Trailer: “The Knick” Official Trailer #1

Cinemax has released a new trailer for their upcoming period drama The Knick.

The Knick, which is set to premiere on Friday August 8th, is set in downtown New York in 1900 and centers on Knickerbocker Hospital and the groundbreaking surgeons, nurses and staff, who push the bounds of medicine in a time of astonishingly high mortality rates and zero antibiotics.

The series hails from acclaimed director Steven Soderbergh and features a cast which includes Clive Owen, Andre Holland, Eve Hewson, Jeremy Bobb, Juliet Rylance, Michael Angarano, Chris Sullivan, Cara Seymour, Eric Johnson, David Fierro, Maya Kazan, Grainger Hines and Leon Addison Brown.

Dearest, loveliest Meg – Part Eleven

Margaret_001

Chapter Eleven

 

July dragged to an end when, one morning, I had to admit I had achieved little more than a kiss in my relationship with Douglas. Granted, that kiss had been divine and the memory of it still had the power of thrilling me deeply but it had also awakened a larger need in me, a need that could not be stilled by kisses only.  Yet there was little I could do to unite me with my beloved Douglas.

My daily rides now took me to Torquay and the house near the port where he and Jack were living. I was hoping to have another conversation about my future with Douglas and to convince him as yet of the necessity of marrying me. My hopes were dashed, time after time, for Douglas was never there. Jack always had to disappoint me about where he had gone to because he did not know himself. It seemed Douglas stayed away from home until late or did not return at all for several days, never even offering a shred of explanation to his friend. So I was forced to exercise patience while I made Jack promise me to keep me informed.

 

Mother and I were still at Delaford while Elinor and Edward had returned to their own home. Edward had the living of the Delaford parish so Elinor came over as frequently as she could, mainly to support Marianne who was now suffering from heat exertion in those last weeks of her pregnancy. Elinor and I did our best to make her take an afternoon nap every day. We also persuaded her to a morning promenade, a physical benefit for our sister.

I was suffering too, albeit not from a physical ailment. Since there was no immediate cure for my heartache, I devoted myself to the task of finding out what I could about Douglas’ past, in the hope of discovering proof of Christina’s flirtations with other young gentlemen. Mrs Jennings and Sir John Middleton of Barton Hall were the first sources I consulted with.

 

Barton Hall was some ten miles from Delaford so I used my usual placid mare to get there. I found Sir John and his mother-in-law taking their breakfast in the morning room. The large French windows were open to let the fresh air penetrate the room and chase the sultriness of the July night.

“Good gracious, child!” Mrs Jennings exclaimed when I burst into the room with my usual exuberance. “Did you leave Delaford in the middle of the night that you are already here? What happened? Something wrong at Colonel Brandon’s home?”

“No, not at all, Mrs Jennings. Good morning, Ma’am, Sir John. I am looking for some information and very determined to acquire it.”

I was well aware of the fact that the two of them were eternally bored, since nothing ever occurred at Barton Hall. It was no surprise to me that they were instantly  interested in whatever matter I was looking for.

“Sit down, Margaret, sit down! How may we help you, dear?” Mrs Jennings said in a warm and welcoming tone.

I had thought long and hard how to achieve my goal without raising suspicions as to my motive so I was prepared.

“You know of my interest in history and genealogy, Mrs Jennings, it has always been a favourite topic of mine. Devonshire has become a home to our family so I decided to write a book about its gentility and the families and their estates. It seemed best to start here with Barton Hall, the Delaford estate and a few others. Sir John, I was wondering if you would allow me to use your excellent library?”

“Of course, my dear,” he said. His voice had a hint of pride. “ Come and browse as much as you like.”

 

Comfortably seated behind a huge desk in Sir John’s enormous library, I was soon engrossed with a book volume that contained a list of Devonshire landowners. For a while at least, I had to keep up the pretence that I was working on something but what I really wanted was for Mrs Jennings to give way to her insatiable curiosity so that she would come and join me. After barely five minutes, there was a knock on the door and she entered when I bade her to do so.

