Cinema Interviews Podcast

Interviews: Valkyrie

Valkyrie poster

Valkyrie is a new film set during World War II that depicts the plot to kill Adolf Hitler by German army officers in July, 1944.

Directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie, it stars Tom Cruise as Claus von Stauffenberg, one of the key figures in the conspiracy.

It also features Bill Nighy, Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp and Tom Wilkinson in key supporting roles. 

I recently spoke in London with several of the major players in the film:

You can listen to the interviews here:


You can download this interview as a podcast via iTunes by clicking here

Valkyrie is out now at UK cinemas

Download this interview as an MP3 file
Valkyrie at the IMDb
Find out more about the July 20th plot to kill Hitler at Wikipedia 

[Image: United Artists / 20th Century Fox  © 2008]


UK Cinema Releases: Friday 23rd January 2009

UK Cinema Releases 23-01-09


Frost/Nixon (Universal): A historical drama based on the play by Peter Morgan, writer of The Queen and The Last King of Scotland, which dramatises the 1977 televised Frost/Nixon interviews. Directed by Ron Howard, it stars Michael Sheen as David Frost and Frank Langella as Richard Nixon. I was lucky enough to catch the stage version in London in November 2006 and Howard has done a fine job in not imposing too much style to what was already a strong drama. He was also wise enough to retain Sheen and Langella in the lead roles as they are both bring a chemistry and technique that would have been hard to reignite with new actors. Although major studios have tended to shy away from making ‘prestige’ films like this, they deserve credit in green-lighting material such as this. Although there are a couple of missteps – notably a fictional scene towards the end – it is a deeply satisfying and accomplished film of an outstanding play. A high profile publicity campaign and Oscar nominations will give it a boost at the UK box office even if snagging the top spot might be a stretch.  [Cert 15 / Nationwide]

Valkyrie (20th Century Fox): Set in Nazi Germany during World War II this drama/thriller depicts the July 20th, 1944 plot by German army officers to kill Adolf Hitler. Directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie, it stars Tom Cruise as Claus von Stauffenberg, one of the key figures in the conspiracy. It also features Bill Nighy, Eddie Izzard, Terence Stamp and Tom Wilkinson in supporting roles. Although the early buzz on this film had been negative due to controversy over Cruise’s casting and other production difficulties, it is a well made and absorbing thriller. Although in the age of a film like Downfall, the English accents occasionally detract from the sense of realism Singer has crafted a believable world even if there is too much of a reliance on British actors. However, Fox will be encouraged by its better-than-expected US gross and a high profile publicity campaign which saw a premiere and Cruise appearing on the first Jonathan Ross Show since the presenter got suspended. [Cert / 12A Odeon Leicester Square & Nationwide]

Milk (Momentum): A biopic of the late American politician Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California in the late 70s. Directed by Gus Van Sant from a script by Dustin Lance Black, it stars Sean Penn as Milk and features Emile HirschJames Franco and Josh Brolin in key supporting roles. Penn dominates proceedings with one of the best performances of his career but there is also sterling work from the rest of the cast, especially Brolin as Milk’s eventual assassin, Dan White. It is an interesting story with a suprising number of modern echoes, with Milk’s hope and grass-roots campaigning feeling like Obama’s recent victory and the depiction of Proposition 6 feeling eerily like Prop 8. If you see the film this week and also observed the 44th US President get sworn in, note that the politician that announces Milk’s death at the beginning of the film (in archive footage) is Dianne Feinstein – the same woman who was master of ceremonies at the presidential inauguration. [Cert 15 / Barbican, Cineworld Kings Rd., Curzon Soho, Odeon Camden & Nationwide]

Underworld 3: Rise Of The Lycans (Entertainment): A prequel to the vampire films Underworld and Underworld: Evolution, which covers the origins of some characters.  It follows a young Lycan named Lucian (Michael Sheen) who emerges as a powerful leader who rallies the werewolves to rise up against Viktor (Bill Nighy), the cruel vampire king who has enslaved them. Lucian is joined by his secret lover, Viktor’s daughter Sonja (Rhona Mitra), in his struggle for Lycan freedom. Note that Sheen and Nighy are both in rival films out this week. Entertainment will be hoping that their vast army of posters across the UK will help the film crack the top three in a busy week. [Cert 18 / Empire Leicester Square & Nationwide]



Rachel Getting Married (Sony): A drama about a young woman named Kym (Anne Hathaway) who returns home from rehab for her sister Rachel’s (Rosemarie DeWitt) wedding. Tensions within the family lead to a bittersweet conclusion. It was written by Jenny Lumet, the daughter of director Sidney Lumet and directed by Jonathan Demme in a naturalistic, documentary style. A film with some considerable merits (the camera work and music) and flaws (some flimsy, annoying characters) it is also notable for featuring a scene with a dishwasher that ranks amongst the most bizarre in recent cinematic history. [Cert 15 / London & Key Cities]

Faintheart (Vertigo Films): This film about a geeky viking enthusiast (Eddie Marsan) is notable for being a collaboration between Myspace, Vertigo films and Film4. The resulting experiment, MyMovieMashUp, sought to harness the power and talents of the online community by involving them in the film-making process. Alas, the film is the usual British ho-hum loser-comes-good comedy, which makes you wonder why they bothered with the online stuff in the first place. Expect a limited run at cinemas followed by a swift DVD release. [Cert 12A / Key Cities]

Better Things (Soda Pictures): A drama about a group of young people growing up together in a small, rural community in the Cotswolds, directed by Duane Hopkins. [Cert 15 / ICA Cinema, Renoir & Key Cities]

UK Cinema Releases for January 2009
Get the latest showtimes for your local cinema via Google Movies
Check out our latest DVD picks (W/C Monday 19th January)


The First 6 Minutes of Valkyrie

United Artists has put the first six minutes of Valkyrie online to promote the film.

Set in Nazi Germany during World War II it depicts the plot in July, 1944  by German army officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler and stars Tom Cruise as Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, one of the key plotters. 

> Valkyrie at the IMDb
> Check out the HD version at Apple