Sunday, April 30, 2006

Movie Star Status

Sources everywhere are reporting Jennifer Ehle's presence in Pride and Glory. Here's another one from Backstage.com
Jennifer Ehle has signed on to star opposite Edward Norton and Colin Farrell in New Line Cinema's crime drama "Pride and Glory."

Ehle will play Abby Tierney, a role that Samantha Morton was attached to play. Morton dropped out because of scheduling conflicts.
The story revolves around a three-generation family of New York cops. The family is thrown into turmoil when one son (Norton) uncovers a police corruption scandal involving his brother.

Gavin O'Connor is directing from a script he penned along with Joe Carnahan.

O'Connor also is producing alongside his brother Gregory O'Connor.
New Line's Toby Emmerich, Cale Boyter and Sam Brown are shepherding for the studio.

Ehle, whose credits include Neil LaBute's "Possession," "Sunshine" and the BBC production of "Pride and Prejudice," recently wrapped "Michael Clayton" opposite George Clooney.

She is co-repped by Endeavor and ICM London.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

"Two take leave of still-filming movies"

This is from Baltimore Sun
Are they putting something in the water?
Quite a few people are having "creative differences." First, the talented Samantha Morton, who received an Oscar nomination for her fab work in Woody Allen's 1999 film Sweet and Lowdown has now departed the still-filming movie Pride and Glory. This is a flick being directed by Gavin O'Connor of Miracle and Tumbleweeds fame. And it has a starry cast topped by Colin Farrell and Edward Norton. Samantha has already been replaced by the beautiful daughter of stage legend Rosemary Harris - Jennifer Ehle. You may remember her from 1999's Sunshine.

James Sanford on Film

Sunshine
Fame, prestige and a reputation for loyalty offer little protection from the ravages of prejudice and oppression. That's the lesson learned by three generations of Jewish Hungarians in director Istvan Szabo's "Sunshine," a sometimes choppy epic that nevertheless offers enough moving and shocking moments to compensate for the stretches that feel a bit overwrought.

The key to the film's success is Ralph Fiennes, who does a dazzling job of portraying three of the sons of the house of Sonnenschein: Ignatz, a judge who hopes to disguise his origins; Adam, Ignatz's son; and Ivan, Ignatz's grandson. The trio are bound together by a common misconception: All of them try playing by the rules of the ruling class, only to find the game is unwinnable.

Ambitious and reckless at the beginning of the 20th century, Ignatz defies his parents and marries his cousin Valerie (Jennifer Ehrle), an orphan who was raised as his sister. "We're already doomed to Hell," Valerie giggles as she slides into Ignatz's bed one evening. "We might as well enjoy it."

Presented with a promotion, Ignatz chooses to ignore the warnings of his father Emmanuel (David de Keyser), who tells him, "Our people must never climb too high, even if we're invited to." Moving upward requires Ignatz to modify his surname to the less ethnic-sounding Sors, and as a show of support Valerie and Ignatz's brother Gustave (James Frain) take the name of Sors as well. The three laugh and skip as they exit the courthouse, but they'll have little reason to be jolly in the future, as World War I begins and the Hungarian emperor falls.

Szabo, whose "Mephisto" and "Colonel Redl" were major art-house attractions in the 1980s, is least successful with this portion of the story. Too many scenes come across as contrived or melodramatic, particularly the confrontations, which too often end with pounding on the dinner table or the overturning of a bookcase.

As "Sunshine" moves into its second hour, the film becomes more assured and effective. Adam Sors becomes a champion fencer who participates in the 1936 Olympics, but in order to get there, he first has to convert to Catholicism. Even that's not enough to protect him and his loved ones from the Nazis, however, and in a gripping scene, the once-proud hero is stripped naked and hosed down with icy water by concentration camp guards, while his young son Ivan is forced to watch.

Ivan grows up to become a fervent Nazi hunter and a pro-Stalinist speechwriter in early 1950s Hungary, a country left in tatters by WWII. Although, like his father and grandfather, Ivan yearns to assimilate into the establishment, his passion for a married woman (Deborah Kara Unger) and his friendship with a co-worker (William Hurt) accused of being part of a "Zionist conspiracy" prevent him from succeeding. Looking back on all she's seen over the decades, Valerie (who has grown up to be played by Ehrle's real-life mother Rosemary Harris) boils down the Sonnenschein saga to its essentials: "Politics has made a mess of our lives."

Although "Sunshine" occasionally feels more like a condensed mini-series than a movie, it's rarely dull and the acting is first-class. Ehrle and Harris make Valerie's journey from youthful firebrand to wizened matriarch entirely believable. As people whose spirits were long ago crushed, Unger and Hurt show off the scars of conformity.

As he rings in 1900 surrounded by friends and family, idealistic Ignatz leads a toast. "I predict this will be a century of love, justice and tolerance," he proclaims. While much of "Sunshine" grimly reminds us that prophecy did not come to pass, Szabo's film also challenges us to confront the mistakes of our ancestors and to avoid making them again.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Pride and gloating

About eleven days after us (thanks again LAonit!), word of Ms Ehle's involvement in Pride and Glory has reached the media - Comingsoon via The Hollywood Reporter.

Jennifer Ehle has signed on to star opposite Edward Norton and Colin Farrell in New Line Cinema's crime drama Pride and Glory, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Ehle will play Abby Tierney, a role that Samantha Morton was attached to play. Morton dropped out because of scheduling conflicts.

The story revolves around a three-generation family of New York cops. The family is thrown into turmoil when one son (Norton) uncovers a police corruption scandal involving his brother.

"Scheduling conflicts" might be a euphemism, according to the goss on the IMDB forums. Speaking of which, the Pride and Glory insider molassey posts weekly location updates.

Macbeth bash

An article about this has been posted before, but I didn't read it properly and missed the good bits.

The news according to TheatreMania is that Macbeth's opening night is to be June 28th. The Public Theater site says that the show is running from June 13th, so I'm guessing the two weeks in between are previews or something.

But the bigger news from Playbill is that the Public Theater's 2006 Summer Gala is happening on the same night. Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline are the honourees for the gala, which presumably means they'll be watching the show. Meryl Streep in the audience...no pressure there!

Actors Kevin Kline and Meryl Streep will be honored on June 28 at the Public Theater's 2006 Summer Gala, to be held at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park.

Kline and Streep starred at the Delecorte in a Mike Nichols-directed production of The Seagull. Streep is to return to the space this summer to play the title role in Mother Courage.

An outdoor buffet dinner will be followed by a performance at the Delacorte Theater of Macbeth starring Liev Schreiber and Jennifer Ehle, and a post-show cast party at Belvedere Castle overlooking Turtle Pond and the Delacorte.

And there's a bit more info about the gala from the press release (original PDF here):

Last summer’s gala was attended by more than 650 people – including the Mayor and top government officials, CEOs and business leaders of Fortune 500 and other major corporations, established leaders of the social community, young trendsetters and a wide range of celebrities – and grossed $1.6 million for the institution

So quite a partay. Looks like the gala's not open to humble plebs, but as it's outdoor you can probably gaze longingly through the barbed wire.

PS. I knew it was a mistake to say there was too much news on Michael Clayton. There is, but turns out that most is about George Clooney being stalked. We're on the lookout for substantial news though.

Melissa DVD in doubt?

A few weeks ago, I wrote to Channel 4 asking for confirmation that the Melissa DVD would be released. The reply from viewer enquiries today was "Not due for release as far as we know."

Which may not be far. At least five sources have it available for pre-orders: Play.com, Sendit, MovieMail and Benson's World. Amazon is selling it as part of the Alan Bleasdale collection. They all have the release date as June 12th, so we'll see.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Knightley/Ehle debate

I know we're all getting sick of the comparisons, but they discuss it at LiveJournal.
When you're reading the comments, beware of differing opinions.
I think that Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth was much more loyal. That Elizabeth was more down-to-earth and demure, used a very good tone when she was insulting Mr. Darcy, and truly seemed to not care that Mr. Darcy didn't like her at first. Hehe, I think I'm particularly stuck on how the two reacted towards Mr. Darcy's "slight" towards Elizabeth. In contrast to Keira's pained expression that looked like she was thinking, "How could he say that...", Jennifer let out a little laugh and her expression looked like she was thinking, "What a jerk" and went straight to Charlotte so they could giggle about it. Jennifer's Elizabeth was very good with her expressions. They weren't childish, but more proud and seemed to offer just a friendly challenge. Keira's Elizabeth seemed to get no pleasure from going against Mr. Darcy while Jennifer's seemed to think it was amusing.

