April 30, 2007

Nottingham Not So Bad?

Variety reports that Russell Crowe will play a kinder, gentler Sheriff of Nottingham in a revisionist version of the Robin Hood tale, with Ridley Scott directing. And I'm betting that somewhere out there, Bryan Adams is just begging to get that phone call requesting another soft rock anthem... -- Amy

April 26, 2007

Bean There, Done That

This account of Hugh Grant's run-in with a photographer sounds so very, very English...until to you get the part about "I hope your kids die of cancer..." which is so very "Vile Richard." -- Amy

April 25, 2007

Stiles Does Sylvia...

Dark Horizons says Julie Stiles will play troubled protagonist Esther Greenwood in Sylvia Plath's autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar. At least Gwyneth won't be involved (one hopes). -- Amy

April 23, 2007

Mendes on the (Middle) March

Having already tackled Middlemarch himself in a 1994 BBC minisereies, Romancing the Tome's prolific patron saint Andrew Davies is writing a new screenplay of the George Eliot tome to be directed by Sam Mendes, according to BBC News. No word yet on who will be cast, but Mendes' wife, Kate Winslet will perchance make the cut. Production begins next year. -- Amy

April 19, 2007

Save Our Chocolate

Good Godiva Almighty....I was greatly disturbed to hear that the FDA is considering letting food companies substitute vegetable oil for cocoa butter and still legally call it "chocolate." When I was a kid, my mom refused to let me eat a waxy, imitation-chocolate Easter bunny, thus helping to foster my discerning taste for only the good stuff (preferably dark, not milk). We chocolate lovers of the world must take a stand. Visit the FDA online to protest the decison, then go buy yourself some of the pure stuff. -- Amy

Another Fine Mess She's Gotten Them Into...

The Guardian reports that Lindsay Lohan has dropped out of a Dylan Thomas biopic, forcing producers to scramble for a replacement. La Lohan was set to play the poet's wife in The Best Time of Our Lives, also starring Keira Knightley, Matthew Rhys and Cillian Murphy. The screenplay was actually written by Knightley's mom, incidentally. -- Amy

April 17, 2007

Out of the Ashes...

I've visited the breathtaking Getty Villa in Malibu twice in the past two months. Last week, I took a fascinating "architecture and gardens" tour which described how the Romans would have lived on an estate such as this. (The building is modeled after the Villa de Papyri, the country home of Julius Caesar's father-in-law in Herculaneum, which as we all know, was destroyed in the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D.)

The other location decimated in that disaster, — Pompeii — is the subject of Roman Polanksi's latest film, a $130 million dollar epic account of that city's horrific burial under molten lava and volcanic ash. According to Dark Horizons, set designer Allan Starski visited the real Pompeii archaological site last month, and pre-production is underway. Sounds like it will be engrossing, albeit upsetting to watch, I'm sure. -- Amy

April 11, 2007

Einstein Biopic

I am venturing far afield with this post as science was never my strong suit in school. Nevertheless, I was intrigued to hear that Giovanni Ribisi would be playing Albert Einstein in a new flick that explores the genius's relationship with his first wife, Mileva Maric. (Great casting, incidentally.) My question: Will the filmmakers be brave enough to touch upon the oft scoffed-at (but I think credible) theory that Mileva (also a mathemetician) had a substantial role in helping her husband develop his theory of relativity? (The woman behind the man, indeed!) -- Amy

April 7, 2007

Get Excited...

Our blogger bosom friend at The Egalitarian Bookworm offers a YouTube preview of the Andrew Davies' Jane-Austen-a-palooza coming soon in the UK. You can watch more footage of the upcoming films (Persuasion, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey) and take a "Seduction Survey" here. -- Amy

Law & Order: Old School

Coolest. Thing. Ever.

Search historical records from London's The Old Bailey to find out who was sentenced to the gallows (or sent off to the American colonies) and why. I love that someone put this into a database!

Here's what was written about two "young wenches" accused of murdering their babies:

"The next may be rankt Two others, though of a different Sex, yet Guilty of the like Horrid sin of Murther, and that upon their own Children , whose crimes being so nearly resembling each other we may place them together in this Narrative; For being both Young Wenches, they were it seems inticed to Folly, and at last got with Child, and to cover one sin with a greater, most Unnaturally, and Barbarously, Murthered their Infants, one of them casting hers into an House of Office, and the other endeavouring to Bury hers in a Celler: but being both discovered by certain Symtomes usually visible in that condition, upon strait search, the whole matter came to be disclosed, and they respectively Commited. They had little to say for themselves besides the common Plea, that their Children were Still-born, but upon Reading the Statute whereby it is provided in such Cases that unless the same be proved by, at least one Credible witness, it shall be reputed and punished as Murder, and they were both Condemned to Dye." Old Bailey Proceedings Online (oldbaileyonline.org 7 April 2007) 09 Sept. 1674 (ref. t16740909-2)

Fascinating stuff. -- Amy

April 6, 2007

Tivo Alert!

Masterpiece Theater takes on Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows this Sunday, April 8, starring Matt Lucas (better known as Cousin Tom in the hilarious Shaun of the Dead) as Mr. Toad and Bob Hoskins as Badger. Anna Maxwell Martin (Esther from Bleak House) appears as the gaoler's daughter. I love this book and saw it performed as a play when I was a kid where all the actors really, truly looked liked the animals in question. Based on the preview featured on the PBS site, the costuming here is a bit more subtle -- I guess I'll just have to use my imagination this time around. (Hopefully great acting will help.) Since I've got my own spring cleaning to tackle this weekend, it's a fitting flick. (And perfect for Easter night!) -- Amy

April 5, 2007

Romola Revealed

As mentioned in the previous post, Ioan Gruffudd may be one of the good guys, but his Amazing Grace love interest, Romola Garai? Not so much. Wouldn't want to go to tea with this chick after reading her crabby-ass interview with The Independent last month, in which she disses all her period films and generally presents herself as a miserable human being. At least she copped to the fact that Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights was a disaster. Maybe lingering shame from that movie explains the sour attitude. -- Amy

April 4, 2007

Hot Stuff

I stood amazed, mouth agape in front of the magazine stand. Romancing the Tome muse Ioan Gruffudd stared back from the cover of the San Francisco glossy 7x7. (Already a favorite mag because when The May Queen launched last March, it made their Hot List.) The article's title and subhead prove that 7x7 totally gets him, proclaiming "Earnest Goes to Hollywood: Actor Ioan Gruffudd proves that, sometimes, a good guy isn't hard to find." You can read the entire article with Ioan and see more yummy pix from the photo shoot here. --Kim

As Clueless As They Want to Be

I try to avoid reading Gawker these days because it just depresses me (and sometimes starts an inner snarky dialogue that I don't want or need), but every once in a while I'm tempted to sneak a peek. Apparently they were tired of trashing the usual suspects and innocent bystanders (or yesterday was a slow "news" day) because I saw this: They've gone all Caroline Bingley on Jane Austen. And so has The New York Times, sort of. Admittedly Gawker's post is merely tongue in cheek and I agree with them, "whoever was in possession of the responsibility for putting this [NYT] section together must be in want of a clue."--Kim