february 2022 BREAKDOWN
- 60 films/series total (not including Hallmark films)
- 23 new classic films
- 6 re-watches
- 11 foreign films
- 5 silent films
- 5 documentaries
- 3 TV series
Biggest Disappointment – Being the Ricardos, After Tonight, Dr. Monica
Favorite Discovery – Khoobsarat, The Hollow Crown: Richard II
Favorite Re-discovery – Moon Over Miami
All Creatures Great and Small Season 2 – The second season does not disappoint and maintains the same quality and charm of the first. I really enjoyed the development of certain story lines and characters. We finally get to see James and Helen together as they navigate their new relationship. And the conflict and resolution between the Farnon brothers was especially well done. I also like the new characterization of Mrs. Pumphrey.
Sweet Magnolias Season 2 – I’m happy to see the Magnolias again. It’s always nice when a show that focuses on female friendships. I did not like this season as much as the previous one. I was often frustrated with some of Dana Sue’s choices and the show overdid the Southern accents and phrases to the point of overkill.
Republic of Doyle Season 6 – Though I am sad to see this series end, it is time. As much as I loved the characters, the episodes weren’t offering anything new in story or plot and were past the point of credibility. The happy ending all around was appreciated and nice to see. Although, it came too easily and without enough detail in the resolution for Dez and Tinny.
Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie (1993) – Produced by the Arnaz’ daughter, this is a loving but frank look at the relationship between Lucy and Desi. It includes interviews with their family and friends and co-workers who describe the couple’s interactions better than their children ever could. And best of all it features home videos and photos of the two, which make this presentation feel even more intimate.
Captured on Film: The True Story of Marion Davies (2001) – This hour long documentary gives a brief overview of Davies personal and professional life, and includes interviews with her contemporaries and audio clips from Davies herself. The standout theme is how generous and fun Davies was with everyone. By all accounts she was well thought of. This is the first time though I have ever experienced William Randolph Hearst receiving favorable feedback. So, perhaps there is some bias?
Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film; Episode Star Treatment (1980) – I was thrilled to discover this documentary series by Kevin Brownlow exists and is available on YouTube. Since I’m obsessed with all things John Gilbert I had to watch this episode which gives short bios on both Gilbert and Clara Bow, focusing on how the studio system failed them. As a student of film history, I didn’t really learn anything new, but I enjoyed seeing clips from their films as well as the first-person interviews with King Vidor, Louise Brooks, Adele St. Rogers and Eleanor Boardman discussing their knowledge of the stars.
HIdden Poland (2020) – I was hoping for a bit more history in this hour long documentary. And while there was some mention of history, this reminded me much more of a Rick Steve’s travel episode. It was educational to see various parts of Poland and some of the unique activities available. But what really stuck out to me was the constant reminder of how recent Poland’s freedom is and still fresh in the minds of its’ people.
Audubon (2017) – I knew next to nothing of artist and naturalist John James Audubon prior to this short documentary , so I’m thankful it was available. His art is so beautiful and alive and his love of birds and nature unique. It was cool to see how supportive and helpful his wife was in his pursuits and I really want to know what convinced her it was worth all the sacrifice. Audubon’s realization that the birds and lands he loved so much would change and disappear was so sad and explains why he’s a hero of conservationists. Oh, and the narration by Sam Elliott is superb!
My Father’s Violin (2022) – Ah, I do love a good Turkish film every now and then. They are generally packed with emotion, such as this story about an orphaned girl whose presence changes the life of her emotionally distanced uncle. The two bond over their love of the violin. I did find it odd, that the little girl didn’t exhibit more grief over the loss of her father and way of life and that she so quickly adjusted. Her uncle however, got a deeper character arc and emotional exploration of his back story which made his transformation into a caring man credible.
Just Say Yes (2021) – Every now and then I like a good, mindless, rom-com like this Dutch offering on Netflix. Lotte’s life is falling apart. Her fiance dumps her on live tv after taking credit for her work ideas and selfish her sister gets engaged to her boss. Lotte teams up with a co-worker for career success and an attempt to win back her man. Predictably, she goes through a make-over that miraculously makes her desirable and falls for the co-worker. There’s nothing particularly special about this, but it was entertaining.
