Mamma Mia! first poster

MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIEABBA World is pleased to present the world exclusive first peak at the first teaser poster for MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE.

Check out the MAMMA MIA! THE MOVIE section at ABBA World for the poster, trailers, links to official sites and more news about the forthcoming movie.

Click on the poster to the right, then follow the link on the main page.

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One Response to “Mamma Mia! first poster”

  1. Samuel Inglles Says:

    Hi IAN

    More Meryl, Colin, Dominic, Mamma Mia! articles. How much more can your BLOG take?

    Kind Regards
    Samuel Inglles

    The Weekend Australian (Sydney) – Tuesday, 12-13 July 2008 (Page 23)

    REVIEW: Film

    Living the ABBA songbook. By David Stratton

    Mamma Mia! (PG) Score: 4½ out of 5 Stars. National release.

    It has been a long time since a new movie musical opened almost every week, but perhaps the genre, which was seriously out of fashion for many years, is making a comeback if ‘Hairspray’, ‘Enchanted’ and ‘Across The Universe’ are anything to go by.

    Just as the extremely underrated ‘Across The universe’ reworked songs by The Beatles into a romantic narrative set in the 1960s, so ‘Mamma Mia!’ links many of ABBA’s most famous songs into a sentimental story of a 20-year-old woman who doesn’t know which of three possible men is her real father.

    I never really got ABBA, the Swedish quartet that dominated pop charts in the 1970s and were later affectionately referenced in two Australian films of 1994, ‘The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert’ and ‘Muriel’s Wedding’. The band wore some wild outfits and produced some catchy but minor songs, nowhere near the standard of The Beatles before them.

    The stage production based on their songs, also called ‘Mamma Mia!’, was the work of three British women, creative producer Judy Craymer, Catherine Johnson, who wrote the book, and director Phyllida Lloyd, best known for staging operas.

    It opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in London’s West End in 1999 and has been successfully produced across the world, including in Australia. Craymer, Johnson and Lloyd then became involved in the film production, which was partly shot in a Greek island.

    The film’s greatest asset is its female cast: Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski. They are three distinguished actors (in Streep’s case, very distinguished), not known for their singing abilities; but they sing here, and dance as well, and the fun they have is a big contributor to the film’s success. The Three men involved though played by amiable actors (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgård, perhaps the only reminder of the Swedish origins of the material), don’t hit the same heights. Brosnan, in particular, is called on to sing material to which he’s clearly unsuited. But in the scheme of things this doesn’t matter a great deal.

    The plot, a familiar one, revolves around Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), a wide-eyed young woman who has lived all her life on a Greek island with her mother, Donna (Streep), without knowing the identity of her father.

    All her mother will say was that the relationship was brief, but now Sophie’s about to marry Sky (Dominic Cooper), she wants her dad to give her away.

    A look through her mother’s diary of 20 years ago reveals three possibilities: Sam (Brosnan), an American architect; Harry (Firth), a British banker; and Bill, who was an Australian in the stage production but has been changed into a Swede. (Wasn’t Hugh Jackman available?) Sophie invites all three to the island without telling her mother who, in the meantime, has invited her two best friends, much-married Tanya (Baranski) and never-married but fun loving Rosie (Walters).

    With all these characters, plus Sophie’s bridesmaids, a cheeky best man and (literally) a Greek chorus, there’s plenty going on, and the film sticks to the stage original, though with the advantage of spectacular locations.

    And those women! Streep belts out ‘Money, Money, Money’ and the title song as if she’d been a musical star all her life.

    Her soulful rendering of ‘The Winner Takes It All’ is one of the film’s highlights. ‘Dancing Queen’, in which seemingly all the women on the island take part, is another.

    Some of the dialogue is amusing (Walters, in fine form, examines Sophie’s bikini and asks: “Does she wear it or floss with it?”), some of it banal. But Lloyd obviously revels in the chance to re-create her original production for the screen.

    There are a few slack moments but, overall, the energy and sheer talent of the three women at the core of the film ensures the success of what might have been a thoroughly routine experience.

    The Sydney Morning Herald – Saturday, 12-13 July 2008 (Page 15)

    Arts & Entertainment

    Streep’s ahead of the rest: There’s no need to let the plot get in the way of a great playlist. By Sandra Hall

    Mamma Mia!-The Movie. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Written by Catherine Johnson from the stage play. Rated: PG. Running time: 108 minutes. Showing: Now. Cinemas: Everywhere. Score: 4 ½ out of 5 stars.

