The Nightingale takes place in 1825 on the British colony of Van Diemen’s Land, which is now known as Tasmania, Australia. The Film follows the story of a young Irish convict, Clare (Aisling Franciosi), who is serving time in order to be given her ticket to go back home by British officer Hawkins (Sam Claflin). One night, Hawkins and fellow officers, under his directives, commit horrific acts of violence against Clare, her husband, and their newborn child. This sets her out on a hunt, with the help of Aboriginal guide Billy (Baykali Ganambarr), through the wilderness to find them and exact her revenge.
This is a harrowing effort for Writer-Director Jennifer Kent (The Babadook). Kent never shies away from the traumatizing acts these men repeatedly carry-out. She forces the audience to watch with great anxiety and feel every ounce of pain Clare is experiencing. It isn’t only Kent‘s pays meticulous attention to details in creating an atmosphere. Her focus is the injustice the indigenous people and women convicts faced. We get a balanced view between Clare’s perspective and that of the Aboriginal People, particularly Billy, who helps her track down the men who savagely attacked her family.
The entire Cast is great, with a breakthrough performance from Franciosi, who we have previously seen in BBC’s The Fall. She is a powerhouse who never seems to run out of steam. She displays every range of emotion from pain, happiness, confusion, fear and rage without having to say a word. Claflin is unlike any other character we’ve ever seen from him. He disappears into the sinister Hawkins, giving one of his most frightening and memorable performances to date.
The Nightingale screens at Sundance on Fri., Jan 25 at 8:30PM at The MARC PC, Sat., Jan 26 at 6:30PM at Rose Wagner SLC, Mon., Jan 28 at 11:30PM at Prospector Square PC, and Wed., Jan 30 at 12PM at The Ray PC.
VVS Films x Mr. Will want to give Readers in Canada a chance to win a Prize Pack including a Run-of-Engagement Pass for two and also a copy of the Memoir Adrift: A True Story of Love, Loss and Survival at Sea by Tami Oldham Ashcraft with Susea McGearhart.
World-traveler Tami Oldham (Shailene Woodley) journeys to the island of Tahiti, where she meets and quickly falls in love with Richard (Sam Claflin), an avid sailor who introduces her to the world of sailing. Over the next five months, their romance blossoms and the two bond over their shared love of adventure and travel.
Richard is approached by friends who request he sail their boat to California in exchange for $10,000 and plane tickets home. Richard agrees, and Tami joins him on the 4,000-mile voyage across the Pacific Ocean. During their travel, they learn of an approaching hurricane and attempt to avoid it, unintentionally sailing directly into the storm as it changes course. Richard tells Tami to go below deck where she is knocked unconscious. When she wakes, the storm is over, the boat is badly damaged, and Richard is nowhere in sight.
Eventually, she discovers Richard floating amongst debris in the ocean, but he is too injured to help her navigate the ship towards land. Alone in the middle of the Pacific with no radio contact and a quickly decreasing food supply, Tami must take control of the wrecked boat and brave the treacherous waters in a desperate attempt to save them both.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and indicate your City. Click “share” on this Post from there for an extra chance or Re-Tweet this Tweet from @mrwillw.
Fox Searchlight x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to see MY COUSIN RACHEL in Vancouver Monday, June 5, 2017 and Toronto and Ottawa on Wednesday, June 7, 2017!
A dark and layered romance, MY COUSIN RACHEL tells the story of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious and beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. His feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling helplessly and obsessively in love with her.
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and indicate your City. For an extra chance, “Re-Tweet” this Tweet on Twitter via: @mrwillw.
Fox Searchlight release MY COUSIN RACHELFriday, June 9, 2017.
