Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Design for Living

I thought it was high time we posted some perspectives on Design for Living. So I dug up some stuff from Ehlenews, and found some reviews. There are links to the full articles via Ehlenews. In fact, if you do a search for 'Design for Living', or 'DFL', you should find lots more.

'Design for Living' still delivers sexy shocks
By Elysa Gardner

Jennifer Ehle, winner of last year's Tony Award forbest actress in aplay, triumphs as Gilda, capturing the character'scool wit and feral sensuality, her frustrating self-absorption and rueful self-flagellation.

Regis about DFL
On Friday mornings Regis show he talked about his attending opening night of DFL. He said he loved it. He held up the program. He especially praised the performances. Talked about what great actors they all were. He mentioned Jennifer's name and pronounced it "urly" talked about how he remembered her from TRT.

Fan Review of DFL (warning: very honest in parts). The full article is very long though informative. It contains spoilers (though it doesn't really matter since the play's over)
Jenn was luminous and very sexy in certain scenes. She has no problem turning up the estrogen. :-) She was terrific in the play. But I thought she was a tad too broody in some of the scenes for my taste. Yes, her words were dark, but I thought she could have played those lines lighter, with more irony. My mind started to wander a little too. I thought of how Carole Lombard might have played those lines.

I kept thinking that I did not care for the director's vision of this thing at all. He had a terrific cast, who did a terrific job. But he took the subtlety out of Coward's play, brought the alternative lifestyles front and center, and lost much of the comedy. imo.

Just a bit of trivia, Jenn has the same understudy from TRT.

I briefly saw Jenn at the stagedoor. As usual, I just lurked. But she appeared to be sweet and gracious as ever.

So if anyone goes to see this play, you won't be disappointed in Jenn or the other actors. They really are quite good and are a pleasure to watch. Consummate pros. Great stage presence. The play is another thing. I kept thinking that in the hands of a different director, this cast could have knocked this play out of the ballpark.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Camomile Lawn Trivia

This article is already up on the fansite, but it doesn't hurt to remind those who don't read it, or don't read it properly. It's about Jennifer Ehle and Tara Fitzgerald being TV extras by coincidence.

20 September 1996
Daily Mail
by Baz Bamigboye page 42
Get a little extra help

A television movie has the unexpected bonus of two star actresses - Tara Fitzgerald and Jennifer Ehle - as walk-on extras in its production.
The two performers were strolling across Barnes Common in South-West London last weekend, not realising they had walked into a crowd scene being shot for an unidentified drama.

Ms Ehle and Ms Fitzgerald, pictured here with her fiance and fellow actor Dorian Healy, after celebrating her birthday at The Ivy restaurant (he bought her a ruby ring), became firm friends when they worked together on Peter Hall's TV version of The Camomile Lawn.

The coming season will be good for Ms Fitzgerald. She co-stars with Ewan McGregor and Pete Postlewaite in Mark Herman's funny picture, Brassed Off, as well as the television adaptation of Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Check your local Video Stores America!

Due to the US release of The River King recently, the DVD may be available for rental already. One Ehlenews-er reports having seen it at Blockbuster.

Meanwhile, here's a good price for The River King DVD if you'd rather buy it- US$14.99

Praise for Wilde

And Jennifer Ehle, as a matter of fact.

Movies 101

There’s a marvelous film that’s been slowly making the rounds of art houses, simply called 'Wilde,' the story of the climactic years of Wilde’s life, based on the classic biography by Richard Ellmann. Stephen Fry is Wilde, and his performance is a brilliant treasure. He has the look of Wilde, and better still the range of voice, from lightest conversation to deepest reading and storytelling. And he gives us a portrait of Wilde that uncannily resembles Wilde’s own creation of Dorian Gray, the man who can stay youthful until the realities of life and death overtake him and his fantasies.

But there’s more to the film than just this inexorable downward trajectory. We see Wilde and his wife -- a very thoughtful performance by Jennifer Ehle -- and his two young boys. We listen as Wilde reads to them in his gorgeous voice the story he wrote for them about the giant and the children in the garden. And we see him in Reading Jail, serving his two years at hard labor.

Tim Voon
So the main characters are superb in this movie. The very talented Stephen Fry plays Wilde as naturally as he is gay and portrays the man with great humanity and dignity. Jude Law's temperamental impersonation of ‘Bosey' is also memorable, but I fear the pretty lad may end up with a price tag label wording ‘Hire me if you need a toy boy who isn't afraid to show butt and kiss arse.' Vanessa Redgrave puts on a very liberal performance as the unconventional Irish mother who brought the genius into the world, and also worth mentioning is the darling Jennifer Ehle from TV's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, as the silent suffering wife.

Rochester Goes Out

The sweet-faced Sheen is the standout of a fine supporting cast, which includes Jennifer Ehle as the doomed Constance, Wilde's wife and herself an unwitting victim, and Zoe Wanamaker and Judy Parfitt as two of the shrewder women in Oscar's increasingly male-dominated orbit.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

An extra ray of Sunshine

Luckily, I am still able to come up with corny headings in Tina's absence.
Some extra little bits on Sunshine, an interesting Ebay item, and some much missed eye candy (from this collection of pics I haven't seen before) ^.

By Michael Wilmington
The mother-daughter team of Harris and Ehle are joys from beginning to end. (Our last views of the elderly Valerie are devastating; we simply don't want her to leave.) And there are fine smaller performances throughout: by de Keyser and Frain, by Deborah Kara Unger as Ivan's adulterous lover, and by William Hurt as a Jewish Stalinist cop tragically caught in a web he helped to weave.

From The New York Times
But fortunately, and thanks largely to Mr. Fiennes, Jennifer Ehle and Rosemary Harris, the film pulls away from such obviousness and views the lethal unreason of the past hundred years with gravity, humor and, most remarkably, with something like sanity.

In spite of it all, the film leaves you with a sense of quiet, chastened grace, as embodied by the older Valerie, played by Ms. Harris, who is Ms. Ehle's real mother (the two actresses might share an Oscar, just as Mr. Fiennes might have to compete against himself). ''She was the only one of us who had the gift of breathing freely,'' her troubled grandson remarks, and ''Sunshine,'' at last, honors that gift.

Here's an item from Ebay: it's a program from the Variety Club Awards, signed by Jennifer Ehle.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Ms Sonnenschein

These are three sections from different reviews on Sunshine. Each comment on the character of Valerie Sonnenschein, and Jennifer Ehle's portrayal.

By Dana Knowles
This section of Sunshine is greatly buoyed by the captivating presence and endearing performance of Jennifer Ehle as Valerie. Though her character remains as sketchy as the others, one thing is clear: Valerie is the inextinguishable ray of sunshine in this clan. She seeks little more from life than passion and beauty, and is confounded by the realization that Ignatz does not (or cannot) share her view. Instead, he seeks acceptance from the state, seeing himself as an extension of the ruling hand of the Emperor, whom he reveres in spite of the oppression inherent in that rule. Ignatz is personal ambition and blind nationalism run amok. When he tumbles out of favor along with the regime he serves, the breadth of his failures (professional and personal) are inconceivable to him.

San Francisco Chronicle
Ignatz is an intellectual and a climber, but he needs Valerie's life force as desperately as a Fiennes movie needs Jennifer Ehle. Make no mistake, Fiennes is superb, managing to suggest a different essence for each of the three men he plays. But as Valerie, Ehle is the sunshine in ``Sunshine,'' suggesting a woman whose genius for living, whose knack for seeing the beautiful, is the result not of some quirk of personality, but of enormous wisdom and courage.

