Thursday, March 22, 2007

Streep, Blanchett and Thatcher

When I first heard about plans for a Margaret Thatcher biopic, I have to admit it just made me say meh, but if I correctly understand the report this morning from my favorite froggy film site,, it's about to get a lot more interesting.

It's hard to tell if the two actresses have been signed or are just in negotiations, but any time you can attach the names Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett to a project you've got my full attention.

Pathe Films and BBC Films, the production team behind "The Queen," are eyeing Streep to play "The Iron Lady" in her later years, and Blanchett the younger. Although the script is a work in progress, again if my rusty French has this right, it will focus more on Thatcher's private rather than public life, much like "The Queen."

This also has me intrigued. This may be unfair, since I've never much wondered what the wives of male politicians do to fill their days, but I can remember being very curious about what Denis Thatcher did for the 12 years that his wife ruled the country. Not sure why, but it always intrigued me.

And I have to wonder, do you Brits ever get miffed - as I do when they cast people like Nicole Kidman and Jude Law in a movie like "Cold Mountain" - when they cast non-British actresses for such prime parts? Don't get me wrong, you can't do much better than Streep and Blanchett, but I have to wonder.

Cate Blanchett, actually, is pretty much the gold standard for me. Put her in a movie (and luckily, she does like to work often), and I'm virtually guaranteed to see it. So, if this story holds up, I'll definitely be going to see "The Iron Lady."

'Pan's' dominates Mexico's Ariels

With his two friends (I've decided to never use the word "amigos" in this way again) Alfonso Cuaron and Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu cheering him on, Guillermo del Toro was a big winner at Mexico's version of the Oscars, the Ariels.

In all, "Pan's Labyrinth" won nine awards, including best picture and director for del Toro, plus awards for cinematography (for Guillermo Navarro), art, make up, costumes, special effects and music. Most of the other major awards went to two other movies, the documentary "En el hoyo" (In the Pit) and "El Violin."

"Violin," written and directed by Francisco Vargas, was honored as best first work and for its screenplay. The black-and-white drama follows a wizened one-armed violin player from a mountain village as he cons a military commander fighting rebels, including the old man's family.

My favorite winner of the night, however, would definitely have to be Maribel Verdu as best actress for "Pan's Labyrinth." She actually split the honors (wtf?) with Elizabeth Cervantes, for "Mas que a Nada en el Mundo." I've been smitten with Verdu ever since "Y Tu Mama Tambien," so it's nice to see her getting recognition for her great work as the enabler of Ofelia's fantasies in "Pan's Labyrinth."

And, of course, a hearty huzzah to del Toro. He's at work now on another Hellboy movie, which should just be a blast, but a quick check of his IMDB sheet gave me a real reason to smile. His next project, called simply 3993, is described as a ghost story about "the hostages left to fortune by the past" set in 1990's Spain and with connections to the Spanish Civil War in 1939.

Let's see, a fantasy about ghosts from the Spanish Civil War? Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'll be tuning in for that one. Peace out.


Terence Towles Canote said...

It's good to see that Pan's Labyrinth cleaned up at the Ariels, especially given I thought it was given short shrift by the Oscars (it wasn't even nominated for Best Picture...*grumble*).

Reel Fanatic said...

It was nice to see, Mercurie, but I wish Cuaron, Inarritu and del Toro were in competition together ... I assume that wasn't possible because these awards are only for Spanish-language movies by Mexican directors .. I have a feeling del Toro still would have prevailed

jeremy said...

OMG, have you seen the David O. Russell freak out from the set of Huckabees?
Its really pretty scary.
But, oh yeah, nice to see Pan's (and Maribel) did some cleanin' up.

Reel Fanatic said...

I hadn't seen that, Jeremy, but it's definitely something I'm looking forward to watching this afternoon when I have a little time to kill .. thanks for the link

Anonymous said...

Blanchett and Steep in a film together? Talk about dream casting. Should be, at the very least, interesting.

Divinity said...

I have a harder time seeing the human side of Thatcher... it'll be interesting to see their take. I'll admit that the transformation from her early ministerial days to the Iron Lady was startling. According to one analyst in the UK, they even voice-coached her into a lower range in order to be taken more seriously.

BTW, we did catch The Wind That Shakes the Barley yesterday. Review's up! Cheers!

Reel Fanatic said...

I promise I'll check out your review tomorrow, Divinity, but after watching the early NCAA tournament games, it is now time for me to go to bed .. something to look forward to!