Location: Odeon Victoria (780 Yates Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1L4)
Date: Wednesday, April 12th
Location: Varsity (55 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON, M4W 1A5)
Date: Wednesday, April 12th
Location: Park Lane (5657 Spring Garden Road, Halifax, NS, B3J 3R4)
Date: Wednesday, April 21st
Location: Bytowne Ottawa (325 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON, K1N 5Y4)
1940, London, the Blitz; with the country’s morale at stake, Catrin, an untried screenwriter, and a makeshift cast and crew, work under fire to make a film to lift the nation’s spirits – and inspire America to join the war. A witty, romantic and moving portrayal of a young woman finding her way, and her voice, in the mayhem of war… and the movies.
Directed by Lone Scherfig (An Education), THEIR FINEST stars Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy and Sam Claflin.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and indicate your City. For an extra chance, “favourite” this Tweet on Twitter: @mrwillw.
Elevation Pictures release THEIR FINESTFriday, April 14, 2017.
Soda Pictures + Mr. Will want to take Toronto Readers to an Advance Screening of TIFF ’14 Selection THE RIOT CLUB from the same Director who brought us AN EDUCATION. The Screening takes place at the fitting Innis Town Hall on March 24, 2015.
Set amongst the privileged elite of Oxford University, THE RIOT CLUB follows Miles (Max Irons) and Alistair (Sam Claflin), two first year students determined to join the infamous Riot Club, where reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of a single evening.
It absolutely is our favourite time of the year again and announced this morning is the official list of Talent coming to Toronto for TIFF ’14! We look forward to seeing plenty of returning names – some just here last year like the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Kate Winslet – and also plenty of Stars from years past making their way back here once more!
Among the names attending TIFF ’14 this year include:
Jon Stewart, Martin Scorcese, Richard Gere, Andrew Garfield, Viggo Mortensen, Gael Garcia Bernal, James Franco, Jane Fonda, Chloë Moretz, Brit Marling, Laura Dern, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vanessa Redgrave, Vera Farmiga, Al Pacino, Tina Fey, Haley Joel Osment, Robert Pattinson, Ansel Elgort, Alice Eve, Sam Rockwell, Amanda Seyfried, Michael Shannon, Dax Sheppard, Robert Duvall, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Hailee Steinfield, Justin Chatwin, Method Man, Jennifer Connelly, Bobby Cannavale, Kuoth Wiel, Cassie Williams, Danny Webb, Dominic West, Jung Woo-Sung, John Boylan, Sam Worthington, Tye Sheridan, Andrew Scott, Timothy Spall, Alan Rickman, Connie Britton, Reese Witherspoon, Evan Bird, Zhao Wei, Han Ye-Ri, Melissa Benoist, Haley Bennett, Sonja Bennett, John Travolta, Julianne Moore, Isaach De Bankolé, Dan Stevens, Jason Bateman, Corey Stoll, Xavier Dolan, Peter Stormare, Ben Schnetzer, Abigail Spencer, Ellen Barkin, Bill Pullman, Charlotte Aubin, Kate Winslet, Ryan Reynolds, Rene Russo, Roger Waters, Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Loreto Aravena, Tobey Maguire, Aubrey Plaza, Tobey Maguire, Gemma Arterton, Juliette Binoche, Zhang Yimou, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kristen Wiig, Adam Sandler, Rose Byrne, Channing Tatum, Chris Evans, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Mark Ruffalo, Bill Murray, Daniel Barber, Liam Aiken, Mike Leigh, Olivier Assayas, Richard LaGravenese, Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Anna Kendrick, Morgan Freeman, Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Rosario Dawson, Chris Rock, John Cusack, Benedict Cumberbatch, Octavia Spencer, Keira Knightley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kevin Costner, Anthony Mackie, Patricia Clarkson, J.K. Simmons, Miles Teller, Priyanka Chopra, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Winterbottom, Justin Chon, Steve Carell, Gong Li, Hayden Christensen, Tory Kittles, Jordana Brewster, Holliday Grainger, Max Irons, Lone Scherfig, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Paul Bettany, Daniel Barnz, Noah Baumbach, Barry Avrich, Jennifer Aniston, Akon, Nick Kroll, Holly Hunter, Catherine Keener, Greta Gerwig, Omar Sy Jennifer Garner, Salma Hayek, Kevin Smith, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Faye Marsay, Bill Nighy, Justin Long, Christopher Plummer, Marton Csokas, David Cronenberg, Sarah Gadon, Tom Schilling, Tom Hardy and more!
