The King's Speech reigns at the Oscars!

Congratulations to THE KING'S SPEECH!

Winner of 4 Academy Awards:
BEST ACTOR (Colin Firth)

Colin Firth

Firth and Tom Hooper

David Seidler

Livia said on her blog: "We're off! Here's the Gary Harvey dress... This is the first picture for you. I'll explain the corsetry/engineering and everything else as we go... Eleven dresses in one, vintage/thrift/charity shop buys all from the era of The King's Speech. Every part is recycled, repurposed, upcycled. It feels amazing (corset not withstanding!). Colin, I think, looks incredibly handsome. "

Colin Firth's entire Oscar acceptance speech

Photos: Access Hollywood, Livia's blog, The Guardian, Winnipeg Sun

Downton Abbey - behind-the-scenes video

Just hearing the soundtrack by John Lunn makes me sentimental for the folks from Downton Abbey! Here's a video about its production...

Oodles more info on DOWNTON ABBEY

Jane Eyre (2011) - another video preview

Here's yet another video preview for the upcoming Jane Eyre
with Wasikowska and Fassbender.

Once Upon a Time - tv series planned

A fairytale themed series is in development for ABC from two of the writers of Lost -Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

Ginnifer Godwin has been cast as Snow White//Sister Mary Margaret Blanchard
Lana Parrilla will play Mayor Regina/Evil Queen

From Vulture:
"Once Upon a Time (on which Damon Lindelof is also consulting) has a twisty, dual-plotted premise reminiscent of their previous gig: A young boy lives in Storybrooke, Maine, where he's convinced things aren't what they seem, and we also get glimpses — through flashbacks? flash-sideways? — of a fairy tale land where familiar evil queens and dwarves with sharply drawn personalities are quite real."

What is Once Upon a Time about?
Kitsis: What we want to do is take a look at well-known characters and stories and kind of dig deeper than what you know, and say, "Here's what you didn't know." We want to try to bring [the characters] out as people instead of just metaphors to deal with our fears
Horowitz: For us, first and foremost, this is a character show. We want to take the iconography that we've always loved and find find a new way to look at what makes these fairy-tale characters tick.

More FAIRYTALE adaptations in the works
(including 3 other Snow Whites...)

The Witches of Oz (2011) - production update

Leigh Scott (writer, director and producer) of The Witches of Oz has posted a note on Facebook detailing the current status of production.

"... During the shoot, we allowed the film to grow to meet the material. We followed our hearts instead of our wallets. The entire time, we all knew we were making something special.

In order to compensate for the expanding budget, we entered into a distribution agreement and made the decision to turn the film into a two part mini-series. We had already spent enough for two movies, and the first cut was over three hours long, so why not sell it that way?

During post-production we encountered the same thing that we did while shooting. The film demanded more, bigger and better. Unlike the production phase, we discovered that not everyone in our midst was up to the challenge. A few people we hired lacked the skill, drive, and determination to deliver. Some, I recommend, should seek a different career path altogether. Of course this has happened to me before. Nine times out of ten, the visual effects in smaller films underwhelm. Usually, you just do your best to cut around them, make them darker, and accept the fact that the business trumps the artistic integrity of an independent film. But that old attitude wasn't good enough. We went back and redid 90% of the visual effects. In fact, both videos floating around the internet feature these old effects.

We've given ourselves deadlines numerous times to finish the project. Yet, when we reach them and the film isn't 100% the way we want it, we ask ourselves "why"? Why put out something that you know isn't the best that it can be? We've come this far, why not go all the way?

That explains why the film isn't ready for release. While the two part version is a great mini-series or made for TV event, the theatrical version is the type of film that builds life long fans and warrants repeat viewing. It's just too on the money to not let people see it. And we will release it when we know it's right.

Oz is far too important to too many people to not give it the respect and the reverence that it deserves. People have worked too hard to see their labor and artistry not receive the praise that it deserves. The challenge to making a great movie is insuring that the sum is equal to the greatness of its parts. That takes a lot of time and a lot of detailed work.

There is a saying in Hollywood. Fast, cheap, good….pick two. We've made a movie that hangs with studio releases for a fraction of the cost. That means we can either make it fast or good. We choose good.

This is also the first film I've made that had enough interest to warrant speculation and rumors. Let me clear those up. The film is not a musical. Yes, there are two versions of the film and both will be available. Yes, we will be putting the film into theaters. No, it won't be on February 18th. And as for a sequel…well, I can't rely confirm or deny that at this point...

So there you have the update. It's a story of courage, heart, brains and realizing that you have all the skills and tools you need inside as long as you believe in yourself.

Hmmm…that's funny. Now where have I heard THAT story before?

They do say you should write what you know.

