Dominic Cooper

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Posted by bender 04/28/2009 @ 18:13

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All the world's a stage for Helen Mirren - This is London
The play, which also stars Dominic Cooper of Mamma Mia! fame, is a sell-out apart from a number of seats made available on the day. A total of 72 cinemas in Britain have signed up to take the broadcasts via satellite, along with 200 screens abroad...
Phèdre, with Mirren and Cooper, Opens in London June 11 - Playbill.com
The cast also includes Mamma Mia! and original History Boys star Dominic Cooper as Hippolytus and Margaret Tyzack as Oenone. Also in the company are Portia Booroff, Chipo Chung, Alexander D'Andrea, Wendy Morgan, Ruth Negga, Elizabeth Nestor,...
New York City Venues Announced for NT Live Phedre Screening - TheaterMania.com
It stars Helen Mirren, Dominic Cooper, and Margaret Tyzack. The filmed version will also include a behind-the-scenes feature at the National Theatre. The film will be screened at The Director's Guild Theatre on Thursday, June 25 at 7:30pm';...
Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF - New York Times
The first broadcast in the National Theater of London's NT Live series, at which live performances from the theater will be shown on movie screens in the United States, will be a production of “Phèdre,” starring Helen Mirren and Dominic Cooper and...
Week in Review: All-Star coach set - MLS - Major League Soccer
Houston head coach Dominic Kinnear has led the Dynamo to the best record in MLS. (Mike Stobe/Getty) A late Brian Ching goal extended the Houston Dynamo's lengthy undefeated run -- and in the process, gave Dominic Kinnear the head coaching position for...
MLS Recap: Like Father Like Son - New York Times
Houston Coach Dominic Kinnear, whose Dynamo are the top team in MLS with 28 points, will lead the league's all-stars against Everton of England at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, on July 29. • The Red Bulls might have snapped a five-game losing...
Margaret Tyzack: the accidental actor - guardian.co.uk
When she walks out on to the Lyttelton stage with her co-stars Helen Mirren and Dominic Cooper, their audience won't just be the theatre's sell-out crowd: Thursday evening's performance will be beamed live to cinema screens around the world....
Theatre preview: NT Live: Phèdre, nationwide - guardian.co.uk
Kicking off the experiment is a broadcast of Thursday's performance of Racine's tragedy Phèdre starring Helen Mirren, Margaret Tyzack and Dominic Cooper. Of course a show on screen is not the same as seeing a play live but the technology has so...
Like opera, like theater onscreen - Boston Globe
The cast includes Helen Mirren, Dominic Cooper, and Margaret Tyzack. It's the first time Mirren has returned to the National Theatre - one of the most prominent in the United Kingdom - since her Oscar-winning performance in “The Queen....
NT Live Broadcasts PHEDRE Live On Screens Across NYC And US ... - Broadway World
... live performances of plays onto cinema screens around the world will launch with a broadcast of Phèdre, by Jean Racine in a version by Ted Hughes starring Helen Mirren (The Queen) & Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia! film), directed by Nicholas Hytner....

Dominic Cooper

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Dominic Cooper (born 2 June 1978) is an English actor. He has worked in TV, film, theatre and radio, in productions including Mamma Mia!, The Duchess, and The History Boys.

Cooper was born and raised in Greenwich, London, the son of Julie, a nursery school teacher. He attended the Thomas Tallis School in Kidbrooke, and trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, graduating in 2000.

He currently lives in South London with friend and fellow History Boys actor James Corden. He is romantically linked to his "Mamma Mia!" co star, Amanda Seyfried. It was believed that their off-screen affair while filming the musical ended his long-term relationship with Joanna Carolan after twelve years.

Cooper graduated from LAMDA in 2000. He first worked in television and film before making his stage debut in Mother Clap's Molly House at the National Theatre in 2001.

Cooper was involved in Alan Bennett's play The History Boys from its very first reading. He also toured with production to Broadway, Sydney, Wellington and Hong Kong as well as appearing in the radio and film adaptations of the play.

In 2005, Cooper also appeared in a commercial for condom company Durex.

He has had notable roles in the Royal National Theatre's adaptation of the His Dark Materials trilogy where he played the lead character Will Parry, the TV series Down To Earth and Sense & Sensibility. He is possibly best known for his work in Mamma Mia!, in which he sang several songs. In the film, his character was engaged to the daughter (played by Amanda Seyfried) of the lead (Meryl Streep).

He guest stars in the "Aspinol" sketch in his History boys co star James Corden's new BBC3 show, Horne and Corden and is attached to star in the film City of Birds. In 2009 he will play Hippolytus in Phedre at the National Theatre.

Cooper was nominated for a 2006 Drama Desk Award for his work on the Broadway production of The History Boys.

He was nominated for the for Most Promising Newcomer (On Screen) award at the 2006 British Independent Film Awards and has been nominated for the British Film Critics Circle's 2006 award for British actor in support for his work on the film version of The History Boys.

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Mamma Mia! (film)

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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 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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Joseph Mawle

Joseph Mawle, born 21 March 1974 in Oxford, England is a British actor.

