Juliet Stevenson

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Departure Review

Excellent

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience, but those who connect into its rhythms will find a witty, engaging coming-of-age story that finds hope in unexpected places. The film may be infused with a sense of impending doom, but that's precisely how the central characters feel. And with his first feature, Andrew Steggall proves to be a filmmaker with an unusual gift for delving beneath the surface.

The story takes place in southern France, where a British mother and son have gone to pack up the holiday home they've just sold. Beatrice (Juliet Stevenson) sees this as a pivotal moment in her life, realising that her marriage to Philip (Finbar Lynch) is over, and taking some time to get used to the idea before he arrives later to help. Meanwhile, their 15-year-old son Elliot (Alex Lawther) is wrestling with his own personal dilemma, afraid to give in to the desires he feels swelling up inside of him. He can't help but develop a crush on the brooding local mechanic Clement (Phenix Brossard), seeing their close friendship as possibly promising something more. The problem is that both Beatrice and Elliot are so caught up in their own journeys that they haven't noticed that they need each other.

This is an exploration of the difficulty of accepting a truth we already know deep down. And both Stevenson and Lawther are gifted at performing these kinds of layered characters, friendly on the surface but closed off from everyone else as they struggle through a darkly personal odyssey. Both are stubborn and selfish, but also raw and honest, which makes them hugely sympathetic. We long for them to simply sit down and talk to each other, to connect and realise that they're far more alike than they think. Into this, both Lynch and Brossard bring additional textures that offer danger and perhaps a chance to move forward.

Continue reading: Departure Review

Juliet Stevenson - The Olivier Awards held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals at Royal Opera House Covent Garden - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 3rd April 2016

Juliet Stevenson

Juliet Stevenson , Hugh Brody - The Olivier Awards 2016 held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 3rd April 2016

Juliet Stevenson and Hugh Brody
Juliet Stevenson
Juliet Stevenson
Juliet Stevenson

 Juliet Stevenson - The Olivier Awards held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals. - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 3rd April 2016

Juliet Stevenson

Juliet Stevenson , Pat Kinevane - The Olivier Awards held at the Royal Opera House - Press Room. - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 3rd April 2016

Juliet Stevenson and Pat Kinevane

Juliet Stevenson - A variety of stars were snapped as they arrived at the BBC Films 25th Anniversary Reception which was held at BBC Broadcasting House in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 25th March 2015

Juliet Stevenson
Juliet Stevenson

Diana Review


OK

While this odd biopic is a real mess, it's not quite the cinematic disaster snootier critics claim it is. Essentially fan fiction, the script spins a story that has only the vaguest basis in fact, drawing much of its dialog from screenwriter Jeffreys' and book author Kate Snell's imaginations. And if what these people say to each other wasn't so laughably silly, the film's genuinely intriguing themes might have emerged with more force.

We pick up the story in 1995, after Diana (Watts) has been separated from Prince Charles for three years. She still hasn't moved on romantically, and spends most evenings alone in Kensington Palace, making beans on toast and quietly crying herself to sleep. So when she meets heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Andrews), she's relieved that he doesn't treat her like a princess. Over the next two years, their romance develops in secret because Hasnat is a very private man and Diana is the most famous woman on earth. Fed up with the intrusive paparazzi, Hasnat puts the brakes on their relationship. So Diana uses her friend Dodi Fayed (Anvar) to provide misleading headlines and spark Hasnat's jealousy.

Of course, we know their love is doomed for another key reason: the film is bookended by scenes in Paris on the fateful evening of 31 August 1997. But even if this romance has clearly been fictionalised, it offers some intriguing themes that catch our sympathies, mainly due to an understated performance from Watts that occasionally catches Diana with remarkable detail. So it's frustrating that Khan is portrayed as such an icy, uninteresting figure, which means that Andrews never generates any chemistry with Watts.

Continue reading: Diana Review

Diana Trailer


Princess Diana was most definitely one of the most famous and inspirational women in the world, known to all as the People's Princess. Never seduced by the lure of wealth, fame and royalty, she lived her life for others, but struggled deeply from her own personal troubles; her failed marriage to Prince Charles embroiled in affair scandals and subsequent divorce, the constant hounding of the press and her later romances. When she met heart surgeon Dr. Hasnat Khan, she fell deeply in love, feeling for the first time in years, like a real woman. But it was a relationship doomed to failure with further media attention forcing a rift between them. She could never escape the scrutiny of the media, even while she put all her efforts into her hands-on charity work.

Continue: Diana Trailer

Secret Of Moonacre Trailer


Watch the trailer for Secret Of Moonacre.

Continue: Secret Of Moonacre Trailer

Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman Review


Good
Also known as The Last Hangman, director Adrian Shergold's film about the most famous executioner in England during the World War II war crimes trials and hangings follows the long lineage of English droll drama. Though performed behind closed doors these days, Albert Pierrepoint was the man who killed off key members of the Nazi party and therefore was seen as some sort of macabre hero to the masses of England. As a celebrity, however, he was an uncomfortable fit.

Pierrepoint, here played by the great Timothy Spall, was an unlikely public figure. In reality, Pierrepoint looked much older, skinnier and fatigued than Spall does but Spall gets the other part down: efficiency. Following in his father's and uncle's footsteps, Albert took up the job of a hangman to help supplement the wages he got for doing deliveries for the local supermarket. The grocery was also where he met his wife Anne Fletcher (a dazzling Juliet Stevenson) who would be his main supporter in his work. Albert would go on to perform hundreds of hangings, including a major batch of German World War II criminals, until he quit due to the backlash over capital punishment and his arguable celebrity status.

