Harry Potter Studio Tour Opens Today

The Harry Potter studio tour looks fascinating! Also, for those who haven’t already heard, the Harry Potter books are now available to download as ebooks from the Pottermore website. Has anyone bought any yet? Personally, I don’t see the point in buying them online because I’ve already read them. The whole collection of ebooks is £38.64 and the whole collection of audiobooks is £167.34.

New Sherlock Holmes and She-Watson

CBS announced last week that they have decided to create a modern, updated version of the tales of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s timeless hero called Elementary, probably inspired by the roaring success of the BBC’s Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.  The new American series will be set in New York and they’ve already cast the British actor, Jonny Lee Miller (Eli Stone, 2008-9) and Lucy Liu (Charlie’s Angels, 2000) as Joan Watson, his female accomplice.  This decision has set the Sherlock fanbase alight and everyone seems to be tearing their hair out…

Lucy Liu (Image from WIkipedia)

Lucy Liu has been cast as Joan Watson in the new American Sherlock Holmes series (Image from WIkipedia)

Holmes will be an ex-British Police consultant, brought to NYC to a drug-rehabilitation centre.  He has returned from rehab and is living with Joan Watson, a surgeon who has lost her medical licence.

On the one hand, it will be hard not to compare it to the BBC’s modern adaptation which was made extraordinarily well.  It also sounds vaguely familiar for those who watch Castle and other such programmes.  Some say that because Watson might become a love interest for Holmes, the producers might be tempted to swerve away from the original books too much, or even that it would become disrespectful to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s memory as he firmly disbelieved that there were any romantic feelings between the pair.  He wrote about an incredible friendship; however, will the CBS writers be able to recreate the same dynamics after such a controversial change?  Why didn’t they make Sherlock a woman, too?  A female Holmes and Watson team could rival Charlie’s Angels any day…

Johnny Lee Miller

Jonny Lee Miller will play Holmes

However, on a positive note, they’ve certainly got the casting right.  Jonny Lee Miller is a British actor who was great in two of my favourite TV mini-series and films, Emma, 2009 and Mansfield Park, 1999.  Lucy Liu is a brilliant actress, already well established in the action/crime genre.  Casting is critical and this certainly balances out any doubts which I have.

There’s just a hint of hypocrisy amongst the angry Holmes-loving fans; when the plans for the programme were first made public, almost everyone was upset that the Elementary would be too similar to the BBC’s, now they are upset that it will be too different?  Yes, it could fail spectacularly or become an instant success, but it has not come out yet!

Johnny Lee Miller (Image from the BBC)

Jonny Lee Miller played Knightley in Emma, 2009 (Image from the BBC)

I’m excited to see how this classic adaptation with a modern twist pans out.  After all, the BBC’s Sherlock may not continue forever as I’m sure the stars will want to move on to brighter screens eventually. Cumberbatch seems to be rising rapidly in popularity; after Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, I’m sure that Hollywood is calling.  I’ve also heard rumours that Cumberbatch could be in Doctor Who, perhaps as The Master??

STL.

Oscars 2012 – Winners

Congratulations to all of those involved with the production of The Artist! What a winner! Hope you all enjoyed that funny video which I posted along with the nominations. Here is a great post which summarises who the winners were and features some glamorous pictures from the night.
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The Happiest Cow

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Winners from the Oscars 2012

Best Picture: The Artist

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Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

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Best Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

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Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help

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Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

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Directing: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

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Cinematography: Hugo

Art Direction: Hugo

Costume Design: The Artist

Makeup: The Iron Lady

Foreign Language Film: A Separation, Iran.

Film Editing: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Sound Editing: Hugo

Sound Mixing: Hugo

Documentary Feature: Undefeated

Animated Feature Film: Rango

Visual Effects: Hugo

Original Score: The Artist

Original Song: Man or Muppet from The Muppets

Adapted Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants

Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Live Action Short Film: The Shore

Documentary (short subject): Saving Face

Animated Short Film: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

Mooooo

xxx

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The Oscars 2012 – No Harry Potter for Best Picture?

Will you be tuning in to watch the Oscars tonight?  Who do you think will win Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress?   Who will you be rooting for?

Here are the nominations:

BEST PICTURE

War Horse

The Tree of Life

The Artist

Moneyball

The Descendants

Midnight in Paris

The Help

Hugo

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

BEST DIRECTOR

Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

Alexander Payne – The Descendants

Martin Scorsese – Hugo

Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris

Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

BEST ACTOR

Jean Dujardin – The Artist

Demian Bichir – A Better Life

Brad Pitt – Moneyball

George Clooney – The Descendants

Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

BEST ACTRESS

Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs

Viola Davis – The Help

Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady

Michelle Williams – My Week With Marilyn

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Kenneth Branagh – My Week With Marilyn

Jonah Hill – Moneyball

Nick Nolte – Warrior

Christopher Plummer – Beginners

Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Berenice Bejo – The Artist

Jessica Chastain – The Help

Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs

Octavia Spencer – The Help

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Bullhead – Belgium

Footnote – Israel

In Darkness – Poland

Monsieur Lazhar – Canada

A Separation – Iran

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius

Bridesmaids – Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig

Margin Call – JC Chandor

Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen

A Separation – Asghar Farhadi

BEST ANIMATION

A Cat in Paris

Chico and Rita

Kung Fu Panda 2

Puss in Boots

Rango

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Descendants – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash

Hugo – John Logan

The Ides of March – George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon

Moneyball – Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin. Story by Stan Chervin.