He landed his first major role in a 2003 production of Troilus and Cressida playing Troilus for Shakespeare at The Tobacco factory, work at the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton, in Hamlet and in 2005 the Royal Exchange Manchester's production of Antony & Cleopatra followed.

It was his performance in the television film 'Soundproof' in 2006 that made his biggest impact. Mawle was nominated for the RTS Breakthrough On Screen Award and director Ed Coulthard won the BAFTA for best director in 2007.

He has appeared in a number of British television productions since including 'Dunkirk' (Winner of the Huw Wheldon Bafta Award for Factual Drama) & in Adrian Shergold's 'Persuasion' & Channel 4's gritty gay drama 'Clapham Junction'. Time Out said "Mawle and Treadaway put in Bafta winning efforts". In 2008 he starred as Jesus in BBC/HBO Films miniseries of The Passion, and as a guest star in Foyle's War "Broken Souls" series Five.

In 2008 Joseph returned to the theatre in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at the Almeida Theatre directed by Rupert Goold. Listed for 'Outstanding Newcomer' by The Evening Standard Theatre Awards & nominated for WhatsOnStage 'Theatre Choice Awards' for Best Newcomer for his performance as Judas Iscariot.

In 2009 Mawle may be seen in the feature films 'Nineteen Eighty' (part of the 'Red Riding Trilogy') directed by James Marsh and in 'Heartless' a new film by Philip Ridley, and in the spring in Dominic Savage's 'Freefall' opposite Dominic Cooper and Aidan Gillen.

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The History Boys (film)

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The History Boys is a British comedy film released in October 2006. It was adapted by Alan Bennett from his play of the same name, which won the 2005 Olivier Award for Best New Play and the 2006 Tony Award for Best Play. It was directed by Nicholas Hytner, who directed the original production of The History Boys at the Royal National Theatre in London, and features the original cast of the play.

It was filmed in Watford in the two grammar schools, Watford Grammar School for Boys and Watford Grammar School for Girls. The film uses the uniform of Watford Grammar School for Boys.

The story is set in a boys' grammar school in Sheffield in 1983. Crowther, Posner, Dakin, Timms, Akthar, Lockwood, Scripps, and Rudge have recently obtained the school's highest ever A-level scores and are hoping to enter Oxford or Cambridge, taking a seventh-term entrance exam in History. The General Studies teacher, known by staff and boys alike by his nickname "Hector" (Richard Griffiths), is their favourite, and works alongside their deputy head and regular History teacher, Mrs. Lintott (Frances de la Tour).

The headmaster, Felix (Clive Merrison), hires an energetic young contract teacher named Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore) to assist Hector and Mrs Lintott in preparing the boys for the Oxbridge entrance exams. Irwin's style is utterly different from Hector's and Mrs. Lintott's; while the older teachers emphasise cultural and factual knowledges and the quest for truth, Irwin urges the boys to put a spin on their historical analysis, to value originality above objective truth.

As the plot progresses we learn that Hector habitually offers some of his students rides home on his motorcycle and surreptitiously fondles his passengers. The boys have all come to a mutual understanding on the subject and, while mildly annoyed, laugh off their teacher's advances and more or less willingly continue to take turns riding home on the back of his bike. This practice eventually lands Hector in trouble as he is reported to the headmaster by a lollipop woman (crossing guard) who witnesses his action. The headmaster insists that Hector retire early, and also that Hector and Irwin share a class; when they do, the group engages in a tense discussion about how best to analyse the Holocaust.

As part of their General Studies the class acts out scenes from romantic films and literature, and Posner (Samuel Barnett) sings a love song—Rodgers and Hart's "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered"—which he pointedly directs towards Dakin (Dominic Cooper). Later he seeks out Irwin to discuss his attraction to Dakin. Dakin, who characterises himself as an aspiring lecher, is currently pursuing an affair with the headmaster's secretary, Fiona (Georgia Taylor). He is not displeased by Posner's attention, but finds himself interested by Irwin. Gradually, Dakin's quest to impress Irwin on an intellectual level evolves into a flirtatious, potentially sexual pursuit of his young teacher – who, as Posner, his friend Scripps (Jamie Parker) and even Hector note, is visibly attracted to Dakin.

After interviews, when the boys receive their replies through the post, it seems that they have all gained Oxbridge places, except for the group's gauche sportsman, Rudge (Russell Tovey). When Mrs Lintott questions him, it turns out that Rudge had already been told at interview that he has a place, due to a family connection with the college (he lets his interviewers believe erroneously that his father was a scout, college servant, in the 1950s).

Dakin approaches Irwin in his classroom after the celebrations and reveals that he found no record of Irwin's attendance at Corpus, the Oxford college he claimed as his alma mater, and Irwin confesses that he lied about his past. Dakin then, "as a thank you", invites Irwin to give him a blowjob. They make an appointment to "have a drink" on Sunday. Dakin tells Irwin that he has seen two sides to Irwin—a reckless, challenging intellectual whilst teaching but an uptight, cautious personality in real life—and he cannot reconcile them.

Dakin then proceeds to the Headmaster's office and, by threatening to reveal Felix's own sexual harassment of Fiona, forces him to reinstate Hector.

