Colin Firth

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Posted by kaori 04/10/2009 @ 20:12

Tags : colin firth, actors and actresses, entertainment

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A '20s tale with modern message - Toronto Star
Colin Firth says he's not much of a singer and "dancing is not on my CV of skills," but he took to the sultry tango with zeal in Easy Virtue. "I love it; I love tango," the 48-year-old British actor told the Toronto Star on the phone from New York....
Jim Carrey to star in 'A Christmas Carol' -
Canadian actor Jim Carrey, left, British actor Colin Firth, right, and American actress Robin Wright Penn pose together at the photo call for "A Christmas Carol" during the 62nd International film festival in Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 18,...
Will Firth be coming forth? - Toronto Star
Toronto stargazers may get a gimpse of handsome British leading man Colin Firth this fall. In a phone interview with the Toronto Star last week, Firth said he hopes two of his films set for late-year release will be at the Toronto International Film...
Firth and Spacey Go Down to Catalonia - CanMag
The same goes for Catalonia, the bigscreen adaptation of George Orwell's book that will feature both Colin Firth and Kevin Spacey. To be directed by Hugh Hudson off a script by Bob Ellis, Catalonia revolves around the real-life story of how Orwell and...
Biel: Being American a 'Virtue' on film - United Press International
By KAREN BUTLER American actress Jessica Biel and British actors Ben Barnes (L) and Colin Firth attend the premiere of "Easy Virtue" at The Times BFI London Film Festival at Odeon West End, Leicester Square in London on October 28, 2008....
Celebrity Photos: Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Ben Barnes, Katie Lee ... - San Jose Mercury News
Actress Jessica Biel (AP Photo/Evan Agostini) joins Colin Firth and Ben Barnes for a special screening of “Easy Virtue” on Monday in New York. Demi Lovato attends at the American Partnership For Eosinophilic Disorders Gala held at the Mondrian Hotel on...
Bridget Jones goes musical: v. good idea indeed? - Entertainment Weekly
It's not their/his character to do so. as the previous poster said, without Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, what's the point? and if it includes the storyline from the rumored book 3, i will boycott it to be sure! No, no, no! A thousand times no....
Colin Firth's wife is flogging eco fashion - but is it just a ... - Daily Mail
Huge reservations sweep over me as I drive in my BMW (bad, bad me) to meet Livia Firth, the beautiful Italian-born wife of actor Colin. She has opened her own store, Eco Age, in Chiswick, dedicated to all things ethical: it is easy to spot with its...
'Glee' is guaranteed to make you happy - Los Angeles Times
But also Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ben Barnes. And guess what? It's surprisingly good. Biel plays a sexy American who in 1928 weds an Englishman (Barnes) but finds it impossible to win the favor of her stuffy mother-in-law (Thomas),...
Take It Easy -
Jessica Biel, Ben Barnes, Colin Firth, and Stephan Elliott discuss the film Easy Virtue, based on the play by Noel Coward. Even those people who consider themselves big Noel Coward fans may not be entirely familiar with Easy Virtue, a drawing room...

Colin Firth

Colin Firth and Barbara Stockings (cropped).jpg

Colin Andrew Firth (born 10 September 1960) is an British film, television and stage actor. Firth first gained wide public attention, especially in Britain, for his portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the highly acclaimed 1995 television adaption of Pride and Prejudice. He subsequently achieved film stardom with the international box-office success of Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), where he co-starred with Hugh Grant and Renée Zellweger.

Firth was born in Grayshott, Hampshire, UK, the son of Shirley Jean (née Rolles), a comparative religion lecturer, and David Norman Lewis Firth, a history lecturer and education officer for the Nigerian Government. Firth has a sister, Kate, and a younger brother, Jonathan, who is now also an actor. Firth's parents were born and raised in India, because his maternal grandparents, Congregationalist ministers, and his paternal grandfather, an Anglican priest, performed missionary work abroad. Firth's name is pronounced very similarly to the Old English word collenferhð, meaning pride. Firth spent part of his childhood in Nigeria, where his father was teaching. He lived in St. Louis, Missouri when he was 11. He later attended the Montgomery of Alamein Secondary School, a state comprehensive school in Winchester, Hampshire, and then Barton Peveril College in Eastleigh, Hampshire. His acting training took place at the Drama Centre in North London.

In 1983, Firth starred as Guy Bennett in the award-winning London stage production of Another Country. In 1984, he made his film debut in the screen adaptation of the play, taking the role of Tommy Judd (opposite Rupert Everett as Bennett). In 1986 he starred in Lost Empires with Sir Laurence Olivier, a TV adaptation of J. B. Priestley's novel, then in 1987, he appeared alongside Kenneth Branagh in the film version of J. L. Carr's novel, A Month in the Country. In 1989, he played the title role in the film Valmont.

Following these earlier roles, it was in the 1995 BBC television adaptation of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice that Firth gained wider renown. The serial was a major international success, and Firth became known as a heartthrob because of his role as Fitzwilliam Darcy. This performance also made him the object of affection for fictional journalist Bridget Jones (created by Helen Fielding), an interest which carried on into the two novels featuring the Jones character. In the second novel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, the character even meets Firth in Rome. As something of an in-joke, when the novels were adapted for the cinema, Firth was cast as Jones's love interest, Mark Darcy. Continuing this in-joke there was a dog called Mr Darcy in the film St. Trinian's which Firth's character accidentally kills.

Firth had a supporting role in The English Patient (1996) and since then has starred in films such as Fever Pitch (1997), Shakespeare in Love (1998),Relative Values (film) (2000), Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), Love Actually (2003), What a Girl Wants (2003), Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003), Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), Nanny McPhee (2005), The Last Legion with Aishwarya Rai (2007), When Did You Last See Your Father? (2008), the film adaptation of Mamma Mia! (2008) and most recently Easy Virtue which screened at the Rome Film Festival to excellent reviews. .

He has also appeared in several television productions, including Donovan Quick (an updated version of Don Quixote) (1999) and Conspiracy (2001), for which he received an Emmy nomination. Colin Firth's most recent role is in the Toronto International Film Festival debuted film, Genova..

Firth is also a Jury Member for the ongoing Filmaka amateur short film contest.

Colin played William Shakespeare in a comedy special entitled Blackadder: Back & Forth. Edmund Blackadder runs into Colin's character while he is working on Macbeth and subsequently advises him to sign the script.

He was also a guest host of Saturday Night Live in 2004 alongside musical guest Norah Jones.

Colin performed in theatre frequently between 1983 and 2000. He starred in Three Days of Rain as lead character Ned/Walker, as well as The Caretaker, Desire Under the Elms and Chatkzy.

Firth's first published work, "The Department of Nothing", appeared in Speaking with the Angel (2000). This collection of short stories was edited by Nick Hornby and was published to benefit the TreeHouse Trust, in aid of autistic children. Firth had previously met Hornby during the filming of the original Fever Pitch.

In 1989, Firth entered into a romantic relationship with actress Meg Tilly his co-star in Valmont. In 1990, she gave birth to a son, Will Firth, and they made their home in British Columbia for awhile. He still stays in contact with Will and with Tilly's other children for whom he was a surrogate father. In 1994, after he and Tilly had separated, Firth became involved with actress Jennifer Ehle, his co-star in Pride and Prejudice. Firth lives in both London and Italy and is married to Italian film producer/director Livia Giuggioli. They have two sons, Luca (born March 2001) and Matteo (born August 2003).

Recently, Firth has been involved in a campaign to stop the deportation of a group of asylum seekers, because he believes that they may be murdered on their return to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Firth has argued that "To me it's just basic civilisation to help people. I find this incredibly painful to see how we dismiss the most desperate people in our society. It's easily done. It plays to the tabloids, to the Middle-England xenophobes. It just makes me furious. And all from a government we once had such high hopes for". As a result of the campaign, a Congolese nurse was given a last-minute reprieve from deportation.

In a 2006 interview with French magazine Madame Figaro, Firth was asked "Quelles sont les femmes de votre vie?" (Who are the women in your life?). Firth replied: "Ma mère, ma femme et Jane Austen" (My mother, my wife and Jane Austen). He was awarded an honorary degree on 19 October 2007 from the University of Winchester.

Firth has performed songs in many of his films, the most recent being Mamma Mia!. He performs alongside Rupert Everett in The Importance of Being Earnest, as well as one song in St. Trinian's with Everett which appeared in the credits, an adaptation of "Love Is in the Air".