Tinker Tailor Solider Spy – Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan

BEST ART DIRECTION

The Artist

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2

Hugo

Midnight in Paris

War Horse

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

The Artist

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

The Tree of Life

War Horse

BEST SOUND MIXING

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Moneyball

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

BEST SOUND EDITING

Drive

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

War Horse

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Man or Muppet from The Muppets – music and lyrics by Bret McKenzie

Real in Rio from Rio – music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown and lyrics by Siedah Garrett

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

The Adventures of Tintin

The Artist

Hugo

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

War Horse

BEST COSTUMES

Anonymous

The Artist

Hugo

Jane Eyre

W.E.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Hell and Back Again

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Pina

Undefeated

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement

God is the Bigger Elvis

Incident in New Baghdad

Saving Face

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

BEST FILM EDITING

The Artist

The Descendants

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hugo

Moneyball

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Dimanche/Sunday

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore

La Luna

A Morning Stroll

Wild Life

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

Pentecost

Raju

The Shore

Time Freak

Tuba Atlantic

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Hugo

Real Steel

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

BEST MAKE-UP

Albert Nobbs

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The Iron Lady

I know who I’m cheering on!  Enjoy your popcorn!

STL.

Victoria 4 Albert

After reading a post by Madame Guillotine (Victoria 4 Albert), I watched this sweet animation by Chiara Ambrosio following the love story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.  It has been released especially for Valentine’s Day to promote the re-opening of Kensington Palace.  More episodes will be released soon on their website, so watch this space!  Watch the film here.

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Top 5 Austen Adaptations

As a wholehearted fan of Jane Austen, I believe that everyone should embrace the writing of one of the world’s most prolific creative thinkers!

Here are my top five favourite Austen films/TV mini-series:

1. Emma 2009 (TV mini-series)

One of my favourite actresses, Romola Garai (The Hour, Daniel Deronda), played Emma opposite Johnny Lee-Miller (Trainspotting, Eli Stone) as Mr Knightley and the brilliant Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, The King’s Speech) as Emma’s fretful father, Mr Woodhouse.  I adore the soundtrack and exquisite cinematography.  I’ve watched it again and again but could still watch it one hundred times more.  Thank you, BBC!

2. Pride & Prejudice 2005 (Film)

Starring Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean, Atonement) and Matthew Macfayden (The Three Musketeers, Death at a Funeral), this film has a refreshingly modern take on the original novel which I sometimes find rather too polished.  It has an all-star cast featuring Dame Judi Dench (Casino Royale, My Week with Marilyn), Donald Sutherland (The Italian Job, Ordinary People), Rosamund Pike (An Education, Made in Dagenham), Talulah Riley (St. Trinian’s, The Boat That Rocked) and Carey Mulligan (An Education, Never Let Me Go).

 

3. Mansfield Park 1999 (Film)

I love this film simply because it is so different compared to the other Austen films.  Despite the director’s risk of basing it on Mansfield Park as well as Jane Austen’s letters, I think it paid off.  The references to Austen’s letters make for a more interesting viewing for someone who has seen so many films based on the original few books.  Mansfield Park is definitely the darkest of Austen’s novels and this adaptation puts more emphasis on slavery, wavering from the original storyline, slightly.  Frances O’Connor (The Importance of Being Earnest) and Johnny Lee-Miller (10 years younger than in Emma 2009) performed brilliantly.  Justine Waddell (Wives and Daughters, Great Expectations) played Julia Betram and is also one to spot- another favourite.

4. Sense & Sensibility 2008 (TV mini-series)

The best out of the BBC and ITV’s 2007-8 collection of Austen.  I loved almost everything about it and felt that it was somehow fresher than the 1995 version with Emma Thompson (Love Actually, Nanny McPhee) and Kate Winslet (Titanic, Finding Neverland).  Plus, this series features Dominic Cooper (The History Boys, Mamma Mia, An Education) as Wiloughby…  (And, interestingly enough, Dan Stevens/Matthew Crawley with longer hair, from Downton Abbey, playing Edward Ferrars.)

5. Lost in Austen (TV mini-series)

Yes, I know! It’s not an ‘Austen Adaptation’ and I therefore previously mislead you into thinking that this was a list of films based on Jane Austen’s novels. However, I’ve put it on here because… it’s quite funny!  For an Austen fan, anyway…  Lost in Austen is a parody of a Janeite Londoner who walks in to find Elizabeth Bennet in her bathroom.  It certainly stretches Austen’s characters to the limits…  I thought it was brilliant that Christina Cole (Emma, Jane Eyre) played Mrs Elton in Emma (2009) as well!  Indeed, Austen’s caricatures do reappear across her novels.

I realise from reading through this again that most of my favourite adaptations are modern. This is not to say that I do not like any of the ‘older’ ones! I love the Pride and Prejudice TV mini-series from 1995!  Others worth mentioning include Persuasion (2007 mini-series) and Northanger Abbey (2007 mini-series).

Remember, this is just my opinion!  If you disagree, feel free to comment below with your own favourites!

STL.

Welcome!

Hello world!

Welcome to my new blog, Somersaulting Through Life.  Obviously, I’ve just set out on my ‘journey of blogging’ but I hope to learn a few things along  the wobbly path of inexperience.  I want this to be a blog all about the crazy thoughts which I feel the need to express, centering around books, TV, film, theatre, travel and life in general.

It’s looking pretty empty on here right now…

Let’s change that!

STL.