Veer (2010)

The film, written by Salman Khan, is an epic love-war film set in 1875 when the British were ruling India.

Veer is scheduled for release on 22 January 2010.

"From the misty pages of history comes a story of extreme valour, fierce pride and poignant love. As the British enslave India with their devious Divide and Rule policy, kings and nawabs fall to their guile and cunning, and entrust their precious kingdom to the foreigners. Except for the brave Pindaris, who prefer death to dishonour and will fight to their last breath to save their land.

The bravest, the toughest, the strongest of the Pindaris is Veer. As Veer takes on the might of the British Empire, he also has to fight the conniving King of Madavgarh as well his own jealous tribesmen.

But then the stakes are high.At stake is his love for princess Yashodhara, daughter of his sworn enemy. At stake is his thirst to avenge his father's dishonour. At stake is his very existence itself.

Cannons roar, swords clash in fierce battle, the dead pile up. And when the dust settles down on the blood soaked valiant warrior stands head and shoulders above them all - Veer!"

Bright Star - wallpapers

Here's a site where you can download wallpapers from the oh-so-beautifully filmed 'Bright Star'...
Wallpapers here

>> more pics and info for Bright Star

The Last Station

It’s based on Jay Parini’s 1990 biographical novel about famed Russian writer Leo Tolstoy.

The film focuses on the point in Tolstoy’s (Christopher Plummer) life when he decides to renounce all of his wealth in the name of his new religion. His wife, Sofya (Helen Mirren), finds out that her husband’s disciple Vladimir Chertkov (Paul Giamatti) might have tricked Tolstoy into altering his will and leaving the Russian people all of his assets rather than his family. Sofya grows incredibly angry and desperate to get what’s rightfully hers, but her rage only makes her husband more vulnerable to Chertov’s power of persuasion. In the middle of the battle is Tolstoy’s young assistant, Valentin Bulgakov (James McAvoy), who acts as a pawn for both sides.

Christopher Plummer as Leo Tolstoy
Helen Mirren as Sofya Tolstoy, Leo's wife
James McAvoy as Valentin Bulgakov, a naive private secretary sent by Chertkov to work for Tolstoy
Paul Giamatti as Tolstoy's trusted follower Vladimir Chertkov
Anne-Marie Duff as Leo and Sofya's daughter Sasha
Kerry Condon as Masha

* Helen Mirren won the Best Actress award at the 2009 Rome International Film Festival for her performance.

Date of release: U.S. - January 15, U.K. - Feb.19
Sony's official site
Imdb link
Pics found here

>>Interview with Helen Mirren and James McAvoy
>>Interview with director Michael Hoffman

More film clips here

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Return to Cranford - characters

Well Eileen Atkins won't be returning but when I saw this photo of the ladies from the new production, I couldn't help but laugh thinking of how these ladies seem to be peeking on their neighbours quite a bit! I would love to see someone do a horror re-cut video of Cranford!

Besides Imelda Staunton, Deborah Fielding, Julia Mackenzie and zee dame Judi Dench,
here are the new characters we will encounter in the Christmas special, Return to Cranford.

BBC Press Release

Jonathan Pryce

Mr Buxton (Jonathan Pryce)
Recently widowed, Mr Buxton has returned to his native Cranford with his son William and niece Erminia after a two-year absence. He can be blunt and volatile, often speaking and acting before thinking, but he is loyal, generous and down to earth. Though personally happy to live a quiet, unassuming life in the country, he has great ambitions for William, whom he is determined to see "marry up" and enter into politics.

Tom Hiddleston

William Buxton (Tom Hiddleston)
Mr Buxton's only child, William is bright and capable but, having dropped out of Cambridge when his mother fell terminally ill, he now struggles to find direction for himself without her gentle guidance. What is certain is that he has no interest in his father's political ambitions for him. He's far more excited by the technological and scientific advances of the modern age and engineering, in particular. But standing up to his formidable father and forging his own way will prove to be the greatest test to his character.

Jodie Whittaker

Peggy Bell (Jodie Whittaker)
The younger child of Mrs Bell and the deceased Curate of Cranford, she lives in an isolated cottage outside of town with her family. Though she's bullied by older brother, Edward, and ignored by her mother, she seems to have accepted her lot in life with good grace because she has a gentle and loving nature. But her solitary life has made her live too much in her own head, making her appear dreamy in public. Miss Matty feels for Peggy and actively encourages a friendship between Peggy and Erminia and William. Though different in many ways, Peggy enjoys this friendship and her true, surprisingly strong, character blossoms as a result.

