Onegin 1999

A favorite

Another member of the Fiennes family leaves a mark in the film business, as Martha Fiennes makes her big-screen directorial debut with a screen adaptation of the verse novel by Aleksander Pushkin, with her big brother Ralph Fiennes in the leading role. Onegin (Fiennes) is a blase man who has grown weary of the social whirl of his life in St. Petersburg in the 1820s. Onegin’s wealthy uncle has recently passed on, bequeathing him a large estate in the country, where the financially embarrassed Onegin has now chosen to live. Onegin makes fast friends with his neighbor Lensky (Toby Stephens), who introduces Onegin to his fiancée Olga (Lena Headley). Olga in turn introduces him to her mother (Harriet Walker) and her younger sister, Tatyana (Liv Tyler). Onegin finds Tatyana interesting, and she is strongly infatuated with him, finding him coolly attractive and enjoying his straightforward way of expressing himself. Tatyana makes her feelings known to Onegin in a love letter, but he calmly rejects her advances. Lensky senses Tatyana’s attraction to Onegin and talks to him about her; Lensky is shocked when Onegin says he regards her as unintelligent, and in a moment of anger Lensky challenges his friend to a duel. Neither man wants to kill the other, but both are too stubborn to back down, and Onegin ends up shooting Lensky, forcing him to flee to parts unknown. Six years later, a older and more humble Onegin re-encounters the married Tatyana and begs her for a second chance.

Synopsis by Mark Deming

 

The Voyage of Doctor Dollitle in April 2019

EMMA THOMPSON, BANDERAS, MICHAEL SHEEN, RALPH FIENNES

  Universal Pictures is gathering a rather stellar cast for their live action adaptation of THE VOYAGE OF DOCTOR DOLLITLE which will see Robert Downey Jr playing the famous doctor who can speak to animals. Antonio Banderas will apparently play his enemy, a pirate named Rassouli while Michael Sheen is set to play Mudfly! Meanwhile, British thespians Emma Thompson and Ralph Fiennes will lend their voices to some of the talking animals alongside young Tom Holland! An adaptation of Hugh Lofting’s classic book from the 1920’s the movie is viewed as the potential opening for a whole franchise.

Doctor DoLittle is set for April 2019 release!

Schindler’s List 1993

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Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes

To call Schindler’s List “a movie” seems like an understatement, as few films have ever presented as effective—or harrowing—an accounting of the Holocaust as Steven Spielberg’s epic retelling of Oskar Schindler, the German business owner who saved the lives of thousands of concentration camp-bound refugees by offering them employment in his factories. While many consider Schindler’s List the film that Spielberg was born to make, the director himself worried that he did not have the maturity to pull off such a massive undertaking, and so it was originally pitched to Roman Polanski, Sydney Pollack and Martin Scorsese (who was officially attached).

But then Spielberg reconsidered. And from the moment he took the reins, he was clear about one thing: the film would be shot like a documentary, which meant that he did not want any stars in the key roles (both Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes were still relative unknowns at the time) and that it would be shot in black and white using mostly handheld cameras. It would also be filmed in as many of the actual locations as possible (with the exception of Auschwitz, which they were forbidden from entering). And it’s from these elements precisely that Schindler’s List draws its cinematic power.

Based on True Story

Strongly Recommended

 

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The Invisible Woman 2013

The Invisible Woman 2013

Synopsis by Jason Buchanan

Director Ralph Fiennes teams with screenwriter Abi Morgan to adapt Claire Tomalin‘s book detailing the clandestine, 13-year-long love affair between celebrated English author Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and 18-year-old actress Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones), whose name was effectively erased from the history books following Dickens‘ death in 1870. Kristin Scott Thomas and Tom Hollander costar.