Haven’t done much writing lately. Overcome with a general feeling of malaise I can’t seem to kick. Still providing notes for screenings at The Station Restaurant though. Will update here with the few worth posting starting with The Railway Man.
|Courtesy of Lionsgate
The Railway Man is a fine tribute to the bravery of Eric Lomax (1919-2012). Captured by Japanese troops in 1942 Lomax was one of many Allied soldiers forced to work on the notorious ‘Death Railway’ in Thailand. Many years later he returned to confront the man responsible for torturing him. Adapted from Lomax’s memoir ‘The Railway Man’ by Frank Cottrell Boyce, the film stars Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine as the older and younger Lomax respectively, Nicole Kidman as his wife Patti, Stellan Skarsgard as fellow survivor Finlay, and Japanese star Hiroyuki Sanada as the older version of his tormenter Nagase.
Colin Firth – Career Profile
Handsome and blessed with an old world charm, Colin Firth has taken the long road to success. Firth made his debut opposite Rupert Everett in Another Country (84, Marek Kanievska), based on the school days of the defector Guy Burgess. Everett was courted by Hollywood while Firth kept on doing fine work in smaller productions. Touching as a WW1 veteran restoring a church mural in A Month in the Country (87, Pat O’Connor), and winning a BAFTA for Falklandswar TV drama Tumbledown (1988). The lead in Milos Forman’s Valmont (89) would have impressed more had Stephen Frears version of the same source material Dangerous Liasons not been such a huge hit. Firth held his own opposite Peter OToole in the little-seen but haunting Wings of Fame (90, Otakar Votocek) which imagines the afterlife as a Grand Hotel where the famous get the best rooms until their reputations fade away. The Hour of the Pig (93, Leslie Megahey) is another oddity with Firth as a medieval lawyer defending a pig from a murder charge as the plague sweeps through Europe.
Mainstream success at last and heartthrob status with Pride and Prejudice (95) on television. Bigger films now but a supporting player. A cold fish aristocrat in Circle of Friends(95, Pat O’Connor), a cuckold in The English Patient (96, Anthony Minghella), a cuckolded cold fish aristocrat in Shakespeare in Love (98, John Madden). Girly fighting with Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones Diary (01, Sharon Maguire) and its sequel. Reunited with Rupert Everett for The Importance of Being Ernest (02, Oliver Parker). A trip to Richard Curtis land for Love Actually (03). All roles requiring Firth to display a stiff upper lip. Yet as he ages the work gets more interesting. a bullying Rat Pack style entertainer in Where the Truth Lies (05, Atom Egoyan). Achingly good as a gay man mourning his lover in fashion designer Tom Ford’s film A Single Man (09) An Oscar winner for The King’s Speech (10, Tom Hooper). Poker faced as one of the potential traitors in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (11, Tomas Alfredson). Next up after The Railway Man Firth will be providing the voice of Paddington Bear and playing a suave 007 type spy in The Secret Service for director Matthew Vaughn.