In 1943 a young British officer, Norman Lewis, entered a war-torn Naples with the American Fifth Army. Lewis began writing in his notepad everything that happened to him during his one-year stay, observing the complex social cauldron of a city that contrived every day the most incredible ways of fighting to survive. These notes turned into his masterpiece, a memoir titled Naples ’44.
With narration by Benedict Cumberbatch, this new documentary based on Lewis’s memoir imagines him returning many years later to the city that charmed and seduced him.
Combining archival war footage with clips from movies set in Naples from the ’50s and ’60s (featuring Marcello Mastroianni and Ernest Borgnine among others) we see a thrilling and unpredictable parade of unforgettable stories and characters: women in feather hats milking cows in the rubble, statues of saints carried by hysterical crowds attempting to stop Vesuvius erupting and impoverished citizens impersonating aristocrats. But this unusual and riveting evocation of a timeless city is also a powerful condemnation of the horrors of war, whether just or unjust.
An everyday moment triggers a crisis in the lives of a happy, successful British couple in MASTERPIECE: The Child in Time,Ian McEwan’s haunting tale of a lost child and redeemed love, starring Cumberbatch and Kelly Macdonald.
PBS Distribution releases the program on DVD April 3. It will also be available for digital download.
Adapted from McEwan’s 1987 Whitbread Prize-winning novel, which critic Christopher Hitchens called the author’s “masterpiece,” this film earned high praise during its recent UK broadcast. The Guardian found it “a deeply affecting portrait of loss and what that does to love,” and TheTimes lauded it as “a rarity: nuanced, unmawkish, unsentimental.”
Cumberbatch stars as Stephen Lewis, a noted children’s book author, and Macdonald plays his wife, Julie, a professional musician. They are the doting parents of Kate (played by Beatrice White), an impish four-year-old, their only child. Then one day Kate mysteriously disappears during a shopping outing with Stephen. It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, and it upends Stephen and Julie’s lives in extraordinary ways.
The Child in Time also stars Stephen Campbell Moore as Charles, Stephen’s publisher and best friend; and Saskia Reeves as Charles’ wife, Thelma. Charles gets Stephen appointed to a government commission on child care reform in hopes of taking his friend’s mind off Kate, who by this point has been missing for three years. But to Stephen, whose vivid memories of Kate are ever present, the committee’s direction seems maddeningly out of touch with what children actually need.
Kate haunts every aspect of Stephen’s life—as a phantom at his side, a voice in his ear, a fleeting glimpse in a crowd of school children.
Estranged from Julie due to the stress of their mutual loss, Stephen makes an attempt to reconnect, going to the village where she now lives.
There he is overcome with a powerful feeling of déjà vu at a pub called The Bell, where he spots a woman who appears to be from a moment in time, decades ago, and the woman acknowledges him. He is certain he has been there before, but he can’t think when.
Meanwhile, Charles has abruptly left his publishing job and retired to the country with Thelma, where he reverts deeper and deeper into his boyhood in a disquieting reversal of normal aging.
With the gentlest touch of the fantastical, this riveting story takes viewers in and out of the present, past, and future, exploring the twin themes of the title—childhood and time—and leading to a conclusion that is as surprising as it is gratifying.
War has always been big business. Especially when it translates to film. Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War has conquered both audiences and critics, debuting to $179.1 million—the fifth-biggest domestic opening of all time—and earning a 90% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The film is the highest-grossing film of 2016 domestically, internationally and globally, earning more than $1.14 billion at the worldwide box office. Oprah may have more of the green stuff in her deep pockets, but the news about Captain America: Civil War is marvelous . . . the flick also continues Marvel Studios’ winning streak as the 13th consecutive film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to debut at No. #1 at the domestic box office.
When Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War arrives early on Digital HD, Digital 3D and Disney Movies Anywhere on September 2 and on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand on September 13, viewers can join the nonstop action and pick their side—Team Cap, commanded by Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), or Team Iron Man, led by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).
Rogers and Stark are joined by a star-studded lineup of beloved Marvel Super Heroes, including Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Bucky Barnes aka Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie) Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes aka War Machine (Don Cheadle), Clint Barton aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Vision (Paul Bettany) and Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), along with new recruit Scott Lang aka Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and joined by two new additions to the MCU: T’Challa aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland).
More than 60-minutes of thrilling, exclusive bonus material includes: an inside look at the evolution of lead characters Steve Rogers and Tony Stark, a behind-the-scenes exclusive on the making of Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War,” never-before-seen deleted scenes and hilarious outtakes. Plus, home audiences can learn more about the latest additions to the MCU and get an exclusive, first look at Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, coming to theaters November 4, 2016.
Downey shares a bon mot, admitting his improvised some of his lines: “When you’re standing around set for hours, you think of dumb stuff to say, and sometimes you say it when they’re rolling.”
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