Tag Archives: British Royalty

Braveheart: Not a History Lesson

THE COURAGE TO FACE FEAR.   As the story goes, American writer Randall Wallace made a trip to Scotland and came upon a statue at the entrance of Edinburgh Castle. Since the statue bore the name of Wallace, the writer was intrigued. This was not a relative, but William Wallace, the great Scottish war hero. … Continue reading Braveheart: Not a History Lesson

A Tedious Tome Turned Into a Miniseries

I recently finished Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” and felt utterly frustrated. A historical novel, the book covers 35 years in the life of Thomas Cromwell, the lawyer who became chief minister to King Henry VIII in the mid-1500s. We are introduced to vivid descriptions of Cromwell, his family, the King and everybody who played a … Continue reading A Tedious Tome Turned Into a Miniseries

Not a Dame, But Still Great

This may all seem terribly irrelevant and silly. But yesterday’s round of Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honours had Daniel Day-Lewis turned into a knight and author Hilary Mantel a dame. Obviously, it doesn’t really mean anything. Both of them were stars in their own right, due to hard work, before being recognized by the Queen. But … Continue reading Not a Dame, But Still Great

Stay Away from Beheadings and Insanity, Future King

The British royal succession has just been secured. Tonight, the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to a boy, who is now instantly third in line to the most influential royal throne in the world. His name is certain to follow. He will succeed his father William who will succeed his father Charles who will succeed … Continue reading Stay Away from Beheadings and Insanity, Future King

Hyde Park on Hudson

THE PRESIDENT. THE FIRST LADY. THE KING. THE QUEEN. THE MOTHER. THE MISTRESS… ONE WEEKEND WOULD UNITE TWO GREAT NATIONS… AFTER COCKTAILS, OF COURSE.  In the summer of 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Bill Murray) seduces his sixth cousin (Laura Linney) while also preparing to entertain the King and Queen of England at his New … Continue reading Hyde Park on Hudson

W.E.

Madonna’s second film as director follows two separate stories that are romantically connected – the love affair between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, and a New Yorker’s (Abbie Cornish) budding fascination with it 50 years later. Madonna’s ambitions are high, but her way of presenting the stories is clumsy and unnecessarily pretentious, without ever allowing … Continue reading W.E.

The Young Victoria

LOVE RULES ALL. In the late 1830s, young Princess Victoria (Emily Blunt) is preparing to assume the British throne, but faces constant manipulation from her mother and her uncle, the King of Belgium. Or, How Queen Victoria found her groove. This project, which came about after a meeting between the Duchess of York and producer … Continue reading The Young Victoria

Anonymous

WAS SHAKESPEARE A FRAUD? At the end of the Elizabethan era, the Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans) hires a playwright called Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto) to act as his front, hoping to use his own plays as a political weapon. A labor of love for Roland Emmerich that nevertheless turns out much like his previous … Continue reading Anonymous

Remembering 50 Years on Her Majesty’s Secret Service

  The other night we saw him open the Olympics together with the woman he’s been serving the past half century. And I’m not talking about M. James Bond (who’s been on screen since 1962, but is currently played by a younger-looking Daniel Craig) escorted Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to the Olympic Stadium … Continue reading Remembering 50 Years on Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The Other Boleyn Girl

IN A TIME WHEN A WOMAN’S DESTINY WAS DETERMINED BY HER FATHER, ONE SISTER FOLLOWED THE RULES. THE OTHER DEFIED THEM.  In 1520s England, Queen Catherine is unable to give Henry VIII (Eric Bana) a son and the King’s attention wanders to two beautiful sisters, the Boleyns (Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson)… The story of Anne … Continue reading The Other Boleyn Girl

The Windsors On Screen

  Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee has been upon us for a couple of weeks now. And by us, I don’t simply mean her British subjects, but a lot of people all over the world, not least Americans who seem strangely fascinated by a woman who represents almost everything they once fought a war to … Continue reading The Windsors On Screen

To Play the King

  Prime Minister Francis Urquhart (Ian Richardson) is haunted by the crimes of his past – and challenged by the new King (Michael Kitchen) who disapproves of his social policies. This sequel to House of Cards (1990) is almost as good; an intelligent, icy portrayal of power at its deadliest. Ironically, that darkness is counterbalanced by a monarchy … Continue reading To Play the King