Tag Archive: Leonardo


Who am I?? Guess who these 10 stunning pairs of eyes belong to!!

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CLUES: Take a look at the Tags below.

Answers: I shall post the Answers as another Blog Post soon, after some of you give this a try.
Enjoy

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
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Continuing reviewing the DVD films, brought from Down Under. This time some of the films I watched in December 2014.
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The Dangerous Llives of Altar Boys (poster)
A Teenage Prank gone Wrong – The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys

On December 3rd, 2014, watched this noughties flick set in the 70’s, directed by Peter Care, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002).

The film is about a group of rebellious teenage boys, from a strict catholic school, who are constantly getting into trouble. Prank after prank, their mischief gets out of hand, and one day, they try to steal a cougar to place it inside their school. This final prank, results in a grave tragedy, that could bring an end, to their happy go lucky, teenage lives, for good.

The brilliant actress, Jodie Foster, plays Sister Assumpta, a strict disciplinarian, who’s seen as a monster by her pupils. Yet, she’s not as bad, as the teenage students seem to see her as. Foster, though a great actress, hasn’t much of a role to explore in this movie. She’s good, but there is nothing great about her role. Any good enough actress, needn’t be a brilliant one, could have pulled it off. I personally feel Foster, who’s capable of so much more, was wasted in this film about teenage life. A very young, Emile Hirsch, is superb, as Francis Doyle, the protagonist of the film. The makings of a future great actor, are visible, in Hirsch’s portrayal of young rebel, here. As an adult, he’s done such amazing work in excellent films like, Into the Wild (2007), Milk (2008), and the near excellent, Taking Woodstock (2009) (See my post From The Wild to Woodstock: Happy Birthday Mr. E. Hirsch from couple of years ago). Kieran Culkin, though hasn’t done anything that great in recent years, has had the potential of being a superb actor, as one can tell, watching young Culkin in The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys. Plus he had proven his worth, as a child star, in bit roles; holding his own, along side his brother, Macaulay Culkin, in the two Home Alone (90’ & 92’) movies, and; in films like, Nowhere to Run (1993), She’s All That (1999), Music of the Heart (1999), The Cider House Rules (1999), and his excellent performance, in Igby Goes Down (2002).

Kieran Culkin and Emile Hirsch in a scene from The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)

Kieran Culkin and Emile Hirsch in a scene from The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)

The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, is a very creative coming of age film. It’s a teenage movie, for teenagers, about teenagers (though rated for a mature audience), yet, at the same time, it’s also very dark and tragic. Like My Girl (1991), which was a children’s film, about children, for children, yet dark and tragic at the same time. Of course My Girl, wasn’t exactly suitable for very little children. The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, is interestingly made, injecting the teenagers imaginary world, through animation, going parallel to the actual events in the movie. Plus it explores the contrast between a strict brainwashed religious upbringing, against teenagers growing up with a mind of their own, a brain that’s capable of thinking of themselves. At the same time, the extremities of the two worlds, are explored. Trying to brainwash growing up 14 year olds, only ends up pushing them further to the edge of rebellion, with disastrous results.

A very good movie, and I highly recommend it, especially for teenagers. 8/10!!!!

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An Ozzie Classic from The 80’s – The Man from Snowy River

Watched this Australian movie, The Man from Snowy River (1982), on the same night, 3rd of December, 2014.
The Man from Snowy RiverThere are very few Australian movies that I happen to like (and even fewer that I love), for example, Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) Excellent !!, Don’s Party (1976) Very Good !!, Gallipoli (1981) Excellent !!, The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) Excellent !!, A Cry in the Dark (1988) Very Good !!, Dead Calm (1989) Pretty Good !!, Proof (1991) Excellent !!, Muriel’s Wedding (1994) Near Excellence !!, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) Very Good !!, Lantana (2001) Pretty Good !!, Australian Rules (2002) Very Good !!, The Rage in Placid Lake (2003) Near Excellence !!, Go Big (2004) Pretty Good !!, The Proposition (2005) Near Excellence !! Little Fish (2005) Pretty Good !!, Ten Canoes (2006) Excellent !!, Book of Revelation (2006) Very Good !!, Australia (2008) Very Good!!, and Balibo (2009) Near Excellence!! to name a few. I had heard about this famous classic called, The Man from Snowy River, being Australia’s answer to Hollywood’s Gone with the Wind (1939), as the 1977 novel Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough was supposed to be the Australian Gone with the Wind (the 1936 novel) by Margaret Mitchell. Thorn Birds was an excellent novel, that I read back in the 90’s, but The Man from Snowy River, isn’t anywhere as epic as (the movie) Gone with the Wind, was. Yet, this famed classic from down under, is still an excellent movie, and among the greatest films ever made, worldwide.

