Dublin and London, encompassing film and television production, distribution, and exhibition. Recent productions include Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer, winner of Best Screenplay at this year’s Cannes Film Festival; Lenny Abrahamson's Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award-winning Room and Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, winner of the Jury Prize at the 68th Cannes Film Festival and nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay. Currently in post-production are Lanthimos’ new film The Favourite, starring Emma Stone, Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz and Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience, starring Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz and Alessandro Nivola. Previous productions include all of Lenny Abrahamson's films (Adam & Paul, Garage, What Richard Did and Frank) as well as Darren Thornton's A Date For Mad Mary, John Michael McDonagh's The Guard and James Marsh's Shadowdancer. PATHÉ Pathé operates as a fully integrated film studio in France, the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It is involved in all aspects of filmmaking, from development and production through to international sales, distribution and exhibition. Films produced/distributed by Pathé range from The Queen to Slumdog Millionaire and from Philomena to Selma. In recent years Pathé’s productions have won 15 BAFTAs (66 nominations) and 13 Oscars (46 nominations). Pathé International handles the international marketing and sales of Pathé’s own productions and also acquires third party films for worldwide representation. As one of Europe’s leading sales agents, Pathé International has a significant presence at all major film markets and festivals. www.pathe.co.uk Twitter @patheuk FILM4 Film4 is Channel 4 Television’s feature film division. Film4 develops and co-finances films and is known for working with the most distinctive and innovative talent in UK and international filmmaking, whether new or established. Film4 has developed and co-financed many of the most successful UK films of recent years, Academy Award®-winners such as Lenny Abrahamson’s Room, Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, Asif Kapadia’s box office record breaking documentary Amy, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire and Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, in addition to critically-acclaimed award-winners such as Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Chris Morris’s Four Lions, Shane Meadows’ This is England, Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, David Mackenzie’s Starred Up and Yann Demange’s ’71. Film4’s recent releases include Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, Danny Boyle’s T2 Trainspotting, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey, Todd Haynes’ Carol, Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Lobster and Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years. Forthcoming releases include Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete, Clio Barnard’s Dark River, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, Rungano Nyoni’s I Am Not a Witch, John Cameron Mitchell’s How To Talk To Girls At Parties, Michael Pearce’s Beast, Paddy Considine’s Journeyman, Toby MacDonald’s Old Boys, Benedict Andrews’ Una and Baltasar Kormákur’s The Oath. Films in production include Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite, Bart Layton’s American Animals, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Steve McQueen’s Widows, Stephen Merchant’s Fighting With My Family, Sebastián Lelio’s Disobedience, Garth Davis’s Mary Magdalene and Asif Kapadia’s Maradona. For further information please visit www.film4productions.com. IRISH FILM BOARD Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry, investing in talent, creativity and enterprise. Recent successes include the Academy Award nominated films Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley and Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson and the Golden Globe-nominated Sing Street, directed by John Carney. Forthcoming projects include Nora Twoomey’s The Breadwinner and The Killing of a Sacred Deer by Yorgos Lanthimos. The IFB also supports and promotes the Irish screen industries at major international markets and festivals, promotes inward investment, the use of Ireland as a location for international production. The agency provides a strategic vision for industry training through Screen Training Ireland. INGENIOUS For more than 18 years, investors have chosen Ingenious to manage their funds. In that time, we have raised and deployed over £9 billion across our media, real estate and infrastructure operating divisions, including in excess of £1 billion in enterprise investment scheme (EIS) qualifying investments and over £1.3 billion in business relief (BR) qualifying investments. Our philosophy is clear: we help investors find simple solutions to complex problems, while managing their money conservatively. We create value for our clients by identifying, funding and managing compelling investment opportunities. FOCUS FEATURES Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) acquires and produces specialty films for the global market, and holds a library of iconic movies from fearless filmmakers. Current and upcoming domestic releases from Focus include Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, winner of the Best Director award at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival; the breakneck action-thriller Atomic Blonde, directed by David Leitch and starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy; Victoria & Abdul, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench as Queen Victoria; Darkest Hour, directed by Joe Wright and starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill; the untitled Entebbe project, a gripping political thriller directed by José Padilha and starring Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl; Jason Reitman’s new comedy Tully, starring Charlize Theron and written by Diablo Cody; and the untitled new film from Paul Thomas Anderson starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
THE HUMAN VOICE
Pathé are delighted to announce that the new short film, THE HUMAN VOICE, directed by Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar and starring Tilda Swinton, will be launched on 19 May 2021 at a special Event Screening in cinemas across the UK. The film will be followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with Almodóvar and Swinton hosted by film critic Mark Kermode. THE HUMAN VOICE is Almodóvar’s first work in the English language and had its World Premiere to critical acclaim at the Venice Film Festival last year. Madness and melancholy intersect to thrilling effect as Almodóvar reimagines Jean Cocteau’s short play The Human Voice for an era in which isolation has become a way of life. Laws of desire become the rules of the game as Tilda Swinton’s unnamed woman paces and panics in a glorious Technicolor apartment where décor offers a window into her state of mind. A short, sharp shot of distilled Almodóvar: passion, emotion, heartbreak, wit, and melodrama exquisitely bound up in a tale for our times. Writer/Director Pedro Almodóvar is one of Spain’s most celebrated filmmakers with numerous accolades to his name including an Academy Award®, four BAFTAs, numerous Goyas and over 100 further wins and nominations. His credits include WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, VOLVER and most recently PAIN AND GLORY.
