Genius 2017

 GEOFFREY RUSH AS EINSTEIN!

Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein in National Geographic’s ‘Genius’.

(photo credit: National Geographic/Dusan Martincek)

Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn are portraying the famous scientist in his older and younger years!
Oscar winner Ron Howard is helming the ten episode GENIUS series on the famous physicist Albert Einstein which will describe how an imaginative, rebellious patent clerk, who couldn’t get a teaching job or a doctorate, unlocked the mysteries of the atom and the universe. Each episode will explore Einstein’s extraordinary scientific achievements, along with his volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships. Emily Watson plays his first wife.

April 25th  US  National Geographic Channel

Johnny Flynn as a young Albert Einstein in National Geographic’s ‘Genius’.

(photo credit: National Geographic/Dusan Martincek)

The Promise 2015

Armenian War
War drama THE PROMISE out this May in Europe and USA starring Christian Bale, Tom Hollander, Oscar Isaac, Jean Reno, Rade Serbedzija and Shohreh Aghdashloo!
Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire , THE PROMISE follows a love triangle between Michael, a brilliant medical student, the beautiful and sophisticated Ana, and Chris – a renowned American journalist based in Paris.
This war brought us the first use of the word “genocide”.  It is the second most studied genocide after the holocaust.
Based on True Events circa 1915
Releases  US April 21,  UK April 28

John Thornton, Look Back at Me pt 1

     Lost Love

1851 winter, Milton, N.W. England

Look back ………………. look back at me.”

John heard his thoughts slip from his mouth, as he stood and watched the coach bearing Margaret away forever.  Unknowingly, she carried his heart, his soul, and his future dreams.

Inside the carriage, Margaret dwelled deep within her own misery of lost family, drowning in the solitude she thought her life to be, too absorbed to give a backward glance.

On that snowy day, John’s soul froze over; all of his passion fell dormant.  With her coach out of sight, he felt nausea sweep over him.  He was an empty shell.  A large void replaced his heart.  He wondered if he wanted to live within a world without her.

John Thornton was a tall, virile, handsome man of thirty-one years.  He had black hair and ocean blue eyes, and beneath his cravat and black frock cloak, he carried a taut muscular, perfectly proportioned body.  Years of hard learning had produced a keen mind, and with his mother’s guidance, he achieved manhood and became a gentleman.  Simmering just beneath the surface was a well-managed temper, fueled by great passion, but rarely displayed.  He was well regarded by his peers and ladies alike, and though he did not seek it, seemed destined for history and fame.

John never had the luxury of a misspent youth and had little time for sowing his wild oats.  Hardship fell early in his life.  His father committed suicide, the result of unfortunate business mistakes, and John was forced to support his mother and sister.  As a young lad, he worked hard to restore his family’s good name and eventually repaid his father’s creditors, even though the name Thornton had been written off as a bad debt.

Through pure diligence and hard work, John became a merchant, a tradesman, and a Master and Cotton Mill owner, employing several hundred workers.  Milton, the town where he was raised, had birthed the Machine’s Industrial Age, and John Thornton was an integral part of it.  He, along with other owners, pioneered the manufacturing of cotton fabric and shipped it, not only within the country, but worldwide.  Cotton was a low profit commercial item for which the world was starting to clamor.  With its lower cost and lighter weight, it replaced many textiles such as canvas, fur, velvets, and linen.  It was already Great Britain’s largest exported product, and because of it, the town of Milton was on the verge of exploding into a very large dot on the map.

John became a leader among his peers in the cotton industry.  Inspired by the words of Miss Margaret Hale (since gone from his life), he soon became the solution to the unsolvable wage issues that had kept the workers impoverished.

By 1851, when the worst of the labor issues existed, Margaret Hale, her mother, and father (a disillusioned clergyman turned teacher) and Dixon; their housekeeper had been in Milton for a year.  John became acquainted with the family and fell in love with Margaret Hale almost immediately, but differences in customs of the slow-paced south and the industrial north caused a series of misunderstandings between them.  Margaret felt John was too crude and forward, certainly not a gentleman in the genteel south or London tradition.  Most of the time, she shunned him.  She didn’t care for his northern ways.

One eventful day, Margaret visited John’s mother, Hannah, at their home situated within the property of Marlborough Mills.  While there, a riot broke out among the strikers who were demanding more pay.  Barred inside the house, Margaret and John observed the incited crowd from an upper window.  Margaret spoke to him, begging him to consider the situation and see it through the eyes of the workers.  “They’re being driven mad with hunger” she told him, “but they’re only human.  You must find a solution.  Please, go talk to them.”  John pondered her suggestion for a few moments, then without really knowing what to say, walked outside to speak to them.  As Margaret continued to watch from inside, she realized the crowd was growing angrier, and she quickly went out to help him.  Knowing that they would not harm a woman, she forced herself between John and the rioters and tried to reason with them.  John was momentarily caught off guard.  Angry, but fearing for her safety, he tried to force her back into the house when suddenly he felt her body slump, lifeless against his, having been felled by a thrown rock intended for him.  John carried an unconscious Margaret inside and laid her on the couch.  His mother told him to do what he needed to do and that she would care for Margaret.  Minutes later, the doctor arrived and declared she had a bad bump on her head, but she would be fine.  The doctor took her home in his carriage.

