Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category



Irena Sendler (née Krzyzanowska) is a Catholic social worker who has sympathized with the Jews since her childhood, when her physician father died of typhus contracted while treating poor Jewish patients. When she initially proposes saving Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto, her idea is met with skepticism by fellow workers, her parish priest, and even her own mother Janina.
Using forged identification to present herself as a nurse to guards at the entrance to the enclave where the Jewish population has been sequestered, Irena tries to convince the parents of young children to allow her to smuggle them out to safety. Many fear they will never see them again, and she assures them she will document where each child is sent to facilitate their reunion with their parents once the war is over. Others bemoan the fact their children will be raised in a faith other than their own and forget their religious beliefs and traditions, but Irena convinces them this is a small price to pay in exchange for keeping them alive.

Cast:Anna Paquin, Goran Visnjic, Marcia Gay Harden


Watch It Now – The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler


Bright Star

London 1818: a secret love affair begins between 23 year-old English poet, John Keats (Ben Whishaw), and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), an out-spoken student of high fashion. This unlikely pair begin at odds, he thinking her a stylish minx, while she was unimpressed not only by his poetry but also by literature in general.
However, when Fanny heard that Keats was nursing his seriously ill younger brother, her efforts to help touched Keats and when she asked him to teach her about poetry he agreed. The poetry soon became a romantic remedy that worked not only to sort their differences, but also to fuel an impassioned love affair.
When Fanny’s alarmed mother and Keats’ best friend finally awoke to their attachment, the relationship had an unstoppable momentum. Intensely and helplessly absorbed in each other, the young lovers were swept deeply into powerful new sensations, “I have the feeling as if we’re dissolving,” Keats wrote to her. Together they rode a wave of romantic obsession that only deepened as their troubles mounted.
When Keats fell ill a year later, the two young lovers faced no marriage but separation. In Keats’ own poignant words, “forever panting and forever young.”

Cast:Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish, Paul Schneider, Kerry Fox, Thomas Sangster


Watch It Now – Bright Star



On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank), along with her navigator Fred Noonan (Christopher Eccleston), is on the last leg of an around-the-world flight. Moving in vignettes from her early years when Earhart was captivated by the sight of an aircraft flying overhead on the Kansas prairie where she grew up, her life over the preceding decade gradually unfolds. As a young woman, she is recruited by publishing tycoon and eventual husband George Putnam (Richard Gere) to become the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean, albeit as a passenger. Taking command of the flight results in a success and she is thrust into the limelight as the most famous woman pilot of her time. Putnam helps Earhart write a book chronicling the flight, much like his earlier triumph with Charles Lindbergh’s We, gradually falling in love with his charge, and they eventually marry, although she enacts a “cruel” pledge as her wedding contract.

Cast:Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston


Watch It Now – Amelia



English naturalist Charles Darwin has many children, but is especially fond of his eldest daughter Annie. He teaches her about his evolution theory, and tells her true stories; her favorite story, in spite of the sad ending, is about young orangutan Jenny, who is brought from Borneo to the London Zoo, where she finally dies of pneumonia, in the arms of her keeper. Darwin is furious when he learns that their clergyman has made her crawl on rock salt as punishment for defending her father’s theory, which the church opposes.
Darwin visits the town of Malvern for James Manby Gully’s water cure therapy, to cure his chronic illness. He has a water tower built in his garden to continue the therapy. When Annie gets seriously ill he takes her in 1851 to Gully to get the water cure too, against his wife Emma’s will, but Annie dies anyway, peacefully, after her father, at her request, tells her Jenny’s story once more. Darwin is devastated. The film shows her in flashbacks and hallucinations. For a long time Annie’s death is a taboo subject to talk about between Darwin and Emma, as Darwin fears that Emma blames him for the girl’s death. Later Emma denies this, she has felt guilty herself for not stopping him, and not travelling after them.

Cast:Paul Bettany, Jennifer Connelly, Jeremy Northam, Toby Jones, Benedict Cumberbatch


Watch It Now – Creation



After decades in a Robben Island prison, Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) is released in 1990 and works immediately to bring about the end of apartheid and the initiation of full democratic elections where the black majority population can vote. Mandela wins the race for President of South Africa and takes office in 1994. His immediate challenge is “balancing black aspirations with white fears.” The country’s still-present racial tensions are shown, in part, through Mandela’s security team, which comprises both new black and old white officials, with the groups immediately hostile to one another despite sharing the same job and goal.
While Mandela attempts to tackle the country’s largest problems—including crime and unemployment—he attends a game of the Springboks, the country’s rugby union team. Blacks in the stadium cheer against their home squad, as the Springboks (their history, players and even their colors) represent prejudice and apartheid in their mind.