THE LITTLE STRANGER
26 June 2018 Lenny Abrahamson’s THE LITTLE STRANGER, based on Sarah Waters’ best-selling novel, will be released in UK cinemas nationwide on 21st September 2018. Having watched the film, Sarah Waters commented: “The moment THE LITTLE STRANGER finished, I wanted to watch it again. The product of a perfect combination of things - genius direction, a great script, masterly acting, lush cinematography - it's a complex, poignant, terrifically unsettling film. I couldn't wish for a better adaptation of the novel.” The film stars Domhnall Gleeson (Brooklyn) as Dr Faraday; Golden Globe winner Ruth Wilson (The Affair) as Caroline Ayres; BAFTA winner Will Poulter (The Revenant) as Roderick Ayres; and Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling (45 Years) as Mrs Ayres. THE LITTLE STRANGER is a darkly mysterious drama adapted for the big screen by BAFTA nominee Lucinda Coxon (The Danish Girl). THE LITTLE STRANGER tells the story of Dr Faraday, the son of a housemaid, who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. During the long hot summer of 1948, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall, where his mother once worked. The Hall has been home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries. But it is now in decline and its inhabitants - mother, son and daughter - are haunted by something more ominous than a dying way of life. When he takes on his new patient, Faraday has no idea how closely, and how disturbingly, the family’s story is about to become entwined with his own. The film is directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Oscar nominated for Room); produced by Gail Egan (The Constant Gardener), Andrea Calderwood (The Last King of Scotland) and Ed Guiney (Room); and executive produced by Cameron McCracken for Pathé, Daniel Battsek for Film4, Andrew Lowe for Element Pictures, Celine Haddad for the Irish Film Board and Tim O’Shea for Ingenious. Director of Photography is Ole Birkeland (The Crown), with Costumes by Steven Noble (BAFTA nominee for The Theory of Everything) and Hair and Make-Up by Sian Grigg (Oscar nominee for The Revenant). Simon Elliott (The Iron Lady and BAFTA TV winner for Bleak House) is Production Designer; Nathan Nugent (Room) Editor; and the Music is by Stephen Rennicks (Room). THE LITTLE STRANGER is a Pathé, Film4, Irish Film Board and Ingenious presentation of a Potboiler Production in association with Element Films. The film was developed by Film4 with Potboiler and Element Films. Pathé will distribute the film in the UK, France and Switzerland; and Focus Features acquired the film from Pathe International for distribution throughout the rest of the world. Running time: 1hour 52 minutes Certificate: 12A TBC THE LITTLE STRANGER tie-in edition will be published by Virago on the 23rd August, price £8.99 For press enquiries: Premier Eugene O’Connor / Ellen Steers firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0)20 7292 8330 For online press enquiries: FEREF Sophia Dryden SophiaDryden@feref.com
Pedro Almodóvar’s upcoming film Parallel Mothers will open this year’s Venice Film Festival. With Parallel Mothers Pedro Almodóvar returns, in his words, to the feminine universe, to motherhood and to family. The film stars Penelope Cruz, Milena Smit and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón playing the story’s three mothers, and Israel Elejalde in the lead male role. The cast is completed by Julieta Serrano and Rossy de Palma. Produced by El Deseo, with the participation of RTVE and Netflix. For press information please contact Sophie Glover: Tel: + 44 7917 045 875 / Email: email@example.com
THE LITTLE STRANGER
Praise for THE LITTLE STRANGER as the first reviews break. THE LOS ANGELES TIMES A slow-building shiver of a movie, “The Little Stranger” tells a familiar but pleasurably engrossing story. Adapted from a 2009 novel by the Welsh author Sarah Waters, this atmospheric postwar gothic unfolds at a crumbling English manor where the repressed have decided to return — not with a vengeance, exactly, but with motives shrouded in uncertainty and sorrow. It’s a haunting that unfolds through the steady, skeptical gaze of a local doctor who is at once seduced by the grandeur of this country estate and blind to its lurking phantoms. Bad frights, good manners, the timeless clash between rationalism and belief: We are in unassailable if hardly original dramatic territory. And the gifted Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, no doubt aware of the hovering specters of “The Turn of the Screw,” “The Haunting of Hill House” and their various literary and cinematic descendants, does not commit the folly of trying to outdo them. Until its unnerving third act, “The Little Stranger” plays less like a horror movie than a drama about a family’s steady unraveling, punctuated by intimations