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Mamma Mia! (film)


Mamma Mia! (promoted as Mamma Mia! The Movie) is a 2008 stage-to-film adaptation of the 1999 West End musical of the same name, based on the songs of successful pop group ABBA, with additional music composed by ABBA member Benny Andersson. Produced by Universal Pictures in partnership with Playtone and Littlestar, it became the highest-grossing film musical of all time. The title originates from ABBA's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia".

Meryl Streep heads the cast, playing the role of single mother Donna Sheridan. Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgård play the three possible fathers to Donna's daughter, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried).

On August 29, 2008, Mamma Mia!: The Sing-Along Edition, with lyrics to the songs highlighted on the screen, was released in selected theaters.

On December 15, 2008, it was announced that Mamma Mia! had become the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom of all time. The previous record was held by Titanic, which was released in the UK in 1998.

On the fictional Greek island of Kalokairi, 20-year-old bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) nervously posts three wedding invitations ("I Have a Dream") to three different men. In response, from across the globe, they set off on their respective journeys.

Sophie's two bridesmaids arrive and she shares with them a secret. Sophie has found her mother's diary and learned she has three possible dads: New York-based Irish architect Sam Carmichael (Pierce Brosnan), Swedish adventurer and writer Bill Andersson (Stellan Skarsgård), and British banker Harry Bright (Colin Firth). She invited them without telling her mother, believing that after she spends time with them she will know who her father is ("Honey, Honey").

Villa Donna owner Donna Sheridan (Meryl Streep) is ecstatic to reunite with old friends and former Donna and The Dynamos bandmates, wisecracking author Rosie (Julie Walters) and wealthy multiple divorcee Tanya (Christine Baranski), and reveals her mystification at her daughter's desire to get married. Donna explains her precarious finances to Rosie and Tanya ("Money, Money, Money").

The three men arrive, and Sophie smuggles them to their quarters and explains that she, not her mother, sent the invitations. She begs the men to hide so Donna will have a surprise at the wedding: seeing the old friends of whom she "so often" favorably speaks. They overhear Donna working (humming "Fernando") and the men swear to Sophie they won't reveal her secret.

However, Donna spies them and is dumbfounded to find herself face to face with the three former lovers she could never forget ("Mamma Mia"), and is adamant that they cannot stay. She confides in Tanya and Rosie ("Chiquitita") a secret she has kept from everyone — she is uncertain which of the three men is actually Sophie's father. Tanya and Rosie rally her spirits by getting Donna to dance with the female staff and islanders ("Dancing Queen").

Sophie finds the men aboard Bill's yacht, and they sail around Kalokairi ("Our Last Summer") and tell stories of Donna as a carefree girl. Sophie musters up the courage to speak with Sky (Dominic Cooper) about her ploy, but loses her nerve. Sky and Sophie sing to each other ("Lay All Your Love on Me"), but are interrupted when Sky's kidnapped for his bachelor party.

At Sophie's bachelorette party, Donna, Tanya, and Rosie perform as Donna and The Dynamos ("Super Trouper"). Sophie is delighted to see her mother rock out, but becomes nervous when the festivities are interrupted by the arrival of Sam, Bill and Harry. She decides to get each of her three prospective dads alone to talk.

While her girlfriends dance with the men ("Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)"), Sophie learns from Bill that the old woman who gave Donna the money to invest in her villa was his great aunt Sofia. Sophie guesses she must be her namesake and that Bill must be her father. She asks him to give her away and to keep their secret from Donna until the wedding.

Sophie's happiness is short-lived as Sam and Harry each tell her they must be her dad and will give her away ("Voulez-Vous"). A shocked Sophie can't tell them the truth and, overwhelmed by the consequences of her actions, faints on the dance floor.

In the morning, Rosie and Tanya reassure Donna they will take care of the men. Donna confronts Sophie in the courtyard, believing Sophie wants the wedding stopped. Sophie says that all she wants is to avoid her mother's mistakes and storms off. An upset Donna is accosted by Sam, full of concern at Sophie getting married so young. Donna dresses him down, and both realize they still have feelings for each other ("SOS").

On Bill's boat, Bill and Harry are about to confide in each other, but are interrupted by Rosie. Similarly, down on the beach, Tanya and young Pepper (Philip Michael) continue their flirtations from the previous night ("Does Your Mother Know").

With her plans falling apart, Sophie comes clean to Sky and asks for his help. He reacts angrily to his fiancée's deception and Sophie turns to her mother for support. As Donna helps her daughter dress for the wedding, their rift is quickly healed and Donna reminisces about Sophie's childhood and how quickly she's grown ("Slipping Through My Fingers"). Sophie asks Donna to give her away. As the bridal party walks to the chapel, Sam intercepts Donna and begs her to talk. She reveals the deep pain she felt over losing him ("The Winner Takes It All").

During the wedding ("Knowing Me, Knowing You"), Donna confesses to Sophie that her father is present but he could be any of the three candidates, whom Sophie admits to having invited. The three men concur that they would be quite happy to be one-third of a father for Sophie. She then tells Sky that they should postpone their wedding and travel the world, as they have always wanted. It appears that preparations have been in vain until Sam steps in and proposes to Donna. She accepts ("I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do") and the couple are married.

At the wedding reception, Sam sings to Donna ("When All Is Said and Done"), which prompts Rosie to make a play for Bill ("Take a Chance on Me"). All the couples present proclaim their love and water from Aphrodite's fountain bursts through the crack in the courtyard("Mamma Mia" reprise).

Sophie and Sky bid farewell to Kalokairi and sail away to a new life together ("I Have a Dream" reprise).

During the principal credits, Donna, Tanya, and Rosie reprise "Dancing Queen", followed by "Waterloo" with the rest of the cast. Finally, Amanda Seyfried sings "Thank You for the Music" over the end credits.

The soundtrack album was released July 8, 2008 by Decca. Because the film is based on a stage musical, the songs are new renditions, not performances by ABBA. Many of the songs have been changed, with some words altered to better fit the plot, or have sections spoken as dialogue, or were rearranged for orchestral backing, with guitar and Greek bouzouki (as in the final performance of "I Have a Dream").

The prologue of "I Have a Dream", "Chiquitita", "Waterloo", the reprises of "Mamma Mia" and "Dancing Queen" and "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" were filmed, but are not included on the soundtrack. Sophie and Bill's song "The Name of the Game" was cut from the final version of the film. The scene is included in the deleted scenes of the DVD release and the song remains on the soundtrack. "Thank You for the Music" appears as a hidden track, 38 seconds after "I Have a Dream" finishes (4:53).

Amanda Seyfried (Sophie) recorded a music video for the song "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" that was released in Europe and elsewhere. It is available on the 2-disc special edition DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Most of the filming was done on the small Greek island of Skopelos (during August/September 2007), and the seaside hamlet of Damouchari in the Pelion area of Greece. On Skopelos, Kastani beach on the south west coast was the film's main location site. The producers built a beach bar and jetty along the beach, but removed them both when they left.

Other parts of the film were produced on the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios, where lighting and temperature could be controlled. Production offices for the film were based at Pinewood Studios.

The part of the film where two of the characters miss the last ferry to the island was filmed at the old port of Skiathos.

Both composers, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, appear in minor, uncredited roles in the film. Andersson, dressed as a fisherman, plays the piano in "Dancing Queen" as the cast dances; Ulvaeus is a Greek god (with lyre) showering the girls with gold dust during the closing credits.

Actress Meryl Streep had taken opera singing lessons as a child, and as an adult, she had previously sung in several movies, including Postcards from the Edge, Silkwood, Death Becomes Her, and A Prairie Home Companion.

The Mamma Mia! trailer was released the week of December 10, 2007 first on Entertainment Tonight, then released to the internet. A high quality version can be found on the film's official site.

Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog joined Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson at the Swedish premiere of the film, held at the Rival Theatre in Mariatorget, Stockholm, owned by Andersson, on July 4, 2008. It was the first time all four members of ABBA had been photographed together since 1986.

On September 8, 2008, at the National Movie Awards, Mamma Mia! won Best Musical and Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and was nominated for Best Actor (Pierce Brosnan). On December 11, nominations for the Golden Globe Awards were announced: Mamma Mia! was nominated for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy, and Meryl Streep for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. At the awards ceremony on January 11, 2009, the film won neither category. The film also received an American Music Award nomination for Best Soundtrack. The cast of the movie was nominated for Favorite Cast at the 35th People's Choice Awards but lost to The Dark Knight. In addition, the song "Mamma Mia", as performed by Meryl Streep, won the award for Favorite Song from a Soundtrack and the movie itself was nominated for Favorite Comedy Movie but lost to 27 Dresses. For the 62nd British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) Mamma Mia! received nominations for Outstanding British Film, Best Music and Judy Craymer was nominated as producer for the Carl Foreman Award for Special Achievement by a British Director, Writer or Producer for their First Feature Film. Pierce Brosnan's performance was nominated for and won Worst Supporting Actor at the 2009 Razzie Awards.

