Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CHERI (2009)

CHERI (2009). What a beautiful and tragic love story about two people who fall madly into a scandalous love affair. The only thing standing in their way is the big age difference. "Cheri" is a amazing period film taking place in France before World War I . One of the things that I loved about the story was that it completely relies on delicacies of things that are not said. Michelle Pfeiffer is outstanding as the aging mistress. "Lea". "Cheri" played wonderfully by Rupert Friend. Naturally, what happens to their relationship is heartbreaking. Cheri's, immaturity eventually gets the best of him and it's Lea who realizes what they have is a rare kind of love. This is long before Cheri does. Lea silently and slowly crumbles before our eyes over their break up, while hanging on to what is left of her dignity . What is to happen to Cheri?
Kathy Bates, is the comedic relief to this deep and dark love story.
I loved all the beautiful locations and sets. I absolutely love/love the elegant costumes.
Click to view theatrical trailer and elegant costumes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Persuasion (1995), is a wonderful romance novel written by Jane Austen. Although, it is not as light hearted as the other Austen films. It still is very good. cast: Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
It is about a young woman, Anne Elliot, who is talked into giving up the love of her life because he has no means to support her. Several years later, Wentworth returns as a successful Captain of the Navy. Anne has become a spinster and her family is fighting bankruptcy. She has never gotten over him. He has never forgiven her for her rejection and the emotional toll it has taken on him. One of my favorite scenes, which I feel sets the tone of this film. Is when Wentworth walks in as Mary and Anne are eating breakfast, the first time they've seen each other since their broken engagement. You can hear Wentworth's resentment in his voice, while Anne is overcome with the sight of him. Will their second chance at love be ruined by the social influences, or Persuaded by their own hearts?

The women's costumes were amazing in the crowd scenes.
Beautiful Naval Uniforms on the Gentlemen.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Wives and Daughters(2002), is from the unfinished Victorian novel of Mrs. Elizabeth Gaskell. This wonderful Victorian soap opera, is full of romantic betrayals and secret marriages.
A wonderful romantic/comedy about a young girl Molly Gibson (Justine Waddell of "Mansfield Park,") and her father, a doctor (Bill Patterson). Their peace full lives are changed forever when Mr. Gibson marries the selfish, misguided Claire Fitzpatrick (Francesca Annis) and her daughter Cynthia (Keeley Hawes). A beautiful young woman, close to Molly in age, but the exact opposite from Molly's character . (Cynthia reminds me of a Marilyn Monroe of the Victorian age.)
The brothers Osborne (Tom Hollander) and Roger( Anthony Howell.) Hamley are the girls romantic interest in the story.The Hamleys come from old English family and the squire Hamley ( Michael Gambon) wants his sons to marry into "wealthy families." Molly falls for Roger and Roger falls for Cynthia. I also enjoyed the goodhearted Browning sisters, town gossip Mrs. Goodenough, mysterious Mr. Preston (Iain Glen) and the Cumnor family. Justine Waddell is wonderful as Molly and Michael Gambon and Francesca Annis are also wonderful in thier performances. The scenery, costumes are all beautiful. I loved/loved every moment of this film. Mrs. Gaskell, is now one of my favorite authors.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


The Age of Innocence (1993) film directed by Martin Scorsese. Starring Daniel-Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder. It is from the book of the same name. The film won an Academe Award for Best Costume Design.
THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, is my favorite Martin Scorsese film. And the film that got me hooked on "Period Films". The story is about Newland Archer, an affluent New York lawyer of the 1870s, engaged to May Welland, a beautiful socialite.

Newland begins to question the life he has planned for himself after the arrival of May’s cousin, the sophisticated Countess Ellen Olenska . Ellen wants a divorce from her abusive husband, a Polish count, which has made her a social outcast. Her family is concerned that her divorce will give the family a bad name. As Newland love grows for Ellen, he convinces her not to go forward with the divorce. He becomes disappointed with society and the idea of entering into a loveless marriage with May. He struggles with whether he will follow his family's wishes, or follow his own heart.

I was amazed at the wonderful attention to details Martin Scorsese showed in the film. I thought it was amazing how he brought out the hidden emotion of his characters. One of my favorite scenes is when Newland Archer waits for the Countess Olenska at her home, looking at the paintings on the wall, and her small collection of treasures from around the world. Through what he sees and what he touches he sees the Countess in his mind. Then we hear the arrival of a carriage, he still seems to be under her spell.((((sigh))) I love this movie.

