'City of Ember' Movie Review (3 Stars)

Movie Review by Michael Phillips


City of Ember Saoirse Ronan, Bill Murray, Harry Treadaway, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Toby Jones, Tim Robbins, Martin Landau, Mary Kay Place
Bill Murray as Mayor Cole in 'City of Ember'

There's a lot working against "City of Ember" in terms of its commercial prospects. Among the question marks: an indistinct title, taken from a popular-but-not-epoch-shattering series of books; an apocalyptic vision of the future that resists the usual swells of triumphalism; and dialogue that is markedly free of jaded wisecracks and references to "Jerry Maguire," or "Cops."

Also, it's good. So it has quality working against it too.

It's a little fuzzy in terms of story, and too dour for young kids, but "City of Ember" comes from director Gil Kenan.

He and his designers create a sharply realized and fantastically rich underground city, held together by cables and wires and string. Kenan made "Monster House," also good, also not for the young ones. If he ever lucks into a project worthy of his imagistic strengths that has some populist hooks going for it, look out.

The story plops you down in a rough situation, after the end of the world as we know/knew it. While life above ground regenerates, the citizens of Ember cope with their makeshift contraption of a city, built to last for 200 years. Time's almost up. The infrastructure's crumbling. The place is run by a genial fascist of a mayor (Bill Murray, playing it straight and padded with an enormo-tummy). Children at the age of 12 are assigned jobs to help keep the machine grinding along, amid power blackouts and food shortages.

Saoirse Ronan, a deserved Academy Award nominee for "Atonement," plays Lina, who gratefully switches assignments with her pal Doon (Harry Treadaway of "Control") so she can become a fleet-footed messenger and he can go to work in the elaborate pipe works. The rest of the story, adapted by Caroline Thompson from Jeanne DuPrau's novel, involves a treasure hunt-type secret map and humanity's salvation. Thompson tosses in a giant sewer mole for a thrill sequence that seems out of place with the rest of "City of Ember," but I suppose kids -- like movie producers -- feel cheated unless something with considerable sharp teeth threatens to chomp a protagonist.

Even with the mole and a conventional shoot-the-rapids climax (taken from the book), I liked the texture, tone and spirit of this movie. The blend of art direction and computer-generated effects favors the former, not the latter. This is a project wherein you really notice the sets -- big, three-story ones, too big for a typical Hollywood soundstage. (The picture was shot mainly in Belfast.) Thompson's script stumbles a bit expositionally, but who knows? If older kids and adults seek out this picture, which 20th Century Fox and Walden Media clearly aren't sure how to sell, they may well find themselves drawn into a subterranean world of considerable imagination.

MPAA rating: PG (for mild peril and some thematic elements).

Running time: 1:35.

Starring: Saoirse Ronan (Lina); Bill Murray (Mayor); Harry Treadaway (Doon); Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Clary); Toby Jones (Barton Snode); Tim Robbins (Loris); Martin Landau (Sul); Mary Kay Place (Mrs. Murdo).

Directed by Gil Kenan; written by Caroline Thompson, based on the novel by Jeanne DuPrau; photographed by Xavier Perez Grobet; edited by Adam P. Scott; production design by Martin Laing; music by Andrew Lockington; produced by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Steven Shareshian. A 20th Century Fox and Walden Media release.

Movie Trailer

About the Movie "City of Ember"

We Thank You.
We Welcome You.
We Wish You Great Good Fortune.
- The Builders

"We swear eternal loyalty to our City and to the wisdom that created it. We declare our infinite gratitude to the Builders who chose the site with the greatest care. We flourish above our mighty flowing river. We give thanks to the unbounded capaCity of our mighty Generator, beating at our very center like a magnificent heart. As it is, so are we: hard working, creative. We are each a beacon. Beyond Ember the darkness goes on forever in all directions. Ours is the only light in a dark world."
- Ember Oath of Loyalty

Ember: The Beginning . . . And The End?

For generations, the people of the City of Ember have flourished in an amazing world of glittering lights - underground. Built as a refuge for humanity and powered by a massive generator - this City will only sustain for 200 years. Now Ember is falling into darkness as the generator fails, and the dazzling lights begin to flicker and fade.

