Judy Parfitt

Judy Parfitt

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Hampton Court Palace Flower Show - Press Day

Judy Parfitt and David Emanuel - RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show - Press Day at Hampton Court, Hampton Court Palace - Surrey, United Kingdom - Monday 29th June 2015

Judy Parfitt and David Emanuel

Hello Carter - Trailer Trailer


Carter (Charlie Cox) is completely down-on-his-luck. Eleven months after breaking up with his girlfriend, he is unemployed and now homeless. When he is inspired to get back in touch with her, he makes his way through his phone-book, trying desperately to get hold of her new contact details. In addition to this, he in a race against time to get back on his feet before he is kicked out of his mother's house - and if he's lucky, it'll help his ex become attracted to him again. Along the way, he goes on an adventure around the city with an accountant and a one-time actor.

Continue: Hello Carter - Trailer Trailer

The Moth Diaries Review


Good

There's a terrific sense of menace in this gothic dramatic thriller, which plays on the story's fantasy elements to take us into a teen girl's troubled imagination. It's beautifully shot too, with blood-soaked echoes of Carrie and The Shining in the way the unsettling nastiness is underscored with emotion. Even so, the whole moth motif never really makes much sense, other than as a clumsy metaphor for adolescence.

The events take place in a creepy, isolated girls' school, where 16-year-old Rebecca (Bolger) creates a happy subculture with her best pal Lucy (Gadon) and their party-loving friends. They merrily subvert the rules, keeping the headmistress (Parfitt) on her toes. And the hot new literature teacher Mr Davies (Speedman) gets their pulses racing. Then a new student arrives: Ernessa (Cole) is a loner who reaches out to Lucy for friendship, which upsets Rebecca because she feels like Ernessa is actually preying on her friend. So she sets out to investigate Ernessa's mysterious past, and finds it difficult to tell the difference between reality and her wild imagination.

On the surface, this is a supernatural horror film with ghostly freak-outs, monster-movie grisliness and a rising body count. But is all of this happening in Rebecca's mind? Filmmaker Harron cleverly keeps us off-balance in this sense, letting us see Rebecca's harrowing nightmares and layering her suspicions with the lesbian vampire novel the girls are studying in Mr Davies' class. Stir in hints of teen girl issues like eating disorders, petty jealousies and inappropriate male advances.

Continue reading: The Moth Diaries Review

Maurice Review


Good
The second of three adaptations of E.M. Forster novels by James Ivory and Ismael Merchant, Maurice is one of Merchant-Ivory's strongest showings.

A painstakingly produced period piece, this Edwardian drama centers around the title character Maurice (pronounced "Morris") Hall (James Wilby), an Edwardian-era fancy lad who finds himself smitten with a schoolmate during his days at college in Cambridge (though this is of course notoriously against the law in England at the time). At first, he's smitten with Clive (Hugh Grant in his first major film role) but after seeing what happens to a friend of theirs (Mark Tandy) when he's busted for homosexuality and sentenced to hard labor in prison, they both attempt to mend their ways. Clive gets married, Maurice attempts hypnosis. This seems to "cure" Clive -- well enough, anyway -- but Maurice still can't shake it. Eventually he winds up shacking up with the much lower-class gamekeeper at the country estate.

Continue reading: Maurice Review

Asylum Review


OK
As cool and chiseled as star Natasha Richardson's face, Asylum (based on a novel by Patrick McGrath) is set for the most part at a high-security insane asylum in northern England in 1959. Richardson plays Stella Raphael, whose husband Max (Hugh Bonneville) has been made deputy superintendent at the hospital, meaning a long spell among the mad and their repressed warders for Stella and their son Charlie (Gus Lewis). At the best of times, Stella seems like she'd have difficulty fitting in, but with her aloof and depressed air, cigarette held high in one hand, martini in the other, she seems downright ogre-ish to the provincial locals. Stella smokes at her kitchen table, asking the maid, "How did my predecessor fill her time?" Consumed with work, Max is hardly any help, and even Charlie doesn't seem able to keep Stella's attention.