As of April 6, 2009, Mamma Mia! has grossed a worldwide total of $602,609,487 and is the fifth highest grossing film of 2008 as well as being the 42nd highest grossing film of all time. As of October 26 2008, it became the highest-grossing movie musical of all time worldwide . It is also the most successful British-made film of all time, as well as being the highest grossing film of all time at the UK box office, eclipsing the record previously held by Titanic on the December 16, 2008, some 20 weeks after the film's original release. This is not adjusted for inflation.

It is the third highest-grossing film of 2008 internationally (i.e. - outside of North America) with an international total of $458,479,424 and the thirteenth highest gross of 2008 in North America (the US and Canada) with $144,130,063.

In the United Kingdom, Mamma Mia! has grossed £69,166,087 as of January 23, 2009, and is the highest grossing film of all time at the UK box office. The film opened at #1 in the U.K, taking £6,594,058 on 496 screens. It managed to hold onto the top spot for 2 weeks, narrowly keeping Pixar's WALL-E from reaching #1 in its second week.

When released on July 3 in Greece, the film grossed $1,602,646 in its opening weekend, ranking #1 at the Greek box office.

The film made $9,627,000 in its opening day in the United States and Canada, and $27,605,376 in its opening weekend, ranking #2 at the box office, behind The Dark Knight. At the time, it made Mamma Mia! the record-holder for the highest grossing opening weekend for a movie musical, surpassing Hairspray's box office record in 2007. On October 26, 2008, High School Musical 3: Senior Year took a weekend total $42 million, surpassing the record made by Mamma Mia!.

Because of Mamma Mia!'s financial success, Hollywood studio chief David Linde, the co-chairman of Universal Studios told The Daily Mail that it would take a while, but there could be a sequel. He stated that he would be delighted if Judy Craymer, Catherine Johnson, Phyllida Lloyd, Benny Andersson, and Björn Ulvaeus agreed to the project, noting that there are still plenty of ABBA songs to use. Also some recent reports have stated that if the sequel goes through that they may use some of the songs they cut from the first one.

Mamma Mia! was released in Australia and New Zealand on DVD on November 6, 2008, and was released on Blu-ray on December 3. It was released on both DVD and Blu-ray in the UK and Norway on November 24 and November 26 respectively. It was released in US on December 16.

On November 24, Mamma Mia! became the fastest-selling DVD of all time in the UK, according to Official UK Charts Company figures. It sold 1,669,084 copies on its first day of release, breaking the previous record (held by Titanic) by 560,000 copies. By the end of 2008, The Official UK Charts Company declared it had become the biggest selling DVD ever in the UK, with one in every four households owning a copy (over 5 million copies sold). The record was previously held by Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl with sales of 4.7 million copies.

On November 26, 2008, Mamma Mia! became the best-selling DVD in Finland, by selling 110,000 copies and is the first DVD to earn a platinum award in that country.

In the United States the DVD made over $30 million on its first day of release.

By December 31, 2008, Mamma Mia! had become the best-selling DVD of all time in Sweden with 545,000 copies sold.

The DVD was released as a single-disc edition and a two-disc special edition.

Some 2-disc special editions come with a bonus soundtrack.

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Pride and Prejudice


Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen. First published on 28 January 1813, it is her second published novel. Its manuscript was initially written between 1796 and 1797 in Steventon, Hampshire, where Austen lived in the rectory. Originally called First Impressions, it was never published under that title, and in following revisions it was retitled Pride and Prejudice.

The novel was originally titled First Impressions by Jane Austen, and was written between October 1796 and August 1797. On November 1, 1797, Austen's father gave the draft to London bookseller Thomas Cadell in hopes of it being published, but it was rejected. The unpublished manuscript was returned to Austen and it stayed with her.

Austen revised the manuscript for First Impressions, with significant revisions between 1811–1812. She later renamed the story Pride and Prejudice. In renaming the novel, Austen probably had in mind the "sufferings and oppositions" summarized in the final chapter of Fanny Burney's Cecilia, called "Pride and Prejudice", where the phrase appears three times in block capitals. It is possible that the novel's original title was altered to avoid confusion with other works. In the years between the completion of First Impressions and its revision into Pride and Prejudice, two other works had been published under that name: a novel by Margaret Holford and a comedy by Horace Smith.

Austen sold the copyright for the novel to Thomas Egerton of Whitehall in exchange for £110 (Austen had asked for £150). This proved a costly decision. Austen had published Sense and Sensibility on a commission basis, whereby she indemnified the publisher against any losses and received any profits, less costs and the publisher's commission. Unaware that Sense and Sensibility would sell out its edition, making her £140, she passed the copyright to Egerton for a one-off payment, meaning that all the risk (and all the profits) would be his. Jan Fergus has calculated that Egerton subsequently made around £450 from just the first two editions of the book.

Elizabeth Bennet is a country gentleman's daughter in 19th Century England. She is one of five daughters, a plight that her father bears as best he can with common sense of his daughters Jane and Elizabeth, and a general disinterest in the silliness of his daughters - Mary, Kitty and Lydia. Elizabeth is his favorite because of her level-headed approach to life, whilst Elizabeth's mother's greatest concern is getting her daughters married off to well-established gentlemen. Only Jane, Elizabeth's older sister, is nearly as sensible and practical as Elizabeth, but Jane is also the beauty of the family, and therefore, Mrs. Bennet's highest hope for a good match.

When Mr. Bingley, a young gentleman of London, takes a country estate near to the Bennet's home, Mrs. Bennet begins her match-making schemes without any trace of subtlety or dignity. Despite Mrs. Bennet's embarrassing interference, Mr. Bingley and Jane become fond of one another. Mr. Darcy, who has accompanied Bingley to the country, begins his acquaintance with Elizabeth, her family, and their neighbors with smug condescension and proud distaste for the all of the country people. Elizabeth, learning of his dislike, makes it a point to match his disgust with her own venom. She also hears from a soldier for whom she has a fondness that Darcy has misused the man. Without thinking through the story, Elizabeth immediately seizes upon it as another, more concrete reason to hate Mr. Darcy. She contradicts and argues with Darcy each time they meet, but somewhere along the way he begins to like Elizabeth.

When Bingley leaves the countryside suddenly and makes no attempts to contact Jane anymore, the young woman is heartbroken. Elizabeth, who had thought well of Bingley, believes that there is something amiss in the way that he left Jane in the lurch. Only when Elizabeth goes to visit her friend at the estate of Darcy's aunt does the mystery begin to unfold. After several encounters with Mr. Darcy while visiting her friend, Elizabeth is shocked when Darcy proposes to her. Elizabeth refuses him and questions him about his ungentlemanly conduct, the way that he misused her soldier friend, and his role in the manner of Bingley's abandonment of Jane. Darcy writes a letter to explain himself, and Elizabeth is embarrassed to learn that she had been misled about the facts of her concerns about the matters involving Darcy. In his turn, Darcy reflects on Elizabeth's criticisms and makes an effort to improve his manners in order to try to win her back. Elizabeth goes on a tour of the country and, coincidentally, they meet face-to-face while she is touring the gardens of his estate with her aunt and uncle. Darcy behaves with gentlemanly conduct and treats her relations with extreme diffidence. Elizabeth sees this to possibly mean that he still harbours affections for her, but before they can take this a step further it is derailed by a shocking event. Elizabeth learns that one of her younger sisters, Lydia, has run away with the very soldier who misled Elizabeth and the rest of her family about Mr. Darcy. She returns home immediately.

When the indignity of her sister's elopement is straightened out, Elizabeth is surprised when Darcy returns to the country with Bingley. She expected that the shame of her sister's actions had ruined any chances of a relationship with Mr. Darcy, or Jane and Bingley. Elizabeth learns from her aunt that Darcy did a great part to help get her younger sister properly married to the infamous soldier. She is confronted by Darcy's aunt about her "engagement" to Darcy, her rebuff, convinces Darcy that her affections have changed. He proposes a second time with Elizabeth accepting.