of a deeper, weirder unease. Abrahamson’s weapon of choice is understatement. There are no whooshing camera movements, no cheap shocks, no sudden bursts of computer-generated ectoplasm. A pervasive gloom is achieved and sustained using little more than meticulous underlighting, moldering production design and stately compositions that capture the house’s long-faded beauty and its cavernous emptiness. The director has more visual space to work with than he did in the first half of “Room,” his Oscar-winning 2015 film about a mother and son living in captivity, but he proves adept here at evoking a more implicit, psychological kind of confinement. He also reaffirms his gift for dramatizing a story told by a curiously unreliable narrator, and distilling some but not all the author’s vocal nuances into cinematic form. This is no small feat, since the stiffly restrained Dr. Faraday (a fine Domhnall Gleeson) is hardly the most emotionally expressive of protagonists, and Lucinda Coxon’s sharp script wisely refuses the crutch of voice-over. Instead the movie simply keeps us close to Faraday’s side as he’s brought in to examine a nervous young maid, Betty (Liv Hill), at the venerable Hundreds Hall, which he fondly recalls having visited as a boy after the end of World War I. Nearly 30 years later, England has emerged from another global cataclysm, and Hundreds Hall, not unlike Brideshead Castle before it, has fallen on hard times. So have the house’s surviving residents, particularly Roderick Ayres (Will Poulter), a former pilot still recovering from serious war wounds. His mother, Mrs. Ayres (Charlotte Rampling, steely as ever), and his sister, Caroline (a splendid Ruth Wilson), maintain sharp wits and a chipper demeanor even in the wake of their dwindling fortune, which makes it inevitable that they will have to give up their estate. Faraday quickly becomes enough of a family friend — and perhaps something more, in Caroline’s case — to object to the idea of their selling Hundreds Hall, a feeling rooted in his childhood attachment to the place. A few recurring flashbacks illuminate that boyhood visit, during which we glimpse Mrs. Ayres’ eldest child, Susan, who fell ill and died shortly thereafter. When strange things start to happen back in the present — an intimate cocktail party that turns startlingly violent, a sudden decline in Roderick’s condition — you brace yourself for Susan’s ghost to make an appearance. She does and she doesn’t. Like some of the best ghost stories, “The Little Stranger” is in no hurry to solve its own mystery. Even when Abrahamson allows the steady drip of tension to finally give way to door-rattling, glass-shattering terror, there remains something fundamentally oblique and unreadable about precisely what is haunting the Ayres estate. I’ve developed my own hunch, based particularly on the names Waters gives her characters, one of which directly invokes the dramatis personae of a famous Agatha Christie novel. But hunches alone may not satisfy those moviegoers for whom nothing is scarier, or more off-putting, than a little narrative ambiguity. Happily, “The Little Stranger” has more than whodunit on its mind. Some of Abrahamson’s earlier films, including “Garage” and “What Richard Did,” have shown an acute sensitivity to class, and here he duly acknowledges the envy that has driven Faraday, a housemaid’s son, into the company of an aristocratic family whose enviable way of life is swiftly passing away. A fascinating counterpoint soon emerges in the form of Caroline, who seems all too ready to bid farewell to the good old days. Played by Wilson in the movie’s most memorable performance, Caroline is a figure of serene defiance, calmly and sometimes joyously pushing back against society’s dismissal of her as a hopeless spinster. She gives this ghost story its fiercely independent spirit. THE NEW YORK TIMES Hundreds Hall is the name of a grand pile of brick in Warwickshire, England, and if you’re moderately familiar with movies and television — “Downton Abbey,” “Crimson Peak,” the “Ghostbusters” reboot — you have no doubt seen hundreds like it. Its sprawling grounds and cavernous rooms evoke ancient aristocratic privilege, but by the late 1940s, when “The Little Stranger” takes place, that grandeur has begun to fade. Dr. Faraday — we never seem to catch his first name — remembers it well. An ambitious provincial physician whose mother worked as a maid during the house’s glory days under the Ayres family, he looks back fondly on a summer day he spent there in 1919, when he was 8 years old and local commoners were invited to a fair. Now he finds himself treating the remaining members of the Ayreses, who are barely hanging onto their fast-decaying ancestral home. Faraday (Domhnall Gleeson) is haunted by Hundreds Hall. The Hall itself also seems to be haunted, though it’s not always clear by what or whom. The best guess seems to be a little girl named Suki Ayres, who died shortly after Faraday’s long-ago visit. Her mother (Charlotte Rampling) still lives there, along with her two surviving, grown-up children: Roderick (Will Poulter), who was badly wounded in World War II, and Caroline (Ruth Wilson), “the cleverest of the lot” (according to a family friend), who drifts toward eccentric spinsterhood. The staff has been winnowed to one, a young woman named Betty (Liv Hill), who figures out that something creepy is going on long before anyone else seems to have a clue. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”) and adapted by Lucinda Coxon from Sarah Waters’s skillfully written Gothic novel, “The Little Stranger” is for much of its running time more interested in the sociological and psychological implications of Faraday’s encounter with the Ayreses and their real estate than with any overtly supernatural doings. Faraday, who serves as a possibly unreliable voice-over narrator, is buttoned up as tight as a waistcoat, only sometimes betraying the ruthless effort that his sang-froid requires. He is always aware of being an interloper — a commoner promoted to “one of us” ironically or in emergencies — and his attempts to fit in make this strangeness more glaring. Mr. Gleeson is adept at this double game. His face is as sharp as a hawk’s but somehow also as soft and unformed as a fledgling sparrow’s. Faraday makes a practice of keeping all feeling in check, presenting himself both as a rational man of science and as the possessor of an exemplary stiff upper lip. As news of the political weather buzzes in the background — the advent of the National Health Service; land sales and tax policies promoted by Clement Attlee’s Labour government — Faraday mourns the waning of old ruling-class prerogatives more plangently than the Ayreses themselves, who would seem to have more to lose. His loyalty to them is more than they deserve or desire. The twisting and cracking of the British class system is always fascinating to observe, and “The Little Stranger” traces the details of its chosen moment of social change with precision and subtlety, and with its own layers of somewhat dubious nostalgia. Since it’s also a horror movie, subtlety can go only go so far, and the past becomes a trunk mined for spooky costumes and effects. There are a few jump scares and shocking images, but Mr. Abrahamson lets the dread build slowly, nudged along by Stephen Rennicks’s mournful, eerie score and Ole Bratt Birkeland’s brown-shadowed cinematography. As Faraday draws closer to the Ayreses, a question starts to percolate. Are they just odd and miserable, or is something more sinister afoot? Poor Roderick, inwardly and outwardly maimed by the war, teeters floridly toward madness and alcoholism, but what about Caroline and her mother? Are they sheltering a sinister secret? And what does the specter of Suki want — if that is indeed what rattles the door frames and carves squiggles in the wainscoting. As is usually the case in movies like this, the answer is not quite as intriguing as the queasy guesswork that precedes its revelation. But the ending is less of a letdown than it might have been, and the final shots are potent and provocative, sending you back over what came before with new ideas and questions. The twist has less to do with who is haunting whom than with spectral methods and motives, and with the fantasies of belonging that dwell within Hundreds Hall’s walls. ROLLING STONE The way Focus Features kept cancelling scheduled screenings of The Little Stranger made me think it had a stiff on its hands. Hardly. Though this meditation on the past — disguised as a haunted-house thriller — has its faults, the film is better than most of the junk cluttering the multiplex these days (looking at you, The Happytime Murders). Director Lenny Abrahamson earned much-deserved raves for 2015’s Room, which won a Best Actress Oscar for Brie Larson. So why sweep his latest, starring the talented likes of Ruth Wilson, Domhnall Gleason and Charlotte Rampling, under a rug? Based on the 2009 a novel by Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger is perhaps hurt by a neo-Gothic atmosphere of dread that may lead audiences to expect cheap horror-show scares. But Abrahamson is far more interested in the bruised humanity of his characters. Gleeson brings hidden layers to the tightly-wound, perpetually glum Faraday, a Warwickshire country doctor of humble origins who finds himself called, in the summer of 1948, to make a professional visit to Hundreds Hall, a mansion where his mother once worked as a maid. Home to the Ayres family for centuries, the Hall has seen better days — you can almost smell it decaying. But the family matriarch, Angela (Rampling, reliably superb) still rules as if by divine