At least there's a handsome mental patient who's allowed to work in the grounds near the Raphael's house, giving Stella reason to get up in the morning. For those not as terminally depressed as Stella, it would seem a negative that Edgar Stark (Marton Csokas) had been put in the asylum for butchering his wife; but hey, a girl's got to keep busy. Director David Mackenzie (Young Adam) and screenwriter Patrick Marber (Closer) don't waste much of the audience's time before bringing Edgar and Stella together in a brutal coupling in a half-ruined greenhouse that shows, in one simple and uninterrupted shot, more heated passion than a half-dozen other films' frantic editing and sensuous lighting could manage. The heated connection between the two is so believable that all the events which follow from their affair - including, but not limited to, Edgar's escape - and the depths of darkness into which nearly all the characters are plunged, seem nothing less than utterly inevitable.

Continue reading: Asylum Review

Girl with a Pearl Earring Review


OK
Johannes Vermeer lived in a time of enormous creativity yet produced so few paintings - 35, exactly - that it's surprising he's remembered at all.

Unlike the romanticized "starving artist," Vermeer's household (in 1600s Netherlands) was extremely well-off, though little much else is known about him. Based on the popular novel, the film imagines the circumstances that might have led to the creation of Vermeer's most famous painting, "The Girl with a Pearl Earring," produced in 1665.

Continue reading: Girl with a Pearl Earring Review

Wilde Review


Grim
You would think the life of Oscar Wilde would lend itself more to film. Not so. This biopic is unfathomably boring and ultimately pointless.

Maurice Review


Good
The second of three adaptations of E.M. Forster novels by James Ivory and Ismael Merchant, Maurice is one of Merchant-Ivory's strongest showings.

A painstakingly produced period piece, this Edwardian drama centers around the title character Maurice (pronounced "Morris") Hall (James Wilby), an Edwardian-era fancy lad who finds himself smitten with a schoolmate during his days at college in Cambridge (though this is of course notoriously against the law in England at the time). At first, he's smitten with Clive (Hugh Grant in his first major film role) but after seeing what happens to a friend of theirs (Mark Tandy) when he's busted for homosexuality and sentenced to hard labor in prison, they both attempt to mend their ways. Clive gets married, Maurice attempts hypnosis. This seems to "cure" Clive -- well enough, anyway -- but Maurice still can't shake it. Eventually he winds up shacking up with the much lower-class gamekeeper at the country estate.

Continue reading: Maurice Review

Asylum Review


Grim

A mid-20th-century bodice-ripper about sexual obsession and questionable sanity, "Asylum" doesn't live up to its admirable pedigree.

Adapted by Patrick Marber ("Closer") from a novel by Patrick McGrath ("Spider"), directed by David Mackenzie ("Young Adam") and featuring a stellar cast of gifted British actors, the film has yearning and buttoned-down 1950s atmosphere to spare, but fails to turn its foolish heroine into an empathetic or understandable character.

Natasha Richardson plays Stella, a restless woman whose polite, passionless marriage begets dangerous ennui when her husband (Hugh Bonneville) takes a post as deputy director of a psychiatric hospital in rural England. Feeling trapped on the hospital grounds and uncomfortable in the clique-ish sewing circle of doctors' wives, she begins a heated affair with an outwardly stable inmate and former sculptor named Edgar (Marton Csokas, "The Bourne Supremacy") who works as a groundskeeper and has befriended her young son.

Continue reading: Asylum Review

Girl With A Pearl Earring Review


Excellent

Director Peter Webber has such a mesmerizing command over the emotional resonance of "Girl With a Pearl Earring" -- a masterpiece film that imagines the story behind Johannes Vermeer's masterpiece painting -- that there are several moments in the picture so evocative, so stunning that they literally make you hold your breath.

One such moment comes as the Dutch master, played with alluring, untamed gravitas by the solemnly magnetic Colin Firth, cajoles his tentative, spellbound model -- a modest, reticent young housemaid (the extraordinary Scarlett Johansson) who has slowly become his muse and artistic confidant -- to wet her lips (and then wet them again, and again) as he readies her to pose for his most famous, most exquisitely lifelike and certainly most emotionally enigmatic portrait.

This scene is the culmination of an unspoken, unattainable desire between them and is a magnificent fusion of performance, intimacy and sudden, startling silences in Alexandre Desplat's stirring musical score -- the combination of which is a demonstrative potency that Webber manipulates at will.

Continue reading: Girl With A Pearl Earring Review

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