Based on a poem, from 1890, by Australian Bush Poet, Banjo Paterson, The Man from Snowy River, tells the tale of a young man, who single-handed, recaptures a colt of a prize-winning racehorse, that had escaped and been residing amongst wild horses. Of course the movie version is injected with, young love, misunderstandings and melodrama. But the blend of all these ingredients, along with some superb cinematography, and thrilling horse riding sequences, result in an excellence of movie making. A marvellous classic. 10/10!!!!!

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A Conniving Man’s Success Story – The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Watched this bio-pic, based on the life of Jordan Ross Belfort; a notorious American stockbroker, who pleaded guilty to fraud and crimes in connection with stock market manipulation, and other related crimes; called The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), on 4th December, 2014.

Wow!! Shockingly Great!!! What great performances!!! Director Martin Scorsese, has managed to get his actors to push their limits, to bring out the best of the sleazy world of cheats, money, fraudulence, sex, drugs, prostitution and alcohol. The most disgusting characters in the world, performed to perfection, by some of the best actors we have today. Leonardo DiCaprio, is seen here in one of his best performances ever. He definitely deserved the Oscar nod, last year (see my post Leonardo DiCaprio: Always the Oscar Bait, Never the Winner from March 2014 for my ). Raw, exposed and hardcore, the movie doesn’t shy away from extremist debauchery, sleaze and graphic sexual content. It’s surprising to see DiCaprio pull this off, with such ease, especially, as a decade ago, he supposedly turned down the role of ‘Matthew’, in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Dreamers (2003), because of it’s explicit nature. He’s grown up since then, as a person and an actor, who dares to experiment. Like the Scorsese/Robert De Niro combination in the past, Scorsese & DiCaprio together, happen to be a superb Director-Actor duo, who have brought out some great films in the recent past. Yet this is the finest work, they’ve made together, so far. May they keep getting better. Director Martin Scorsese is the best thing to have happened to  Leonardo DiCaprio’s career.

On the sets of The Wolf of Wall Street.  Martin Scorsese directing Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie.

On the sets of The Wolf of Wall Street.
Martin Scorsese directing Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie.

The surprise package of the movie, happens to be, Jonah Hill. Who unexpectedly brings out a marvellous performance as Donnie Azoff, Belfort’s business partner. Australian actress, Margot Robbie, plays Belfort’s second wife, Naomi Lapaglia. Her portrayal too is superb as a trophy wife. Some may consider her portrayal sexist, and demeaning to women. Not just her, but the way women are showcased in The Wolf of Wall Street in general. But the movie is about a sexist egoistic man’s world, more accurately the sordid corrupt world of Jordan Ross Belfort. Yet Belfort is loved by his colleagues and people who work under him, for he has made them rich, through conning the rich and the poor alike, respectable or not.

This movie also has some pretty filthy language, as never seen before. The level of profanity, exceeds to unimaginable peaks. The word ‘fuck’ (along with its numerous conjugations) is used 569 times, making this the film with the most use of the ‘F’ word, in a main-stream feature film, ever, till date. Added to which, the film offers other derogatory terms and countless obscenities.

The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the best movies ever made, about one of the worst people ever to have existed in the financial world of Wall Street. Taking a cue from the films, specifically Belfort’s, vocabulary, I just have to say this, about the lead actor. Leonardo DiCaprio, you are a fucking genius. So is the movie. Pure Excellence 10/10!!!!!

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Slapstick 60’s, with a Great Cast – What’s new Pussycat?

Crazy is as Crazy Goes. Watched this enjoyable comedy, starring Peter O’Toole, Peter Sellers, Romy Schneider, Capucine, Paula Prentiss, Françoise Hardy and Woody Allen (in his introductory role), on the 5th of December, 2014. What’s new Pussycat (1965) deals with a compulsive playboy, Michael James (O’Toole), whose shrink, Dr. Fritz Fassbender (Sellers), happens to be crazier than he is.