Despite growing concern for the future of their beloved City, Ember¹s students find themselves confronting the next step in their lives. A rite of passage for all graduates, it is Assignment Day, the day on which the Mayor himself will stand before the graduating students as they choose, by lottery, how they will spend their lives working for their society. Lina, praying with all her might to be a messenger, is devastated to be assigned to the Pipeworks, the vast network of pipes underneath the City. Her classmate, Doon Harrow, who wants more than nothing else to work in the Generator, panics when he pulls the messenger assignment. The Pipeworks isn't the Generator, but it is close enough and Doon offers to swap assignments with Lina. She is thrilled and grateful and eagerly changes jobs. Thus, an unlikely friendship is born, one that, as it blossoms, will change the course of all the lives in Ember.

Lina takes easily to the job of messenger and finds herself zipping all over Ember, delivering important missives to even more important people, including the mayor himself. At home she cares for her aging and forgetful grandmother, and her baby sister Poppy. When an old metal box is discovered in their closet, Lina¹s grandmother is overjoyed. Completely sure that the contents of the box are of the utmost importance, she is completely bereft of any memory as to why.

Lina manages to jimmy the lock open, and discovers some cryptic papers inside. Unable to piece the papers together, but sure that they are important, Lina resolves to decipher their meaning and enlists Doon¹s help.

As blackouts in the City become more frequent, Lina and Doon realize that the information inside that box could lead to the salvation of their City and their fellow citizens. Now racing against the clock, the two follow the clues, cleverly maneuvering around corrupt politicians and unsavory characters hoping to keep them from their goal: restoring the light in the CITY OF EMBER.

A Walden Media and Playtone co-production, this heart-thumping, edge-of-your seat adventure boasts an impressive cast and crew of acclaimed, award-winning talent. CITY OF EMBER was directed by Gil Kenan (Academy Award nominee for "Monster House"), and was produced by Playtone¹s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman. The cast includes recent Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan ("Atonement") as the fiesty Lina, Academy Award nominee Bill Murray, in the role of the larger than life Mayor of Ember, Harry Treadaway ("Control") as Doon, Academy Award nominee Marianne Jean-Baptiste ("Secrets & Lies") as Clary, and Toby Jones ("Infamous") as Barton Snode, the Mayor of Ember¹s right hand man. Academy Award winner Tim Robbins plays Loris Harrow, father of Doon, and Academy Award winner Martin Landau appears as Sol, the Pipeworks gauge minder. The film is from a script written by Caroline Thompson ("Edward Scissorhands") based on the best-selling novel by Jeanne Duprau.

The creative production team includes Academy Award nominated costume designer Ruth Myers ("Emma", "The Addams Family"), Academy Award winning senior special effects supervisor Kit West ("Raiders of the Lost Ark"), production designer Martin Laing ("Titanic"), cinematographer Xavier Perez Grobet ("Before Night Falls"), supervising art director Jon Billington ("Pearl Harbor", "Troy") and art director James Foster ("Children of Men".)

About the Cast "City of Ember"

SAOIRSE RONAN (Lina Mayfleet)

Saoirse Ronan received many accolades culminating in an Academy Award nomination for her performance as the young Briony Tallis in Atonement at the tender age of 13. More recently Ronan completed production on Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones where she plays Susie Salmon opposite actors Rachel Weisz and Mark Wahlberg.

Ronan was born in NYC and raised in Ireland and got her start on two Irish television series The Clinic and Proof from 2003 - 2005. Her first feature film role was in the Houdini film Death Defying Acts co-starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Guy Pearce. Additional work includes the Amy Heckerling film I Could Never Be Your Woman with Michelle Pfeiffer and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.


Harry trained at LAMDA graduating in 2006. He took time off in 2004 to film Brothers Of The Head for Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe. 2006 BIFA Nomination for Most Promising Newcomer forBrothers Of The Head. Brothers Of The Head winner of 2006 Special Jury Prize at Boston Independent Film Festival and winner of 2006 Best New Britsh Feature at Edinburgh International Film Festival. Control winner of 2007 Regards Jeunes Prize, Europa Cinemas Label Prize for Best European Film and Honorable Mention for CICAE Art and Essai Prize for Best Film at the Cannes Film Festival (Director`s Fortnight) 2007.

