Monday, October 31, 2005

The Interview

Download* the entire interview in zip format. Alternatively, download each part separately:
  • Part 1 (career & profession: 12 pages)
  • Part 2 (specific works: 7 pages)
  • Parts 3-5 (motherhood & family; geography, nationality & accent; interests & personality: 6 pages)
  • Parts 6-7 (miscellaneous & silly questions; inevitable Colin Firth/Kevin Spacey fangirl questions: 4 pages).

    There are also HTML versions of the files thanks to Google cache. These do not require you to download any files or programs, but are not as easy to read as the originals above, because of formatting problems. Part 1, Part 2, Parts 3-5, Parts 6-7.

    Finally you can read HTML excerpts of the interview at AustenBlog and BlogCritics. These are only a fraction of the full interview though.

    A bit of an explanation for new visitors: earlier this year, we sought question submissions from fans which were then sent to Ms Ehle (read the FAQ to see how this came about). This is the result: 100+ answers verbatim direct from her to you, published in the same PDF format in which they were returned. There are some links to things mentioned in the questions in the annotations post below. If you'd like to join in our fannish squeeing, drop by the forum.

    This just has to be said in public, even though it's the understatement of the century: Jennifer Ehle, you are a legend!

    If you're interested in expressing your gratitude yourself, have a look at our thank-you project.

    The Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License below is so that anyone (read: journalists) who quotes or reproduces the interview has to attribute it to the site.

    Creative Commons License

    *Thanks to Colin Firth 24/7 for hosting these files! Much better than Rapidshare. They've also provided links to the programs you need to unzip and read the PDFs: Adobe Reader and Zip Genius
  • Camomile Lawn review

    This one's a bit raunchy, so skip it if you're, er, delicate.

    Sex Drama On Homefront
    Jim Schembri
    11 February 1993
    The Age
    Copyright of John Fairfax Group Pty Ltd

    Sunday. The Camomile Lawn, Channel 2, 9.30pm

    Delicacy and restraint are not the strong points of The Camomile Lawn.

    As elegant as its title sounds, and as beautiful as this wartime drama looks (the Brits' endless love for recreating their past on the tube is astonishing), its main theme is sex. It is also about growth, commitment, compromise, loss and love - but mainly sex.

    Set in Cornwall and London, the drama (based on the book by Mary Wesley) follows the closely knit and often tense relations between the joyous Polly (Tara Fitzgerald, from the movie Hear My Song), her brother Walter (Ben Walden), the young, impressionable Sophy (Rebecca Hall), the brash, sex-obsessed Oliver (Toby Stephens) and the extraordinarily beautiful Calypso (Jennifer Ehle), the subject of Oliver's attentions and whose breasts have a prominent role in the series.

    Looking over the clan is Aunt Helena (Felicity Kendal) and Uncle Richard (Paul Eddington). Their lives also involve some Jewish friends who initially are treated as illegal aliens. Uncle Richard uses his political connections to free them, something which benefits not only them but Aunt Helena's lust.

    If Kendal was wanting to escape the sweet stigma of doing The Good Life and all those those ads for margarine (sorry, can't remember the brand - can you?) she does it here. Like Calypso, her sexuality prompts her to do things that are less than noble.

    Paul Eddington, obviously keen to shed his persona from Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, does. As crusty, ageing Uncle Richard, he walks (or rather limps) through the series, voicing his disbelief at things with the phrase "I ask you" and going on about his artificial leg, which he lost, as he puts it, "in the first show".

    It's not gripping drama but it is a quality attention-grabber with some surprisingly sharp left turns and some very frank dialogue. Those expecting Upstairs, Downstairs be warned.

    Dame Rosemary Harris

    An IMDB poster is advocating that Rosemary Harris be made a dame for her services to drama. He encourages people to nominate her via the Cabinet Office. Don't know how her being an American resident for the past half-century will go down, but it's worth a shot.

    [edit: link fixed]

    Sunday, October 30, 2005

    Operation Enduring Freedom Gratitude

    This project is going ahead. Go to the November post for more details about how to submit your message, deadlines, formats, etc.

    If your name begins with a J and ends with an e-n-n-i-f-e-r E-h-l-e, go here and don't look down. Pretty please.

    Everyone else, continue reading.
    (She doesn't read the blog, but better to be cautious)

    So, I already wrote a letter thanking Ms Ehle for her time and patience in doing the interview for us, and for her candour, humour and insight. However, was thinking that perhaps you would like to express your thanks personally. The idea is an electronic collage to be sent for her birthday: you can send in scans or photos of a message for her, and we'll arrange them into a digital file. Messages can be anything from a scanned handwritten note to a photo of an elaborate artwork.

    The thing is, this will only succeed if enough people are interested because it'd be really pathetic to send it with only, say, three messages. So for now, we're only seeking signs of interest. Give your name/initials/nickname, country and e-mail address in the comments below, or write to . If there is enough interest, we'll contact you and publish a proper post to get more submissions.

