newmoonstar: (icon by marble_feet)
Finally watched The Young Victoria last night. It was much better than I expected. Of course, the real Victoria and Albert weren't so beautiful and glamorous and witty, but it doesn't matter, because it stuck to the basic facts, and morever, it was pleasant to watch. And the costumes!!! This is the best costume candy movie since Marie Antoinette! And an era I love, too, the late 1830s-early 1840s were filled with so mamy exhuberant styles, it's nice to see the full-out high fashion of the era, since usually this era is represented on film by Dickens adaptations filled with the more drab, somber versions of these clothes. I highly recommend this movie to happily while away an evening!

Another movie I recently saw on cable, set in the 1840's and feauturing some fine Parisian haute couture, is Cousin Bette. I recommend it only as eye candy though, since it's beautiful to look at, but it's based on an Honore de Balzac novel, so it's pretty stupid and bawdy. (Seriously, how many times do we have to see Elizabeth Shue's bare bum in this? I know it's supposed to be a running gag, but this is an R rated movie, and butt jokes are only funny to six year olds.) Hugh Laurie is in it, which whould normally be a recommendation, but he's much too young here (it was made in 1998) for the role he's playing, so any possibility of comedy gets lost because of it. But if you're bored with nothing else to do one day, it fills the time with pretty scenery decently enough.

Off to find more period movies! (This darn sore throat has been going on for over two months and getting worse all the time! I hope I can last till my appointment with the doctor! I don't know if there are enough historical dramas in the world to keep me distracted enough to not keel over pretty soon!!)
newmoonstar: (north & south (_lovelygirl))
There is quite a lack of new period movies coming out this year, I must say. It seems it's been that way for several years now. The only ones I know of coming up soon are The Young Victoria (the few photos I've seen are very pretty costume-wise) and The Dreaded Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes Movie. Now, the minute I heard he was making a Sherlock Holmes movie, I, like most devoted Holmes fans, groaned and rolled my eyes, already imagining all the Hollywood cliches that would be pumped into such a project. Everything I've heard about this film since gives me every reason to believe everyone's worst fears are quite well founded. However, in view of this, I'm actually not as afraid of this movie as everyone else seems to be. Because, quite frankly, I've already imagined the absolute worst, and if it turns out that bad, it may prove hilariously funny, and if it isn't that bad, well, it'll have exceeded my expectations, and who knows, it may even pleasantly surprise me. And after all, Sherlock Holmes has endured for over 100 years, so I guarantee he'll survive this movie just fine no matter how bad it is. He's survived Roger Moore and Matt Frewer, for crying out loud, he'll survive anything!

The Broadway Odyssey continues with a good old classic, My Fair Lady. Julie Andrews, obviously, is so great as Eliza. I always wish she would have been in the movie. If only! And Rex Harrison is surprisingly better on the cast album than in the movie; he seemed to be having a lot more fun with it when it was new, there was more humour in his portrayal of Higgins then, as if he knew how ridiculous he was, and was gently poking fun at it, whereas in the movie he played it less for comedy, and more like he meant it. Maybe by the time the movie was made, he had actually become the old curmudgeon he was playing and sympathized with it more!
newmoonstar: (icon by olde_fashioned)
Watched the 1985 version of Pride and Prejudice the other day, which was quite good. The actress who played Elizabeth was very likeable, and I thought the portrayal of Mr. Darcy was very refreshing. He was really monstrously haughty and obnoxious, so that you could actually understand why Elizabeth would automatically dislike him and assume the worst of him, unlike most other versions of P&P, where Mr. Darcy is obviously the most attractive gentleman in the whole thing, all handsome and brooding and moony fawn eyes so that you might as well have stamped, 'misunderstood romantic hero destined to get the girl' on his forehead. In this version, you wouldn't necessarily know that Elizabeth was going to end up with Darcy if you didn't know the story already, which I found to be a very interesting approach. It comes as a genuine shock at the end, when he starts being actually polite and smiling and whatnot, so that you're experiencing Elizabeth's point of view with her rather than just watching the motions being gone through, as I find myself getting bored doing these days, having seen so many versions of P&P so many times over the years. All the other actors were quite good too, and I appreciated that some acknowlegment was made about Mr. Bennett's failings as a father, rather than take the simplistic approach of portraying him as the blameless hen-pecked husband. All in all, I was quite pleasantly surprised by this version. Finding a new take on material that's been re-hashed so many times is no mean feat. :)

Listening to the Brigadoon original cast recording, I find that "Come to Me, Bend to Me' grows on me more and more. It's so sweet and lilting, and quite as pretty as 'Music of the Night'. But apart from that one little refrain, the songs are actually very different, and there's room for both in my opinion. :) I'm falling in love with the whole thing in fact, discovering all the lovely songs that were left out of the movie, presumably because Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse couldn't sing. There's no other reason to leave out such brilliant stuff. I used to love the movie as a kid, but it's so inadequate once you hear this brilliant Broadway recording.

I love days like today. The weather is not too hot or cold, the city looks beautiful in the sunlight, there are rabbits frolicking adorably on my lawn, and the fireflies are coming out. It's heavenly.
newmoonstar: (degas (m_icons))
Oy. I'm so mad. I missed the American Girl sale the weekend before last. I've lived here what, four years now? and I didn't even know they still had them! I found out about it by chance the night before, but I was sick that day and consequently slept through the entire sale the next day. Argh! And I was just thinking how much I'd like to pick up a Kirsten doll! And worst of all, my mum says to me after the sale, "Well, I thought of going myself to get you some stuff, but I didn't think you wanted anything, so I didn't!" At which point I could have torn my hair out, since I've been saying how I wanted a Kirsten doll, and extra shoes and doll accessories for when I make up my American Girl patterns. Ugh. I guess there's always next year, if by some miracle I hear about it before it happens. I'll never understand why a charity benefit sale should be such a tightly guarded secret!

Watched a French period movie the other night, Moliere. I'd never heard of it before, so I didn't know what to expect, but it was really good. Very similar to Shakespeare in Love, but more fluffy and, well, French. The whole film was beautifully shot, and very colorful, from the to-die-for costumes to the manor houses and lush countryside. I admit to having only a very vague familiarity with Moliere's plays, but even with my limited knowledge it still worked. I highly recommend it to anybody who loves a good costume comedy romp.
newmoonstar: (Default)
Finally saw Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. What a sweet movie! Very cute and funny, and it's so refreshing to see a movie about female characters that isn't some Steel Magnolias/Joy Luck Club kind of crap, where the older and younger generations have to bond over suffering and crying. It's much more interesting to watch them buy beautiful clothes and fall in love! Though for all the screwball comedy, it still touched on some real issues, with the effects of the Depression, and going into the war, so that it wasn't all froth, but style with substance too. All around a pleasant movie going experience. :)

Sewing not going so well. Attached the skirt on the pink Empire doll dress, but unfortunately, it looks less polished and fits less well than the first little tester dress I made out of scrap fabric. OY. The irony!

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