“My dear Meg,” she twittered in her usual cheerful manner, “how is your dear family? It has been quite a time since we were all together. You must tell me everything!”

Indulging in her need for gossip, I obliged for a good quarter of an hour and afterwards turned the conversation to another subject as unobtrusively as I could, a subject even closer to my own heart. I asked her about the Spencer family.

“Of course, I remember Sir Matthew Spencer,” Mrs Jennings said. “He was a real gentleman, well-bred, wealthy, very proper and … boring. He was always rambling on for hours about righteous behaviour and ‘Noblesse Oblige’ and how different standards had become since his own youth.”

She giggled which startled me a bit.

“Except … in his own youth, he had been rather something of a Corinthian!”

“He was?” I gasped, in genuine surprise, “Sir Matthew was a ladies’ man?”

“Oh, yes! I remember one particular ball when he made quite a serious pass at me. Had I not already been engaged to Mr Jennings, well, … I don’t know what I would have done! Such a handsome, charming young fellow, he was!”

“What caused him to turn sour?”

“The death of his beloved Phoebe in childbirth. They were the handsomest couple of that season, so well-suited and so in love! Phoebe Watcombe, née Wilkinson, was a lively, well-educated and very pretty young woman when she met Sir Matthew. It was love at first sight and Sir Matthew worshipped her. It broke his heart when she died, leaving him to raise their son on his own.”

When she had to stop to draw breath, I managed to get a word in.

“Wilkinson? Doug … erm, Sir Matthew’s wife was a Wilkinson? The same family from Liverpool that Mr Phineas Wilkinson came from?”

“Yes! Did you not know? Phoebe was Phineas’ aunt! She was much younger than her brother Harold who married Sir Matthew’s sister Mary. Mary was fifteen years Sir Matthew’s senior, and the latter was born long after Sir Bartholomew had given up the hope of having a son and heir. Poor Mary was lucky she married a rich Liverpool manufacturer. Her father stripped her of her inheritance once Matthew was born. Quite a nasty thing to do if you ask me, but then that is the way of the world, my dear!”

My head was spinning from all these new titbits I gathered just now! Douglas and Wilkinson were more entwined than I had thought them to be.

I forced my attention back to Mrs Jennings who had not stopped talking, not even for a second.

“I must admit Sir Matthew raised the boy well. Young Douglas lacked for nothing; he had the best teachers, went to Eton College and was in his second year at Cambridge when it all went awry for him. Or, rather, when he ruined it all by forcing himself on Christina Finney.”

Mrs Jennings seemed to enjoy reminiscing about Douglas’ past. I swallowed back a reprimand but with difficulty.

“What kind of person was she? Did you know her, Mrs Jennings?”

“Well, what did you expect of her, child! Young, pretty, lively and foolish, like all seventeen-year-old girls! Her father was a business acquaintance of Harold Wilkinson, who was Sir Matthew’s brother-in-law. Soon it became clear to everyone that he was looking for a husband for his daughter. She was considered a catch; her father was said to be worth 12.000 a year! Only after her death in childbirth did we learn Mr Finney had been on the brink of bankruptcy and that Sir Matthew’s wealth would have put a stop to that. We never heard from him after the girl’s death.”

“What a sad story! Did the child die too?”

“Yes, a little boy. I always wondered what Sir Matthew would have done, should the child have lived. He was so blinded by rage when he found out about his son’s affair that he sent Douglas away to his cousin on Jamaica. It all happened extremely quickly and the boy was not allowed to speak up for himself.”

This time I did not take up Douglas’ defence, as I had done before. Mrs Jennings was too quick-witted by half.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Invisible Woman 2013

DVD release June 16th

The Invisible Woman 2013

Nelly, a happily married mother and school teacher, is haunted by her past. Her memories, provoked by remorse and guilt, take us back in time to follow the story of her relationship with Charles Dickens with whom she discovered an exciting but fragile complicity.

