Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown 1997

synopsis

The ruler of England discovers the value of common friendship in this historical drama. After the death of her husband Prince Albert, Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) is despondent, and she remains in mourning for two years after Albert’s passing. When one of her servants suggests that a daily ride on horseback might be a tonic for the Queen’s health and spirits, a Scotsman named John Brown (Billy Connolly) is hired as her guide and groom. At first, the Queen shows no interest in riding, though Brown readies a horse for her each day; finally, after several days, Mr. Brown speaks frankly to the Queen, announcing, “Honest to God, I never thought I’d see you in such a state!” While her court is shocked, the Queen is refreshed that someone would speak to her so directly. Soon the Queen is riding with Mr. Brown every morning, and she discovers him to be a friend and confidante who will speak to her as a person and not as a potentate. However, many are shocked by their relationship, believing that the commoner Mr. Brown is using his friendship for political advantage — or worse, that he’s become her lover.

Mrs Brown (1997) 1 Mrs Brown (1997) 2 Mrs Brown (1997) 3 Mrs Brown (1997) 4

A Very English Scandal 2018

It is the late 1960s, homosexuality has only just been decriminalised and Jeremy Thorpe, the leader of the Liberal party and the youngest leader of any British political party in a hundred years, has a secret he’s desperate to hide. As long as his ex-lover Norman Scott is around, Thorpe’s brilliant career is at risk. Thorpe schemes and deceives – until he can see only one way to silence Scott for good. The trial of Jeremy Thorpe changed society forever, illuminating the darkest secrets of the Establishment. The Thorpe affair revealed such breath-taking deceit and corruption that, at the time, hardly anyone dared believe it could be true.

3 Episodes  BBC One

 

 

 

The Reclusive Aristocrat – Part Forty-Five

Chapter Nineteen (completed)

London, March 17th, 1816

Alex spent the morning in his club and had lunch with his financial agent and solicitor, Mr Middlebridge, who had come to London with his lady. They had some necessities to purchase which were not available in Leicester, or so it seemed. The club in Albemarle Street was the exact right place to discuss finances, so Alex had a satisfyingly productive morning. He was, however, eager to join his wife at the hotel. They had to prepare for the evening ball at Lady Devonshire’s lavish townhouse. Alex secretly hoped for a few hours of bed sport with his beautiful countess beforehand. The night before had been very passionate, and he longed for her again with a fierceness he could not fathom in the least.

What greeted him when he entered their suite, was not at all what he had envisaged. Emma Rose was crying her heart out, and her nanny was at the end of her tether at being unable to calm the infant down.

“Where is her ladyship, Bessie? Should she not be here to nurse the little one?”

“I don’t know, sir. She’s gone out with Trixie and still not back after three hours. I don’t know what to do about Emma, I can’t console her.”

“Give her to me, Bessie, and ask for some honeyed water. We will try to calm her down with that. It worked before.”

While the nanny ran to do his bidding, Alex took the little one and put her onto his shoulder.

“Shh, little darling, shh.” He began talking to her about how to care for a horse, about grooming and feeding, exercising and the like, all of which seemed to sooth her, amazingly so. Emma Rose gurgled and her sweet little mouth spread in a wide toothless grin when he tickled her. He managed to keep her quiet until Bessie arrived. They fed her the honey water until she closed her eyes. Alex let himself down onto the sofa and laid the baby on his stomach. Soon thereafter she was fast asleep, giving her doting guardian ample time to ponder about his wife’s lateness.

This was not like Rowena at all. She was a devoted, loving mother and she respected Emma’s feeding schedule to a tee. And so Alex worried, his protective streak aching with the uncertainty of it all. Yet there was nothing he could do for the moment, blast it.

 

Running along the hotel’s first floor corridor toward their suite, Rowena strained her ears for Emma’s crying. There was none, which puzzled her. Trixie was at her heels and panted. “Maybe Bessie took her or a stroll, milady, and that’s why everything is quiet.”

Rowena did not reply but opened the door to their rooms. They were not in the sitting room, so she headed for her bedroom. The sight greeting her was riveting.