The boys prepare to leave the grammar school at the end of that term, and Hector agrees to give Dakin a ride home on the motorbike "for old times' sake". However, before they leave, the headmaster runs out and stops them, saying that Hector should not take one of the boys. He suggests that Hector take Irwin instead. Dakin gladly hands the helmet to him, and the screen fades to white as they drive off, the boys waving happily and laughing.

Fast forward to a few days later, as it is revealed that the bike was in an accident on the way home, possibly caused by Irwin, never before having ridden on the back of a motorbike, leaning the wrong way on a corner. Irwin was badly injured and suffered total memory loss of his conversation with Dakin; Hector did not survive. At the memorial service, the boys sing "Bye Bye Blackbird" and the headmaster gives a trite eulogy. The scene then changes abruptly to an almost empty hall with only the eight boys and Mrs. Lintott present. "Will they come to my funeral, I wonder," Mrs Lintott remarks, before recounting the futures of the eight boys. They have entered a variety of careers: Akthar a headmaster, Crowther a magistrate, Timms the owner of a dry cleaning chain who takes drugs at weekends, Dakin a tax lawyer. Lockwood (Andrew Knott), who entered the army, died as a result of friendly fire at the age of 28 while serving in the York and Lancaster Regiment (an infantry regiment that was actually disbanded in 1968). Rudge has become a builder, Scripps a journalist, and Irwin stops teaching and becomes a maker of TV history documentaries. Finally, Posner reveals he has become a teacher who followed in Hector's footsteps, with similar ambivalence and angst, though without "touching the boys", which is "always a struggle. But maybe that's why I'm a good teacher".

The film ends with a collection of moments involving Hector, leading up to the moment that a photograph of the entire class was taken at Fountains Abbey, a scene from earlier in the film. The photo spans the entire screen, and the closing credits are played over the photo.

According to Time , the film is better than the original play, as the transformation to film improved the 'flow and intimacy' of the production, while preserving the messages it seeks to convey. Rolling Stone notes that some sense of familiarity with the subject of the film is lost in the cutting of nearly an hour from the original play, but the dialogue remains witty and pointed as is the customary style of the author. New York describes the film as 'brilliant and infectious', and filled with Alan Bennett's customary deadpan humour. The author writes as though he simultaneously envies the extrovert characters he has created, yet is happy to stand apart from them. Hector's classes ramble, but manage to inspire the boys to the extent that they are pleased to adopt his approach to learning, and contentedly go along with his eccentric behaviour. The film is peppered with literary references and carries an encouragement to engage with life.

The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures named The History Boys one of the Top Ten Films in its 2006 awards.

The film was nominated for the 2007 GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film - Limited Release.

Griffiths and de la Tour received BAFTA nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively.

Even though based in Yorkshire, the setting of the school was filmed in Watford Grammar School for Boys and Watford Grammar School for Girls in Hertfordshire.

Even though the film is set in 1983, books can be seen in the library that were not printed until later, for instance Michael Burleigh's book on the The Third Reich, which wasn't printed until 2001.

Several scenes, depicting Hector riding his motorcycle, were filmed on Beacon Hill above Halifax, West Yorkshire, overlooking the town.

The Author's and Director's commentary accompanying the DVD version of the film explains that Posner's improved future was decided on, as after the deaths of Hector and Lockwood, a third 'death' was felt to be too much.

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His Dark Materials

A traditional depiction of the Fall of Man Doctrine by Thomas Cole (Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, 1828). His Dark Materials presents the Fall as a positive act of maturation.

His Dark Materials is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman comprising Northern Lights (1995, published as The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife (1997) and The Amber Spyglass (2000). It follows the coming-of-age of two children, Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry, as they wander through a series of parallel universes against a backdrop of epic events. The three novels have won various awards, most notably The Amber Spyglass, the 2002 Whitbread Book of the Year prize, while the trilogy as a whole took third place in the BBC's Big Read poll in 2003.

The story involves fantasy elements such as witches and armoured polar bears, and alludes to a broad range of ideas from fields such as physics, philosophy, theology and spirituality. The trilogy functions in part as a retelling and inversion of John Milton's epic, Paradise Lost; with Pullman commending humanity for what Milton saw as its most tragic failing. The series has drawn criticism from some religious individuals and groups due to its alleged negative portrayal of organized religion.

Pullman's publishers have primarily marketed the series to young adults, but Pullman also intended to speak to adults. North American printings of The Amber Spyglass have censored passages describing Lyra's incipient sexuality.

Pullman has published two short stories related to His Dark Materials: "Lyra and the Birds", which appears with accompanying illustrations in the small hardcover book Lyra's Oxford (2003), and "Once Upon a Time in the North" (2008). He has been working on another, larger companion book to the series, The Book of Dust, for several years.

The London Royal National Theatre staged a major, two-part adaptation of the series in 2003–2004, and New Line Cinema released a film based on Northern Lights, titled The Golden Compass, in 2007.

Into this wilde Abyss, The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave, Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire, But all these in their pregnant causes mixt Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight, Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain His dark materials to create more Worlds, Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while, Pondering his Voyage; for no narrow frith He had to cross.

