When we marry, the expectation is that the person we are marrying is who they say they are.
In the miniseries, Mrs. Wilson, Alison Wilson (Ruth Wilson, playing her grandmother), receives a rude awakening after the death of her much older husband, Alexander (Iain Glen). Her husband was good at keeping secrets. His most potent secret was that she was not his only living wife. Coleman (Fiona Shaw), her husband’s handler from World War II is not too forthcoming with information. There is also the question of Dorothy Wick (Keeley Hawes), who keeps popping up as Alison tries to find out the truth of her husband’s life. As the series flips between the beginnings of Alison and Alexander’s (who was known as Alec) early relationship during the war to the 1960’s, where the widowed Alison is desperate for answers.
I have to admit that I am impressed with this series. I am impressed because this is a very personal story for Wilson. It takes a lot to share a personal story that is part of her family lore with the public. As a viewer, I can understand why Alison was not the last woman to fall for Alec. He was charming, intelligent and appeared to radiate qualities that would qualify him as a good man.
Both Wilson and Glen are familiar faces to Masterpiece viewers. Wilson made her Masterpiece debut in the 2006 adaptation of Jane Eyre. In 2011, Glen had a brief role as Sir Richard Carlisle, Lady Mary’s fiance on Downton Abbey. As Alison and Alec, I was rooting for them as a couple. On the same note, my heart was aching for Alison as she grieved not only for her husband, but for the husband she knew.
I recommend it.
The first two episodes of Mrs. Wilson are online. The final episode airs this Sunday at 9PM on PBS.
There are two kinds of police procedural dramas. There are the Law and Orders of the television world and then there is Luther (2010).
DCI John Luther (the delicious Idris Elba) is a detective who is brilliant at his job. His ability to do his job is astounding. But underneath the professional detective is a man whose emotions and actions can sometimes turn very dark and dangerous. When Alice Morgan’s (Ruth Wilson) parents are found dead, Alice appears to be the innocent victim, grieving for the loss of her parents. But Alice is not what she seems and enjoys playing cat and mouse with Luther.
This television program, imported from Britain via BBC America is unique among the television police procedural dramas. The characters are thoroughly human and sometimes quite twisted.
I recommend it.
P.S. I have nothing against Law and Order. I have been a fan of Law and Order: SVU since it’s initial season. It is often the highlight of my Wednesday night.
If one were to judge Jane Eyre simply by her early life, one might say that she is doomed to be unlucky and unhappy. Jane is orphaned as a baby and raised in her deceased uncle’s home by an aunt who despises her. At the age of ten, she is taken to Lowood school, a charity school where the students are receiving subpar treatment. Eight years later, Jane leaves Lowood to work for the enigmatic and mysterious Mr. Rochester as the governess for his ward, Adele.
Charlotte Bronte’s classic 1847 novel has been remade on screen multiple times over the years. In this post, I’m going to write about my favorite Jane Eyre adaptations and let you decide which among the three is your favorite. The criteria for comparison remain as is:
How closely the screenplay mirrors the novel.
The chemistry between the actors, especially the potential love interests.
The age of the actors, if they are close enough in age to the character to be believable in the part.
If the locations chosen to film resemble the scenes from the book.
Cast: Jane Eyre (Sorcha Cusack), Mr. Rochester (Michael Jayston)
Pro’s: This TV adaption is the truest of any of the filmed adaptations. It’s as if Charlotte Bronte was somehow in the room with the production team. It is flawless, the actors are perfect in their parts. In short, I have nothing but praise for this adaptation.
Cons: The only con that I can think of is that it is 41 years old. It looks 41 years old.
Cast: Jane Eyre (Ruth Wilson), Mr. Rochester (Toby Stephens)
Pro’s: Another flawless production. Sandy Welch’s screen play mirrors the novel. Wilson and Stephens have it, whatever it is, that actors have when they are playing certain characters. They are on fire on screen. The viewer (especially this viewer) has the feeling that when this mini-series is over, Jane and Edward will have a very happy life together, in and out of the bedroom.
Cast: Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska), Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender)
Pro’s: Director Cary Fukanaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini take an unorthodox approach to story telling. The movie starts half way through the novel, after Jane has left Thornfield. The casting of Wasikowska and Fassbender was a brilliant choice. Both age appropriate, they are perfectly cast in their parts.
Cons: It is a movie vs. a mini-series, so not everything from the book got into the movie. But I’m pretty satisfied with this adaptation.
Tonight I saw Saving Mr. Banks, the biopic of how Mary Poppins was transferred from the page to the screen.
The film has two alternating, but equal story lines. PL Travers (Emma Thompson) is the author of Mary Poppins. Sales have dried up and she is in need of an income. For the past twenty years, Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) has been asking her for the rights to make a film based on the book. She has finally agreed to travel to Los Angeles to discuss the possibility of making the movie, but she is determined that it does not become too Hollywoodized.
The other story line is the flashbacks of her childhood in Australia. Her father (Colin Farrell) loves his family, but has flaws that prevents him from being the father and husband that he needs to be. Her mother (Ruth Wilson) does her best to be a good mother, but finds herself hindered by her husband’s actions.
We all know Mary Poppins, the movie has been part of our lives since it premiered. It’s like any classic, sometimes when you know the details and experiences of the author’s life, the story takes on a different meaning.
The movie clocks in at 2 hours. It’s a little long, but enjoyable.
Disney’s latest foray into the action/adventure moviedom is The Lone Ranger, a reboot of the classic TV series of the same title.
Armie Hammer plays the title role of the Lone Ranger/John Reid and Johnny Depp is Tonto, his Native American partner in crime. Joining Hammer and Depp is Ruth Wilson as Rebecca, John’s sister in law/love interest, William Fitchner as Butch Cavendish, the film’s villian, Tom Wilkinson as Cole, a questionable politician and Helena Bonham Carter as Red Carrington, the town Madam.
Other reviewers have reffered to this movie as bloated and misshapen. I would add predictable and trite.
Armie Hammer’s approach to the character is one dimensional, the only actor that held my interest throughout the movie was Johnny Depp. Ruth Wilson, whose portrayl of in the title role of Jane Eyre in 2006 is one of my favorite Jane Eyre’s, is completely wasted in this part. Despite any press stating that Rebecca is not the typical love interest/damsel in distress, I disagree that outside of a few moments in the film, the character does not move beyond the stereotypical female role. The supporting cast of Tom Wilkinson, William Fitchner and Helena Bonham Carter are also wasted as actors.
This movie clocks in at 2 hours and 40 minutes. Frankly, the screen writers seem have lifted parts of plot from 1998 film The Mask Of Zorro. If I could gotten those two hours and forty minutes back of my life, I would. But instead, I warn anyone who is considering seeing this movie, do not see this movie. If Much Ado About Nothing was the best movie I have seen so far this year, this movie is the worst.