right. Angela’s son Roderick (Will Poulter) has returned from the war covered in burn scars that underscore his even more serious PTSD. His sister Caroline (Wilson) appears normal enough for even the austere Faraday to develop an instant crush — but at Hundreds Hall, looks can be deceiving. Has Angela really ever gotten over her first daughter, Susan, who died years before at the tender age of eight? Is it the ghost of Susan making the floors groan, filling the halls with a banging noise and ringing a servant’s bell from an empty room? It only sounds like a setup for a mid-century Paranormal Activity. Abrahamson cleverly uses the house as a metaphor for crumbling sanity. Witness the effect on Faraday, who is drawn back to his childhood when he (the titular little stranger) visited the Hall in its heyday, and felt “its cool, fragrant spaces” fill his dreams. In flashback, Abrahamson recreates the day of that glorious visit, with young Faraday (Oliver Zetterstrom) imagining himself part of a world out of reach. The class system and its ruthless pecking order is something Abrahamson sews into the fabric of his film. Faraday’s courtship of Caroline is just another way to belong. Kudos to Wilson (how has she not won an Emmy for her brilliant work on The Affair?), who builds what seems at first like a peripheral character into the defiant soul of the movie. In the final scenes, Abrahamson reverts to the twists and tropes of the typical ghost story. But before that, he uses shivery suspense and a keen sense of character to craft The Little Stranger into a hypnotic and haunting tale of how the past can grab hold of the flesh-and-blood present and squeeze. Don’t let this mesmerizing mystery slip between the cracks of studio neglect and marketing indifference. It’s spellbinding. THE WASHINGTON POST Most haunted houses, at least in movies, share basic qualities: They are empty, dilapidated and the floorboards creak a little too much. This blueprint affords filmmakers the opportunity to create a sense of foreboding, usually culminating in a jump scare and a jolt of music. At first glance, “The Little Stranger” seems to have been shaped by the same cookie cutter used for countless haunted-house films before it. But director Lenny Abrahamson is far more ambitious than that. His follow-up to 2015’s “Room” — which earned the Irish filmmaker an Oscar nomination for best director — is a character-driven psychological thriller, one whose larger implications will trouble your mind, like a ghost. We cross the threshold of the house in question, Hundreds Hall, with one Dr. Faraday (Domhnall Gleeson), a kindly country doctor. World War II has recently ended, and Faraday has returned to the village of his youth to take up private practice with a partner. His patient at the Hall — once resplendent, but now fallen into disrepair — is the lone maid (Liv Hill) for the lady of the house, Mrs. Ayres (Charlotte Rampling), who lives with her adult children Caroline (Ruth Wilson) and Roddy (Will Poulter), a badly wounded veteran. Faraday soon ingratiates himself with the family, treating Roddy’s wounds and developing a friendship with Caroline. The house also has a mysterious quality, one that no one can quite articulate. Before long, everyone living there begins to worry they might be going mad. Adapted from a 2009 novel by Sarah Waters, the screenplay by playwright Lucinda Coxon drips with quiet menace. Faraday, who narrates the film, returns again and again to a formative moment from his childhood: one in which the still-grand mansion — where his mother once worked as a maid — captured his imagination. On one level, class has informed his lifelong obsession with the house: the middle-class Faradays only knew such opulence as outsiders. Faraday’s relationship with the Ayreses complicates the drama. At the beginning of the story, he’s almost like a servant, obeying their every whim. But soon he has become so indispensable that Caroline and the others begin to think of him as family. Gleeson’s finely crafted performance is key to this transformation — with his friendly yet decorous demeanor gradually revealing a manipulative edge. “The Little Stranger” is a counterintuitive choice for Abrahamson, who has never made a period film. But what’s more surprising is how this story doesn’t fit neatly into a simple genre. Thematically, it’s close to the director’s “Frank,” which also starred Gleeson, as the newest member of an underappreciated indie rock band. In both films, the actor plays an interloper entering insular worlds. He is the source of both films’ tension. As a director, Abrahamson uses that sense of the detached observer as a scalpel, whittling away at our expectations of horror films until we have no choice but to look at — and really listen to — what is happening. It’s an approach that requires patience, on his part