Dickens – famous, controlling and emotionally isolated within his success – falls for Nelly, who comes from a family of actors. The theatre is a vital arena for Dickens – a brilliant amateur actor – a man more emotionally coherent in his work, or on stage, than in life. As Nelly becomes the focus of Dickens’ passion and his muse, for both of them secrecy is the price, and for Nelly a life of ‘invisibility’.

Directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes (CORIOLANUS), and rising talent Felicity Jones. Based on the book by Claire Tomalin.

 

 

 

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Pillars of the Earth 2010

The-Pillars-of-the-Earth-promo-poster-the-pillars-of-the-earth-

A new series is about to start filming that will feature Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bennett, Mary Crawford, Angel Clare, Will Ladislaw AND Gordon Pinsent. Am I excited? You betcha.
[Now, Fitzwilliam Darcy will not be showing up but we will see Matthew Macfadyen, Donald Sutherland, Hayley Atwell, Eddie Redmayne, Rufus Sewell AND Gordon Pinsent!] I have been thinking about reading this book for a while so now my mind has been made up for me…
I’m curious about Macfadyen’s character and looked up in Wikipedia:
Prior Philip is described as a “resourceful and dedicated monk, whose dream is to see Kingsbridge rise to greatness. He becomes the benevolent ruler of Kingsbridge — allocating resources, organising commerce, resolving disputes and meting out justice, essentially without armed force. His moral strictness frustrates several sympathetic characters, but is completely devoid of malice.” Can’t wait to see MM in this.

Rufus Sewell / Tom Builder

Matthew Macfadyen / Prior Phillip

Ian McShane / Waleran

Hayley Atwell / Aliena

Sarah Parish / Regan Hamleigh

Robert Bathhurst /Percy Hamleigh
(Mr. Weston in the upcoming BBC’s Emma.)

Eddie Redmayne / Jack

Donald Sutherland / Bartholomew

Gordon Pinsent / Archbishop

Natalia Woerner / Ellen

A new series is about to start filming that will feature Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bennett, Mary Crawford, Angel Clare, Will Ladislaw AND Gordon Pinsent. Am I excited? You betcha.
[Now, Fitzwilliam Darcy will not be showing up but we will see Matthew Macfadyen, Donald Sutherland, Hayley Atwell, Eddie Redmayne, Rufus Sewell AND Gordon Pinsent!] I have been thinking about reading this book for a while so now my mind has been made up for me…
I’m curious about Macfadyen’s character and looked up in Wikipedia:
Prior Philip is described as a “resourceful and dedicated monk, whose dream is to see Kingsbridge rise to greatness. He becomes the benevolent ruler of Kingsbridge — allocating resources, organising commerce, resolving disputes and meting out justice, essentially without armed force. His moral strictness frustrates several sympathetic characters, but is completely devoid of malice.” Can’t wait to see MM in this.

Rufus Sewell / Tom Builder

 

Matthew Macfadyen / Prior Phillip

 

 

Ian McShane / Waleran

 

Hayley Atwell / Aliena

 

Sarah Parish / Regan Hamleigh

Robert Bathhurst /Percy Hamleigh
(Mr. Weston in the upcoming BBC’s Emma.)

Eddie Redmayne / Jack

 

Donald Sutherland / Bartholomew

Gordon Pinsent / Archbishop

Natalia Woerner / Ellen

David Oakes / William

Skye Bennett / Martha

Liam Garrigan / Alfred

Götz Otto / Walter

John Pielmeier / Cuthbert

David Bark Jones / Francis

Anatole Taubman / Remigius

Jody Halse / Johnny Eightpence

Sam Claflin / Richard

Sidney Johnston / Jonathan

Kate Dickie / Agnes

Tony Curran / King Stephen

Alison Pill / Maud aka. Matilda

Matt Devere / Robert of Gloucester

Freddie Boath / Henry II

credit to Enchanted Serenity

A Million Ways to Die in the West *2014 (Now Showing)

2014 A Million Ways to Die in the West

I missed this one. Just saw the trailer to this western comedy. Decent cast.

