Lark Rise to Candleford

If there's one period drama that has been mentioned to me the most frequently (or scolded for not featuring on this blog), it's Lark Rise to Candleford! So let me hereby officially enter LRTC into the "Enchanted Serenity archives" as a period drama that comes highly recommended! (To clarify, I have seen a few episodes of the first season and have had the best of intentions to catch up to date, so hopefully with this new year I'll make that happen!)

From Wikipedia: Adapted by the BBC from Flora Thompson's trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels about the English countryside, published between 1939 and 1943. The series is set in the small Oxfordshire hamlet of Lark Rise and the wealthier neighbouring market town of Candleford towards the end of the 19th century. In Season Two, episode 17, the date carved on the new clock tower in Candleford is 1895. The series chronicles the daily lives of farm workers, craftsmen, and gentry, observing the characters in loving, boisterous, and competing communities of families, rivals, friends, and neighbours.

The narrative is seen through the eyes of a teenage girl, Laura Timmins (Olivia Hallinan), as she leaves Lark Rise to start a new life under the wing of her cousin, the independent and effervescent Dorcas Lane (Julia Sawalha), who is Post Mistress at the local Post Office in Candleford. Through these two characters, viewers experience the force of friendship as Laura and Dorcas see each other through the best and worst of times.

** Season 4: Begins January 9 on BBC **
Gabriel (Richard Harrington) joins the cast
BBC Official Site
Unofficial fansite

Laura Timmins (Olivia Hallinan)

Emma & Robert Timmins (Claudie Blakley & Brendan Coyle)

Dorcas Lane (Julia Sawalha)

Pearl & Ruby Pratt ( Matilda Ziegler & Victoria Hamilton)

Sir Timothy Midwinter (Ben Miles)

Lady Adelaide Midwinter (Olivia Grant)

Zillah (Liz Smith)

Caroline Arless (Dawn French)

Robert (Brendan Coyle) will not be seen in Season 4,
we presume he was busy being Lord Crawley's valet at Downton Abbey...

My Top Movies of 2010

What have been your favourite movies of the year?

With 2010 drawing to a close, I felt like making a list of my "Top 10 Movies of the Year" but as per usual, I have a hard time narrowing it down to 10 so here's a list of my (17) favourites of the past year! They're in random order but I have to say that my Top 3 would have to be The King's Speech, Downton Abbey and From Time to Time simply because I followed them with eager anticipation for sooo long and they surpassed my expectations! I've also included some favourite movies that aren't period dramas but they featured actors known for this genre or are adaptations of classics.

The King's Speech
LOVED this! Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush were a pure joy to watch! The film was a great animation of a moment in history shedding new light on events. Read my review here.

Downton Abbey
What can I say? There are 39 posts on my blog regarding Downton. Enough said!

From Time to Time
Sweet film. Made me cry.
Maggie Smith, Alex Etel & Hugh Bonneville are wonderful.

This film was one of the best I've seen in a long time. Captured me and didn't let go.
I connected with it for personal reasons and was completely moved!

Preferred this to Bride & Prejudice which missed the mark for me (and my daughter).
We both preferred this cheesy Bollywood remake of Jane Austen's Emma (akin to Clueless).

I do hope Robert Duvall gets an Oscar nod for this film so it will get more notice.
Great performances by entire cast including the charms of Bill Murray!

Couldn't be in London for the live performance but that didn't stop me from being thrilled to bits to see the broadcast of this event at the cinema! "I Dreamed a Dream"...♫♪♫

Going Postal
This one was so much fun! I wasn't aware of Terry Pratchett's novels
but I was highly entertained by Claire Foy, Richard Coyle, Charles Dance and cast!

The next 4 dramas have to do with my fascination
with Dorothy of Oz & Alice of Wonderland!

Tin Man
Finally had a chance to watch this SyFy version of Oz and loved its quirkiness!