Pullman earlier proposed to name the series The Golden Compasses.

This term also appears in the poem Paradise Lost, where it poetically refers to the "compasses" with which God shaped the world, an idea depicted in William Blake's painting The Ancient of Days. Due to confusion with the other common meaning of compass (the navigational instrument) this phrase in the singular became the title of the American edition of Northern Lights (the book prominently features a device that one might label a "golden compass").

The trilogy takes place across a multiverse, moving between many parallel worlds. In Northern Lights, the story takes place in a world with some similarities to our own; dress-style resembles that of our Victorian era, and technology has not evolved to include automobiles or fixed-wing aircraft, while zeppelins feature as a notable mode of transport. It appears that in this world the Protestant Reformation never took place — the text refers to John Calvin as a Pope — or possibly that Reformation succeeded only in that it overthrew the Catholic Church and installed a Protestant clerical hierarchy. The Church as portrayed by Pullman (often referred to as the "Magisterium") exerts a strong control over his fictional world. In The Subtle Knife, the story moves between the world of the first novel, our own world, and in another world, a city called Cittàgazze. In The Amber Spyglass it crosses through an array of diverse worlds.

One distinctive aspect of Pullman's story comes from his concept of "dæmons". In the birth-universe of the story's protagonist Lyra Belacqua, a human individual's soul manifests itself throughout life as an animal-shaped "dæmon" that always stays near its human counterpart. Witches and some humans have entered areas where dæmons cannot physically enter; after suffering horrific separation-trauma, their dæmons can then move as far away from their humans as desired.

In some worlds, Spectres prey upon the dæmons of adolescents and adults, consuming them and rendering said dæmons' humans essentially catatonic; they lose all thought and eventually fade away and die. Dæmons and their humans can also become separated through intercision, a process involving cutting the dæmon away from the human. This process can take place in a medical setting, as with the titanium and manganese guillotine used at Bolvangar, or as a form of torture used by the Skraelings. This separation entails a high mortality rate and changes both human and dæmon into a zombie-like state. Severing the link using the silver guillotine method releases tremendous amounts of unnamed energy, convertible to anbaric (electric) power.

At first glance, the universe of Northern Lights appears considerably behind that of our own world, but in many fields it equals or surpasses ours. For instance, it emerges that Lyra's world has the same knowledge of particle physics, referred to as "experimental theology", that we do. In The Amber Spyglass, discussion takes place about an advanced inter-dimensional weapon which, when aimed using a sample of the target's DNA, can track the target to any universe and disrupt the very fabric of space-time to form a bottomless abyss into nothing, forcing the target to suffer a fate far worse than normal death. Other advanced devices include the Intention Craft, which carries (amongst other things) an extremely potent energy-weapon, though this craft, first seen and used outside Lyra's universe, may originate in the work of engineers from other universes.

In Northern Lights (published in the United States and Canada as The Golden Compass), the heroine, Lyra Belacqua, a young girl brought up in the cloistered world of Jordan College, Oxford, and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, learn of the existence of Dust, a strange elementary particle believed by the Magisterium to provide evidence for Original Sin. Dust appears less attracted to the innocence of children, and this gives rise to grisly experiments carried out on kidnapped children and their daemons in the distant North by scientists of the Magisterium. Lyra, initially excited at being placed in the care of the elegant and mysterious Mrs. Coulter, discovers to her horror that the latter works as a member of the secretive General Oblation Board (known among children as the "Gobblers") which kidnaps the children and runs the experiments; a horror compounded later when Lyra identifies Marisa Coulter as her own mother. She also learns that Lord Asriel, ostensibly her uncle, is her father. Lyra runs away from Coulter, whereupon the Gyptians (a gypsy-like culture based on riverboats) find her and mount an expedition to rescue the missing children. Lyra and Pantalaimon accompany them, also hoping to save their best friend Roger Parslow. With the aid of the exiled panserbjørne ("armoured bear") Iorek Byrnison who becomes Lyra's protector, John Faa and Farder Coram, the leaders of the Gyptian people, the aeronaut Lee Scoresby, and the witch Serafina Pekkala, they save the children from the experiments and destroy the research station, then continue on to Svalbard, the home of the armoured bears, where Lyra aids Iorek in winning back his kingdom by killing his rival. Lyra continues on to find Lord Asriel, exiled to Svalbard at Mrs. Coulter's request. Lord Asriel had been researching how to open a bridge to another world. This requires a vast amount of energy, acquired by severing Roger from his dæmon, killing Roger in the process. Lord Asriel, followed by Lyra and Pantalaimon, journey through the gate separately in search of the source of Dust. Coulter wishes to destroy dust and thus Original sin, while Asriel wished to kill "The Authority" (God) and bring an end to the Magisterium.