    Robert Altman once said he always knew he could get Meryl Streep for his comedy-with-music, ‘Prairie Home Companion’ because she’d do anything for a chance to sing. She admits to having had a few more qualms about dancing. Yet here she is, stepping it out to ABBA’s best in ‘Mamma Mia!’, a film that actually earns the exclamation mark that adorns its title, thanks to the exuberance that Streep and her co-stars bring to the job of reviving the rituals of the movie musical.

    I’m not talking about the kind where efforts have been made to achieve a smooth transition between story and song. This is the vintage variety of jukebox musical where there is absolutely no shame in the fact that the plot has been brought in to support the playlist. Before each number, you get that familiar pause heralding the narrative gear shift as the talk tails away, the singers take a deep breath and the music begins.

    Since the stage musical version of ‘Mamma Mia!’ is still generating more than $9 million a week in worldwide ticket sales, it’s a movie that had to happen. Hollywood couldn’t afford to ignore it. But there was no guarantee that the cast would be able to drum up such joie de vivre in its making. Maybe they had a lousy time on location. Maybe the shoot was rife with tension and bedevilled with tantrums. If so, it just serves to prove what troupers Streep and her co-stars are because they all look to be having such a great time that the corniness of the exercise becomes an essential part of the joke.

    Much of it was filmed in the Sporades islands, on Skiathos and Skopelos. Together these islands stand in for the fictional one where Streep’s Donna has spent the past 20 years running a picturesquely decaying hotel. Now she’s preparing for the marriage of her daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) to her fiancée Sky (Dominic Cooper of ‘The History Boys’). But there is something that Donna hasn’t been told. Sophie has invited three of her mother’s ex-boyfriends to the wedding in the hope that one of them will turn out to be the father she’s never known. But first we have to be coaxed into the mood of heightened frivolity that infuses the whole thing and it takes a while.

    The squeals of manufactured joy that ring out with the arrival of Sophie’s bridesmaids fail to do the trick. It’s not until Donna’s friends, Tanya and Rosie, join the party, adding a welcome touch of acid, that things really take off. Christine Baranski’s Tanya is trim, vain and blessed with a mordantly self-deprecating wit, especially when it comes to her own penchant for cosmetic surgery, while Julie Walter’s Rosie has the dirty laugh and earthy approach to life that typifies all her characters. She surrounded her vanity decades ago when playing sketch comedy and she’s never bothered to get it back. Streep, too, goes for the natural look with a light tan and a modest wardrobe. She gamely performs the first two numbers, one of which is an athletic rendering of the title song, while scrambling around in overalls and sneakers.

    Her exes, whom she hasn’t seen in 20 years, are introduced in a swiftly moving montage as they make their way to the island. Sam (Pierce Brosnan) is now a wealthy New York architect and Harry (Colin Firth) is a London banker. The only one who still calls himself a bohemian ids Bill (Stellan Skarsgård). Even so, he’s done well enough to have his own yacht and the others hitch a ride with him.

    By now the production numbers are flowing fast, with the director, Phyllida Lloyd, who did the original stage version, taking advantage of film’s expansive nature to get her performers out of doors at every opportunity so that the scenery can do its bit. It’s a film that takes its visual cues from sun, sea and sky. ‘Dancing Queen’ spills out from the house to the village and the surrounding woods, with Streep and friends picking up more singers and dancers en route to a final chorus on the beach. And ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!’ is part of a pre-wedding party scene that also has Donna, Tanya and Rosie dusting off their platform-soled boots to belt out ‘Super Trouper’, their old hit from their days as Donna and the Dynamos. They then totter off to see if it’s going to be possible to remove these instruments of torture and get their blood recirculating.

    Firth, Brosnan and Skarsgård mainly talk their way through the songs, which is fine. The only time the film really falters is towards the end when it takes a reckless tilt towards pseudo-seriousness. Standing on a cliff-top with Brosnan, her Isadora Duncan scarf streaming out against the horizon, Streep launches into ‘The Winner Takes it All’ with such force that all her sheepish-looking co-star can do is hang his head and take the blast.

    I suppose you could call the film a guilty pleasure but guilt never enters the frame. It’s pop at its most rousing. Once you’re in, its best to just go with the flow.

    The Age (Melbourne) – Thursday, 10 July 2008 (Page 19)

    Streep’s Abbaration out of tune. By Jim Schembri

    Mamma Mia! (108 min) PG. * General release

    It’s the memory of Meryl Streep we cherish – and that earns her a lot of forgiveness. Whether it earns her enough to get you through the awful, dreadfully directed ‘Mamma Mia!’, however, may be the debating topic of the year.