Jane Eyre (2011) - costume design

Check out the wedding outfits for Jane and Rochester, thanks to costume designer Michael O'Connor. (He's also designed the wardrobe for period dramas: The Eagle, Wallis & Edward, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and Tom Brown's Schooldays and The Duchess for which he won an Oscar.)

These are the outfits worn by Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender in the 2011 film.

Of Gods and Men (2010)

In 1996 in the Algerian Mountains,
caught between a military government and extremist guerrilas,
a group of monks face the decision of their lives.

Inspired by a true story.

Official site: "Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery perched in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s. When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly realize that they have no choice but to stay… come what may. This film is loosely based on the life of the Cistercian monks of Tibhirine in Algeria, from 1993 until their kidnapping in 1996."

Winner of Grand Prix award at Cannes
Won C├ęsar Award for Best Film

More information on OF GODS AND MEN

Dysenchanted (2004)

Seven storybook heroines meet once a week to process their issues in group therapy.

This 6 minute short film written by Terri Miller played at Sundance Film Festival in 2004.

Alexis Bledel - Goldilocks
Laura Kightlinger - Cinderella
Sarah Wynter -Sleeping Beauty
Jaime Bergman - Alice
K.D. Aubert - Little Red Riding Hood
Amy Pietz - Clara
Shiva Rose - Snow White
Jill Small - Dorothy
James Belushi - Doctor (The Shrink)

Sleeping Beauty (Sarah Wynter) and Goldilocks (Alexis Bledel)

Here is a sample of character's profile from Official site

Doctor's notes on Goldilocks:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Adolescent angst
Currently homeless
Suspect abuse
Two strikes for arrest - breaking and entering
Coping Mechanism:
Trust issues
Hypertactility to creature comforts

Monkeys of Bollywood

Inspired by the great Indian epic tale of The Ramayana — but retold through the point of view of its monkeys — Monkeys of Bollywood revolves around two common monkeys who become unlikely heroes in a last ditch effort to stop an ancient, thought-to-be-mythical demon from conquering the world.

Paul Berges, Gurinder Chadha, Stephen Schwartz, A.R. Rahman.

Executive producer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Prince of Egypt, Enchanted), executive producer and composer A.R. Rahman (127 Hours, Slumdog Millionaire, Bombay Dreams), and writers Gurinder Chadha & Paul Berges (Bride & Prejudice, Bend It Like Beckham) are together this week at DreamWorks Animation's headquarters in Glendale, California to continue their collaboration on the feature project.

"To reunite with Stephen Schwartz and work with such a celebrated team of artists on DreamWorks Animation's first-ever CG animated feature musical project is incredibly exciting," said DreamWorks Animation's Chief Creative Officer, Bill Damaschke. "Together we will create a movie that is full of magic, fantasy, adventure, comedy and emotion in which inspiring songs and dances will delight audiences everywhere."

Wikipedia: “The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the other being the Mahabharata. It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king. The name Ramayana is a tatpurusha compound of R?ma and ayana (“going, advancing”), translating to “Rama’s Journey”. The Ramayana consists of 24,000 verses in seven books (k???as) and 500 cantos (sargas), and tells the story of Rama (an incarnation of the Hindu preserver-God Vishnu), whose wife Sita is abducted by the demon king of Lanka, Ravana. Thematically, the epic explores the tenets of human existence and the concept of dharma.”

Colin Firth - press images for The King's Speech

Looking forward to Sunday's broadcast of The Oscars and Mr. Colin Firth's anticipated crowning as Best Actor for his role in The King's Speech! I'm tickled that the film has received such acclaim and I'm eager to see how the film will fare in its 12 nominated categories! I'll be preparing for the event by attending a screening in the afternoon after having found someone who's not yet seen the film and eager to go with me!

Here are some images from the film's premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival which was attended by Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and director Tom Hooper.

Here's a BBC interview done with Helena and Colin (1/7/2011)

Photos: Zimbio

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

DreamWorks press release:
The film features a group of heroes from various childhood stories - "North"/ Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), "Bunnymund"/Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), "Tooth" the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and Jack Frost (Chris Pine) - who join together in an adventure to stop Pitch the Boogeyman (Jude Law) from sending the world into eternal darkness.

The film, scheduled for release on November 21, 2012, is based on "The Guardians of Childhood," a series of highly anticipated children's books by William Joyce.

Rise of the Guardians is being directed by Peter Ramsey and co-directed by William Joyce, produced by Christina Steinberg and Nancy Bernstein, written by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire and executive produced by Guillermo del Toro and Michael Siegel.

"It's a thrill to be working with such an all-star team of actors and filmmakers on Rise of the Guardians," commented Bill Damaschke, Chief Creative Officer at DreamWorks Animation. "When we bring Bill Joyce's imaginative vision to the screen in 2012, audiences will experience an incredible story with a truly epic sense of adventure."