In The Subtle Knife, Lyra journeys through the Aurora to Cittàgazze, an otherworldly city whose denizens have discovered a clean path between worlds at a far earlier point in time than others in the storyline. Cittàgazze's reckless use of the technology has released soul-eating Spectres, rendering much of the world incapable of transit by post-adolescents. Here Lyra meets Will Parry, a twelve-year-old boy from our world. Will, who recently killed a man to protect his ailing mother, has stumbled into Cittàgazze in an effort to locate his long-lost father. Will becomes the bearer of the eponymous Subtle Knife, a tool forged 300 years ago by Cittàgazze's scientists from the same materials used to make Bolvangar's silver guillotine. One edge of the knife can create portals between worlds and the other edge easily cuts through any form of matter. After meeting with witches from Lyra's world, they journey on. Will finds his father, who had gone missing in Lyra's world under the assumed name of Stanislaus Grumman, only to watch him murdered almost immediately, and Lyra is kidnapped.

The Amber Spyglass tells of Lyra's kidnapping by her mother, Mrs. Coulter, an agent of the Magisterium who has learned of the prophecy identifying Lyra as the next Eve. A pair of angels, Balthamos and Baruch, inform Will that he must travel with them to give the Subtle Knife to Lyra's father, Lord Asriel, as a weapon against The Authority. Will ignores the angels; with the help of a local girl named Ama, the Bear King Iorek Byrnison, and Lord Asriel's Gallivespian spies, the Chevalier Tialys and the Lady Salmakia, he rescues Lyra from the cave where her mother has hidden her from the Magisterium, which has become determined to kill her before she yields to temptation and sin like the original Eve.

Will, Lyra, Tialys, and Salmakia journey to the Land of the Dead, temporarily parting with their dæmons to release the ghosts from their captivity imposed by the oppressive Authority. Mary Malone, a scientist originating from Will's home world, interested in Dust (or Dark Matter/Shadows, as she knows them), travels to a land populated by strange sentient creatures called Mulefa. There she learns of the true nature of Dust, which is defined as panpsychic particles of self-awareness. Lord Asriel and the reformed Mrs. Coulter work to destroy the Authority's Regent Metatron. They succeed, but themselves suffer annihilation in the process. The Authority himself dies of his own frailty when Will and Lyra free him from the crystal prison wherein Metatron had trapped him, able to do so because an attack by cliff-ghasts kills or drives away the prison's protectors. When Will and Lyra emerge from the land of the dead, they find their daemons. The book ends with Will and Lyra falling in love but realising they cannot live together in the same world, because all windows must be closed to prevent the loss of Dust, and because each of them can only live full lives in their native worlds. During the return, Mary learns how to see her own dæmon, who takes the form of a black Alpine chough. Lyra loses her ability to intuitively read the alethiometer and determines to learn how to use her conscious mind to achieve the same effect.

The first of two short novels, Lyra's Oxford takes place two years after the timeline of The Amber Spyglass. A witch who seeks revenge for her son's death in the war against the Authority draws Lyra, now 15, into a trap. Birds mysteriously rescue her and Pan, and she makes the acquaintance of an alchemist, formerly the witch's lover.

This short novel serves as a prequel to His Dark Materials and focuses on the once 24-year-old Texan aeronaut Lee Scoresby. After winning his hot-air balloon, Scoresby heads to the North, landing on the Arctic island Novy Odense, where he finds himself pulled into a dangerous conflict between the oil-tycoon Larsen Manganese, the corrupt mayoral candidate Ivan Poliakov, and his longtime enemy of the Dakota Country, Pierre McConville. The story tells of Lee and Iorek's first meeting, and of how they overcame these enemies.

The in-the-works companion to the trilogy, The Book of Dust will not continue the story, but will offer several short stories with the same characters, world, etc. The book will touch on research into Dust as well as on the portrayal of religion in His Dark Materials. Pullman has not yet finished writing this work.

Lyra's Oxford was a dark red book. Once Upon a Time in the North will be a dark blue book. There still remains a green book. And that will be Will's book. Eventually...

Pullman confirmed this in an interview with two Israeli fans in August 2007.

The Amber Spyglass won the 2001 Whitbread Book of the Year award, a prestigious British literary award. This is the first time that such an award has been bestowed on a book from their "children's literature" category.

The first volume, Northern Lights, won the Carnegie Medal for children's fiction in the UK in 1995. In 2007 the judges of the CILIP Carnegie Medal for children's literature selected it as one of the ten most important children's novels of the previous 70 years. In June 2007 it was voted, in an online poll, as the best Carnegie Medal winner in the seventy-year history of the award, the Carnegie of Carnegies.

The Observer cites Northern Lights as one of the 100 best novels.

On 19 May 2005, Pullman attended the British Library in London to receive formal congratulations for his work from culture secretary Tessa Jowell "on behalf of the government".

On 25 May 2005 Pullman received the Swedish government's Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for children's and youth literature (sharing it with Japanese illustrator Ryōji Arai). Swedes regard this prize as second only to the Nobel Prize in Literature; it has a value of 5 million Swedish Kronor or approximately £385,000.

The trilogy came third in the 2003 BBC's Big Read, a national poll of viewers' favourite books, after The Lord of the Rings and Pride and Prejudice (the only entries in the "top ten" written before 1978). At the time, only His Dark Materials and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire amongst the top five works lacked a screen-adaptation (the film version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which came fifth, went into release in 2005).

Pullman has identified three major literary influences on His Dark Materials: the essay On the Marionette Theatre by Heinrich von Kleist (online at southerncrossreview.org), the works of William Blake, and, most important, John Milton's Paradise Lost, from which the trilogy derives its title.