I loved all the beautiful 1870’s Victorian costumes. Filmed in New York, with a few scenes in St. Augustine (Florida) and Paris.

Video: Documentary first of 3.

Fun Facts:

The lady standing to the right of Winona Ryder and admiring her engagement ring at the Beauforts' ball (just before Archer approaches and bows) is Tamasin Day-Lewis, sister of Daniel Day-Lewis, who was in town to visit her brother and drafted by Martin Scorsese to take the part. She's better known as the author of a series of cookbooks.

The interior of Mrs. Mingott's house was filmed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Pi Kappa Phi fraternity house in downtown Troy, NY, home to about 35 men at the time. Setup and filming took approximately three weeks and was done while school was still in session. The first floor was the only one used for filming and during shoots members of the house had to remain silent upstairs or leave the house. The shot of the house as a solitary structure on a small hill is movie magic, as the house is surrounded on both sides by other buildings.

Winona Ryder had written a book report in ninth grade on this very novel.

The film is dedicated to Charles Scorsese, father of director Martin Scorsese, who died just before the film was completed. He and his wife Catherine Scorsese (the director's mother) have a cameo appearance in the scene at the station.

Just past the middle of the movie, an exterior image of New York is shown. One of the buildings has "Schoonmaker's Painters Supply Store" painted on it. Thelma Schoonmaker has been Martin Scorsese's editor for years.

Jay Cocks first gave his friend Martin Scorsese a copy of Edith Wharton's novel back in 1980. At the time, he told Scorsese, "When you do that romantic piece, this one is you". It took Scorsese seven years to finally get around to reading the book.

The three lead actors - Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder - were all Martin Scorsese's first choices for the parts.

The painting of two Native Americans about to kill a young woman is a depiction of the death of Jane McRea. The event took place in 1777 in upstate New York, shortly before the battle of Saratoga, and was a key event in rallying Patriot militia. Jane McRea was the woman on whom James Fenimore Cooper based the character of Cora in "Last of the Mohicans". This book was made into the film The Last of the Mohicans, which also starred Daniel Day-Lewis.

Co-stars Michelle Pfeiffer and Daniel Day-Lewis both share the same birthday in real life.

Director Cameo Martin Scorsese: the photographer taking May's wedding picture.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


BECOMING JANE, this beautiful romantic/comedy, is loosely based on the life of Jane Austen. Anne Hathaway is wonderful in her beautiful portrayal of Jane Austen. The young Jane, daughter of a clergyman, receives a proposal from a wealthy nephew of an aristocratic Lady Gresham. She refuses because she has fallen in love with penniless lawyer to be Tom Lefroy. Jane Austen, writer, and a independant woman ahead of her time, resists the social pressure to marry a wealthy man from her family. When her brother Henry brings home his friend Tom Lefroy from London . Jane finds her love of her life in charming Lefroy. When they decide to elope to Scotland their plans are changed at the last minute when Jane has a change of heart. Thinking they would live in poverty , walks out of the train station. Years later, Tom Lefroy becomes the Chief Justice of Ireland and Jane Austen one of England's most famous novelists. Meet after an opera performance. One of my favorite scenes is when Tom brings his daughter, named after Jane, to meet Austen where she reads from her own book, and finishes when she covers her empty left hand.

I thought the cast did an excellent job in the film BECOMING JANE. Anne Hathaway’s skillful portrayal of Jane Austen was wonderful. Although, she is not my favorite Jane.

The costumes are another reason that i became hooked on "PERIOD FILMS". I am far from an expert.. but, I have to say I was a little disappointed in some of the dresses.

Becoming Jane was shot in Dublin and rural Ireland instead of Hampshire, England the birthplace of Jane Austen. Many scenes were also shot in Charleville Castle.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Pride & Prejudice (2005) film based on the Jane Austen novel . This second major motion-picture was produced by Working Title Films, directed by Joe Wright.

Pride and Prejudice (2005). I thought he used beautiful visuals and period locales to create this film. Filling it with details that tell about the Bennets family. From the films mist-filled and dream-like opening moments to its marvelous ball sequence and the wonderful ending, Pride & Prejudice is an absolutely a perfect representative of Jane Austen's book. Even with it's youthful out look it does not change the novel's late-eighteenth-century manners. i think of it is one of the best screen adaptations of this book so far. I loved Donald Sutherland as the father. And Darcy's formidable aunt played by Lady Catherine (Dame Judi Dench). I thought she was absolutely gorgeous.