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The Tudors (2007–2010)
Exciting, but founders on miscast Henry & historical inaccuracy
25 April 2007
I'm glad to see Showtime taking on the Tudor era, even if they are doing it because Henry's life is a tabloid-seller's dream come true, and our culture is tabloid-obsessed.

I love the casting of Jeremy Northam (Sir Thomas More) and Sam Neill (Cardinal Wolsey).

I read an earlier comment after I had already expressed the following thought elsewhere, and I completely agree -- Steven Waddington (Buckingham) would have been a better Henry VIII - he's bigger (he properly fills the screen, which in various shots J R-M painfully cannot, either in height or breadth); red-haired (as Henry was); and a POWERFUL, mesmerizing actor who's a better age for the part. (J R-M's eyes are riveting, but that's not enough for the part b/c at this stage of Henry's life, his fame was largely due to his physical dominance, learning & musical skill.) Showtime seems to be trying to appeal to a VERY young, VH-1 audience with the J R-M casting. Or, as they suggest, to people who don't know the story.

That's my second issue - don't suggest in the ads that you're going to tell the REAL story when you're not. Some dramatic license is expected (like flipping France for Portgual b/c they introduced Francis I early on) but there is no GOOD excuse for making a composite of Henry's sisters by telling Princess Mary Rose Tudor's story, but calling the character Princess Margaret, which was her older sister's name.

The real Margaret had a dramatic story, too -- and she's got the line to the current royal family through her great-granddaughter, Mary, Queen of Scots -- but they lost the chance to tell that by combining the sisters. Presumably they did it b/c they thought the audience was so dumb that we couldn't handle Henry's daughter and sister both being named Mary. Too bad.
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Firelight (1997)
15 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I read a review of Firelight that found the principals' relationship as "as cold as Siberia in January." I totally disagree. I found this film mesmerizing. You watch two people jettison the extreme reserve they've put up due to the hard knocks of life & be transported from doing business to lust to love. That is much more interesting than watching gratuitous sex between characters. Much of the evolution of this film takes place in your mind as you watch the subtle interactions between the actors. A look here, a look there - they signal titanic advances in the plot. You won't want to miss a scene.

I did find Louisa grating, but I imagine that was the desired effect.
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