    Whether or not this project works out, we'll be sending a physical card and gifts on behalf of the blog and its readers.

    Obligatory Meryl Streep reference

    Paul Bryant of eFilmCritic gives The River King 3 stars.

    Teaching there is the concerned Betsy (played by Jennifer Ehle), who happens to be engaged to the Dean, and (naturally) during the course of the investigation, happens to get involved with Abel – plotting the points of the movie’s first love triangle.

    But that’s later. First, she proves her talent as a photographer and first-class Meryl Streep impersonator, and shows a somewhat nervous affection for her husband-to-be, who may just have some ulterior motives.
    The River King has interesting things to say about guilt, and less interesting things to say about ghosts, but it's a really different film in a time when so many mainstream movies look like links from the same sausage press. It’s by no means great, but see it before you see something you’ll truly regret, like oh, say, The Fog.

    And from the Toronto Star on October 27th...

    The River King 14A

    Part murder mystery, part supernatural thriller, part psychological drama, The River King is adapted for the screen by Nick Willing from a novel by Alice Hoffman. Edward Burns plays Abel Grey, a tormented cop who appears to be projecting his own tragedy on the death of Gus Pierce, a student boarding at the local private school. Pierce's body is found in the river under the ice. His fellow cops rule the death a suicide, but they appear to be in cahoots with the school over something or other. Photos taken by a teacher, Betty Chase, seem to show a ghost. The male students engage in bloody rituals at night in the woods. Abel sees a little boy on the riverbank whom no one else sees. It's all very suspicious. Unfortunately The River King gets silly just when it should get profound. SW

    Now Toronto is equally enthusiastic. Likewise Jeff Musgrave of Exclaim.

    Saturday, October 29, 2005

    More eBayness

  • The Real Thing Playbill
  • The Real Thing poster
  • Plays and Players magazine from September 1995 with Jennifer Ehle on the cover.
  • That Photo
  • Vanity Fair
  • "Women and Leadership in North Carolina"

    Jennifer Ehle is listed among other influential women as part of a Z.Smith Reynolds Foundation Newsletter (2000) honouree list. It provides about seven paragraphs about Ms Ehle, and a picture of her in Design for Living, but nothing new as far as I can tell. Ms Ehle is on page 37.

    Friday, October 28, 2005

    Interview annotations

    Links to things mentioned in The Interview. These are mostly from the fansite. That site also has her filmography, or more accurately her everythingography, where you can see the details of her lesser known works.

    4. Rosemary Harris' The Royal Family

    6. Rosemary Harris' first performance. Also in the article recently posted. Can't find the Streetcar Named Desire performance she refers to, since it says Ms Harris did that play in 1973.

    9. On her "chromosome glitch" (video) and also in text

    11. On "doing things" (same video as in #9)

    12. On classical training, see ITV transcript and Flicks interview

    13. On Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, from EW

    16. "Strong, independent" (my mistake here, it was the director of Possession not Sunshine who said that) from Virginia Pilot

    18. Rosemary Harris' mood changes when playing different roles

    19. On her script snobbery

    24. On not feeling comfortable as Christabel (same as in #16)

    25. On the book of acting (same as in #12)

    27. On wanting to write

    32. An example of avoiding the actor stereotype

    35. On actors being oracles (see Profiles - Jennifer Ehle: Wilde at Heart...")

    41. Rosemary Harris' "gills"

    49. On admiring Maggie Smith

    60. Video of Brodie's Script scene that she mentions in her answer. See "He Can't Write".

    89. On Tracy Lord being the only role that would lure her away from her family

    93. On never imagining she'd be married

    96. On rootlessness (see "Jennifer Ehle on Melissa")

    100. On learning French

    107. On being tone deaf (see "Power Jen")

    108. On not having a very strong sense of self (same as in #9)

    110. On visiting a Benedictine convent and Cuba

    116. On being a "self-confessed thriller fan" (see "Jennifer Ehle on Melissa")

    124. The driving nude quote (see "Everybody's Talking About.......Jennifer Ehle")

    126. The misinterpreted welling up about Cate Blanchett's success

    131. Attending Queen's College

    Masquerade, paper faces on parade

    There's a photo of Rosemary Harris at the Acting Company's Annual Black & White Masquerade Ball on October 24th at the Starlight Roof of the Waldrof-Astoria Hotel, where she presented the John Houseman Award to Jack O'Brien. Click on "View Photos", she's in the second one.

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    "Daddy Too"

    In an article about Rosemary Harris, Simon Saltzman reveals how Jennifer Ehle found out about her mother's first marriage to Ellis Rabb.

    That Jennifer was somehow not told about her mother's first marriage is another charming story. "It just never came up," says Harris, "and Jennifer was happy adoring her `Uncle Ellis.'" It was at a party that Ellis gave for his friends with children that the truth casually came out. "You weren't married to Uncle Ellis, were you Mommy?," asked Jennifer. "Of course she was," chimed in Zoe Caldwell, "now run along and play." From that day on, Jennifer called Ellis "Daddy Too."


