One of the greatest living actresses in British cinema - Dame Helen Mirren - will be honored by the British Academy of Film And Television Arts on Sunday, February 16.
Dame Helen Mirren is basically royalty now, or at least as close as possible. Having played two queens in her career, the 68-year-old actress will be awarded a fellowship from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts from none other than Prince William at the BAFTA Awards on Feb. 16. That must mean she’s done something right, Mirren reckons.
Despite her long and storied career, Helen Mirren continues to get starstruck by her favorite actors.
"I think it feels pretty amazing, actually, because I don't think he'd do it if the royal family felt I had messed up," Mirren, who played Elizabeth II in a 2006 film by Stephen Frears, told The Hollywood Reporter. "So I hope it's a sign they don't think I messed up. But I don't know, and I will never know for sure."
Continue reading: Dame Helen Mirren Strives To Keep Learning From Fellow Actors
When he's commissioned to paint a local militia group in 1642 Amsterdam, Rembrandt (Freeman) has premonitions of trouble, but goes ahead and creates a fiercely untraditional painting that reveals rather too many secrets about the musketeers depicted in it. While painting it, his sparky wife (Birthistle) gives birth to his son, but becomes seriously ill in the process, eventually causing him to turn to the family nurses (Holmes and May) for company. And when complete, the portrait, The Night Watch, has drastic repercussions on his career.
Continue reading: Nightwatching Review
Wrapping up Peter Greenaway's earliest years as a filmmaker, The Falls is a three hour indie epic, a film about nothing and everything all at once. It's maddeningly infuriating: Concentrate on its stories for more than a few minutes and your brain turns into a pretzel. Look away, though, and you feel you're missing something.
Continue reading: The Falls Review
So it is that Peter Greenaway's The Belly of an Architect is crammed to bursting with symbolism, analogy, and allusion, all loosed within a circular plot wherein the film opens with the architect and his wife conceiving a child and closes with the opening of Boullée's exhibition, Kracklite's real "baby." But for many viewers, I believe, the most telling parallel is that between Kracklite, with his perpetual stomach upset, and director Greenaway: Both are pretentious gasbags. Another quick connection is that between the "belly" of the title and "taste." The secret subtext of all of Greenaway's work is that his taste is good, or at least arcane in a high-minded way (and despite a predilection for bodily functions that is present in most of his films, which in less tony productions would rightly be termed sophomoric). The viewer is invited to share in this, but it's made clear that those who don't (or who can't follow his esoteric web of allusion) are either pigs (as was the villain in Greenaway's major success, 1989's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover), philistines, or merely dim.
Continue reading: The Belly of an Architect Review
The compulsive listmaking and mathematical precision of Greenaway's earlier films is present and intact, but the center of 8 1/2 Women is ultimately hollow and painfully obvious. His very concept reduces women to childish fantasies such as the sexually repressed nun (Toni Collette), the pregnant woman (Natacha Amal), the nubile bombshell (Polly Walker), the prudish accountant who wears thick glasses (Vivian Wu, from The Pillow Book) and the woman who adores her pet horse and pig (Amanda Plummer). The "half-woman" has no legs, of course.
Continue reading: 8 1/2 Women Review
Continue reading: Prospero's Books Review
Lest you think I'm joking, consider Greenaway's body of work, which has included plenty of equally perverse nonsense. This time out he's giving us a story -- if you can call it that -- of a doctor whose wife dies in a freak car crash in front of the zoo (think about the title) where his twin brother is researching the aforementioned decaying of dead things. The distraught brothers end up in a love affair with a woman named Alba, who lost one leg in the car accident and later decides to lop off the other one for kicks.
Continue reading: A Zed & Two Noughts Review