Unbeknownst to Margaret, her spontaneous reaction signified more than just concern for John’s safety.  To the people in the north, she had signaled an interest in John which propriety could not overlook, and although not her intention, it was taken as such by all who witnessed her behavior.  Both John and his Mother then felt he was obligated to protect her reputation and ask for her hand in marriage.  Marrying Margaret was already in his thoughts, but doing it at this particular time was less than ideal for either of them.

Her rejection of his proposal was a miserable and extremely painful experience for them both, but over time, John felt that she was beginning to understand the ways of the north.  He remained hopeful that a relationship could be salvaged in the future.  Other misunderstandings of lesser significance were also present, but they were nothing more than that, solvable, if time were on their side.

During that same year, Margaret suffered several losses: First, Bessie, the only friend whom she made since moving to Milton, then tragically and within a short time of each other, her parents.  She was devastated by the death of her father, her only remaining parent, and having lost so many of her loved ones; she felt lonely and bewildered.  Margaret secretly wondered what it was within her, or what she had done, to cause such grievous misfortunes to befall her and desolate her life so quickly.

Immediately following her father’s death, and even though she was of age, Margaret’s aunt took her under her care and swept her away, to live in London.  Aunt Shaw at no time thought Milton was good enough for her sister and her family, so Margaret was quickly forced to adapt to London and its societal lifestyle, a lifestyle that John never felt she totally embraced.

The day she left Milton, Margaret went to say good-bye to John and his family.  She gave him a book that had belonged to her father.  In that instant, John realized his world had changed dramatically.  Moments later, he stood silently watching her coach leave his mill yard.  As it passed through the gate, out of sight, John knew Margaret was gone from his life.  But, he vowed; he would not . . . could not let it end this way.

 I cannot lose her, lest I lose myself.

Reserve and Reticence – Part Seven

Seven – Rectification

 

The next day, Beth was to find out that His Lordship had left the house. She had gone to bed right away the previous night, after the baron and Ben Merton had stepped outside. Ruby insisted on that since Beth’s face still showed a tinge of grey.

The smallpox situation had changed for the better in more than one way. All patients were recovering nicely, their fever gone and their rash reduced to mere pimples. The children were up and playing again. Little Johnny was suckling his mother’s breasts with enthusiasm again, to his parents’ delight.

Apart from astonishment over Fenton’s sudden departure and also, over the fact he had not told her, Beth actually felt relieved they were no longer under the same roof. She still had no inkling as to why he had moved in with her in the first place! Now, with Ruby and Ben living in, she was in a better position again to deal with people’s judgements. Yes, she felt relieved. Or so she told herself …

She also missed him already, and dearly so. Living with him for just these couple of days had made it very clear to Beth how much she loved Stephen Fenton. The way he cared for the children had surprised her endlessly every single day! The patience and gentleness he exerted stirred her heart and sent her spirits soaring sky-high!  She had learned a completely different side of him, one that made her adore him more each day. And then came that moment, when he had asked her – no, told her, in that high-handed way of his – to marry him. That moment had been the happiest of her life. She was convinced her heart would burst with joy, and it had been the hardest thing she had ever done, not to show it to him. He was not to know, at least, not before he told her he loved her too. And that, he had not done.

In her heart of hearts, Beth was convinced that Stephen did not love her, though he liked her well enough and certainly, that he wanted her as a lover. She longed for him, too, desperately so. His touch was like liquid fire, spreading through her entire body, setting her senses ablaze! Although Beth had never been with a man and was justifiably afraid of the unknown things that could befall her, she knew it would be pure delight with the man she loved – on condition that he would love her back. Never could she give herself to Stephen without having his love.

