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Posts Tagged ‘The period drama addict’

Onegin has got to be the best movie I’ve seen in a long long time.
For plotline go to wikipedia.I’ll just give you what I understood.
It’s about meeting true love and recognizing true love.Tatyana knows she will love Onegin since the first time she sees him.And she does.She can’t stop loving him.But Onegin,bored and condescending ,fails to understand himself.
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Years later,he finds that he does love her,but it’s now too late.She loves him still,she’s unhappy but she is married and she is determined to be loyal to her husband.
It sounds…hmm.It sounds cheesy somewhat.There are so many films about adultery and love outside marriage…I hate the concept, it’s cheap,but this is different.This seems real.
And I can relate to the characters.I understand Tatyana’s passionate yet stable and loyal nature.And I understand Onegin too.He didn’t know himself,he didn’t understand and when he began to,he repressed his feelings using what he called reason.
Of great importance in this film,are the social interactions,typically Russian.Not much action,but a lot of psychology.
I thought those and the eye games were very interesting.I was captured(but my brother and sister both thought it was boring…hmmm,the Lara Croft generation).The psychological aspects of each conversation,were,in a subtle way,underlined.And every glance had it’s importance.The characters didn’t even need to talk much to explain themselves,they were,even speechless,self explanatory.But not transparent as in…not exposed for the entire party to see.
It’s so hard to explain.
Perhaps the intensity of the feeling is so well transmitted to the viewer because it’s not exposed verbally,but by means of non verbal communication.
Tatyana and Evgheni are both tortured souls.There are no words to express the tortures of a soul in a way that is as powerful as silence.
Of course the actors were amazing,Ralph Fiennes and Liv Tyler.
The music was wonderful,I kept looking for the soundtrack but I can’t find it.Perhaps one day I’ll buy it.
One day I’ll read the book too.
This movie ends unhappily.The two people who love each other,who are perfect for each other and who will love each other all their lives,cannot be together.It is their destiny to not be together.
But to me,it was not an unhappy ending.I only saw the love bit.They love each other.
Love is said to cause pain,but no one wants to live without it.Is it better to live without pain and without knowing true love,or is it better to love and suffer?
Of course it’s the latter.And it seems to me that as the movie ends,both characters are bigger,know themselves better,perhaps respect themselves more(I mean self respect).
I am an incurable optimist.As the movie ends,the story continues.
And I’ll even throw in a clip ;).

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Cold Comfort Farm is a comic novel by Stella Gibbons, published in 1932. It parodies the romanticised, sometimes doom-laden accounts of rural life popular at the time, by writers such as Mary Webb.
The heroine,Flora Poste is 20 and she is an orphan with little to live on.She is looking for relatives to live with.She chooses to stay with the Starkadders,the least bad choice.
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From the very beginning it is obvious that Flora trusts herself and her judgement very much.She is strong hearted,good and brave,but spoilt.
Charles,a friend from London,seems to be in love with her,but she’s not really contemplating marriage.Her mind is focused on the development of the novel that is intended to make her famous by the time she’s fifty.
As she goes to live with the Starkadders,she decides to do her best to improve their life style.My favourite line was “I think the curtains in my room are red,but I’d like to make sure”.
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She teaches a woman that’s been impregnated by Seth four times,about family planning and contraception.She discoveres that Seth has a passion for movies and introduces him to a movie director.She encourages her uncle Amos to pursue his dream of becoming a nomadic preacher while his son,Reuben,who is truly interested in the farm,gets it.
Also,Flora turns Elfine into a graceful lady so that she can bewitch the man she’s in love with.
And the greatest of Flora’s achievements is with Ada Doom,Judith’s mother,who only leaves her room on special occasion and who terrorises the entire family by constantly reminding them that no one ever leaves Cold Comfort Farm and that she saw something nasty in the woodshed.
Flora uses a copy of Vogue magazine to tempt her to join the twentieth century, and spend some of her fortune on living the high life in Paris.
Bottom line,Flora brings good sense into the family,reason and …the 20th century really.
It all seems pretty gloomy in the farm as Flora arrives,the atmosphere seems very likely to draw you in and when that moment comes,Flora’s good sense brings everything down to reality in a very comic way.[This is british comedy at it’s finest.]
The intention is to mock the popular romantic stories that are meant to creap you out(I wonder if that is grammatically correct).It also seems to me that is mocks Dickens a bit,because we’ve got all the insane characters.Amos is a fanatic,Judith has a passion for her son,Ada keeps saying “And I saw something nasty in the woodshed” while Elfine is doing the fairy thing all the time combined with obsessing about poetry.
So we’ve got the nosey Emma Woodhouse in a creepy Bronte house that’s full of Dickens lunatics.
It can’t be but good.
And what I loved best was that in the end,Flora concludes that writing novels is not for her and she chooses to marry Charles.
There were lots of funny bits.Stephen Fry rules and Kate Beckinsale really was something before she went to Hollywood and ruined her career with vampire movies.I think she should’ve won an Oscar for this part.
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And it OH so sensible a movie!It erks sense![I hope erks is a real word]
It’s like a wake up call.Lose your prejudices and romantism,it’s time to live in the real world and improve.
I think this is squeezing in my top 10.In fact,I think it’s going to make into in the top 5.

