Monthly Archives: October 2011
Mr. Eddy: [to a tailgater after running him off the road, beating him] Don’t you ever fucking tailgate! Ever! Do you know many fucking car-length it takes to stop a car traveling at 35 miles an hour?! Six seconds, Charlie! That’s a hundred and six fuckin’ feet, per second! If I had to stop suddenly, you woulda hit me! I want you to get a fuckin’ driver’s manual, and I want you to study that motherfucker! And I want you to obey the goddamn rules! Fifty-fuckin’ thousand people were killed on the highway last year ’cause of fuckin’ assholes like you! [punches him in the face] Tell me you’re gonna get a manual!
The upcoming release of The Iron Lady, with Meryl Streep tackling the role of Britain’s first female Prime Minister, has increased interest in Margaret Thatcher stateside. Case in point, BBC America released their three-film set The Rise and Fall of Margaret Thatcher this week. The set features three films from the BBC set during three specific eras of Thatcher’s life.
The first film in the set is 2008’s The Long Walk to Finchley, which looks at Thatcher’s life from 1949 to her election to parliament in 1959. In it Andrea Riseborough plays Margaret Roberts (who halfway through the film marries and gains the last name Thatcher.) The film plays almost more like a comedy than a drama. I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing, though, because it makes the film more relatable for those who don’t know much about Britain’s political climate at the time. Riseborough is great as the type-A Margaret, whose only interest is “politics” and who proposes to a young Denis Thatcher before he gets the chance to do it himself. Actually, Rory Kinear as Denis was my favorite performance in the film. He’s simply adorable. The production design is top-notch and more than reminded me of the BBC’s recent period series The Hour.
The second film in the set is 2002’s The Falklands Play, which is set in 1983 and features Patricia Hodge as Thatcher. I must admit this film lost me a bit. I don’t know much about this era or the Falklands war (aside from what I learned from This Is England) and I’m not sure the film has much appeal to people who aren’t military history buffs and/or live and breathe political thrillers.
The last film in the set is 2009’s Margaret, which mostly takes place during the waning days of Thatcher’s post as Prime Minster, though it does occasionally jump back in time to when she was first elected. Lindsay Duncan plays Thatcher in this film with such assurance and explosive vigor, that it’s clear why she was known as “The Iron Lady”. No matter how you might feel about Thatcher’s politics, I think you’ll be hard-pressed not to be a little moved by the film’s last fifteen minutes, as Duncan’s stiff upper lip begins to quiver, finally accepting that the end has come at last.
You can find the 2-disc DVD set on sale now at the BBC America shop.
I’ve actually got a copy to give away to one lucky reader, so leave a comment (don’t forget to include a way for me to contact you so I can mail it to you should you win!) and I’ll pick someone at random next Wednesday.
 Congrats to Megan, winner of this giveaway!
This trailer uses some of the same imagery from the first trailer, but has the added bonus of some shots of Rachel McAdams reprising her role as Irene Adler. and more banter between Holmes/Watson. Cannot wait for this film.
The film is due out in theaters on December 16th. You can watch the new trailer here.
This was a hard year for me to pick just one film to talk about. Like 1939 before it, so many great films were up for Hollywood’s top prize in 1940. I decided to go with The Philadelphia Story, however, because I saw it on the big screen a few weeks ago and I fell in love with it even more than I already had been. It’s so perfectly written, acted, directed, paced, shot, everything. Truly one of the greatest films of Hollywood’s Golden Era – or ever, really. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning two: Best Screenplay (won), Best Supporting Actress Ruth Hussey, Best Actress Katharine Hepburn, Best Actor Jimmy Stewart (won), Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were: All This, and Heaven Too, Foreign Correspondent, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Dictator, Kitty Folye, The Long Voyage Home, Our Town and winner Rebecca.