Alex was fast asleep on the sofa, the baby on his stomach, also deeply immersed in her little angel’s sleep. Rowena felt a tug on her heartstrings like she had never had before in her life. She knew what had transpired in her absence, and it meant that her husband had simply done what he was extremely good at; protecting, shielding, helping. She loved him, she always would, no matter what Fate, fickle and unpredictable, would throw at them.

Emma Rose stirred, shuddered, and then her little rosy face contorted, which was the prelude to a mighty howl of hunger. Rowena sprang forward to catch her daughter moments before Alex, startled, sat up. Bestowing her most engaging smile upon him, Rowena went to sit in the rocking chair, and began feeding her baby. She directed her gaze to Alex, focussing all her love on him. He was surprised, she saw, and stood abruptly before leaving the room. She must have rattled him, then. Good.

 

After greeting Lord and Lady Devonshire in the receiving line, Alex and Rowena stepped into the ballroom. Into utter chaos and ear-splitting noise, brought about by at least two-hundred members of the Haut-Ton, the ladies dressed in their vivid silks, the gentlemen in their severe black-and whites. Rowena was separated from her husband almost immediately by several titled males, wanting to speak with him, so she repaired to a row of settees near the wall. A few mature matrons were surveying the crowd with eagle eyes, an activity they were forced to interrupt when Rowena greeted them with a slight bow of her head. They barely acknowledged her, she noticed, but nevertheless they did, which meant she was accepted amidst their circle, albeit reluctantly. However, they did not address her, which left Rowena to idly staring into the large room, where couples were dancing a country reel.

“Rowena, my dear, is that truly you?” A tall, portly lady in her early sixties was standing before her, and Rowena’s heart leapt with joy.

“Aunt Charlotte! I did not know you were in Town!”

“Oh, I am only here to help dear Melissa shop for baby things. She is due soon, on April 7th, so we are stocking up on everything London has to offer.”

Her aunt paused, taking Rowena’s hands in hers, not giving her time to react to the news unknown to her. “Rowena, come with me.”

She tugged at her niece’s hands toward the great hall and then up the stairs to the ladies’ withdrawing room, which was mercifully empty at this early time of the evening.

Rowena, who had been completely unaware of her cousin Melissa marrying and now become with child, embraced her aunt. “Oh, auntie, how wonderful for you and uncle to become grandparents! When did Melissa marry and to whom? Tell me all, please.”

“Rowie, I will tell you all later, but now you have to hear me out, please? Your uncle and I were sick with concern when you failed to answer our letters after your father’s death. Why was that? Why did you not write to us? We heard all sorts of rumours of you, which, frankly, did not bode well.”

“Letters, auntie? I never received any letters from anyone, not in months, I swear to you.”

“Rowie, I wrote you five letters, all with four weeks in between. We are aware of mail lost from time to time, but five?”

Rowena began to perceive a kernel of understanding. “Roderick …,” she breathed, “he must have kept them from me.”

“But why, Rowie? Why would your brother keep our letters from you?”

“Let me just think for a little while, auntie. Are you informed about what happened to me after father’s death?”

“Well, I assure you I was stunned beyond belief when I heard you were married to the earl of Ketteridge. You were betrothed to Peter Johnston, was all we knew. I also know that you have a baby daughter, about whom the wildest rumours are running riot.”

Rowena nodded, not very concerned about the wild gossips. “Suffice it to say that Roderick induced me to run away from Daveston Hall when he discovered I was pregnant with Johnston’s child. I had no money, since father did not leave me anything. I always thought I had money which had come from Mama’s family, but Roderick told me that was not so.”

Her aunt’s mouth fell open and her eyes grew round.

“But … but that is not true! There was a portion of our father’s money settled upon Clarissa and me, a considerable portion, let me assure you. Your father could not lay hands on it, so why did you not get it?”

 

 

The Elephant Man 1980

This is a “Must See” film. A Black and White Classic

Synopsis by Hal Erickson

John Hurt stars as John Merrick, the hideously deformed 19th century Londoner known as “The Elephant Man”. Treated as a sideshow freak, Merrick is assumed to be retarded as well as misshapen because of his inability to speak coherently. In fact, he is highly intelligent and sensitive, a fact made public when one Dr. Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins) rescues Merrick from a carnival and brings him to a hospital for analysis. Alas, even after being recognized as a man of advanced intellect, Merrick is still treated like a freak; no matter his station in life, he will forever be a prisoner of his own malformed body. Unable to secure rights for the famous stage play The Elephant Man, producer Mel Brooks based his film on the memoirs of Frederick Treves and a much later account of Merrick’s life by Ashley Montagu. The film is lensed in black and white by British master cinematographer Freddie Francis. Though nominated for eight Academy Awards, the film was ultimately shut out in every category.