 

~~~~

 

Ruby and Beth were serving dinner to a table full of hungry children, when Ben stepped inside, accompanied by Dr Forrester. The baron’s personal physician was a short, wiry man in his early sixties with a balding head of sparse grey hair and watery grey eyes. He sported a goatee beard that had retained its natural dark colour which made it look like as if it were a fake and had been glued onto the doctor’s chin.

“Good evening, Miss Williams. His Lordship sent me to examine the children and report back to him about their welfare. I have just returned from London where I consulted with some colleagues of mine from the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge. Now, I would like to take a good look at your patients, if you would allow me.”

Thus, the children were examined, one by one, which took a good bit of time. When the doctor was finished, he smiled cheerfully and gave his opinion on the matter.

“Miss Williams, I had an inkling that this disease might not be the smallpox but the chicken pox. Now that I saw for myself, I am positive. It is, for a fact, only chicken pox. You might want to know that His Lordship’s friend, Mr Masterton, was the one that contracted it in Egypt and infected His Lordship’s cousin, Miss Hannah Faraday. She is now better but she has been very ill, these last two weeks, and Mr Masterton, too, had a high fever for several days. They both have conquered it, though.”

Beth’s spirits lifted endlessly at that! Chicken pox was not nearly so dangerous as smallpox, and relatively mild when children contracted it.

“I was not aware of the fact that adults could also be infected, doctor. I thought it to be a childhood disease.”

“It is, Miss Williams, it certainly is, and once a child has gone through it, he or she acquires a long-life immunity to it. Yet, when the disease develops in an adult, it can be quite dangerous, even life-threatening. I take it you had chicken pox as a child?”

“Yes, quite so, doctor. I was also inoculated with small pox.”

“Perfect, you should be safe for either of them.”

 

~~~~

 

The day after Dr Forrester’s visit, all Beth’s little patients had gone home safe Lily and Oliver. It seemed the chicken pox was over, finally! Beth was grateful she had her former charges still with her.

“I want to live here with you, Miss Williams,” Oliver assured her. “It is so much more fun here, especially since I have made some new friends, being sick and all.”

“Yes, me too,” Lily chimed in. “Is school going to start soon again, Miss Williams? I already miss Lizzie and Jane!”

“In a few days, Little Miss Impatience! Give me time to clean up the classrooms first! In the mean time, you must return to your father’s house. I know for sure he and your grandmother miss you both terribly.”

“Then, why is she always scolding us when we do something she does not like?” Oliver put in.

“It is you who behaves badly, Oliver, not I!” Lily retorted. “Grandmama says she does not understand how a well-behaving girl like me could end up with such a scoundrel for a brother!”

They were all laughing, when the door opened, and Stephen Fenton walked in, dressed to perfection and so incredibly handsome Beth’s heart did a summersault.

“Papa!” The twins dashed toward him and it was all he could do to keep his footing when they hugged him.

“Hello, my darling brats! I have come to take you home, so go get your stuff so that my coachman can stow it away in the carriage.”

Fenton smiled when they pounded upstairs to do as he asked.

“You will allow me to send some maids and footmen to help you clean up, I hope?” he asked when they were alone.

“I will welcome the help, my lord, and I am much obliged to you. If we have conquered the disease, we could only have managed thanks to you.”

“No, Miss Williams, that is not true. You and you alone have wrought this and brought it to a good end. This community owes you and so do I.”

Beth acknowledged this with a smile of her own, suddenly feeling ridiculously happy. Seeing Stephen seemed to have this effect on her, lately. When he spoke again, the earnest tone of his voice sobered her.

“Miss Williams …” He stopped, then rubbed a hand through his face and exclaimed: “Blast it, you will always be Beth to me, so I might as well call you so!”

He took her hand in his and, with his other hand, lifted her chin. Fiery blue eyes bore into hers and Beth shivered.

“Beth, will you please do me the honour of becoming my wife?”

She was thoroughly taken aback, so much so that she blurted out the one reply that came into her head. “Why?”

Stephen’s answer came in a voice husky with emotion.

“Because I love you and I cannot live without you, dearest girl.”

Sophie and the Rising Sun

SOPHIE AND THE RISING SUN is set in the autumn of 1941 in Salty Creek, a fishing village in South Carolina, following interracial lovers swept up in the tides of history. As World War II rages in Europe a wounded stranger, Mr. Ohta, appears in the town under mysterious circumstances. Sophie, a native of Salty Creek, quickly becomes transfixed by Mr. Ohta and a friendship born of their mutual love of art blossoms into a delicate and forbidden courtship. As their secret relationship evolves the war escalates tragically. When Pearl Harbor is bombed, a surge of misguided patriotism, bigotry and violence sweeps through the town, threatening Mr. Ohta’s life. A trio of women, each with her own secrets – Sophie, along with the town matriarch and her housekeeper – rejects law and propriety, risking their lives with their actions.

THE SECRET SCRIPTURE

STARRING AIDAN TURNER, THEO JAMES, JACK REYNOR, ERIC BANA
 THE SECRET SCRIPTURE which hits theatres this May with a stellar cast lead by Rooney Mara who plays a woman that keeps a diary of her extended stay at a mental hospital. Aidan Turner, Theo James and Jack Reynor play her lovers, Eric Bana is her doctor, with Vanessa Redgrave playing her older version.
UK release May 19.2017