"Better Days," a Chinese film that puts the spotlight on school bullying, continued to lead the Chinese mainland box office Sunday, according to the China Movie Data Information Network Monday.
The film generated nearly 37.82 million yuan (about 5.4 million U.S. dollars) in the market on its 17th day of screening, bringing its total Chinese mainland box office to nearly 1.39 billion yuan.
It was followed by "Midway," an American war film centering on the 1942 Battle of Midway between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy, which marked a pivotal turning point in the Pacific Theater during World War II. It grossed 33.56 million yuan on Sunday.
Domestic drama film "My Dear Liar" took the third place with a daily box office revenue of about 26.83 million yuan on its third day of screening.
It took five years to get a life neatly sketched with stories and vignettes.
Down the memory lane, down the road, down the trail left by the Father of the Nation, and anywhere a story was waiting to be heard, they have gone all the way and missed out on no details.
Finally, the curtain rose on Hasina: A Daughter's Tale, narrating the untold stories of Sheikh Hasina as the daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the man who organised an entire nation to fight for freedom.
One year into its release, the docudrama that already attracted global acclamation was re-screened at Lit Festival in the on Friday.
The narrative in the voice of Sheikh Hasina herself turned the auditorium full of foreign poets and litterateurs into a captive through engaging storytelling and music of this soil complementing the imageries, said a Centre for Research and Information (CRI) media release on Saturday.
Sheikh Hasina, also the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, reminisced the days with her father, who led all the major movements leading to freedom.
She was also observed narrating the darkest chapter in the history of Bangladesh - the killing of her father along with the entire family in 1975.
The most critical junctures of the history was narrated like a story and offered a glimpse of Sheikh Hasina as a mother, a grandmother, a woman of this land apart from her position as the prime minister.
The screening of the movie was followed by an interactive session graced by Radwan Mujib Siddiq, grandson of Bangabandhu, also a co-producer of the film, Piplu Khan, director, and Debojyoti Mishra, background scorer.
"When she (Sheikh Hasina) asked for the script during the making of the docudrama, I said there was no script. She herself, her eventful life was the script," said Radwan.
Talking about the power of storytelling, Radwan also said, “While most historical docudramas in our country are 'officious' in tone, Hasina: A Daughter's Tale clearly stands out.”
It focused on storytelling, bringing in some engaging stories that would otherwise remain unheard. Even the director's camera made its way to her kitchen and library too, he added.
Piplu believes he himself knows more about Bangabandhu’s home at Dhanmondi 32 than anyone else, except Bangabandhu’s family members.
“I tried to understand everything. I had rented a boat to travel to Tungipara to experience how Bangabandhu used to do it,” he said.
Paul Feig's "Last Christmas" looks every bit like your standard holiday romantic-comedy, but it has some surprises under its gauzy wrapping.
Kate (Emilia Clarke) works in a year-round Christmas ornament shop in London where she must dress daily in a green elf costume. A repeatedly self-described mess living couch to couch, Kate's life begins to change after she meets a mysterious stranger (Henry Golding) whose life advice — "Just look up" — would be too hokey for anything but aspiring meteorologists.
So far, this might sound like a reworking of Ernst Lubitsch's "The Shop Around the Corner" (still the greatest X-mas rom-com). And yet "Last Christmas" turns out to be something less familiar. It's the first — and likely the last — Brexit Christmas movie.
That's not exactly the stuff of movie posters. Those drawn to "Last Christmas" by the infectious lilt of the Wham! classic and the appeal of seeing Clarke newly freed from "Game of Thrones" will encounter a holiday fable that slyly inverts many of the usual trappings of the romantic comedy — so much so that's it's neither particularly funny nor especially romantic.
"Last Christmas" was written by Emma Thompson (who also plays Kate's heavily accented mother — their family are longtime Londoners who emigrated from war-torn Yugoslavia) and Bryony Kimmings. Thompson, of course, is already an integral part of one Yuletide perennial, "Love Actually," so it's natural to come to "Last Christmas" seeking some of the same spirit.
It's not to be found. "Last Christmas" is about as buoyant as leftover eggnog. Clarke's natural charm comes through — she looks ecstatic to be out of Westeros and playing a less upright character — but such a fleabag-screwup role feels better suited to a more comedic performer.
Yet it's often entertaining the way Thompson and Feig take a rom-com set-up and steadily pull it apart, even as they add in the requisite gobs of syrupy sentiment. These movies can be rosy portraits of their cities and their wealthier, white residents. But "Last Christmas" captures a diverse London of immigrants and outsiders, and gravitates not toward its tourist landmarks but its street dwellers. This is set amid the harsh context of Brexit, with background TVs showing the U.K. debates and one "go back to where you came from" encounter on a city bus.
Kate is going from one one-night stand to another, steadfastly refusing to retreat home to her overbearing family in the suburbs. When not working at the store, she makes half-hearted auditions, trying to break through as a musical performer. Her boss at the boutique shop goes by the name Santa (Michelle Yeoh) and delights in sarcastic quips aimed at her lone elf.
Kate is also recovering from a health issue referenced only vaguely at first. And when she meets Tom (Golding), Kate is reluctantly inspired to begin putting her life together — even though Tom is always disappearing, only popping up randomly.
There are good intentions all around but hardly any jokes, which makes the movie's treacly third-act reveal of Tom's identity still harder to swallow. Movies like "Bridesmaids" and "The Heat" made Feig one of Hollywood's top comedy directors, but since his "Ghostbusters" reboot, Feig has turned more toward other genres, relying on narrative twists that he can't always pull off. His last film, the 2018 suburban noir "A Simple Favor," was derailed by wild, "Gone Girl"-inspired plot developments.
George Michael's "Last Christmas" was always more of heartbreak song than a holiday anthem. Feig's movie, too, diverts from standard rom-com beats for something more about rehabilitation, charity and diversity. Its heart might be in the right place, even if its storyline isn't.
"Last Christmas," a Universal Pictures release, is rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for language and sexual content. Running time: 103 minutes. Two stars out of four.
"Pets United," an animated adventure film, is set for theatrical release on the Chinese mainland on Friday, Nov. 8, according to an official poster released for the film.
A Chinese-German joint production, the film is directed by Reinhard Klooss, whose best known works include the 2010 German animated comedy adventure film "Animals United."
"Pets United" follows a group of spoiled pets led by an elegant pet cat named Belle, who join forces with a stray dog named Roger and an abandoned robot named Bob amid the chaos of a robot takeover. The pets band together to survive the attack and save their homes.
The 4K restoration of the 1998 Italian drama film "The Legend of 1900" is set for theatrical release on the Chinese mainland on Nov. 15, according to the China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association.
Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore and starring Tim Roth, the critically acclaimed film follows a baby boy, who, discovered in 1900 on an ocean liner, grows into a musical prodigy, never setting foot on land.
Titled "La leggenda del pianista sull'oceano" in Italian, or literally "The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean," the film boasts a score of 9.2 out of 10 on Chinese film review platform Douban based on more than 924,000 reviews.
The upcoming screening will be the first time for the film to hit big screens on the Chinese mainland where the original version was not theatrically released.