- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Cowboys & Aliens
- Crazy, Stupid, Love.
- Friends with Benefits
- Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (You Won't Get a Second Life)
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Perry Simon, General Manager, BBC AMERICA says: “These are fantastic results for the Brits, and a ringing endorsement that there is a real appetite for British programs and productions on this side of the Atlantic. Huge congratulations to everyone on their nominations for these most prestigious of television awards. Here at BBC AMERICA our warm wishes particularly go to the Luther team. I for one can’t wait for the sequel.”
Idris Elba says: “This has been such an amazing morning for me! I am extremely honored to be nominated in two categories. Luther has been such a passion project for me and working on The Big C was a great time. Also, my daughter told me I am going to be as famous as the guy from Twilight.”
The Primetime Emmy® Awards are now in their 63rd year and celebrate excellence in national primetime programming. The full winners will be announced in a ceremony in Hollywood on Sunday, September 18, 2011.
It was on one fateful day in the summer of 2002 when I made my first visit to my local Bollywood theatre, the Naz 8 Cinemas in Lakewood, completely unprepared for awaited me in the early minutes of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Devdas, when the "Silsila Ye Chaahat Ka" number takes place. Rai has a classic star entrance to a flash of lightning, and any vague thoughts that such an introduction is overblown is immediately erased once she starts to effortlessly command the screen with her movement.
Rai's first collaboration with Bhansali was 1999's Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and clearly he knew what a gift he had in her from the jump, giving her the terrific showcase that is the now-classic "Nimbooda."
1999 was a banner year for Rai, for that year she also starred in Subhash Ghai's Taal, which boasted one of A.R. Rahman's most memorable scores--which, of course, gave Rai ample opportunity to show what she could do, as in this oft-excerpted scene, "Ramta Jogi," featuring another West-familiar face, Anil Kapoor.
One of Rai's major strengths as a dancer is her amazing versatility. She is just as at ease doing classical dances such as "Nimbooda" as she is taking on more modern routines. Look at how easily and comfortably she slips into hip-hop swag (especially compared to her more obviously straining partner, Vivek Oberoi) in the great "No No" number from 2004's generally forgettable Kyun! Ho Gaya Na....
Just as easily as she can play a woman in charge as in that number, she can also be just as convincing playing fetchingly coquettish, never more in "Kannamoochi," from Rajiv Menon's enduringly popular 2000 Tamil language take on Sense and Sensibility, Kandukondain Kandukondain.
Rai has always been a sensual presence on film and a global sex symbol, but she never quite owned her screen sexuality in the way she did in the wildly popular "Crazy Kiya Re" from 2006's Dhoom:2. (I compare it to how Janet Jackson blossomed into full womanhood overnight with her iconic 1990 video for "Love Will Never Do (Without You).")
Not surprisingly, Rai is often called to do cameo appearances for item numbers in films--and often said songs not only become hits, but perhaps the best thing by which the films are remembered. Case in point: "Ishq Kamina," featuring Rai and Bollywood king Shahrukh Khan in their first (and, to date, only) screen appearance together after Devdas , from 2002's Shakthi: The Power.
Another Rai item song, "Kajra Re," has become an enduring hit, certainly helped by being from a box office success (2005's Bunty aur Babli), but perhaps most of all for having her dance alongside both future husband Abhishek and future father-in-law Amitabh.
One of her last huge pre-pregnancy dance showcases was in a truly historic, truly creative, truly insane film, the 2010 Tamil language science fiction actioner Enthiran: The Robot, where she got to shimmy alongside legendary South Indian "SuperStar" Rajnikanth in a multitude of contexts and (most of all) costumes, most memorably in the throwdown club number "Irumbile Oru."
But lest you think that the moves are all there is to Rai's dancing gift, it's also her ability to truly act and powerfully emote to the music. There is no more poignant, gut-wrenching example than this number from 2006's Umrao Jaan, "Pooch Rahe Hain," where the devastating tragedy of the title character's life cuts through even out of story context (and without subtitles--though they are provided here).
I can go on and on, but I will end this going full circle back to Devdas , and what is widely considered to be one of the greatest film dance numbers of recent years (if not ever): the spectacular "Dola Re Dola," where she and fellow Indian screen legend Madhuri Dixit create true cinema magic.
My immediate reaction to the series 2 finale of Luther is one of shock--and so completely not in the manner one is accustomed to in writer/creator Neil Cross's detective saga that's is almost impossible to assess/discuss the episode without the urge to rationalize it in the greater context of this most recent four-hour cycle and in contrast to series 1. But leave it to Cross to find new ways to pull the rug out from under the viewer--and also leave it to him for it to have a most mapped-out method to his apparent madness.
At the top of the hour, however, all initially appears to be business as bloody usual: DCI John Luther's (Idris Elba) team continues to investigate a killer whose dice-roll-driven game of terror is not over as it appeared to them at the end of episode 3; and Luther finds himself having to climb out of an even more precarious spot following the episode-closing actions of Jenny Jones (Aimee Ffion-Edwards), the troubled young woman he has vowed to protect. The latter situation cannot help but bring to mind the cliffhanger that led into the series 1 finale, and this is clearly no mere coincidence and even more clearly not at all willfully lazy rehashing on Cross's part. The devil, as they say, is indeed in the details, and the contrast between them from then and now makes for an appropriate culmination of this latest arc of episodes and the ongoing evolution of John Luther.
This isn't quite as obvious, though, as the episode is in progress, for this Case of the (Two) Week(s) is one of the more compelling ones that Cross has cooked up, and director Sam Miller ratchets up the tension slowly but ever so surely to a terrifically mounted climax that is easily the grandest of the entire program to date. But the larger scale does not diminish those details, and that is where the deeper intricacies and hence satisfactions lie. The closing standoff recalls a similar one way back in series 1, episode 2, but this is not exactly the same DCI John Luther we saw same time last year. While still very much a loose cannon who flouts traditional boundaries in pursuit of what he believes is right and just (and, indeed, it is a typically "crazy" Luther move that leads into the hour's home stretch), the "mask" adopted in episode 2 of this series has appeared to take, for ever since a more detached sense of reason reins in passions and emotions once too volatile to control. Always a clever mind, he now wears the perpetually cool, laser-focused exterior to match, with even the too-close-to-home Jenny situation and its inevitable fallout from her former employer Baba (Pam Tillis) never appearing not only to faze him in the slightest but also never eliciting the slightest emotional response; ditto in regards to the ever-encroaching threat presented by cohort DS Erin Gray's (Nikki Amuka-Bird) growing distrust, and, unlike in that analagous encounter in series 1, episode 2, in the immediate face of doom, it's cold reason, not raw, exposed emotion, that comes through.
And with that latter note comes an unexpected epiphany that brings Luther full circle to not only the first glimpse of him this series but also redefines his character as known over these ten episodes: through reason comes the recognition that are no reasons, as in any concrete explanation or rationale for how the world operates--a sharp contrast to the man once driven so baldly, obsessively, for better and too painfully worse, driven by his belief in the existence of love and, hence, some sense of greater, unifying order. The closing question of the first series echoes once again at the end of this one, but in a far tidier and even cheeky context that doesn't merely contrast with its previous one but is downright shocking in just how wildly different it is from just about any and every thing that has come prior in these ten hours--ironically leaving that two-word query a much greater weight. Something at least approaching a semblance of peace could finally be in the cards for Luther, but then one wonders how someone like him could possibly handle or even maintain that possibility, or, more appropriately, if. Now what, indeed.