    Another Pre-order option

    You can also pre-order The River King on DVD for only US$18 from The MTV Shop.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    "La bella Valerie"

    Bella indeed. Here's the Spanish site for Sunshine. Click on "Video" for a clip of Jennifer Ehle and Ralph Fiennes. The photo above is from the "Galería" and there a couple more of her in the "Personajes" section.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    This Year's Love trailer

    Movie stills, photo captures, posters, trivia, wallpaper and a trailer from This Year's Love are available at this website. The quality of the trailer could be better, but is the best I've found.

    P&P '05

    Future posts are going to seem utterly pointless after the excitement of the interview. But...

    Here are a couple of reviews of Pride and Prejudice 2005, and apparently compared to the '95 version, it fails to impress.

    The first from The Age, written by Peter Craven

    ...So this Pride and Prejudice is a bit of a chamber music for kids' orchestra, with chooks in the background and plenty of dirt and rain and tousled hair and some adult guest players deepening the sense of reality...

    ...So not an Elizabeth Bennet that will banish memories of Jennifer Ehle and Greer Garson - perhaps least of all for older Janeites - but one that is likely to communicate by a spirit of empathy with her contemporaries and probably get some votes, for all its friskiness and touches of toughness, from their elders.

    And her Darcy? Well Matthew MacFadyen is obviously a fine actor - I would like to have seen his Prince Hal opposite Michael Gambon's Falstaff in Henry IV at Britain's National Theatre recently - and he's got good eyes and the ability to register the softer aspects of Darcy at a glance...

    He doesn't strike me as an ideal contemporary Darcy - who would that be? - but he'll do...

    ...He sometimes looks more like a self-conscious schoolboy than he does like a morally upright version of Byron. The fact that he's a slightly boyish Darcy, a bit wispy, at least makes him look compatible with Knightley in a way an actor with a huge presence like Clive Owen just wouldn't.

    [Full text]

    Secondly, from The Arts Telegraph

    Much of the film's appeal hinges on Keira Knightley who has the difficult job of following in the footsteps of previous Lizzies such as Greer Garson and, of course, Jennifer Ehle.

    Now there are many people who regard Miss Knightley as a swoonsome English rose who can do little wrong. For me, though, the second-best actress (and the second prettiest) in Bend It Like Beckham has always seemed rather coltish. She's a sixth-form prefect, caught between the freshness of youth and the experience of maturity. Someone who radiates little more than good-mannered perkiness.


    The real stars of the film are confined to little more than cameos: Tom Hollander as pompous Mr Collins is a hoot; Rosamund Pike invests Jane with real depth; while Brenda Blethyn sympathetically portrays Mrs Bennet, supposedly "a woman of mean understanding", as a mother keen for her daughters not to end up alone.

    No surprise then that Donald Sutherland, as her husband, is an uxorious sweetie rather than the hen-pecked soul of previous adaptations. They're not enough, however, to make you want to pack away your box set of the Ehle/Firth version.

    [Full text]

    Monday, October 24, 2005

    You probably don't want to know

    Norman Wilner for Metro Toronto reviews The River King.

    Ah well.

    eBay roundup

  • Playbill from the Neil Simon benefit. There are 25 pages with headshots and profiles of the stars, including both Jennifer Ehle and Rosemary Harris. Ships to the US/Canada and elsewhere if you e-mail the seller. Starting at $1.49 USD.
  • May 1997 Harper's Bazaar magazine. Ships worldwide, starts at $3.00 USD.
  • November 1997 Empire magazine. Ships worldwide, now at GBP 1.70. Closes in an hour or so.
  • Philadelphia Story programme. Ships to the UK, North and South America, Australia, EU countries and Japan. Starts at GBP 5.00.
  • "The most beautiful girl"

    From a Playbill interview with Earle Hyman.
    Moss Hart wrote and directed the 1952 comedy The Climate of Eden, "which was wonderful," states Hyman, "but didn't run. Moss went to London to find, according to the script, 'the most beautiful girl in the world.' He brought back Rosemary Harris, who was divine! We all liked her, but didn't think she was 'the most beautiful girl.' Then, at the run-through, we watched from the wings, as she made her entrance and, having done nothing to her face, she was 'the most beautiful girl in the world.' She's heaven! One of the greatest living actresses!"

    Amen to that.

    Sunday, October 23, 2005

    New Pictures

    I don't know about anyone else, but I haven't actually seen these pictures before.

    They look quite recent, and absolutely gorgeous.

    Saturday, October 22, 2005

    But wait there's more

    Some of these require paid subscription or free registration; for the latter, try BugMeNot.

  • Katherine Monk, Vancouver Sun (paid).
    Jennifer Ehle as Betsy is also intriguing, but in an entirely different way. Part of her charisma has to do with her uncanny resemblance to Meryl Streep (though she is no relation, and actually happens to be the daughter of RADA-trained Rosemary Harris). The rest has to do with her vacant, euphoric stare into infinity.