What’s New Pussycat (1965)

Woody Allen, Romy Schneider & Peter O’Toole in What’s New Pussycat (1965)

What’s new Pussycat is a hilarious, colourful, wacky, British comedy, set and shot in Paris. O’Toole’s character, Michael James, happens to be a womaniser, but not by choice. Since his young age, women just seem to be attracted by him, thus all he’s doing his pleasing them. Women just seem to fall from the sky for him, literally, Ursula Andress, in a cameo, accidentally parachutes into his ‘1936 Singer Le Mans’ car, a classic open hooded British car. Yet James loves his fiancée, Carole Werner (Schneider), and desperately tries to be faithful to her. So he decides to get help, from psychoanalyst, Dr. Fritz Fassbender. Peter Sellers is, crack up laughing, hilarious, as the crazed Dr. Fassbender, who only ends up feeling jealous at poor James’ dilemma, and wonders what his problem is. Worse, when the lady, Renée Lefebvre (Capucine), whom the very married Dr. Fassbender, happens to be stalking, too falls, head over heels, for James, adding to James’ femme nightmare. Paula Prentiss too is superb as the clingy neurotic American, who constantly, tries to unsuccessfully kill herself, making James constantly getting an emergency doctor down to save her. The nurse that comes along, too seems attracted to James. Hilarious as hilarity goes, Romy Schneider, is enjoyable as his fiancée, trying her best to trust him, but who keeps ending up finding James in suspicious circumstances, involving other women.

Things go crazier than crazy, when the whole cast end up at the Chateau Chantelle hotel, in the French countryside, unaware of each others presence.

Though not among the greatest comedies ever, this absurdist romp, of what can also be seen, as glued up sequences of hilarious skits, minus a real plot, to make up, a less than 2 hour, movie, is definitely worth a watch. Quite Good. 7/10!!! 

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Consequences of Drug Addiction – Panic in Needle Park

Al Pacino & Kitty Winn (Al Pacino - inset as well) in a scene from Panic in Needle Park (1971)

Al Pacino & Kitty Winn (Al Pacino – inset as well) in a scene from Panic in Needle Park (1971)

Starring Al Pacino; as a drug dealer and addict who helps a sickly woman (Kitty Winn) worse off than he is, yet gets deeper into drug addiction, dragging her down along with him, and is unable to save, neither her nor himself; Panic in Needle Park (1971) is a hardcore, near perfect, depiction of the consequences of being addicted to heroin. Watched it on 12th & 13th of December, 2014.

A stark portrayal of the lives of heroin addicts in the early 70’s New York. The story deals with heroin dealer and addict, Bobby (Pacino), who falls in love with a sickly unhappy girl, Helen Reeves (Winn). He decides to help her, but unaware, he gets her hooked into heroin as well. Thus begins their decent into a deepening hellish world with no scope for escape. The film is so realistically filmed, Panic in Needle Park, was among the significant phase of the ‘X’ rated movies, to come out in the early 70’s. Especially, for it’s harsh depiction of the intricate ritual of preparing and injecting the heroin into a vein, ‘shooting up’ drugs, and various graphic imagery related to heroin addiction. Heroin usage is prevalent throughout the movie.

The movie is a near excellent insight into the world of drugs and deterioration, along with innocence and entrapment. The film also marked Al Pacino’s and Kitty Winn’s, first lead roles.

Director Jerry Schatzberg, was nominated for the ‘Palme d’Or’, and Kitty Winn won the ‘Best Actress’ Award, at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival.

Pure Realism. 9/10!!!!

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Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii

Hawaiian Musical Dream – Blue Hawaii

Watched Blue Hawaii (1961), with Elvis Presley, and bevy of Beach Babes, on 18th December, 2014.

The Plus+ side – Beautiful rhythmic Songs, Beautiful scenic Beaches, Beautiful people, and one of the rare movies which showcases a male lead that is prettier that his female co-stars. Added to which, a superb actress like, Angela Lansbury, playing mother to Elvis Presley, is a major plus point.

The down side – Not much of plot, and a somewhat predictable story, so far as the love story goes. Yet the music, the comedy and the beautiful star cast, make Blue Hawaii an enjoyable experience.

The story is about Chad Gates (Presley), who returns to Hawaii, after serving his tenure in the Army. His filthy rich parents want him to join the family business, but he has other idea’s for his future.

Being the very first Elvis film to be shot in Hawaii, Blue Hawaii, was quite well received, by youngsters, at the time, and happens to be among the ‘Top-10’, top grossing, movies of 1961. An enjoyable viewing. Love the Presley songs. Love the Presley voice. Love the Presley look.
Pretty Good movie to sit through. 7/10!!!