TIFF also will be hosting a series of In-Conversations-With as part of their Mavericks Programme. Joining-in are the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Denzel Washington, Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche, Jon Stewart, Dan Savage, Julie Taymor and several more!
As is the case always, it’s sometimes not just who’s coming – it’s who they’re bringing. Don’t be surprised if Jennifer Garner brings Husband Ben Affleck along and be warned if Andrew Garfield brings Emma Stone along!
Who’s on our list of Must-Meets? Plenty! We hope finally to get a positive moment with Reese Witherspoon and Kate Winslet! Excited about Martin Scorcese, J.K. Simmons, Bobby Cannavale, Miles Teller, Corey Stoll, Tobey Maguire, Rose Byrne, Michael Douglas and newer names like Max Irons and Douglas Booth, that’s for sure. And did we read TINA FEY!?!? Finally! AND WHERE IS TOM HARDY?!?!
The list is always subject to surprise and no-shows as we know all too well!
It was a memorable year indeed! Join me as I recall some of 2013’s brightest moments in Celebrity, Film and Music with a Toronto twist! As a true Connoisseur of Pop Culture, I certainly was spoiled with several delights this year on all three fronts. Toronto witnessed what could well be the strongest years this City ever has seen in terms of Star Power. Also, as an experienced Digital Photographer of sorts, I am sharing some of my favourite Snaps taken around the City this year too. If you’re a #NOFILTER kinda Guy or Gal, I apologize! A few of them are Horse-related, spending many of my weekends at scenic Woodbine Racetrack, my fave Place since Childhood to escape and recharge from the City. Come Wongsters, let us walk down this luminous Memory Lane together!
TOP TEN SONGS OF 2013
2013 was solid for Pop Music and I was thrilled to hear a return to great, strong melodies. What a year it was for Miley Cyrus who not only wowed us with We Can’t Stop, but slayed us hard with Wrecking Ball! Coming in like a Wrecking Ball she managed to turn all eyes her way in a year which saw Albums released from some Marquee names like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and more. Lana Del Rey put us in a state of euphoria this Spring with her chilling Ballad for The Great Gatsby, Young & Beautiful. Flawless and timeless. Mariah Carey and Miguel provided much of the Soundtrack for my early Summer with their gorgeous Collabo #Beautiful, while Robin Thicke undisputedly had the Song of Summer 2013 with Blurred Lines. His Album of the same name easily is my favourite Disc of 2013.
1. Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball 2. Lana Del Rey – Young & Beautitul 3. Mariah Carey ft. Miguel – #Beautiful 4. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors 5. Miley Cyrus – We Can’t Stop 6. Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell & T.I. – Blurred Lines 7. Capital Cities – Safe and Sound 8. Katy Perry – Roar 9. Icona Pop – I Love It 10. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Same Love
Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
TOP TEN FILMS OF 2013
I don’t recall a year in recent memory where the Films were quite as strong as this year. It is as if Filmmakers have studied critiques, knew precisely what to avoid and owned it. Time after time I’d make it out to the morning Media Screenings and just when I thought I’d seen my favourite Film of 2013, another would come along and usurp the throne. In all, AIDS Drama Dallas Buyers Club would leave the strongest imprint with Jared Leto touching the core of my soul with his phenomenal performance. 12 Years a Slave left me shaken and speechless and made it really tough to decide a Fave. Saving Mr. Banks truly affected and inspired me, moving me to tears and I could never forget Cate Blanchett‘s empathic portrayal of a Woman battling her own demons in Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine. And yes, I really loved Spring Breakers. James Franco is just on another level.