    It's like watching a kitten in a post-catnip trance: You're never quite sure what she's going to do next.

  • Chris Knight, National Post (not online).
    He also finds time to fall for Ehle's character, who breathily says things like, "No ... we mustn't ... do this ... it's wrong ... we can't," accompanied by heavy petting

  • Susan Walker, Toronto Star (free registration).
    The overnight romance that develops between Betsy and Abel is another complication. Like the evergreen trees in the foreground that look as if they just arrived from the nursery, the vaseline-lensed sex act they perform immediately after Abel opens his door is best categorized as movie apparatus.

  • Lee Ann Gillan, Halifax Daily News (free).
    Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice), usually so bright and lively in her work, is wasted here in a mousy, pointless role as a teacher who falls for Abel.

  • Lucas De Stefano Meira Henriques, Topo (audience review).
    Bom suspense! um policial com tom sobrenatural... merece ser visto! principalmente pela persença de Ed Burns.
  • "The River Duke"

    Faint praise and 2.5 stars for The River King from David Lane of the Globe and Mail. He thought the film "never quite admirable but always commendable".
    Ehle, who doubles as Abel's love interest, keeps injecting her performance with a Meryl Streep-ish half-smile, disconcerting at first but ultimately rather endearing.

    And if you're curious about this post's title:
    I'm not suggesting for a moment that The River King is worthy of that regal title. At best it's The River Duke, but still a decent chap, and definitely more entertaining than half the fools at today's court.

    More minor Rosemary Harris news from Playbill: she's going to present the John Houseman Award to director Jack O'Brien at the Acting Company's annual Black & White Masquerade Ball on October 24th.

    Muddled mystery

    Oops, forgot it was my turn. Well, it's another The River King review, this time from Jane Stevenson of the Toronto Sun. Below are the bits where Ms Ehle is mentioned.

    When Burns' police officer meets the school's photography teacher (British transplant Jennifer Ehle), sparks fly despite her impending marriage to another teacher (British actor Julian Rhind-Tutt).
    But there are so many red herrings and so many cast members given so little to do -- notably Ehle who was so good as Elizabeth Bennett in the 1996 BBC mini-series, Pride And Prejudice and Canadian veteran actor Sean McCann wasted in a small role as Burns' father -- that no plot line or character is developed enough so that you actually care about what happens.

    Friday, October 21, 2005

    Pre-order The River King is allowing pre-orders for The River King, to be released on DVD on January 24th, 2006. It's $20.70 CDN and in Region 1 encoding. Thanks to Sands (and Richard) for the heads-up.

    Americans can pre-order it from Movies Unlimited which is selling it for $22.49 USD. Barnes and Noble has it for $19.98 (non-members) or $17.98 (members).

    According to distributor First Look Pictures, the DVD features scene selections, previews, plus Spanish and English subtitles. Here's the cover from that site.


    A scathing review of The River King. From the hopeless Babelfish translation, I gather that he's criticising the characterisation and chemistry.

    Mistério em River King (River King, 2005, dir. não importa) - w/o. O cara da locadora não me deixou levar 9 Canções por causa da idade (bah!), então escolhi esse para levar. É horrível, vi uma hora e não deu pra terminar. Os personagens parecem inexistir, existem apenasem função de roteiro, tomam ações impensadas, e Edward Burns e aquela mulher formam o casal mais sem química que eu já vi na minha vida.

    There's also a synopsis from CyberAmelia, featuring the photo below. Of slight interest perhaps is the fact that Paradise Road and Backbeat are translated as Um Canto de Esperança and Os Cinco Rapazes de Liverpool - literally "A Song of Hope" and "Five Guys from Liverpool".

    "Smart and subtle"

    Janet Smith of Vancouver's reviews The River King, criticising the film's supernatural elements and credibility, but appreciates the quality of the acting:

    The students’ love triangle is echoed by another, more adult one: blue-collar Abel falls for a sophisticated photography teacher, Betsy (the smart and subtle Jennifer Ehle), who’s engaged to one of her more tight-assed colleagues.
    Still, the film has a strong cast that plumbs psychological and emotional truths you don’t usually find in a murder mystery. They’re so natural, it makes you wonder if they could have done without the supernatural.

    River King press reviews

    Alas and alack.
  • Eye weekly's Adam Nayman gives The River King 1.5 stars, blaming David Kane's emphasis on the wrong elements of the story.
    The murder mystery fights for screen time with Abel's perfunctory romance with a comely teacher (Jennifer Ehle) and conflict with his on-the-take partners at the police station. Then there are the hallucinations he keeps having of a skittish, wan child (a staple of any thriller produced after The Ring), the explanation of which is so tangentially related to the rest of the story that it's a genuine howler. Some bad movies are fun to pick apart, but The River King, which is grey, gloomy and maladroit, can't even stimulate that kind of backwards pleasure.