    Whenever Streep’s name is invoked, it’s her classic, early performances our minds automatically seize upon. ‘Sophie’s Choice’. ‘The Deer Hunter’. ‘Kramer vs Kramer’. ‘Silkwood’. ‘Out Of Africa’. ‘Ironweed’. ‘The Bridges Of Madison County’. And stapled to that formidable menu is always the breathless reassertion that Streep is the greatest actress of the modern era.

    Well, perhaps she is. Or was. But the claim is difficult to sustain when we consider her less stellar turns. ‘Death Becomes Her’. ‘Defending Your Life’. ‘She Devil’. ‘The River Wild’. ‘Marvin’s Room’. ‘One True Thing’. ’Prime’.

    Yes, Streep was terrific in ‘The Hours’, supporting Nicole Kidman. She was the best thing in ‘The Manchurian Candidate’. And ‘Rendition’. And ‘Lions For Lambs’. And Adaptation, in which she played Meryl Streep playing Meryl Streep.

    But these were mere shimmers of the great film performances we regard with such awe. Yet so good was the work, so revered is the name, so convincing was the way she would inhabit a character – Streep was Italian in ‘Madison County’ – that we simply don’t want the image tarnished.

    Hence, we are loath to admit how much time Streep has spent doing bit parts and forgettable cameos in the second act of a once-illustrious, ground-breaking career.

    Instead, we eagerly hark back to her early achievements by over-praising her so-so work in films such as the unremarkable comedy ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. So strong is the impulse to maintain the Streep mystique, we collectively, and rather desperately, saw her performance for something that it clearly wasn’t – an actress at her peak.

    Keen as we are to enshrine Streep, her filmography clearly tells us that, like everybody else, she is just as capable of crapping out as any other A-list name.

    So we greet the news that Streep is headlining an ensemble musical – beloved as she is, Streep is not a marquee crowd-puller – with mixed feelings. Will she shine and remind us how great she can be? Or will she again demonstrate that, despite claims to the contrary, there are limits to what she can pull off?

    Sadly, ‘Mamma Mia!’ is post-peak Streep. The film proves, yet again, that her forte is as a dramatic actress. When it comes to doing the light stuff, she’s not that good.

    But Streep is certainly not the only reason this film is such tough going on the eyes and the ears. Based on the phenomenally successful stage musical, ‘Mamma Mia!’ is intended as a light, fun, let-it-just-wash-over-you musical lark, but it’s essentially a compendium of irritations.

    On the eve of her wedding, the bouncy, doe-eyed young Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) invites to her Greek island home three men (Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård and Colin Firth), one of whom is her father. Of course, Sophie keeps this from her hotel manager mother Donna (Streep), who discovers their presence only after a comedy pratfall through a trap door.

    First-time feature director Phyllida Lloyd proves again why producers should never get directors of the stage show to do the movie unless they have studied classic movie musicals such as ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ and understand that the camera is a participant. It’s not just there to document what worked on stage.

    But, as with the movie version of ‘The Producers’, the process of adaptation here involves little more than crowding the cast in front of the camera and hoping all the singing and dancing and location wide shots will make up for the shear lack of cinematic imagination.

    And even those in a Friday night froth-and-bubble mood might find the story holes in ‘Mamma Mia!’ hard to ignore. Why does Donna moan about lack of child support for Sophie when she knows the possible fathers didn’t know she existed? Donna has managed and maintained a hotel for 15 years, yet she doesn’t know how to operate a caulking gun? And, please, you simply cannot set a movie about paternity in the age of the internet and not include at least one reference to DNA. Don’t they get ‘CSI’ in Greece? Just one line would have sufficed, even if it was to dismiss it. “I’d DNA test these guys but I don’t have time.” Something.

    Above all this, is the singularly sad spectacle of watching Meryl Streep singing ABBA tunes and trying hard to fit into a sillier-than-silly holiday film. Many may delight in it – and if the marketing blitz has done its job, droves of teenage girls and their mothers will – but when Streep solicits the audience to join her in a ABBA sing-along one can’t help but wince and wonder: “What was she thinking?”

    The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) – Saturday, 12 July 2008 (Page 7)

    WEEKEND

    Vocal Efforts. By Vicky Roach

    Meryl Streep, the 59-year old actress has been married to sculptor Donald Gummer for 30 years and knows the challenges of being a parent, with three daughters.

    “I have a number of fierce adolescent girls. I have lived through that,” Streep says.

    “When you have gang, they gang up on you. It’s like a committee that comes and says: ‘Mum, don’t wear that’,” she laughs.

    Streep’s daughters are also the harshest critics of her singing efforts.

    “I sang in my closet, finally, because they couldn’t hear me [practice] in there,” she says.

    The reviews of her performance have been positive, but only one of her daughters has so far seen the film.

    “She and her best friend got up and were dancing in the aisle so I know she liked it.”

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