"Mysterious, Mesmerising, Melissa"

Here's a review for Melissa from IAfrica
After the tragic death of his wife in a car accident, dashing war corespondent Guy Foster (Tim Dutton) decides to leave Cape Town after several years in South Africa and return home to England, travelling by sea. On board he meets the mysterious and mesmerising publicist Melissa and falls head over heels in love with her.

Melissa's group of exuberant friends are professional party people: Graeme (Adrian Dunbar - Cracker), a showbiz agent whose business is not what it used to be; Paula (Julie Walters) his wife and Melissa's business partner; Stevie (Clarence Smith), a homosexual singer; Les (Christopher Ryan), a has-been comedian and Hope (Diana Weston), a once famous singer and impersonator who has turned to alcohol as her career faded - all clients of Graeme's. And back home waits Don (Gary Cady), a racing driver and Melissa's former lover, who is insanely jealous of her new relationship.

Guy and Melissa's whirlwind romance sets the stage for a mystery detective story from the pen of the great British writer Alan Bleasdale (Jake's Progress), who takes his inspiration from a Sixties thriller penned by Francis Durbridge. Bleasdale has created a gallery of richly-drawn contemporary characters in a story of baffling crimes, wild passion and unexpected twists.

While Guy celebrates his love and good fortune, he is unaware of the nightmarish chain of events in which he will soon find himself caught up. During the first night of the voyage an elderly widower is far from accidentally lost overboard. Back in Cape Town the police discover the bodies of a murdered middle-aged couple. Before long death claims another victim except this time the murder is closer to home. For Detectives Cameron and Kilshaw, this brutal murder marks the beginning of a hunt to find the extraordinary and elusive murderer.

Jennifer Ehle, who is the bewitching Melissa, has worked in television as Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, as Calypso in 7he Camomile Lawn and with Glenn Close in the feature film Paradise Road as well as Wilde, in which she plays Constance to Stephen Fry's Oscar. Playing opposite her, Tim Dutton's feature film credits Include Death on Everest, Tom and Viv and Patriot Games.

Julie Walters, whom SABC 3 viewers will remember as the mother in Jake's Progress, needs no introduction. Her Paula is "a terrific character: loud, boozy and outrageous". Bill Paterson (Oliver's Travels, The Crow Road) and Michael Angelis play the sardonic detective and his dry sidekick.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bit of a pickle

Happy zany news day! This is from Revolutionary Girl's LJ.

Another founder was writer John Ehle (apparently pronounced Eelee?). You may not know his name himself, but he has great connections. First, his wife is Rosemary Harris--you may know her better as Aunt May from the Spiderman movies. (ROCK!!). Second, his daughter is Jennifer Ehle--you may know her better as Elizabeth Bennett from the A&E Pride and Prejudice. ROCK PART 2!!!

So he and Rosemary Harris were running around yesterday for the panel discussion thing, and I gave them programs and whatnot. And they were nice (she always is, anyway--I'd never seen him before).

Last night they had a big dinner at the Stevens Center before the orchestra concert. So he came down from the dinner afterwards with a present of some sort that was circular and wrapped in blue tissue paper. My boss was taking him into the theater, and I was just standing by the door.

This Ehle guy stopped and turned to me. He looked at me a second, and then he held out the wrapped things. "Here, my dear," he said, "this is for you."

"...Why, thank you!"

I was walking around, feeling like some sort of Chosen One because a dude who writes books for a living and has pretty good connections gifted me with his complementary kitsch candle (or so I was thinking), which was already kind of stupid on my part. But here comes the punchline.

I was putting it back in the coatroom with the rest of my stuff when two other people who were at the dinner came in to leave their umbrella. "Oh, ha," they said to me, "where'd you get that? Did someone leave it?"

"No, John Ehle gave it to me. I guess he figured I needed it worse than he did."

"Do you know what it is?"

"No, what is it? A candle or something?"

They held up two green jars. "It's a jar of pickles." (For some strange reason that I haven't been able to understand, that's NCSA's mascot--the pickle.)

I unwrapped it, and sure enough there was a jar of pickles with an NCSA label on it: "Where artistic gherkins become really big dills!"

So Aunt May's husband and Elizabeth Bennett's dad gave me a jar of pickles.

...well, it amused me, anyway.

Ha! Me too.

And this was funny too, from zoomeister.

Funny how costume drama has such an effect on one's language. I did nothing last night save watch Pride and Prejudice, a terrific yarn from the BBC broadcast firstly in 1995, and based on the Jane Austen novel.

After this I would find that my speech would be most viciously inflected with all kinds of laborous language! I now speak in lenghty sentences, big words, and stand around rooms looking at the mantlepiece with my hands behind my back.

Jennifer Ehle is lovely too, and a terrific actress. Swoonsome even. Colin firth is cool, but looks every time he enters a room to speak to someone like he's left a porn mag in there and is trying to find it without making it look like he is. All that pacing and staring. I conked out, laughing as I imagined the dvd released with swearing packed into it, thus utterly ruining the whole drama.

Abby Tierney

That's the name of Ms Ehle's character in Pride and Glory, according to the IMDB insider.

She took over Samantha Morton's part, the role of Abby Tierney. Abby is married to Noah Emmerich's character, Francis Tierney, Jr. Francis is son to Francis, Sr. (Jon Voight), brother to Ray (Ed Norton), and brother in law to Jimmy Egan (Colin Farrell).

And for today's Odd Spot, I received this Monroe Times article through a news alert. A possible alternative explanation for her "special thanks" in The Hole?

Outhouses topic of genealogical meeting
"Historic Outhouses: The "Hole" Story" will be presented by Jennifer Ehle to the Green County Genealogical Society at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 6. Attendees will be bound to their seats by a theme of interest to gardeners, historians, friends of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Colonial Dames and all genealogists.
...
Ehle is a board member for the Rock County and Wisconsin State Genealogical Societies, past president of the Friends of the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Wisconsin Society of Colonial Dames of XVII Century. She is a national officer for the Colonial Dames of XVII Century (Librarian General).

Before Wisconsin fans get too excited, I'm pretty sure that's not our Jennifer Ehle. But if you're fond of outdoor sanitation, feel free to check for yourself.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

In memory of our ANZACs

Lest we forget.

Womens Hour's favourite novel


"Women listeners back Austen Novel"
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice has been voted by BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour listeners as the book that has most changed the way women see themselves.
The book was chosen by a live studio audience from a list of five finalists chosen by thousands of listeners. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte), To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee), Women's Room (Marilyn French) and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale were the top five.

Presenter Jenni Murray said Austen's book was "every woman's dream".
" If ever we wished to identify with a character, it must be Lizzie "
-Monica Ali

Pride and Prejudice is the story of Elizabeth Bennet and her relationship with Mr Darcy, and their slow, comic courtship.

The final decision brings an end to the Women's Watershed Fiction competition which has been running since September.

Listeners and high profile women including Cherie Booth, politician Glenys Kinnock and TV presenter June Sarpong have been championing their chosen novel on air.

Almost 14,000 listeners voted for their favourite books.

Ms Booth chose The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, Ms Kinnock chose Love of Worker Bees by Alexandra Kollontai while Sarpong chose Orange Laughter by Leone Ross.

Brick Lane author and champion of Pride and Prejudice Monica Ali said: "If ever we wished to identify with a character, it must be Lizzie.

"She's quick witted, lively, self assured and yet so infallibly human and she takes us on that most important journey - the path to self knowledge".

Soon after the book was published in 1813 Jane Austen wrote about Elizabeth Bennet: "I must confess that I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print, and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know".

Monday, April 24, 2006

Hard at work on Michael Clayton

From the mid-shoot party for Michael Clayton - look closely. Click on the picture for an explanation.


There's no evidence that Ms Ehle attended, but I sure hope she did.

