Friday, September 23, 2011

Mere Hours Away Now

steely and silky, fragile and fierce

It is now only hours away from the premiere of A Gifted Man at 7 pm [she says, as she casually elbows aside time zones of two coasts, a mountain range, and a series of islands]. The anticipatory stomach butterflies here have been replaced by what I suspect are hyperactive pterodactyls.

While we wait, here is just a small sampling of some of the many reviews and videos that have led up to the event.

A Must Read: Jennifer talks "about about ghost sex and Mr. Darcy".
Via Jace Lacob at The Daily Beast in an article titled A Gifted Man’s Leading Lady.
Why did you decide to do a weekly series now?
Jennifer Ehle: I never thought in a million years that I would do a weekly series. One of my closest friends is [creator] Susannah Grant, and I know how dedicated she is and how hard she works. I met Jonathan Demme when I’d auditioned for him for Rachel Getting Married. It hadn’t worked out, but I knew he liked me. Without Patrick being attached to this and Jonathan directing it I don’t think I would have even read it or looked at it. Then I just sort of started taking baby steps because if they’re both seeing something in this then maybe what I see is not an illusion.
Your character, Anna, seems almost saintly, but she does have flaws.
Ehle: She does have flaws. My kids don’t really know what I do. They kind of do, but it’s just always been “We help to tell stories,” and that’s what we’ve always said that we do as a family. It’s kind of hard to tell a story when you don’t know where it’s going to end so, it’s a steep learning curve. The way that I’ve adjusted it in my head to kind of make sense for me is that Anna, she is a new fresh spirit in the pilot: like in a photograph, she’s not fully developed yet. Then she begins to come into focus as we’re all discovering who she is along with the audience. It’s very important to me that she not be someone who ever wants him to just be good solely because he should be good or just for his own sake, because I know that’s not somebody that I would particularly want to watch. Her objective is to continue the work that she was doing and she was so passionate about since she finds herself here. She didn’t choose this.
I think that’s an important distinction to make.
Ehle: They are being given a sort of odd second chance. They’re not quite ready to let go of each other now that they’ve found each other, even though it’s not all roses and Champagne, one of them happens to be dead, and also they still have the same clashes personality-wise and ethics-wise that is perhaps what ended their relationship.
You were in the original pilot for HBO’s Game of Thrones, but opted not to return for the series. (The part is now played by Michelle Fairley.) Why did you ultimately decided to not stick with the show?
Ehle: Well, it was entirely personal. My daughter was seven months old when we did the pilot. It was too soon for me to be working, emotionally and bonding-wise, but I needed to do it and I was also passionate about the books. I loved the idea of telling that story. I finished the first book when I was in the hospital getting ready to have my daughter. My husband actually went out and got the second book for me. I handed the first book to the midwife and started the second one. When I went back for my six-week checkup with the midwife, she had started the second book.

TONIGHT'S MUST-SEE: "A Gifted Man" ”let's credit a great cast. Wilson has two Tony nominations, Jennifer Ehle (as his late wife) has two Tony wins”

Mary McNamara’s review of AGM in the Los Angeles Times found a lot of weaknesses based on the first episode, and thought “With just a few tiny modifications, "A Gifted Man" could be a smart satiric comedy”.
But she does say Ehle is charming enough to be morally seductive

Robert Bianco, USA TODAY, lauds the cast (“the almost absurd amount of talent involved”) but feels the show doesn’t (at least in the first episode) deliver what such a stellar lineup could. In conclusion, though, his thoughts are:
”Thanks to all the talent, what could have been an incredibly hokey Ghost Whisperer retread has much more moody potential. Wilson has the magnetism and acting chops to lead a network series, and while Ehle's Anna starts off a bit too angelic, we're promised she'll become more complex.”

The Boston Globe’s Matthew Gilbert thinks “The cast of CBS’s “A Gifted Man’’ is to die for”.
”The elegant Jennifer Ehle … {snipguesswhat} …. She’s both steely and silky, fragile and fierce.”
Overall, though, he felt the show so far failed to take advantage of the cast’s potential. Still, the article ended with optimism that future episodes might “set the characters free from endless debate over whether Anna is real or not. Let the actors find drama in more earthly concerns. I think they’re up to it.”

