i've been inside all day. just finished watching "james and the giant peach." haven't seen it in years. never realised just how many good people are a part of that. miram margoyles. daphne from fasier. pete postlethwaite. patsy from absolutely fabulous. richard dryfus (pre-mr. holland's opus stage). and. of course. david thewlis as the earthworm and letting his natural low-brow london accent come through. god i love that man. i need to get out of the apartment now.

REVIEWS OF THE DUCHESS #20: BESIEGED (dvd)

bernaro bertolucci directed a beautiful, emotionaly satisfying film. and the weird part is, as it ends, you know it can't end well. the characters made too many sacrifices, took too much control of their emotions, had too many changes of heart. and in the end they both got what they wanted and it tears them apart.

most of the film is just the two of them, thandie newton and mr. thewlis. but damn, that's all you need.

basic synopsis: thandie's character flees africa after her husband is imprisoned. she goes to rome to study medicine. she makes a living as a live-in house maid and assistant to david's character, who is an eccentric english pianist. he asks what he can do to make her love him. she asks for her husband's freedom, thinking she is asking the impossible. therein lies the catch. most of the movie is wordless and sensory; glances, spying, noticing things missing in the house as he sells all his possessions (including his grand piano)for the necessary means to make her dream come true, knowing full well that his request is an impossibility as well. lovely.

however. it took me a while to drop my grudge against thandie to rent it. "beloved" was damn awful. and i scorn her just for being a part of "the truth about charlie." oh ho. let me tell you what i think of THAT film. didn't even see it. will never see it. because they took one of the best audrey hepburn films of all time ("charade")--a film that is funny and suspensful and has a lovely twist ending--and then added marky mark and this hussy and turned it into an action-thriller. FUCK YOU, HOLLYWOOD REMAKES.

ahem. anyhow. next on the review list is "starsky and hutch." so perhaps i should be a little bit more open minded about the remakes thing.

no. no. fuck you, hollywood.

that being said. even though she has some fucked-up nipples, i lift my thandie nausea for this one film and this one film only. i think it was mr. thewlis. he makes all his stars look good. yeah. *starry eyed* i'm going with that. and i'm getting out of the house.
so it's official. i've gotten my callback from park square theatre and they are concidering me for juliet or benvolio. callbacks are sunday night. possiblility high for not being cast. however. should it happen, major life-shift would result in finding a lower-rent apartment and (godsend) quitting my job...resulting in artist poverty. keep your fingers crossed.

but for now, my love affair with mr. thewlis continues in his oddest installment yet:

REVIEWS OF THE DUCHESS #13: RESTORATION (dvd)

winner of two acadamy awards in costume design and art direction, and for good reason. a period piece circa 1666: think england, charles II and the plague. not only the story of the restoration of the king and his kingdom, but of one man and his fall from foppery to be the doctor he was meant to be.

this would have been a pretty decent film (and i am a sucker for costume dramas), if it weren't for the casting. maybe it's just that the '90s were so fucked that hollywood thought they'd try something new. here we have hugh grant and meg ryan, but it's not a romantic comedy. grant is an ambitious court painter bent on revenge and ryan (hiss) a deranged irish woman who dies in childbirth. here we have sam neil, but no dinosaurs. instead he plays the flamboyant king charles. and then there's the strangest casting yet in ian mckellan. his part is minimal as an aging manservant to the main character, robert. i mean, isn't he supposed to be manipulating hobbits or bending metal or being gay or something? ah. my dear dear sir ian. why?

but possibly the worst casting choice is in the form of robert downey jr. as the hero of our story. they were obviously thinking "tom hulce in amadeus", which worked for the first half of the movie in court, but when robert is banished and takes up the medical arts again it's hard to think of him as noble and selfless when we all know that the moment his director yelled "cut," downey was half-way to a nose-full.

it's almost like someone was trying to make a doomed movie; an idea right out of "producers." and if they thought they'd make another mistake by casting a quirky brittish actor in the role of a wise quaker doctor...they duped themselves....

yet again david thewlis plays second fiddle to a half-baked lead; brilliantly cast and even more brilliantly played. how does such an interesting actor get himself tangled up in these monstrosities? robert downey jr? brad pitt? dennis quaid? how did he end up billed below these fucks?

thank god alfonzo gave him a chance to really shine with some good material and an excellent cast. gary oldman, michael gambon, alan rickman, emma thompson...now these people are worthy of sharing the same screen.

okay. obsession announced. back to work.

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January 2015

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