Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bringing divaliciousness to set

Have we had enough Jennifer Ehle quotage this week? I think not. Let's have some more. First, Brightcove have another red carpet video from the New York premiere of Pride and Glory. Jennifer Ehle appears twice, responding to questions about the Glory boys and divaliciousness.

Second is some Rains multimedia from AVS (unfindable but possibly an oldie from the first half of 08). In it, Ms Ehle again appears twice, talking about why the film reminds her of film noir and Hitchcock. Lastly, Starpulse have an interview (minus Ms Ehle) that we appear to have missed from the TIFF.

The remaining hickeldy pickle of relevancies follow.
  • Following the Pride and Glory hype in South Africa, the Times speak to Colin Farrell about the film and being a father.

  • The South African approach coverage of the film from a slightly different angle, saying:
[...] Pride and Glory pumps out so much testosterone that audience members of all genders will leave with hairier chests. But this gritty police saga is masterfully made, and cleverly told, so it might well be worth the cost of a wax. [...]
Another yay comes from The Hollywood News, which goes so far as to say 'this is probably 2008's strongest ensemble outside of The Dark Knight', considering its rich performances to 'more than make up' for its lack of originality. Reviewer Adam Mast goes on to explain:
[...] What really gives this film an emotional wallop is it's attention to character detail. Each character in Pride and Glory has something to lose, particularly Emmerich's Francis Tierney, a man who not only stands to lose credibility and respect, but also his sickly wife (played brilliantly by an effective Jennifer Ehle). [...]
Also receiving the thumbs up is the oft-criticised ending:
[...] Pride and Glory took a good thirty minutes to really get going, but once it did, I was completely sucked in. This is a testament to the stellar performances and Gavin O'Connor's strong direction. Even a somewhat unexpected brawl scene in the final act of the movie manages to work. It's silly and not entirely realistic, but it lends a certain Irish charm to the proceedings. Pride and Glory is solid entertainment, with much to recommend it. [...]
  • On the flipside, blogger The Mad Hatter was about as happy with the film as his name suggests, while The Film Street Journal have more harsh words. Avion Newspaper's James Willingham goes for some rhyming ('Pride and Glory is very gory') and despite not considering the film anything special, he does identify 'some rather brilliant acting':
[...] Under Gavin O'Conner's (sic) direction the film has several scenes where emotional trauma is prevalent and causes the audience to understand just what's at stake: the reputation of the glorious NYPD. [...]
  • Ben Johnson at Artipot makes some neutral observations about the film, only moving away from this to predict that Pride and Glory 'should catch the public mood and draw the audience'.

  • Movie Waffle evidently got bored with ordinary yay/nay comments and twice ponder the subject of Jennifer Ehle's head. They say:
[...] Yes, there will be women in this movie. One of them will even have cancer. But this is a man’s film. If men are at home with their wives it’s because the bars are closed. If a woman gets a line it’s because the man needs to be reminded of something. Witness Jennifer Ehle – shaving her head for what she doubtless thought would be more than a two scene role – telling Noah Emmerich: “I need you to be that man”, and Emmerich nodding, thinking perhaps: “She shaved her head for this?” [...]
Then later:
[...] It may be me, but I could swear (Norton) looks envious when he hugs Jennifer Ehle at the family Christmas, thinking perhaps: 'Why didn’t I get to shave my head?' [...]
While we're on the subject, Glory release dates are now up (on IMDb) for Germany, Austria, Brazil, Australia, Sweden and Norway.
  • Elsewhere regarding reviews, Zola's Movie Pics gave Before the Rains 3 stars, and justifies that score thus:
[...] The story and location were equally magical. ... I think Rahul Bose gives the strongest performance as he tries to obey his people yet still hang on to his dream of modern prosperity. The soundtrack is very soothing and aids in setting the stage. [...]
  • After a far lengthier evaluation, CHUD give a (very precise) 7.3 out of 10, explaining how the film successfully demolished their preconceptions, but without also (seemingly) swaying too far into 'yay' territory. The thoughts given are honest and to the point:

[...] Before the Rains is not a great movie, but it is definitely a good movie, one that uses its budget and its cast well, and one that has a solid, if strangely old-fashioned, script. ...

[The film] has no big flaws. It gets in there, tells a story, then gets out of the way. It’s not sappy, long, or “pretentious.” On the other hand, it’s nothing uniquely moving, either. ... If you have an interest in period films or in India, definitely check this out; if not, well, see it anyway, but there’s no need to hurry. [...]

The reviewers also include an honest (and somewhat amusing) note about what the extras consist of:

[...] There’s a feature-length commentary with Roache and director Santosh Sivan, who cover such groundbreaking topics as what filming was like that day, how much they enjoyed working with each other, and what an honor it was to finally meet John Standing.

It’s not bad, and if you like the film enough to buy it, you’ll definitely like the commentary enough to hear it. The commentary is the only real feature, but that’s no big deal. The DVD has everything it needs, and the movie looks and sounds quite good. [...]

Disagreeing with the above is The Oxford Times, which makes numerous not-so-nice lexical choices despite calling the film 'worthy' and mentioning 'a willing cast and breathtaking locale'. Lastly, a note to Brits that Amazon is releasing Before the Rains in Region 2 on December 26.
  • For members of Coast of Utopia Anonymous, the New York Observer talk to a blonde Mia Barron about her current role as Hillary Clinton, and about how to convince people called Jack to let you be part of their nine-hour productions:
[...] Bent on joining the cast, she implored director Jack O'Brien to consider casting her. "When I heard they were doing that, I thought, oh my God, I would do anything to be in that in any capacity," she said. "I was actually doing a play at the time that overlapped a little with the Utopia rehearsals. I just wrote Jack O'Brien a letter and I explained how much I wanted to be involved and sort of begged him to work around me." Mr. O'Brien did, assigning Ms. Barron small parts throughout the trilogy and as Martha Plimpton's understudy. [...]
  • Related to that, as we haven't had a Stoppardian-related piece for a while, About Last Night have written a medium-sized report relating to Sir Tom.

  • In the realm of newspapers, the Scotsman theorise on how the current economic crisis is causing people to watch chihuahuas instead of cops on film, while the Guardian exhume a short piece about Uncle Vanya from 1963, making reference to someone beginning with R.

  • Next, if you're wondering what a less angry/scary version of Pride and Glory might look like, see the Italian trailer. Finally, if the upcoming festive season is making anyone want to throw some roubles at worthy causes, among BC/EFA's featured selection this month is The PLAYBILL® Broadway Yearbook 2006-2007. Judging by the product description, the hardcover book should include among its delights a chapter on The Coast of Utopia and a headshot of Jennifer Ehle.

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