Continue reading: Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman Review

Pierrepoint Review


Good
Also known as The Last Hangman, director Adrian Shergold's film about the most famous executioner in England during the World War II war crimes trials and hangings follows the long lineage of English droll drama. Though performed behind closed doors these days, Albert Pierrepoint was the man who killed off key members of the Nazi party and therefore was seen as some sort of macabre hero to the masses of England. As a celebrity, however, he was an uncomfortable fit.

Pierrepoint, here played by the great Timothy Spall, was an unlikely public figure. In reality, Pierrepoint looked much older, skinnier and fatigued than Spall does but Spall gets the other part down: efficiency. Following in his father's and uncle's footsteps, Albert took up the job of a hangman to help supplement the wages he got for doing deliveries for the local supermarket. The grocery was also where he met his wife Anne Fletcher (a dazzling Juliet Stevenson) who would be his main supporter in his work. Albert would go on to perform hundreds of hangings, including a major batch of German World War II criminals, until he quit due to the backlash over capital punishment and his arguable celebrity status.

Continue reading: Pierrepoint Review

Bend It Like Beckham Review


Very Good
With preternatural good looks, a Spice Girl for a wife, and an uncanny ability to kick a soccer ball and make it land wherever he wants, David Beckham is one of the biggest stars of British sports. The soccer player was nice enough to lend his name to Bend It Like Beckham, a spirited, good-natured coming of age comedy that encompasses the immigrant experience, gender identity and family expectations with an engaging, natural ease.

The film follows Jesminder (Parminder K. Nagra), the child of Punjabi émigrés living in suburban London -- and one of Beckham's biggest fans. Posters of the footballer's exploits cover her walls, she wears his jersey when she plays soccer with the boys in the park, and she studies his moves during games on TV. But it's Jess's soccer skills that catch the eye of Juliette (Keira Knightley), who plays for a local women's soccer club. Jess finds herself recruited and suddenly realizes that soccer dreams of her own are not farfetched.

Continue reading: Bend It Like Beckham Review

Nicholas Nickleby Review


Good
Poor Charles Dickens. He has the good fortune to be remembered by the entire world. What high school student hasn't been forced to suffer through Great Expectations? Nowadays, one of his books (and he didn't really write that many) is turned into a movie or a mini-series every year. (2001 saw four Dickens recreations on film or TV.)

2002 will earn but a single Dickens adaptation, a motion picture of Nicholas Nickleby, perhaps Dickens' least-read work and one of his most wandering (the novel being more than 800 pages long).

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Being Julia Review


Very Good
When you have a performance as fresh and audacious as this one from a movie star who doesn't average a film a year, it makes you wonder why we see so little of her. But here she is, Annette Bening (Open Range, The Grifters), wowing us with her patented delicious verve in the form of stage naughtiness -- a portrayal that should go on more than one Best Actress list for the year 2004.

As the great Julia Lambert, the toast of the London stage in the early '30s, she's struck by a premonition of fading vitality at the grand age of forty. Worries of it bring her close to a breakdown as she begins to desperately search for other stimuli to give her life meaning. She carries on a dialogue with her muse, Jimmy Langton (Michael Gambon), her dead drama coach that she summons up as an imagined presence to tell her when she's going well or going astray.

Continue reading: Being Julia Review

Mona Lisa Smile Review


Good
For most of us, a satirical review of the stuffy attitudes and strict behaviors of the 1950s as seen in Mona Lisa Smile provides a refreshing contrast to our relaxed manners today. Unfortunately, this is all I got from Smile, despite the film's best intentions to present themes of feminine independence. It's an excellent message for young women that should be embraced; yet the film completely betrays this mission by giving us a one-sided central character with a very narrow-minded viewpoint.

Smile stars Julia Roberts as Katherine Watson, a new teacher who has accepted a position to teach art history at Wellesley - the all women college in Massachusetts. Much to her dismay, the progressive thinking taught in California is not embraced by the stiff administrators at Wellesley, and prompts comments like, "You didn't come to Wellesley to help people find their way, you came to help people find your way."

Continue reading: Mona Lisa Smile Review

Juliet Stevenson

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Juliet Stevenson Movies

Departure Movie Review

Departure Movie Review

Complex, dark and very moving, this British drama never makes things easy for the audience,...

Diana Movie Review

Diana Movie Review

While this odd biopic is a real mess, it's not quite the cinematic disaster snootier...

Diana Trailer

Diana Trailer

Princess Diana was most definitely one of the most famous and inspirational women in the...

Diana Trailer

Diana Trailer

Princess Diana was known across the world as the 'People's Princess'. Her beauty, dignity and...

Secret Of Moonacre Trailer

Secret Of Moonacre Trailer

Watch the trailer for Secret Of Moonacre.Maria Merriweather is a young girl who lives with...

Bend It Like Beckham Movie Review

Bend It Like Beckham Movie Review

With preternatural good looks, a Spice Girl for a wife, and an uncanny ability to...

Nicholas Nickleby Movie Review

Nicholas Nickleby Movie Review

Poor Charles Dickens. He has the good fortune to be remembered by the entire...

Being Julia Movie Review

Being Julia Movie Review

When you have a performance as fresh and audacious as this one from a movie...

Emma Movie Review

Emma Movie Review

O! The plight of wealthy twentysomethings in England at the beginning of the 19th...

Mona Lisa Smile Movie Review

Mona Lisa Smile Movie Review

For most of us, a satirical review of the stuffy attitudes and strict behaviors of...

Mona Lisa Smile Movie Review

Mona Lisa Smile Movie Review

"Mona Lisa Smile" is such an appalling waste of talent it actually made me mad....

Nicholas Nickleby Movie Review

Nicholas Nickleby Movie Review

You deserve a grain-of-salt warning before reading this review: Your friendly film critic really can't...

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