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Posts Tagged ‘Julie Christie’

This is just to say that I’ve now seen Glorious 39, Stephen Poliakoff’s latest movie, a period drama-cum-thriller  set among the English aristocracy as war is breaking out. However, I’m not going to write a full review as I really didn’t like it at all and was disappointed, and I prefer to spend my time writing about the productions which I admire. The story seems to me to start well in the first half hour or so, but then becomes increasingly ludicrous and starts to turn into a bad horror film. I won’t give away the various plot twists, as they are supposed to come as a shock, but will just say I didn’t find them or the characters at all believable. 

It’s a pity – I’d been looking forward to it as I’ve liked many of Poliakoff’s previous films, especially Close My Eyes (1991) and the mini-series Shooting The Past (1999). It also has a great cast, led by Romola Garai and Bill Nighy, with a good role for Julie Christie as an eccentric aunt. David Tennant and Hugh Bonneville both have fairly small parts – Tennant plays an MP who warns against appeasing Hitler, giving a powerful speech at a dinner party- and their scenes are probably the best in the movie. The costumes, Norfolk scenery, and music are all beautiful, and there are also some gorgeous cats in many of the scenes… but it’s all dragged down by the script.  I just kept thinking of The Remains of the Day (1993), which deals with similar material, looking at fascist sympathisers in high places before the war, but does it immeasurably better.

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After watching and reviewing the 1998 TV adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s great novel, I re-watched the famous 1967 John Schlesinger movie. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to blog lately and it is already about three weeks since I saw this version, so it’s starting to fade a little in my mind – but I just thought I’d write  something about some of the main points which struck me.

Julie Christie and Terence Stamp

Julie Christie and Terence Stamp

I enjoyed the 1998 mini-series very much – but, after seeing the Schlesinger movie, my feeling is that it is much the more powerful adaptation, with a greater intensity. I’m sure this  is partly because of the beautiful cinematography by Nicolas Roeg,  who later went on to direct Christie in Don’t Look Now, and partly because a cinema film (the first Hardy adaptation to make it to the big screen in 40 years) can have more of an epic, sweeping quality to it. At nearly three hours long, the film can also move at a leisurely pace at times and doesn’t have the same problem that many cinema adaptations of classic novels suffer, in terms of packing too much into a small space.

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