Saw Wicked for 4th time with my daughter for a special getaway to Toronto.
Jackie Burns was awesome as Elphaba the Wicked (or is she?) Witch of the West!

SyFy's Alice
Similar to Tin Man but liked this one even more! Primarily impressed
with Caterina Scorsose as Alice and Matt Frewer stole the show as the White Knight!

Alice in Wonderland
Loved the music and the buildup to this film. Fun adaptation!

The Fall
Visually stunning! Unusual story with Lee Pace and adorable newcomer Catinca Untaru!

Last Station
Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, James McAvoy...
all gave solid performances! I do love biopics!

Hmm, not a period film but all of these actors have been in period dramas.
Loved having my mind played with and eager to see it again!

500 days of Summer
Such a cute film. Loved Zooey Deschanel. And her outfits.
Great seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a leading role!

The Girl in the Cafe
Bill Nighy fascinates me. Awesome performance.
Kelly Macdonald was perfect as the idealist to challenge the status quo.

Which movies impressed you this past year?

The Beauty of Pixar - video montage

"After spending 11 days re-watching all 11 Pixar feature films, Leandro Braga took 500 hand-selected scenes and made an amazing tribute to the best animation studio on the planet. This mash-up is a tribute to the films of Pixar Animation Studios. "

Nothing to do with period films but thought this was too good not to share!

Toy Story (1995)
A Bug's Life (1998)
Toy Story 2 (1999)
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Finding Nemo (2003)
The Incredibles (2004)
Cars (2006)
Ratatouille (2007)
WALL-E (2008)
Up (2009)
Toy Story 3 (2010)

Songs: "Intro" by The XX by Young Turks, La Vie En Rose" performed by Louis Armstrong, "Down to Earth" by Peter Gabriel, "You've Got a Friend in Me" by Randy Newman

Masterpiece Theatre: Creating the Past through Drama

Fans of PBS Masterpiece might enjoy hearing Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton discuss how historical dramas have shaped popular perceptions of past eras.

Presented by the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Video: 60 minutes

The Girl in the Cafe (2005)

Bill Nighy is captivating and Kelly Macdonald is charming
in this offbeat romance, set amidst world politics.

The film tells the story of Lawrence (Bill Nighy), a civil servant working for the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Ken Stott), who falls in love with Gina (Kelly Macdonald), a young woman whom he meets by chance in a London café. Lawrence takes Gina to a G8 summit in Reykjavík, Iceland, where she confronts the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (Corin Redgrave) over the issue of third world debt and poverty in Africa, much to Lawrence's embarrassment and the anger of his employers. However, he realises that she is right and tries to help persuade the Chancellor and others at the summit to do something about the issues concerned.

Not a period film but one that had me riveted.

1884: Yesterday's Future (2012)

Terry Gilliam is the ‘creative adviser’ for 1884: Yesterday's Future, described as an animated steampunk parody based on George Orwell’s 1984. It will use CGI and live-action puppets to create an alternate version of 19th century Europe. (Directed by Gilliam's longtime collaborator and digital animation specialist, Tim Ollive)

From Screenrant:
is an $8 million production that presents an alternate version of 19th century Europe with a steam punk aesthetic -- a world in which the movie itself was created in 1848 (some four decades prior to the actual invention of film… makes sense to us). Variety describes 1884 as “a tale of laughable imperialist derring-do and espionage,” where man has already reached the moon and England is populated by steam-powered vessels and flying vehicles.

Ollive and Gilliam will bring their off-kilter collaboration to life via the use of 2D and 3D (read: digital) animation, live-action puppets that have actors’ eyes and mouths superimposed over their CGI heads, and a mix of miniatures, graphics, and old-fashioned photography to create the backdrop of London, France, and other locales across Europe -- all of which will be colored with sepia tones to as to further recreate the look of a silent flick from the late 19th century.

It's All Relative - Colin & Jonathan Firth

I've been remiss in adding these brothers to the gallery of "It's All Relative". Colin Firth is the definitive period drama gent and his brother Jonathan has also appeared in a number of period dramas! Here are some of the costume dramas in which the Firth brothers have appeared...

