August 27, 2008

Inspired Casting

Audrey Tatou to play Coco Chanel. ’nuff said.

Robbie Burns Gets "Thriller" Treatment?

What happens when you mix Michael Jackson and beloved Scottish poet Robert Burns? I don't know, but it's bound to be good. And yet, there are no plans to release an album?

See story, from the Guardian.

August 26, 2008

Recommended Blog

I'm currently into the Art Deco aesthetic (who ISN'T these days?), which is why I just fell in love with this blog dedicated to all kinds of Art Deco gorgeousness...check it out.

August 22, 2008

Garai Lightens Up

This Guardian interview with Romola Garai makes her sound so much more likeble than the last interview we pointed out, in which she grumbled about doing period films and dissed, (deservedly so, but still) Dirty Dancing II. I take back everything I said about her in my last post. I daresay I would go to tea with her! And I'm actually intrigued by her new film, Angel, which is supposed to be a satirical homage to over-the-top costume dramas. Here's the nifty trailer.

McAvoy Explores Gnome Love

James McAvoy and Emily Blunt will voice star-crossed lovers in "Gnomeo and Juliet" for Miramax. Kate Winslet and Ewan MacGregor were originally attached to the project, as we first reported, but it apparently didn't pan out. Described as a "loose and edgy" adaptation of Shakespeare's play, the film depicts McAvoy and Blunt as would be gnome lovers from rival gardens. I'm scared off by the fact that Elton John will contribute several songs. He lost me after the Lion King and ripping off his "Candle in the Wind" song for Lady Di.

August 18, 2008

Brideshead Revisited: The Conversion

Okay, we all remember how bored to tears I was watching Jeremy Irons for what seemed like 37 hours in the original Brideshead Revisited miniseries. After the backlash my negative comments incited on this blog, I approached the recent release of the feature film version of Evelyn Waugh's novel with apprehension and anxiety. Would I hate it as much as the miniseries? Could I bear to sit through even two hours for the sake of reveling in the costumes and scenery? Would I silently seethe and dream about attacking Aloysious with a sturdy set of garden shears?

To prevent the aforementioned, I decided to actually read the novel in the hopes that it might offer up some mitigating insight that could let me enjoy the film. Am pleased to report that it most certainly did! I don't know whether I'm in a more receptive place in my life, but this time around, the story resonated with me. I found it sweet and funny and sad and telling, and I'm pretty sure I read the book faster than the viewing time of that original miniseries.

With that under my belt, I very much looked forward to seeing another adaptation of the movie, and despite some liberties taken to successfully cram the tale into the more palatable two hours, the movie did not disappoint. Lady Marchmain was so much more relatable to me this time around for a variety of reasons (well done, Emma!) and Matthew Goode was a serious sight for sore eyes. I had some problems: I missed the days on the oceanliner when Charles and Julia had the boat to themselves while everyone else was seasick...I couldn't understand why they needed to throw in the "I'll sell her for some paintings" part...And shock of all shocks, I found that this film's Sebastian (Ben Whishaw) didn't measure up to the miniseries' Anthony Andrews.

Best of all, as expected, were the clothes. Here's what I covet:

Julia's white coat from the ocean voyage
Julia's cute bathing suit
Julia's sweater/dress when her father died
Julia's Art Deco tiara at her coming out
Lady Marchmain's fur-trimmed blue coat
Any of the cloche hats
Any of Lady Marchmain's jewels
Julia's sparkly bobby pins in Venice

All in all, watching the film (and enjoying it, for the most part) is a perfect example of how, sometimes, reading the novel first makes all the difference. Now that I've been baptized into the world of Bridehead, I might even go back and rewatch the original miniseries. Maybe not soon...but someday. (Like Sebastian's father, I came around in the end.)

August 7, 2008

"Road" Warriors

USA Today has new photos from the Cormac McCarthy adaptation, The Road. You will barely recognize Viggo Mortensen. I highly recommond the book, if you can handle the heartbreak of it all.

August 6, 2008

How To Be a "U"

Reading about the new MTV show "From Gs to Gents" I couldn't help but think about Nancy Mitford's instructions for being "U" (upper class) or "non-U" in her satirical guidebook, "Noblesse Oblige." Many of her rules were a matter of linguistics and vocabulary, for example:

non-U: take a bath
U: have a bath

non-U: dentures
U: false teeth

non-U: mirror
U: lookinglass

non-U: serviette
U: table-napkin

non-U: glasses
U: spectacles

non-U: perfume
U: scent

non-U: radio
U: wireless

In looking up more examples, I came across this article on updated rules from UK etiquette expert, Mary Killen. A few examples:

-- At the grocery store, use a basket, never a cart
-- Never eat between meals. Stick to breakfast, lunch and dinner only
-- Say that butter is "off," not "rancid"

I'm pretty sure I'm a hopeless case, but I can pretend. Let's put it this way: I'm hosting a dinner party this weekend entitled "French Laundrymat" as opposed to "French Laundry." I think I'll go have a bath now.

August 5, 2008

Obama...the new "Mr Darcy?"

It sounds like a stretch, I know, but the arguments in this N.Y. Times article are as well-made as they are hilarious. Thanks, again, to Jen for the head's up.

August 1, 2008

Firth Goes Wilde

Colin Firth has signed on to the adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, playing Lord Henry Wotton, the aristocrat who corrupts Dorian (Ben Barnes), as he descends into a hedonistic lifestyle. Filming began this week.

Firth also recently completed the motion-capture adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman.

Source: Hollywood Reporter