Harry is currently filming on Fish Tank for Andrea Arnold. He will then go on to film Pelican Blood for Karl Golden.

BILL MURRAY (Mayor Cole)

Bill Murray won the 2004 Golden Globe, the Independent Spirit and BAFTA Awards, as well as a slew of others including Los Angeles Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle and National Society of Film Critics Awards for his role in Lost in Translation, directed by Sofia Coppola and co-starring Scarlett Johansson. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for his performance as Bob Harris, a role that Sofia Coppola wrote with Murray in mind, despite never having met him.

Murray began his show business career as a member of the National Lampoon Radio Hour, alongside Dan Ackroyd, Gilda Radner and John Belushi, and soon joined the cast of Saturday Night Live with the others. The show became a milestone in American satire, winning Murray, (alongside Dan Ackroyd and others,) the Emmy Award in 1977 for Outstanding Writing in Comedy. Thirty years later, Saturday Night Live continues to launch the career of new comedic actors, as well as attracting star names in guest appearances.

Bill Murray's film career began with Meatballs, the 1979 hit comedy that marked the beginning of an ongoing collaboration with director Ivan Reitman and actor Harold Raimis. A year later he was directed in Caddyshack by Harold Raimis, creating the role of Carl Spackler, voted one of the top twenty movie characters of all time by Premiere Magazine. In 1984 he was reunited with Reitman in the blockbuster Ghostbusters, starring alongside Sigourney Weaver, Dan Ackroyd and Harold Raimis. His performance earned him a Golden Globe nomination. The film's enormous box office success was repeated five years later, by the same director and cast, in Ghostbusters II.

In 1993, Murray starred in Groundhog Day, a comedy hit directed by Harold Raimis, and co-starring Andie MacDowell. In the same year he starred alongside Robert de Niro in Mad Dog and Glory, directed by John McNaughton. His performance in Rushmore (1998), directed by Wes Anderson, won the actor a Golden Satellite Award, as well as an American Comedy Award and Independent Spirit, Los Angeles and New York Circle Critics Awards, and his second Golden Globe nomination. He worked again with Wes Anderson on the director's award-winning films The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), co-starring with Gene Hackman and Anjelica Houston, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004).

In 2005, Bill Murray starred in Jim Jarmusch's film Broken Flowers, for which he was nominated for a Satellite Award.

TIM ROBBINS (Loris Harrow)

Born October 16, 1958 in West Covina, California and raised in New York City's Greenwich Village, Tim Robbins has a long list of notable credits as an actor, director, writer and producer of films and theater.

Key acting roles are in such films as Clint Eastwood's Mystic River, Isabel Croixet's The Secret Life of Words, Philip Noyce's Catch a Fire, Robert Altman's The Player and Short Cuts, Frank Darabont's The Shawshank Redemption, The Coen Brothers' The Hudsucker Proxy, Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, Mark Pellington's Arlington Road, Michael Winterbottom's Code 46, Michel Gondry's Human Nature, Tony Bill's Five Corners, Adrian Lyne's Jacob's Ladder and Ron Shelton's Bull Durham.

Robbins has won numerous awards for his acting including an Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor for Mystic River, Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Globe for Best Actor for The Player. He was nominated by the Golden Globes for Best Actor for Bob Roberts and by the Screen Actors Guild for Best Actor for The Shawshank Redemption.

As a director, Robbins distinguished himself with Cradle Will Rock, which he also wrote and produced, winning Best Film and Best Director at the Sitges Film Festival in Barcelona and the National Board of Review Award for Special Achievement in Filmmaking in the United States.

Dead Man Walking, which he also wrote and produced, won multiple awards including the Academy Award for Best Actress for Susan Sarandon, the Christopher Award, the Humanitas Award and four awards at the Berlin Film Festival, as well as an 4 Oscar nominations including Best Director and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Screenplay.

His first film, Bob Roberts, won the Bronze Award at the Tokyo International Festival and Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor at the Boston Film Festival.