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Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

P.S. Also see my posts DVD Films From Last Month PART-IDVD Films From Last Month PART-II from December 2014.

William Wordsworth, Abraham Lincoln and the Titanic

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

The 14th Century

  • 1367 – Future King of England, Henry IV, is born.

The 15th Century

  • 1452 – The birth of Leonardo da Vinci. One of greatest Italian Renaissance artists ever, who was a genius painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer.
With Leonardo da Vinci's 'Mona Lisa' at the Louvre, Paris, France (July 2008)

With Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ at the Louvre, Paris, France (July 2008)

The 19th Century

  • 1802 – William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, come across a long belt of daffodils, whilst on a walk around Glencoyne Bay, Ullswater, in the English Lake District, United Kingdom; which inspires Wordsworth to pen the poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud (a.k.a. Daffodils).

 

  • 1843 – The Birth of American Author, Henry James.

 

  • 1865 – After being in a coma for nine hours; having been shot on the head the night before, by actor John Wilkes Booth; President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, succumbs to his injuries and dies at 7:22 a.m.

 

  • 1889 – Artist, Thomas Hart Benton, is born.

 

  • 1896 – Closing Ceremony of the very first modern day Olympic Games, Summer Olympics 1896, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, takes place in Athens, Greece. The multi-sport event was held between 6th and 15th of April 1896.
Abe Lincoln & The Titanic

Abe Lincoln & The Titanic

The 20th Century

  • 1912 – Two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg, the British passenger liner, RMS Titanic, sinks in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m. Only around 700 people out of the 2,227 passengers and crew on board survive the tragedy.
  • 1922 –  Hindi & Urdu poet and Hindi film lyricist, Filmfare Award winner, Hasrat Jaipuri, is born.

 

  • 1938 – Birth of future Italian film actress, Claudia Cardinale.

 

  • 1959 – Birth of future British actress, Emma Thompson.

 

  • 1989 –  96 people died, and 766 people were injured, when they got crushed, during an FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, UK. The most of any stadium-related disaster in British history.

 

  • 1990 – Future British actress, Emma Watson, was born
Claudia Cardinale

Claudia Cardinale

Today – That Year
Historical Timeline with Nuwan Sen
Nuwan Sen’s Historical Sense

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(Oscar 2014 Special)

My OscarLeonardo DiCaprio has gone through a phase of ,‘‘always being the Bridesmaid, but never the Bride,’’ scenario at the Oscars. That’s because he’s just been plain unlucky. He’s a superb actor, who deserved the nominations, but that doesn’t mean, just cause he’s been nominated so many times, he has to win. Look at the actors he lost out to. If he lost out, he lost out to the best. He’s always been good, but there’s always been someone better.
In his own movies too, most of the time, there is always someone better than him, overpowering his performance. For example; Kate Winslet in Titanic (1997) and Revolutionary Road (2008), and Winslet was nominated for an Oscar for Titanic; Daniel Day-Lewis, too nominated for an Oscar, in Gangs of New York (2002); Tom Hanks in Catch Me If You Can (2002); Cate Blanchett in The Aviator (2004), for which Blanchett bagged the ‘Best Supporting Actress’ trophy at the Oscars (Blanchett won the ‘Best Actress’ Oscar this year); the list could go on.

Leonardo DiCaprio has been nominated for five Academy Awards. Let’s have a look at his nominations :-

Leo -Whats Eating Gilbert Grape

Added to the above mentioned reasons, Leonardo DiCaprio does tend to play it safe. With the exception of his character of Arnie Grape, in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), DiCaprio, has never done anything that exceptionally unique till date for him to actually bag the Oscar trophy. DiCaprio earned his very first Oscar nomination as a 19 year old, for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, for ‘Best Supporting Actor’, in 1994. In fact DiCaprio was the only one to be nominated in that movie, and deservedly so. He lost out to Tommy Lee Jones, who won for The Fugitive (1993). I haven’t watched The Fugitive, so I can’t judge whether Lee Jones deserved it more; but Leonardo DiCaprio was exceptional as the mentally-challenged ‘Arnie’ in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. The best he has done so far.

The Aviator & Ray

In 2005, Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for the ‘Best Actor’ Oscar for The Aviator (2004). He was excellent in this bio-pic on the late American business magnate, aviator, aerospace engineer and film maker, Howard Hughes. This was DiCaprio’s first ‘Best Actor’ nomination, and his second nomination at the Academy Awards. He lost out to Jamie Foxx, who was outstandingly better as the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, in the bio-pic, Ray (2004), and Foxx definitely deserved the win that year.