Cast:Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon


Watch It Now – Invictus



The film opens at a party in Los Angeles in March 1997. Christopher Wallace / Biggie Smalls / The Notorious B.I.G. (Jamal Woolard) is seen sitting at his chair smoking. People, including Faith Evans (Antonique Smith) and Sean Combs (Derek Luke), move to the music on the dance floor. Moments later, Biggie, Combs, and friends are driving away from the party. They stop at a red light, while Lil’ Cease, (Marc John Jefferies) is flirting with women outside. A black Chevrolet Impala pulls up and someone inside fires a single shot at Biggie.
The film then flashes back to Biggie’s childhood in the early 1980s, recounting his tough upbringing in Brooklyn. Biggie (Christopher “CJ” Wallace, Jr.) writes several rap songs, enduring the ridicule of some classmates. Biggie then starts selling drugs at the height of the crack epidemic. In 1990, after winning an important rap battle and meeting Lil’ Kim (Naturi Naughton) for the first time, Biggie’s mother, Voletta (Angela Bassett), throws him out of the house after discovering his involvement with drugs.

Cast:Jamal Woolard, Angela Bassett, Derek Luke, Anthony Mackie


Watch It Now – Notorious



In the year 2002, Julie Powell (Amy Adams) is a young writer trapped in a rather unpleasant job at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation’s call center, where she answers telephone calls from victims of the September 11 attacks, as well as members of the general public calling to complain about the LMDC’s controversial plans for rebuilding the World Trade Center. To enliven her dreary life, she attempts to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which was published in 1961, and writes a blog to document her progress.
Woven into her story is the story of Julia Child’s time in Paris, in the 1950s, in which she discovers the art of French cooking. The plot structure carefully highlights similarities in the challenges encountered by both Julie and Julia. Both women get much support from their husbands, although at one point Powell’s husband is fed up with her excessive devotion to her hobby and leaves her briefly for a few days.

Cast:Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina


Watch It Now – Julie & Julia



Into the Storm or Churchill at War (alt. title) is a 2009 biographical film about Winston Churchill and his days in office during World War II. The movie is directed by Thaddeus O’Sullivan and stars Brendan Gleeson, who plays the British Prime Minister. Into the Storm is a sequel to the 2002 TV movie The Gathering Storm, which details on the life of Churchill in the years just prior the war. Into the Storm had its first public premiere on HBO and HBO Canada on May 31, 2009.The Second World War has recently ended in Europe, and the people of the United Kingdom are awaiting the results of the 1945 general election. During this time, Winston Churchill goes to France for a holiday with his wife Clemmie. Through a series of flashbacks, Churchill recalls some of his most glorious moments during the war, and the effect it had on their deteriorating marriage.

Cast:Brendan Gleeson, Janet McTeer,James D’Arcy, Patrick Malahide


Watch It Now – Into the Storm



A little girl who is sent with her sister to an orphanage in the heart of France, who waits in vain every Sunday for her father to come for her…
A cabaret performer with a weak voice who sings to an audience of drunken soldiers…A humble seamstress, who stitches hems at the back of a provincial tailor’s shop…A young, skinny courtesan, to whom protector Etienne Balsan offers a safe haven, amongst the idle and decadent…
A woman in love who knows she will never be anyone’s wife, refusing marriage even to Boy Capel, the man who returned her love…A rebel who finds the conventions of her time oppressive, and instead dresses in her lovers’ clothes…This is the story of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, who begins her life as a headstrong orphan, and through an extraordinary journey becomes the legendary couturier who embodied the modern woman and became a timeless symbol of success, freedom and style.

Cast:Audrey Tautou, Benoit Poelvoorde, Alessandro Nivola, Marie Gillain


Watch It Now – Coco Before Chanel


Public EnemiesDescription:

The film opens in 1933 as Pretty Boy Floyd is running from Melvin Purvis and eventually Purvis takes Pretty Boy Floyd down. John Dillinger is brought to the Indiana State Prison by his partner John “Red” Hamilton (Jason Clarke), under the disguise of a prisoner drop. Dillinger and Hamilton overpower several guards and free members of their gang including Charles Makley (Christian Stolte) and Harry Pierpont (David Wenham). The jailbreak goes off without a hitch, until gang member Ed Shouse (Michael Vieau) beats a guard to death. A shootout ensues as the gang makes its getaway. Dillinger’s friend and mentor Walter Dietrich (James Russo) is killed, and a furious Dillinger kicks Shouse out of the car. The rest of the gang retreats to a farm house hideout, where crooked East Chicago, Indiana cop Martin Zarkovich (John Michael Bolger) convinces them to hide out in Chicago, where they can be sheltered by the local Mafia.

Cast:Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Giovanni Ribisi


Watch It Now – Public Enemies