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Posts Tagged ‘Helen Mirren’

I was looking forward to The Graham Norton Christmas Show. I am a huge Helen Mirren fan, and she was a guest and made a statement on that show.  I had checked ahead several days ago. That show was scheduled for Christmas Eve on BBCA.  Dame Helen was listed as a guest along with Will Smith and Noemie Harris.  Now, suddenly, that show will not air. Why not?  Is it possibly because Dame Helen had this to say about 2016?

She was quite outspokenly anti-Brexit and anti-Trump. She appeared at a huge Broadway fundraiser for Hillary whom she supported heartily.

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Given Trump’s media connections, one has to wonder why that show, which normally airs on Saturday nights at 10 pm EDT has been replaced.  I checked my Verizon listings about five days ago, and it was listed.  Now, mysteriously it is not.  So WTF???

Is this the beginning of censorship of the media? We should wonder.

Tonight I watched the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 400th Anniversary of the Bard’s death on PBS. Dame Helen appeared with a host of others.  Most impressively, Sir Ian McKellen performed a monologue of Sir Thomas More from a play that was never published.  It was the most enlightening moment.  Here is some background.  There is a video of Sir Ian performing the monologue.

Shakespeare, Sir Thomas More, and the refugee migrants

The play The Book of Sir Thomas More contains a series of scenes covering the events of the May Day riots of 1517, within the period covered by this project. Immigrants from Lombardy in Northern Italy are being threatened by Londoners who accuse them of taking jobs and money from the locals, and want them to be deported back to where they came from. The same arguments were being put forward at the time the play was written, with respect to Huguenot migrants. The play was never completed and exists in manuscript form in the British Library. In a series of speeches written by Shakespeare, Thomas More makes the argument for the humane treatment of those forced to seek asylum by being expelled from their home land. It’s surely never been made more persuasively.

Read more  and see Sir Ian deliver the speech>>>>

The play was never completed. One can speculate as to why not.  Here is the script.  I would love to hear it read by many on Inauguration Day.  Loudly!

Grant them removed, and grant that this your noise
Hath chid down all the majesty of England;
Imagine that you see the wretched strangers,
Their babies at their backs and their poor luggage,
Plodding to the ports and coasts for transportation,
And that you sit as kings in your desires,
Authority quite silent by your brawl,
And you in ruff of your opinions clothed;
What had you got? I’ll tell you: you had taught
How insolence and strong hand should prevail,
How order should be quelled; and by this pattern
Not one of you should live an aged man,
For other ruffians, as their fancies wrought,
With self same hand, self reasons, and self right,
Would shark on you, and men like ravenous fishes
Would feed on one another….
Say now the king
Should so much come too short of your great trespass
As but to banish you, whether would you go?
What country, by the nature of your error,
Should give you harbour? go you to France or Flanders,
To any German province, to Spain or Portugal,
Nay, any where that not adheres to England,
Why, you must needs be strangers: would you be pleased
To find a nation of such barbarous temper,
That, breaking out in hideous violence,
Would not afford you an abode on earth,
Whet their detested knives against your throats,
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God
Owed not nor made not you, nor that the claimants
Were not all appropriate to your comforts,
But chartered unto them, what would you think
To be thus used? this is the strangers case;
And this your mountainish inhumanity.

Let’s read this on Inauguration Day! Let’s be loud!

Here is the link to the jolly and complete Graham Norton Christmas Show that was wiped off the air. Shame on you BBCA for deleting this show! Spines of jellyfish!

This is only the beginning.  Today, Trump promised that things will be different after January 20.

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I am a HUGE Helen Mirren fan so I have watched the David Mamet movie Phil Spector many times.  I cannot say I am certain that Spector is innocent, but like Mirren’s character, real-life Jersey Girl and whiz-bang defense attorney, Linda Kenney Baden,  at the end I have a reasonable doubt that he is guilty.

One thing I know for sure:  If Spector had not had a collection of guns at his mansion, if he had had no guns, Lana Clarkson would not have died of a gunshot, very likely accidentally by her own hand, in his house, and he would probably be a free man today.

‘Phil Spector’: Emmy Nominee Mamet Now Convinced of Music Legend’s Innocence

This story first appeared in the August 13, 2013 issue of Variety.

David Mamet, nominated for both writing and directing “Phil Spector” for HBO, initially resisted examining the wacky recording magnate to be played by Al Pacino.

“I went kicking and screaming, the guy’s a thug, he’s a lowlife, da da da.” His change of mind about the man’s fascination parallels that of consulting attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Helen Mirren), whose reflex certainty of her man’s guilt slowly gives way to passionate belief in his innocence.

Sophisticated themes of rooted-out prejudice and ideology raise the pic out of the realm of the courtroom procedural, though Mamet insists his topic was never the trial: “The movie is about what might have happened backstage.”

Read more >>>

(Please note that although it is not mentioned in the article, Linda Kenney Baden cooperated in the production of the movie and is cited in the credits.)

It is the “backstage” reenactments by the defense team that instill the reasonable doubt.  Like Kenney Baden, I do not see how he could have done it.  But certainty that the whole incident was completely avoidable comes with an exchange between Spector, played by Al Pacino, and Kenney Baden, played by Mirren, when she discovers a wall where guns, now removed by police, had been on display.