and ours, but the rewards are worth it. At the heart of “The Little Stranger” is its ghost story, of sorts, one whose horror sequences build toward a sense of cautious inevitability, with the methodical pace of a figure wandering a dimly lit hallway. These moments are more creepy than gory or intense, and what makes them effective is their ambiguity. There are always two explanations for what we have seen: one scientific (typically offered by Faraday) and another suggestive of something more supernatural. The film’s best sequence is its shortest, with Caroline uttering a single word that throws all that we think we know into disarray. Focus Features, it would seem, does not have the faith in “Little Stranger” that the film deserves, releasing it the end of August, a traditional dumping ground for genre films. But this slow-burn thriller — whose power lies in its dark, elusive nature — delivers few genuine scares, and more mannered, nuanced dialogue than answers. No matter what you make of the film’s final minutes, which are as open to interpretation as everything that has come before, each of the main characters has contributed to that sense of equivocation in ways that are deliciously macabre. VARIETY “Moldy” is not generally an adjective most filmmakers would like to hear directed at their work, yet it applies, rather eerily and gorgeously, to “The Little Stranger.” Lenny Abrahamson and screenwriter Lucinda Coxon’s refined, deliberate adaptation of Sarah Waters’ neo-Gothic novel has the sense, in style and mood, of having been discovered in a neglected cupboard of a stately home not unlike the one in which it takes place, covered in mossy growth that has left an inerasable sage-green patina on the print. Its characters, too, are dusted down from an era distant from our own, yet it’s clear they creaked with dejection and disuse even in their supposed prime. “The Little Stranger” may be elegantly fashioned as a haunted-house thriller, but the relationships at its core are spooked by sadness well before things start to go bump in the night. That may prove a commercial stumbling block to what is otherwise, for Abrahamson, a fine, form-expanding follow-up to the Oscar-approved “Room.” Genre fans in the market for some old-school horror may be surprised to find an undeniably unsettling but sober-sided human study of very English class conflict and aspirational desire, the light supernatural swirlings of which mostly work to aggravate more earthly crises of loneliness, grief and stiff-upper-lipped romance. Adult audiences looking past the gothic trappings, however, will be rewarded with a heritage drama as delicate as the cobwebs in its corners — set a tad off-balance by Domhnall Gleeson’s miscasting in the central role of a shy working-class doctor fixated on the tangled domestic woes of his poshest clients, but given a bruised, beating heart by the superb Ruth Wilson, as his wounded object of affection. “This house works on people,” says Mrs. Ayres (Charlotte Rampling), withered lady of the manor at Hundreds Hall, a grand but gone-to-seed mansion in England’s Warwickshire district. “Specks of grit, ten years later, leave as pearls.” Her second statement is debatable: The “pearls” emerging from the place, including her trauma-stricken adult children Roderick (Will Poulter) and Caroline (Wilson) and their plainly petrified young housemaid Bette (Liv Hill, a wonderfully expressive newcomer), are cracked and costume-quality at best, the family’s once-lavish fortunes having dwindled to scraps after the Second World War — which has also left Roderick (Will Poulter) disfiguringly battle-scarred, inside and out. Another daughter, Suki, never had the chance to leave, having been felled by diphtheria in childhood, though her spectre of angelic perfection hovers over her younger, less cherished siblings. But Mrs. Ayres is right about the house’s influence: Hundreds Hall certainly does a number on Faraday (Gleeson), a local villager of humble stock whose mother once worked there as a servant. Enthralled by its opulence as a child, he retains his awe even as he’s invited in as the family physician. A cautious bond steadily builds between him and Caroline, a bright, jaded, friendless young woman amused by the good doctor’s romanticization of their plight, who dreams of a more modern, independent life beyond the Hall’s damp, weary walls. Faraday, for his part, can’t see why she’d want to leave; as their relationship hovers coyly on the brink of something less platonic, it’s unclear whether he’s attracted more to Caroline or the home that’s suffocating her. Coxon’s patient, literate screenplay astutely preserves the tart class politics of Waters’ novel. The Labour government’s post-war austerity may have stripped the Ayres clan of their material privilege, yet Faraday remains wonderstruck by their legacy, desperate