Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beedle the Bard, Vanity Fair, Casualty 1909, Emma and Rachel Portman

I read The Tales of Beedle the Bard yesterday. I wanted to read one tale a day but obviously I wasn't strong enough for that ! Unsurprisingly, it is one of the best reads of this year : I went through so many emotions. It's a beautifully illustrated book and I can't even find the words, Jo is truly my favourite author. Makes me want to read the Potter books all over again.

Vanity Fair is read. The beginning was engrossing and particularly hilarious but the book had one idea (albeit a good one) and dragged it on and on and on till it became really quite tedious, because too redundant. It took me forever to read the last 300 pages of the book although the ending was worth going that far. Some characters are really memorable (Becky of course, but I can also think of one or two secondary characters who really made an impression). Also, loved the illustrations. There are two kinds of illustrations in this book : illustrations at the beginning of each chapter that contain the first letter of the first paragraph (and I was astonished to discover that this didn't even have a name!) and full-page illustrations. Both were excellent and were helpful in summing up the plot. I get the irony behind the name of the magazine Vanity Fair even better now. This is totally something I'd consider rereading in a few years, but perhaps not from cover to cover but rather read one chapter, do something else then go back to it, etc. I might achieve better results.
I'll now start The Tempest by Shakespeare.

Earlier this year was broadcast a rather good drama : Casualty 1907 which was the sequel to Casualty 1906. If you watched it, you probably remember William Houston who played Doctor Millais Culpin and Charity Wakefield playing Ethel Bennett. The whole cast was good but these two had a great story. Well, it so happens that the BBC is currently filming Casualty 1909 (scheduled to be broadcast on May 1, 2009) and surprise ! Their story is not over and both actors agreed to come back to shoot. You can find pictures here. I didn't think 1907 was good enough to buy the DVD (which anyway doesn't exist so all's good) but it was decent. Also, I really liked Charity Wakefield in Rapunzel, a modern retelling of the classic fairytale that was pure fun and which nobody seems to have watched (have you ?). She was excellent in that, I laughed so much ! It was broadcasted just after Sense and Sensibility and thank goodness for that : S&S was such a travesty I didn't know whether or not Charity could act but she was sensational in Rapunzel.

Charity Wakefield

As you probably already know, Emma will have another adaptation (and I'm happy about that because every adaptation I've seen so far wasn't good enough - we have a good Pride and Prejudice, a good Sense and Sensibility, at least one good Persuasion, a good Northanger Abbey, all we need is a good Emma and a good Mansfield Park). Right now, it's scheduled for 2010. I just want to draw your attention to a girl's casting picks, I think they're particularly well chosen. Of course, this is the ideal cast, let's not get our hopes up !

There wasn't much chance to be awed by The Duchess but the score was definitely its strongest point. It was composed by Rachel Portman who is responsible for many others. I'd like to share her work for Chocolat with you, it's great :