Blood Diamond & Last KingIn 2007, DiCaprio was nominated for, Blood Diamond (2006), in which he was very good, but Forest Whitaker, as the tyrannical President of Uganda, Idi Amin, in The Last King of Scotland (2006), was incomparably brilliant. A sure win, how could poor DiCaprio compete with that.

Wolf Dallas

This year, 2014, DiCaprio was nominated for both, ‘Best Actor’, and as one of the producers, ‘Best Film’, for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). He lost out the ‘Best Actor’ trophy to Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club (2013), and ‘Best Film’ to producers Brad Pitt, Steve McQueen and a few other, for 12 Years a Slave (2013). Now I haven’t seen any of these films, but from the hype, and what ever I’ve seen (trailers, scenes etc), McConaughey and 12 Years a Slave, deserved there respective wins more.

Leonardo DiCaprio, has definitely proved himself as an actor. He is not just a pretty face. I personally have great respect for him as a performer.
So Mr. DiCaprio, next time do an extraordinarily unique role, a sure win, so that no one can beat you at the Oscar game.

Wishing you all the best
Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

(Oscar 2014 Special)

Director Steve McQueen jumps after '12 Years a Slave' wins Best Picture

Director Steve McQueen jumps after ’12 Years a Slave’ wins Best Picture

Leonardo DiCaprio kisses a surprised Matthew McConaughey congratulating him on his Oscar win

Leonardo DiCaprio kisses a surprised Matthew McConaughey congratulating him on his Oscar win

Jared Leto after winning the Best Supporting Actor for 'Dallas Buyers Club'  snucks up behind Oscar veteran Anne Hathaway

Jared Leto after winning the Best Supporting Actor for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ sneaks up behind Oscar veteran Anne Hathaway

After winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, Lupita Nyong'o accidentally bumps fellow winner Jared Leto backstage

After winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, Lupita Nyong’o accidentally bumps fellow winner Jared Leto backstage

Pitt has Pizza while hungry wife looks on

Pitt has Pizza while hungry wife looks on

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

(Oscar 2014 Special)

Ellen DeGeneres Tweet Picture

Top 5 highlights of this years Oscars (in order of first appearence), other than the winners collecting their trophy’s, for me, were :-

  • Ellen DeGeneres (who hosted the show) sneaking up behind Leonardo DiCaprio and Sandra Bullock
  • Ellen DeGeneres and the tweet photograph rounding up everyone from Meryl Streep to Julia Roberts to Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie to Bradley Cooper et al. (The Best)
  • And when an excited, 18 time nominated (three time Oscar winner), 64 year old Meryl Streep added that she had never tweeted before. By the way Ms. Streep, neither have I. And you being one of favourite stars, I should add that you were born the same year as my mother (1949 – mum will be mad at me for writing this), and that too on my Birthday (June 22nd). Yup, we share the birthdate, not the year 😉
  • Ellen DeGeneres bringing in the pizza. (The Next Best)
  • I also liked it when Ellen DeGeneres asked everyone to pay for Pizza and Lupita Nyong’o gave her, her lip balm.

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

Everybody wants to see GONE WITH THE WIND
Valentine's Day GWTW
I was going through IMDB’s Reader Lists: Essential Valentine’s Day Viewing, hundreds of lists made by many a IMDB readers, but not me. And I was delighted to see how many of my favourite classics had made the cut, in various lists. Some made by readers pretty young, for they’ve mentioned these films came out during their great grandparents era. Gone with the Wind (1939), Casablanca (1942) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), were a common trend in most of the lists I went through.
Altogether, City Lights (1931), Gone with the Wind (1939), Wuthering Heights (1939), Casablanca (1942), Brief Encounter (1945), Notorious (1946), Vertigo (1958), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), West Side Story (1961), Jules et Jim (1962), Two for the Road (1967), Annie Hall (1977), When Harry met Sally … (1989), Titanic (1997) and Notting Hill (1999), were  somewhat common when it came to movies from the last century.
From this century, there were films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Brokeback Mountain (2005), Wall-E (2008), Up (2009) and Silver Linings Playbook (2012), to name a few, all of which too I happen to love.