  • Cameron Bailey of Toronto's Now magazine praises the film's cinematography, but...
    All this might work if the director made more interesting choices, if the story built to a smart twist or if Burns didn't have the unfortunate habit of channelling Ben Affleck. This isn't supposed to be a horror movie.

    In Rosemary Harris news, Playbill reports that she attended the opening of Absurd Person Singular. There's also a picture of her in an article about the cast of The Other Side, due to start previews on November 10th.
  • Thursday, October 20, 2005

    Article on Ebay

    There's an article from the magazine "Flicks" featuring Jennifer Ehle and her film This Year's Love for auction on Ebay. Worldwide shipping. Bidding starts at GBP 5.99 and the "buy it now" price is GBP 7.99.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    River King poster for sale

    On eBay. Shipping worldwide and the "buy it now" price is $9.99 USD.

    Also on eBay, you can have a look inside the hardcover edition of Pride and Prejudice illustrated with photos from the series.

    River King newspaper ad

    Sent by the friendly people at IMX. A timely reminder for Canadian readers - the film is opening this Friday. The latest word on international releases:

    [Canada] will be the first country that has a theatrical release. Currently another of our co-producing partners, in LA, are talking to several distribution companies in the US and abroad to shore up international release dates, which are yet to be decided.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2005

    Inside look at "The Kiss"

    This article was written by Rachel Kelly and published in The London Times (25/10/95). I retreived it from the 'Friends of Firth Scrapbook'.

    Sunday night sees the final episode of the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and the moment that nine million viewers have been waiting for: the kiss that seals the nuptials of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.

    Those who observed the kiss on set say that lips were bruised after numerous takes. "There was incredible sexual tension between them and I think that shows on screen," said one insider.

    For it has emerged that Colin Firth, who plays Darcy, and Jennifer Ehle, who plays Lizzie, fell for each other in real life. Love's sweet song wove its spell in the Wiltshire countryside. Those lingering looks were for true. Passion really did surge beneath frock-coat and empire line. Their love affair gives their acting an added resonance and them an added radiance. It has ensured that the gossip columns have been full of talk.


    Monday, October 17, 2005

    Tribute to the other JE

    The Citizen Times reports that there will be a celebration of John Ehle's career at the Western Carolina University on October 19th. It will be held at the Coulter Auditorium at 7pm and will consist of "a discussion about Ehle's work in fiction, film, drama, history and statesmanship, followed by a question-and-answer session". Contact the university's English department at 227-7264 for more details.

    The River King BC classification

    The River King has been classified 14A in British Columbia and the trailer has been approved for exhibition with all films. Below are the reasons for the classification. Warning, possible spoilers.

    14A – Suitable for persons 14 years of age or older. Persons under 14 years of age must view these motion pictures accompanied by an adult. Motion pictures in this category may contain violence, coarse language, or sexually suggestive scenes, or any combination of them.

    The determinative classification rationale was violence. The following is a list of the more contentious material noted by classification staff:
  • Depiction of character being drowned;
  • Recurring depiction of a corpse;
  • Man commits suicide by shooting himself with a rifle.

    In addition to the foregoing content, classifiers noted the following:
  • Approximately 15 instances of coarse language;
  • One sexually suggestive scene not involving nudity.
  • Sunday, October 16, 2005

    Hand puppet boost

    Check out this comic strip written by Jesse Reklaw from Slow Wave. Click to enlarge.

    Saturday, October 15, 2005

    Wilde TV preview

    (Running out of puns.)

    This is from today's Australian, by Evan Williams.

    Wilde (10.35pm, SBS) is the biopic we had to have. Not only is Stephen Fry a dead ringer for Oscar, and a more convincing look-alike than Robert Morley or Peter Finch (who played Wilde in two remarkable 1960 movies), Brian Gilbert's film takes full advantage of the more relaxed social attitudes of the 1990s to explore Wilde's homosexuality in moving depth and detail. Fry's magnificent performance, with touching support from Jennifer Ehle as Wilde's wife Constance, makes for a wholly absorbing film (drawn from Richard Ellman's biography), with Tom Wilkinson equally memorable as Oscar's nemesis, the Marquess of Queensbury.

    Seeing double

    Click to enlarge.

    Friday, October 14, 2005

    Mistaken identity

    Read the caption to this photo.

    If that doesn't work and the link directs you to UPPA's front page, click on "Guest" and search "Rosemary Harris"

    Lost in translation

    Although the official English and German sites for Sunshine have now gone to a better place, the Hungarian and French sites remain. On the latter, there are some photos, videos and a trailer in the "Multimédia" section.

    Here's a rough translation of the profile on Valérie, from the French. The corresponding page in Hungarian is here. Compare these to the German-to-English translation from the fansite.

    Young Valérie Sonnenschein/Sors 1872 - 1962 (Jennifer Ehle)

    Passionate and captivating, Valérie Sonnenschein is the figurehead of this film and "its true hero", says Szabo. The only family member present from beginning to end, also the only one to listen to her heart.