Here's an article on some lucky people whose house was used to shoot some of the film.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Design for Living by Saltzman

Simon Saltzman writes a review on Design for Living. That's right, no news on upcoming projects.
Although Broadway's new production of Noel Coward's naughty-but-nice sex charade, "Design for Living," is still set in 1933, its rightful era, it has been given a bountiful measure of contemporary resonance by director Joe Mantello. It appears like a fresh, sometimes turbulent breeze, unmindful of the arch, high society atmosphere that has previously characterized the play. Although the dialogue remains unchanged, Mantello (director of the memorable "Love! Valour! Compassion!") has aggressively freed the play from the rarified airs as they might have once applied to social conduct.

The conflict remains the same -- Otto loves Leo, and Leo loves Gilda, but Otto also loves Gilda who also loves Leo -- yet the performers are no longer embracing the more stolid Cowardian graces and affectations, as much as they are out to embrace and beguile a modern audience with a new age impudence and style. In the hands of its three stars -- Alan Cumming, Jennifer Ehle, and Dominic West -- the amoral frolicking never seems to take itself too seriously, even as it rings with astonishing truthfulness.

Regrettably, I was born too late to see the playwright and actor Coward cavort onstage in this play with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne. I do have a videotape of Ernst Lubitch's stilted, censored, and otherwise mutilated film version starring Miriam Hopkins, Fredric March, and Gary Cooper. Equally mutilated was the relatively recent production at McCarter Theater in May, 1999, a grievously joyless and superficial rendering of the work.

Although "Design for Living" is noted for being one of Coward's more self-conscious plays, the self-centered immoralists who propel the action are no longer seen in this staging as shallow pawns buffeted about by a shower of Coward's sass and wit. There is more fun than ever keeping up with these three, as they flit from Otto's Paris loft to Leo's flat in London, ending up two years later in Ernest's New York penthouse.

What makes it more fun is that the haranguing, bickering, and carping resounds with new millennium pretensions and posturing. Of course, this too will appear arch come mid-century. But we'll let the next generation make their own aesthetic judgements about taste and temperament.

What a pleasure to feel the sexual tension that is presumably Coward's most earnest intention. Notwithstanding the clowning that goes on, the possibility of seduction is keenly felt in every scene. Ehle, who received a Tony award last season for best actress in "The Real Thing," is one of the more charming and poignantly affecting Gildas I have seen in a while.

Here is a Gilda who, shorn of the formal grace that generally typifies her, is not inconsequentially a sexy, tempestuous, amorous woman -- misguided and psychologically immature though she may be. In Ehle's hands, Gilda's constant griping and whining is not tiring, but rather remarkably touching. Co-habitation for Gilda seems not only a reasonable solution for her, but also for the two gay men she has intoxicated.

As the nonsensical friends and/or lovers, Cumming and West are an incomparable pair of frivolous dudes who irresponsibly romp and cavort through their bi-sexual dalliances. Cumming, winner of the best actor award for his role as the emcee in "Cabaret," plays the artist Otto. While unmistakably gay in his mode and manner, Otto's need for Gilda's love seems ruefully sincere. If his pierced eyebrow and blonde-tipped hair seems a bit too trendy, his Otto, nevertheless, is irreverent and out of the closet with a fury. For dangerous contrast, the handsome West is making his Broadway debut as Leo, the playwright. Whereas in the past the play is usually perceived as being the playground for two bi-sexually-guarded men, West's instincts are as appealingly blithe as they are grounded in reality.

John Cunningham, as the constantly nonplussed art dealer, Ernest, who becomes Gilda's husband, affords more imperious spontaneity to the role than we have come expect. Jenny Sterlin is a delight as Miss Hodges, a constantly dismayed but diligent housekeeper. T. Scott Cunningham and Jessica Stone are funny as an American couple unmercifully ribbed in the last scene by the by then unconscionable Leo and Otto. Merisa Berenson also scores as a rich dame and prospective client of Gilda, now a successful interior decorator.

Designer Robert Brill has contributed three stunning sets: Otto's London loft studio is nightmarish collage of paintings, posters, and pamphlets; Leo's gaudy bouquet-bombarded London flat; and Ernest's New York breathtaking Deco-deluxe penthouse, each impeccably designed for living. Although you will recognize this "Design for Living" as the ultra-sophisticated romp it is, you will also feel that you are seeing the play for the very first time. Good show. Three stars: You won't feel cheated.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Confirmation

We have reveived official confirmation that Jennifer Ehle is in fact in both Michael Clayton and Pride and Glory. Which is good, because we'd look silly after posting about them for days.

That toe-dancin' school

As part of NCSA's 40th anniversary celebrations, John Ehle will be participating in a panel discussion with some of its other founders. It's being held today (Sat 22nd) at 2pm, in the Watson Chamber Music Hall on the NCSA campus at 1533 S. Main St, Winston-Salem.

NCSA will cap its 40th birthday on Saturday with a panel discussion among six founders. Bill Friday, the former president of the University of North Carolina system, was supposed to moderate the panel but is ill, Marla Carpenter, a NCSA spokesperson, said yesterday. Dale Pollock, the dean of the School of Filmmaking, will lead the discussion instead.

The forum will also be recorded for the school's archives. Organizers say they hope that the forum will focus on NCSA's early history, from an idea tossed around in then-Gov. Terry Sanford's circles to a heated battle among House legislators to the muddy fields around the fledgling campus.

NCSA was the first state-funded arts conservatory in the country.

Lindgren [first dean of School of Dance] will join NCSA founders John Ehle, Thomas Lambeth, arts patron Phil Hanes, former trustee Mary Semans and Robert Ward, NCSA's the president from 1967 to 1974. Ehle and Lambeth served on Sanford's staff.

The legislation that gave birth to NCSA became sarcastically known among some opponents as the "toe-dancin' bill," according to A Passionate Preference, a book of the school's history by Leslie Banner.

"I just don't think we ought to spend money to learn people to pick banjers and toe-dance and sing in foreign languages," Dan Simpson, a Republican representative from Burke County, said at the time. "If we have money to spend, we should make it possible for everyone to get a low-cost college education. I don't think we should use it to turn out people like Liz Taylor or Richard Burton."

From the Winston-Salem Journal. NCSA also has a press release with biographies of the panelists:

JOHN M. EHLE, JR.
Novelist John Ehle is the author of 17 books (11 fiction and six nonfiction), which have been translated into French, German, Swedish, Spanish, Japanese and other languages. Mr. Ehle has made profound contributions to North Carolina in a variety of programs designed to help people reach their potential. As a member of Governor Terry Sanford's staff in the 1960s, he was the "idea man" behind the creation of the North Carolina School of the Arts and the Governor's School. He also helped start the North Carolina Film Board, North Carolina Institute of Outdoor Drama, the North Carolina Advancement School and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Mr. Ehle has received both an honorary doctorate and Giannini Award from NCSA, where he has a scholarship established in his name. Mr. Ehle, along with the John Ehle and Vernon E. Jordan Trust, recently established three new endowed guest artist funds at NCSA: the Anne Cannon Forsyth Visiting Artist Funds in Dance, Drama and Music. Mr. Ehle and his wife, actress Rosemary Harris, reside in Winston-Salem, and they have a daughter, actress Jennifer Ehle, an NCSA alumna. Miss Harris is a member of the NCSA Board of Visitors and has been a frequent guest artist at NCSA.

Rosemary Harris news

  • Rosemary Harris has appeared in a new book called "In Character: Actors Acting" by Howard Schatz. This, from Canoe Jam:
    In photographer Howard Schatz’s handsome new book, In Character: Actors Acting, that conceit is taken to extraordinary lengths. At times as unsettling as it is fascinating, the 264-page book takes us up close and personal with 100 actors. Faces are placed first; words are provided as shadings.

    Some actors are also given the opportunity to expound on acting or fame or career. These capsule essays go beyond the rote answers that the same actors resort to in celebrity interviews, so they have an intrinsic value.

    Some of the subjects are names, a few with Oscars: Don Cheadle, Ellen Burstyn, James Earl Jones, F. Murray Abraham, Martin Landau, Patrick Stewart, Danny Glover, Edie Falco.