Celia Imrie

Lady Glenmire (Celia Imrie)
A character from the original novel, Cranford, Lady Glenmire is the sister-in-law and social superior of Mrs Jamieson, though by far the more down-to-earth of the two. A genteel Scotswoman on the surface, she is intelligent, lively and very sociable – the exact opposite, therefore, of Mrs Jamieson. The Amazons are disappointed at first to find Lady Glenmire is far from grand but, once they get to know her, they secretly prefer her company to that of their old friend, Mrs Jamieson. And they are not the only ones who enjoy her company – Captain Brown finds her charming, sensible and energetic.

Rory Kinnear

Lord Septimus Ludlow (Rory Kinnear)
Lady Ludlow's seventh and last-remaining child, Septimus is much talked about in the novel My Lady Ludlow but never actually appears, so he is a newly-created character. He arrives in Cranford from Italy after many years absence, bringing his bored and louche companion, Giacomo, with him. Lord Septimus is beautifully dressed, prone to enthusiasms and schemes, but is easily distracted, particularly when these schemes involve hard work. He is also sentimental and nostalgic.

Matthew McNulty

Edward Bell (Matthew McNulty)
Peggy's older brother, Edward, is selfish and full of a sense of his own importance. His father left the family with little money in his will, and so Edward's education has been limited to home tutoring and a correspondence course. Ambitious to make money and a name for himself, he aims to exploit any possible benefits from the family's new association with wealthy Mr Buxton. Mrs Bell is too much in awe of Edward to check the wilder aspects of his character, and so he dominates life at home.

Lesley Sharp

Mrs Bell (Lesley Sharp)
A widow, Mrs Bell is quietly mocked by Cranford's ladies for her dramatic display of grief at her husband's graveside each Sunday. Though genuinely bereft by his death, she has not only locked herself into this weekly ritual but refuses all social invitations, thereby dooming her children to a lonely life with little social contact. She now lives entirely for her domineering son, Edward, of whom she is rather in awe. Peggy will always be second best and functions at home more as a drudge than as a daughter.

Michelle Dockery

Erminia Whyte (Michelle Dockery)
The orphaned daughter of Mr Buxton's younger sister and now his ward (and William’s cousin), Erminia has lived abroad and has recently finished an expensive education in Brussels. She is pretty, musical and full of life. At first Erminia befriends Peggy Bell out of a sense of kindness and duty, but she quickly sees the true value of Peggy's character and they become firm friends.

Tim Curry

Signor Brunoni (Tim Curry)
A character from the original novel, Cranford, Signor Brunoni is an "Italian magician" advertised as Grand Magician of Arabia and Wizard to the King of Delhi. When tragic events in Cranford lead to his show being cancelled, Peter Jenkyns determines to invite him to return for a special Christmas performance. Colourful and quick-witted, Brunoni immediately sees through Miss Pole's attempts to discover the secrets of his show and finds ways to disconcert even the ever-certain Miss Pole.

Return to Cranford

The DVD of the upcoming Christmas special: Return to Cranford will be available for purchase on January 19, 2010 at

Left to right: Deborah Findley, Judi Dench, Imelda Staunton, Julia Mackenzie
>>Read more details about the rest of the cast here
>>more information of Cranford sequel

Synopsis from BBC:
Miss Matty and the ladies of Cranford are excited about the imminent visit of Lady Glenmire, as the two-part Cranford special reaches a conclusion. That is until the Hon Mrs Jamieson announces that none of them is of high-enough social standing to meet her. Deeply hurt, Miss Matty leads the Amazons in snubbing both the newcomer and her hostess. But sociable Lady Glenmire is quick to offer an olive branch by hosting a memorable Halloween party, which results in the forging of new friendships.
Impressed by Edward Bell's ambitions and hurt by his own son's defiance, Mr Buxton takes on Edward to act as his land agent. But Edward makes a disastrous decision that has dire consequences not only for himself but also for Peggy, whose fortitude and courage will be tested to the limit.
Meanwhile, Matty is distressed when a surprising discovery about one of their close circle results in a serious falling out among the friends. Mrs Jamieson and Miss Pole split from the group and Matty is uncertain about how to bring them all back together again.
Matty is also deeply affected by Peggy's crisis. Knowing painfully well the cost of sacrificing one's personal happiness for the sake of family obligations, Matty decides to intervene in events to help Peggy. But when tragedy strikes the town, she comes to believe that, unwittingly, she has opened a Pandora's box and fears that Cranford will never recover.

(except for the air date which they are still keeping secret?)