A major theme in much of Austen's work is the importance of environment and upbringing on the development of young people's character and morality. Social standing and wealth are not necessarily advantages in her world, and a further theme common to Jane Austen's work is ineffectual parents. In Pride and Prejudice, the failure of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (particularly the latter) as parents is blamed for Lydia's lack of moral judgment; Darcy, on the other hand, has been taught to be principled and scrupulously honourable, but is also proud and overbearing. Kitty, rescued from Lydia's bad influence and spending more time with her older sisters after they marry, is said to improve greatly in their superior society.

After the publication of her first novel, Austen sold the copyright for Pride and Prejudice to Thomas Egerton for £110. Egerton published the first edition of Pride and Prejudice in three hardcover volumes in January 1813, priced at 18s. Favourable reviews saw this edition sold out, with a second edition published in November that year. A third edition was published in 1817.

Foreign language translations first appeared in 1813 in French; subsequent translations were published in German, Danish and Swedish. Pride and Prejudice was first published in the United States in August 1832 as Elizabeth Bennet or, Pride and Prejudice. The novel was also included in Richard Bentley's Standard Novel series in 1833. R. W. Chapman's scholarly edition of Pride and Prejudice, first published in 1923, has become the standard edition from which many modern publications of the novel are based.

Pride and Prejudice has engendered numerous adaptations. Some of the notable film versions include that of 1940 starring Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier, that of 2003 starring Kam Heskin and Orlando Seale, and that of 2005 starring Keira Knightley (in an Oscar-nominated performance) and Matthew Macfadyen. Notable television versions include two by the BBC: the 1995 version starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and a 1980 version starring Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul. A 1936 stage version was created by Helen Jerome played at the St. James's Theatre in London, starring Celia Johnson and Hugh Williams. First Impressions was a 1959 Broadway musical version starring Polly Bergen, Farley Granger, and Hermione Gingold. In 1995, a musical concept album was written by Bernard J. Taylor, with Peter Karrie in the role of Mr. Darcy and Claire Moore in the role of Elizabeth Bennet. A new stage show, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, The New Musical, opened to Broadway on October 21, 2008 with Colin Donnell as Darcy.

The novel has inspired a number of other works that are not direct adaptations. Books inspired by Pride and Prejudice include: Mr. Darcy's Daughters and The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy by Elizabeth Aston; Pemberley: Or Pride and Prejudice Continued and An Unequal Marriage: Or Pride and Prejudice Twenty Years Later by Emma Tennant; The Book of Ruth by Helen Baker; Pemberley Remembered by Mary Simonsen and Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll. In Gwyn Cready's comedic romance novel, Seducing Mr. Darcy, the heroine lands in Pride and Prejudice by way of magic massage, has a fling with Darcy and unknowingly changes the rest of the story. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding, which started as a newspaper column before becoming a novel, was inspired by the then-current BBC adaptation; both works share a Mr. Darcy of serious disposition (both played by Colin Firth), a foolish match-making mother, and a detached affectionate father. The self-referential in-jokes continue with the sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Bride and Prejudice, starring Aishwarya Rai, is a Bollywood adaptation of the novel, while Pride & Prejudice: A Latter-Day Comedy (2003) places the novel in contemporary times. The off-Broadway musical I Love You Because reverses the gender of the main roles, set in modern day New York City. The Japanese manga Hana Yori Dango by Yoko Kamio, in which the wealthy, arrogant and proud protagonist, Doumyouji Tsukasa, falls in love with a poor, lower-class girl named Makino Tsukushi, is loosely based on Pride and Prejudice. A 2008 Israeli television six-part miniseries set the story in the Galilee with Mr. Darcy a well-paid worker in the high-tech industry.

Pride and Prejudice has also crossed into the science fiction and horror genres. In the 1997 episode of science fiction comedy Red Dwarf entitled "Beyond a Joke", the crew of the space ship relax in a virtual reality rendition of "Pride and Prejudice Land" in "Jane Austen World". The central premise of the television miniseries Lost in Austen is a modern woman suddenly swapping lives with that of Elizabeth Bennet. In February 2009, it was announced that Elton John's Rocket Pictures production company was making a film, Pride and Predator, based on the story, but with the added twist of an alien landing in Longbourne. In March 2009, Quirk Books released Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which takes Austen's actual, original work, and laces it with zombie hordes, cannibalism, and ultra-violent mayhem.

Pride and Prejudice has also inspired many scholarly articles and books including: So Odd a Mixture: Along the Autism Spectrum in 'Pride and Prejudice' by Phyllis Ferguson Bottomer, Forewords by Eileen Sutherland and Tony Attwood.

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Love Actually

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Love Actually is a 2003 British romantic comedy film written and directed by Richard Curtis. The screenplay delves into different aspects of love as shown through stories involving a wide variety of individuals, many of whom are linked as their tales progress. The ensemble cast is composed of predominantly English actors.

The film begins five weeks before Christmas and is played out during a week-by-week countdown until the holiday, with an epilogue that takes place one month later.

The film begins with a voiceover from David (Hugh Grant), commenting that, whenever he gets gloomy with the state of the world, he thinks about the arrivals terminal at Heathrow Airport, and the pure, uncomplicated love felt as friends and families welcome their arriving loved ones. David's voiceover also relates that all the known messages left by the people who died on the 9/11 planes were messages of love and not hate. The film then tells the "love" story of many people, culminating in a final scene at the airport enacted to the tune of The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows", that closes their stories. The film ends with a montage of anonymous persons greeting their arriving loved ones that slowly enlarges and fills the screen, eventually forming the shape of a heart.

With the help of his longtime manager Joe (Gregor Fisher), aging rock and roll legend Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) records a Christmas variation of The Troggs' classic hit "Love Is All Around." Despite his honest admission that it is a "festering turd of a record," the singer promotes the release in the hope it will become the Christmas number one single. During his publicity tour, Billy repeatedly causes Joe grief by pulling stunts such as defacing a poster of rival musicians Blue with a speech bubble reading, "We've got little pricks." He also promises to perform his song naked on television should it hit the top spot, and he keeps his word -- albeit while wearing boots and holding a strategically placed guitar -- when it does. After briefly celebrating his victory at a party hosted by Sir Elton John, Billy unexpectedly arrives at Joe's flat and explains that Christmas is a time to be with the people you love, and that he had just realized that "the people I love... is you", despite simultaneously hitting Joe with insulting comments about his weight. He reminds Joe that "We have had a wonderful ride" touring around the world together over the years. And he suggests that the two celebrate Christmas by getting drunk and watching porn. Billy and Joe's story is the only one exploring platonic love, and the two characters are unrelated to any of the other characters in film, although a few of the other characters are shown watching Billy Mack on their TVs or listening to his song on the radio. At the end of the film, Billy Mack arrives at the airport terminal with a gorgeous six-foot blonde woman pushing his luggage cart. He refers to her as one of two (and possibly more) new girlfriends, indicating his career has taken a turn for the better. Joe is there to greet him and their friendly relationship remains solid.

Juliet (Keira Knightley) and Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) are wed in a lovely ceremony orchestrated and videotaped by Mark (Andrew Lincoln), Peter's best friend and best man. When the professional wedding video turns out to be dreadful, Juliet shows up at Mark's door in hopes of getting a copy of his footage, despite the fact that he has always been cold and unfriendly to her. The video turns out to consist entirely of close-ups of her, and she realizes that he secretly has had feelings for her. Mortified, Mark explains that his coldness to her is "a self-preservation thing" and excuses himself. On Christmas Eve, Mark shows up at Juliet and Peter's door posing as a carol singer with a portable CD player, and uses a series of cardboard signs to silently tell her that "at Christmas you tell the truth," and, "without hope or agenda... to me, you are perfect". As he leaves, Juliet runs after him and kisses him, before returning to Peter. Mark tells himself, "Enough, enough now," perhaps acknowledging that it's time to move on with his life. All three appear at the airport in the closing scenes to greet Jamie and Aurélia, showing that the friendship between Peter and Mark has not been affected by the latter's feelings for Juliet.

Writer Jamie (Colin Firth) first appears preparing to attend Juliet and Peter's wedding. His girlfriend (Sienna Guillory) misses the ceremony allegedly due to illness, but when Jamie unexpectedly returns home before the reception, he discovers her engaging in sexual relations with his brother. Heartbroken, Jamie retires to the solitude of his French cottage to immerse himself in his writing. Here he meets Portuguese housekeeper Aurélia (Lúcia Moniz), who speaks only her native tongue. Despite the language barrier they manage to communicate with each other, with subtitles indicating they are at times in agreement with each other, and sometimes of opposite minds. Jamie returns to London, where he takes a course in Portuguese. On Christmas Eve, he decides to ditch celebrations with his family to fly to Marseille. In the crowded Portuguese restaurant where Aurelia works her second job as a waitress, he proposes to her in his mangled Portuguese, and she accepts using her recently learned English. The film ends with Jamie and Aurélia, now engaged. At the airport they are met by Peter, Juliet, and Mark. Aurelia jokes that if Jamie had told her his friends were so handsome, she might have chosen a different Englishman. Jamie then jokes that she doesn't speak English well and doesn't know what she's saying. she likes to be tickled.