Some of Colin's period films...(See longer list here)

Pride & Prejudice, Importance of Being Earnest, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Easy Virtue

Month in the Country, 'Shakespeare' in Blackadder, Shakespeare in Love, Circle of Friends

Jonathan's period films...

Victoria & Albert, Pompeii, Romeo & Juliet, Middlemarch, Luther

Jonathan Firth's period dramas: Victoria & Albert, Middlemarch, Albert Schweitzer, An Ideal Husband, Pompeii: The Last Day, Luther, Inspector Lynley, Far From the Madding Crowd, Agatha's Christie Poirot, Covington Cross, Wuthering Heights, The Black Velvet Gown, and Romeo and Juliet (I didn't realize that he was Romeo to Geraldine Somerville's Juliet)

> more actors in IT'S ALL RELATIVE

It's all a matter of "Weeks"

Here's another addition to It's All Relative, looking at actors that come from the same family! Honeysuckle Weeks is well known for her role in Foyle's War, and her sister Perdita and brother Rollo also have their share of film credits, many of which are in period dramas!

Honeysuckle's period dramas: Foyle's War, Inspector Lynley Mysteries, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Lorna Doone, and Rag Nymph

Foyle's War with Michael Kitchen, The Rag Nymph with Crispin Bonham-Carter

Honeysuckle as Eliza Doolittle in play with Rupert Everett as Higgins

Perdita as young Millie, Honeysuckle as older Millie in Rag Nymph

Perdita's period dramas: The Promise, Lost in Austen, The Tudors, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking, The Prince and the Pauper, Rag Nymph, and Hamlet.

Lost in Austen, The Tudors

Rollo's period dramas: Blood in the Water, Cheri, The Thief Lord, The Queen of Sheba's Pearls, George and the Dragon, Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Lost Prince, Attila, and Berkeley Square

The Queen of Sheba's Pearls, The Lost Prince

> More actors in gallery of IT'S ALL RELATIVE

Albert Schweitzer (2009)

A movie about the "jungle doctor" Albert Schweitzer (Jeroen Krabbé) tells the story of a philosopher and physician who promoted peace during the Cold War, built a hospital in what is now Gabon and proved stronger than the CIA. "Avoiding the pitfalls of the biopic genre, the film refrains from squeezing all aspects of the life of the German-French philosopher, musicologist, organist, theologian and physician Albert Schweitzer into a cinematic puzzle.

British director Gavin Millar focuses instead on a few crucial years of Schweitzer’s life: the period from 1949 to 1954, the year in which he received the Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of the "reverence for life."

The film also includes a flashback to the time before World War I, when Schweitzer built a hospital in Gabon at a time when there was a lack of everything – beds, nurses, medicines and bandages. His young wife Helen helped her husband selflessly and to the point of exhaustion."
(Read more here)

Barbara Hershey won the Palme d'Or at Cannes
for her role as Schweitzer's wife

Cast: Jeroen Krabbé, Barbara Hershey, Samuel West, Jonathan Firth, Judith Godreche, Jeanette Hain, Armin Rohde.

Not sure if we'll be able to see this eventually with English subtitles?

Cater Street Hangman

Set in 1881, Inspector Pitt (Eoin McCarthy) is a working-class police detective in Victorian London, investigating a series of murders of young girls. The only thing the victims share are recent visits to the same vicarage in a wealthy neighborhood. With the help of headstrong, aristocratic Charlotte Ellison (Keeley Hawes), Pitt races to find the culprit before another girl is killed. To his surprise, he becomes the object of Ellison's affection along the way.
[1st in series of Inspector Pitt novels by
Anne Perry]

Here's a 10 minute video with scenes from the film:

Thanks to:
gsbohn for trailer video, Bimbobean for posting film,
and to Nita for recommending it!

source for following screencaps

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