By Rick Barton (** Editor's note within)
Sunshine offers gorgeous costumes, rich production design, and wonderful photography by Lajos Koltai. The huge supporting cast is quite strong, chief among them the terrific daughter-mother team of Jennifer Ehle and Rosemary Harris, who play the younger and older roles of Valerie Sonnenschein (Sors), wife of Ignatz, mother of Adam, and grandmother of Ivan. Despite Valerie's considerable life force, the healthiest and strongest of all her kin, the treatment of the film's female characters proves frustratingly elusive. I didn't deduce the point of Valerie's incestuous relationship with her husband. She is his first cousin, and from the age of perhaps 3, she was raised as his sister. Moreover, though this plot detail is never made clearly, we gather that Valerie conducts a long affair with Ignatz's brother, Gustave (**Uh, no… see question no. 82 of the fan interview). And for a time, the product of a camera that mysteriously and repeatedly lingers on a minor character's face, we even suspect that Valerie is involved in a lesbian relationship with Kato (Katja Studt), the family maid (**WHAT MOVIE WAS HE WATCHING?).

Thursday, January 26, 2006

'Oozing good looks'

This is part of a review of Bedrooms and Hallways from CultureVulture

...Still, there are plenty of funny bits peppered about and the cast is appealing and quick with the lines. Callow is rather limited by the satirical stereotyping of his role, but he has it down to a T - the smarmy, ultrasupportive fountain of new age wisdom. Tom Hollander, as Leo's flat-mate, Darren, makes the token flamboyant queen role his own, transcending an incident or two of superfluous overwriting. Julie Graham, as Angie, Leo and Darren's hair colorist buddy, gets just the right indignant tone into: "You're a strawberry blond. You can't go out with an ash blond. It's not right." McKidd, Purefoy, and Ehle are all quite fine, oozing good looks, charm, and sexiness.

Rose Troche, the director, finds the right pacing for the material, though a little more discipline in cutting some of the unnecessary chaff out of the script would have made for a stronger film. Troche has an eye for detail, catching moments of truth with flashing insight. There is a scene with Leo and Brendan cuddled together, both wondering if more will happen, neither quite sure enough to make a move. All of that is conveyed with their eyes - each seeking the other, each turning away just too soon, missing the contact. The desire, the insecurity, the frustration all register nonverbally. That's good acting, but it's excellent directing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

"Elegance" the Fanlisting

In lieu of the "Under the Wigs" fanlisting, which was sadly discontinued, another Jennifer Ehle fanlisting has been created under the name of "Elegance". It was created on January 15th, so don't ask me why we haven't spotted it before. Please join!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

TRK DVD release

The River King has now been released on DVD in the US. More information available here.

More This Year's Love

Reviewed by Steve Rhodes

So many characters, so little time. In writer/director David Kane's THIS YEAR'S LOVE, Danny (Douglas Henshall) dumps his wife of 35 minutes, Hannah (Catherine McCormack, the star of DANGEROUS BEAUTY), after it comes to his attention that she has recently slept with his Best Man.

This event sets off a chain reaction which causes them and many other characters to play a game of musical beds, not surprising in a movie in which shallowness rules. Obviously incompatible characters form quickie relationships based mainly on coincidence and convenience.

Besides Danny and Hannah, the other human couplers include: Sophie (Jennifer Ehle from WILDE), a 30-year-old single mom with a penchant for abusive partners, Cameron (Dougray Scott), a bad painter who washes his hair every few months, Liam (Ian Hart), a wimpy comic book dealer, and Marey (Kathy Burke), an airport janitor and band singer.

Marey, as the anti-model, is the least likely character of all. Plump and completely unattractive, she can't understand why handsome men would rather date her than the gorgeous women to which they are accustomed. Neither will you. One character claims it is because of her sense of humor, but the script gives her little funny to do or say.

Kane falls back on the usual assortment of romantic comedy clichés. Drunken women pass out or throw up at the most inopportune moments. And sober characters trying to engage in sexual activities fall into the furniture and each other in slapstick routines worthy of vaudeville.

Although the performances are pleasant enough, the problem with the film is that we've seen it all many times before. THIS YEAR'S LOVE can best be thought of as a dumbed down FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.

THIS YEAR'S LOVE runs 1:48. It is not yet rated but will undoubtedly be an R for sex, drug usage and language. The film would be acceptable for older teenagers.

Monday, January 23, 2006

This Year's Love reviews

Two of em, neither available online. Primero, Martin Hoyle of the Financial Times, February 18th 1999.

The characters rarely rise above stereotype, from Jennifer Ehle's posh girl with a nostalgie de la boue ("I went to Roedean - would you believe it?" she signals, just in case we don't) to Dougray Scott's voracious womaniser and Ian Hart's Scouse nerd. Kathy Burke's airport cleaner-cum-pub singer almost comes to life, though again given too much articulate self-awareness to ring true. The cast is pretty good, though Ehle's perpetual sweetness (she deploys un certain sourire and not much else) hardly indicates the spoilt slummer. Admirably, however, unlike that other sexual merry-go-round with Ehle, the twee Bedrooms and Hallways (shown at the Edinburgh Film Festival but not so far released), this film shows a seething London that actually looks as grubby, tacky and tawdry as the capital of Cool Britannia really is.

How prétentieux is it to randomly drop phrases en français? Sacrebleu.

Segundo, from the Leicester Mercury on the same date.

For this diverting take on the dating game, writer-director David Kane has to be complimented for his sharp observational skills and ability to translate 'real' people and situations into a satisfying drama, which shuns happy endings. It also boasts an excellent cast, with Burke, McCormack and Ehle justifying their position at the forefront of the new wave of British film actresses. Although I doubt anyone involved would welcome the comparison, This Year's Love is a kind of Breakfast Club for the late nineties - but with the emphasis on greasy bacon and eggs rather than lightly buttered toast! THE lovers whose wedding day bust-up sparks the romantic complications in This Year's Love, are played by rising British stars Catherine McCormack and Douglas Henshall.

PS. I'm going away from tomorrow until Feburary 1st. Chelsea's in charge til then (gluck!). You can contact her at jenniferehle2@hotmail.com. Mail sent to jenniferehle@gmail.com won't be read until my return.

This is cheating

Blogging without doing any work. It's fantastic! Here's a new batch of photos sent by Josie (who also has a new site about actress Kelly Reilly, check it out).

Click to enlarge.

This batch includes:
  • 5 enlargened Philadelphia Story stills
  • 5 Wilde premiere photos
  • 2 Tartuffe stills
  • 1 loverly shot from Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth
  • 2 photos from the Camomile Lawn days (one is shown above)
  • 4 photos from the 1998 BAFTAs (aka the "she woz robbed" BAFTAs)
  • Sunday, January 22, 2006

    "Splendour in the Grass"

    Amy Taubin from The Villaige Voice reviews Bedrooms and Hallways:

    Warning: some very minimal but slightly offensive material is contained on the website
    Just as sweet, but somewhat more sophisticated, Rose Troche's Bedrooms and Hallways is a romantic comedy about twentysomething Londoners looking for love. Leo (Kevin McKidd) and Darren (Tom Hollander) are gay flatmates whose sexual fantasies run in opposite directions. Darren's current flame is a buttoned-up real-estate agent (Hugo Weaving) who enjoys using the homes to which he has professional access as he would his own. It's cheaper than doing it in hotels and twice as kinky. The more serious Leo scandalizes the men's group he's been attending by confessing that he has a crush on one of the members, a smoldering Irish hunk named Brendan. Much to Leo's surprise, Brendan, who's in the throes of breaking up with his girlfriend (the wonderful Jennifer Ehle), proves more than amenable to a new and different adventure. The problem for Leo is that Brendan may not be able to stop at one adventure.