Seth MacFarlane plays a hapless farmhand in the Old West who loses his girl when he ducks out of a fight, only to be taught how to shoot by the wife of an infamous gunfighter in this Media Rights Capitol Western comedy. The setting is Arizona, circa 1882. In the wake of talking his way out of a showdown in the streets of Old Stump, cowardly sheepherder Albert (MacFarlane) is unceremoniously dumped by his beloved girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried). Meanwhile, on the outskirts of town, notorious outlaw Clinch (Liam Neeson) prepares for a big holdup, instructing his wife Anna (Charlize Theron) and sidekick Lewis (Evan Jones) to pose as a pair of sibling farmers in Old Stump and await his return. When Lewis starts a bar brawl, Albert instinctively gets Anna out of harm’s way and a friendship begins to blossom. Later, Anna poses as Albert’s girlfriend at a fair in order to make Louise jealous, but it all goes awry when Albert and Louise’s new beau Foy (Neal Patrick Harris), the owner of the local “Moustachery,” end up challenging one another to draw in front of the entire town. Now there’s only one problem: Albert has never even so much as fired a gun.

Fortunately, as the wife of a notorious outlaw, Anna knows her way around a pistol, and with just one week to go before the big showdown, she offers to give Albert a crash course in marksmanship. With the help of his sexy, straight-shooting teacher, Albert not only manages to hit a can or two, but to summon some inner courage as well. He’ll need all he can get, too, because when Clinch gets word that his wife is being romanced by one of the locals, he rides into town with revenge on his mind and a loaded six-shooter on his hip.

Red band – Trailer rated “R”

Dearest, loveliest Meg – Part Ten

Margaret_001

 

Chapter Ten

Oddly enough, I no longer felt depressed after I heard Colonel Brandon’s story. Instead, a new hope sprang and that I must go at once to find Douglas and talk to him. I had a right to hear his version of his past as well. He had better give me a well-founded reason not to marry me before I would give up trying to convince him to do so.

The next morning I again took my mare and rode to Douglas’ house, this time without Johnny or anyone else. I simply could not believe Douglas would have left Mr Twinkler behind, since he had been taking care of him from the moment he found the youth starving on his London doorstep. As usual, I was right. I found Twinkler in the house, busy with packing up his master’s belongings into two large portmanteaus. He was violently startled when I burst into the master bedroom.

“Miss? ‘Ow did yer … that is, why yer ‘ere? Guv’nor ain’t ‘ere, you know?”

I advanced on him so rashly he backed away with a guilty look in his eyes.

“Jack Twinkler, I am most irritated with you! How is it that you failed to inform me about your wretched master’s last foolish action? I thought you were my friend! Have I not proved that I am also a friend of your master’s? I cared for him when he was injured, did I not?”

“Yeah … yeah, Miss Dashwood, ye did but … it’s the guv’nor ‘oo swore me into silence about ‘is whereabouts! ‘E don’t want ye to know as ‘e cares about yer reputation an’ the likes, Miss!”

“You must tell me where you are staying, Jack! I have to talk with him!”

Jack was in a serious dilemma, I could see that. After a while, though, he seemed to give in.

“Well, if y’ insist, Miss, I suppose I could tell yer. Now, mind, ye did not ‘ear it from me, should ‘e ever ask!”

“No, no, I promise. But Jack, earlier you said you did not know anything about Mr Spencer’s past. Somehow, I do not believe that. You must have heard the gossip about him which could be different from what I learnt. So, pray, tell me.”

Jack shrugged and went on with his work while he was narrating.

“The old Lord must ‘ave been a grumbling piece of a sanctimonious bore, Miss. ‘E was always rambling on about ‘onour and dignity and the family name. No wonder ‘is son was lookin’ for a bit of fun wi’ the ladies, though, from what I’ve ‘eard, ‘e was a good lad altogether! They all liked ‘im, men and women alike and nobody that knew ‘im could believe what ‘appened wi’ the young lady. Said it was not something they think ‘e’d do! But, there ye are, Miss. Whenever a bright young thing takes an interest in ye, even the best of young men can fall into their pit. From what I ‘eard about Miss Christina Finney, she wasn’t one to say no to the young men either!”