Pullman had the stated intention of inverting Milton's story of a war between heaven and hell, such that the devil would appear as the hero. In his introduction, he adapts a famous description of Milton by Blake to quip that he (Pullman) "is of the Devil's party and does know it." Pullman also referred to gnostic ideas in his description of the novels' underlying mythic structure..

The Chronicles of Narnia, a series of books by C. S. Lewis, appears to have had a negative influence on Pullman's trilogy. Pullman has characterised C. S. Lewis's series as "blatantly racist", "monumentally disparaging of women", "immoral", and "evil". However, some critics have compared the trilogy with such fantasy books as Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle as well as the Narnia series.

His Dark Materials has occasioned some controversy, primarily amongst some Christian groups.

Pullman has expressed surprise over what he perceives as a low level of criticism for His Dark Materials on religious grounds, saying "I've been surprised by how little criticism I've got. Harry Potter's been taking all the flak... Meanwhile, I've been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God".

Some of the characters criticize institutional religion. Ruta Skadi, a witch and friend of Lyra's calling for war against the Magisterium in Lyra's world, says that "For all of history... it's tried to suppress and control every natural impulse. And when it can't control them, it cuts them out" (see intercision). Skadi later extends her criticism to all organized religion: "That's what the Church does, and every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling". By this part of the book, the witches have made reference to how they are treated criminally by the church in their worlds. Mary Malone, one of Pullman's main characters, states that "the Christian religion... is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that's all". Formerly a Catholic nun, she gave up her vows when the experience of falling in love caused her to doubt her faith. Pullman has warned, however, against equating these views with his own, saying of Malone: "Mary is a character in a book. Mary's not me. It's a story, not a treatise, not a sermon or a work of philosophy".

Pullman portrays life after death very differently from the Christian concept of heaven: In the third book, the afterlife plays out in a bleak underworld, similar to the Greek vision of the afterlife, wherein harpies torment people until Lyra and Will descend into the land of the dead. At their intercession, the harpies agree to stop tormenting the dead souls, and instead receive the true stories of the dead in exchange for leading them again to the upper world. When the dead souls emerge, they dissolve into atoms and merge with the environment.

Pullman's "Authority", though worshipped on Lyra's earth as God, emerges as the first creature to evolve. Pullman makes it explicit that the Authority did not create worlds, and his trilogy does not speculate on who or what might have done so. Members of the Church are typically displayed as zealots.

Cynthia Grenier, in the Catholic Culture, has said: "In the world of Pullman, God Himself (the Authority) is a merciless tyrant" His Church is an instrument of oppression, and true heroism consists of overthrowing both." William A. Donohue of the Catholic League has described Pullman's trilogy as "atheism for kids". Pullman has said of Donohue's call for a boycott, "Why don't we trust readers? Oh, it causes me to shake my head with sorrow that such nitwits could be loose in the world".

Pullman has, however, found support from some other Christians, most notably from Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury (spiritual head of the Anglican church), who argues that Pullman's attacks focus on the constraints and dangers of dogmatism and the use of religion to oppress, not on Christianity itself. Williams has also recommended the His Dark Materials series of books for inclusion and discussion in Religious Education classes, and stated that "To see large school-parties in the audience of the Pullman plays at the National Theatre is vastly encouraging".

Pullman has singled out certain elements of Christianity for criticism, as in the following: "I suppose technically, you'd have to put me down as an agnostic. But if there is a God, and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against". However, Pullman has also said in interviews and appearances that his argument can extend to all religions.

His Dark Materials has appeared in adaptation on radio, in theatre and on film.

The BBC made His Dark Materials into a radio drama on BBC Radio 4 starring Terence Stamp as Lord Asriel and Lulu Popplewell as Lyra. The play was broadcast in 2003 and is now published by the BBC on CD and cassette. In the same year, a radio drama of Northern Lights was made by RTÉ (Irish public radio).

The BBC Radio 4 version of His Dark Materials was repeated on BBC Radio 7 between 7 December 2008 to 11 January 2009. With 3 episodes in total, each episode was 2.5 hours long.

Nicholas Hytner directed a theatrical version of the books as a two-part, six-hour performance for London's Royal National Theatre in December 2003, running until March 2004. It starred Anna Maxwell-Martin as Lyra, Dominic Cooper as Will, Timothy Dalton as Lord Asriel and Patricia Hodge as Mrs Coulter with dæmon puppets designed by Michael Curry. The play was enormously successful and was revived (with a different cast and a revised script) for a second run between November 2004 and April 2005. It has since been staged by several less known theatres in the UK, notably at the Playbox Theatre in Warwick (a major youth theatre company in the West Midlands)and the Theatre Royal Bath by the Young People's Theatre, which went on to receive the Bath play of the year. The play had its Irish Premiere at the O'Reilly Theatre in Dublin when it was staged by the dramatic society of Belvedere College.

A major new production will be staged at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in March and April 2009, directed by Rachel Kavanaugh.