    Smartly written by Robert Farrar and performed with considerable panache, Bedrooms and Hallways could be the pilot for a television series (a gay-friendly Friends) except that it's more chaste than some of what's on British TV (the BBC series This Life, for example). Troche, who directed the no-budget lesbian romantic comedy Go Fish, shows that she's capable of a conventional style when the occasion warrants. But Bedrooms and Hallways doesn't play by the rules when it comes to identity politics, which may be what drew Troche to the material. Like Go Fish, it suggests that there's nothing as anarchic as sexual desire, and that when it comes to love affairs, nothing is as compelling as breaking a taboo, whether cultural or personal. Bedrooms and Hallways goes a step further by proposing that the common ground between gay and straight identities is that both are mutable. Doctrinaire gays may not approve, but, honestly, c'est la vie.

    "The Prince and the Pauper"

    This photo is from a newspaper about The Prince and the Pauper, an early works of Rosemary Harris (1957). She's there on the right.

    Saturday, January 21, 2006

    Awwww over

    This is an interview in the Newark Star Ledger about Rosemary Harris' 2002 play All Over. Look, isn't this adorable?

    Rosemary Harris is all wrong for her role in Edward Albee's "All Over." That's because in the revival of the 1971 play - opening at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton on Saturday night - Harris plays a mother who has come to hate her daughter. "She's so disappointed in her," Harris says. "She says the girl has made `a rubble' of her life. It must be awkward to have progeny who disappoint you." She stops and gives a full-throated laugh. "I wouldn't know." For Harris is the mother of Jennifer Ehle, who two seasons ago won a Tony Award for starring in "The Real Thing." The irony is that Harris was one of her rival nominees, for "Waiting in the Wings." "And if I had won," Harris says, "you would have seen the wrong sort of tears pouring down my cheeks. I would have been devastated, and that's not just altruism on my part. She shouldn't have her mum take it away from her. It was her turn."
    "When I was thinking about doing `All Over,' I wondered how I was going to perform it, considering that nothing in my life has prepared me for it. I am an actress," she stresses, "but I couldn't imagine not loving my daughter. But then a friend reminded me of our next door neighbor in North Carolina who wouldn't speak to her children and cut them out of her life. She's become my inspiration." [more]

    (In other news, headline lameness hits a record low)

    Friday, January 20, 2006

    Budapest Sun on Sunshine

    A Hungarian perspective.

    Despite the strong and often shameful subject matter, Sunshine is a film for which Hungarians can be really proud. Directed by István Szabó, the epic spans generations and covers weighty topics such as history, religion, roots, love, hatred and prejudice. It is the first film for a long while to earn the title of a truly great work of cinema.
    Gustav (James Frain), the left-wing conscience of the story, is in love with his adopted sister Vali who falls for Ignác (Fiennes). Vali’s character is played by the talented actress Jennifer Ehle (This year’s love, Wilde), her real life mother actress Rosemary Harris plays Vali in later life.

    Although the three characters Ignác, son Ádám and grandson Iván are all played by Fiennes, it seems like Vali is at the real core of the film. Her character spans the generations, and as a photographer she observes the events of history, both personal and the larger east European tragedy.


    Laura S. Moncur of The Quotations Page admits to being a Janeite despite (gasp) not being a "frilly girl"....

    I don't like dresses or pretty things. I fantasize about setting fires more than men. I enjoy learning about hoaxes and scams much more than learning about manners and correct speech. I find no interest in romance, because I'm too busy accruing interest in finance. I enjoy my life as a woman who can do whatever she wants in this world. Why, then, do I like Jane Austen's novels?

    Er, because of all of the above? Besides the pyromania. And because of the below:

    I must admit that this rendition of Pride and Prejudice is what started it all for me. Seeing Jennifer Ehle play the feisty Elizabeth Bennett made me love Jane Austen. Colin Firth plays a dark and brooding Mr. Darcy with curly locks and glaring glances. I bought this set at full price and it was well worth it.

    Thursday, January 19, 2006

    Our cup runneth over

    Yep! Even more photos from Josie. 16 stills this time: Summerfolk, The Real Thing, Bedrooms & Hallways, Paradise Road, This Year's Love and a rare Pleasure one.

    Ehle to replace Queen on coins

    Not really, but this critic thinks she should. And some more Possession reviews.

    Varia Gallery
    In the 19th century episode, dashing Jeremy Northam has a splendidly cool manner in his stylish portrayal of the Victorian poet devastated by a forbidden love. And, as the other side of that attraction, Ehle presents exquisite grace. Aided by corsettry and setting, she conveys classic stateliness amidst her passion for Ash. Her face is of a structure that belongs on stamps or coins. Yet with all that high bred allure, she has no trouble conveying the depth of her passion and convincing us of its pains and pleasures.

    Reelmovie Critic
    The flashback scenes are very well done as well. Jeremy Northam is excellent as the lovestruck Ash, who through his beautiful poetry can seduce a woman-a lesbian woman-named Christabel LaMotte. Jennifer Ehle as LaMotte also gives a very good and layered performance as someone who embarks on a passionate, romantic affair that has no easy way out. Ash was married at the time of the affair, and LaMotte was involved with another woman named Blanche Glover (Lena Headey).

    Harvey S. Karten
    Combing through books of poetry in a specialized library he serendipitously uncovers between the pages some original letters exchanged between Ash and one feminist poet of lesser stature, Christabel LaMotte (who comes to life as Jennifer Ehle).

    Gwyneth Paltrow as Maud and Jennifer Ehle as her Victorian "double" Christabel, are both gorgeous; both play their characters as equally repressed despite the greater freedoms of our own day.

    Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    Beyond Reason controversy

    TV censured for murder re-enactment - Penny McAllister
    By Nicholas Hellen
    29 October 1995
    The Sunday Times
    (c) 1995 Times Newspapers Ltd

    A television drama that reconstructed the murder of Penny McAllister by the mistress of her army officer husband has been censured for an invasion of privacy.

    Carlton Television, which broadcast the programme, Beyond Reason, last February, has been ordered to carry an on-air apology to the victim's parents and husband in a ruling by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC).

    The formal censure, which follows a lengthy investigation, is likely to discourage other broadcasters from pursuing similar reconstructions of real-life crimes. One production company, Red Rooster, is reconsidering its plans to film the story of Stephanie Slater, the estate agent who was kidnapped by Michael Sams.

    However, last night the executive producer of Beyond Reason, Rod Gilchrist, was defiant. "Intrusion into privacy is a very serious matter and it is important in television that there are guidelines and there are rules," said Gilchrist, who is also deputy editor of The Mail on Sunday. "But I personally reject the finding, and I won't bow the knee. The facts were already in the public arena."

    More than 12m viewers saw the actress Jennifer Ehle play the part of the 24-year-old victim, who was murdered by Susan Christie, her husband's lover. The film showed the knife attack on Penny in a deserted wood in Northern Ireland, with the cameras only switching away at the moment of the stabbing.

