Water for Elephants (2011)

Based on Sara Gruen's bestselling novel set in the 1930's, Water for Elephants is about a veterinary student who abandons his studies after his parents are killed to join a traveling circus.

Gruen originally wrote the novel as part of National Novel Writing Month (also known as NaNoWriMo)

Release dates: April, May 2011 (depending on country)

View trailer and images
View new trailer (March 4)
More movie stills
Video interviews with Rob and Reese

"When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, drifters, and misfits, a second-rate circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town. A veterinary student who almost earned his degree, Jacob is put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It is there that he meets Marlena, the beautiful young star of the equestrian act, who is married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. He also meets Rosie, an elephant who seems untrainable until he discovers a way to reach her. Water for Elephants is illuminated by a wonderful sense of time and place. It tells a story of a love between two people that overcomes incredible odds in a world in which even love is a luxury that few can afford." (source)

Rob Pattinson (Jacob)
Reese Witherspoon (Marlena)
Christoph Waltz (August)
Hal Holbrook (older Jacob)
James Frain (Rosie's caretaker)
Paul Schneider (Charlie, present-day circus manager)

Wicked - costume design

"Behind the Emerald Curtain"... we get a peek at the costume production for Wicked. Based on Gregory Maguire's novel, with musical written by Stephen Schwartz, this musical twist on L. Frank Baum's story of the Wizard of Oz continues to draw crowds at the box office.
Have you seen it? I'm excited to see my 4th performance of it this fall!

Costume designer Susan Hilferty discusses the elaborate outfits
that she's designed for Broadway's successful musical!

Follow the construction of a new Madame Morrible costume, from bolt to Broadway.

Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda
Some facts about the costumes for Wicked:
There are approximately 263 costumes constructed for each new production of Wicked based on 180 unique costume designs (duplicates of some costumes are made for understudies and others).

What covers the feet of the actors? One or more pairs from the 240 pairs of handmade shoes for each new production of Wicked.

As many as 250 artisans and craftspeople in the US and overseas work on a new production of Wicked.

The ruffles in the skirt of Elphaba’s Wicked Witch dress require 40 yards of fabric to complete.

The fabric for the Shiz uniforms was designed by Susan Hilferty exclusively for Wicked and is custom printed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. No two “uniforms” are alike.

It takes 424 manhours per week to maintain the costumes for Wicked on Broadway.

There are a minimum of 6 loads of laundry for every performance of Wicked.

I was tickled to hear Hilferty mention some Steampunk aspects to the design :)

See costume design part 2

Cristiada (2011)

Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria Parker, Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), Peter O’ Toole, and Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek) will star in the Mexican historical epic Cristiada. Variety reports that the film centers on the 1926-1929 Cristero War, “touched off by a rebellion over the Mexican government’s 1917 attempt to remove the influence of the Catholic Church and secularize the country.” Chronicles of Narnia visual FX supervisor Dean Wright will direct the film from a script he wrote with Michael James Love. The film also stars Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood) and Nestor Carbonell (Lost). [Collider.com]

Also features Eduardo Verastegui (Bella, loved that movie!) and photos of film production found on his fan website.

View trailer

Eduardo Verastegui
Eva Longoria and Andy Garcia

Eduardo Verastegui and Catalina Sandino Moreno

Facebook page for Cristiada

Downton Abbey - pictures of cast on set

"The Dowager Countess of Grantham"

"I would be lying if I were not to admit that I write for Maggie."
~ Julian Fellowes
(creator and writer for Downton Abbey)

Dame Maggie Smith has also acted in Gosford Park & From Time to Time, both written by Fellowes. He praises Maggie in this video interview for From Time to Time. He's not Maggie's sole admirer!

Downton Abbey explores the relationships between the family and servants under the same roof. It also follows their different lives and expectations in the face of the upheavals of the Edwardian age. Mr Fellowes said: “Downton Abbey is not seen from the family’s point of view or from the servants’ point of view.“It is an even perspective from all of their points of view. They are all principal characters.”

Here are some images of the cast for the upcoming Downton Abbey
To be aired: UK : ITV Sept 26 / US : PBS January

Hugh Bonneville

Elizabeth McGovern

Dame Maggie Smith

L-R: Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Maggie Smith, Jessica Brown-Findlay

Dan Stevens

Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith

Thanks to Ldwark for the pics!!

Vote in the UP - DOWN Poll of Period Dramas
(poll inspired by Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs)

"It's all Relative" update - Ioan and Alice

Just watched The Abduction Club this past week and surprised to learn that Alice Evans who stars as Catherine Kennedy, is married to actor Ioan Gruffudd.
has been seen in several period dramas: Horatio Hornblower, Secret of Moonacre, Amazing Grace, King Arthur, and Forsyte Saga.

They married in 2007 and have a daughter Ella.