Harry (Alan Rickman) is the managing director of a design agency. Mia (Heike Makatsch), his new secretary, clearly has designs on him. His nascent mid-life crisis allows him tentatively to welcome her attention, and for Christmas he buys her an expensive necklace from jewelery salesman Rufus (Rowan Atkinson), who takes a very long time adding ever more elaborate wrapping while Harry becomes increasingly nervous with the fear of detection. Meanwhile, Harry's wife Karen (Emma Thompson) is busy dealing with their children, Daisy (Lulu Popplewell) and Bernard (William Wadham), who are appearing in the school Nativity; her brother David; and her friend Daniel, who has just lost his wife to cancer. Karen discovers the necklace in Harry's coat pocket and assumes it is a gift for her, only to be given the CD Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now to "continue emotional education", as Harry puts it, instead. She immediately understands Harry is having an affair, and briefly breaks down alone in her bedroom before composing herself to attend the children's play with her husband. Following the play, Karen confronts Harry, who admits, "I am so in the wrong — a classic fool", to which Karen replies: "Yes, but you've also made a fool out of me — you've made the life I lead foolish too," before blinking back tears and enthusiastically congratulating their children. As for Mia, she is shown smiling while trying on the necklace. In the final airport scene, Harry returns home from a trip abroad, and Karen and his children are there to greet him. Harry is delighted to see his kids again; his exchange with Karen is more perfunctory, but suggests that, though the two are not on steady terms, they intend to give their marriage a chance.

Karen's brother, the recently-elected British Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant), is young, handsome, and single. Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) is a new junior member of the household staff at 10 Downing Street and regularly serves his tea and biscuits. Something seems to click between them, but with the exception of some mild flirting, neither pursues the attraction. When the President of the United States (Billy Bob Thornton) pays a visit, his conservative attitude and flat refusal to relax any policies leave the British advisors stymied. It is only after David walks in to find the President attempting to seduce Natalie that he stands up for the UK at a nationally televised press conference, saying Britain is a great country for things like Harry Potter, The Beatles and David Beckham's right foot ("David Beckham's left foot, come to that"), and embarrassing the President by saying that "a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend." Concerned that his affections for Natalie are affecting his political judgment, David asks for her to be "redistributed." Later, while looking through a sampling of Christmas cards, David comes across a card signed "I'm actually yours. With Love, Your Natalie." Encouraged by this he sets out to find her. After much doorbell ringing, including a ring at Mia's house, David eventually finds Natalie at her family's home. Hoping to have some time with Natalie, David offers to drive everyone to the local school for the play, the same one in which his niece and nephew are appearing (as he realizes only when his sister, Karen - still unsteady from her recent discovery of her husband's affair - spots him and thanks him for finally managing to come to a family function). The two watch the show from backstage, and their budding relationship is exposed to the audience when a curtain at the rear of the stage is raised during the big finale and David and Natalie are caught in a passionate kiss. Undeterred, they smile and wave. In the final airport scene, as David walks through the gate at the airport in the finale, Natalie - heedless of the surrounding paparazzi - runs straight through his entourage and leaps into his arms, planting a big kiss on him.

Daniel (Liam Neeson), Karen's friend, is introduced in the film during a funeral for his wife, Joanna. Her death, caused by an unspecified long-term illness, has left Daniel and his stepson Sam (Thomas Sangster) to fend for themselves. Daniel must deal with his sudden responsibility, as well as the perceived end of his love life. ("That was a done deal long ago", he says to Sam, "unless, of course, Claudia Schiffer calls, in which case I want you out of the house straight away, you wee motherless mongrel.") Sam, too, is especially forlorn about something, eventually revealing that he is in love with an American girl from his school, also named Joanna (Olivia Olson), who he assumes does not know he exists. After seeing Billy Mack's new video in a store window, he comes up with a plan, based on the premise that "girls love musicians. Even the really weird ones get girlfriends." With Daniel's encouragement, Sam teaches himself to play the drums, eventually acting as top for Joanna's performance of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" at the borough-wide school play. Unfortunately, Sam's drumming fails to secure Joanna's attention the way he had hoped. After the play, Daniel consoles Sam, who is also heartbroken over recent news of Joanna's return to the United States, and convinces him to go catch Joanna at the airport.

Sarah (Laura Linney) first appears at the wedding of Juliet and Peter, sitting next to her friend Jamie. We learn she works at Harry's graphic design company and has been in love for years with the creative director Karl (Rodrigo Santoro), a not-so-secret obsession recognized by Harry, who implores her to say something to him since it's Christmas and Karl is aware of her feelings anyway. Unfortunately for all concerned, Sarah has an institutionalized and mentally ill brother who calls her mobile phone incessantly. Sarah feels responsible for her brother and constantly puts her life on hold to support him. Sarah's chance at making love with Karl, following her company's Christmas party (hosted at an art gallery run by Mark), is abandoned when her brother again calls her at the most inopportune time. Karl suggests that she not answer (asking, "Will it make him better?"), but she does so anyway, effectively ending their relationship. On Christmas Eve, she wishes Karl "Merry Christmas" as he leaves the office, and it is clear he wants to say something to her, but he departs and she breaks down in tears before picking up her phone to ring her brother. She is seen spending Christmas in her brother's institution, wrapping a scarf around him. They are the only couple not seen at the end of the movie at the airport.

After several blunders attempting to woo various English women, including Mia and the caterer at Juliet and Peter's wedding, Colin Frissell (Kris Marshall) informs his friend Tony (Abdul Salis) he plans to go to America and find love there because, in his estimation, the U.S. is filled to the brim with gorgeous women who will fall head over heels for him because of his "cute British accent". ("Stateside, I'm Prince William... without the weird family".) The first place he goes after landing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is an average American bar where he meets three stunningly attractive women (Ivana Milicevic, January Jones, and Elisha Cuthbert) who, after falling for his Basildon accent, invite him to stay at their home, specifically in their bed, with them and their housemate Harriet (Shannon Elizabeth) ("the sexy one"). They warn him that, because they are poor, they can't even afford pajamas, so everyone will be naked. In the finale, a much cooler and more suave Colin returns to England with Harriet, the fourth Wisconsin girl, for himself, and her sister Carla (Denise Richards) who came on the flight to meet Tony. At the airport, Carla embraces and kisses a startled Tony and tells him that "I heard that you were gorgeous".

In a story that was excised completely from the censored version of the DVD release of the film, John (Martin Freeman) and Judy (Joanna Page), who up to this point were unknown to each other, work as stand-ins for the sex scenes in a movie. Colin's friend Tony is part of the film crew, and gives them directions as to the activities they should simulate so that lighting checks and such can be completed before the actors are called to the set. Despite their blatantly sexual actions, and frequent nudity, they are very naturally comfortable with each other, discussing politics, traffic, and previous jobs as if they'd known one another for years. John even tells Judy that "it is nice to have someone I can just chat with." The two carefully and cautiously pursue a relationship, and see the play at the local school together with John's brother. In the finale at the airport, Tony, while waiting for Colin, runs into John and Judy, about to depart on a trip together. Judy happily displays an engagement ring on her finger.

Rufus is a minor but significant character played by Rowan Atkinson. He is the Selfridges jewelry salesman whose obsessive attention to his gift-wrapping nearly gets Harry caught buying Mia's necklace, and later at the airport, he purposely distracts an attendant so that Sam can sneak through security and see Joanna before she goes back to America. In the original script, the character was revealed to be an angel, and the airport scene showed him disappearing as he walked through the crowd, but this aspect of the character was removed. Richard Curtis says that with all the storylines already complicating the movie, "the idea of introducing another layer of supernatural beings" seemed over-the-top.

The Working Title Films production, budgeted at $45,000,000, was released by Universal Pictures. It grossed $62,671,632 in the United Kingdom $13,956,093 in Australia and $59,472,278 in the US and Canada. It took a worldwide total of $247,472,278.

