Colin, Cannes and fine eyes

These pics are from last week but I’m just coming across them now… Colin was back in Cannes, as far as I could tell, to support his wife Livia’s ethical fashion campaign.

Colin & Livia Firth Cannes 2017

Doesn’t he look lovely in a grey suit? I like Livia’s outfit too, it’s a dress that used to be owned by her mother.  On a side note: the article in this previous link (and other news sources I have seen) also refers to Colin asking for Italian citizenship next to his British one (Livia is Italian). He is very opposed to Brexit, so it looks like this application has something to do with that. End of side note and back to Cannes: Colin and Livia looked dapper here as well, with Livia again wearing a dress that looks lovely…

Colin Livia Firth Cannes2 2017

In Cannes, Colin looked very pleased, adorable and somewhat goofy, almost fatherly, hugging a young lady…

Colin Firth hugs lady

But the shot I really loved was this one…

Colin Firth Salma Hayek Juliette Binoche Cannes 2017

Colin sandwiched between Salma Hayek and Juliette Binoche. That look on Colin’s face is so tender, amused and adorable…. sigh! I just saw Salma Hayek on the Graham Norton show last week, she is quite funny, I never really knew that about her! Colin seems to like her too. 🙂 Not that Colin is in love with Salma but the look on his face makes me think of this Barbra Streisand song from her movie Yentl

It looks like Colin and Mr Darcy still have an important thing in common: they can happily meditate on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow. 😉

‘Mensch’ Gregory

I mentioned Gregory Peck in my last Armitage challenge post and it got me thinking that it’s been ages since I saw any Gregory Peck movies (Roman Holiday excepted, I still dip into that one on occasion). So, before I wrote that challenge post, but when I was already thinking about the answers, I re-watched To Kill a Mockingbird. It is the famous story of a Southern lawyer in the 1930s defending a black man falsely accused of raping a white girl. The story is told from the point of view of Atticus’ daughter, Scout…

Gregory Peck received an Oscar for this role, he is as a true ‘Mensch’ (Yiddish for a man of decency, honesty, warmth and integrity) in this!

I love the character of Atticus and I love Gregory Peck as Atticus even though for me this so highly acclaimed film can’t quite live up to the book. The book is richer than a two-hour movie adaptation of it ever could be… Still, it is a good adaptation and Gregory is quite excellent in this! People have always said that Gregory Peck, the man, was very much like Atticus Finch, and that idea fills me with even more joy.

Next, I went on to watch one of my other favourites of his called The Big Country, which is a very different kind of Western. Peck plays a captain who comes out west to marry the daughter (Carroll Baker) of a rancher but won’t be bullied into macho ways and refuses to be drawn into a feud between his fiancĂ©e’s father and a neighbouring rancher… The daughter finds it hard to accept the ‘cowardly’ behaviour of her intended, while the schoolteacher friend (Jean Simmons) does seem to ‘get’ it and tries to help the daughter see it. Charlton Heston also stars in this movie as the right hand man of the fiancĂ©e’s dad and much more suited to her than Gregory’s character; Burl Ives plays the family’s rival rancher… I love this story of a good man staying true to himself and I love the chemistry between Gregory Peck and Jean Simmons in this (click on images to enlarge)…

Yes, Gregory is a real ‘Mensch’ in this one too!

I have also been updating my Peck collection with some movies I had never seen before. In the old days when I was a big fan it was difficult to get my hands on those movies and in later years I never really tried… until now.

So last night I found myself watching a movie of his called Captain Newman MD. I’d read good things about it but had never seen it before and I don’t think people even remember this movie anymore. Admittedly, it is a little uneven to be one of the true classics but even so, I was quite impressed with it!

Peck plays an army psychiatrist at the end of WWII, tending to men who are driven over the edge from the horrors of war. He also constantly needs to defend his patients against the prejudice of mental illness, many tend to equal that to weakness of character. He is a real Mensch for his patients and the people around him and also struggles himself, dealing with all he experiences (he even gets drunk in one quite amusing scene).

The movie is not only tragic, it is funny as well. Captain Newman has an un-orthodox way of gathering staff for his unpopular ward. Tony Curtis plays such a ‘hi-jacked’ orderly who turns out to fill his new role with gusto and is responsible for the bigger laughs of the movie. Angie Dickinson plays a nurse that Newman recruits in his unorthodox way as well. His patients include Eddie Albert (who was also the photographer in Roman Holiday), Robert Duvall in an early role (he also played Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird!) and singer Bobby Darin, who won a supporting actor Oscar nomination for this role.

In one scene Darin is drugged and tells the doctor the harrowing story of his trauma. Darin does that very well, but what totally mesmerized me was Gregory Peck just reacting to it all… He doesn’t say anything, just reacts. I think it’s one of the best acting performances I have ever seen him give!

Captain Newman MD Gregory Peck (7)

He holds the soldier after the tale is told, then puts him down to bed again. The look on his face is just heartbreaking…

Captain Newman MD Gregory Peck (11)Captain Newman MD Gregory Peck (15)

… and then he stares wordlessly out through the shutters…

Captain Newman MD Gregory Peck (16)

Just… wow! He also questions the wisdom of patching up the men, only to send them off to war again, to destruction and possible new trauma or death… Not all the patients he treats have a happy end and I think the humour in the movie is meant to counterbalance the tragedy. The movie ends on a tragic and a happy note as well. I have to say, I really laughed when at the Christmas party at the end a group of Italian ‘POW’s perform ‘Hava Nagila’, which they think is an old American (i.e. Indian) song.

And the absolute joy on Gregory Peck’s face as he claps along to it, makes up for some of the tragedy…

I’m so glad I finally got to see this! I know I’ll be going back to it again.

