Tag Archives: downton abbey

Romeo and Juliet (2013) Review

Downton Abbey’s much loved writer Julian Fellows has adapted William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and this is just latest film version of the world famous play it’s predecessor being Baz Lurman’s adaptation made in 1996. I can’t imagine there is anyone out there who doesn’t know the story but, just for argument sake if you have been living under a rock or, are a defrosted caveman (or woman) here’s the gist-  These two are the original star crossed lovers and lets just say it doesn’t end well, for anyone.

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Romeo and Juliet (2013)

Romeo and Juliet is my favourite Shakespeare play second only to Twelfth Night so when there is an film adaptation I’m always really hopeful that it will turn out well and although the Baz Lurman (1996) version was different and might not have been for everyone I think most people can agree that the acting was superb and the original text wasn’t changed beyond recognition.

Romeo and Juliet

Leonardo Di Caprio and Clare Danes (1996)

First of all I should probably just say (2013) Romeo, Oh My God he is just a beautiful man, and although I am grateful to watch that face in any film should Romeo ever be better looking than Juliet? Romeo goes on and on about how bloody beautiful she is when, actually he looks like some kind of Greek God. Alright, I know this film is probably suppose to be Shakespeare for the Twilight generation or whatever but I’m guessing that the Twilight generation couldn’t give a sh*t about Shakespeare, they get enough of that at school (I’m just guessing).

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Mercutio, Romeo and Tybalt 

I had two main problems with this film, the first was the changes that Julian Fellows had made to the original text I heard Douglas Booth (Romeo) say in an interview that he had done it to make the film more accessible and I know for Hollywood that makes a lot of sense but if the (1996) Baz Lurman adaptation can use Shakespeare’s text with out interfering with it to such an extent that it’s barely recognizable why can’t the (2013) adaptation? Shakespeare is Shakespeare for a reason and surely Julian Fellows took something away from the film by changing the text so much.

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The Secret Wedding

My second major issue with the film was the actors who played Romeo and Juliet although they were both great looking I just didn’t believe  Douglas Booth or  Hailee Steinfeld as Romeo and Juliet. I felt sorry for them in a way because I was constantly comparing them to Clare Danes and Leonardo Di Caprio and don’t imagine I was alone. I feel that to carry off Shakespeare strong actors are required and neither of these are that, pretty yes, talented, no.  Paul Giamatti who played Friar Lawrence was amazing when he walks in on Juliet having killed her self with a dead Romeo in her arms his performance made me cry he really is very talented. Also the Benvolio in this film is very good, I connected with him so much more than I did the (1996) just for these two performances it makes the film worth seeing.

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Juliet and Friar Lawrence

All in all, I would say that if you like this story then the film is worth watching, it’s has welcome traditional style of telling the tale but the text changes and some weak actors can be off putting.

All in all a 3.5/5

Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth – A review

Having recently read Kate Mosse’s novel Labyrinth, I couldn’t wait to get a hold of a copy of the (2012) television adaptation starring Sebastian Stan, Vanessa Kirby and John Hurt.

The novel and Channel 4 adaptation are based upon the lives of two woman, PHD graduate Dr. Alice Tanner and seventeen year old Alaïs Pelletier Du Mas. Alice come to France as a volunteer on a archaeology dig with her friend Sheila after finding out she is to inherit something from her  Aunt who  lived and died France. When Alice walks into a cave on the site of the dig her life is changed forever when, she finds a mysterious ring and begins to have visions of Alaïs who lived 800 years previously.

Dr Alice Tanner and  Alaïs Pelletier

Dr Alice Tanner and Alaïs Pelletier Du Mas

The story is told from both Alice and Alaïs’s perceptive, Alaïs’s was a  young married woman who had an older sister Oriane Congost who was having an affair with her husband, but to Oriane it had nothing to do with love or affection it was all about power and manipulation. Oriane soon found out that their father was not her’s biologically and her attitude soon changed toward her family. Alaïs’s father confesses that he is the keeper of one of three books that can locate the grail, not the Holy grail of Christian mythology but something far more special and secret.