    Some are faded stars looking for validation: Chevy Chase, Eric Roberts, Steve Guttenberg, Michael York

    Others are character actors with a pedigree: Dan Hedeya, Rosemary Harris, Christopher Lloyd, Sydney Pollack, Bill Pullman, Michael Lerner, Robert Loggia, the late Hume Cronyn

  • You can buy the book at Amazon or preview it at Howard Schatz' site.
  • BroadwayWorld mentions a play apparently starring Rosemary Harris which will be playing in 2007 at the Royal Theatre, Haymarket in London's West End. I can't vouch for this, because I can't find anymore information on it just yet. If you know anything, please write in the comments.
  • Friday, April 21, 2006

    "A softly unfolding Keats poem"

    Blogger John T. waxes lyrical:

    Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice)-Going from a multiple Emmy winner to a Tony winner, you can't really tell how Jennifer Ehle could have possibly been made for the stage-I mean, I love her, and she's all there as an actress, but her brilliant symmetry just doesn't seem like it would work well in the louder, more on-the-spot world of the theater. Watching her as the divine Elizabeth Bennett is like watching a softly unfolding Keats poem. If there was ever an actress I've wondered more about, I can't think of one offhand-how could she not have a major film career with a performance this radiant? Aside from that film with Ralph Fiennes (Sunrise-which is high on my Netflix queue-Ralph and my Jennifer, I can hardly wait), there's nada. But no matter-even if she never creates anything else, she will live on in my memory as a stubborn, vibrant Elizabeth Bennett. Not handsome-it's a pity for Mr. Darcy that he couldn't realize her many excellent qualities at the beginning of the film. As for the audience, who received one of the best miniseries ever, we have no such complaints.

    Don't worry, I've let him know that his Jennifer has lots of new work coming up.

    Alpha Male 2006 release?

    Please deity, let it be true. Mark Wells, who plays Jennifer Ehle's son in Alpha Male, posts the video clip (same one we showed you earlier) on his blog. But the exciting bit is this:

    Apparently, 'Alpha Male' has been sent to the distributor, so here's hoping for a 2006 release.

    Amen.

    Thursday, April 20, 2006

    Blogging buzz on Clayton


    Seems like Michael Clayton is gaining momentum- Could be a big film! Here's the buzz from the blogs. There are also lots of blogs that report encounter stories with George Clooney from the set.

    Fidgeting Wildly
    Got a chance to watch some setup and set decoration for a film shoot today. Didn't stick around for the actual filming, as it was to occur between midnight and 6 a.m. and I have a day job. Besides, it's a Hugh Grant film and not Michael Clayton, the George Clooney film currently shooting here in the city. If it had been the latter, I would have stayed and held a torch all night.

    This Livejournal-er also noticed the spectacle outside their window.
    Two of the comments say:
    "Ooo, looks like another winner from Clooney."
    "oh yeah, blockbuster alert!"

    Here's a story of a stand-in's wild experiences on the set of Michael Clayton.

    This Livejournal-er predicts the Oscars for 2007. They nominate George Clooney as Best Actor for Michael Clayton, and Tony Gilroy for the Original Screenplay category.

    Wednesday, April 19, 2006

    Pride and Glory's history

    Pride and Glory was originally meant to star Mark Wahlberg, Hugh Jackman, Robert DuVall, Ed Harris, and Anthony LaPaglia, according to this Yahoo preview. One rumour is that it was scrapped because the police corruption theme was deemed to be in poor taste after 9/11.

    Public Theatre publicity

    A bit of buzz from BroadwayWorld about Macbeth and other productions on this summer.

    This summer’s production of Macbeth will feature an outstanding team and exceptional artists. Liev Schreiber, who will perform the title role, is a noted Shakespearean actor whom The New York Times called “perhaps the finest American stage actor of his generation” and who won a Tony Award last year for his work in Glengarry Glen Ross on Broadway. Jennifer Ehle, performing Lady Macbeth, is a critically acclaimed actress who received the 2000 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her role in The Real Thing and a BAFTA Best Actress Award for her work as Elizabeth Bennett in the BBC/A&E production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Director Mois├ęs Kaufman directed the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning I Am My Own Wife on Broadway and wrote Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project, among the most performed plays in America over the last decade.

    Bennet!

    Michael Clayton September release?

    Michael Clayton is due on September 22nd in Finland, according to IMDB. The USA release date is just "2006".

    Confirmations

    There's now more evidence about Ms Ehle's involvement in the new films. An IMDB member has said that she started shooting with the cast of Pride and Glory today at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, replacing Samantha Morton (at that link there's a funny story about how the person kept looking for a Jennifer E. Lee). As for Michael Clayton, I wrote to Michael O'Keefe who confirmed that she is playing Brini Glass in the film. [edit: this isn't worth its own post, but Jason Strong who was also in the movie recalls seeing her name on the call sheet and says "she has a nice little part" - see the comments]

    Tuesday, April 18, 2006

    Pride and Prej... uh... Glory

    Pun number one. Here's the low-down on the new movie, Pride and Glory.
    New Line Cinema is in negotiations with Edward Norton, Colin Farrell and Noah Emmerich to star in "Pride and Glory," a generational drama about a family of police officers in New York torn apart by a corruption scandal.

    Gavin O'Connor will direct a script he wrote with Joe Carnahan. Greg O'Connor is producing. Shooting will begin in January in New York.

    Norton is poised to play a homicide detective who is assigned to investigate the precinct run by his older brother (Emmerich). Farrell plays the investigator's best friend, a cop in that precinct who might be dirty himself.

    O'Connor began writing the film after his 1999 debut, "Tumbleweeds," and he and his brother have been laboring that long to tell a story that is personal to both. It is being done through their Solaris banner.

    "My father was a New York City detective, and I grew up in that world," the director said. "It's a celebration of honest cops, which was everything my father was about. Though it is fictional, it is an homage to my father."

    New Line production president Toby Emmerich said he has been a fan of the script for several years.

    "This is a police drama that has qualities of family, corruption and redemption that ring true," he said.

    O'Connor is working for the first time with Norton and Farrell, but Noah Emmerich has starred i n both of his films, "Tumbleweeds" and "Miracle."

    Farrell, who's shooting the Michael Mann-directed "Miami Vice," stars in the upcoming Terrence Malick-directed "The New World" from New Line.

    Norton just completed "The Illusionist" and is shooting "The Painted Veil" in China.

    IOnCinema has an information page about the movie that I assume is updated fairly regularly, so watch this space for Ms Ehle's name.

    Meeting Mr Clooney

    Not specifically Jennifer Ehle-related, but this is a cute story of some fans meeting George Clooney while shooting Michael Clayton.

    Blooming Grove - Zack Bernard says he'll never wash his back again.

    "George Clooney just rubbed my back!" the 18-year-old Monroe resident yelled, pointing to his shoulder.

    "We just asked if he could take a picture with us and he was like, 'Sure,'" said 15-year-old Patrick Kearns. "He's a nice guy."

    That's what all the Blooming Grove locals were saying yesterday as they stood outside neighbor Maria Caponero's house. Inside, three-time Oscar nominee Clooney was shooting scenes for his new Warner Bros. movie, "Michael Clayton," in which he plays the title character.

    There was no denying a movie was being shot, either. A long, bright blue bus was parked on the side of the road and about 100 crew members bustled around, setting up lights and equipment on the street and on Caponero's front lawn. Neighbors watched as the crew spoke on walkie-talkies and the caterers walked around with food. Town of Blooming Grove police officers controlled traffic as the crew shouted "Picture up!" "Rolling!" and "Cut!"

    Armed with cameras, camera phones and jackets, everyone waited with a hushed excitement to get a glimpse of Clooney.

    They got a little more than that.

    Until about 11:45 a.m., Clooney stayed inside the house. Then the crew took a break for lunch, and Clooney, dressed in a gray coat, black pants and white shirt, emerged.

    "Hey George! How ya doin'?" someone shouted.

    "Hey guys!" Clooney replied, with that smile. That smile! "What's going on?"

    Before going to lunch at a nearby firehouse, he posed for pictures and spoke with fans. He also had a light-hearted run-in with local authorities.