Notebook (2019) – Re-made from a Thai film, this Indian picture was sweet and utterly romantic without drifting into schmaltz. Reminiscent of The Lake House, a male teacher working in a remote island school falls in love with the previous teacher after reading her journal. He also learns to love himself and the children in his care. The children are adorable and almost steal the whole picture and the gorgeous Kashmir setting feels other-worldly. However, the lone dance and fight scene felt out of place. This is a slow-paced story that explores love without the distraction of physical attraction.
Nothing to Declare (2010) – Though not funny all the way through, there were several times I laughed out loud, which is a rare occurrence when I watch a comedy these days. This offering from France is set during the 1990’s and the implementation of the European Union. It offers a humorous take on racism in that the Belgian customs officer who hates all things French is forced to work in partnership with a French officer. Dany Boon who plays the French customs officer and is also the writer and director brought to mind David Niven many times.
Love Tactics (2022) – This Turkish comedy very much resembled How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, without it’s charm. There were brief moments of emotional depth, but they weren’t maximized. Sadly, it relied too much on cliches. I did however enjoy seeing Cappodicia as a setting as I am unlikely to ever see it in real life.
Four to Dinner (2022) – I was excited that the focus of this Italian drama was exploring the concept of soul mates. But I wasn’t pleased with the execution of it. The film features four people who form two couples, but switches back and forth between the different pairings of the couples in a manner that made it hard to distinguish which couples story was the focus in each sequence. It felt very disjointed and disrupted each couple’s story line. Plus, I didn’t really care about any of the people so didn’t feel like rooting for any of the couplings. In all, I thought the concept was poorly executed.
Khoobsarat (2014) – I thoroughly enjoyed this rom-com offering from India. A free-spirited middle class doctor is hired to help rehabilitate a king and ends up falling for the Prince. In the process she emotionally rehabilitates the whole family! Mili is such a positive, cheerful character, but she was a bit too “much” at times and I found myself annoyed with her occasionally. In contrast, the prince (who is hot!) is very reserved, duty-bound and in Darcy like style fights his attraction to Mili. What I do appreciate about him is he never tries to change her or shame her for being different.
The Mistress (2012) – This Filipino film almost lost me in the beginning, I started to fast forward through it, but then the emotional drama of the story hooked me and I had to finish it. It’s unique plot in which a man experience instant attraction to a beautiful but resistant woman only to find out later she is his estranged father’s mistress was very well done. He ends up pursuing her out of revenge, but then when they both fall for each other, they have to decide what is more important, love or duty. It could have been very tawdry, but instead was handled with great sensitivity and delicacy. The unconventional ending was unexpected but appreciated.
Fierce (2020) – I’m ambivalent about this Polish family drama in which a young woman confronts the father she never knew and then pursues success as a form of revenge. The father is a celebrity, very selfish and shallow and the young woman is so angry throughout the whole movie. I appreciate how it tackles the pitfalls of celebrity culture and reality tv, as well as dysfunctional family relationships. But it didn’t build a realistic foundation for the eventual reconciliation between father and daughter. And both come across rather unlikable for most of the film.
The Butterfly’s Dream (2013) – I was excited about this Turkish drama because the lead actor and actress from one of my favorite Turkish series, Kurt Seyit ve Sura were in it along with another actress I really admire. It appears that was a poor reason to watch. It is an utterly bleak film based on a true story about two poverty stricken, obscure poets with tuberculosis. I did like the friendship between the two, but that is all I can say for it. Turkey actually submitted this film for consideration by the Academy Awards in the foreign film category, so I suppose it is a high quality film, but all I can think is there are two hours of my life I can’t get back.
The Last Princess (2016) – I’ve seen Son Ye-Jin in many things, but she really gets a chance to prove her talent in this Korean drama based on the life of the last Korean princess. She gives a very understated performance which works well. It’s a very sad story as the real princess saw her father die, was held as a political prisoner in Japan, experienced mental health issues which saw her committed to an asylum and lost her only daughter to suicide. Her big dream to return to Korea is constantly thwarted by the same awful man; another Korean who sides with Japan. He is a perfect villain. This bio-pic is one of survival and though heart-breaking, these type of real-life depictions are still needed to show the resilience of the human spirit.
Sparrows (1926) – Often hailed as one of Mary Pickford’s best films and I can and I can see why. Full of drama and danger, it’s been aptly compared to a Dickens tale. This is all Pickford’s film. As the oldest in a group of orphans living on a “baby farm” she is the caretaker of the rest who are abused and starved by the couple they live with. She imbues her character Molly with compassion and strength. One of the most emotionally impacting scenes occurs when little hands slip through cracks in the wood barn to wave goodbye to a child who escapes the horrors of their life.
