Ewan McGregor Turns 40

Ewan McGregor turns 40 on my second week of “Jill E’s Weekly DVD Suggestions”

(which is based on an actor/actresses birthday)

Ewan McGregor was born on March 31, 1970 in the town of Perth located in Scotland. He grew up in the small town of Crieff, Scotland. Ewan McGregor’s parents are Carol Diane and James Charles Stuart McGregor. He also has one sibling, a brother, Colin.

Ewan McGregor’s acting career started in 1993 when he received the title role as “PVT Mick Hooper” on the British Television show ” Lipstick on Your Collar”. He received the news of landing the part six months before graduating from Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

In honor of Ewan McGregor’s 40th Birthday I have taken on the grueling task of picking out 10 of his films for my weekly DVD suggestions. When I say grueling, I mean it in the most flattering fashion. Why? Because, Ewan McGregor has so many great films under his belt, the task of narrowing it down to 10 was literally pain staking for me!

# 10. Robots (2005) ” Rodney Copperbottom” directed by Chris Wedge , and Carlos Saldanha . “Robots” is an animated film about a young robot named, Rodney Copperbottom, with a big dream. Of course in every story of a good guy (or shall I say robot) with dreams to make the world a better place there is always a bad guy who stands in the way. Watch this heart warming film with your whole family. Find out if “Rodney Copperbottom” can over come the obstacles of the evil “Ratchet” ( Greg Kinnear) and make his dreams come true. This film is rated ~ PG

Robots has a rather large all star cast who celebrity voices also include:

Halle Berry, Lucille Bliss, Terry Bradshaw, , Jim Broadbent, ,Amanda Bynes, ,Drew Carey Jennifer Coolidge, Dylan Denton, Will Denton, Robin Williams, Jamie Kennedy, Paul Giamatti, Dan Hedaya, Dianne Wiest, Stanley Tucci, Natasha Lyonne, and Jay Leno .

# 9.Moulin Rouge (2001) ” Christian” co-written and directed by Baz Luhrmann. Ewan McGregor plays the lead role of “Christian” a young writer in Paris, 1899. Moulin Rouge is a musical love story. Moulin Rouge is not only a great movie due to it’s incredible love story, but the movie itself is visually captivating. The first time I watched “Moulin Rouge” I experienced the same magic I felt when I watched “The Wizard of Oz” for the first time. This film is rated ~ PG 13 * . The extraordinary cast of this film also includes: Nicole Kidman, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh, Garry McDonald, Jacek Koman, Matthew Whittet, Kylie Minogue, David Wenham, Linal Haft. “Moulin Rouge” has received 68 awards since its release. Check out the remake of “Lady Marmalade” the song was featured in the film the music video was inspired by it: “Lady Marmalade” featuring: Pink, Christina Aguilera, Mya and Lil’ Kim.

# 8.The Island (2005) ” Lincoln Six Echo / Tom Lincoln” directed by Michael Bay . I personally loved this movie regardless of it’s very mixed reviews. I think that some viewers may have missed the great moral message this film had to offer. “The island” is a futuristic film about people living in a utopian society. Sounds great, to you learn the truth about what’s really going on here. Ewan McGregor plays the lead character “Lincoln Six Echo” who is on to the truth about what is really going on in this so called perfect society. I almost felt that the film was a slight futuristic twist on the short story “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson. This film is rated ~ PG 13

“The island” also stars: Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Steve Buscemi, Sean Bean, Michael Clarke Duncan, Ethan Phillips, Brian Stepanek, Noa Tishby, Siobhan Flynn

#7. Deception (2008) ” Jonathan McQuarry” directed by Marcel Langenegger . Ewan McGregor stars as the lonely accountant “Jonathon McQuarry”. The title of the movie implies exactly what it is about, but it’s the questions of, who, what, where,when and why, that will intrigue you. I actually started watching this film when I was very tired, but the plot is so good it kept me up as it sucked me in. Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams also deliver riveting performances in this film. This film is rated ~ R

* This film is currently available on FX movies on demand, but if you want to see it’s movie in its entirety I suggest that you rent it.

#6. Angels and Demons (2009) ” Camerlengo Patrick McKenna” directed by Ron Howard which was Howard’s follow up to the 2006 film The Davinci Code . Ewan McGregor takes on the role of “Camerlengo Patrick McKenna” in the middle of an Illuminati threat just days after the death of a beloved pope. This film is rated ~ PG 13

“Angels and Demons” also stars: Tom Hanks, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgård, Masasa Moyo, Victor Alfieri, Yan Cui, Shelby Zemanek, Jonas Fisch, Kristof Konrad, Curt Lowens.

