Maxwell Smart usually makes me think of something else

•October 25, 2022 • 11 Comments

It’s not a biopic

•October 20, 2022 • 18 Comments

I read this and thought, “Oh, someone’s making a Hugh Jackman biopic.” I guess I wished for this when I wondered why every other important British actor has an ‘inspector’ role and not Armitage. Not sanguine, but perhaps the fact of having a competent writer will make it better than the single Ellis audiobook I listened to. At least I won’t have the problem of already knowing the story.

Richard Armitage always has good shoes

•October 18, 2022 • 22 Comments

A collective sigh went up at work this afternoon, too

•October 12, 2022 • 9 Comments

when we heard this news.

We watched the PBS version of Sweeney Todd in choir in high school — on VHS, I assume. I remember her more as Jessica Fletcher, of course, but also, in more recent years as my tastes have changed, in mostly supporting roles in classic films like Gaslight, The Long Hot Summer, etc. I’m predicting that a lot of people will rewatch Murder, She Wrote in the coming days.

More North & South discussion is imminent

•October 5, 2022 • 8 Comments

Our own Trudy Brasure is participating in the next online panel from the Gaskell House, on why we love North & South.

Entertainingly self-referential

•October 1, 2022 • 4 Comments

I don’t usually do something just because Richard Armitage recommends it, but this film was somewhat on my radar already despite the presence of the ubiquitous and in my opinion untalented Saoirse Ronan. I thought it was a lot of fun, and it might particularly appeal to viewers who enjoyed Knives Out orMurder by Death. I’m thinking Armitage’s friends are David Oyelowo and Shirley Henderson? He can be proud of them, as each delivers an excellent performance.

I really loved how the immensely clever script twisted in on itself: it’s a movie about a murder that occurs around a whodunit play involving a murder, with a third meta level in which we consider the inspector (amusingly named “Stoppard” and incompetently performed by Sam Rockwell) and his assistant (played by Ronan — she is fantastic in this role, which in itself is rather flabbergasting) as sources of an additional level of self-reference, plot twists, and in-jokes. I think viewers who are aware that “The Mousetrap” is the longest running play in western theatre history will get more from those jokes — and I wonder if that is still the well-known factoid it used to be. There are a ton of puns and sly jokes here about theatre history, and while it’s quite funny that one of the main characters is named Köpenick, I’m not sure you get why that’s funny unless you’re familiar with twentieth-century German theatre, or if you catch why it’s hilarious that the producer in the film (played by Ruth Wilson) doesn’t think the play will go on all that long.  And I’m not confident I caught all the puns and insider theatre and whodunit references.

Ultimately, it’s a pleasantly lightweight film that never misses an opportunity to make a campy reference, but also never draws a joke or a moment out too long for the audience’s laughter or attention span. The customary plot twist is not entirely surprising, but its resolution is hilarious. If you’re paying attention in the first part of the film, the final scenes are especially amusing.

All in all, this is a fun film — well-paced with good performances.

Definite selling point!

•September 22, 2022 • 11 Comments

The Queen is dead, long live the King

•September 9, 2022 • 18 Comments

When I got out of my car this morning at work, doctors were “concerned for her health,” when I got out of it tonight at home, she was gone.

Just feeling a little shocked.

At ballet

•September 7, 2022 • 14 Comments

Another reason to go to TIFF

•August 26, 2022 • 6 Comments

Interesting article today about a new film about Philippa Langley. It’s brought to us by Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, who were involved in two movies that I found excellent, “Stan and Ollie” and “Philomena.” Seems like this would have been the Richard Armitage vehicle we might have expected a decade ago. Ah, well.

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