    "He just asked me how I was holding up," said Town of Blooming Grove Officer Lisa LiVigni, who was securing the road. "He's just very friendly."

    At the firehouse, he signed autographs for fans.

    People were driving up and down the road all day, but it wasn't until lunch time that the cars full of teenage girls began pulling up and asking questions.

    "Is it true that George Clooney is shooting a movie here?" one asked.

    Another teen on the set was 18-year-old Anthony Caponero, who lives in the home Clooney is shooting in. Caponero wants to be an actor himself and won't be attending SUNY Orange for the rest of the week. He said his teachers are very well aware of it because this is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

    Monday, April 17, 2006

    Clooney Network on Michael Clayton

    The problem with the new films is too much information rather than too little, as with Road to the Sky. A nice problem to have. Here are bits and pieces I've found from a single site, the Clooney Network.

    Firstly, a synopsis and list of characters:

    Plot Summary: Michael Clayton, an attorney at a high-powered law firm, known as "the janitor" because he is the one that is called in to fix messes that no one else can handle. However, when Michael's friend and old associate, Arthur Edens, goes off his meds, melts down in a deposition, and starts helping the plaintiffs build their class action case against Agtek, a chemical company that is the firm's most lucrative client, Michael has his work cut out for him. Arthur's sudden "suicide" has Michael wondering what role Agtek in general and Agtek executive Karen Hauer have played in Arthur's death.
    ...
    Henry Clayton (Michael's young son), Mr. Verne (head of a covert security firm), Arthur Edens (Michael's friend and old associate), Barry Grissom (a senior partner at law firm), Mr. Iker (works with Mr. Verne), Gene Clayton (Michael's younger brother), Gabe Zabe (loanshark), Brini Glass (young attorney and Michael's lover), Anna Kysursen (she is part of a class action law suit against Agtek), Mr. Greer (client at Michael's law firm), Jerry Dante (a local lawyer), Don Jeffries (Corporate Titan at Agtek), Detective Montes (a friendly cop), Timmy Clayton (Michael's cousin), Adrise (Michael's assitant), Jeff Gaffney (partner at Michael's law firm), Raymond Clayton (Michael's father), Stephanie (Michael's sister), Ivy (Michael's ex-wife), Gerald (Now Ivy's husband).

    I'm guessing that Ms Ehle plays Brini Glass. In an article with more depth about the characters, Brini Glass is described like so. Warning, that link contains mega spoilers. [edit: oops, linked to the wrong place, fixed now]

    Brini Glass: Late 20s-early 30s. An attractive young attorney, she's a gogetter who is having a secret affair with her associate, Michael. Not really clear about Michael's role with the firm, Brini pressures him for some information and gets a little more than she'd bargained for.

    Note that unlike some other characters, Brini is not described as a "lead".
    The film is inspired by a real court case according to Mr Clooney:

    "It's actually based on a real court case — not directly based on it, but based on the idea," Clooney said of the film's origins. "There was a very specific court case, that we won't name to save the lawsuits, from a very famous prosecutor who at the time was a defense attorney. [A character] basically has information that he knows will destroy his client and hides it. I play one of the lawyers who works for that law firm, who gets that information and realizes I'm defending a group of people who are truly guilty." Clooney, currently starring in the journalism drama "Good Night, and Good Luck" (which he directed and co-wrote), added that pushing such buttons always gets him excited about a project. "Those are always the fun ones," he laughed, "when you realize you're in trouble."

    Actually the Clooney Network (obviously more on the ball than us!) has a whole section with archived articles about the film. From it, some interesting information I've gleaned is that it's made by the same team as Syriana and Traffic and the director also did the Bourne movies. The film is produced by Section Eight, Samuels Media, Mirage Enterprises and Castle Rock Entertainment. Summit is the principal distributor and has sold rights to Medusa, Pathe, DeAPlaneta and SND/MG in Italy, the UK, Spain and France respectively. In Germany Constantin has film rights and A Company has TV rights. Ren TV has TV rights in Russia.

    "Strong performance"

    Kevin Spacey fans won't be happy at this article questioning his choices as Old Vic boss, but Jennifer Ehle has a nice mention.

    The Philadelphia Story - featuring a strong performance by Jennifer Ehle in the Tracy Lord role - may have fared better, but it was still accused of being too populist, being a 'soft option' and of succeeding, according to musicOMH.com critic Lisa Hunt, despite, rather than because, of Kevin Spacey's presence in the cast.

    Sunday, April 16, 2006

    Scoop!

    Thank-you so much to the poster "LAonit" on the message board to the side of the blog. We have the most fantastic and premature news.
    Looks like Jennifer Ehle is now performing with an ensemble cast in Michael Clayton, starring George Clooney. This is confirmed in a Michael O'Keefe site, but hasn't really been announced anywhere else.

    The other film mentioned is Pride and Glory, about some New York police officers, which hasn't finished filming yet (that I know of) and doesn't have a distrubuter yet according to this Yahoo site.
    In our tip-off's words, Ms Ehle is "replacing an actress that messed up", which looks like Samantha Morton, according to some gossip on IMDB.

    Michael Clayton looks more up-and-running so far, and filming has been completed, apparently.

    We look forward to more exciting news on these projects!

    Saturday, April 15, 2006

    "A Scandal in Bohemia"

    A Design For Living review by Ben Brantley

    "Everyone, it seems, is digging for emotional truth beneath the sheen of the sharp-edged triangle made up of Otto (Mr. Cumming), a painter; Gilda (Ms. Ehle), an interior decorator; and Leo (Mr. West), a playwright. This excavation is apparently meant not only to bring out the play's homoerotic elements (which is an old game already) but also to reveal the crushing anxieties of the modern world.

    In a weird way the text justifies such a reading. Gilda in particular is always saying portentous things. (''The immediate horizon is gray and forbidding and dangerous.'') But to take such pronouncements at their word, rather than as the hyperbole of a drama queen, is to turn fresh comedy into stale melodrama. Coward's genius was in skating on the bright and brittle surfaces he created, winking at the abyss beneath but never descending into it.

    Mr. Mantello chooses to stare instead of wink. The first image we see is Ms. Ehle in a black slip slouched in a chair in a cluttered garret, smoking. She looks as lonely and exposed as a figure in a Hopper painting. No question about it. To borrow a Coward song title, she's got those ''20th-Century Blues.''

    This mood of uneasiness is sustained, with occasional forays into broad comedy, through the rondelay of musical beds that follows. The sensibility is underscored by the nervous curtain-raising music by Douglas J. Cuomo and harsh, contemporary covers of Coward songs (including ''Blues'') by artists like Bryan Ferry and Elton John. Robert Brill's large-scale Deco sets feel deliberately dwarfing and sterile.

    More than anything, though, it is Ms. Ehle's performance that sets the neurotic standard. She brought an anchoring sincerity and ardor to last season's first-rate revival of Tom Stoppard's ''Real Thing,'' for which she won a Tony. The same grave intensity is misapplied to Coward.

    Ms. Ehle's Gilda seems ravaged by guilt and self-disgust. She rattles off epigrams as if she wanted to dispose of them quickly, just as you expect her to tear up Bruce Pask's opulent period costumes in a fit of repentance. Whenever she laughs, one worries that it is merely a prelude to hysterics.

    Her relationship with Otto and Leo is only combative, critical. She seems to feel little sexual pull toward either man, but the bigger problem is that you never believe that this trio shares a worldview."


    Full text available at the website

    "Old-fashioned Romantic"

    A cute article written about romance and Lizzy Bennet's wardrobe.

    Old fashioned romantic - me, never!!!

    OK, so I may claim to be a cynic and never cry if a film is sad, but I am a sucker for a good old romantic film. Most especially when it is a period drama, and Richard Armitage is in it!

    Yes, I am talking of the recently aired 'North and South' that has made my last four Sundays absolute bliss!

    It was, by far, my favourite period drama since 'Pride and Prejudice'. I cooed, became angry, became sad and generally was absorbed by the whole affair.

    The casting was perfect; in fact the whole of it was magical. Richard Armitage was brilliant as stern yet compassionate mill-owner, who fell in love with the beautiful independent Miss Hale, played by Daniela Denby-Ashe.