A New York Times article By NEIL GENZLINGER says ”It is also unclear how often we’ll be seeing Ms. Ehle (who is currently fighting for a disease-free world in the film “Contagion”) and whether she’ll ever be given anything to do other than look beatific.” [Oh, a LOT more, we hope.]

From Maureen Ryan at Aol TV in a piece titled A Terrific Cast Brings 'A Gifted Man' to Life,
”Fifteen minutes into 'A Gifted Man,' the performance of Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Ehle and Margo Martindale had completely won me over, and of all the pilots I've screened for fall, this is the one I most want to see more of.”
Jennifer Ehle, 'A Gifted Man's' female lead, has a wry, understated presence that meshes perfectly with Wilson's low-key but palpable charisma. The chemistry between the actors implies a long and complex history between their characters, and I look forward to finding out about more about their pasts.”

Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that 'Gifted Man' is hauntingly good drama, and after describing Jennifer’s character Anna in somewhat derisive terms, goes on to say:
”On first glance, Ms. Ehle's Anna seems an unlikely match for Michael -- maybe it's her maternal nature? -- but as the show moves through its briskly-paced pilot episode, it's hard to imagine an actress more suited to the role. Her warm humanity nicely balances against Mr. Wilson's cold aloofness.”

Jonathan Storm , in the Philadelphia Inquirer reviewed some new CBS offerings, including A Gifted Man.
”A Gifted Man has relatable actors, including double Tony Award-winner Jennifer Ehle as a very down-to-Earth visitor from beyond the veil.”

Fiona’s blog at Tumblr has a mission statement that reads: “This blog posts just about anything related to the new CBS show A Gifted Man”. [Check it out for the great selection of pictures so far.]

ODG has her own musical theme! >Walt Belcher of The Tampa Tribune wrote of “Anna’s Theme” and how it came about.
There was a scene in the pilot of "A Gifted Man" in which actor Patrick Wilson plays a piano in his character's loft apartment. He picks out a few notes that become a recurring melody linked to the ghost of his dead ex-wife Anna.

Actress Jennifer Ehle, who plays the departed woman, says the piano wasn't part of the script.
"When we went to shoot the scene, I don't think anybody expected that to happen," she says. "Patrick just sat down and started to play, and it was so gorgeous that it became a big part of the scene."

They brought in a composer/arranger and created "Anna's Theme."

[This article also reveals that AGM was originally intended to be filmed in LA, but relocated to NY to accommodate the actors, for which we Jennifer Ehle fans should be very grateful!]

Danielle Turchiano of LA TV Insider Examiner reviewed AGM’s initial episode and remarked ”We are not usually one for medical dramas, but A Gifted Man has the potential to be so much more than “just” that.”
She also noted:
”Michael’s ex is dead, having been hit by a car just a few days prior, and she is reaching out to him from beyond so that he can go to her own medical clinic and access her files so her employees aren’t overwhelmed. Or so she says. With a slight twinkle in her eye, Ehle promises that this tale will be about much more than just logistics, and though she is acting like just another somewhat lost soul in his life, it is really she who is going to help him.”

On September 16th The Jane Austen Film Club Blog declared Jennifer Ehle- Actor of the Week and provided convincing proof.

It's probably best that I stop here or it will be a posting to rival the outrageous size of two ago. This has been just a sampling and I hope you can find and enjoy all the others I left out.

A Gifted Man - 'Pilot' Behind the Scenes, includes comments from Jennifer.

A brief peek; don’t look away too quickly.

Oh, yeah, those other things

Contagion was number one in box office receipts in its debut weekend and continues to rank high in subsequent weeks. I saw it and recommend it. Jennifer owns the screen whenever she's on!

The Ides of March (coming out October 7th) trailer. Concentrate and you’ll glimpse Jennifer at 1:00, 1:30, and 2:00

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