to attach himself to it by any means necessary. When Mrs. Ayres, having invited Faraday to make up the numbers at an ill-fated soiree, passingly refers to him as “one of us,” his sense of achievement is all too heartbreakingly palpable: Can he not see that the Ayreses are effectively living ghosts, left behind by a changing world and confined to the shuttered ruins of past glories? And when the Hall starts showing its own uncanny symptoms of haunting — squiggly scratch marks on the walls, bells ringing out of thin air — is he being warned off or beckoned? From a burgeoning National Health Service to a new housing estate rising from the Ayreses sold-off fields, signs of social progress surround Faraday, yet the onetime servant’s son remains oddly resistant to them all, still beholden to boyish fantasies of wealth. Whether Gleeson is a slightly awkward fit as Faraday, or simply reading the character’s awkwardness, is hard to say. Poker-straight and sallow, with a neat, pale mustache that seems grown as a stand-in for doctorly authority, he brings the right streak of vulnerability to the doctor’s self-loathing conservatism — but still seems too callow for the part, particularly when the script calls for him to assert a decade’s life experience over Caroline. Either way, Wilson’s extraordinary performance rules the film, weaving a lifetime of accumulating disappointment into a single arched eyebrow. (Her look of droll, pitying disbelief when Faraday remarks on her beauty is a second-long masterclass.) Always best in parts with complex worry lines, Wilson brings an exquisitely ironed-in sense of rueful defeat to a character who would never deem herself sympathetic: She wears her markers of class, from clipped accent to confident gait, in brackets of apology throughout. As for Hundreds Hall, it may have become critical cliché to refer to locations as characters, but given its shifting psychological impositions on the human ensemble, it’s hard not to see it as such. Production designer Simon Elliott wastes no ashy crevice or cornice of the space, distressing it to dazzling effect in spoiled, soiled shades of green and puce: You can practically see the smoke stains in the velvet upholstery, or the lush woodland murals in the drawing room rotting into real nature. Under the steady, composed gaze of d.p. Ole Bratt Birkeland, in certain shots, even the actors’ faces appear to succumb to verdigris — no accident, one suspects, in a creepingly paced film that takes its time to show how a ruined environment weathers those living, just barely, inside it.
15 APRIL DIGITAL DOWNLOAD LAUNCH ANNOUNCED FOR MISBEHAVIOUR London, 6 April 2020, Pathe have today announced that because the UK cinema release of MISBEHAVIOUR was cut short by the Covid-19 crisis (with cinemas closing only 4 days after the film’s release), the film is being made available to watch at home 3 months ahead of schedule. MISBEHAVIOUR’s launch as a digital download will be on 15th April 2020. The film will be available on all platforms (including Amazon Prime, Sky Store and iTunes) for an exclusive period. The film is directed by BAFTA winner Philippa Lowthorpe (Three Girls) and stars Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessie Buckley, Greg Kinnear, Lesley Manville, Keeley Hawes, Rhys Ifans and Phyllis Logan. A politically relevant, inspirational true story, the film skilfully combines humour with drama to celebrate all women, however they choose to navigate a male-dominated world: In 1970, the Miss World competition took place in London, hosted by US comedy legend, Bob Hope. At the time, Miss World was the most-watched TV show on the planet with over 100 million viewers. Claiming that beauty competitions demeaned women, the newly formed Women’s Liberation Movement achieved overnight fame by invading the stage and disrupting the live broadcast of the competition. Not only that, when the show resumed, the result caused uproar: the winner was not the Swedish favourite but Miss Grenada, the first black woman to be crowned Miss World. In a matter of hours, a global audience had witnessed the patriarchy driven from the stage and the Western ideal of beauty turned on its head. The film was written by Rebecca Frayn and Gaby Chiappe, and produced by Suzanne Mackie and Sarah Jane Wheale. MISBEHAVIOUR is a Pathé, Ingenious Media, BBC Films, BFI presentation of a Left Bank Pictures production. Running time: 1 hour 46 minutes Certificate: 12A For press information, please contact: Nicki Foster / Oliver Lavery / Simon Bell / Harriet Gilholm Tel: + 44 20 7292 8330 / Email: Firstname.firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of Pathé, we are delighted to share the brand new UK trailer and poster for THE DUKE. Starring Academy Award winners Jim Broadbent (Iris) and Helen Mirren (The Queen), this uplifting dramatic comedy has