    In an unfortunate coincidence, Ehle will appear on screen tonight as the bride of Darcy in the final episode of BBC1's serialisation of Pride and Prejudice.

    Penny McAllister's parents, Des and Norma Squire, at first tried to persuade Kensington Films, the makers of Beyond Reason, to scrap the programme, complaining that it was "totally degrading" to the memory of their daughter. Des Squire said that he was on the edge of a breakdown and had to take early retirement from his job as a primary school headmaster. When he failed to block it, he took the case to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission and was joined by Penny's husband, Duncan McAllister. Their complaint was backed by the Conservative MP for Arundel, Sir Michael Marshall, and the former minister Richard Needham.

    Gilchrist's defence turned on his claim that Penny's parents and her husband had co-operated with newspaper articles and books which covered the same territory. He said McAllister had raised no objections when he sold his story to the Daily Mail.

    "He told the most intimate details of his private life and gave the most personal photographs," said Gilchrist. "He talked about how he first seduced his wife and how he first seduced Susan Christie, for which he received financial gain from the Daily Mail. That is not disputed.

    "We were attempting to come to an arrangement with McAllister for him to be a consultant and adviser on the film. That broke down not because he didn't want the film made but over areas of the contract."

    Christie was released from prison last month after serving three and a half years of a nine-year sentence for manslaughter. There was an outcry from the Penny's father who said he hoped the "hideous deed" would haunt Christie beyond the grave.

    Peter Pilkington, chairman of the BCC, was not available for comment.

    MORE photos!

    Jennifer Ehle in The Real Thing
    Josie has sent in six more photos from The Real thing and Summerfolk. All but a couple are new to me.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    Ralph Fiennes on Sunshine

    Toronto Star interviewed Ralph Fiennes about Sunshine in 1999.

    ''I look to have a very strong gut response to a script, the writing, the dialogue, the director, the character I've been asked to play,'' Fiennes explains. ''I thought the script (co-written by Szabo) was an amazing journey through the lives of three generations of this family, and I wanted to do it immediately.
    ''There were days when I played all three parts,'' he says. ''Each scene was so carefully explained to me. If I came in at 7 a.m, had makeup and was on set at 10 to do a scene that would last all morning, once it was finished, it was gone. They tried to schedule it chronologically, but it was really impossible to do completely.
    ''You learn to compartmentalize in your head slightly. You focus on the character that you're doing at that moment, just shut out thoughts about the other character.''

    The characters he plays all convert from their Jewish religion for political reasons - pointedly unlike the family's leading female characters.
    Each of the men, he notes, is ''unsure of who they are. They are struggling with their sense of identity in different ways. That, crudely speaking, is what makes them similar.''
    And he adds, briefly parting his curtain of privacy, ''I find it's quite nice to escape into a part sometimes because there is a beginning, a middle and an end. Your lines are fixed.
    ''Life is much more confusing. Being yourself in everyday life, the script is being written as you go along. Certainly in this film with Istvan, I felt very nurtured by him.''

    Then comes the question, asked of many actors, that lures Fiennes out in full spate: What does he learn about himself from the roles he plays?''I don't think acting is a therapy,'' he snaps. ''It's just play. It's only an extension of a simple childish instinct that goes on (with) dressing up in clothes. Play cowboys and Indians.
    ''I see a part. I see a story, I pretend to be this person. I'm not thinking: Does it make me feel more myself? In fact, I think it's not good for actors to analyze what they do too much.
    ''I think the best actors, certainly actors I admire, are very practical in their approach. Some like Judi Dench. (She) just gets on, does it, goes home, gets back to her children. There isn't a kind of churning over of this with (an) internal who am I, how is this part affecting me?''

    Another question also rouses him. Why did he allow Szabo to film him frontally nude in a shower scene?
    ''The way he shot me was very discrete and sensitively done,'' Fiennes replies. ''Not for a second did I feel exposed in a way that made me feel uncomfortable. The nudity is really well-photographed.''
    Referring to that scene in an New York Observer review, critic Rex Reed deemed Fiennes not to be a ''hot babe magnet.''

    He's not a fencer either. A double was used in the fencing scenes ''because I couldn't learn to fence in that Olympic standard in that short time.''

    But he was certainly enamoured with his leading ladies, from stage veteran Rosemary Harris (also Genie-nominated), to Canadians Molly Parker and Deborah Kara Unger, who play his lovers. ''I'm very lucky I had all great ladies. They were all great to work with. We felt like a great company.''

    He credits director Szabo for creating that friendly atmosphere during the filming that lasted 4 1/2 months in Budapest. (Szabo) is ''very thorough in the way he approaches directing or acting. It was a very enriching experience. ''

    Szabo returns the compliment, calling Fiennes ''a very, very talented great English actor.''

    Monday, January 16, 2006

    The kindness of strangers

    Josie of A Genius at Work is officially inducted into my personal Hall of People Who Really Rock. She's just e-mailed this enormous package of 59, yes FIFTY-NINE, gorgeous photos.

    You can see all of them as thumbnails in the blog's Photobucket album, in the "Josie's pics" subfolder. Click on a photo you want to see enlarged, then right-click or ctrl-click and choose to save it.

    Some you may have come across before, but there are a good number that I can't remember seeing elsewhere. Of the new ones there a few more unwatermarked Philadelphia Story stills, some photos from awards ceremonies and other events, and many from magazine or newspaper shoots that weren't chosen for publication.

    I've also just made public the blog's full Photobucket album containing lots of photos posted here (but not all, so the most comprehensive listing of photos is still in the index). There won't be any surprises for those who have been reading us from the beginning, but new visitors might want to have a look. If you're wondering at the more incongruous images, it's because I use this album to host avatars and such.

    [edit: there are four more photos Josie just sent. They're from that blue-background series]

    Sunday, January 15, 2006

    My Melissa Review

    Here's my review of the mini-series, Melissa. NB: I haven't read the book, and there are spoilers within.

    Melissa is a bizarre mystery with a complex plot full of intelligent twists and turns, and fantastic characters. In the 90’s ‘made-for-TV’ thriller format, it’s easy to look over the less-than-perfect sound and picture quality and corny background music because the story and the acting are superb and engaging.

    Melissa, played by Jennifer Ehle, is a complex character full of sass, cheekiness, and earthy sensuality; she also carries a no-nonsense attitude and some hidden, dark secrets. Ms Ehle plays off Tim Dutton extremely well, and it is easy to believe their impulsive falling in love. As Guy, Dutton has the opportunity to express a sensitive side, that is easily disturbed by the world and inequalities within; thereby igniting a pretty nasty temper, which would mislead the audience into believing he may be the killer.

    Julie Walters is wonderful as Paula, and I adore the relationship she shares with Melissa. The secret about their relationship, which unfolds towards the end of the movie is a nice touch, adding dimension to the usual ‘who-dunnit’ storyline.

    I really enjoyed this mini-series, and I am a great fan of the mystery genre. Jennifer Ehle was outstanding, as she always is, and it’s always a pleasure to see her in a complex title role worthy of her to sink her teeth into.

    The Other Side ends today

    According to BroadwayWorld, The Other Side ends it's limited run today, on Sunday the 15th of January, at NYC Centre Stage 1. The production would have played 32 preview performances and 38 regular performances.

    Saturday, January 14, 2006

    Mr & Mrs Darcy

    Mr & Mrs Darcy
    You can by these prints from eBay.

