5 items from 2014
“I am infinitely strange to myself.” That's a line from The French Lieutenant's Woman, the 1981 film version of John Fowles's novel. The movie is at the center of two scenes in "Comrades," the season-two premiere of The Americans. Its recurrence is a masterstroke, and not just because it lets us watch FBI agent Stan Beeman suffer through it twice. It's a meta-movie based on a meta-novel: a book about fiction writing that was adapted into a movie about acting (and actors).Of all the movies from 1981 that series creator Joe Weisberg and co-executive producer Joel Fields could've chosen to highlight, The French Lieutenant's Woman might be the most appropriate, because it's about how (and why) we suspend disbelief when we listen to a story or watch a performance. The conviction of the actor/performer becomes analogous to the conviction of the writer in a novel. Bits of stagecraft matter, »
- Matt Zoller Seitz
There are so many congratulatory statements I want to make to FX at this time about The Americans. However, since space is limited and I need to maintain some semblance of an objective slant on this recap, I'll just say this: Please, FX, don't ever put The Americans up against Scandal (which returns from its winter hiatus February 27th on ABC). I don't think my nervous system could handle having to choose between two Washington, D.C.-based dramas filled with sex, intrigue and costumes I covet on a daily basis. »
"The Americans" is back for a second season. I reviewed the start of season 2 yesterday, and I have thoughts on the premiere coming up just as soon as I change the world with a hug... "It's just hard. This job, this life. Gets to you in ways you wouldn't think it would." -Philip So, no, "The Americans" is not fooling around as it begins the new year. After a brief stop at the cabin where Elizabeth recovered from her gunshot wound, "Comrades" gets its hands dirty in a rush, with Philip executing two Afghan freedom fighters, then taking out the poor busboy with the misfortune to be there for the one mission where the Kgb's amazing wig technology fails. And with that, Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg send their audience three very important messages: 1)"Stop asking why the wigs don't come off, because when they do, innocent busboys die!" 2)"This »
- Alan Sepinwall
The star will appear as the suffragette in a movie about a young woman radicalised by the fight to win the vote
Name: Emmeline Pankhurst.
I suppose Meryl does have an Edwardian look about her. I can picture her in a bustle. Good, because she'll soon be donning one to play our Emmeline, in a film about a young woman radicalised by the suffragette movement.
Who's playing the young woman? That's Carey Mulligan.
Good heavens! And who is to play the horse? What horse?
The horse she throws herself under. Don't tell me – Meryl's playing that too! She's a chameleon! A 19th Oscar nomination in the bag – I'll place my bet right now! No, wait – hold, if you will, your horses. You've got the wrong suffragette. That was Emily Davison.
Oh. Who's playing her? No idea. She might not even be in the film.
Oh. Still, Meryl »
Piercingly intimate and intelligent, this new movie shows how Ralph Fiennes is going from strength to strength as a director, and his on‑screen presence, sometimes rather desiccated and chilly, is here richly sanguine, as he plays Charles Dickens – the preening peacock of emotional pain. Screenwriter Abi Morgan adapts Claire Tomalin's pioneering investigative biography of Dickens's secret lover, Nelly Ternan, and cleverly builds in echoes of John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman.
Felicity Jones plays Ternan, first seen as a lone, cloaked figure striding across the beach, boiling with memories, and then in flashback as the teenage thespian whose delicate beauty and heartbreaking professional uncertainty bewitch the conceited Dickens at the height of his celebrity. Joanna Scanlan gives a shrewd and sensitive performance as Dickens's neglected wife, Catherine, »
- Peter Bradshaw
5 items from 2014
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