-> See other period drama actors who are related in
It's All Relative

Abduction Club (2002)

Based on actual events that took place in Waterford, Ireland, in the late 1700s, director Stefan Schwartz's romantic comedy-drama concerns itself with a group of abductors who kidnap usually willing young women in order to persuade them to wed. Set during an era where law dictates that the eldest sons inherit family estates and younger siblings are left to either enter the priesthood or the military, young noblemen decide to take matters into their own hands by abducting the young heiresses and charming them for a night before releasing them to make their ultimate decision. As Anne (Sophia Myles) is subjected to the uninvited advances of Power (Liam Cunningham), Abduction Club member Byrne (Daniel Lapaine) schemes to kidnap Anne's older sister Catherine (Alice Evans). Though the kidnapping plan is foiled when Anne decides to tag along, Byrne's friend Strang (Matthew Rhys) finds himself attracted to the younger sister despite Abduction Club rules stating that abductees must be at least 18 (Anne is 17) and that no more than one member of the same family is to be abducted at any given time. Strang is subsequently expelled by Abduction Club leader Sir Myles (Patrick Malahide), and the fledgling affections of the mismatched couple face a formidable challenge as the local militia is tipped off to their scheme.
~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

Alice Evans, Sophia Myles
Daniel Lapaine, Matthew Rhys
Liam Cunningham, pictured on left
Sophia - Kate Winslet look-alike anyone?

Screencaps found here thanks to elea24!

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2011)

I just finished reading Lisa See's novel and highly recommend it for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in 19th century China! I'm a bit worried that the film adaptation veers too much from the novel from tidbits that I've read. I'm puzzled by Hugh Jackman being cast since there aren't any Caucasian characters mentioned.

"A language kept a secret for a thousand years forms the backdrop for an unforgettable novel of two Chinese women whose friendship and love sustains them through their lives. This absorbing novel – with a storyline unlike anything Lisa See has written before – takes place in 19th century China when girls had their feet bound, then spent the rest of their lives in seclusion with only a single window from which to see..." 

Directed by Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club)
Screenplay by Angela Workman
-> IMDb
Vivian Wu
Gianna Jun
Bingbing Li
Archie Kao
Hugh Jackman

 Lisa See's Peony in Love is also being adapted for film.

Black Field (2009)

A dark historical drama set in 19th century rural Canada, Black Field is a gothic tale about two sisters, the man that comes between them, and the tragedy that results.

Written and directed by Danishka Esterhazy
Sara Canning as Maggie McGregor
Mathieu Bourguet as David Latouche
Ferron Guerreiro as Rose McGregor

Sara Canning (Maggie), Mathieu Bourguet (David), Ferron Guerreiro (Rose)


From Time to Time: new trailer

I've been waiting to see From Time to Time and hopefully recent news of it being released in theatres will mean it will find wider release!
It includes some of my favourite people:
Hugh Bonneville
Maggie Smith
Alex Etel
and writen by Julian Fellowes!

Interview with Julian Fellowes at Glasgow Film Festival

Period Dramas - "Hold On Hope" video

Here's a great fanvid created by xCircles90x featuring:

North & South
Pride & Prejudice
Becoming Jane
Northanger Abbey

Song: The Cave by Mumford & Son

The UP - DOWN Poll of Period Dramas

Casts of Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey
With the announcement of two similar upcoming period dramas that revolve around household servants, it made me think about other dramas that revolve around the 'hired help'.

Coming up this fall, there will be an update of Upstairs, Downstairs (this time it will move ahead to 1936) as well as a new drama of Downton Abbey (set in Edwardian country house in 1912, penned by Julian Fellowes).

As much as I abhor people being treated as servants and the division of class, I find that I'm fascinated by these films which give us a glimpse of what they must have gone through in their daily lives.

Here are other period dramas that feature the hired help:

There are various films that focus on the nanny or governess:
Nanny McPhee, Mary Poppins, The Sound Of Music, Berkeley Square, Firelight, Jane Eyre, The Turn of the Screw, The Lost Prince and Corrina, Corrina

As well as other dramas that focus on household servants:
Gosford Park, The Remains of the Day, Driving Miss Daisy, Jeeves and Wooster

And there's also the reality series that allowed individuals to see what it was like to live in "The Edwardian Country House".

So for the Up - Down Poll, how many of these dramas have you seen?
Which ones are your favourites?
[Vote or comment below]

Gosford Park

Berkeley Square | Firelight

The Edwardian Country House (reality series)

Emma Thompson in Remains of the Day and Nanny McPhee

Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins

Jane Eyre | The Turn of the Screw | Corrina, Corrina

Jeeves and Wooster | The Lost Prince | Driving Miss Daisy

Here's one that I forgot to add...
The Grand starring Susan Hampshire

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