    There's also an auction for Tatler with Jennifer Ehle on the cover:

    Tatler cover

    I thought this was cute

    I just finished watching the Pride and Prejudice mini-series, all 5 hours of it :D. it was so surreal to watch it after the 2005 version, seeing different actors display the exact same mannerisms of their character was..odd. Bingley in particular—both actors had the same goofy/endearing facial expressions. I LOVED Jennifer Ehle as Lizzy though. I have this weird fixation on her mouth and how perfect her little smiles were. Clearly I am insane from staring at it for 5 hours. Oh, and her eyes twinkled so much they put Dumbledore to shame XD. I love Keira Knightly, but she just can’t compare.

    By Livejournaler Kyoko.

    Friday, January 13, 2006

    Blogs on The Other Side

  • Margo Channing's feline-like review (this is one of the kinder remarks, believe it or not):

    Too bad that two of our greatest actors -- Harris and Cullum -- found themselves saddled with such unsalvageable material. They do what they can, but they don't have believable characters that make any actual sense from moment to moment, so even their formidable talents come off mostly as muted here.

  • R.J. Keefe of Portico says:

    Rosemary Harris is Broadway's grande dame. She is our Helen Hayes, our Lynn Fontanne. At a minimum!
    The actors do their best to ham things up. Thank heaven for that. Slyly - I'm not sure that I ought to say this - the two pros play to the audience, jettisoning any illusion of their being alone in a remote cabin. No; they're great actors on the New York stage. That ought to be an insult, but given the thinness of Mr Dorfman's material, it's an absolute blessing. Why, I can hear Ms Harris herself saying just that, nodding her head pensively while brandishing her soup ladle at the audience and pretending not to smirk. "That's just what it is - an Absolute blessing."
  • Those were the days

    Remember back in the good old days when Pride and Prejudice was screened for the very first time? No, me neither, but here's a review of the first screening of the first episode. By Matthew Bond of The Times, 25th September 1995.

    Six weeks from now, we will sigh, wipe away a tear or two and begin worrying about how on earth we are going to fill the remaining Sunday evenings before Christmas. Pride and Prejudice (BBC1) will have been a triumph, a worthy successor to the corporation's acclaimed adaptation of Middlemarch.

    But for 20 minutes of last night's first episode it was touch and go. There was something vaguely patronising about an opening scene that so blatantly exploited that most familiar of period drama cliches, the thundering hooves. Just for a brief moment, I thought Andrew Davies, the novel's adaptor, might have over-ruled Jane Austen and decided that Elizabeth Bennet could ride well after all. But no.

    Thundering hooves mean only one thing or rather two things. Breeches and testosterone. Our leading men had arrived. "Ooh look, there's a nice house," said one. "I'll take it," said the other. And with their macho credentials duely established, they thundered off in the general direction of scene two. Just to make sure we had got the point, Elizabeth then skipped prettily down the lane in one of those nightie things that costume designers insist were worn during the day in the early 19th-century.

    Then there was Carl Davis's score, the sort of classical pastiche that he churns out by the yard. For the first ten minutes I could scarcely hear anything else apart from the thundering hooves. But gradually, bar by bar, it faded into the unfailingly pretty background.

    But the biggest obstacle was the female casting. We may not have been singing the score yet, but you certainly spent many of the early scenes muttering about where you've seen whatshername before? Actually, with the likes of Jennifer Ehle, Susannah Harker, Julia Sawalha and Anna Chancellor it was more a case of where hadn't you. Collectively their credits ranged from The Camomile Lawn to House of Cards, from Absolutely Fabulous to Four Weddings and a Funeral. In short, they arrive with an initially distracting amount of baggage.

    Of course, their equally distinguished male counterparts do so, too but in a less unsettling way. "I don't think he would be quite so handsome if he were not quite so rich," says Elizabeth (Ehle) after catching her first glimpse of Darcy, played by Colin Firth. And she is right. Firth's Darcy broods magnificently, but is not so handsome. More importantly, however, Firth is one of those fortunate actors who manages to look different in each part he plays. The same cannot be said of the instantly recognisable, strong-featured faces of Ehle, Harker and Chancellor.

    Casting such well known actresses, however, does have two important benefits. First, we know perfectly well that by episode three we will have forgotten that they ever played anyone else and second, it makes keeping tabs on who's who (with everyone wearing the same frocks and hair) a great deal easier. Only when he had got down to the Lucas daughters was Davies reduced to such helpful reminders as: "Oh look, Charlotte has come."

    But all these reservations (together with a minor worry about whether Darcy would have played billiards with a modern style cue) began to pass after 20 minutes. Ehle and Harker may not be everybody's idea of Elizabeth and Jane Bennet, but they have the spirited wit, the intelligence and the charm that Austen would have wanted.

    As for the author's humour, it is in safe hands with Davies gently tickling the lines into shapes acceptable to the modern ear, and Benjamin Whitrow and Alison Steadman as Mr and Mrs Bennet having a whale of a time delivering them. Anyone who thinks Steadman might be just a teensy bit over the top need only return to the book for reassurance. It's all there.

    Miss Piggy and Tracy Lord

    What do they have in common? Unflattering costumes, according to The Times' roundup of the ups and downs of fashion in 2005 (28/12/2005).

    Living up to the inimitable Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story was a tall order for Jennifer Ehle, and the costumes only hindered her. Lacking the panache and theatricality required for such an exuberant character, they left us longing for the film versions.

    Thursday, January 12, 2006

    Interlochen Resume

    A few days ago, I asked the Interlochen Arts Academy about Jennifer Ehle and her attendance at the school during her sophomore and junior years: 1985-86 and 1986-87. They very generously provided us with information on roles she played:

    1985-86 Production credits included:
    Neil Simon's The Good Doctor
    Jennifer Ehle - a member of The Company

    JBP Moliere's An Evening at Versailles featuring L'Avare (The Miser)
    Jennifer Ehle - Mariane Brie

    John Pielmeier's Agnes of God a Studio Theatre production
    Jennifer Ehle - Agnes

    Edward Albee's The American Dream a Studio Theatre production
    Jennifer Ehle - Mommy

    1986-87 Production credits included:
    Neil Simon's Fools
    Jennifer Ehle - Sophia Zubritsky

    Mary Chase's Harvey
    Jennifer Ehle - Betty Chumley

    Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie
    Jennifer Ehle - The Mother

    True Blue

    Bruce Beresford comments on a moment in filming (of Paradise Road) during an interview, demonstrating the down-to-earth attitude of Aussie film crews.

    On Paradise Road one of the crew called out to Glenn Close and said, “Hey Glenn, mate! Just move a bit to the left so that light hits you there. O.K., mate?” And she looked up and said, “Oh, yes. Certainly.” I thought nowhere else on earth would someone call out to her like that, but it was good. He wasn’t rude, he wasn’t offensive, he just had a nice Australian frankness about him, and it makes it easy to deal with.

    On the subject of Paradise Road, there are two behind-the-scenes photos at this website. They are quite small, and only one has Jennifer Ehle in the background.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2006

    Andrew Davies Q&A report

    This is a report from Pemberlean Mary-L, who attended a talk by Andrew Davies.

    Some background on CF's role as Darcy: AD said that CF's previous career had been as a character actor, not a leading man, and that Sue Birtwhistle (P&P2 producer) had persuaded him to consider the role. He had not read any Austen; he then read P&P but not far enough to know if Darcy gets Elizabeth, when he agreed to do the role. Then he found out from the script how the story turns out. AD referred to CF as "rather sweet" in going on to read all six novels and coaching Jennifer Ehle in her part as EB. (He also referred rather pointedly to their relationship during filming.)