    So, being an English student and prone to analysing pretty much everything I see and read, I've been thinking - why have those period drama days gone?

    Firstly, they should definitely show different adaptations every Sunday! And secondly, on a personal note, I would love to have the same wardrobe as Miss Hale, and Elizabeth Bennet.

    In fact, I have even been contemplating the idea of a 21st Birthday party period drama stylie! Bring back those lovely dresses!
    And the romance, the wondering if he loves her, or if she loves him, when and how are they going to tell each other and the nervous behaviour and blushing when they come near you!

    Oh, it's just beautiful, especially when you compare it to the modern ideas of courting. Gone are the days of secret letter passing, or loving gazes across the street. We now have bottom pinches, wolf whistling, and drunken chat-up lines such as "Get your coat, you've pulled!" Where has the romance gone?

    So I say get rid of the boy racer car's, bring back men on horseback - grrrr! Definitely cancel hip grinding, dirty dancing and wandering hands, replace it with chamber dancing and any dances of class! And no more mini-skirts, leave a little to the imagination girls please!

    Oh, and more gentlemanly behaviour in general is a must - door opening, drink buying etc! Most girls appreciate it so much, they are bound to buy you one back, and if they don't, frankly they aren't worth it anyway!

    But I have to say, we can keep modern day technology, especially when it means you can have Richard Armitage as your screen saver!

    Friday, April 14, 2006

    Important dates #2

    Just to help us keep tabs of the various release dates and whatnot.

  • April 12th: The River King region 4 DVD released by Network Video in Australia
  • April 25th: The Camomile Lawn region 1 DVD to be released by Amazon for North America
  • June 12th: Melissa region 2 DVD to be released by Play.com in the UK
  • Around June: Road to the Sky to be released internationally?
  • June 13th: Macbeth starts at New York's Delacorte Theatre
  • July 9th: Macbeth closes
  • July 17th: The River King region 2 DVD to be released by Play.com in the UK

    DVD release dates are notoriously unreliable, so keep checking back for additions (though we'll blog any noteworthy changes).
  • Holly Bolly*

    Not a mention of Ms Ehle in this Rahul Bose interview by The Hindu, but there's some insight into the Indian-American collaboration.

    But clearly, what he's really taken up by is Santosh Sivan's English film `Road to the Sky,' a film set in 1937. It is a story of friendship between a Malayali boy (Bose) and a British tea planter, who wants to build a road that will open the spice route to the village, in the backdrop of the Indian freedom struggle. "The greatest filmic experience of my life is `Road to the Sky.' No question. What was not special about that film? It's a Hollywood production. But thank God there are still some companies in Hollywood that make sensible cinema. American producers can be a nightmare. They have tremendous control over a film, unlike in India where the director calls the shots. But these guys were anything but the stereotype. They were compassionate and passionate. They were involved yet not interfering. And I'm the lynchpin of the film," he says Obviously he had great fun filming for it: "Six thousand feet, two degrees centigrade at night, playing squash every evening after shooting. I was in heaven! Away from the madding crowd, journalists," he says with a wide smile.

    *alright, so it's not Bollywood. Work with us here.

    Thursday, April 13, 2006

    "Robin's review of Sunshine"

    Although rated a 'B' overall, this reviewer gives Sunshine a good wrap (and is very nice to Ms Ehle and Harris).

    "Sunshine" is an ambitious film that spans decades, with the concentration on Fiennes's several lives. The political and personal lives of each Sonnenschein lad are influenced by the whims of history as one regime replace another, each with a promise of a better life for its citizens. The promise is never kept, though, and the people are mere duckpins in the political game as conservative regime replaces liberal, then communist replaces fascist, ad infinitum. The political scope of the film is impressive in it span of time and detail. The upheavals that occur through Hungary's history are depicted with accuracy, starting with the decaying opulence of the Austria-Hungarian Empire of Franz Josef.

    When World War One is thrust upon the countries of Europe, the political fabric is torn asunder and traditional ways are destroyed forever. Chaos takes control as followers of the left and right vie with each other to take control. Communism takes command of Russia, while the rise of the Nazis grips Germany and, eventually, the rest of the continent. Hungary sways first in one direction, then the other, as the left and right struggle to take over the government. This strife is shown in parallel as each of the Sonnenschein boys makes his mark on their individual generations, trying to garner favor from the powers that be.

    While Ralph Fiennes is the nominal star of the film, it is really an ensemble effort with some outstanding performances. Fiennes puts a unique spin on each of his characters and does an impressive job of making each one different. It's a big creative challenge that the actor handles well enough, but there is a flatness that permeates all three perfs. More impressive is the pair of performances by the actresses who portray Valerie as, first, a young lady, and later, an old woman. Jennifer Ehle is cast as Valerie the younger who becomes the lover and wife of Ignatz. Ehle outshines Fiennes (and everyone else) in every scene she is in, coming across as smart, independent, confident and capable. Rosemary Harris, Ehle's real-life mother, plays Valerie in her twilight years and carries forth the strengths developed by the younger Val. These two ladies are the best things in "Sunshine."

    The rest of the large cast provides the requisite depth to their respective roles, but are all so briefly presented that there isn't much time to develop each character. Of the others, William Hurt stands out as the honest and trusting Andor. He believes that his country is finally ready to care for its people, only to have his ideals smashed by the brutal oligarchy of the communists. His downfall also reps a significant turning point for Ivan.

    There is depth in the screenplay by Szabo and Hungarian playwright Israel Horowitz and they have no trouble in filling the film's 180 minute run time with its three interlocking tales. But, 3 hours is a big investment of time for a moviegoer and Fiennes does not give a compelling enough performance to warrant the time for most. It's not the type of film I can "recommend" but I don't regret seeing it, either. It's an enigma.

    Tech credits are first rate with Lajos Koltai providing the lush photography that helps carry the sought after period feel. Costume, by Pedro Moreno, and set design, by Attila Kovacs, recreate, nicely, the flow of Hungarian history over the last century. The score, by Maurice Jarre, suits the mood of the film.

    I give "Sunshine" a B.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Festen photo

    Muchas gracias to the commenter who tipped us off about this photo from the Festen premiere. You can have a look at the whole cast of "bold-face name" guests at the Broadway.com album.

    Cute as

    Mary has just made these spiffy little affiliation buttons which you can stick on your site if you love us.



    We're gonna catch a big one

    Adorable. This is by Kelly Bennett (!) of the Winston-Salem Journal on April 8th, entitled Rosie the riveter: a bear, an adventure, and all told in a British accent. No photo since the article's from a database.

    Rosemary Harris (above), a longtime stage actress in London and New York who is most recently known for her role as Aunt May Parker in the Spider-Man movies, read yesterday from We're Going on a Bear Hunt to preschoolers at the Special Children's School in Winston-Salem. Harris was participating in Young Children's Week, celebrated by the National Association for the Education of Young Children to promote early-childhood education. Harris and her husband, writer John Ehle, live part of the time in Winston-Salem. Their daughter, Jennifer Ehle, attended the N.C. School of the Arts. Geni Cameron (right), an assistant teacher at the Special Children's School, and preschool students Ava Schreier, 2, and Brady Warlow, 3, sit riveted by the story.

    Festen festivities

    Jennifer Ehle attended the opening night of Festen, which stars Julianna Margulies. Turns out Glenn Close was there too.

    Margulies’ Close friend, Glenn , led the glitter brigade on opening night....

    Others in attendance: Tony winner Jennifer Ehle , Lady Macbeth-to-be (this summer in the park opposite Liev Schreiber)...

    Monday, April 10, 2006

    New IMDB comments

    Here are some recently created IMDB comments that we haven't posted before.

    These are from The Camomile Lawn
    "Jennifer Ehle's 'Calypso' is no less determined – although her ambition (to marry a rich man) is selfish and she remains self-centered throughout. But there is honesty in her chosen lifestyle which is no less appealing than that of Polly."

    "Jennifer Ehle is, of course, delectable, and completely gorgeous, and acts the pants off everyone. Her accent is a wonderful mids-40s upper-class English, taken straight from Brief Encounter and the like. I didn't realize until today that she was born in North Carolina, I had her marked an English rose!"

