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Entries in Lesley Manville (3)

Monday
Oct212013

Stage Door: Romeo and Juliet x 3

In the Stage Door series we look at current theatrical productions with our cinematic eye. Here's Jose on Romeo & Juliet

Some time within the last 14 days, I subjected myself to three versions of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet playing in NYC. "Subjected?" you ask, well dear reader, each of them was perhaps more horrifying than the previous, leading me to ask if I wasn't an unwitting participant in some Shakespeare-meets-Halloween project. However in the name of scientific research I've come back with some results.

The versions in question are...

1) a Broadway update (the first in over four decades) starring Condola Rashad and Orlando Bloom as the infamous lovers from Verona.
2) a new film (written by Julian Fellowes) starring Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet and Damian Lewis as her dad
3) an off-Broadway version with Elizabeth Olsen and newcomer Julian Cihi as the title characters.

Both theater versions feature anachronisms and are set in unspecified times, the film version inversely has a time-appropriate setting yet somehow it doesn't feel like the most old fashioned of them.

The Best and Worst of each pair after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May082012

"Maleficent" - Now With More Mike Leigh!

Had a private double take giggle last night when I read the news of Maleficent's latest cast members. Maleficent herself Angelina Jolie and Sleeping Beauty Elle Fanning will be joined by Brit prestige actors like Oscar nominee Miranda Richardson (who will be play the fairy queen aunt of Maleficent), Sam Riley (Control), Kenneth Cranham (Made in Dagenham), and.... wait for it... Mike Leigh thespian goddesses Imelda Staunton & Lesley Manville as Beauty's protectors (two pixies instead of three fairies).

Imelda and Lesley will protect Sleeping Beauty in "Maleficent"

Suddenly I was picturing Mike Leigh in the director's chair!

Imagine the gritty British realness. Picture Angelina Jolie rehearsing for six month to suit Leigh's process. Hee. The insights into Maleficent's psyche- the grotty castle home she's lived in for decades, centuries worth of raven droppings, her unspoken trauma from past society shunnings, the weight of the horns on her head and how it's left her with a permanently sore neck. Imagine Angelina and Miranda diagramming their entire history as relatives in a quiet rehearsal space and writing their own lines. The pixies vibe would include stunted maternal instincts and adoptive parent sorrow "We have to give the wee lass back?!?".

Mike Leigh's Maleficent wouldn't break $200 million but I'd buy several tickets. 

In the eternal "Pink... no Blue" fairy godmother debate, we figure Imelda gets the pink if she wants it.

She owns the pink. 

P.S. If they were to add a third fairy godmother, excuse me "pixie" who should join Imelda & Lesley to raise narcoleptic Elle Fanning? Cast it in the comments! 

Friday
Feb112011

RCL: London Film Critics Circle

I know you. I know what you woke up thinking. "Yeah, yeah, The Social Network won another Best Picture prize at the latest awards ceremony but WHAT WAS RUTH SHEEN WEARING?!?" As the resident eccentric (crazy cat lady?) of awards blogs, we shall provide the answer. 

We will also talk about the winners, but first the Actresses . (Photos repurposed from Zimbio for our Red Carpet Lineup pleasure.)

Thomas, Williams, Pike, Manville, Sheen

Kristin Scott Thomas wore what looks like leopard print and she does get a little animalistic in her sex scenes (have any of you seen Leaving?). Despite her primal force and sexiness onscreen in her 50s, this dress is a smidge dowdy (looks better with the jacket off). In brighter news, they claim her career tribute acceptance speech was quite amusing.

Olivia Williams and Rosamund Pike wore form fitting black and white respectively. Onscreen Olivia always seems dangerous and Pike like a heavenly angel (Made in Dagenham) even when she's a devilishly decadent (An Education) so it seems right.

Another Year's Lesley Manville and Ruth Sheen also showed in black gowns (I love Sheen's shimmery wrap). I have a bone to pick with Sony Pictures Classics. I don't understand what they did with Another Year at all. It's like they weren't even trying and sometimes they try very hard with worthy adult-friendly movies. But barely releasing it and waiting until everyone was all obsessed with noisy Christmas blockbusters? Bizarre non-strategy if they were hoping to get people interested. Wouldn't September have been a nice spot for a melancholy four seasons Mike Leigh film?

Oh the winners?
Yes yes...

Film The Social Network
British Film The King's Speech
Foreign Film Of Gods and Men
Director  David Fincher, The Social Network
British Director Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
Breakthrough British Filmmaker Gareth Edwards, Monsters
Screenplay Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Actress Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
British Actress Lesley Manville, Another Year
Actor Colin Firth, The King's Speech
British Actor Christian Bale, The Fighter (
British Supporting Actor Andrew Garfield, The Social Network 
British Supporting Actress Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer 
Young British Performer Conor McCarron, NEDs
Excellence in Film KRISTIN SCOTT-THOMAS


Wouldn't it be HILARIOUS if American film prizes started divvying up their prizes like "Best American Film" and "Best Picture" wouldn't the nominees all be the same since America loves itself so much?

About the winners: The only title/person I'm unfamiliar with is NEDs. Any British readers want to let us know if McCarron was worthy of the honor? Annette Bening wasn't present. Busy season. You can't be everywhere. Aaron Sorkin picked up all four of The Social Network's trophies. Was Andrew Garfield too busy web-swinging or something?

BAFTAs are Sunday. They are broadcast tape-delayed here in America. 8 PM EST on BBC America so by the time they air, we'll already know the winners. But I so prefer to find out while watching! I haven't yet decided how to cover it due to this time lapse. Any suggestions?