    There's also another Ehle-related report from a visit to Sudbury.

    There was an exhibit from Pride and Prejudice on the upper floors. This included correspondence arranging for the use of the hall, some script pages, publicity shots and candid photos (including one of Jennifer Ehle in costume wearing a huge hair net and smoking a cigarette). Some of the P&P costumes were also on exhibit: Mrs. Hurst’s orange number, a Mrs. Bennet dress, Mr. Bingley’s wedding clothes, Elizabeth’s muslin gown with the floral print and her wedding dress.


    Kiri, a blog reader, has suggested that we write to Oprah to urge her to have Ms Ehle as a guest on her show. Who knows, maybe Oprah's a fan?

    By the way, I just realised how close it is to the 15th! It's your last chance to see The Other Side.

    Since this is turning into a random-bits-of-information post, here's a slightly interesting auction from eBay - a German edition of Possession ("Besessen") by A.S. Byatt, with the movie poster on its cover.

    The Real Thing report

    Today I saw Tom Stoppard's "The Right Thing", this year's Tony's for best revival of a play, and for its leading couple. Jennifer Ehle is pure energy on the stage, even from the far mezzanine I could feel her character's intense love, and intense contradiction. Tom Stoppard is such a good writer that he wastes the beginning of the play with traditional but great jokes and lines. But it is in the intensity of the dilemma of Max, by the extraordinarily versatile Stephen Dillane, that Stoppard's talent and ideas are revealed. What you do when your love has a lover, but still loves you? How love can support sharing the loved body, even when knowing that is not sharing the love? Whoever hasn't lived through this, in reality or wish, have not lived life, and the play plunge us in the convulsive waters of love, and jealousy, and its harder brother, betrayal. The great survivor is my love for theater, fueled by all this great acting and writing

    Claudio Pinhanez writes about his summer in NY.

    Tuesday, January 10, 2006

    Wilde Thing

    Here's a collection of snippets of reviews about Wilde.

    Gina Arnold from Metroactive
    As Wilde's long-suffering wife, Constance, Jennifer Ehle looks just as she did in the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, which is a pity, because we all know that Ehle's Elizabeth Bennett wouldn't have put up with such nonsense from her husband for a minute.

    David Walsh from WSWS
    Jennifer Ehle, a fine actress, has little to do but appear long-suffering; the film paints her character in unrealistically flattering colors.

    David Armstrong from SFGate.com
    However, "Wilde," like Wilde, is flawed. Gilbert's direction is sturdy but uninspired, and Ehle's part is underwritten. To her credit, Ehle movingly conveys the sad frustration that Wilde implanted in his lonely wife; but Ehle has to do the work, playing her feelings on her face, with little help from Julian Mitchell's screenplay.

    And Cathleen Myers from PeerReviews
    Jennifer Ehle, the enchanting Elizabeth Bennett from the recent BBC Pride & Prejudice, simply glows with warmth and sympathy as Wilde’s adoring wife Constance

    The Real Thing reviews

    The Albermale of London has six extracts from reviews on The Real Thing.
    Warning: not all positive stuff.

    Some highlights:

    Stephen Dillane has already won the Evening Standard's best actor award for his performance as the distinctly Stoppardian playwright, Henry, and both he and his co-star Jennifer Ehle, who plays Henry's mistress, are deservedly up for gongs in the forthcoming Oliviers.
    As Anna, Ehle has a luminous beauty and a teasing sensuality that makes this an unforgettably sexy production. My only complaint is that her trick of speaking in a voice that seems simultaneously full of laughter and tears is becoming excessively mannered.

    Henry's romantically absolutist philosophy of love both from his own point of view, and that of Annie (performed with intelligence and passion by the luminous Jennifer Ehle) and his ex-wife Charlotte (played with a nice sulky sense of humour by Sarah Woodward)...

    Jennifer Ehle is also excellent as Annie: she has an extraordinary gift for constantly appearing on the verge of tears yet she retaliates against Henry's suave put-downs with spirit and dignity. Sarah Woodward is cunningly cast as Henry's ex-wife.

    Monday, January 09, 2006

    Oh frabjous day!

    The fansite is back up! Note that the URL is different from before: it's now http://www.geocities.com/dwan_y/index.html not http://www.geocities.com/Broadway/Alley/4820/ any more. Not sure if this change is permanent though.

    The last update is from December 17th - there are some Philadelphia Story photos you've probably seen before.

    Meanwhile, the EhleNews Yahoo group needs new blood fresh meat some enthusiastic new members. Go join up! The registration process is a bit long if you're not a Yahoo member already, but the 5 years of discussion are definitely worth it. Lots of photos, articles and fan encounter stories.

    Rosemary Harris and John Cullum on ATW radio

    The American Theatre Wing's radio program Downstage Center features Rosemary Harris and John Cullum.

    Stage veterans Rosemary Harris and John Cullum talk about meeting for the very first time to play husband and wife in Ariel Dorfman's The Other Side, discuss their feelings about seeing their children follow in their acting footsteps, and recall the subdued 1966 Tony Awards, when Cullum was nominated for On a Clear Day...and Harris won for The Lion in Winter.

    Here's the direct link to the 12.1mb mp3 file. It's 41 minutes long. Right click (ctrl-click on Mac) and choose "save (link) as".

    [edit: I've excerpted the bit where Ms Harris talks about her daughter; it's a 927kb mp3 file. I really recommend you download the full interview though, especially if you're interested in seeing The Other Side. Incidentally, the play is closing on January 15th not 21st as previously announced]

    [edit #2: there's also a streaming RealMedia version of the interview at the ATW site]

    The River King box office stats

    Odeon's The River King - the Halifax-shot thriller about a murder investigation - opened in Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax on Oct. 21, and brought in a first-week box office of about $5,000 in three theaters. Over the weekend of Oct. 28, the film continued in Toronto and Halifax, bringing in another $1,150, for a cumulative $7,250, according to Odeon.

    By Dustin Dinoff of Playback, November 7th 2005. Hopefully DVD sales will be more successful. If you haven't already, now's the time to pre-order your River King DVD - it's being released on the 24th of this month in the US. The cheapest I've found is $17.24 at Video Universe though you might want to shop around.

    Sunday, January 08, 2006

    Review of Netherfield Ball dance

    Here is a review of the Netherfield Ball dance. I can't believe 1,781 words could possibly be written about such a short scene!

    The choice of dance is perfect, as many have noted. Wonderful music ("Mr Beveridge's Maggot"), with charm and dignity, and simple but beautiful patterns of movement. I agree entirely with Andrew Davies' comment that the steps of the dance echo a combat, a fencing match, the steps of a matador (eg, that wonderful arm posture as they make their turns - very pasa doble!). All that touching and turning and hand holding and weaving around one another is almost erotic, as well as combative, and is as significant as the dialogue in developing this stage of their relationship.

    Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle are very graceful dancers. Logically, of course, the dance should not have ended when it did. They may stop and bow with confidence because the choreographer told them to, but they should have continued until they were at the head of the line again. I love the expression on Darcy's face while he waits gravely to bow at the beginning - one of those editing choices I marvel at.

    Brevity is.