And now we finally know which books are the basis of the sequel... is selling the book,
"This celebratory omnibus edition includes the classic novel of the same name, a comic portrait of the lives of Cranford's genteel female inhabitants, as well as a novella and a short story. Both of these, "The Moorland Cottage" and "The Cage at Cranford", feature in the Cranford two-part Special due to be screened on BBC television over Christmas 2009."

* * * * You can also read The Moorland Cottage in its entirety online at The Literature Network and The Cage at Cranford can be read online as well.
(For those of us who already bought Cranford last year!)

Just realized from visiting the site of The Gaskell Society, that 2010 is the 200th anniversary of Elizabeth Gaskell's birth which makes me want to scream strongly suggest to the BBC that they drop all notions of that blasted Copperfield production and get busy on adapting Sylvia's Lovers or Mary Barton. Or better yet, wouldn't it be wonderful if someone presented a biographical drama of Gaskell herself?? I think that would be wonderful to watch! And yes, I'm biased here since my favourite period dramas are those based on Gaskell's works.

Knutsford: A History, by Joan Leach
Quoted from the Elizabeth Gaskell Society,
"We are both pleased and proud to introduce a long awaited history of Knutsford by our Honorary Secretary and Founder of the Gaskell Society, Joan Leach MBE. This is a really readable and beautifully illustrated history of a small country town, that is sure to appeal to both local historians and Gaskell devotees alike. Using her extensive knowledge of the area, Joan traces the story of the town from its earliest days when it was mentioned as Cunetesford in the Domesday Book, through to its “Cranford Days” and right up to the present time. Joan tells us of the many old customs which still remain, linking us to the world of Miss Matty and her friends."

For anyone unfamiliar with Cranford, here's a DVD trailer for the first series :

North and South - 5 year anniversary!!

It seems like it's been around for so much longer or is that perhaps because it has lodged itself so firmly in our hearts??? And yet, there are still many who haven't discovered this awesome drama. (A wrong that needs to be corrected in my opinion!)

North and South aired on BBC in November of 2004. It is a 4 part miniseries based on Elizabeth Gaskell's novel and highlights the love story of a cotton mill owner from the North of England with the independent pastor's daughter from the South. After its airing, BBC's messageboard crashed with so many fans trying to log on and I would venture to say that the world of period drama has not been the same since!

Starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe...

Read more at my original post

Richard Armitage jewellery

Here is the recap I did previously,
telling the story through 'motivational posters' ...

Period Films: Horror remakes?

The Sound of Music (1965) is one of my all-time beloved films and yet I find this trailer amusing! Julie Andrews, who we know and love as the nanny to the vonTrapp family had her work cut out for her as we see in this re-cut horror trailer.
1. Watch Sound of Music trailer on Youtube!

2. Nanny roles seemed to be her thing as she defined the character of Mary Poppins, a year earlier in 1964. Another iconic role that takes on a whole new meaning when accompanied by haunting music...

and then there's a couple of Pride & Prejudice horror trailers:
3. Pride and Prejudice Stalker Twisted Trailer

4. Pride and Prejudice: Horror Recut

Latest News and Upcoming Films - Nov.21/09

Jane Eyre (2011)
- a new film to be directed by Cary Fukunaga with BBC Films. Previously Ellen Page was set to star but the latest news (from Variety) has Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) joining Michael Fassbender for the film. I just realized that I've seen Fassbender years ago in 'A Bear Named Winnie', the true story of the bear that inspired A.A. Milne's classic of Winnie the Pooh.

Wuthering Heights (2010)
We heard many names attached to this remake but it appears that it will finally happen with Gemma Arterton and Ed Westwick. Read more at Bronteblog.

Murder on the Orient Express
remake based on Agatha Christie's novel, starring David Suchet, Eileen Atkins, Hugh Bonneville, David Morrissey...article here

Dear Eleanor (2010)
Directed by Gary Marshall, st
arring Abigail Breslin and AnnaSophia Robb. Synopsis: "The story of two fourteen year old girls, Ellie and Max the Wax, who travel across America in 1962 during the chaos of the Cuban missile crisis in search of Eleanor Roosevelt and Ellie's late mother. Their secret journey begins in their hometown of Manteca, California (The Pumpkin Capital of the World). Their final destination: New York City (The Big Apple). Along the way they're robbed by a guy who looks like Warren Beatty and helped out by Max's Aunt Daisy, a vaudevillian contortionist who can fold herself into a bag. When Ellie loses all hope of ever finding her mother, Aunt Daisy pushes her onward to discover just what is waiting for her at Eleanor Roosevelt's house, and why this advent will not be the end of her journey, but just the beginning."

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