“Do you mean she was a bit of a Cyprian, Jack?”

“Right ‘o, Miss, she was the most shameless flirt at the Torquay balls.”

“But she was only seventeen!”

“Aye! And already ‘ad a reputation when she came ter stay at the Manor! Seemed she ‘ad been at it in Liverpool too. That’s why ‘er father brought ‘er down from there. A lot of the Torquay tabby cats were gossipin’ away about ‘ow she behaved at balls, if you know what I mean, Miss.”

“Yes, I do, Jack. Sorry I pounced on you so rudely.”

“Don’t ye worry about it, Miss. Now, let me get ye that address on a piece of paper and …”

 

“No!” The word cracked like a whip and I whirled around to face him. Douglas was standing in the doorway, his bearing very rigid and forbidding and the tone in which he addressed Jack was cold.

“Go and prepare the curricle, Jack. We are leaving soon.”

The young man hastened out of the room, leaving me alone to deal with Douglas. He was livid, his face dead white and his mouth set in a thin line of intense disapproval. I knew I must hold my ground, so I trusted my chin upwards and straightened my shoulders.

“I have a bone to pick with you, Douglas Spencer!” I challenged him. “Why have you run away like a coward instead of fighting like the man I took you for?”

He covered the space between us in two long strides and suddenly towered over me but he deliberately did not touch me. His eyes bore into me in a frightening way.

“You endeavour to try the patient of a saint, Margaret Dashwood, but you will not force marriage upon me! If I am to be leg-shackled, I prefer to pick the woman myself and in my own time, thank you! Now, will you leave my house and never return? I have enough issues without you complicating my miserable life.”

There was something in his eyes that moved me to the core, a deep, desperate loneliness that he was fervently trying to subdue by being rude to me.

“Tell me about Christina Finney!” I demanded sternly, “I have a right to know.”

“Ah!” His heartfelt groan of irritation was accompanied by a movement of pure powerlessness as he threw his arms up. I laid my hands on his chest in a pleading gesture.

“I simply cannot believe that you would overpower a young, innocent girl, Douglas. You are not like that. ”

He gripped me by the shoulders and groaned.

“You do not know me, Margaret. I did … oh, God! Will you not leave me alone? Why do you persist in making it so difficult for me?”

“It is your own doing if I do not know you, Douglas! Tell me how it was between you and that girl. Tell me everything. How did you meet? Was she not from the North?”

With a sigh, Douglas let himself down into a chair and I did the same.

“Jeremy Finney came to Watcombe Manor at the request of my father who wanted him to invest in the estate. The deal was they would try and establish new agricultural techniques in order to increase yields and raise profits. I was with them when they talked but my mind was not in it. Instead, all I could think of was the pretty Miss Christina, who had come with Mr Finney. She was his only daughter and heir and she was … she was like a ray of sunshine to me; beautiful, lively, full of joy. From the start, we got on extremely well together. We enjoyed long rides on the estate, outings to Torquay, balls and parties. Of course, she was a success! Every young unmarried gentleman wanted to bask in her brilliant light and, just like me, they were all enchanted by her.”

“So she liked to hold court, then?”

“Of course, she did. What would be more natural?”

“She was only seventeen at the time. Had she been brought out yet?”

That seemed to astonish Douglas very much.

“No, I do not think so. Her father was still planning her season when they came to Watcombe Manor.”

“When I was seventeen I was extremely shy, Douglas. I would not have known what to do if a gentleman should address me, let alone treat me like I was something out of the ordinary. It seems to me that Miss Finney was already much accustomed to the ways of Society, even at her tender age.”

“I must stop you there, Margaret. Christina was not the villain in this piece, I was. I was the one incapable of restraint when it was expected.”

“So, when and where did this … event take place, then?”

All of a sudden, Douglas’ face turned beet red and my heart lurched with a bolt of tenderness for him. Was it possible for a man, thought a rake, to feel so ashamed by an action that took place in his youth?