The Three Musketeers (1921) – Though I’ve only seen a handful of Douglas Fairbanks pictures, I can’t say this is his best work. While it remains true to Dumas’ story, it doesn’t allow for as much of Fairbanks’ famous light footed, gravity defying action, even if there are some good sword fights. The sets and scenes are very grand, but in all honesty, I had a hard time staying focused through the two and a half hour run time.
Little Old New York (1923) – Marion Davies is best in comedies, but can certainly hold her own in dramas like this one where she pretends to be her own brother in order to claim an inheritance. Her mimicry skills aid her well in being a believable boy. In fact, she lights up the screen in this historical American drama. However, I did feel like the film dragged in places and I am NOT a fan of the organ accompaniment music at all.
Monte Cristo (1922) – This is the fourth film adaptation of this famous tale that I have seen, this time a silent one starring John Gilbert. I enjoyed it like I have all the others thanks to the exceptional quality of the story. Gilbert is always charismatic onscreen as he is here. But unlike many of his other roles, I forgot it was Gilbert I was watching at times as the title character. He disappeared into the part, although he didn’t always carry it off. Though this is not my favorite version, it was still well worth watching.
Piccadilly (1929) – The picture quality of this British drama is top notch and it gives Chinese actress Anna May Wong a rare starring role in a love triangle. The various sets make for stunning backgrounds as this melodrama plays out. Wong is mesmerizing in her role as the scullery maid elevated to a dancing star who grasps for even more. But for some reason this film felt longer than its’ 92 minutes. Charles Laughton has a brief but humorous appearance as a disgruntled diner which was a nice surprise.
Dr. Monica (1934) – I’ll watch anything starring Kay Francis and this proves it. It’s another one of those long-suffering wife roles she got stuck with towards the end of her career. Francis plays an infertile doctor who delivers her friend’s baby only to discover it is also her husband’s child. The production code forced cuts to this drama sadly, and rumors are it was a better film pre-cut. It’s too bad the original isn’t available. Warren William is wasted as Francis husband. But it was nice to see Veree Teesdale paired with Francis again, this time as her friend. Formerly they were adversaries in First Lady. I wish they would have made more movies together.
Women in the Wind (1939) – I enjoyed this story about female aviators competing for a prize more than I should have considering this is a B film. It’s odd to see Kay Francis in less than sophisticated clothes, but she’s still engaging as a pilot who fights to compete in an air race in order to help pay for her brother’s medical bills. William Gargan grew on me as her love interest. I’m realizing that I tend to enjoy pictures about flying and aviators, although I can’t define why.
Northern Pursuit (1943) – A rather lackluster war drama starring Errol Flynn as a Canadian Mountie who embeds himself with a group of escaped Nazi prisoners. They hire him to be their guide through the Canadian north. The plot lacks real tension and suspense, despite multiple opportunities it has to create it. As much as I like Errol Flynn and feel he could have done justice to his part, he smirks his way through as if everything is a big joke to him. However his leading lady Julie Bishop really caught my attention and I will be looking for her other films. Another highlight is all the amazing outdoor scenes and action.
Our Daily Bread (1934) – In a quest to watch as many of director King Vidor’s films as possible, I finally saw this labor of love which he had to personally finance when none of the major studios would back him. Set during the Depression its the story of a young couple who create a collective of people to help them work their farm. Run as a socialist experiment where everyone works and shares alike, it portrays the best of human nature while also depicting some of the pitfalls of that same nature. It’s an interesting concept, but it’s not up to par with some of Vidor’s more famous pictures.
The Edge of the World (1937) – Michael Powell is more famous for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger, but this early example of his work is very interesting. In an almost documentary like style, he portrays the dying way of life on a Scottish island. The outdoor scenes and cinematography are sweeping and immersive and the people’s fight to hang on to their island heritage is touching and sad.
The World of Susie Wong (1960) – Nancy Kwan is sassy and heart-breaking as the young Honk-Kong prostitute who pursues William Holden’s middle-aged artist. Her determination to keep her soul clean in her dirty line of work is admirable. Watching this really made 1960’s Hong Kong come alive for me.
Beat the Devil (1953) – What a random film in several ways, including plot and casting. I didn’t know what was going on half the time. Despite my general indifference to Jennifer Jones, she was the stand-out as an adulterous wife, who is a quick talking habitual liar, making up crazy stories as she goes along. Humphrey Bogart acted as the hub of this wacky wheel. Gina Lollibrigida gets short shrift as his wife who amuses herself by flirting with Jones’ husband.