And here’s a clip with a present :)…Stephen Fry and Ian McKellan…in one clip 🙂

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Oscar Wilde was a genius! as we all know.An Ideal Husband is not his best work,his best work is The Importance Of Being Ernest,but AIH is a pretty good second.
The point of the story is that we are all humans,make mistakes.Nobody is perfect and one should love people with their defects included and even love them for their defects.There is no such thing as an ideal husband and no one should live under the pressure of trying to preserve the image of perfection.
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For plotline,go to wikipedia.
The dialogue is very much the same as in the play… as in it doesn’t deviate from the point,but it’s adapted,placed in other settings and order.But that’s not a problem at all,I actually admired the creativity and resourcefulness of whoever made this movie.
For example,in the play,the scenery doesn’t change much.We are at the Chiltern’s,at Goring and then back at the Chiltern’s.It’s dull,but practical if you’re at the theatre.However,in the movie,Lady Chiltern encounters mrs Cheveley while riding,all the characters go to the theatre to see “The importance of being ernest” and you actually can hear the ending line “Not at all,aunt.I only just understood the importance of being ernest” or something like that,after which Oscar Wilde comes out from behind the curtain and salutes the audience.It’s brilliant.People in an Oscar Wilde play watching an Oscar Wilde play.And there’s a lot more other inventive modifications that do not in any way alter the play,but improve it.I think Oscar Wilde wouldn’t have minded a bit.
I appreciated the fact that mrs Cheveley’s character is modified too.She is not accused of stealing,nor does lord Goring have to steal the letter from her.She gives it to him willingly after hearing Robert’s honorable speech.She acknowledges defeat very gracefully.I liked mrs Cheveley very much in this adaptation.She has scrupules,but you can still hate her.She’s manipulative,but you’ve got to like her.I also thought Julianne Moore was a great choice for this new,improved character.It actually proves Oscar Wilde’s point.People aren’t all black and white,good and bad.Good people have done bad things and bad people have done good things.
Other stuff to mention…Cate Blanchett is gorgeous,Rupert Everett is so lovable with his distinguished detachment and Minnie Driver is perfect to be Mabel…childish, beautiful, picky, witty and funny.
Bottom line,great film,do watch!
Oh,I feel I haven’t said enough about Cate Blanchett.Well,she’s amazing!

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Everybody knows how this beautiful Shakespeare story goes.Benedick and Beatrice,Claudio and Hero.Love conquers all and wickedness gets punished.
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The 1993 version of this play is brilliant and also one of the most financially successful Shakespeare movies.
Starring Kenneth Branagh as Benedick, Emma Thompson as Beatrice, Keanu Reeves as Don John, Kate Beckinsale as Hero and Denzel Washington as Don Pedro…this movie has an impressive actor list and oh,my!don’t they deliver the story beautifully?
My only problem was with Emma Thompson.I know she’s brilliant,I’ve seen her in Howards End,Sense and Sensibility and The remains of the day.She is indeed a great actress and I can’t say she didn’t do the role justice,but there was just something there missing!Or something that shouldn’t have been there.
This Beatrice seemed a bit sower,disappointed and at times,absurd.As if someone had broken her heart.maan3
All the others did a great job,except for Denzel Washington and Kenneth Branagh…they did an AAAAmazing job!
And here’s a clip…Shakespeare rules!