In memory of St. Valentine, after all if he didn’t exist, neither would this day. Not that I’ve ever had a valentine in my life.
(Also see my Post St. Valentine’s Death Anniversary from February 2013 as well)

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense
Valentines Day 2014

Six Degrees of Separation: Kate Winslet to ….

Kate Winslet Silver 6°

…Franco Zeffirelli
Winslet starred in Little Children (2006) along with Patrick Wilson (1), who previously appeared in the TV mini series, Angels of America (2003), which co-starred Al Pacino (2), who played the lead in Serpico (1973), which was based on a true story and directed by Sidney Lumet (3), who also directed Equus (1977), which was based on a play by Peter Shaffer (4), whose play The Royal Hunt of the sun was adapted into a movie, released in 1969, which also starred Leonard Whiting (5), whose most famous performance, is that of, ‘Romeo’ in Romeo and Juliet (1968), the finest cinematic version of this famed tragic love story, which was directed by, Tuscan born, Franco Zeffirelli (6).

…Louis Garrel
Winslet gained international fame when she played the fictional character of ‘Rose’ in Titanic (1997), which was based on a real incident, where Kathy Bates (1), played a real life survivor of the Titanic disaster, Molly Brown (2), and Brown was portrayed by Debbie Reynolds (3) in The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964); a biographical film on Brown, which includes her Titanic voyage and survival; and Reynolds starred in the musical, Singin’ in the Rain (1952), alongside Gene Kelly (4), who appeared in the French musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967), which also starred Catherine Deneuve (5), who recently came in another French musical, Les Bien-Aimés (2011), which co-starred actor Louis Garrel (6).

…Jennifer O’Neill  
Winslet bagged the ‘Best Actress Oscar’, for her role of ‘Hanna Schmitz’, in The Reader (2008), which was based on German novel by Bernhard Schlink (1), another novel of whose was the basis for the movie, Der Tod Kam als Freund (1991), which also starred Sebastian Koch (2), who played the lead in the Dutch film, Zwartboek (2006), which was directed by Paul Verhoeven (3), who also directed Starship Troopers (1997), which starred Casper Van Dien (4), who appeared in the forgettable Sanctimony (2000), which also had Catherine Oxenberg (5), who appeared in the pilot episode of the television series, Cover-Up (1984-1985), of which the lead star was Jennifer O’Neill (6).

… Bárbara Mori
Winslet starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio (1) in Revolutionary Road (2008), and DiCaprio starred in The Great Gatsby (2013), in which Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan (2) had a small role, and Bachchan (a.k.a. Big B) was paired alongside Hema Malini (3) in a lot of films in the 70’s and 80’s, and Malini; who had held the no.1 position for two decades, a rarity in a male oriented film fraternity; was one actress that the Big B was never paired with, off screen, by gossip columnist; and Malini’s daughter, Esha Deol (4), appeared in Na Tum Jaano Na Hum (2002), which co-starred current superstar, Hrithik Roshan (5); known not just for his good looks and vanity driven muscular physique, but also for his outstanding dancing and acting abilities; and Roshan starred alongside Mexican actress Bárbara Mori (6) in Kites (2010).

… Henry Fonda
Winslet appeared in The Holiday (2006), a Christmas romance, where fellow British actor Jude Law (1) played her elder brother, and Law gained popularity worldwide; when he was nominated for an Oscar in 2000, for his role of ‘Dickie’; in The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), which was based on an acclaimed novel, of the same name, by Patricia Highsmith (2), and this very novel was the basis for the French classic, Plein Soleil (1959/60), starring Alain Delon (3), who appeared in the Italian film, Il Gattopardo (1963), a film directed by Italy’s famed, Luchino Visconti (4), who also directed the German language film, The Damned (1969), with Helmut Berger (5), who starred in Hollywood’s, Ash Wednesday (1973); a controversial film at the time for showcasing actual plastic surgery (facelift) in progress; in which Henry Fonda (6) had a cameo.