“Well?” I pressed, watching him grow reluctant.

“In the stables … after we came back from a ride. It was a hot, sultry afternoon and we … we took care of the horses first. I accidently spilled water on Christina’s dress and …”

The memory seemed to choke him and I felt a stab of genuine jealousy for Christina Finney to have bewitched Douglas so hard.

“And …” I finished the sentence for him, “she looked very fetching in her clinging garments and you lost your head.”

“Yes!”

He abruptly rose from his chair and stalked to the window where he leaned his face against the glass.

I did not speak as I understood he was extremely upset by the memories of that episode. I, however, considered Christina Finney to be the luckiest woman on earth since she was able to unleash that kind of feelings in Douglas.

“Are you satisfied now? Was this what you wanted, Margaret, for me to bear my soul like that?”

I refused to be provoked and instead inquired in a level voice:

“Did she try to stop you when you … ?”

In exasperation, he whirled around.

“You never give up, do you? No, of course not! She loved me, you know! She wanted this as much as I did!”

“Yet she claimed afterwards that you forced yourself upon her. That does not sound like love to me.” I sounded threatening despite myself.

“She was young and confused, frightened maybe. Her father would have harassed her to know the baby’s father.”

“Are you certain it was yours? She might have had other lovers. What about her life before she came to Torquay? Maybe she had a love interest, perhaps back in Liverpool?”

Douglas’ reaction was far from what I expected. He turned so pale I thought he would faint. His hands clenched, and his whole body seemed to stiffen as if he readied himself for a blow. A faraway stare in his eyes told me that he had become aware of the possibility Christina cheated on him. Waiting in sudden anxiety I watched him, again experiencing jealousy towards the girl whom he had loved so long ago. I loved him right then and there. Would my love have the power to make him forget Christina?

“It was all so long ago,” Douglas said with a sudden shrug. “I was very blind at the time and would not have noticed if others caught her attention.”

“It may be from long ago, Douglas, but it is still haunting you. You need to give your life a turn for the better. Marry me and retrieve your estate. It is your rightful place in life.”

He looked me in the face again, cold and detached.

“I have no rightful place, Meg. Unless I uncover the truth about Christina, I will be an outcast. Forget me, sweet Meggie. There is no future for us.”

The use of that abbreviation of my name went right to my heart and I acted upon it.

He would have gone through the door if I had not barred the way and stopped him by pushing hard against his chest using both my hands.

“Look me in the eye and repeat that, Douglas Spencer!”

Standing on the tip of my toes, relinquishing all pride, I flung my arms around his neck and said, “Say it. Say that you do not love me and never did and …”

His mouth was on mine even before I had a chance to finish that sentence. I had never been kissed before so I did not know what to expect. A bolt of lightning pierced my body, scorching a path from head to toe when his hard lips crushed mine. His arms encircled me like a vice, my breasts painfully meeting  the steel wall of his chest. A spilt second later his tongue invaded my mouth, exploring it with a hunger that equally frightened and delighted me. I only wanted to press my body closer to his and run my hands through the silkiness of his hair. I longed to abandon myself completely to him. I could feel the reaction of Douglas’ body as he deepened our kiss. My own response made my head spin with a need I never knew existed within me. God in Heaven ..!

With a grunt, Douglas threw me upon the bed where I lay like a wounded bird, panting and aching all over. Slowly as my vision cleared I found myself alone in the room. Douglas was gone.

“Douglas!” My cry of despair rang in my ears and echoed in the empty room. I bolted out into the courtyard where I saw my rake swing himself onto Dragon’s back. He disappeared in a cloud of dust, oblivious of my pleading shouts to return.

For a few moments, I felt nothing but despair and loss as I crumbled to the yard’s dusty surface. Sobs raked through my chest until rage for what he had done to me overcame them; he had invited me to Heaven and in the space of mere minutes banned me from it.

Jack Twinkler came to offer me comfort but he became the obvious recipient of my fury and I grabbed him by the lapels of his coat.

“Where are you hiding yourselves, Jack? Tell me now and do not try and deceive me!”