New Line Cinema released a film adaptation, titled The Golden Compass, on 7 December 2007. Directed by Chris Weitz, the production had a mixed reception, and though worldwide sales were strong, its United States take underwhelmed the studio's hopes.

The filmmakers obscured the books' explicitly Biblical character of the Authority so as to avoid offending some viewers, though Weitz declared that he would not do the same for the hoped-for sequels. "Whereas The Golden Compass had to be introduced to the public carefully", he said, "the religious themes in the second and third books can't be minimized without destroying the spirit of these books. ...I will not be involved with any 'watering down' of books two and three, since what I have been working towards the whole time in the first film is to be able to deliver on the second and third". In May 2006, Pullman said of a version of the script that "all the important scenes are there and will have their full value"; in March 2008, he said of the finished film that “a lot of things about it were good.... Nothing can bring out all that's in the book. There are always compromises”.

The Golden Compass film stars Dakota Blue Richards as Lyra, Nicole Kidman as Mrs. Coulter, and Daniel Craig as Lord Asriel. Eva Green plays Serafina Pekkala, Ian McKellen voices Iorek Byrnison, and Freddie Highmore voices Pantalaimon.

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Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Michelle Seyfried (pronounced "Sigh-Frid", IPA: /əm'ændə mɪʃ'ɛl 'saɪfrɪd/; born December 3, 1985) is an American actress and former child model. She is best known for her roles as Sophie Sheridan in the feature film Mamma Mia! and as Karen Smith in Mean Girls; she has also appeared in Alpha Dog and in the television shows Veronica Mars and Big Love.

Amanda Seyfried was born in Allentown, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, United States, the daughter of Ann, an occupational therapist, and Jack Seyfried, a pharmacist. Her sister, Jennifer Seyfried is a musician in the Philadelphia organ-driven band, Love City. She graduated in 2003 from Allentown's William Allen High School and subsequently enrolled at New York City's Fordham University. As a teenager, she appeared on the cover of three Francine Pascal books. She is currently dating her Mamma Mia! costar Dominic Cooper after ending her 2 year relationship with Jesse Merchant. Cooper and Seyfried started dating while filming Mamma Mia! in Greece.

Seyfried started her career as a model at age eleven. From there she went on to acting uncredited in the daytime drama Guiding Light. In 2000, she originated the role of Lucy Montgomery on As the World Turns. From 2002 to 2003, she played the role of Joni Stafford on ABC's All My Children.

In 2004, Seyfried achieved a breakthrough when she was cast as the most dimwitted of the Plastics, Karen Smith, in the popular teen film Mean Girls. In Mean Girls, she initially auditioned for the role of Regina George. She became the original casting choices for both the roles of Regina George and Cady Heron. She was then cast as Regina George's sidekick, and supporting lead, Karen Smith. The other roles later went to Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan respectively. In 2005, she played the lead character in one of the nine parts in the movie Nine Lives.

Continuing her television career, Seyfried was cast in UPN's Veronica Mars as the title character's murdered best friend Lilly Kane. In her role as Lilly, she appeared on the show through a series of flashbacks, dreams and visions, which portrayed her as a wild, stylish, and bubbly teenage daughter of a business executive. Lilly is sometimes compared to the character of Laura Palmer of Twin Peaks, who also was a deceased murdered blonde teenager who had sexual activities with adults and appeared through various flashbacks as the plot unfolded. While appearing often during Mars' first season, she also appeared briefly in the second season's premiere and finale. Seyfried originally auditioned for the title role on Veronica Mars, but lost the place to Kristen Bell and she ended up winning the role of Lilly Kane.

Seyfried has had minor guest roles on House, M.D., Justice, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and as Rebecca on Wildfire. Seyfried also portrays a main character, Sarah Henrickson, in the series Big Love.

She played supporting roles in the 2007 films Alpha Dog and Solstice, and had her first lead role of the bride Sophie in the film version of the musical Mamma Mia!. Her musical performance in that film is also available on Mamma Mia! The Movie Soundtrack. Seyfried recorded a "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" music video specially for Mamma Mia!.

Seyfried joined the cast of the dark horror film Jennifer's Body in February 2008, which began filming in March 2008, playing the title character's best friend. Seyfried has several films in post-production. Titles include "Chloe", "Dear John", and "Boogie Woogie". “Chloe” is a remake of the French film Nathalie, and also stars Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore.

She is attached to star in "A Woman of No Importance" and Gary Winick's Letters To Juliet. In the latter she plays an American girl in Italy who discovers the legend of the “letters to Juliet” – love letters which visitors leave in the wall of Juliet’s courtyard in Verona which are individually answered by a group of women called the secretaries of Juliet. While at the wall, the girl discovers a letter written in 1958 which has never been picked up and she decides to go on a quest to find the lovers in question. UK writer Tim Sullivan wrote the screenplay from an original draft by Jose Rivera. Ellen Barkin whose Applehead Productions originally brought the concept to Summit’s attention is producing alongside Mark Canton. An English romantic lead for Seyfried is currently being cast while two distinguished actors are being finalized to play the older couple. Wachsberger said the tone was in the vein of Four Weddings And A Funeral but with “a lot of emotion.” Summit will handle domestic distribution and will go through its international output partners including E1 in the UK, SND in France and Concorde/TMG in Germany.