    "I simply adored Valérie. The woman. Very different from those we see on screen today. She is strong and, although she never bends over backwards to please others, she does everything she can to make those around her happy. She aspires to a sort of stability and balance, a difficult task in this family. She is the one who tries to keep the peace around her, without giving in to compromise. She has great moral fortitude, she is strong in her opinions but learns from everything she sees around her. And nothing escapes her."

    Below is Rosemary Harris' take on the character.

    Valérie 1872 - 1962 (Rosemary Harris)

    Taking up the character played by her daughter Jennifer Ehle, Rosemary Harris plays Valérie in the second part of her life.

    "Valérie is a great calming force, an extraordinary woman, even more so for her time. She doesn't follow the crowd, she follows her heart, her head, her feelings. With an instinctive clarity, she quickly brings others' subterfuges to light. Since I accepted this role, I have learned a lot about the history of Hungary, about the way in which the fates of men are sometimes swept by the winds of History. But Valérie doesn't let herself be so, she has her own internal compass. Sharing this character with my daughter Jennifer meant that, to ensure continuity, we didn't need much discussion."

    I know, who says "subterfuges" in real life? Rough is the key word here.

    This is the first of a batch of foreign language articles I'm attempting to decipher. Any help from fellow wannabe translators would be great- particularly if you know Dutch, German, Hungarian or other non-Romance languages. Drop us a line at if you're interested.

    Thursday, October 13, 2005

    Make haste!

    Reminder: the auction for Jennifer Ehle's envelope is closing in five hours. Right now it's at 50.00 GBP. Tax deductible, karma points and a unique piece of memorabilia- nothing to lose!

    Belated Philadelphia Story Review

    This review was written by Judith M. Steiner and was supplied by kind permission of Theatreworld Internet Magazine.
    I must warn readers that some of it isn't exactly complimentary towards Ms Ehle.

    ...Jennifer Ehle who plays the Hepburn role of Tracy Lord is a very pretty, buxom English actress, but she isn’t whippet thin; she has the soft round face of a country girl, and she doesn’t look in any way like old Philadelphia money. Zaks has her speak her lines out to the audience in a flat, dated performance that has little to do with the other actors on the stage.

    Adding insult to injury, Costume Designer Tom Rands has dressed her in a series of the most unflattering frou-frou frocks that no self-respecting between the wars debutant would have been caught dead in.

    Strangely, Julia McKenzie as the heiress’ mother also exhibits a complete lack of sartorial elegance where Lauren Ward as Liz Imbrie, a gossip magazine photographer whose impoverished state is referred to in the play, is considerably more expensively and beautifully dressed than either of them. What is a girl to do when the director and the designer are working against you?...


    Wednesday, October 12, 2005

    Wilde night on the box

    In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Oscar Wilde's birth, Australian broadcaster SBS is screening a documentary on him, followed by the film Wilde. They'll be on at 9.30 and 10.35pm respectively this Sunday, October 16th. Ladies and gentlemen, start your VCRs! Below is the SMH preview from October 10th by Doug Anderson.

    Wilde (1997)

    SBS, 10.35pm

    The bons mots flow freely as British comedian Stephen Fry portrays the acerbic playwright in a well-made bioflick. Earlier films about Oscar Wilde, featuring Robert Morley and Peter Finch, were made at a time when frank depiction - let alone acceptance - of homosexuality was not possible. This is much more forthright, picking up on Wilde's activities as he undertakes a year-long lecture tour of the United States in 1882. Fry looks the part and plays it to good effect. At this juncture Oscar is not yet "out" - maintaining his marriage to Constance (Jennifer Ehle). But the tipping point arrives when a gay Canadian, Robbie Ross, invites Wilde to take a walk on the, er, wild side and embark upon a life of contradiction, contravention and controversy. This leads to his disastrous infatuation with a ravishing young poet, Alfred (Bosie) Douglas (Jude Law), son of the repulsive Marquis of Queensberry. It's solid and attractive fare with interesting women playing a significant role in counterpointing both the bohemian and homophobic elements. Vanessa Redgrave plays Wilde's mother, Gemma Jones features as Bosie's mother, Judy Parfitt as Lady Mount-Temple and Zoe Wanamaker as the playwright's liberal-minded confidante, Ada.

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Another signed photo...

    Another photo signed by Jennifer Ehle is being auctioned on Ebay with the current bid at 99p. It's described as a 7x5 colour photo from The Philadelphia Story. It's signed clearly and distinctly: "With every best wish, Jennifer Ehle". 100% of proceeds go to charity.

    NB. there is no photograph accompanying the advertisement, but the seller has 100% positive feedback.

    [Jennite's edit: heh, Chelsea beat me to it! I'll just add that it's not an official charity, but proceeds are going towards sending a guy called Robin to Zambia where he sponsors a six year old boy. He plans "to provide valuable supplies to help with the health, education and development of the children in the area".