Most of the movie was filmed on location in London, at sites including Trafalgar Square, the central court of Somerset House in the Strand, Grosvenor Chapel on South Audley Street near Hyde Park, St. Paul's Clapham on Rectory Grove, Clapham in the London Borough of Lambeth, the Millennium Bridge, Selfridges department store on Oxford Street, Lambeth Bridge, the Tate Modern in the former Bankside Power Station, Canary Wharf, Marble Arch, the St. Lukes Mews off All Saint's Road in Notting Hill, Chelsea Bridge, the OXO Tower, London City Hall, Poplar Road in Herne Hill in the London Borough of Lambeth, Elliott School in Pullman Gardens, Putney in the London Borough of Wandsworth, and London Heathrow Airport. Additional scenes were filmed at the Marseille Airport and Le Bar de la Marine.

Scenes set in 10 Downing Street were filmed at the Shepperton Studios.

The scene in which Colin attempts to chat up the female caterer at the wedding appeared in drafts of the screenplay for Four Weddings and a Funeral, but was cut from the final version.

Veteran actress Jeanne Moreau is seen briefly waiting for a taxi at the Marseille Airport. Soul singer Ruby Turner appears as Joanna Anderson's mother, one of the backup singers at the school Christmas pageant.

After the resignation of PM Tony Blair, pundits and speculators referred to a potential anti-American shift in Gordon Brown's cabinet as a "Love Actually moment," referencing the scene in which Hugh Grant's character stands up to the American president. In 2009, during President Barack Obama's first visit to the UK, Chris Matthews referred to the president in Love Actually as an exemplar of George W. Bush and other former presidents' bullying of European allies, in contrast with Obama's more cooperative, respectful style.

The film's original music was composed, orchestrated, and conducted by Craig Armstrong.

The soundtrack album reached the Top 40 of the US Billboard 200 in 2004 and ranked #2 on the soundtrack album chart. It also achieved gold record status in Australia and Mexico.

The UK release of the soundtrack features an additional score track by Craig Armstrong, "PM's Love Theme", and "Sometimes" performed by Gabrielle. However it does not include "Wherever You Will Go" by The Calling. The US disc replaced the Girls Aloud version of "Jump" with the Pointer Sisters' original recording. Craig Armstrongs songs "Glasgow Love Theme" and "Portuguese Love Theme" were also used in the movie but did not appear on the soundtrack.

Although they were not included on the soundtrack album, the Paul Anka song "Puppy Love" performed by S Club Juniors, and "Bye Bye Baby" by the Bay City Rollers, are heard in the film.

Todd McCarthy of Variety called it "a roundly entertaining romantic comedy," a "doggedly cheery confection," and "a package that feels as luxuriously appointed and expertly tooled as a Rolls-Royce" and predicted "its cheeky wit, impossibly attractive cast, and sure-handed professionalism... along with its all-encompassing romanticism should make this a highly popular early holiday attraction for adults on both sides of the pond".

Michael Atkinson of The Village Voice called it "love British style, handicapped slightly by corny circumstance and populated by colorful neurotics".

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The Last Legion

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The Last Legion is a 2007 film directed by Doug Lefler. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis and others, it is based on a 2003 Italian novel of the same name written by Valerio Massimo Manfredi. It stars Colin Firth along with Sir Ben Kingsley and Aishwarya Rai, and premiered in Abu Dhabi on April 6, 2007.

The film is loosely inspired by the events of 5th century European history, notably the collapse of the Western Roman Empire under its last Emperor, Romulus Augustus. This is coupled with other facts and legends from the history of Britain and fantastic elements from the legend of King Arthur to provide a basis for the Arthurian legend.

The film is narrated by Ambrosinus, native to Britain, who knows of a legend concerning the sword of Julius Caesar, which was hidden away from evil men. It begins shortly before the coronation of Romulus as Emperor in 460.

Having traveled through much of the known world in search of Caesar's sword, Ambrosinus has then become Romulus's tutor. A Druid and part of a secret brotherhood protecting the sword, he at times gives the impression he is a magician, but his "magic" is just trickery. Romulus's father Orestes rules Rome but is not Emperor himself.

On the day before the coronation, Odoacer, commander of the barbarian Goths allied with Rome, demands a third of Italy from Orestes, but is rebuffed. The same day, Romulus meets the general of the Nova Invicta Legion, Aurelianus Caius Antonius, called "Aurelius".

The night after Romulus is crowned, Rome is attacked by the Goths. Most of Aurelius's men, pledged to protect the emperor, are killed, though Aurelius is only stunned and left for dead. Orestes and his wife are killed by Odoacer's lieutenant Wulfila, who captures Romulus.

Next day, Odoacer, now ruler of the Western Empire, plans to have Romulus killed. However, Ambrosinus convinces Odoacer to spare the boy. Instead, Romulus is exiled to Capri along with Ambrosinus, guarded by Wulfila and his men. His prison is a villa constructed more than four centuries earlier by the emperor Tiberius.

With Ambrosinus's help, Romulus discovers a hidden chamber within the villa. He comes across a statue of Caesar holding the fabled sword, forged by a Chalybian smith after his military campaigns in Britain. Writing near the statue's feet proclaims the sword was made for "he who is destined to rule". This is interpreted as a prophecy by various characters, and Romulus keeps the weapon.

The two are rescued from Capri by the loyal Aurelius and three surviving legionaries, accompanied by a female agent of the Eastern Roman Empire - an Keralan Indian warrior named Mira (trained in the martial art of Kalarippayattu). They take Romulus to a seaport where the Eastern Roman Empire's emissary (whom Mira works for) and the senator Nestor have promised safe passage to Constantinople. However, they barely escape after they learn the Senate and the Eastern Empire have betrayed them and sided with Odoacer.

Ambrosinus persuades Romulus to seek refuge in Britain, where the Ninth Legion (called the Dragon Legion) may remain loyal, being far from the events. They are followed by Wulfila and his men; the Goth covets Caesar's sword after learning the prophecy. Crossing the Alps and the English Channel, the party travels to Hadrian's Wall and initially find no evidence of the legion until a farmer approaches and reveals he was its commander. With the collapse of Roman support of Britain, the legion had decided to disband and settle as farmers. They also did not want to antagonize the powerful warlord Vortgyn.

Vortgyn also desires the sword of Caesar as he aspires to rule the whole of Britain. It is revealed that Vortgyn and Ambrosinus are old enemies. After meeting with the Goths, Vortgyn decides to either capture or kill Romulus as a gesture to Odoacer. Aurelius, wielding Caesar's sword, leads a few supporters against Vortgyn's forces at Hadrian's Wall. The battle appears hopeless until the rest of the Ninth Legion, having taken up their old Roman arms and uniforms, appear and turn the tide. The two warring sides cease their hostilities when Ambrosinus confronts and burns Vortgyn alive at a tree-sanctuary of his secret brotherhood near the battlefield. Romulus kills Wulfila with Caesar's sword, avenging his parents. He tells Aurelius that he fought like a dragon, whereupon Aurelius replies that Romulus fought like the son of a dragon.

Repulsed by the deaths in the battle, Romulus heaves away his sword which remarkably pierces a large rock and becomes lodged there. Many years later, Ambrosinus, now known as Merlin, takes a young boy to the battlefield to describe the now legendary events. Merlin, who has visibly aged little since the battle, says that Aurelius married Mira and raised Romulus as their own son, and Romulus became a wise ruler and adopted the name "Pendragon". The boy, Arthur, recognizes Romulus as his father.

The film's producers include Dino De Laurentiis, Martha, his second wife, and Raffaella, his daughter by his first wife. Raffaella suggested director Doug Lefler due to his work on Dragonheart: A New Beginning, which she produced. Filming took place in Tunisia and Slovakia in 2005.

Valerio Massimo Manfredi helped adapt his novel to the screen, also acting as historical consultant. In an interview he states at least four hours of footage was shot but ultimately shortened or cut, including scenes of the heroes' journey through the Alps and the English Channel.

For the role of Aurelius, executive producer Harvey Weinstein suggested Colin Firth, known for playing Fitzwilliam Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995) and more recently, Mark Darcy in the Bridget Jones films. Firth accepted the role due to the story, which he liked, and that it was very different from previous roles.

Thomas Sangster (Romulus) was one of the last to be cast. He had previously worked with Firth in Love Actually (2003) and Nanny McPhee (2006), and their familiarity with each other benefited both.

Sir Ben Kingsley was cast as Ambrosinus/Merlin after one meeting with Lefler. Kingsley was drawn to the mystique of the character, whom Lefler describes as a "warrior shaman". Kingsley also found the story interesting.

