This is another example of the heartfelt stories featured in BBC films. The British film industry has a proud tradition of cranking out winning feel-good fare that is both socially aware and emotionally astute. I anticipate seeing it this weekend.
This film is inspired by an extraordinary true story. It’s the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers’ families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all.
Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Bill Nighy head up what promises to be an excellent ensemble cast. Join me at the movies!
Read it for Laughter … and Thoughts to Provoke. Expect double takes on double entendrés. Expect a smile to be stuck on your face for most of the read, except when it bursts forth into a continuous giggle. Expect the unexpected.
The world will end next Saturday … except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon — each of whom has lived among Earth’s mortals for many millennia and has grown rather fond of the lifestyle — are not particularly looking forward to the coming Rapture. If Crowley and Aziraphale are going to stop it from happening, they’ve got to find and kill the Antichrist (which is a shame, as he’s a really nice kid). There’s just one glitch: someone seems to have misplaced him. . . .
Adam, the Antichrist, and the Hound from Hell …….
I’m looking forward to the release of the AudioPlay (another Colin adventure) sometime after January 2015. How about you?
Colin had said in an earlier interview that Terry Pratchett is one of his favorite authors. Here’s where the “dark side” becomes delightful.
Following the Centenary theme of the British Film Festival, another very good film is standing in the wings waiting to be released in the USA.
Benedict Cumberbatch is cast as Alan Turing. This film chronicles Turing’s life as he works against time to decipher the German Enigma code. Once applauded as a hero, having saved thousands of lives, his life changes when he is considered to have broken laws passed in Parliament outlawing homosexuality. These laws have long since been abandoned by a more enlightened British House, but too late for the genius of Alan Turing.
excerpt from Wizard Radio: 25th October 2014 | 58th BFI London Film Festival 2014
Directed by James Kent, the film connects with the audience on an emotional level all the time. On one hand it is a story about war, love, loss and remembrance but on another it is about coming-of-age. All of these themes thrown together create a very powerful and memorable film, not least helped by some of the cinematography and locations shown to the viewer. Juliette Towhidi, who wrote the screenplay, thankfully kept a great deal of the historical locations including Derbyshire and also the French field hospital camp of Etaples where Vera served in 1917.
Seeing as it is a period piece, the attention to detail is fantastic. The costumes were a highlight and also helped to portray Vera Brittain’s ever-changing role and status throughout the war. The acting also matches these subtleties – especially in Colin Morgan’s performance as Victor Richardson and Emily Watson as Mrs Brittain. Although saying that, there is not one weak link in the cast – a rare thing to find in films nowadays.
Colin is always insightful and articulate about his roles. Here he speaks of the emotional elements of war for those not actively engaged in battle and the lessons we can take away from understanding them.
When you think WWI, you think the men fighting, you think battles, you think explosions – this is the first thing you think in your head. You forget about the battle that happened at home – Vera’s battle. You don’t immediately think of the psychological battle that went on. That, I think, is something hugely highlighted in this film. Youth today could benefit from knowing that things don’t always come so easy, and things could be easily taken away.
- Colin Morgan Interview, Testament of Youth BFI London Premier
And here he speaks of the duty he feels to represent his character to the very best of his ability:
Testament of Youth cast interview
“Representing someone else’s life brings a sense of honour and pride, but also a sense of duty. I don’t think Victor could’ve imagined that there would be a book or film featuring him, so I want to portray him accurately. I became very attached to these characters as I began to understand them, even a hundred years apart. Because I connected in such a special way with Victor, I have to fight to achieve a portrayal of him that’s as truthful, honest and honourable as possible.”
As you already know, the reviews of Testament are grand. I particularly liked the one that named him “a subtle standout” … because he is a master of that subtle conveyance of emotion others attempt, and very well, some of them, but never with such ease and unpracticed harmony. For Colin, we need a new vocabulary.
Colin’s face reveals everything …as does his body language. He slides into his character and immerses himself in it. His voice changes, his gait changes, his gestures change; he is a marvel to watch. He is different with every character he portrays. Calum, Cathal, Jimmy, Merlin, Dragoon, Dolma, … all different, all Colin. It is subtle though, and those caught up only in the plot of the story can miss it. Once you notice these things, you are forever captive to his talent.
Real Humans (the Swedish tv series set for an English remake in 2015) is funny and thought-provoking, and this autumn the British production company Kudos, makers of Spooks, starts shooting an English-language version. “Exploring themes of love, discrimination and integration, this thrilling, beautifully written series allows us to get under the skin of what it means to be human,” declares Jane Featherstone, executive producer for Kudos, in a statement.
Colin Morgan joins the cast as Leo, who’s desperately trying to track down someone from his past.