Being busy is good for the pocketbook and the emotional well-being but not for the blogging. Cinecultist has been freelancing up a storm and hardly finding time to see movies, let alone blog about them. However little works to revitalize our blogging instinct than a good movie starring Samantha Morton. Her work is like poetry. She emotes like nobody's business. Basically, we totally heart her which is why we'd taped via our DVR her new film on HBO Longford a while ago and finally found a spare moment over the weekend to watch it. Please try to make a point of seeing this movie, it has so many elements that make it really compelling programming.
The script was written by Peter Morgan, our current film writing hero and the pen behind two of the strongest films from last year's The Last King of Scotland and The Queen. This is another historical biopic, Morgan's genre of choice lately, about a controversial English friendship between Lord Frank Pakenham, the 7th Earl of Longford and condemned murderer Myra Hindley. Hindley was convicted of murdering a number of children and then burying their bodies on the Moors with her boyfriend Ian Brady during the '60s. Longford was a renowned advocate of prisoner's rights, he began visiting Hindley and crusading on her behalf for parole. However, the revelation of Hindley's intrinsic involvement in the brutal murders years after her incarceration led to Longford's public ruin.
In addition to Morton's great performance as Hindley, Jim Broadbent is also top notch as the title character. With those naive, idealistic, wide eyes behind the gold rimmed glasses and that liver-spotted bald head, he's utterly compelling. It's not often in movies that you see spirituality and faith depicted as noble causes but Longford's unshaken belief in the power of God's love to redeem even the most hardened criminal is incredibly moving.
Other notable cast members include Andy Serkis (Peter Jackson's Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies) as an intensely creepy Ian Brady, and two favorites from the recently completed series Rome, Lindsay Duncan (Servilia) plays Longford's fellow activist wife, Elizabeth and Lee Boardman (Atia's Jewish servant Timon) has a brief role as a talk show host.
P.S. Morgan's next project is an adaptation of the best-selling historical fiction book about the Henry VIII era, The Other Boleyn Girl starring Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Eric Bana, as the womanizing monarch. CC, for one, can hardly wait.Posted by karen at March 27, 2007 11:40 AM