Aishwarya Rai was cast as Mira after the filmmakers decided "somebody that had a rare beauty... who could move very well", in Lefler's words, was ideal for the role. Lefler touted Rai's training in dance as an asset for her fight scenes. Like Firth, Rai took the role as a change of pace from her previous work.

The film's costumes were designed by Paolo Scalabrino, who had worked on Gangs of New York and Troy.

Lefler wanted each character to have a unique fighting style. Richard Ryan served as the film's sword master, helping him plan the fight scenes; he had worked on Troy and would work on Stardust as such.

The film's score was composed by Patrick Doyle.

As of September 7, 2007, the film had an average score of 37 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 12 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, 16% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 52 reviews (8 "fresh", 44 "rotten") and the "cream of the crop" rating was 8%.

The film departs from the novel in several ways; so much so that its credits state it to be "based in part" on the original.

In the novel, Aurelius (called Aurelianus Ambrosius Ventidius) is a low-ranking officer rather than a general, and his original legion, the Nova Invicta, is destroyed much earlier.

The novel's "band of heroes" includes three surviving legionaries (Aurelius, Vatrenus and Batiatus), a Venetian warrior woman called Livia Prisca, and two Greek gladiators, Demetrius and Orosius. The film turns Livia into the Indian Mira, and Demetrius and Orosius into legionaries. While Demetrius remains a prominent supporting character, Orosius becomes an uncredited background extra.

The film alters the capital of the Western Empire from Ravenna to Rome.

The film depicts the coronation of Romulus (and subsequent fall of Rome) as having taken place in 460, while the novel correctly gives the year as 476. Romulus was Emperor for ten months, not a single day as in the film.

The "Last Legion" in the novel is a fictional Twelfth Legion (Legio XII Draco), not the Ninth. While the Ninth is called the "Dragon" Legion as in the novel, it was the "Spanish" Legion (Legio IX Hispana) in real life. A Twelfth Legion did exist under different names, but not as Draco.

The prophecy concerning Romulus is worded differently in the novel: it speaks of a youth with a sword who will bring peace and prosperity to Britain, and the "eagle and the dragon" flying once more over the land (Manfredi makes these the dying words of the soldier-bishop Germanus, whom he also makes the founder of the Dragon Legion).

In the novel, Ambrosinus (full Roman name Meridius Ambrosinus, originally known as Myrdin Emries in Britain, which later becomes Merlin) is a Christian and yet also a Druid. This is left unclear in the film, where he mostly speaks in generic terms of "truth" and "faith"; one exception is when he tells Vortgyn (spelled Wortigern in the novel) to "burn in Hell".

The final battle is identified as the Battle of Badon Hill in the novel but not in the film.

Orestes, who was partly of German blood, was historically the magister militum — the senior officer of the Roman army second to the emperor. He had indeed promised his German foederati a third of Italy to settle in but not to Odoacer personally. Orestes was himself an usurper, having used his power over the foederati to depose the legitimate emperor Julius Nepos and inaugurate his son Romulus Augustus.

There was civil strife in the Eastern Roman Empire at the time but the Emperor alluded to would probably have been Zeno (explicit in the novel). The Eastern Emperor eventually neutralised Odoacer when the latter became too popular with the people of Italy.

Mira's weapon, the katar, wasn't invented yet. They came into use more than 1000 years later. The Kalarippayattu style of martial arts fighting was that Mira claimed to be expertly trained in was not what was portrayed within the film. This type of fighting style has clear characteristics that would make it very obvious to recognize.

A few of the castles and fortified cities in the film have round spires with pointed coned roofs, when in fact this style of buildings was not common until the late Middle Ages.

The Emperor Tiberius is referred to as "the last of Julius Caesar's line". Inconsistently, Romulus Augustus is also depicted as the last of Julius Caesar's family line and Tiberius as one of his ancestors. In fact Tiberius was second of the five Julio-Claudian emperors, and was adopted by Augustus, who had himself been adopted by Julius Caesar. Tiberius was thus not the last of any line established by Julius Caesar (Augustus' maternal great-uncle by blood). Moreover, Tiberius is the only emperor of the dynasty who has not any family ties with Caesar (he is a Claudius, not a Julius). Historically, it was Nero, who ruled roughly twenty years after the death of Tiberius, who was the last emperor of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty and thus, technically, the last ruler to be descended from Julius Caesar's family, the Julii. In the film it is implied that Romulus's descent from Caesar's family is through his (unnamed) mother (which is presumably why Orestes cannot be Emperor himself). Historically, nothing is known about Romulus's mother, but the Julii had been extinct for 400 years before Romulus was born. He could only be claimed as 'the last of Julius Caesar's line' by the fact that he was the last (Western) ruler to bear the name 'Caesar', which all Emperors subsequent to Nero adopted as part of their Imperial title.

The film uses the premise of the missing Ninth Legion still existing somewhere in Britain at this time, a once popular idea among British Historians. The Ninth Legion disappears from Roman records from about 120 AD, by which time it was no longer serving in Britain. Rather, it is believed to have been destroyed near the Danube frontier during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. Even if the Ninth had gone missing in Britain, it is highly unlikely to have continued its existence as a military force for the three centuries between 160 and 460. At any rate by the late fifth century AD Britain had already long been abandoned by Rome, as the last legions had departed for the Imperial capital from Britain in 410 AD.

Romulus's coronation and capture is depicted as taking place in Rome, whereas his historical reign and abdication took place in Ravenna.

The movie shows King Arthur as a descendant of the last Roman imperial line. In Le Morte d'Arthur Arthur claims descent from Constantine and is crowned Roman Emperor after defeating its (fictional) ruler, Lucius Tiberius.

Aurelius is based on Aurelius Ambrosius, brother of Arthur's father Uther Pendragon. Aurelius and Uther opposed Vortigern. Aurelius is a fictionalized version of the historical war leader Ambrosius Aurelianus, who led the Romano-British against the invading Saxons.

In Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudohistorical work The History of the Kings of Britain (Historia Regum Britanniae), Merlin, originally a figure unconnected with Arthur, is called Merlin Ambrosius after Geoffrey merged legends of Aurelius Ambrosius into the character. Ambrosius becomes Ambrosinus in the film. In the novel, Merlin's original British name Myrdin Emries is directly taken from Welsh versions of the tales.

Vortgyn's death by fire in a burning tree shelter/shrine echoes the legendary Vortigern's death, as according to Geoffrey of Monmouth the latter died in his tower when it was set aflame.

One of the movie's taglines is "Before King Arthur, there was Excalibur". The last shots of the film establish the fictional sword of Caesar as the legendary blade (also the Sword in the Stone, originally a different weapon).

The word Excalibur comes from the Old French "Escalibor" which is itself a corruption of Caliburnus or Caliburn. The name Caliburn is often held to be Geoffrey of Monmouth's Latinized form of the original Welsh Caledfwlch or Irish Caladbolg (lit. "hard-belly" or voracious) though others, such as Manfredi, believe it is ultimately derived from Latin chalybs "steel", which is in turn derived from Chalybes, the name of an Anatolian ironworking tribe.

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Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason (book cover).jpg

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is a 1999 novel by Helen Fielding, a sequel to her popular Bridget Jones's Diary. It chronicles Bridget Jones's adventures after she begins to suspect that her boyfriend, Mark Darcy, is falling for a rich young solicitor who works in the same firm as him, a girl called Rebecca. The comic novel follows the characteristic ups and downs of the self-proclaimed singleton's first real relationship in several years. It also involves many misunderstandings, a few work mishaps, and an adventure in Southeast Asia involving planted drugs and Madonna songs.

In 2004 a film adaptation was released.

Fielding has said that the first Bridget Jones story was based on the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. There are similar parallels between The Edge of Reason and the Austen novel Persuasion, in which the main character is persuaded by her friends to break off her relationship with her "true love". Again, Fielding borrows a name from Austen, this time a Giles Benwick, after Captain Benwick. She also reworks several scenes in Persuasion: for example, Rebecca, Bridget's rival for Mark's affection, dives into a shallow river and hurts her foot, a mirror of the incident in Persuasion when Louisa, Anne's rival, falls on her head at Lyme. In both cases, the protagonist (Anne/Bridget) first overhears Darcy praising Rebecca/Louise for being "resolute" - praise of the very trait that contributes to the accident. Then, when Bridget attends her goddaughter Constance's birthday party, Mark Darcy rescues her from a young male child who is determined to climb onto her back; in Persuasion, Captain Wentworth (Anne's lost love) does precisely the same thing, in the same manner, for Anne. At Bridget's mother's Book Club poetry reading, Mark overhears Bridget commenting that women remain fixated on men who have forgotten them, and is moved to write her a secret note expressing his continuing regard (which he then fails to give to her due to a mix-up). This, with a happier immediate outcome, also happens in Persuasion, when Wentworth overhears Anne making a similar observation about "women's constancy" to Captain Harville, and writes her a proposal which he gets to her by stealth. Later in the Fielding novel, when Giles and Rebecca become romantically involved, Fielding parodies Austen's description of Captain Benwick and Louisa having fallen in love over poetry, commenting that Giles and Rebecca "fell in love over self-help books".