    A small selection from Four Word Film Reviews:
  • Sutcliffe falls for Hamburger.
  • Singers have captive audience.
  • Jeremy unlaces corset poetically.
  • Hungary Jews devour love.
  • Camden's where Hart is.
  • An urbane legend.
  • Indy takes European vacation.
  • Saturday, January 07, 2006

    "Path of Inspiration"

    Jennifer Ehle is listed as an honouree of the Interlochen Alumni Path of Inspiration Note: singer Norah Jones is also listed... just a bit of trivia.

    Perspectives on Possession

    A section of a review of Possession from Bob Bloom:

    The four leads are masterful, but it is Northam and Ehle who hold your hearts. Northam has the intense look of the poet, his eyes burning, his soul in torment.
    Ehle is a treasure. You are drawn to her eyes, which show love, humor and defiance as well as pain and sadness. When she is on screen, she commands your attention.

    And from K99.1FM
    Possession is a lushly romantic study of both the transcendent power of language and the seductive nature of literary mystery. In this case, the mystery spirals beyond the past and into the present. Bridging the two eras is the language of love, expressed in grand physical passions yet also at its fullest in the written word.

    To portray Ash and Christabel, the filmmakers cast Jeremy Northam and Jennifer Ehle. Weinstein calls them "amazing actors. They understood the tentativeness of their characters and particularly of what it meant for Ash, who had lived a loveless life, to reach out and dare to go off with this woman who had less to lose:"

    Playing opposite each other, Northam confides that the pair "set up our own little world where a look or an action would tell the audience a whole page's worth of explanation about what's going on between these two people. It is those little things that inform the nature of the relationship, and you can't script them. I've always been interested in style, which is often misconstrued as just how you walk and talk, and there are different layers of style within Possession that are quite intriguing."

    Jennifer Ehle feels that the Victorian era has long been "treated as a heightened romantic period, probably more than it actually was."

    Veronica Beaconsfield

    Fans at RUSS-L, "an online mailing list devoted to discussion of Laurie R. King's series of books about Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes", name Jennifer Ehle as part of their dream cast for the series as the character Veronica Beaconsfield.

    Friday, January 06, 2006

    1995 vs 1980

    There have been mountainloads of comparisons between the 1995 and 2005 versions of Pride and Prejudice, but here's one comparing Our Dear Version with the 1980 adaptation.
    As for the dip in the lake -- well, there was clearly a lust factor built in here -- I admit to being rather thrilled by the scene, and by the sight of our hunky hero striding along dripping wet, shirt clinging to his chest. It works on all sorts of levels. First, it expresses Darcy's physicality, which the new version emphasises -- he is shown fencing, riding, shooting, swimming, bathing, walking -- in other words, he is a flesh and blood man full of energy and life, and not just some effete, genteel, posturing Regency hero (which is how I see Rintoul's Darcy). This alone would make him a worthy partner of Jennifer Ehle's feisty Elizabeth. I remember being utterly charmed by her from the very beginning, when we are introduced to her out walking, and she starts to run, revelling in the freedom and the exercise. I knew I was going to like this Lizzie straight away. Second, it makes absolute sense of the meeting between Darcy and Lizzie. It puts Darcy at a disadvantage, helps to increase embarrassment for both of them (and don't tell me Lizzie doesn't notice the way he looks...), and gives him a strong reason for excusing himself and disappearing up to the house.

    Jennifer Ehle is superb (she deservedly won a Best Actress BAFTA) - she carries off a great responsibility. There is scarcely a scene in the series, from memory, that doesn't feature her or Darcy. I couldn't imagine a better Elizabeth, and I feel quite 'precious' about the character, since she's the heroine of my all time favourite novel. She is charming, funny, intelligent, pig headed, obstinate, very pretty without being a plastic beauty, she makes mistakes and gets angry and bored and frustrated and embarrassed -- she's a flesh and blood woman. Her solitary walks, which certainly exist in the novel, express her physical side well, and Davies caught her perfectly in the (invented) scene where she plays with the dog at Netherfield and Darcy spies on her from his bathroom. You can easily see why Darcy falls for her, and why she attracts Wickham, Col. Fitzwilliam, maybe even Mr Collins. Jane Austen describes the mixture of 'sweetness and archness in her manner' that 'bewitched' Darcy, and Jennifer Ehle has it in spades!
    Colin & Jennifer conveyed so much attraction in so subtle a fashion. The kiss at the end, tame as it was, almost seemed unnecessary -- you just know that this is the perfect couple. They did great stuff with body language -- I loved the fact that, when they are walking together at Pemberley, they unconsciously mirror each other, walking along with their arms behind their backs. And when they finally get together, they keep gently bumping against each other as they walk along. [more]

    Why yes, even more Camomile Lawn

    Since it's unofficial Camomile Lawn week. This is by Greg Quill of the Toronto Star on June 13th, 1993. Spot the errors.

    *Addictive: The Camomile Lawn, a TV adaptation by the Australian Broadcasting Commission and British TV's daring independent Channel 4 of Mary Wesley's sprawling novel about an extended family and intricate sexual liaisons before, during, and after World War II, is thrilling, seductive stuff, even if its characters and their values are as unusual to average North American tastes as garlic snails, and rabbit in mustard sauce.

    Or maybe not. The complicated sexual pairings - twins who become their cousin's simultaneous lovers after her husband is killed; a gentrified couple (Felicity Kendal and Paul Eddington) who, after years of convenient marriage, agree to swap partners with a brilliant German Jewish concert violinist (Oliver Cotton) and his flaxen-haired Bavarian hausfrau (Trudy Weiss), both deemed suspicious aliens by the Establishment; the lingering passion between a thwarted lover and a much younger and very damaged girl who pushed a coast guard watcher over a Cornish cliff because he threatened her with his "pink snake" - would be unbelievable (except, perhaps, in Hollywood) if the pressures of war, and longing suppressed by the British class system, weren't so well preserved as central elements of this extraordinary script.

    I couldn't begin to explain the convoluted threads of this addictive, five-part TV saga, which premieres in CBC-TV's "adult zone" tomorrow at 11 p.m., except to suggest that the feel, scent and location of the camomile lawn in the title are key to understanding all the mysteries and psycho-sexual intrigue in the plot.

    Claire Bloom, Jennifer Ehle, and Tara Fitzgerald also star.

    Brother, Austrian, brunette. Five points for enthusiasm, though.

    Thursday, January 05, 2006

    On the subject of The Camomile Lawn...

    Here's more:

    From IOFilm
    Felicity Kendal gives a lovely performance as the scatty, snobbish, but endearing Aunt Helena and Jennifer Ehle steals the show as the magnificently vampish Calypso - a kind of grand wartime Samantha, who goes on swearing that she only ever married her husband for his money well after everyone else has realised she secretly married him for love

    From Priceclash
    For this is very much about growing up and sex, including rape and child abuse (both handled tactfully, mainly in dialogue), adulatory, ménage á trois, bisexuality and rampant promiscuity. The attitudes, from the war-damaged, nihilistic Oliver, (a powerfully charismatic Toby Stephens) to the mercenary Calypso (an incendiary Jennifer Ehle), and some individual scenes, shock in their very matter-of-factness

    Some IMDB user comments (nb. spelling and language isn't perfect)
    The Camomile Lawn is gorgeous to watch; glamorous; obsessed with sex; but slowly proves to have hidden depths and a strong, if unconventional, morality. Jennifer Ehle proves herself one of the sexiest figures to have been seen on screen, and a classic and classy actress to boot.

