8 items from 2013
Dame Helen Mirren proved she was born to play royalty last night taking home the award for Best Actress at the London Evening Standard Theatre Awards. Her portrayal of the Queen in Peter Morgan’s The Audience was her second award-winning stint as the monarch having previously collected the Oscar for Stephen Frear’s 2006 film The Queen. She beat off competition from Billie Piper (The Effect) and Kirsten Scott Thomas (Old Times).
There were double celebrations for The National Theatre’s production of Othello as leading men Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear were joint winners of the Best Actor accolade. In the upset of the night the Best Musical award was handed to the Menier Chocolate Factory’s Merrily We Roll Along 0ver smash-hit audience favourite The Book of Mormon.
During the ceremony, hosted by Damien Lewis, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber was awarded the Lebedev Special Award for his contribution to musical theatre, »
- Victoria Bull
We got a brilliant, kaleidoscopic entertainment that evoked the National's past and opened up possibilities for the future
I count myself fortunate to have been part of the audience at Saturday night's celebration of the National theatre's 50th birthday. I don't know how it looked to viewers on BBC 2 or in cinemas at home and abroad. But, sitting in the Olivier, what we got was a brilliant kaleidoscopic entertainment that not only evoked the National's past but also, through astute recasting, opened up possibilities for the future.
Obviously it was moving to see legendary actors, either through archival footage or live performance, repeating past successes. There was a white-haired Joan Plowright, filmed at the Old Vic only last month, sternly replying to her accusers as Shaw's Saint Joan. There, too, was Maggie Smith – seen one moment on film rolling a wine glass across her forehead as the affectedly sexy Myra in Coward's Hay Fever, »
- Michael Billington
In the world of horror cinema, the best way to fight a monster–be it supernatural, human, or natural one–is with a character that possesses special knowledge and skills. These experts, recruited into battle by other characters or colliding with the conflict intentionally, are the savants of the horror world.
Examples of savant characters include David Warner’s bat expert Phillip Payne in Nightwing, Zelda Rubinstein’s spiritual medium Tangina in Poltergeist, Matthew McConaughey’s dragon slayer Denton Van Zan in Reign of Fire, Lin Shaye’s paranormal investigator Elise Rainier in Insidious, and Otto Jespersen’s monster killer Hans in Trollhunter.
This article, divided into three sections based on what type of monstrous force is being fought, focuses on the greatest savant characters the horror genre has to offer.
Vs. The Supernatural
- Terek Puckett
Classically trained British stage actor David Oyelowo (pronounced “Oh-yellow-oh”) may be making slow but steady headway in Hollywood, he commanded serious respect from his peers as far back as 2001 when he played the title role in “Henry VI,” making him the first black actor to portray an English king for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Since then, the 37-year-old actor has proven his versatility across a number of demanding roles, holding his own in such varied fare as Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” “Jack Reacher” opposite Tom Cruise, “Red Tails” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” (He also appeared in Daniels’ “The Paperboy.”)
His scene-stealing turn as a rebellious civil-rights activist in “The Butler” was “a bit of stretch for me,” Oyolewo admits, “as I had to age »
- Iain Blair
Just as political correctness has made it nearly impossible for a white actor to play Othello, the iconic films of Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann have conditioned audiences — even theater audiences — to expect Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers to be played by actors only recently weaned from their CW series. Millennials, be banished! The 36-year-old Orlando Bloom is making his Broadway debut as the teenage Romeo — and unfortunately, that’s the least of the problems with director David Leveaux’s revival, which opened Thursday night at the Richard Rodgers Theater. (Fyi, Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud were each hovering around 30 when they famously. »
- Robert Hofler
From a critically-acclaimed stage performance to a critically-acclaimed screen performance…and now back to what may be a critically-acclaimed screen performance based on that stage performance.
British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is signed on to revive his stirring turn in the stage production of A Season in the Congo for the big screen. Ejiofor drew raves at the Young Vic in London this summer for his portrayal of Patrice Lumumba, a beer-seller and political activist who later became Congo’s first democratically elected prime minister – a position Lumumba held for a mere three months. Critics hailed his performance, describing a complexity from the actor similar to the one he displayed in a stage version of Othello in 2008, which won him a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor.
- Jordan Adler
The actor, currently in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, talks about being the arty one in a family of scientists
I grew up around Mortlake in west London. It was a very suburban family life. I was a day boy at Westminster and got the train to school everyday. I have two brothers and was very much defined by being in the middle. I was a dramatic kid and demanded attention, making my parents watch puppet shows I put on in the kitchen.
I shot up quickly and ended up larger than everyone. I am 6ft 3in and towered over my mum and dad. I was a greedy guts and a bit of a fatty at school. Even now at work they say "just come through this little trap door" or "put on this", and I am always too big for everything.
We were a family of scientists on my dad's side. »
We're getting to know The Film Experience community one-by-one. Today we're talking to Morgan Borthwick from New Zealand. We've never been but it's on our brains due to Jane Campion's stunning miniseries "Top of the Lake". Here's Morgan.
Hi, Morgan. Do you love Jane Campion? (Please note: There is only one correct answer to this question)
Morgan: Of course! She understands film is as much art as it is storytelling and I could rhapsodise all day about her many gifts. As a director, I love what she does with her actresses, particularly Barbara Hershey who is beyond superlatives in Portrait of a Lady, Abby Cornish in Bright Star and Elizabeth Moss in Top of the Lake, making me forget Peggy of Mad Men ever existed. She should have two best director nominations by now at least, but that's a gripe for another time about the academy and their "we've nominated you once, »
- NATHANIEL R
8 items from 2013
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