Much is made of Bridget's fascination with the BBC television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Colin Firth, the actor who played Mr. Darcy. Bridget even meets Colin Firth and interviews him for a newspaper article. As a self-referential in-joke, Colin Firth plays Mark Darcy in both Bridget Jones movies.

Tracie Bennett won an Audie Award for Comedy Best Actress for her audio book narrations of both this and its predecessor.

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Shakespeare in Love


Shakespeare in Love is a 1998 romantic comedy/drama film. The film was directed by John Madden and written by Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard. Stoppard's first major success was with the Shakespeare-influenced play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.

The film is largely fictional, although several of the characters are based on real people. In addition, many of the characters, lines, and plot devices are references to Shakespeare's plays.

Shakespeare in Love won a number of Academy Awards in 1999, including Best Picture, Best Actress (for Gwyneth Paltrow) and Best Supporting Actress (for Judi Dench). It was the first comedy to win the Best Picture award since Annie Hall (1977).

The film centres around the forbidden love of William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) and Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow), the daughter of a wealthy merchant.

As the film begins, theatre manager Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush) finds himself in debt to loan shark Hugh Fennyman (Tom Wilkinson). Henslowe offers Fennyman a partnership in the upcoming production of Shakespeare's newest comedy, Romeo and Ethel, The Pirate's Daughter promising that it will be a hit. This play will later be renamed Romeo and Juliet and be reworked into a tragedy (but with some comical undertones with a few characters, like the Nurse).

Will Shakespeare is suffering from writer's block and has not completed the play, but begins auditions for Romeo. A boy named Thomas Kent is cast in the role after impressing Shakespeare with his performance and his love of Shakespeare's previous work. Unknown to Shakespeare and the rest of the theatre company, Kent is young Viola de Lesseps, whose dream is to act, but as women are barred from the stage, she must disguise herself as a young man in order to fulfil her dream.

After Shakespeare discovers his star's true identity, he and Viola begin a passionate secret affair. There are strong parallels between the pair's romance and the romance in Romeo and Juliet, including the ballroom scene from Act 2 and the balcony scene immediately following it. The element of forbidden love forms the basis of Shakespeare's inspiration, and many of their conversations later show up as some of the most famous quotes in the play.

Inspired by Viola, Shakespeare begins writing feverishly. His work in progress also benefits from the off-hand advice of playwright and friendly rival Christopher Marlowe (Rupert Everett). Yet Shakespeare and de Lesseps know that their romance is doomed. Shakespeare is married, albeit long separated from his wife, and Viola’s parents would never permit her to marry a commoner such as Shakespeare. In fact, Viola's father has privately arranged a betrothal for her to Lord Wessex (Colin Firth).

Viola is called to the court of Queen Elizabeth I (Judi Dench), and Shakespeare dons a woman's disguise to accompany her. At court, Shakespeare manages to goad Wessex into betting fifty pounds that a play cannot capture the nature of true love. If Romeo and Juliet is a success, Shakespeare as playwright will win the money. The Queen, who enjoys Shakespeare's plays, agrees to be a witness to the wager. The true purpose of the meeting is revealed when Wessex announces his intent to marry Viola.

The Master of the Revels, the Queen's official in charge of the theatres, learns that there is a woman in the theatre company at the Rose playhouse. He orders the theatre closed for this violation of morality and the law. Left without a stage or lead actor, it seems that Romeo and Juliet must close before it even opens. Shakespeare is offered one last chance by the owner of a competing theatre, the Curtain, who offers his theatre to Shakespeare. Shakespeare will take the role of Romeo himself, with a boy actor playing Juliet.

Viola learns that the play will be performed on the day of her wedding. After the ceremony, Viola's loyal nurse (Imelda Staunton) helps her slip away to the theatre. In a final twist, shortly before the play begins, the boy playing Juliet starts experiencing the voice change of puberty. Viola takes the stage to replace him and plays Juliet to Shakespeare's Romeo. Their passionate portrayal of two lovers inspires the entire audience.

Mr. Tilney, the Master of the Revels, arrives at the theatre with Wessex, who has deduced his new bride's whereabouts. Tilney invokes the name of the Queen to arrest all there for indecency. Suddenly, Elizabeth I's voice rings out from the back of the theatre: "Have a care with my name Mr. Tilney - you will wear it out!" The Queen had decided to attend the play in disguise, and says that she will handle this matter herself. Although she recognizes Viola in her guise as Thomas Kent, the Queen does not unmask Viola, instead declaring that the role of Juliet is being performed by the boy Thomas Kent.

However, even a Queen is powerless to break a lawful marriage. Queen Elizabeth orders "Thomas Kent" to fetch Viola so that she may sail to America. She also states that Romeo and Juliet has accurately portrayed true love and so Wessex is forced to pay Shakespeare the fifty pounds, the exact amount Shakespeare requires to buy a share in the Chamberlain's Men. The Queen then directs "Kent" to tell Shakespeare to write something "a little more cheerful next time, for Twelfth Night".

The film makes no pretence at historical accuracy. For example, the basis of Romeo and Juliet was a poem and not one of Shakespeare's romances.

The characters of Ralph Bashford, James Hemmings, Edward Pope, Sam Gosse, James Armitage, Viola de Lesseps, Robert de Lesseps (Nicholas Le Prevost), Lady de Lesseps (Jill Baker), Hugh Fennyman, and Lord Wessex did not exist.

The characters of Philip Henslowe, Richard Burbage, Ned Alleyn, Will Kempe, Edmund Tilney, Augustine Philips, John Hemmings (spelled in real life as "John Heminges"), George Bryan, Christopher Marlowe, and John Webster did exist, but their actions in the film are fictitious.

There were neither tobacco plantations nor English colonies in America in the 1590s.

The main source for much of the action in the film is Romeo and Juliet, which the events in the film ultimately inspire Will to write. Will and Viola play out the famous balcony and bedroom scenes; like Juliet, Viola has a witty nurse, and is separated from Will by a gulf of duty (although not the family enmity of the play: the "two households" of Romeo and Juliet are supposedly inspired by the two rival playhouses). In addition, the two lovers are equally 'star-crossed' — they are not ultimately destined to be together (since Viola is of nobility promised to marry Lord Wessex and Shakespeare himself is already married). There is also a Rosaline, with whom Will is in love at the beginning of the film.

Many other plot devices used in the film are common in various Shakespearean comedies and in the works of the other playwrights of the Elizabethan era: the Queen disguised as a commoner, the cross-dressing disguises, mistaken identities, the sword fight, the suspicion of adultery (or, at least, cheating), the appearance of a "ghost", and the "play within a play".

When the clown Will Kempe says to Shakespeare that he would like to play in a drama, he is told that "they would laugh at Seneca if you played it," a reference to the Roman tragedian renowned for his sombre and bloody plot lines which were a major influence on the development of English tragedy.

Will is shown signing a paper repeatedly, with many relatively illegible signatures visible. This is a reference to the fact that several versions of Shakespeare's signature exist, and in each one he spelled his name differently.

The writers of Shakespeare in Love were sued in 1999 by Faye Kellerman, author of the book The Quality of Mercy. Ms. Kellerman claimed that the story was lifted from her book, a detective novel in which Shakespeare and a cross-dressing Jewish woman attempt to solve a murder. Miramax derided the claim of similarity as " absurd...publicity stunt". After the film's release, certain publications, including Private Eye, noted strong similarities between the film and the 1941 novel No Bed for Bacon, by Caryl Brahms and S J Simon, which also features Shakespeare falling in love and finding inspiration for his later plays. In a foreword to a subsequent edition of No Bed for Bacon (which traded on the association by declaring itself "A Story of Shakespeare and Lady Viola in Love") Ned Sherrin, Private Eye insider and former writing partner of Brahms', confirmed that he had lent a copy of the novel to Stoppard after he joined the writing team, but that the basic plot of the film had been independently developed by Marc Norman, who was unaware of the earlier work.

Shakespeare in Love has since been used as material in the VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) in Australia.

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Source : Wikipedia