… Roberto Rossellini
Winslet starred in Titanic (1997), a film directed by James Cameron (1), who also directed the cheesy, sci-fi flick, The Terminator (1984), which starred Michael Biehn (2), who played a stalker in The Fan (1981), where Lauren Bacall (3); played, the stage and screen siren, who’s been stalked; and Bacall was married to actor Humphrey Bogart (4), who is most famous for appearing in the much loved classic love story, Casablanca (1942) alongside, Swedish born, Ingrid Bergman (5), who was married to Italian director, Roberto Rossellini (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()

6° with Hema Malini

Six Degrees of Separation: from Hema Malini to

6° avec Hema Malini
… Lee Williams  
Hema Malini played a single parent of an illegitimate child, who falls in love with widower in Andaz (1971), which co-starred Simi Garewal (1) as the anaemic first wife of the widower; who dies after childbirth; and Garewal hosted the television talk show, Simi Selects India’s most Desirable (2011), and in the last episode of which, she interviewed actress Priyanka Chopra (2), who starred in 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), in which; New Delhi born, leading Bengali actress of art cinema, Konkona Sen Sharma (3), had a cameo appearance in; who happens to be the daughter of famed Bengali art film director, writer and actress, Aparna Sen (4), who played an Indian Princess who wants to sell ancient Indian miniature paintings to western art enthusiast, in the Merchant/Ivory productions television movie, Hullabaloo Over Georgie and Bonnie’s Pictures (1978), where Victor Banerjee (5), played her brother, the Maharajah, opposing the selling of ancient Indian artefacts, and Banerjee starred in Delhi in a Day (2011), about a British tourist who spends one day in the capital of India, looses all his money, and innocent, financially poor, people get accused for a crime actually done by a spoilt rich student, and the protagonist of this movie, the tourist, was played by Welsh actor, Lee Williams (6).

 … Michael Douglas
Hema Malini, who held her own as the lead no.1 heroine in two decades (the 70’s & 80’s), a rarity today, starred along side 70’s & 80’s male superstar, Amitabh Bachchan (1), in many a movies; Malini was one of the few actresses he’s worked with so extensively, whom Bachchan was never romantically linked with by gossip mongers; and the ‘Big B’ (Bachchan) worked with Leonardo DiCaprio (2) in the latest adaptation of The Great Gatsby (2013), and DiCaprio starred in the Titanic (1997), where Kathy Bates (3) played the real life Margaret (Molly) Brown (4), activist, philanthropist and socialite, who had actually survived the Titanic disaster of April 1912, who was later famously known as The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and was portrayed by Debbie Reynolds (5) in, the appropriately titled Hollywood musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964); which was based on a Broadway musical, based on Brown’s life; and Reynolds recently played mother to actor Michael Douglas (6) in Behind the Candelabra (2013).

… Zubeida Begum
Hema Malini’s daughter Esha Deol (1) starred in Yuva (2004), a multi-starrer, which consisted of, besides Deol, many a children of 70’s superstars, including Abhishek Bachchan (2), Vivek Oberoi (3) and Kareena Kapoor (4), and Kapoor’s sister, Karishma Kapoor (5), starred in Zubeidaa (2001), a bio-pic based on the real life, one-film actress and later Princess, the ill fated Zubeida Begum (6).

Hema Malini six degree connections

… Ingrid Bergman
Hema Malini’s husband Dharmendra (1), starred opposite Tanuja (2), in Izzat (1968), who appeared in Masoom (1983), which was directed by Shekhar Kapur (3), and Kapur later directed The Four Feathers (2002), which co-starred Kate Hudson (4), whose mother, actress Goldie Hawn (5) starred alongside the luminary Ingrid Bergman (6) in the comedy Cactus Flower (1969).

… Robert Taylor
Hema Malini, played a teacher in the comedy Do Aur Do Paanch (1980); which literally translated would mean 2 + 2 = 5, which co-starred Shashi Kapoor (1), who starred alongside Felicity Kendal (2) in Shakespeare-Wallah (1965), and Kendal appeared in the movie Valentino (1977), a bio-pic, in which the famed Russian ballet dancer; who defected from the Soviet Union, into the west, via Paris; Rudolf Nureyev (3), played the role of the real life silent film personality, Rudolph Valentino (4), who’s best known for his role of a sheik infatuated with a classy lady, in the silent romantic venture, The Sheik (1921), which co-starred Agnes Ayres (5); as the damsel in distress that gets kidnapped by the sheik, and the object of his desire; and Ayres had a bit role in the talkie, Small Town Girl (1936), which co-starred Robert Taylor (6).