Sisters - Alais Pelletier Du Mas and  Oriane Congost

Sisters – Alais Pelletier Du Mas and Oriane Congost

Mean while in the present day Alice’s visions are becoming more intense and, as her friend Sheila has gone missing she goes looking for her and stumbles across Will Franklyn and his dangerous older lover Marie Cecile. Marie Cecile is a member of a cult like organization desperate to find the ring and the books so, they can find the grail, ultimately prolonging her life something she desperately craves.

Looking for the grail is all that Marie Cecile cares about and is not afraid to kill if it gets her what she wants, to her all men are her play things, the grail is all that matters.

Lovers - Karen and Will

Lovers – Marie Cecile and Will

Alice met Will in the hope of finding Sheila but to no avail and although she is unsuccessful there is a clear  attraction between the two, there relationship develops further when it becomes apparent Marie Cecile is not all that she seems and might know more than she is letting on about Sheila’s disappearance.

When looking round her Aunt’s house Alice finds a letter from a mysterious man who seems too know something about her visions. The mysterious man played by John Hurt takes Alice back to where it all began, the caves. He explains how she and Alaïs  are connected and what her visions of the past really mean.

John Hurt and Vanessa Kirby talk visions

John Hurt and Vanessa Kirby talk visions

Labyrinth is a well thought out well executed drama that did well not to get tangled in it’s own complications, each of the two episodes where  two hours long and were real treat that I would recommend watching. It was really enjoyable watching how the past and present intertwined together as well as learning about past histories of the Cather people and their ultimate down fall as well as what religion meant to people of that time compared with today.

At War - Tom Felton

At War – Tom Felton

The cast was really excellent  which included John Hurt (Merlin), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abby) and Katie McGrath (Merlin) just to name a few. This story has twists and turns and in the end doesn’t go where you think it will, it kept me hooked for a grand total of four hours.

Dr Alice Tanner

Dr Alice Tanner

It’s a great adaptation of a novel I really enjoyed, the woman are kickass and don’t wait for men to rescue them, the go out and save themselves. I have often heard this book compared this book compared to the Di Vinci Code in my opinion they are nothing alike because the story and characters fly off in completely different directions.

Would recommend reading before watching.

Cheerful Weather For The Wedding Review

I feel as though I have been a little slow on the uptake when it comes films recently – or at least good films, I put this down to the fact that I am drowning in books. I have no excuse I know but it’s the only one I’ve got.  Cheerful Weather For The Wedding was adapted for the screen from Julia Strachey 1932 novella by Persephone books the cover painted by Lamorna artist Harold Knight is stunning.

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The summer before…

I finally got round to watching the film Dir Donald Rice and staring Felicity Jones and Luke Treadaway it is also has fabulous and hilarious supporting cast including Elizabeth McGovern, Mackenzie Crook and Ellie Kendrick.

The film and novella  are about a young woman called Dolly and are set on the morning of her winter wedding day.While her rather curious family are down stairs she is upstairs in her room, drinking rum, vomiting, and acting nothing like the traditional movie bride we have all come to know and love/sneer and laugh at. Throughout the film Dolly continues to barricade herself in her bedroom becoming further and further acquainted with rum, avoiding one particular guest who waits to see her desperately before she says I do. The story is told though a series of flash backs between the summer before the wedding and the present from either Dolly’s or the waited guest (Joesph’s) perspective.

Keeping their nerve

Dolly’s family I think  are great representation of every family and it is Dolly’s family who make the film great. The deaf uncle, the child with home made cherry bombs and his two parents begging him to behave and failing miserably. A husband who’s wife loathes his family and the judgmental mother who will always disapprove of her child’s choices and is blind of the real goings on to her own family, and siblings who in spite ourselves we sneer at and find a constant, reliable source of amusement.

Goodbye my love

Cheerful Weather For a Wedding is a realistic love story told through the eyes of the leading man on the morning  the love of his life is set to marry another man. The story is written beautifully and shows the complexities of women, it also portrays how saying what you feel is difficult no matter your sex and how sometimes the end of the story is simply goodbye.