More than a collection of the well-known childhood legends, Rise of the Guardians tells the story of a group of heroes — each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world.



My Fairytale - A musical

Original idea & concept by FLEMMING ENEVOLD
Music & Lyrics by STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
Book by Phillip LaZebnik

"From the darkened stage of the Royal National Theater in 1846, Hans Christian Andersen is launched on an epic adventure through the timeless landscape of his own imagination. What he discovers there not only changes his life, but the world. His life’s fairytale, illuminated by beauty and longing, was the genesis for some of the world’s most beloved stories. My Fairytale was first produced by Flemming Enevold as Mit Eventyr in 2005 as part of Denmark’s bi-centennial celebration of Andersen’s birth. This gorgeous new musical is both a delightful revelry in the stories from Andersen’s imagination, an enlightening journey into the soul of the artist, and heartfelt celebration of the wonderful influence of the Danish spirit on the world."(Press release)

Will be playing at Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in California in August 2011.

Jack the Giant Killer (2012)

Another fairy tale update planned - this time for Jack and the Beanstalk...

When a princess is kidnapped, a long-standing peace between men and giants becomes threatened, and a young farmer is given an opportunity to lead a dangerous expedition to the giant kingdom to rescue her.”

Hoult, McGregor, Tucci, Nighy, Kassir, Tomlinson

Ewan McGregor is in negotiations to play the leader of the king's elite guard. The cast includes Stanley Tucci as the villain, Bill Nighy and John Kassir as the two-headed leader of the giants and Nicholas Hoult as Jack.

Update: Ian McShane has joined the cast and will take on role of King Brahmwell

Update: Eleanor Tomlinson has been cast as the princess. She has been previously seen in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, shown on the left.

To be directed by Bryan Singer.

Filming to begin late March in London. Source: THR

First look at Ewan McGregor and Eddie Marsan on set

More proposed FAIRYTALES

Jane Eyre (2011) - musical score by Dario Marianelli

Dear Focus Features,
it's swell that you wish to share so much information with those of us eager to see the new adaptation but if you keep up this pace, I'll feel like I've already seen the entire film. Great to see a video which includes a taste of the musical score but it's accompanied with more scenes from the film which I'd like to enjoy for the first time while seated at the cinema!

Dario Marianelli has previously done the musical score for Atonement, The Brothers Grimm, Pride & Prejudice (2005) and I Capture the Castle.

More information on JANE EYRE (2011)

Wicked - costume design part 2

WICKED takes you on another exclusive behind-the-scenes journey.

Behind the Emerald Curtain: Costume Edition welcomes you to the costume shop to learn about the delicate beading that makes the costumes of WICKED so dazzling.

Read more about Wicked the Musical

Fan video: The King's Speech

Countdown to Colin Firth's Oscar?

Just found this fan video which captured some of the most touching scenes from The King's Speech.

Thanks to MovieMadd111 for creating the video!
Music: "If It Be Your Will" sung by Antony Hegarty

Coriolanus (2011)

A contemporary staging of Shakespeare's classic play about the titular Roman warrior, CORIOLANUS stars Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain and James Nesbitt.

Source: "For his debut as a director, Ralph Fiennes has pulled the Shakespearean tragedy "Coriolanus" into the present-day world of 24-hour news coverage of riots and politics.

Fiennes takes the lead as a great but proud and flawed Roman general in the movie, which had its premiere Monday at the Berlin film festival. He stars alongside
Vanessa Redgrave, who plays his iron-willed mother, Volumnia, Jessica Chastain as his wife Virgilia and Gerard Butler, cast as Coriolanus' sworn enemy, Tullus Aufidius.

Fiennes said he had thought about making a film of "Coriolanus" -- a tale of heroism, political manipulation, unrest and revenge -- since appearing in the play on stage a decade ago. He gave some thought to setting the movie in ancient Rome or in the 19th century.

"(But) I kept on seeing images in the newspaper or television which seemed to come from this story," Fiennes told reporters -- citing Russia's wars in Chechnya, riots in Athens and the latest global economic crisis. The film starts with a food shortages riot in a city in crisis. "I felt more and more convinced that the world around us was the right setting for the piece," he said."


Video includes movie clips and press coverage from B.I.F.F.

Downton Abbey Art Gallery

Imagining the family portraits that might grace the walls of Downton Abbey...

In order to deal with Downton withdrawal, I "commissioned" some paintings of favourite characters portrayed by: Hugh Bonneville, Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jessica Brown-Findlay, Penelope Wilton, Dan Stevens, Brendan Coyle, Jessica Froggatt, Phyllis Logan, Allen Leech and Rose Leslie. (Thomas and O'Brien were too finicky to take the time to pose.)

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