Honestly!Could there be a better Benedick?Damian Lewis make a pretty good job in the Shakespeare retold,but this piece of genius is unbeatable.
Go team Branagh!

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I’ve been really busy these last few days and I really had no time for myself,so I haven’t seen much of nothing really except if it’s a cleaning tool.
I did however watch “Vanity fair” one night when I was tired,unpicky and I couldn’t find the remote so I stuck with what was running on the national television.
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VANITY FAIR 2004 with Reese Witherspoon, Jonathan Rhys Meyers(my…his name is hard to spell) and Romola Garai.
The distribution was great.Reese W. makes a lovable…(although perhaps too lovable and utterly unhateable Becky Sharp).The reason I initially didn’t want to watch this movie was her.She’s usually too thin and too blonde.None were the case here.She was pregnant appearantly and her hair had a bit of a darker reddish tone.So once I was past her physical aspect I found she can actually act(Oh come on,that’s just mean) and I liked her.Believable,lovable and mercantile Becky .
Anyway,I guess I wasn’t tired enough bcoz it annoyed me that I couldn’t see her cold rational mind games.They only showed me feelings.Lots of feelings.Not excessively for a random movie,but we’re talking about Vanity Fair.Feelings is exactly what this girl is supposed to have in very little quantity.
I wanted to see the wicked Becky and they show me the lovable Becky.*sigh*.
Romola Garai was wonderful as Amelia,she pictured her perfectly…but then again Romola Garai can play any part perfectly.Sadly we don’t really get her entire story due to time restrictions(they should’ve made a miniseries) but her you truly understand exactly as Thackeray wanted her to be understood.Dobbin and Cpt Crawley,on the other hand,are mismatched.Wrong Wrong Wrong.
They’re wroooong for the part.I hate them.
Whatever.
The plotline doesn’t go by the book much…it would be impossible to fit that big a book in 2 hours.
Jonathan R.M. was,of course,as usually,great as Osborne.
Enough with the good bits,let’s get to the nasty part(those were the good bits ?!?)
Whoever wrote the script and whoever approved it and whoever considered it good enough to be financed should be beaten at the bear gluteus maximus in a public market.Why?Because it turnsVanity Fair into a 1930s drama with a hint of whore house.
Steyne wants more from Becky…a whole lot more than in the book.He wants her virtue and Becky is hurt.She doesn’t want anything.She only wants to give him everything back and she wishes she never met him…or so we are led to believe(judging by acting,lights…ya know,nonverbal means of communication).
And they also have a previous bond->he has a painting of her when she was a child.
The funny part was the dancing(was the king present?…no one noticed,we were all too shocked by the Everything the ladies were doin’ to observe his royal highness).
Honestly!!!We’re supposed to be in the 1870 or something and the distinguished ladies have the hips in plain public view.What can we do?How are we to not criticize when we are given such food ;)) ?
The best bit was after the ladies are done dancing and the king flirts with Becky a lil bit,demanding that she is seated next to him.A baroness(or something) dressed as a belly dancer, makes an objection and the king looks at her for a second.Sorry,I just can’t take you seriously when you’re wearing that.
Ok,that line was only in my head.
Overall(wow,I DO criticize a lot!),I kinda liked it.Please take notice that I did hesitate when I said that.Imagine it this way:-I…kiiiiinda liked it…hmmm.Nope.
There you go.It’s an adaptation for the young minds or for the unread ones.I guess it means to make the story understandable for teens who can’t conceive the 19th century ways.
Buh-bye now.
ps.I am really really enormously tired.

