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8 items from 2010


David Thomson on Helen Mirren

14 October 2010 3:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Helen Mirren is so hardworking that it is tempting to take her for granted. But she is always looking for something different

Have you seen the wild look in Helen Mirren's eyes? It's as if she knows the world has gone mad, so she can do anything. The pained realism and long-suffering compromises that dogged Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect are put aside. She has been Queen Elizabeth, both I and II, and if anyone cared to propose an Elizabeth of Transylvania from the Dark Ages then Mirren could do it. Or if you prefer a bloodthirsty and lascivious pope, she is your actor. At 65, she is still one of the sexiest women on screen. It's not what she does, but what she knows.

Mirren has never been anything less than accomplished and bold, but Stephen Frears' The Queen was a confirming potion for her, a laying on of hands. »

- David Thomson

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Richard Chamberlain | Cable girl

29 June 2010 12:00 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

A press release promises me a 'Richard Chamberlain marathon'. What I get is a day of The Thorn Birds and a day of Shogun

In these lacklustre times, there are few phrases guaranteed to quicken the blood with a rush of anticipatory pleasure any more. "Lemon meringue pie" on a menu, maybe. "The cheque's in the post" still works, even though it is nine times out of 10 a barefaced lie. But then to add to one's diminishing stock of delights, one receives a press release – from CBS Drama – that promises "a Richard Chamberlain marathon!" Trembling with happiness and without even having to provide one's own exclamation mark, one settles down on the sofa for a weekendful of Dickie C indulgence.

Perhaps there will be a few episodes of Dr Kildare, the 1961 breakthrough role for the 27-year-old actor who looked like he had been sculpted by a loving god out of butter, »

- Lucy Mangan

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Lynn Redgrave obituary

3 May 2010 12:52 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Even by the colourful standards of her own family's public profile and professional achievements, Lynn Redgrave, who has died of breast cancer aged 67, was an exceptional personality. Her death seems particularly cruel after the loss of both her niece, Natasha Richardson, after a skiing accident last year, and her brother, Corin Redgrave, last month. The third child of the actors Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson, Lynn was a gifted comedian who received her first Oscar nomination for a delightful, clownish performance in the title role of Georgy Girl (1966), one of the defining movies of the so-called swinging 60s. She went on to spend many years living and working in America. Less politically engaged than her older siblings, Vanessa and Corin, she was no less a remarkable talent.

Her 1991 television remake of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? with »

- Michael Coveney

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British actress Lynn Redgrave dies

3 May 2010 7:00 AM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Lynn Redgrave, who shot to international fame for her performance as a free-spirited bird in 1966's "Georgy Girl," died Sunday at her home in Connecticut after a battle with breast cancer. She was 67.

Redgrave's turn as a chubby, childlike Londoner pursued by her father's middle-aged boss (James Mason) won her an Oscar nomination for best actress and the New York Film Critics Circle Award. She garnered another Academy Award nomination for supporting actress in "Gods and Monsters" (1998), playing a testy housekeeper.

Redgrave hailed from a venerable theatrical family. She was the younger sister of actress Vanessa Redgrave and actor Corin Redgrave and the daughter of Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson.

Her death comes a year after her niece Natasha Richardson died from head injuries sustained in a skiing accident and just a month after the death of Corin. Redgrave was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2002, had a mastectomy in January 2003 and underwent chemotherapy. »

- By Duane Bygre

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Tom Fleming obituary

20 April 2010 12:35 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

A renowned Scottish actor and director, he regularly commentated on state occasions for BBC television

Tom Fleming, who has died of cancer aged 82, was an outstanding figure in the Scottish theatre of the second half of the 20th century, the first television "face" of Jesus of Nazareth in a 1953 mini-series, and well known as a BBC television and radio commentator at many royal and ceremonial occasions since he first broadcast, for the BBC, during the Queen's coronation in 1953.

He was a Baptist lay preacher, a deeply private man of great moral integrity and stature. This much was clear not only on stage but also as he spoke in his flawless, rich and velvety baritone voice at the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Queen Mother. So assiduous was he in his properly felt sense of duty that he declined the invitation to appear in a play by Mikhail Bulgakov »

- Michael Coveney, Carole Woddis, Brian Wilson

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Tom Fleming obituary

20 April 2010 12:35 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

A renowned Scottish actor and director, he regularly commentated on state occasions for BBC television

Tom Fleming, who has died of cancer aged 82, was an outstanding figure in the Scottish theatre of the second half of the 20th century, the first television "face" of Jesus of Nazareth in a 1953 mini-series, and well known as a BBC television and radio commentator at many royal and ceremonial occasions since he first broadcast, for the BBC, during the Queen's coronation in 1953.

He was a Baptist lay preacher, a deeply private man of great moral integrity and stature. This much was clear not only on stage but also as he spoke in his flawless, rich and velvety baritone voice at the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Queen Mother. So assiduous was he in his properly felt sense of duty that he declined the invitation to appear in a play by Mikhail Bulgakov »

- Michael Coveney, Carole Woddis, Brian Wilson

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Danny Boyle to return to theatre

22 January 2010 6:16 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Director of Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting will make his National Theatre debut next winter with Frankenstein adaption

He won eight Oscars for Slumdog Millionaire and huge acclaim for such stylish films as Trainspotting, 28 Days Later and Sunshine. But now, just when his cinematic success is at its most giddying, Danny Boyle is to return to his theatrical roots – having been, in his words, "distracted for 15 years by the movies".

Boyle will make his National Theatre debut next winter, directing an adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, it was announced today.

According to the National's artistic director, Sir Nicholas Hytner, Boyle was one of the first artists he approached when he started at the theatre eight years ago. It was then that Boyle – over cake at a cafe – outlined his ideas about a Frankenstein production.

According to Hytner: "He has a very particular take … and he described to me in »

- Charlotte Higgins

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This week's DVD and Blu-ray releases

15 January 2010 4:07 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Fish Tank

DVD, Artificial Eye

Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank is very much in the UK's lineage of social realist dramas. As with the works of Tony Richardson, through Ken Loach and Alan Clarke, Fish Tank presents, or rather captures, the world warts and all – even going as far as being filmed in the more TV-like aspect ratio of 1.33:1 to avoid any accidental glamour that widescreen might have delivered. The situations here are familiar to any follower of kitchen-sink drama but the settings and language have been updated, and it's in these details that Arnold really shows her talent. Mia (Katie Jarvis) is an argumentative and bored Essex teenager who dreams of becoming a dancer – her lonely practice sessions in a vacant council flat are her only real moments of calm. It's easy to see why she's so aggressive, with her limited opportunities and her single mother constantly chipping away at her. »

- Phelim O'Neill

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8 items from 2010


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