    Speaking of charities, you might have noticed a few new buttons on the left sidebar. They're a few organisations that Ms Ehle has supported in the past: Breakthrough (behind the "Fashion Targets Breast Cancer" campaign), Broadway Cares (behind the Neil Simon benefit), the National Literacy Trust (benefiting from the "Pushing the Envelope" campaign), and the Prince's Trust (benefiting from the "Masks" campaign). To donate, click on the buttons, or on the names of the organisations above.

    If you know of any other charities she's supported, drop us a line and a button/link will be added.]

    Wilde Mystery

    John Ehle has been credited amongst some internet sites as an actor on Wilde. On this site, it says that he acted in Wilde, as well as directed the screenplay in the adaption of his book The Journey of August King.

    Other sites confirming this are: here, here, and here, to name a few.

    I cannot vouch for the reliability of this information, as I didn't notice John Ehle in Wilde and it doesn't credit him on IMDB.

    Anyone who can shed a light on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    River King trailer

    Imagem, the Brazilian distributor of The River King, has the trailer of the film online. Go to "extras" and click on the speed of choice. You can also try the link via Blockbuster. Enjoy!

    [edit: strangely, Imagem seems to have deleted the River King page. However, you should still be able to see the trailer through Blockbuster]

    [edit #2: unembedded link here]

    Mistério em River King

    Those lucky Brazilians! They can buy The River King on DVD or video, since the film was released on October 7th. Extras include interviews, filmographies, a photo gallery, a trailer, and new features (? "novidades"). As far as I can tell, there are both Portuguese and English audio and subtitle options.

    River King review

    From Big Cracker, a review of The River King from a test screening. It rates 7.5 saltines out of 10, and a "very enjoyable" overall. The synopsis is as follows:

    The supernatural aspect of the movie comes first from a young boy who appears, then disappears, in the woods near the river where the boy has drowned. Next, an odd smudge with the image of our dead boy appears in crime scene photos of the dead boy's room. Of course, no one believes Officer Grey except for the odd, spinster-ish schoolteacher. And of course, she quickly becomes the love interest, even though she's engaged to another schoolteacher, who's kind of a jackass.

    Sunday, October 09, 2005

    Handwriting analysis

    Ok, so I was bored.

    I've done a handwriting analysis for Jennifer Ehle to reveal her true personality (although she assures interviewers that she doesn't have a very strong sense of self). To accesss it, go to the link above. Email address is "" and the password is "9ormyo". Then click "Jennifer Ehle".

    It's very interesting, and I think it sounds reasonably accurate. I got the handwriting sample from Jennite's June post "Imagine this in your mailbox". And bear in mind that this sample was written in 1995, so she might have changed a bit!

    The handwriting analysis is from The Handwriting Wizard.

    Saturday, October 08, 2005

    Super-granny Rosemary Harris!

    This interview by The Comics Continuum reveals a gutsy and fearless side to Rosemary Harris. She talks about doing her own stunts in Spiderman 2... and how much fun it was! She also relates what it's like being recognised by children in the street.

    "I was a bit miffed at first, because my wonderful stunt double was going to do a lot of the harness maneuvers," Harris recalled. "So I asked Sam (Raimi, direcotr) and Laura (Ziskin, prodcuer), 'Why not let me have a go at it?' At first they were reluctant. But I begged them to at least let me try and they finally relented."

    "I've never seen an actress with as much gusto and gumption as Rosemary," Raimi said. "What a trooper. She would just get on that wire and go on her wild ride in Doc Ock's arms. And the first thing she¹d say afterwards was 'Let's do it again! Can I do it again?' She was completely fearless. I loved it!"

    "I adored every minute of it. It was wonderful, just the best feeling," Harris said. "The only time I've flown before was when I played Peter Pan in an outdoor production, and that was a long time ago. I remember that I was airborne as Peter Pan just as the Sputnik satellite was passing by in the sky overhead!"
    A former Tony Award winner and Academy Award nomineee, Harris has gained new fans with the Spider-Man franchise.

    "It's wonderful to have fans who are four years old come up to you and say 'Are you really Peter Parker's aunt?' And when I say 'Yes,' their eyes get bigger and bigger. It's very thrilling," she said.

    Full text available here.

    Friday, October 07, 2005

    Rave reviews for Sunshine

    I've recovered some long-lost critic reviews on Ms Ehle's 2000 movie, Sunshine. Some outstanding comments regarding Ms Ehle include:

    "...Ms. Harris and Ms. Ehle might share an Oscar, just as Mr. Fiennes might have to compete against himself"

    "Standout performances by Jennifer Ehle and Rosemary Harris"
    Jack Matthews, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    "Jennifer Ehle gives a mesmerizing and emotionally moving performance."
    Bill Diehl, ABC RADIO

    "Compelling. Excellent performances from the ravishing Jennifer Ehle and Rosemary Harris, Molly Parker, William Hurt and Rachel Weisz..."
    Jonathan Foreman, NEW YORK POST

    "...The film is anchored by Jennifer Ehle and Rosemary Harris, equally luminous as Valerie..."
    Kevin Thomas, LOS ANGELES TIMES

    "Jennifer Ehle has a sensuous intelligence worthy of the young Meryl Streep..." F.X. Feeney, LA

    "...Jennifer Ehle is adorable as the young Valerie as is her real-life mother, Rosemary Harris."