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I watched “The young Victoria” and I didn’t love it.
The movie is about three or four years of Victoria’s inactive life from before and after she was queen and her relationship with cousin Alfred,whom she married.
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Historically it was pretty accurate.
The happenings,the politics,the characters flow naturally and historically.
The king’s insulting speech towards Victoria’s mother is about 2/3 exactly what he said.Also the part where Conroy is trying to make Victoria sign the regency agreement while she’s sick and she throws it on the floor,is true.
Alfred,however,was never shot in an attempt of murder towards the queen.According to wikipedia,this annoyed the queen.
What annoyed me was that I couldn’t find something I loved about this movie.
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I don’t understand why Victoria and Albert liked each other.I didn’t like them as a couple and I couldn’t like them as individuals.Victoria seemed dizzy,silly.She was actually downright stupid holding her husband as a visitor,not bestowing obligations on him,trusting Melbourne more than him,needing Melbourne’s approval to share her work with Albert and considering that he is nothing more than her husband.
If this was really Victoria,I despise her.
As for Albert…for a long part of the movie he doesn’t show much personality and occasionally reminded me of a child lacking love.Towards the end he starts to show some guts and just when I was beginning to like him,he got shot in a murder attempt.Well that ruined it for me and in conclusion I hated this movie,I thought Victoria was stupid and Albert was bland.
As for the ending…I didn’t get it.After 20 years,when she was 40,Victoria still looked slim as Emily Blunt and pretty as an 18 year old girl.
Honestly,I never disliked a movie so much.I even hate the poster.I think the poster is dumb.
I hated the scene when Albert and Victoria dance.It was dumb.She slided to the middle of the room as if she was on rollerskates.Dumb!
Honestly!DUMB!
tommy

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There’s lots of movies for this and I’ve watched…in time,four adaptations.I’ll discuss them starting from my least favorite.

4.The taming of the shrew BBC,1980
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It looks bad,it looks really bad.It was done with a really really tiny budget and filmed in 6 days.
And the acting was too much stage-like,so,as theatre fans should know,the actors have more powerful reactions (to make it believable even if you’re in the last row) ergo at times I considered shutting the computer down,that’s how annoying they could be.
But John Cleese was great and so were Kate and Bianca.
Unlike other adaptations,this one reveals very clearly the nature of Kate and Bianca’s relationship and the cause behind their behaviour.You can see here that in fact their behaviour was their father’s failure.Neither of the girls are properly raised.Kate is rude and mean while Bianca is a selfish manipulative hypocrite and Kate’s appearantly strange behaviour is caused by the revolt against this manipulation.Bianca manipulates everyone but Kat and Kat feels explosive.Everyone else is fooled but her,she feels misunderstood and surrounded by idiots.
So this BBC adaptation has it’s weaknesses but it has great strengths too.

3. 10 things I hate about you
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Julia Stiles is Kat Stratford (Katerina Minola) and Heath Legder is Patrick Verona(Petruchio) in this teen movie that is a successful loose adaptation of Tots.
I like how the story bends to make Kat’s behaviour be the result of a deep trauma or the result of a succession of profound traumas.This way it’s easier for the target public(teens) to understand her aaaand,I love Heath Ledger so even if only for his attendance…we deffinetly liked it.
It’s also got funny lines although slightely too sexual for me to enjoy it with company(under-aged company).
Overall,it’s no more than it claims to be,a funny teen movie with a Shakespeare theme that has really very little to do with the poet and what he was trying to communicate

2.Shakespeare retold 2005.Taming of the shrew

Rufus Sewell plays Petruchio and Shirley Henderson is Kate Minola.
This is truly a very entertaining in-our-days version.There’s wikipedia for a summary.Here’s the wedding bit.

It’s forte is,as far as I’m concerned,the fact that he doesn’t really tame her.The thing is that they tame each other.And Kate comes to the conclusion that a wife must love and obey her husband with the requirement that he does precisely the same for her.
Besides all that,it’s really very funny.

1.Taming of the shrew 1967

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
I don’t think I even have to explain why this is the best adaptation ever.It just is.It’s the smartest,most inventive and funniest.Here’s a clip.Petruchio first meets Katerina.

I confess that I did not make this list considering the value of the movies but considering how much they entertained me.So others may think otherwise and they could very well be more right than I am.
Buh-bye now.

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