1. Dallas Buyers Club 2. 12 Years a Slave 3. American Hustle 4. Blue Jasmine 5. Saving Mr. Banks 6. Gravity 7. 42 8. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 9. Enough Said 10. Spring Breakers
Watch the Trailer for Dallas Buyers Club below:
TOP CELEBRITY MOMENTS
It was a good bloody amazing year. My experience in New York City seeing the Met Gala is unforgettable, as a revolving door of Celebrities came my direction. I didn’t even know which way to go or who to ask first for a Photo! TIFF ’13 brought me several amazing memories finally getting to meeting one of my favourite Actresses, Nicole Kidman – not to mention getting to meeting personal Heroes Seth McFarlane, Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Baz Luhrmann and several more throughout the year. My ultimate Highlight however was finally after 15 tries, getting my Lady Gaga moment in November!
As seen top to bottom, left to right in the above Collage are:
Supermodel Cara Delevingne, Shoe Visionary Christian Louboutin, Actress Mia Wasikowska, Actor Jesse Eisenberg, Actor Kit Harington, Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Singer/Songwriter Lorde, Singer/Songwriter Robin Thicke, Television Personality/Actress Kelly Ripa, Domestic Goddess Martha Stewart.
Director Baz Luhrmann, Actress Emma Thompson, Singer/Actress Ariana Grande, Actress Léa Seydoux, Actress Adèle Exarchopoulos, Actress Toni Collette, Singer/Songwriter Lady Gaga, Singer Kylie Minogue, Actress Nicole Kidman, Actress/Singer Selena Gomez.
Writer/Actor Mike Myers, Comedian, Writer/Actor Seth MacFarlane, Writer/Actor Seth Meyers, Writer/Actor Jim Carrey, Actress Dakota Fanning, Actress Taylor Schilling, Singer/Songwriter/Fashion Mogul Pharrell, Television Personality/Actress Rosie O’Donnell, Kentucky Derby-winning Jockey Joel Rosario, Breeders Cup Classic-winning Jockey/Actor Gary Stevens.
Spice Girl/Actress Mel B., Actor Armie Hammer, Actress Kerry Washington, Actor Sam Rockwell, Actor Nicholas Hoult, Actor Tom Hiddleston, Actor Adam Driver, Actor Josh Brolin, Actor Daniel Radcliffe, Actress Dakota Fanning, Actor Sam Claflin, Actress Jena Malone.
And now the ten best Photos of 2013 snapped through my lenses (Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Olympus E-PL5):
Clarence Square Park
My Balcony – Yorkville
My Balcony – Yorkville
I truly am blessed and can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us here in this sight-filled City of Tastemakers!
Our Friends at eOne Films as always are amazing to us and I’ll never believe what I came home to today! In celebration of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘s release, we’re spreading the joy and giving one Reader to win all sorts of Goodies! Magnets! A Mockingjay Pin!The Hunger Games Trilogy!A Paperback Copy of Catching Fire! A Bookmark!Some The Hunger Games Chocolate Bars! Does it get any better than this?
We’re definitely in full-on Katniss mode right now:
Toronto Fans of the The Hunger Games Franchise welcomed Stars of its second instalment Sam Claflin and Jena Malone to the City this evening at Scotiabank Theatre. Fans camped-out as early as this frosty morning to gain Rush Line access to the Canadian Premiere of the Action-Fantasy based on the Series of best-selling Novels by Suzanne Collins.
Catching Fire sees TheHunger Games Victor and Victress Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) of District 12 called upon to compete once again in a fight for their lives amidst the onset of a Rebellion against the Capitol. This time around though, they must face previous Winners, an eclectic group of Characters – some of whom they choose as their Allies. Among others, we are introduced to the handsome/irresistible Finnick Odair (Claflin) and outspoken Johanna Mason (Malone).