been directed by Bafta winner Roger Michell (Notting Hill) from a screenplay by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman. The film had its World Premiere at last year’s Venice Film Festival where it was received to critical acclaim. The film will be released nationwide in UK cinemas Spring 2022 THE DUKE is a moving true story that celebrates a man who was determined to live a meaningful life. Set in 1961, it follows the story of Kempton Bunton, a 60-year old taxi driver, who stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first, and remains the only, theft in the Gallery’s history. Kempton proceeded to send ransom notes declaring that he would only return the painting on the condition that the government invest more in care for the elderly, specifically bringing attention to his long running campaign for pensioners to receive free television. What happened next is the stuff of legends…only 50 years later did the full story emerge and it was revealed that Kempton had spun a web of lies. The only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage - how and why he used the Duke to achieve this, is a wonderfully uplifting tale that will be seen on film for the first time. THE DUKE is a Pathé, Ingenious Media and Screen Yorkshire presentation of a Neon Films Production. Nicky Bentham is the Producer and the Executive Producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé, Andrea Scarso for Ingenious Media, Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire, Peter Scarf and Christopher Bunton. THE DUKE Official Social Channels Facebook URL: www.facebook.com/TheDukeFilmUK/ Twitter URL: www.twitter.com/TheDukeFilmUK/ Instagram URL: www.instagram.com/TheDukeFilmUK Hashtags: #TheDuke, #TheDukeFilm Pathé UK Official Social Channels Facebook URL: www.facebook.com/PatheUK/ Twitter URL: www.twitter.com/PatheUK/ Instagram URL: www.instagram.com/PatheUK PRESS CONTACTS PRINT & BROADCAST Premier PR Nicki Foster: Nicki.Foster@premiercomms.com Simon Bell: Simon.Bell@premiercomms.com Harriet Gilholm: Harriet.Gilholm@premiercomms.com ONLINE DDA PR Megan Dobson: Megan.Dobson@DDApr.com
London, 05 November 2019 Fionn Whitehead has joined Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren on the cast of Pathé’s art heist comedy-drama The Duke, to be directed by Roger Michell. The film will be presented to buyers at the upcoming American Film Market (AFM, November 6-13), and will shoot in January 2020 in Yorkshire and London. Set in 1961, the story follows a 60-year-old taxi driver, played by Broadbent, who steals Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from London’s National Gallery. Mirren plays his wife with Whitehead as his son, as Bunton attempts to change the world and save his marriage via the theft. Pathé will distribute the film in the UK, France and Switzerland, and will handle sales for the rest of the world. Nicky Bentham is producing the film for Neon Pictures. Executive producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé; Andrea Scarso for Ingenious Media; and Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire. Whitehead was named a Screen Star of Tomorrow in 2016, ahead of his breakthrough role leading Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. He has since led Charlie Brooker’s interactive Black Mirror episode Bandersnatch and has upcoming roles in thriller Don’t Tell A Soul and sci-fi Voyagers. For further information contact: Sophie Glover, Head of Publicity, Pathé UK Sophie.email@example.com / 020 7462 4415 ABOUT PATHÉ Pathé operates as a fully integrated film studio in France, the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland. It is involved in all aspects of filmmaking, from development and production through to international sales, distribution and exhibition. Films produced/distributed by Pathé range from The Queen to Slumdog Millionaire and from Philomena to Selma. In recent years Pathé’s productions have won 16 BAFTAs (66 nominations) and 13 Oscars (46 nominations). Pathé International handles the international marketing and sales of Pathé’s own productions and also acquires third party films for worldwide representation. As one of Europe’s leading sales agents, Pathé International has a significant presence at all major film markets and festivals. www.pathe.co.uk Twitter @patheuk
Penélope Cruz is joined by Aitana Sánchez Gijón (The Machinist) and Milena Smit (Cross The Line) as the leads in Pedro Almodóvar’s upcoming feature Madres Paralelas (Parallel Mothers). The trio will play three mothers in the Madrid-set film, which is produced by Agustín Almodóvar and Esther García through their El Deseo banner. Shooting is set to start at the end of March. Israel Elejalde (Magical Girl) - playing the main male character - as well as Julieta Serrano (Pain & Glory) and Rossy De Palma, have also joined the cast.