    Let's get the obvious out of the way first , Jennifer Ehle is GORGEOUS , so excuse me if i seem biased! Set during the war , a family with a strange besotment with the smell of their yard (?) are thrown in to a sea of love , hate and torrid affairs! The acting is absoloutely priceless throughout with everyone doing a marvellous job! Only problem is , where can i get it on VHS or DVD? A fantastic drama , a treat for all!

    Jennifer Ehle is certainly attractive and shows a lot more in this epic than in her later Jane Austen roles. But for an example of dark and sultry pouting look no further than Tara Fitzgerald. This production also features everyones 1970's favourite pin-up Felicty Kendal, but she's playing an old woman here folks!

    Ebay Round-up

    Haven't had many ebay items for a while, so other than copious amounts of Pride and Prejudice and Sunshine DVDs, we have the Evening Standard Met, Culture Magazine, and Harper's Bazaar.

    Wednesday, January 04, 2006

    Camomile Lawn reviews

    No prizes for guessing what DVD just arrived in the mail yesterday (yay!). Can't find many full-length reviews, just lots of smallish ones.

  • From a Richard Johnson appreciation page
    5 stars. One of those little gems that creep up on you. A strong ensemble piece driven by the great British theatre director, Peter Hall, this five-hour mini-series follows the lives of about a dozen people from the eve of World War ll through the war. The final hour of the series catches up with them in present day. The cast is a most formidable one, all the younger actors are exceptional, but what makes it most interesting is to see how the older actors have each taken on the various characteristics of their young counterparts from the past. The people the young characters have grown into are real extensions of them. Most of the cast was unfamiliar to me with the exception of Claire Bloom (who is wonderful as always), Rosemary Harris and Tara Fitzgerald (also both wonderful). But the actresses, Rebecca Hall and Jennifer Ehle are definitely two new talents to watch out for! Oh yes, Richard Johnson is extremely enjoyable as the surly but lovable present-day Oliver.

  • Total DVD
    This 1992 series is largely remembered as the TV debut of voluptuous Jennifer Ehle, who along with co-star Tara Fitzgerald gets plenty of chances to disrobe. A clichéd tale of a family torn apart by the Second World War, the story of five cousins from the Cuthbertson family is told in flashback. As war breaks out, upper lips are not the only things that remain stiff, and much ghastly beastliness of the bedroom variety ensues. Totalling 264 minutes on two discs, this is decent value for money and will entertain lovers of steamy costume drama. Picture is a little grainy but bright and colourful, and sound is clear

  • Buyer reviews from EasyCinema
    Most folk will have seen this and enjoyed this on TV when first released. I found it well acted and paced the first time around. My overall appreciation on this second viewing was even more pronounced. Sadly not many TV productions are in this class.

  • From Memorable UK TV
    Period drama serial. The convoluted and surprisingly explicit love lives of a group of cousins just before and during World War II. The series garnered quite a bit of controversy (and publicity) thanks to its frankness with language and sex scenes.

  • Finally, not exactly a review, but an article about sex on the small screen. The (rather frank) dialogue from one of Ms Ehle's scenes is quoted. Click through to see for yourselves!
  • Pride and Prejudice screencaps

    2187 of them. While we're at it, some LiveJournal icons, useful for avatars and such. These are mostly from austen_icons. There are heaps more in the archives no doubt.
  • 100 wordless icons
  • Some comedy ones
  • More comedy
  • Some with and without borders
  • 17 of them (a couple lovely Lizzy ones)
  • Not icons, but a mood theme
  • Some non-Lizzy icons, Ms Ehle as herself
  • Tuesday, January 03, 2006

    "My goodness, how they've changed"

    You can buy this Radio Times magazine article, from July 1997 at Colin Firth Shop

    This is a superb magazine which is dated the 12th - 18th of July 1997, within this magazine is a fantastic two page article titled "My goodness, how they've changed" which looks at what life has been like for Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle since starring in the BBC adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice", the wet shirt scene, how women wanted to be Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet, Colin Firth's film roles and Jennifer Ehle's theatre work and films, how nothing they have done since has had the impact that "Pride and Prejudice" had, "Darcymania", Colin Firth's off screen relationship with Jennifer Ehle while filming "Pride and Prejudice" etc. With this article there are two lovely photos of Colin Firth with actress Jennifer Ehle, one photo of them as themselves and one of them dressed up as Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from the BBC adaptaion of "Pride and Prejudice".

    Monday, January 02, 2006

    "If I ruled the theater universe..."

    4. "All Over," by Edward Albee. Bring Rosemary Harris and Michael Learned back in this superb production of an underrated 1971 play by Albee, about the death of a patriarch, and put it on Broadway. This one was done (but sadly not widely seen) at the Roundabout's Gramercy Theatre in 2002, in a superbly sensitive production under Emily Mann's direction.

    From The Journal News' "Broadway's 2006 wish list".

    "The real thing"

    Liz Penn of The High Sign reviews Possession. She's not keen on the movie but likes Ms Ehle in it, so she's partially forgiven.

    I saw Jennifer Ehle eat up the stage a few years ago in a Broadway production of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. The real thing is just what she is: a big, juicy, radiant redhead, straight out of a Julia Margaret Cameron photograph from the 1860s, whose face seems full of secrets that far outstrip the complexity of the role she's playing.

    The Other Side roundup, again

  • Rather nice reader review from the NYT
    The reason this play seems so timeless is because it lays bare a universal tragedy of ethic and human conflict. The acting is superb, reinforced by a powerful set. Admittedly, this parable /is/ contrived, which is not an insult. The playwrite's craft nicely emphasizes the absurdist realities that mirror life in the 21st century. However, like many articulate and tightly wrought dramas, this play really delivers thought-provoking, touching, and very compelling entertainment.

  • Backstage
    It's a tribute to the extraordinary acting of Cullum and Harris that The Other Side isn't unendurable. ...
    The Other Side may elicit general feelings regarding the farcicality, the stupidity, of war. But the pace of Blanka Zizka's direction is shiftless, lugubrious; the play's moody hopelessness is numbing more than provocative. If Cullum and Harris elegantly shade their roles with wit and depth, it's because they find humanity in such an antitheatrical mise en scène. There's value in that, but there would be more if the play had something direct to say.

  • Times Square
    Gene Farber makes a slightly stiff guard, but the acting from the two leads, Rosemary Harris and John Cullum, could not be better. That's the problem, for neither actor is able to rise above the allegorical and stereotypical. Harris and Cullum do what they can with Dorfman's trite dialogue trying to be both seriously profound and profoundly funny, but they can't help lift "The Other Side' from the mundane to the marvelous.

  • New Yorker
    Dorfman’s work often deals with the ambiguous emotional fallout of political strife—but when his open-ended dramas are matched with unspecific acting, as they are here, the dialogue loses its potency for subtext.
  • Sunday, January 01, 2006

    Happy New Year!

    Happy 2006 everybody!! This is the first post for the new year. Thanks to all our visitors, loyal readers, and forum-goers. Tina and I wish you all the best for 2006.

    This is a good time to thank Tina for covering for me while I was on holidays- Thank you! You did an fabulous job.
  • (Little dedication to Ms Ehle's liking of Pooh Bear)
  • Piccys

    Some more pictures found on these websites- some of which I haven't seen on the internet. They are from Pride and Prejudice, Sunshine, and This Year's Love.