Moon Over Miami (1941) – For some reason, I found this romantic comedy forgettable the first time around, but a second viewing really endeared it to me. The cast including Betty Grable, Carole Landis, Charlotte Greenwood, Don Ameche and Robert Cummings are all perfectly cast, in this fun, frothy story about two sisters who pretend to be rich so that Grable can catch a wealthy husband. And as I’ve always enjoyed Don Ameche, it is nice to see him here playing bored and sardonic as only he can.
The Toy Wife (1938) – Though I’ll be doing a more in-depth review of this little known antebellum costume drama, I will say I liked this better than I anticipated after reading the reviews on IMDb. Luise Ranier made the most of her role, managing to make a shallow, self-absorbed woman sympathetic. Although many might see this as a romantic drama, with the character Frou-Frou torn between her husband and another man, I found the relationship between the two sisters much more interesting. Stay tuned for my full review of this within the month for the Costume Blogathon.
Hit the Deck (1955) – For a musical full of talent, this is a very forgettable film. The musical numbers are nothing special except for the last tap dancing sequence featuring Ann Miller in a military themed performance. This musical story about sailors on leave who each find a girlfriend has been done better and really wastes the talent of it’s cast. However, it was nice to see Jane Powell and Russ Tamblyn together again a year after Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, although this time they play brother and sister.
Conspirator (1949) – I really hoped my first impression of this post WWII drama were wrong, but upon a second viewing I still thought this was slow and dull and much longer than its’ actual run time. Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor, its’ two beautiful stars, can’t even drum up any chemistry, which makes it hard to believe that a mature soldier would marry an immature young girl. It was also too far-fetched to swallow Robert as a secret Communist.
Death Takes a Holiday (1934) – I’ve finally decided to give Fredric March’s pictures some attention and this one was of particular interest since I’ve always loved Meet Joe Black which is another interpretation of the same story. This version feels much closer to its’ stage origins with a lot of self-important dialogue about life and death that comes across “preachy”. The romance between Death’s human form and the young innocent woman makes no sense especially since the picture spends little time on developing their relationship. However, March is wonderful at capturing both the menace and innocence of Death experiencing life for the first time in the company of people who are both afraid of and intrigued by him.
Angels in the Outfield (1951) – As much as I’ve heard about this, I wanted to like it even better than I did. I’ve learned to appreciate Paul Douglas over the years and he gives a sensitive performance as an angry, brash baseball coach who undergoes a transformation thanks to some divine intervention, a nosy female reporter and a sweet little orphan girl. Janet Leigh is credible as the reporter, but I didn’t believe their romance and think the film would have been better without it.
Strike Up the Band (1940) – This is the first of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney’s musicals I’ve seen and while it was pleasant, I can’t say I loved it, mainly because Rooney really hammed it up with his exaggerated reaction and facial expressions. I don’t think the film would have suffered any from cutting some of the musical numbers and editing the Gay 90’s play the kids perform. Still, Garland and Rooney are engaging and the animated fruit band number was exceptional.
Nightmare Alley (1947) – This wasn’t as seedy as I expected, possibly because more time was spent in a society setting than the carnival it begins in. This is often named one of Tyrone Power’s best performances and also his favorite. I can see why. Instead of capitalizing on his looks, he plays a selfish, amoral man whose outer facade and charm allows him to deceive and swindle everyone he meets. I must say Helen Walker gives him a run for his money as the educated psychiatrist whose ambiguous motivations kept me guessing. I have mixed feelings about the changed ending though.
Always Goodbye (1938) – It’s always a pleasure to see Barbara Stanwyck on screen. She’s especially beautiful and winsome here as an unmarried woman who tries to re-connect with the little boy she gave up for adoption. That part of the story is particularly charming and Stanwyck is great playing a loving if secret mother. Less interesting is the romance angle with multiple men chasing Stanwyck, including Herbert Marshall, Ian Hunter and the exuberant Cesar Romero who makes himself ridiculous.
The Man Who Lost Himself (1941) -I’m always on the look-out for movies with Brian Aherne and I adore Kay Francis, so I was thrilled to find this on YouTube, especially since I’d never heard of it. It’s a fun little mistaken identity comedy with Aherne playing dual roles. He charmed me as a man in dire straits who falls for his doppelganger’s wife while also trying to fix the mess the man has made. Francis is under-utilized and I was sad that Nils Asther only popped up on screen for a couple of minutes. Unfortunately the video quality was blurry, which made it hard for me to stay engaged.