Robbins also serves as Artistic Director for the Actors' Gang, a theater company formed in 1982 that has over 80 productions and more than 100 awards to their credit. As a playwright he has been produced in London, Paris, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. His latest play, Embedded, played to sold out audiences for over four months at the Public Theater in New York before playing the Riverside Studios in London and embarking on a National Tour in the U.S. Most recently he directed the Actors Gang in their shockingly relevant and wildly successful adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 which for the past two years has toured to over 40 states and to four continents.

From 2006 until the present, Le Petit Theatre de Pain's production of Embedded has been touring France, most recently playing at the Theatre du Soleil in Paris. In the US, Embedded was revived recently in productions in Chicago and Tampa Bay. In addition, Robbins stage adaptation of Dead Man Walking has been performed in over 140 universities nationwide. Rights to perform the play are exclusive to educational institutions until 2014. In order to obtain the rights for the play, universities must commit two departments other than theater arts to offer courses on the death penalty. Throughout the country and the world for the past four years, symposiums, lectures and debates have been held in conjunction with the theatrical productions leading to a substantial increase in the dialogue and education surrounding this important issue.

Robbins is also very proud to sponsor educational programs with the Actors Gang that provide arts education to Elementary, Middle and High School students in the L.A. area. The Gang has also worked for the past three years providing theatrical workshops to incarcerated inmates in the L.A. prison system.

Robbins lives in New York City with his partner, Susan Sarandon, and is the proud father of 3 mischievous young adults.

Martin Landau (Sul)

Every actor looks forward to "the role of a lifetime," but great actors undertake them frequently. Martin Landau's latest role-of-a-lifetime is the highly anticipated Lovely, Still, a culmination of two of the most storied Oscar-winning acting careers in Hollywood, those of Landau and Ellen Burstyn. The emotion-packed story of later-in-life love, is a celebration of the craft and genius of acting.

Landau, winner of the 1994 Best Supporting Oscar for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton's Ed Wood, had also been nominated for an Academy Award twice before, first in 1988 for his performance as Abe Karatz in Francis Coppoa's Tucker, and again for his role as Judah Rosenthal in Woody Allen's Crimes And. He is the only performer ever to receive every honor awarded in his category in for a specific year.

In addition to his Academy Award nominations, Landau's honors for Ed Wood was unprecedented. He received The Hollywood Foreign Press's Golden Globe Award, The Screen Actor's Guild's first annual award, The Actor, The American Comedy Award, The New York Film Critics Award, The National Society of Film Critics Award, The Chicago Film Critics Award, The Los Angeles Film Critics Award, The Boston Film Critics Award and the Texas Film Critics Award. All this was for his work in a film about the "worst director in Hollywood."

One of the most active of film and television performers, he is also one of the world's most acknowledge and sought after acting teachers. A proud member of The Actors Studio, he has continued that great teaching institution by co-heading Actors Studio West with renowned director Mark Rydell for many years. He has been personal instructor for many of Hollywood's greatest stars.

He is returning this year to his Emmy nominated guest role in the HBO hit original series "Entourage," playing the producing legend, Bob Ryan. Another startling recent performance was in The Aryan Couple," with Judy Parfitt, a festival-honored theatrical film written and directed by Landau's longtime friend, partner and fellow Oscar winner, John Daly. For this performance, set against the terrors of Nazi persecutions,Landau was honored with the following awards: Milano International Film Festival ( Best Actor); Jewish Image Awards (Best Male Role); Sacramento Film Festival (Visionary Artist); Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival (Visionary Award), Method Film Festival ( Lifetime Achievement); and the Granada Film Festival (Best Actor).

Mr. Landau has reeived six Emmy nomination including two guest starring appearances on "Without A Trace," playing Anthony LaPaglia's father, a man in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, and for his earlier work on "Entourage." In addition to dozens of made-for-TV and cable movies and hundreds of guest-starring appearances in episodic shows, television viewers around the world are familiar with the two hit series in which Landau starred, "Mission: Impossible", and "Space: 1999". Both of these series still air in countries around the globe.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, he studied art at the prestigious Pratt Institute, regarded as one of America's finest art schools. Then at seventeen, he worked as an artist for the New York Daily News, the newspaper with the country's largest circulation, illustrating Billy Rose's column, "Pitching Horseshoes," as well as other comic strips. Needing a new challenge, he resigned from the newspaper and begun studying theater in his early twenties. When he auditioned for the Actor's Studio, he was one of 2000 applicants. That year only Martin Landau and Steve McQueen were accepted.