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Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey

In Charon's Boat (1807), James Gillray caricatured the fall from power of the Whig administration, with Howick taking the role of Charon rowing the boat.

Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey, KG, PC (13 March 1764 – 17 July 1845), known as Viscount Howick between 1806 and 1807, was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 22 November 1830 to 16 July 1834. A member of the Whig Party, he backed significant reform of the British government and was among the primary architects of the Reform Act 1832. In addition to his political achievements, Earl Grey famously gives his name to an aromatic blend of tea.

Descended from a long-established Northumbrian family seated at Howick Hall, Grey was the second but eldest surviving son of General Sir Charles Grey KB (1729–1807) and his wife, Elizabeth (1743/4–1822), daughter of George Grey of Southwick, co. Durham. He had four brothers and two sisters. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge, acquiring a facility in Latin and in English composition and declamation that enabled him to become one of the foremost parliamentary orators of his generation. Grey was elected to Parliament at the age of 22 in 1786. He became a part of the Whig circle of Charles James Fox, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and the Prince of Wales, and soon became one of the major leaders of the Whig party. Grey was noted for advocating Parliamentary reform and Catholic emancipation. His affair with the Duchess of Devonshire, herself an active political campaigner, did him little harm although it nearly caused her to be divorced by her husband.

In 1806, Grey, by then Lord Howick owing to his father's elevation to the peerage as Earl Grey, became a part of the Ministry of All the Talents (a coalition of Foxite Whigs, Grenvillites, and Addingtonites) as First Lord of the Admiralty. Following Fox's death later that year, Howick took over both as Foreign Secretary and as leader of the Whigs.

The government fell from power the next year, and, after a brief period as a Member of Parliament for Appleby from May to July 1807, Howick went to the Lords, succeeding his father as Earl Grey. He continued in opposition for the next 23 years.

In 1830, the Whigs finally returned to power, with Grey as Prime Minister. His Ministry was a notable one, seeing passage of the Reform Act 1832, which finally saw the reform of the House of Commons, and the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire in 1833. As the years had passed, however, Grey had become more conservative, and he was cautious about initiating more far-reaching reforms. In 1834 Grey retired from public life, leaving Lord Melbourne as his successor.

Grey returned to Howick but kept a close eye on the policies of the new cabinet under Melbourne, whom he, and especially his family, regarded as a mere understudy until he began to act in ways of which they disapproved. Grey became more critical as the decade went on, being particularly inclined to see the hand of Daniel O'Connell behind the scenes and blaming Melbourne for subservience to the radicals with whom he identified the Irish patriot. He made no allowances for Melbourne's need to keep the radicals on his side to preserve his shrinking majority in the Commons, and in particular he resented any slight on his own great achievement, the Reform Act, which he saw as a final solution of the question for the foreseeable future. He continually stressed its conservative nature. As he declared in his last great public speech, at the Grey Festival organized in his honour at Edinburgh in September 1834, its purpose was to strengthen and preserve the established constitution, to make it more acceptable to the people at large, and especially the middle classes, who had been the principal beneficiaries of the Reform Act, and to establish the principle that future changes would be gradual, "according to the increased intelligence of the people, and the necessities of the times". It was the speech of a conservative statesman.

Grey spent his last years in contented, if sometimes fretful, retirement at Howick, with his books, his family, and his dogs. He became physically feeble in his last years and died quietly in his bed on 17 July 1845, forty-four years to the day since going to live at Howick. He was buried in the church there on the 26th in the presence of his family, close friends, and the labourers on his estate.

Earl Grey tea is named after Grey, a blend which uses bergamot oil to flavour the beverage. He is commemorated by Grey's Monument in the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, which consists of a statue of Lord Grey standing atop a 41 m (130 ft) high column. The monument lends its name to Monument Metro station on the Tyne and Wear Metro located directly underneath. Grey Street in Newcastle upon Tyne is also indebted to Lord Grey for its name. Grey also gave his name to Grey College, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Durham.

Mary was frequently pregnant and during his absences in London or elsewhere Grey had a series of affairs with other women. The first, most notorious, and most significant, which antedated his engagement to his future wife, was with Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire, whom he met at Devonshire House – the centre of Whig society in London in the 1780s and 1790s – shortly after his arrival in the capital as a young recruit to the House of Commons. Impetuous and headstrong, Grey pursued Georgiana with persistence until she gave in to his attentions. She became pregnant by Grey in 1791, but she refused to leave her husband the duke, and live with Grey, when the duke threatened that if she did so she would never see their children again. She went abroad with Elizabeth Foster, and on 20 February 1792 at Aix-en-Provence, gave birth to a daughter who was given the name Eliza Courtney. After their return to England in September 1793 the child was taken to Fallodon and brought up by Grey's parents as though she were his sister. This affair was a significant step in the process by which he became a member of the Whig party, led by Charles James Fox.

Charles Grey is portrayed by Dominic Cooper in the 2008 film The Duchess, directed by Saul Dibb and starring Ralph Fiennes and Keira Knightley. The film is based on Amanda Foreman's biography of Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire.

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Source : Wikipedia