    Full list of reviews are here.

    Thursday, October 06, 2005

    Bits and Pieces

    I've located a couple of reviews with mostly positive mentions of Ms Ehle, from Design for Living.

    Firstly, from Variety (New York), by Charles Isherwood "Roundabout serves Coward with a twist"*
    Ehle's Gilda is the play's brittle emotional pivot, and if the actress sometimes repeats the same effects - beaming through a haze of tears, for example - to the point of monotony, there is nevertheless a glowing core of real emotion in her performance. She is also a luminous stage presence, as poised and lovely as an orchid amid the handsome surfaces of the production

    Secondly, also from Variety, by Matt Wolf "The 'J' word"*
    A homegrown American production of a problematic British play might itself sound like a recipe for disaster. But that's to deny the bracing intelligence of a Noel Cowand revival from Mantello, and starring Ehle, that is brave enough to face the obvious -- the menage a trois in this supposed comedy don't generate much mirth. Instead, Mantello shifts the attention to a union of supposed sophisticates linked by dissatisfaction when the best they can hope for, or so reports Ehle's Gilda, is to "cry just a little."
    "I paint their souls," says Alan Cumming's portraitist Otto, and so does a staging that peels back the banter to lay bare the anomie beneath. Playing the erotic pivot of the piece, a nervy Ehle has never been less ingratiating. Which may also be why she has never been better.

    (Full text of each article unavailable online, and not transcribed because of length)

    Wednesday, October 05, 2005

    "Pushing the Envelope"

    A very uniquely designed envelope by Jennifer Ehle is on auction at Ebay as part of the "Pitney Bowes Pushing The Envelope 2005" campaign. All proceeds go to the National Literacy Trust.

    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    Rosemary Harris action figure?!

    FOXNews reports a new Spiderman action figure is being created in the likeness of Rosemary Harris.

    Rosemary Harris has a Tony Award, an Oscar nomination, and theater awards galore for her work performing Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, Chekhov, and even Neil Simon.

    But now the greatest honor: A one-inch high plastic molded action figure cast in her likeness. Why? Harris is currently shooting Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, based on the Marvel comic book.

    Fans of Marvel Comics' beloved Spiderman know that in "real" life, Spidey is mild-mannered Peter Parker.

    Peter, lives with an older relative, Aunt May, who has no idea that her wonderful nephew is busy crawling all over town every night. [more]

    Must get my hands on that one...

    Buying time

    You can buy the CNN Millennium series on video for USD $99.99 + S&H, only shipping to the US and Canada. Ms Ehle narrates part of the 11th century episode. You can hear some of it online by following the instructions in this earlier post.

    Monday, October 03, 2005

    Young Indy DVD and LD

    "TV shows on DVD" has a page where you can keep up to date with news about the Young Indiana Jones series DVDs. An article from last year reports that extensive special features are planned, namely educational documentaries about the characters and periods.

    The DVDs will probably be released to coincide with Indiana Jones 4, due in 2007, according to IMDB. Meanwhile, you can buy it in VHS format from Amazon. A rare laserdisc box set of the entire series is being sold on eBay, starting at USD $260 and shipping worldwide from Hong Kong.

    Sunday, October 02, 2005

    Dear, sweet Johnny

    In this 2000 Toronto Star interview, Rosemary Harris talks about working with her "old flame" John Neville in Sunshine.

    And I raved about her striking performances as co-star of the movie Tom And Viv, for which she received an Oscar nomination, in TV's The Holocaust and in Kenneth Branagh's movie Hamlet.

    Hearing this, she patted my hand, stared into my eyes and replied, dreamily, "Johnny was so handsome, still is."

    I was about to demand "Johnny's" last name so I could challenge him to a duel when she dropped the clue that stopped me.

    "He was my Iago in Othello at the Old Vic, alternating with Richard Burton, 40 years ago; hadn't worked with him again until this film."

    Of course. Her "Johnny" is John Neville, the Toronto actor (currently in TV's Amazon) and a former Stratford Festival artistic director who plays Harris' Communist brother-in-law in Sunshine. [more]

    Saturday, October 01, 2005

    On The Road

    And more besides. A recentish interview (with a few borrowings from a Citizen Times Q&A) delves into John Ehle's brilliant career as high-school orator, novelist, gubernatorial advisor and civil rights activist, amongst other things. There's also a brief biography.

    This is part of the Together We Read reading and discussion program running until December 4th in Western North Carolina. As mentioned earlier, John Ehle's The Road was chosen as this year's book.