Gaining experience under the tutelage of some of the theater's greatest directors at the Actor's Studio (Strasberg, Elia Kazan, Harold Clurman, Bobby Lewis and Curt Conway), Landau soon moved into professional theater. He played Juvan in Franz Werfel's Goat Song, a role originated by Alfred Lunt, as well as other stage successes, including Stalag 17, First Love, The Penguin and Middle of the Night.

During this Broadway period, when the new mass medium of "live" television was being born, Landau starred in countless tv programs. He played John the Baptist opposite Eartha Kitt and Patricia Neal in Omibus Presents Oscar Wilde's "Salome" as well as other appearances on Studio One, The Philico Playhouse, Goodyerar Playhouse, Kraft Theater, Armstronh Circle Theater plus dozens more during TV's Golden Age.

After appearing on Broadway for more than a year in Paddy Chayefsky's hit play, Middle of the Night, directed by Josh Logan and starring Edward G. Robinson, Landau toured in the show on the West Coast and was seen by well-known film directors and producers such as Alfred Hitchcock, Lewis Milestone and George Stevens. When the show closed, Landau worked with Hitchcock (North By Northwest), Stevens (The Greatest Story Ever Told), Milestone (Pork Chop Hill), John Sturges (The Hallelujah Trail), Henry Hathaway (Nevada Smith), and Joseph L. Mankiewicz (Cleopatra). In this latter film, he co-starred with Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison.

Landau has starred in more than 75 feature films working with all the greats of Hollywood, including Cary Grant, Glen Ford, Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Steve Mc Queen, Richard Gere, Sharon Stone, Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro, Barbara Stanwyck and Gregory Peck, and the roster of directors includes Steven Spielberg, Francis Coppola and Woody Allen, Tim Burton, Frank Darabount and Ron Howard.

He has also been a director and a teacher since Lee Strasberg chose him as a teaching protege, working with such actors as James Dean, Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton, Anjelica Huston and Jack Nicholson. Nicholson worked under Landau's aegis for three consecutive years early in his career.

In addition to his three Golden Globe Awards, and Emmy nominations, Landau has received three CableACE nominations, one CableACE, for his work in TV-cable movies, the Belgian viewers "Best Actor" Award, and the Brazilian "Saci" Award. His biography is also featured in both WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA and WHO'S WHO IN s awards: The German Golden Camera Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Berlin Film Festival, the REMI Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Houston Film Festival, the Wedgewood Award for Lifetime Achievement from the renowned Goodman Theater of Chicago, The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Charleston Film Festival and the Lifetime achievement Award from the San Diego Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Method Film Festival.

One of Hollywood's busiest actors, some of his recent films include, The Majestic, with Jim Carrey, directed by Frank Durabount, Hollywood Homicide, with Harrison Ford and Josh Harnett, directed by Ron Shelton, Ron Howard's Ed TV, with Matthew McConaughey, X-Files: The Movie, Rounders, with Matt Damon and Edward Norton, and Shiner with Michael Caine. Other projects include the independent films Ready to Rumble, Very Mean Men, The Committee, and Carlo's Wake. He also returned to the stage, starring in The Long Wharf Theater premiere of "Sixteen Wounded," by Eliam Kraiem.

In addition to his acting, Landau is also currently executive director at the Actor's Studio on the West Coast, a post he shares with directors Mark Rydell and formerly with Sydney Pollack.

TOBY JONES (Barton Snode)

Toby Jones is a British actor based in London. He trained at the Ecole Internationale du theatre in Paris under Jacques Lecoq.

Toby has extensive experience on stage having performed a number of times at The National Theatre. He has most recently performed with the international theatre company Complicite in Simon McBurney's celebrated production of Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare (2004) in which "Jones struts his wonderful comedic stuff..." (Spectator, Rachel Halliburton). He has written several shows including Wanted Man ('a domestic epic' set in a garden shed) and Missing Reel (the true story of his deletion from both the film and place Notting Hill). These shows were developed at the National Theatre Studio where Toby has directed, acted and taught for several years.