The Magnificent Dope (1942) – This tongue in cheek comedy takes on the self-help and motivation movement in a light-hearted way. Henry Fonda, as usual, plays the lovable loser who endears himself to the leading lady. But it was Don Ameche I chose to watch this for and he is great as the slightly unethical but very charming guru whose self-help program is in need of a new stream of customers. It was nice to see Edward Everett Horton as his sidekick.
Susan and God (1940) – With the typically beautiful MGM sets and costumes, plus a first-rate cast, this could have been a much better film. It’s study of hypocrisy when wealthy Joan Crawford begins proselytizing her newfound religion to her friends had potential, but unfortunately Crawford was miscast. Her performance felt like just that. A performance. And a ridiculous one at that. Fredric March as her defeated alcoholic husband who is tries to save their marriage is wonderful as is Ruth Hussey as a family friend in love with him.
Nothing Sacred (1937) – Yet another picture I like a lot better after a long gap between viewings. I’m also finally coming around to the charms of Carole Lombard as a comedienne. Though I don’t find this as funny as some do, I did laugh out loud during the fight scene towards the end. I also really like Fredric March’s role and character development. He’s convincing as a journalist who goes from being a self-serving man, married to his career, to one who is grateful to find out his new love is a fake.
I Take This Woman (1931) – As one of two films starring Carole Lombard and Gary Cooper together, I’ve wanted to see it a long time. However, the print available on YouTube is not as clear as I would have liked which may have impacted my impression of it. Lombard is a wealthy heiress who marries Cooper’s poor cowboy only to abandon him when she can’t take his life style anymore. Lombard had yet to come into her own this early in her career and anyone could have played her part. I’m one of those who has never believed Cooper to be all that talented and he really dragged this picture down in my opinion. I was thankful for the short run time.
Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid (1948) – William Powell is one of my favorite actors and this is one of his more obscure features I’ve been hoping to see for a long time. Only the dignity of Powell could make this outlandish plot about a middle aged man falling in love with a mermaid, work. I suspect that it will also remain memorable for me despite the fact it is not my favorite of Powell’s films.
My Dear Secretary (1948) – A lightweight but fun comedy starring Kirk Douglas and Laraine Day, in which Douglas is a womanizing author who hires the strait-laced Day as his secretary and then marries her. A battle of the sexes ensues. I like seeing Douglas in comedic roles in his early years, but this is completely Day’s film. The main flaw is the writing does nothing to build a foundation for their relationship so it’s hard to believe the two would marry each other. Day spends most of her time irritated by Douglas, which is understandable. I love how their roles are reversed in the ending. Keenan Wynn has a supporting role as Douglas best friend and male home-maker. I rarely enjoy Wynn but he has some great one liners here and makes the most of it.
The Locket (1946) – Laraine Day was a great choice to play the main character in this psychological drama about a seemingly innocent woman who leaves a trail of destroyed men in her wake. She really does keep one guessing as to whether she is guilty or just very unfortunate. Robert Mitchum, Brian Aherne and Gene Raymond make up the odd trio of men who fall for her.
The Hard Way (1943) – Ida Lupino is stunning in her performance as a stage managing older sister whose motives to see her youngest sister become a successful stage actress also happen to coincide with her own selfish interests. Joan Leslie plays the younger sister credibly, though it’s hard to believe she isn’t at least partially aware of her older sister’s machiavellan dealings. I’ve never been a fan of Jack Carson, but he tugged my heart strings as Leslie’s clueless but loving husband who learns too late about Lupino. Dennis Morgan has the second most interesting role rounding out this quartet as the man who is wise to Lupino, but is also intrigued by her.
After Tonight (1933) – An Austrian soldier and a Russian spy on opposite sides of a war meet and fall in love. There is so much potential in such a plot, but it is completely wasted. The only thing to commend about this film is Constance Bennett.
Cleopatra (1933) – One can always count on Cecil B DeMille for spectacle and grandiosity and that is all that I can praise about his vision of this historical figure. The sets and costumes are something to marvel at, but the casting and writing leave much to be desired. Still, in some ways I prefer it over the infamous 1963 version starring Elizabeth Taylor, especially since it is not quite as long and drawn out.