Read more at https://www.allmovie.com/movie/the-elephant-man-v15593#MO38mwmR3GVftAMS.99

 

Christopher Abbott – Actor Factor

IMDB – Christopher Abbott

This is a new name to me. He hasn’t been in the business long but seems to be making speed on his way to stardom. But he sure looks like a heartbreaker in the making.

Born Christopher Jacob Abbott

February 1986 (age 32)
Greenwich, Connecticut, U.S.
Residence New York City, New York, U.S.
Education HB Studio
Occupation Actor
Years active 2008–present
Christopher Jacob Abbott (born February 1986) is an American actor. Abbott made his feature film debut in Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011). Abbott’s other notable films include Hello I Must Be Going (2012), The Sleepwalker (2014) and A Most Violent Year (2014). In 2015, Abbott starred as the title character in the critically acclaimed film James White (trailer below). Abbott is mostly known for his role as Charlie Dattolo in the HBO comedy-drama series Girls. Abbott has also had an extensive career on stage, having performed in both Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

He looks like a rising star we can watch for. I think he’s an American cousin to Kit Harington  (LOL)

 

JAMES WHITE. I may go looking for this one just to see him act. It won a lot of festival awards.

Go full screen on this video

He’s going to be playing a significant part in the upcoming George Clooney WW2 film “Catch 22”

Catch 22 (WW2 series on Hulu)

‘CATCH 22’ WW2 SERIES

GATHERS A HANDSOME SQUAD

 George Clooney is producing CATCH 22 World War 2 television series based on Joseph Heller‘s novel, and that he is also directing and starring in it, but now the rest of the cast has been revealed as well and brace yourself – it is filled with tons of super handsome boys. George Clooney and Kyle Chandler will play their colonels.
Christopher Abbott leads the cast!

 

WHAT’S THE CATCH?

Hulu’s ten episode series will be set in Italy during World War II, following incomparable, artful dodger Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), a bombardier for the U.S. Air Force, who is furious
because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy, but rather his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to avoid his military assignments, he’ll be in violation of CATCH 22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule which specifies that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers which are real and immediate is the process of a rational mind; a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but a request to be removed from duty is evidence of sanity and therefore makes him ineligible to be relieved from duty.
Kyle Chandler will play Colonel Cathcart

 

WHO’S IN THE SQUADRON?

Daniel David Stewart will play Milo, a quintessential Brooklyn native, possessed with the fierce determination and charm to bring his grand plans to fruition. Milo is a war profiteer who has figured out how to put himself in the Mess hall supervisor position in order to begin his trading syndicate.

Austin Stowell will portray Nately, Yossarian’s closest friend. He is someone who had lived his young life without trauma and is in love with Clara, a prostitute in Rome. R

 

Rafi Gavron will play Aarfy, Yossarian’s navigator who is frequently lost. When he starts recounting stories we get a glimpse into his darker mind and soon see it manifest on a weekend away.

 

Graham Patrick Martin will portray Orr, Yossarian’s tentmate, and pilot of another plane in Yossarian’s squadron. Orr is very well liked and has a goofy demeanour; he is also a great handyman who has a specific skill set to see him through the war.

 

Pico Alexander will play Clevinger, the pilot of another plane. He and Yossarian enjoy each other’s company, yet each believes the other is a fool for holding the worldview he holds.

 

 

Jon Rudnitsky is McWatt, Yossarian’s pilot. He is a prankster who in his spare time likes to fly too low to any and all structures. He thinks he understands how world works and is not afraid to give his opinions about it.

 

 

 

Gerran Howell will play Kid Sampson, McWatt’s shy, boyish co-pilot, whose unspectacular and unremarkable life will end, spectacularly and remarkably, at McWatt’s hands. 

 

Lewis  Pullman is Major Major, an Air Corps Cadet who later becomes Squadron Commander. He has never had friends and tries to figure out the best way to go unnoticed through the war.