Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Richard Armitage’

Screenwriter Sandy Welch’s version of  Elizabeth Gaskell’s industrial novel has to be one of the best BBC classic adaptations. It’s a series which was an immediate hit on first screening – partly because of Richard Armitage’s brooding portrayal of Thornton, but also I think because of the story itself, since I remember a previous BBC adaptation in 1975 being very popular, though sadly I never had the opportunity to see it at the time. I’d love the chance to compare the 2004 mini-series with the earlier version, which starred Patrick Stewart and Rosalie Shanks. 

The series has stunning cinematography by Peter Greenhalgh and set design by Simon Elliot, together with a haunting musical score by Martin Phipps.  The director, Brian Percival, is also directing some episodes of the eagerly-awaited BBC costume series Downton Abbey. I’m going to discuss the whole plot in this review, so if you haven’t seen it I’d definitely advise doing so before you read on – and, if you are watching it for the first time, what a treat you have in store!

(more…)

Read Full Post »

I somehow managed to miss James Hawes’ biopic of Marie Lloyd when it was first shown on TV, but caught it on DVD and was impressed. Unfortunately I’ve again left it a little too long before writing about the movie, but thought I’d put down a few thoughts anyway before my memories fade too much.

MarieLloydThe lively, colourful, slightly sleazy London music hall atmosphere is beautifully re-created – and, though the “making of” featurette on the DVD reveals that sometimes the applauding crowds consisted of just half a dozen people filmed from the right angle, I never would have guessed this from watching the film. Something I especially liked is that it isn’t just a straight biopic, but a musical in its own right with shades of Cabaret – with ‘The Showman’, played by Shaun Parkes, acting as MC in the music hall and also appearing within and between scenes to offer a poignant musical commentary on Marie’s life, and heighten the melodrama of various twists in the plot.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

I’ve been too busy to blog for the last few weeks due to various commitments and hassles – sorry! However, I have still found time to watch a few costume dramas and am going to try to write a few thoughts on those I’ve seen.

One of the series I have been watching is the new BBC drama Desperate Romantics, which focuses on the lives of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. So it seemed like a good time to watch The Impressionists, another BBC series about another brotherhood of artists, starring Julian Glover and Richard Armitage as the older and younger Claude Monet, which I somehow managed to miss a  few years ago.

Richard Armitage as the young Claude Monet

Richard Armitage as the young Claude Monet

There are a lot of similarities in theme between the two series, since both focus on small, close-knit groups of young painters who challenged and in the end triumphed over the artistic establishment. However, as dramas, they are very different to watch. The Impressionists is directed by Tim Dunn who has also made art and history documentaries, and, as far as I could tell, sticks close to the facts of the artists’ lives, with an announcement at the start of each episode telling viewers: “This is a true story.”  The BBC press pack says that it is based on “archive letters, records and interviews from the time.” By contrast, Desperate Romantics takes wild liberties with what really happened, and has an announcement at the start of each episode stressing that it is fiction inspired by fact. Anyway, I don’t want to say too much about Desperate Romantics in this posting since I’m still trying to work out whether I loved or hated it – a full review will hopefully follow soon when I’ve sorted out my thoughts.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

For fans of the BBC series  Robin Hood, starring Jonas Armstrong and Richard Armitage, this is just to say that it has now been cancelled, after getting poor ratings in the third season – even though I’d say this was the best season!

Robin HoodIt’s hard to see how they could really have made a fourth series, as many of the actors had left, but, all the same, it’s yet another costume drama series biting the dust. 

I’ll put a link below to a report on the BBC website about the cancellation, but, if you haven’t yet seen series three in your part of the world, BEWARE, as it does give a garbled version of what happens in the last episode. Here’s the link, anyway.

Read Full Post »