#5.The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009) ” Bob Wilton / Narrator” directed by Grant Heslov. This movie is loosely based on the 2004 book written by Jon Ronson that was based on the research done by John Sergeant who was not credited with the film. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-sergeant/how-i-was-airbrushed-out_b_362356.html . The beginning of the film states that; more of the story is true then you will believe! I don’t know what I believe when it comes to the film. What I do know is it had me in stitches, and truly wondering what was true, and what wasn’t. If you have a twisted sense of humor, and an open mind like I do, this film will have you hooked. This film is rated ~ R

“The Men Who stare at Goats” also stars the very talented cast of: George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey, Robert Patrick, Stephen Lang, Stephen Root, Glenn Morshower, Waleed Zuaiter, Rebecca Mader, Nick Offerman

#4. Black Hawk Down (2001) Ewan McGregor plays the role of ” Grimes” directed by Ridley Scott. This film is based on a true event that took place in Somalia, 1993. This film will give you a true appreciation of what U.S. Military men and woman go through. Be warned, the movie is highly intense and can be emotionally draining as you learn what it must be like for a soldier in the middle of combat. This film is rated ~ R

“Black Hawk Down” also stars: Josh Hartnett, Eric Bana, Tom Sizemore, William Fichtner, Orlando Bloom, Jason Isaacs, Jeremy Piven, Sam Shepard, Ron Eldard, Hugh Dancy, Tom Guiry, Zeljko Ivanek, Kim Coates, Ty Burrell.

#3. The Ghost writer (2010) directed by Roman Polanski (I will not name how the character is credited for it’s best kept for the conclusion of the film).This film is based on the novel ” The Ghost ” written by Robert Harris . “The Ghost Writer” is a story about a writer who is hired to write the memoirs of a previous Prime Minister. However, the writer soon finds out that there is much more to the story that he is being asked to write. If you are into political thrillers this film is a must see. The film offers a dramatic and shocking conclusion. This film is rated ~ PG 13

” The Ghost Writer” also stars: Jon Bernthal, Kim Cattrall, Pierce Brosnan, Tim Preece, James Belushi, Olivia Williams, Timothy Hutton, Tom Wilkinson, David Rintoul.

If you are a showtime subscriber this film is available at 5:45 PM tonight 3/31/11, Just in time for Ewan’s Birthday. Set your DVR or watch it on Showtime on demand!

#2. Big Fish (2003) “Ed Bloom – (in his youth)” directed by Tim Burton. Ewan McGregor stars as the young “Ed Bloom” in this majestic film. “Big Fish” is more of a journey rather then a story on film. Tim Burton takes the viewers on a heartfelt and mesmerizing trip through time to tell a tale of an ordinary man, who through his imagination, and experiences, lived an extraordinary life. I was told before I watched this film the first time that I may be disappointed. That the film was more about exploring father and son relationships. Although it may be part of the premises, I found that to be very far from the truth. This film is for anyone and everyone! As it explores all kinds of relationships and the potential to make your own life a “Big Fish” tale to be passed on. This film is rated ~ PG 13 #1. Trainspotting (1996) ” Renton” directed by Danny Boyle.

“Trainspotting” is a loose adaptation of the book of the same name written by Irvine Welsh . “Trainspotting” is a movie about a character named “Renton” and his friends. “Renton” is a heroin addict who is trying to kick the habit and become an average member of society. Trainspotting was the highest-grossing British film of 1996, and at the time it was the fourth highest UK grossing British film in history. Trainspotting has been nominated and won so many awards it’s easier just to provide the link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117951/awards.

“Trainspotting” also stars: Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan, James Cosmo, Eileen Nicholas, Susan Vidler, Pauline Lynch, Shirley Henderson, Stuart McQuarrie, Irvine Welsh, Dale Winton, Keith Allen, Kevin Allen, Billy Riddoch, Fiona Bell, Vincent Friell, Hugh Ross, , Kate Donnelly, Finlay Welsh, Eddie Nestor, and Victor Eadie.

* I have yet to read the book, but both the film and novel have reached a record making cult status. The books is such a phenomenon that college dissertations have been written on it.

One film that did not make the list is ” I love You Phillip Morris” in which Ewan McGregor takes on the role of “Phillip Morris” Jim Carrey also stars . Take a look at the preview: I love you Phillip Morris , the only reason this film did not make the list is because it is not available until April 5th. Well at least we know it will be on next years.

Ewan McGregor you are a shining star, and I hope you celebrate your birthday as brilliantly as you do when your selecting a script. Happy Birthday Ewan!

Check out Ewan McGregor’s IMBd page to see how many awards and nominations this brilliant actor has under his belt: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000191/awards .

I would also like to include some movie reviews written by other Associated Content producers who have given their opinion on the movies I have mentioned. Please check out:

Trainspotting: A Review written by Michelle Radowich

Big Fish: A Comparison Between Film and Book written by Elizabeth Wyatt

Roman Polanski’s 5 Lessons for “The Ghost Writer” written by Jason Cangialosi

Black Hawk Down (Movie Review) written by Mike Powers

The Men Who Stare at Goats Movie Review written by Ben Wood