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936) – Errol Flynn has a great role here as a British soldier who witnesses a military tragedy and then seeks to avenge the innocent lives lost. The film also features a love triangle with Olivia de Havilland where Flynn does not get the girl. With place holder roles like this, I’m not surprised de Havilland eventually challenged her studio for better parts. This is quite an amazing production although infamous for its’ real loss of life, both human and animal. It has a wonderful supporting cast as well, so I’m not surprised that it is held in high regard. In other news, Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade is my favorite poem.
The Oklahoma Kid (1939) – What strange casting. I honestly didn’t think James Cagney could pull off characterization of a Western character, but surprisingly he did. He was good, if not great. Humphrey Bogart on the other hand was your stereotypical bad guy wearing black and a perpetual sneer. Set during the Oklahoma land grab, this film plays fast and loose with history, but is still a lot of fun. The debate about law and order via legal channels versus taking the law into your hands when the corrupt are in charge is still a very prescient one today.
Being the Ricardos (2021) – It takes a lot of bravery to make a film about a couple as beloved as Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball. Sadly, it was disappointing as I expected. It felt like the film tried to tackle too much material and the way it jumped around the time line didn’t help. At different points in the movie, Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, J.K. Simmons and Nina Arianda managed to capture the essence of their familiar characters. Simmons was the best of them in acting as William Frawley/Fred Mertz. I did find it interesting to see the theatrical workings behind how I Love Lucy was produced. But I felt the focus on Ball facing accusations of communism distracted from other much more interesting points of their lives. All that said, if I could pretend this film was not about such well-loved characters, I think I would have liked it better. As it was, if felt like an inferior interpretation.
Te Ata (2016) – I adore biopics on lesser known historical characters like this. I appreciate the chance to get to know worthwhile people who generally fly under the radar. This one features the real-life story of Mary Thompson Fisher also known as Te Ata, a Chickasaw Indian actress/storyteller who kept the history of her people alive by sharing their stories on stage. It’s a thoughtful depiction of a woman of strength as depicted by Q’orianka Kilcher and produced by the Chickasaw nation filmed in Oklahoma.
The Hollow Crown, Richard II (2013)– Many praise Ben Wishaw’s performance as Richard and it is something. But in my opinion, Rory Kinnear steals the show as Henry Bolingbroke, later to be King Henry IV. Wow! The cinematography also amazes. Scenes of light, large sparse spaces and sunny outdoor events were gorgeous. I was a bit disturbed by the tendency to visually portray Richard as a Christ-like figure, considering his questionable character.
The Hollow Crown, Henry IV Part 1 (2013) -The only way I can make any sense of Shakespeare’s plays is to see them performed. His language is so flowery and tends to ramble that it helps to see it all acted out. I will watch anything with Tom Hiddleston who plays the title king’s son, Prince Hal in this episode. Jeremy Irons takes over as the older Henry from Rory Kinnear in Richard II. Since the majority of the action happens in dark, dirty places, I didn’t enjoy this story as much. Nor can I handle such a large portion of the play including the disgusting Falstaff. But I can’t fault the performances of all involved, in particular Michelle Dockery as Kate Percy.
The Hollow Crown, Henry IV Part 2 (2013) – I enjoyed this second part better than the first. But I just can’t with Falstaff. I appreciate that Shakespeare included examples of the common man in his plays about royalty, often using them to provide light humor in the midst of great drama. But Falstaff is just too grotesque. Anyway, more great performances here, with some really good soliloquy’s. Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston knocked it out of the park with the death scene in the throne room at the end. Wow!
The Hollow Crown, Henry V (2013) – We get a lot more Tom Hiddleston in this last volume of The Hollow Crown as he plays the title character. His portrayal is very human if not iconic. If nothing else, seeing these plays onscreen has made me seek out the actual history of the kings in Shakespeare’s plays.
Death on the Nile (2022) – A very lavish and beautifully made production, but one which lacks some of the charm of other Agatha Christie adaptations and definitely the heart. It all feels very shallow and dark. Sometimes modernizing old stories works, but many times it just feels part of an agenda or a way to cater to the masses, which in my opinion affects the quality of the film. I really wanted to appreciate this one more, but fortunately we still have the 1978 version starring Peter Ustinov as Poirot as well as the television series episode with David Suchet.
Hallmark Movies – The Wedding Veil: Unveiled, The Wedding Veil;Legacy, Beverly Hills Wedding, The 27 Hours, The Baker’s Son, Her Pen Pal, A Valentines Match, Welcome to Mama’s