In 2001 Toby starred with Hamish McColl and Sean Foley in the comedy hit The Play What I Wrote directed by Kenneth Branagh. The show was hugely successful breaking the record for advance sales for a West End play. The show went on to win the Olivier award for Best Comedy and Jones won an Olivier for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Sheridan Morley described Jones as '"mesmeric, a greater comic than his apparent masters," Matt Wolf commented on the play and on Jones' performance in Variety writing that 'the confusion is both alleviated and heightened by Toby Jones, who is a prodigious talent." The Spectator described Toby as "an almost supernaturally gifted comic: he only has to appear on stage to have the audience in stitches...." The show ran for a year before transferring to Broadway in 2003 where it was nominated for a Tony. Toby played Arthur in the show which chronicled the shifting relationship between a double act. Every night the show featured a special guest star whom Arthur had to imitate with little success. Over 50 different celebrities eventually performed in the show including: Ralph Fiennes, Sting, Ewan McGregor, Bob Geldof, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, John McEnroe, Glenn Close and Holly Hunter. Some easier to imitate than others......

In 2005 Toby played Truman Capote in Doug McGrath's much awaited forthcoming film about the writer entitled Infamous. He stars as the lead opposite Sandra Bullock, Sigourney Weaver, Daniel Craig, Isabella Rossellini, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hope Davis and Jeff Daniels. Warner Bros Independent will release the film in the U.S in September this year. Advance screenings of the film have created an incredible buzz within the media. Recently David Thomson from The Independent on Sunday talked about it as 'The best new film I've seen this year......Toby Jones is Capote without the least hint of impersonation. He looks and sounds not only more like the real Truman...he is the man.' Obvious comparisons are going to be drawn with 'Capote' the 2005 Oscar winning film but critics have already had their say on this... "believe me this is a better performance than Philip Seymour Hoffman's..." (Independent on Sunday.)

Toby also starred in A Painted Veil, a drama set in London in 1922 about a restless married woman Kitty Fane (Naomi Watts) who, after cheating on her conservative scientist husband Walter (Edward Norton) embarks on a journey to the Far East to battle cholera. The journey becomes an odyssey of self-discovery, and of meeting and befriending people along the way. Toby plays her loyal friend and confident who guides her on this journey. Empire Magazine says that Toby's performance is 'terrific' and goes further saying 'Toby Jones is a raffish delight as the deputy commissioner....'

Later in 2005 Toby played Robert Cecil in the HBO/Channel 4 hit production Elizabeth 1 with Helen Mirren and Jeremy Irons. This received critical acclaim in both the UK and US. Specifically to Toby, Robert Bianco from USA today comments on his portrayal of Cecil at 'particularly fine work...'

In 2006 Jones has played the Duke of Clarence in Michael Apted's forthcoming film Amazing Grace about the slavery reformer William Wilberforce and has recently finished playing William Hogarth in a new channel 4 Drama, A Harlots Progress about the painter - his life and work. This is set for transmission on Channel 4 in November 2006.

Jones' other film credits include: Mrs Henderson Presents(2004), Ladies in Lavender(2003), Finding Neverland(2002), Ever After, Small Apartments and Nightwatching. In 2002 voiced the character of Dobby in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

In 2007 Toby was seen on the BBC in The Old Curiosity Shop for which he received rave reviews. He was also seen in the 2007 remake of St Trinian's as well as The Mist, based on the Stephen Hawkins novel.

In 2008 Toby has three films being released. The first is the Oliver Stone's W chronicles the life and presidency of George W Bush. Toby plays the formidable Karl Rove opposite Josh Brolin as George Bush, Ioan Gruffudd as Tony Blair, Richard Dreyfuss as Dick Cheney among others. The second is the long anticipated film version of Frost/Nixon in which Toby stars as Swifty Lazar. As with the critically acclaimed West End/Broadway play the film is a dramatic retelling of the post-Watergate television interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former president Richard Nixon. Finally City of Ember which is a family/fantasy movie which tells of a City built underground that is run by a seemingly noble Mayor.







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