… Kevin Spacey  
Hema Malini’s directorial debut in cinema, came with Dil Aashna Hai (1992), which was based on the novel, Lace by Shirley Conran (1), and the American television adaptation of which, Lace (1984), directed by William Hale (2), starred Phoebe Cats (3), who starred alongside Michael J. Fox (4) in Bright Lights, Big City (1988), and J. Fox starred in The American President (1995), which also saw Annette Bening (5) falling for a United States fictional President, and Bening appeared in American Beauty (1999), which co-starred Kevin Spacey (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()

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Six Degrees of Separation: From Priyanka Chopra to

Priyanka Chopra 6°

… Gregory Peck
Chopra starred in one of the best Bollywood commercial films to come out in recent years, 7 Khoon Maaf (2011), which was based on the short story Susanna’s Seven Husbands, written by Ruskin Bond (1), who also wrote the novella, A Flight of Pigeons, which was the basis for the Indian Art house film, Junoon (1979), which was produced, and starred, 70’s superstar, Shashi Kapoor (2), who starred with Claire Bloom (3) in the comedy, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), and Bloom played the titular character in the television movie Anna Karenina (1961) and Jacqueline Bisset (4) reprised the role in another television adaptation, Anna Karenina (1985), who played a friend to Audrey Hepburn (5) in Two For the Road (1967), and Hepburn appeared in Roman Holiday (1951) which co-starred Gregory Peck (6).

… Uttam Kumar
Chopra appeared as a guest in the television show, Rendezvous with Simi Garewal (1998- 2010), anchored by ‘the lady in white’; so called for her famed unique trade mark elegant white trouser-suits; Simi Garewal (1), who acted alongside the legendary Dev Anand (2) in Teen Devian (1965), who appeared with Bollywood star Hema Malini (3); the only Bollywood actress to hold the reins on the top spot as no.1 heroine for two decades (70’s & 80’s); in Johny Mera Naam (1970), and Hema Malini is married to actor Dharmendra (4), who appeared with Sharmila Tagore in Yakeen (1969), who played a feminist journalist in the Bengali art house movie Nayak (1966), which also starred Uttam Kumar (6).

… Cary Grant
Chopra appeared in Bluffmaster! (2005) opposite Abhishek Bachchan (1), who happens to be the son of the Bollywood legend that refuses to retire and is still no.1 and in top of his game as ever, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan (2), who has a cameo in the new Hollywood glam sham, The Great Gatsby (2013), starring Leonardo Di Caprio (3), who appeared in The Aviator (2004), where Cate Blanchett (4) played Katharine Hepburn (5), and Hepburn starred alongside Cary Grant (6) in The Philadelphia Story (1940).

… Dominic Cooper
Chopra played twelve characters, each portraying personalities attributed to the twelve varied star signs, in What’s Your Raashee? (2009), similarly, three decades before, actor Sanjeev Kumar (1) played nine roles, representing nine different qualities of man, burrowed from Hindu Mythology of ‘Navras’, in Sanskrit referring to the nine aesthetics of man, in Naya Din Nai Raat (1974), and Kumar acted in Aandhi (1975), which also starred West-Bengal actress Suchitra Sen (2), who appeared in the Bengali Art-Film Saptapadi (1961), where she played a charcter that played the role of ‘Desdemona’ in a staging of William Shakespeare’s (3) famed play Othello in the movie itself, and in the 1965 British Film adaptation, Sir Laurence Olivier (4) played the character of ‘Othello’, and Kenneth Branagh (5), played Olivier in My week with Marilyn (2011), which also co-starred young British actor, Dominic Cooper (6).

… Théo Frilet
Chopra starred in Dostana (2008), where Abhishek Bachchan (1) played a straight man pretending to be gay, and contrasting to this, he played a hit man in Yuva (2004), which also starred Esha Deol (2), whose mother Hema Malini (3) starred in the Bollywood adapatation of the well known Arabian tale of ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ titled, Alibaba aur 40 chor (1980), and the more recent French television version, titled, Ali Baba et les 40 Voleurs (2007), starred Leïla Bekhti (4), who appeared in Paris, Je t’aime (2007), which also starred Hippolyte Girardot (5), who came in the television movie Des Gens qui Passent (2009), alongside young French actor Théo Frilet (6).

… Amol Palekar
Chopra played an autistic girl who goes missing in Darjeeling in the 1970’s, in Barfi! (2012), where Ranbir Kapoor (1) plays a deaf-mute; who along with the character of Chopra learns to survive in the streets of Calcutta of the 70’s, on their own; and Kapoor happens to be the grandson of the renowned artiste Raj Kapoor (2), who starred alongside Nutan (3) in Anari (1959), and Nutan co-starred opposite Dev Anand (4) in Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963), who came in Man Pasand (1980), which also starred Tina Munim (5), who came in Baton Baton Mein (1979), which co-starred Amol Palekar (6).

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense ()

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