Local and National Media Outlets came out in droves to support what surely will be a great Box Office success this Friday when it hits theatres. Claflin and Malone worked their way skilfully through the Red Carpet giving their time generously, before heading-off to introduce to the Film to Audiences who got a special opportunity to see it before everybody else tonight. Claflin chose British sophistication in a dapper gray suit and burgundy scarf. Malone opted for edgy Style, sporting a blonde Bob and a black Dora Abodi dress patterned with gold mythical creatures.
Malone really is no Stranger to lovers of Cinema. She has wowed with roles in popular Titles like Stepmom, Donnie Darko, Saved! and Into the Wild, but her joining a big-budget Blockbuster Franchise as The Hunger Games actually is something new for the 28-year-old. I ask her to describe her transformation into this perhaps her most daring and physical role to-date. She says, “For me, I’d already worked with the same Stunt Team on Sucker Punch for eight months, so I walked-in feeling like Alumni.”. “I feel it’s funny that the physical training was actually the easy part – the hardest part was getting in to her (Johanna‘s) emotional state”, Malone explains. “She was quite chaotic – it was a little bit more debilitating to withstand.”. Although she’s been in the City in previous years for the Toronto International Film Festival, she admits “It has been a while! I don’t know – it’s cold and I haven’t seen anything, but I do love Toronto!”.
After enduring a broken finger among other minor injuries during the filming process, 27-year-old Hearththrob-on-the-rise Claflin tells me about his bonding experience with the Cast, having just signed-aboard as a Newcomer. “I think I was intimidated at first entering that World and that Family”, says the London-trained Thespian. “Everyone was really welcoming. I felt like part of the Family from day one.”.
Claflin certainly also is no Stranger to Toronto, having starred opposite Lily Collins here this past May in upcoming Rom-Com Love, Rosie. While that experience was short, he does have some fond memories. “I never got to see much of the City before as we were shooting nights in bizarre places” he recalls. “I did watch a Maple Leaf Game – the first time they ever won a Playoff in ten years I think! I just got-in an hour-and-a-half ago and leave tomorrow morning.”. “It’s exhausting!”, he laughs. Surely all the hard work will pay-off soon as he’s undeniable as the charming, Sugar Cube-obsessed Finnick.
See our Chats below:
It’s certainly still not too late to win Signed Items from Stars Lawrence and Claflin! Click here for more details.
eOne Films releases The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Friday, November 22, 2013.
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong/Christina Miguel)
TICK -TOCK. The Movie Event of the Year The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soon will be bestowed upon us and both eOne Films and Mr. Will Wong want to give Readers an ultra-rare opportunity to attend the Canadian Premiere of this year’s most eagerly-awaited Cinematic Event!
After winning the Hunger Games, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) return home before embarking on a Victory Tour of all 12 Districts. Before they leave, they find that the President is angry with them for breaking the rules, allowing them both to win.
In order for their families not to be punished, they have to prove to him that they’re really in love. There’s only one problem—Katniss was faking her emotions for the viewing audience at home, a fact that Peeta has to come to terms with.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire also stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson, Willow Shields, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Amanda Plummer and Sam Claflin.
Watch the Trailer below:
To enter to win a Double Pass to an Advance Screening of THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, which takes place on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 in Toronto, simply click “like” on this Post at Mr. Will Wong on Facebook. Share this Post on Facebook with your fellow Tributes or Re-Tweet the below to double your chances!
http://www.mrwillwong.com/catchingfire @MRWILLW wants us to #win a Double Pass to the Canadian Premiere of #THEHUNGERGAMES #CATCHINGFIRE! In theatres 11/22!
Hold-up one second though! With the stakes being upped for both Katniss and Peeta in this second instalment of the Franchise, why not up the ante for our Wongsters too? That’s right – Mr. Will Wong is giving Readers – and his Readers only – a chance to win Pieces from his Collection signed by SAM CLAFLIN and Academy Award Winner JENNIFER LAWRENCE!
See ’em to believe ’em!
Just like The Hunger Games, two names will be drawn in this Lottery!
Will it be YOU?
Good luck, Wongsters.
eOne Films releases THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE on Friday, November 22, 2013.