    "Jennifer Ehle proves herself one of the sexiest figures to have been seen on screen, and a classic and classy actress to boot."

    From Possession:
    "But, in the final analysis, the movie belongs to Jennifer Ehle, whom I'd never seen before. An amazing performance in an amazing part. And the scene with her back to the camera and her long red braid hanging down her back is worth the price of admission alone. Ashe was a lucky man indeed."

    From Sunshine:
    "I loved the first hour of this film. Jennifer Ehle is, or soon will be a MAJOR DISCOVERY. This woman has been blessed with the power to simultaneously be and convey a kind of beauty that exists mainly on a spiritual level. She could be a young, British Meryl Streep."
    (*cough*, not British)

    Wanna go halves?

    Or...tenths? There's a great deal for the entire Arkangel Shakespeare set of audio CDs. It's got recordings of every single one of Shakespeare's plays - Jennifer Ehle is Miranda in The Tempest. It's only $400 Australian (new sets are $600+).

    Top secret

    A-grade journalism from Vickey Lalwani of Mumbai on the web. This is from January 3rd.

    Santosh Sivan began shooting yesterday on an English film titled Kerala (working title) — a film starring Rahul Bose, Nandita Das and two British actors.

    Sivan is also the cinematographer of the film. The film is being jointly produced by Los Angeles-based Echo Lake Productions, Adirondack Pictures of New York and Santosh Sivan Productions.

    Kerala is set in the pre-1950 period and contains lots of passion and conflict. Some actors from the Malyalam industry will also make the grade, and there will be a dialogues in Malyalam too.

    According to sources, “The film will be entirely shot in Munnar and it was difficult to convince the British actors to shoot there.”

    We called Nandita Das, but she was busy. “I am in a meeting in Cochin. I can’t talk to you right now,” she said hurriedly. Rahul Bose was forthcoming.

    He said, “Yes, I will be working with Nandita Das. But I am sorry that I can’t tell you about my character in the film, except for the fact that it’s a pivotal one. I have been sworn to secrecy and I can’t break anybody’s trust.”

    Sunday, April 09, 2006

    Collection of reviews

    These are excerpts from Sunshine reviews available in (mostly) full text at this James Frain website.
    "(Valerie) is played by Jennifer Ehle, daughter and look-alike of Rosemary Harris. Ehle, as the daughter who wants nothing more than to be a photographer, fills every dark room in the picture with her light. When she is on screen, the focus on her co-stars fades ever so slightly, the camera loves her so."
    "Canadian actress Rosemary Harris and her daughter Jennifer Ehle play the older and younger versions of Valerie the independent woman who refuses to have her spirit broken by any person or regime."
    *Rosemary Harris is Canadian now?
    "The film is anchored by Ehle and Harris, equally luminous as Valerie, who possesses the strength and wisdom of a woman who always dared to be true to herself."
    "Played in youth by Jennifer Ehle, in old age by Rosemary Harris (Ehle's real life mother), Valerie Sonnenschein is the heart of this story. While each new youth follows the latest regime in power, she can only watch as they again take the road of the misguided man."
    "The performance by Rosemary Harris is one of the best of the year. She takes the rains of the character from Ehle and adds wise age to the character already created"

    Saturday, April 08, 2006

    Ebay Round-up


    And what a round up.
    We've got:

  • A framed picture of Jennifer Ehle

  • A Pride and Prejudice poster

  • A picture of Jennifer Ehle as Lizzy Bennet

  • Another picture (same as the first framed one)

  • The River King DVD for only 99c (USD)

  • A Pride and Prejudice keyring (cute)

  • And The Tempest with free shipping


  • And, by the by, a site actually exists that tells you specifically about Jennifer Ehle's height. So if anyone's curious, or wants to add their own comment, go here.

    Amazon reviews Bedrooms and Hallways

    Amazon reviews Bedrooms and Hallways, as well as lots of rave customer reviews.

    "Leo (Kevin McKidd) is an endearing pup of a blue-eyed lad looking for old-fashioned romance with a happily ever after. Convinced to join a friend's drum-thumping New Men's Group ("Let these strong loving men heal you!" begs leader Simon Callow, who all but steals the film as a man in touch with his inner guru), Leo confesses an attraction to another member of the circle in the spirit of sharing. He's the only gay man in the group but his confession starts a cascade of sexual reassessment, all encouraged by Callow's hilarious new age Iron John. Meanwhile Leo's gadfly of a roommate is having sex in other people's bedrooms all over town with his new real estate agent lover (a sly, haughtily confident Hugo Weaving) and Leo reconnects with his childhood girlfriend Sally (Jennifer Ehle), who brightens the film with her sunny smile and wounded yet spirited tenderness. Rose Troche, whose guerrilla American indie Go Fish transformed a lesbian love story into a classic romantic comedy, here straddles screwball farce and sophisticated sitcom with a clumsy style that skews more toward the latter, but she invests it with genuine affection. As the funny but flippant comedy winds up to almost painfully trite pairings between the ricocheting couples-to-be, Troche's loving direction allows everyone their dignity and their charm, even through the most contrived and kooky complications. --Sean Axmaker "

    From a customer review:
    "Sincere, attractive, lovable -- and inexplicably alone -- Leo comes home one evening to find that his odd assemblage of friends and acquaintances has banded together to do that which he most dreaded -- throw him a surprise birthday party. In an inhospitable huff at confronting yet another birthday without a lovemate, he retreats to his bedroom to watch the telly, only to be pried from his retreat by the charming Jennifer Ehle. Then begins a flashback that unfolds the tale of how the evening's guest list came to be and why Leo is in such a funk. "

    Friday, April 07, 2006

    Blog buzz on Macbeth

  • The Playgoer is keen on the cast, but not the play:
    I have to admit to some eager anticipation over what's brewing at the Delacorte this summer for Shakespeare in the Park.

    Liev Schreiber? Now, Jennifer Ehle?? Moises Kaufman directing??? Sign me up. Then again, though... it's Macbeth. Oh well.

  • Thumbs up from Rocco of What's good / what blows in NY theatre:

    BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELTS
    In light of all the RACHEL CORRIE drama surrounding the New York Theatre Workshop, I'd like to point out the more subtle political statements being made four blocks away at The Public Theatre. The Public usually does a fine job of mixing artistic integrity with commercial responsibility. But the coming months will bring a variety of productions that I'm excited about for several reasons.
    ...
    MACBETH by William Shakespeare

    politically: This play is about a man who kills the king.....in Scotland....a long long time ago.

    artistically: Moises Kaufman's name attached as director, should be enough, but it only gets better from there. Liev Schreiber will be playing the title role, and brit, Jennifer Ehle (Tony winner for THE REAL THING) will be Lady Macbeth. This is gonna be HOT!

  • Finally, a post by a would-be auditionee for Macbeth. And here's the audition advert for Macbeth in Playbill. A bit too late unfortunately, they finished on Tuesday 28th.
  • Hold on, another casting advertisement which sheds some light on how they might interpret Macbeth.
    Casting: Jordan Thaler/Heidi Griffiths. Runs: June 13-July 9. Please prepare one brief monologue from any by William Shakespeare OR any Modern Classic play (Chekov, Ibsen, Miller, Williams, etc.) The following roles are cast: Macbeth: (Cast) Liev Schreiber, Lady Macbeth: (Cast) Jennifer Ehle. Seeking - Duncan: 50s. The King of Scotland. The impotent successor to a line of warrior kings used to taking by force anything not theirs by right, he must rely on countless warlords to do his dirty work for him. His world is held together by violence and fear not nobility and valor. This role may double. MacDuff, Lennox and Ross: Mid 30s-40s. Scottish lords. Theirs is a world of action, not thought, where arguments are won and lost through physical confrontation, not negotiation. Martial to the point of physical brutality. They understand how to create a sense of civilization by killing and conquering, but are far from civilized themselves. Some of these roles may double. Malcolm, Donalbain: Late 20s-early 30s. Duncan's sons, princes groomed and educated to be the heirs to the throne. They embody a more dimensional future of rule - power combined with the conscience of thoughtful leadership. Men "whose blood and judgment are so well commeddled that they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger to sound what stop she please." They are not just "passion's slave." Banquo: 30s. A young warrior in his prime. He is the one person who seems genuinely capable of upsetting MacBeth's meteoric rise to power. He is stronger and sexier than the older lords he has grown up emulating. Snapping at their heels, he seems to possess all the qualities of a natural leader in this world: edge, sinew and physical power. This role may double. Three Witches: 20s-50s. Not the hook-nosed, wart-faced creatures of Christian mythology. Rather, they are the remnants of an older, less warlike society. They are vagabonds, refugees who have been dispossessed by the constant shifting boundaries and power in their world. Disenchanted scavengers, they have survived because they possess intelligence, tenacity and wit. These roles may double.