Pacino as a faded music whiz charged with murder

By FRAZIER MOORE Mar. 21, 2013

The difficulties of the case seem beyond the wherewithal of Spector’s original attorney (played by Jeffrey Tambor in a robust supporting performance), who has brought in hotshot lawyer Linda Kenney Baden (the splendid Helen Mirren). She takes over as lead attorney and, as the film unfolds, joins Spector in a verbal pas de deux that teems with Mamet’s shrewd dialogue:

“Why do you have so many guns?” she inquires on her first visit to his sprawling castle home near Los Angeles, where the shooting took place.

“I might need one,” he replies.

“Why would you need more than one?

“How many shoes do you have?” he poses. “How many feet?”

Read more  (this is a great article!) >>>>

It was an excellent, lawyerly question.  What is obvious and never leaves you after you hear Spector’s account of the incident is that had there been no guns, of the many things that could have happened that night,  a death by gunshot would not have been one of them.  Maybe a disturbed and intoxicated young woman did ask if he had any guns.  Maybe she did do something she thought was sexy, and maybe the whole thing blew up in her face – literally – and in his life.

I truly do doubt, after watching this movie, that Phil Spector killed Lana Clarkson.  He is in prison, essentially, because he kept guns in his house.  That’s the danger with guns.  They can backfire on you.

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Some may remember Gloria Grahame adorably performing this number in the movie Oklahoma.

When she appeared with Seth Meyers in April, 2015,  Dame Helen Mirren irresistibly declared her love for Vin Diesel and her strong desire to be in a Fast & Furious movie.

Vin received her message and has responded because…  you know … when The Queen of Broadway expresses a strong desire,  it behooves you to reply.

Vin Diesel Would Welcome Helen Mirren To ‘Furious 8’: I Love Her

June 24, 2015

OK, there’s been enough back and forth about Dame Helen Mirren wanting to join “Furious 8” – let’s get those contracts signed already!

A few months back, the Oscar winner said she’s dying to star in the hit franchise, and Vin Diesel said he’s ready to welcome Helen into the “Furious” family.

“I love Helen Mirren. Get your act together, Helen!” he told Access Hollywood at the opening of the “Fast & Furious – Supercharged” ride at Universal Studios on Tuesday, echoing an interview Helen gave in March in which she told Vin to get his act together and find her a role. “I love you!”

Read more and see video  >>>>

On April 12, 2015, Hillary Clinton declared that she wants to be the champion for Americans and American families.

As much as I love Vin Diesel myself, I must admit that I have not watched a Fast & Furious movie but look forward to Dame Helen demonstrating her outstanding driving and sharp-shooting skills in the next one.

I also look forward to seeing Hillary Clinton tackle the issues she has been laying out on the campaign trail.

When you have two such accomplished women asking you to hire them to do the job they can do best,  how can you say “no?”

 

I can’t!  I can’t say no!

 

I hope you can’t either.  We can’t vote for Helen to be in Fast & Furious, but we can  help Hillary become the champion for all of us that we know she can be in the White House.

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By the way, Helen is on her side, and Hillary had a rare chance in her busy schedule to see Helen perform in the limited engagement of The Audience on Broadway.  That will be but a fond memory in a few days.  There isn’t a single ticket left.

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When Independence Day arrives, I am going to be missing our Broadway Queen of Hearts most heartily.  No one can do that role like Dame Helen,  and she has said that she will never play that part again.

coronation-dress

I really need to get on the stick,  though, because Chelsea Clinton says Fast &  Furious movies are great!  Like Hillary,  I trust her judgment.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dame Helen Mirren has chosen to portray some strong female characters,  among some of the real-life ones:

In the run-up to the glitz and glamor of Sunday’s Oscars, Dame Helen hosted the annual Women in Film reception celebrating women nominees and made her voice heard on the issue of the gender gap in the film industry.   This year, as far as we know, she dodged the red carpet and was all business.

If the montage shown at the Oscars to illustrate  this year’s theme of “Everyday Heroes” was any indication of the current representation of women in film,  Dame Helen’s focus on inequity is right on target.  Of the 21 clips shown (that I counted), only three were of real-life women heroes:  Norma Rae, Erin Brockovich, and “Maya,” the CIA operative in Zero Dark Thirty.   That is fewer than 15% and deplorable!  Karen Silkwood, Anne Frank, Joan of ArcVeronica Guerin, the Mirabal sisters the machinists of Dagenham, and Barbara Castle were nowhere to be seen in that montage.  The Academy and the industry can and must do much better.

That this comes as we begin Women’s History Month is both appropriate and ironic.

Thank you, Dame Helen!

Helen Mirren Takes on the Gender Gap

Lupita Nyong'o and Helen Mirren at the Women in Film event.Getty Images Lupita Nyong’o and Helen Mirren at the Women in Film event.

WEST HOLLYWOOD –

“Shut up,” said Helen Mirren, “’cause Mama’s in the house.”

“That includes all you guys over there near the bar,” she added, as she waited for the crowd to quiet down at the Women in Film reception on Friday evening. The boys did as the Dame commanded.

Ms. Mirren was out and about on the party circuit on Friday – she’d also made a brief appearance at the British film reception beforehand – and was this year’s co-host of the annual event, held at Fig & Olive restaurant. It spotlights female Oscar nominees – each wears a fragrant white gardenia corsage – and also serves as a booster moment to reverse the continued gender disparity in the industry.

Read more >>>>

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