Julia Sawalha

Julia Sawalha

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TVChoice Awards held at the Savoy Hotel.

Guest and Julia Sawalha Tuesday 13th September 2011 TVChoice Awards held at the Savoy Hotel. London, England

TVChoice Awards held at the Savoy Hotel.

Julia Sawalha Tuesday 13th September 2011 TVChoice Awards held at the Savoy Hotel. London, England

Arabia 3D - UK film premiere held at the BFI IMAX.

Julia Sawalha Monday 24th May 2010 Arabia 3D - UK film premiere held at the BFI IMAX. London, England

Pride and Prejudice (1995) Review


Excellent
Most film adaptations of classic books are inferior to the books they are based on. This is partly because the written word allows more nuance than the camera, but also because great books don't always have enough plotting or action to make great movies, and film adaptations often overcompensate by rewriting the book in a quest to make it more cinematic. The most obvious recent example (speaking of quests) is The Lord of the Rings: Peter Jackson omitted key scenes, changed others, and generally jacked up Tolkien's fanatically-loved bestseller for no good reason.

So it's an achievement when a famous book makes it to the big screen, or the small screen, intact -- and kudos must go to the A&E/BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice for flawlessly recreating the classic Jane Austen novel. This production is as faithful to the book as Cliff notes (though at five hours long, it's not much of a time-saver -- you might as well read the book). The filmmakers fill in the off-camera scenes of the book so seamlessly that Austen might have written them herself.

Continue reading: Pride and Prejudice (1995) Review

Chicken Run Review


Essential
Since the beginning of time (or at least the domestication of animals), the chicken has been man's feathered enigma. Like so many of its feathered friends, it has fallen into the realm of the metaphor (i.e. "He's a chicken."). Unlike so many of its edible counterparts, it has survived the hassles of religious communities unscathed (no one will persecute you for eating a chicken wing). It has found its way into the realm of ontological questions (which came first: the chicken or the egg), as well as into sanguine curiosity (why does a chicken continue running around after you cut its head off?). It has become the basic standard for all foods (tastes like chicken). It has changed with the times, entering the debate about genetic engineering (see the accusations against KFC using frank-n-roosters). It has even, through its progeny, entered into the world of our children (I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them Sam I am). As long as civilization has existed, the chicken has haunted our collective hubris with its often-charming idiocy.

Amongst both edible entrees and feathered friends, the chicken is the idiot God...

Continue reading: Chicken Run Review

Chicken Run Review


Weak

It's always a pleasure to see an animated movie that eschews the trappings of shopworn formulas kiddie flicks, and the capriciously clever, clay-rendered "Chicken Run" is nothing if not unique.

A goof on "The Great Escape" and "Stalag 17," but set in a chicken coop kept by a tyrannical, hairpinned harpy of a farmer's wife, the picture serves up an charming self-confidence fable, refreshingly short on stock cartoony characters (no orphans or cutesy simian sidekicks) and long on the distinctive, malleable, stop-motion genius of its director, Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park.

Park worked hand-in-hand with Peter Lord, best known for Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" video, but the film's winning visual style is unmistakably Park's. Every character is remarkably alive with verve and personality, thanks largely to his trademarks: Ridiculously wide mouths with abbreviated rows of teeth, remarkably expressive, oversized eyeballs, ledge-like foreheads and the tendency for all his characters to walk with a little waddle.

Continue reading: Chicken Run Review

Julia Sawalha

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