    Interesting (surprising) take on the witches and Duncan. [edit: looks like this has been bumped from the page. Have a look at the cache]
  • Rosemary Harris reads Henry VIII

    BroadwayWorld reports that Rosemary Harris will be celebrating the Bard's birthday by taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony at the Lillian Booth Actors' Home on April 17th.

    Also, on IMDB, it says she's "attached" to Spider-Man 3.

    Thursday, April 06, 2006

    Dan Heller's review of Possession


    From Dan Heller Photography
    When writing this review, it struck me that I wanted to start with a statement about the writer/director before mentioning the film. A noteworthy event, since this meant that I was probably going to add a new name to my list of favorite filmmakers. His name is Neil LaBute, and while none of his movies have been my favorites, all seem to illustrate an insight into one aspect of humanity that evoke a strong reaction, or at least, reflect one. And yet, none of his films explore the full range of "character" that a person may possess. Rather, each film seems to explore just one aspect of the human condition. Hence, LaBute's forte as a filmmaker must be viewed not for the quality of one movie, but for the group as a whole.

    His latest (and 6th) film is called "Possession," a quiet little romance drama, adapted from A.S. Byatt's 1990 novel of the same name. The plot involves the intertwining of two unlikely couples separated by a hundred years. Aaron Eckhart, who's starred in the last four of LaBute's films, plays Roland Michell, an American studying in London. He is researching the poet laureate for Queen Victoria, Randolph Henry Ash from 1869 when he discovers a cache of love letters that appear to be from Ash to a little-known poetess named Christabel LaMotte, played by Jennifer Ehle,
    Jeremy Northam
    who looks remarkably like a young Meryl Streep. His research into this mysterious and unknown romance brings him to Maud Bailey, played by Gwyneth Paltrow, a rather straight-laced English academic researching LaMotte's life and work. Maud is initially dismissive of the discoveries, but the premise intrigues her, not to mention the chemistry she feels for the young American. As they collaborate on uncovering the romantic mysteries between the Victorian-era poets, they also discover romantic mysteries between themselves.

    What's so delightful about this film, which is also a feature that will almost assuredly put off mainstream audiences, is that the theme of the film suggests that it's gripping drama to have a famous (and fictitious) poet in English literature carry on an affair with another poet, turning the world of Victorian poetry upside side. Add to this delightful tryst, the tension between the romantically dysfunctional couple of Roland and Maud, both of whom have vowed never to indulge in romance again, and you may have hoards of sex-starved librarians breaking down the turnstiles to see this film over and over. Oh, Shades of excitement!

    Kidding aside, this film is so nice and sweet, that it almost seems like a departure for LaBute's tendency to portray more tumultuous emotional characteristics. Yet, taken as a part of his entire body of work, which is still small and growing, yet promising, despite one or two pitfalls along the way, "Possession" shows the lighter and more sophisticated side of the filmmaker, who isn't afraid to approach light-hearted subjects and still depict a sense of realism. I loved this film, but one day, I hope and expect that LaBute will break into the limelight with a more profound film that does more than portray human character. He'll make us ponder it.

    Wednesday, April 05, 2006

    The Spectator reviews Melissa

    James Delingpole wrote this article about Melissa in 1997 for The Spectator.

    By now, you'll probably have seen more episodes of Melissa (Channel 4, Tuesday) than I have, but, to judge by the first, this is going to be one of the year's television highlights. I've long entertained doubts about Britain's alleged top television screenwriter Alan Bleasdale -- after sitting through all trillion and one episodes of GBH, I muttered `Jesus! What a total waste of life!' - but Melissa certainly allayed most of them.

    There are two things I find irritating about Bleasdale's work. One: because he's so highly rated, he tends to be given far more screentime than his plots strictly deserve. Two: that combination of shrill mawkishness and cringeworthy, sub-Rotarian unfunniness whose merits could only possibly be comprehensible to a certain class of Liverpudlian. Usually, the latter is embodied by a character played by Julie Walters, who reappears here as an infuriating old soak given to salt-of-the-earth wisdom and silly malapropisms.

    I like to think, though, that, by the end of episode two or three, she'll have been bumped off by the mysterious killer, leaving us free to enjoy the other, more measured performances. Jennifer Ehle's enigmatic Melissa, for example, or Tim Dutton's saturnine foreign correspondent (probably the first sympathetically portrayed journalist in recent drama history).

    Though the trademark Bleasdale annoyances are not wholly absent from Melissa, it does seem a good deal wittier, sprightlier, more action-packed and suspenseful than his usual hand-wringing, politically charged melodrama. This augurs well, I think, for drama under New Labour. Now that all those leftie playwrights no longer have a heartless `Tory fascist junta' to rail against, they'll remember their main job is to entertain us - not send us beating our breasts all the way to the polling booth.

    Hungarian River King DVD release

    On April 11th, according to IMDB. Plus CinEmpire has some film stills.

    And more reviews from Amazon.

    Pride and Prejudice update

    Alas, not a sequel, just a renovation of the BBC's Pride and Prejudice website. There's a biography of Ms Ehle and other players, backstage photos, wallpapers and other goodies. The episode guide includes video clips from the series. UK residents can also enter a competition for a free anniversary edition DVD.




    (Just had to throw that one in. Sigh.)

    Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    The River King viewer reviews

    On IMDB, there are now some reviews of The River King. Not all of them are nice, though.

    One viewer wrote:
    I don't know why it is called "The River King", but it is a compelling movie. It has a good story line. There are some great possible endings and at least one of the best was selected. Any weak moments are covered over pretty well by the fine, believable acting of Edward Burns. Jennifer Ehle is worth watching anytime. Rachelle LeFevre should do well in the acting business. I'd recommend the movie to anyone who is interested in entertainment without unrealistic computer graphics. It was most entertaining. While it may well perpetuate the "myth" that all elite schools have bad boys leading other bad boys in deadly hazing rituals, it does not portray them in a good light.

    Monday, April 03, 2006

    By the way...

    We've brought back the tagboard of old - look at the bottom of the left sidebar. Convince us we're not talking to a void, dear readers!

    Sunshine blog review

    From She thinks therefore she is:

    Sure Ralph Fiennes's acting was seamless and well done, especially considering he played a different role for each generation. But, I was really truly most impressed by the talents of both women who played Valerie Sors, younger (Jennifer Ehle) and older (Rosemary Harris). They were truly the heart of the film.

    Pride and Prejudice photo on eBay


    This photo's being auctioned at eBay, expiring April 6th.

    Sunday, April 02, 2006

    OMG Alpha Male Clip

    To make up for that dreadful trick we played on you yesterday, here's a pretty long clip from Alpha Male. I was beginning to think this film was non-existant. It looks pretty good too. And I love the brown hair.

    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    Breaking news!

    This just in from the BBC. I'm speechless!

    Andrew Davies has been commissioned by the BBC to adapt the sequel to Pride and Prejudice, following the recent discovery of Jane Austen's long-lost manuscript by Professor A. Fewell of the University of Phoenix.

    Both Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle have agreed to reprise their roles as the proud and prejudiced lovers. They will be accompanied by several other members of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice cast.

    The new mini-series, tentatively titled Pride and Prejudice: the Golden Years, is said to cover Elizabeth and Darcy's married life. Rumour has it that Davies plans to begin from the couple's nuptial night, which has already drawn disapproval from Austen purists.

    Davies and Austen were unavailable for comment.

    Kind words...

    I thought these comments from the forum at FilmBug were cute. Just ignore Tina's shameless blog advertising.