Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

After having seen Robin Hood, I was poking around the internet looking for stuff about Cate Blanchett. Something I found reminded me that she is now the co-artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company. I went to check out their website and found something that made my heart stop: (more…)


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I read a fascinating article before I went to see this movie that lowered my expectations still further. Apparently, once upon a time, this movie was a brilliant script – the Robin Hood legend told from the point of view of the Sheriff of Nottingham in a 12th century England CSI kind of way. There was a bidding war over it, Russell Crowe got attached. And then they hired Ridley Scott who promptly ordered the whole thing re-written. Not a good sign.

Having finally seen the movie…well… it wasn’t as terrible as I was expecting. (Spoilers to follow…) (more…)

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So, once upon a time, back in 1988, Emma Thompson had a short-lived TV show in the UK. It was called Thompson, it ran six episodes and was mostly sketch comedy with some random song and dance numbers thrown in. She created the show, I think, definitely wrote for it, and cast pretty much everyone she knew, it seems – her mother, sister, (now ex-) husband, and a variety of friends all appear in it. (more…)

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It’s a Hollywood film. Its only real connection to the Robin Hood legend is going to be the name. It’s going to be jammed with too much fighting, historical inaccuracies and bad writing. And it stars Russell Crow. All reasons to avoid this movie.

And then they cast Cate Blanchett. Which now means I have to see the damn thing.

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I watched Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing again last night. I love that movie more every time I watch it.

(If you’re not familiar with the plot of the play, there is a decent [if not well-written] synopsis at Wikipedia. Yes, I’m lazy.)

I have to admit, on the whole this movie is rather theatrically hokey (there’s lots of holding hands and laughing and… frolicking, for lack of a better word), but that’s clearly a choice, and it’s one that grows on me every time I see it. The result is something very innocent and joyful, and it can be very charming. Robert Sean Leonard as Claudio and Kate Beckinsale as Hero play into the hokiness more thant the rest of the cast. They’re not my favourites, I have to say, but given that they’re playing the younger couple it’s not as annoying as it could be. And, really, there’s no way in hell they could possibly be as interesting as Beatrice and Benedick, so it’s just as well they went in a different direction.

Kenneth Branagh, who I always tend to think of as the ego that walks like a man (which may or may not be unfair, I don’t know yet), was wonderful as Benedick; charming, but not at all afraid of letting himself look goofy. And Emma Thompson’s Beatrice is magnificent. Granted she’s working with some excellent source material, but there is no way to watch this movie and not fall in love with her. (more…)

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Most people have heard of Elizabeth, I imagine. It was Cate Blanchett’s breakout role, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award.

It’s a costume piece, a historical drama, it deals with politics, with intrigue, with religion. But at its heart, it’s a movie about Elizabeth learning to stop being a woman and start being a Queen. It is the opposite of a love story, the process of cutting Lord Robert out of her heart.

They made a sequel, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which was, sadly, absolutely terrible. Cate Blanchett was riveting, as always, and the movie was visually stunning, but it was all window dressing because the story was garbage.

So, ignore that one.

Instead, I highly recommend trying to find Elizabeth Rex instead. Set in 1601, two years before Elizabeth’s death, it perfectly bookends Elizabeth in that it’s about, decades later, trying to find some shred of the woman under the thick mantle of the Queen. (more…)

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I have another audio recommendation for you. (more…)

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