Next up: re-watching Gentleman’s Agreement, a movie Peck made in 1947 about a journalist posing as a Jewish man so he can learn about anti-Semitism! I remember it being quite good, an early Mensch-Gregory example, but it has been years and years since I’ve seen it. I wonder how it will hold up for me when I see it again…

For me right now it seems that Gregory Peck is filling a certain “Mensch-void” that I see around me when I look at certain public figures in the world today. Looking at him in his Mensch-roles makes me feel a little better in these divisive times. I just hope there are still enough like him out there in the world today…

Emma Thompson in Cannes

Emma Thompson is in Cannes right now, promoting her new movie The Meyerowitz Stories with Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler. Apparently it is a Netflix production which will be available there any day now. I don’t really know much about this movie and I am not posting about that, really. I just came across all these pictures of Emma clowning around in Cannes and I wanted to spread the joy! So, that is all this is: Emma Thompson in Cannes picture spam (click on images to enlarge)!

And there’s more (again, click on images to enlarge)…

This next picture has her husband, actor Greg Wise (he played Willoughby in her Sense & Sensibility movie), smiling behind her…

Emma Thompson Cannes 2017-04

… and then there is this one, which is my favourite: Emma and Dustin delightedly greeting each other!

"The Meyerowitz Stories" Departures - The 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival

It just makes me grin so wide looking at all of these! I can go to bed smiling now. 🙂

Ingrid Bergman, a life in pictures

I love Ingrid Bergman. I discovered old movies in my early teens and during that time also Ingrid Bergman. Gregory Peck was my favourite actor; Ingrid Bergman, along with Audrey Hepburn, became my favourite actress. From the age of 18 or so I’ve had a Casablanca poster on my bedroom wall. I stuck Casablanca pictures on it when I first had the poster and the image is fading somewhat now but I don’t have the heart to replace it… The frame is now also being filled with other assorted pictures, it’s become a very special thing on my wall…

Casablanca poster

A few weeks ago I was flipping through channels and caught the beginning of a documentary on Ingrid Bergman’s life and was sucked right into that. Her four children were also interviewed for that documentary. One of her children is the actress and model Isabella Rossellini and at the end of the documentary a book was mentioned, edited by Isabella, about the life of Ingrid Bergman in pictures. I wanted it and ordered it and it arrived yesterday! Big heavy book with such treasures! I can’t resist and want to share some of the beautiful photos here (courtesy of my phone camera).

The cover of the book…

Ingrid Bergman 01 - title

Ingrid’s childhood. She lost her mother when she was was 2 and her dad, a photographer, when she was 13. Picture with her mother…

Ingrid Bergman 02 - baby

Childhood pictures taken by her dad…

Ingrid Bergman 03 - child

She got married to a Swedish dentist (he later became a brain surgeon), Petter Lindström, when she was 21. They had a daughter together. Ingrid Bergman as a teen and on her wedding day…

After her success in a Swedish romantic movie called Intermezzo, the movie was to be remade in Hollywood and so off she went there at the end of 1939, at the age 24…

Ingrid Bergman 06 - Arrival Hollywood

The US Intermezzo film also starred Leslie Howard of Gone With the Wind fame…

Ingrid Bergman 07 - Leslie Howard

In 1942 she made Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart, a movie I absolutely love!

Ingrid Bergman 08 - Humphrey Bogart

Her career really took off after that, she made a few movies with Alfred Hitchcock…

Ingrid Bergman 10 - Alfred Hitchcock

One of those Hitchcock movies, Spellbound, was with Gregory Peck in one of his early roles…

Ingrid Bergman 09 - Gregory Peck

She even won her first Oscar then (pictured here with actress Jennifer Jones) for a movie called Gaslight.

Ingrid Bergman 11 - Oscar - Jennifer Jones

Her marriage to Petter wasn’t a happy one and in 1945 she met the photographer Robert Capa; they had an intense affair (unbeknownst to the world). Apparently he and a friend knew she was staying in their hotel and dropped her a funny note that Ingrid kept for the rest of her life…It reads like this…

Subject: Dinner 6/28/45
To: Miss Ingrid Bergman
Part 1: This is a community effort. The community consists of Bob Capa and Irwin Shaw.
2: We were planning on sending you flowers with this note inviting you to dinner this evening – but after consultation we discovered it was possible to pay for the note and flowers or the note and dinner. Not both. We took a vote and dinner won by a close margin.
3: It was suggested that if you did not care for dinner, flowers might be sent. No decision on this has been reached so far.
4: Besides flowers, we have a lot of doubtful qualities (this is a direct quotation from Capa)
5: If we write much more we will have no conversation left, as our supply of charm is limited
6: We will call you at 6:15
7: We do not sleep
Signed, Worried.

Ingrid Bergman 12 - letter Robert Capa

Ingrid, intrigued, chose the dinner… 🙂

A few years later, at the very end of the 1940s, Ingrid scandalized Hollywood and the US (she was even denounced in the US senate!) when she fell in love with Italian director Roberto Rossellini (man on the left in these pictures) while she was still married to Petter. She left Petter, stayed in Italy and wasn’t able to see her daughter for some years.

Ingrid Bergman 13 - Roberto Rossellini

One of the pictures in the book, taken on the Via Appia in Rome, reminded me of a picture I took of my daughter while we were visiting the Via Appia ourselves 7 years ago…

Ingrid and Roberto had 3 kids together – a son and twin daughters.

Some nice laid back pictures of Ingrid in those years…

Ingrid Bergman 16 - down time

By the second half of the 1950s the marriage with Rossellini broke down. She came to visit the US and was welcomed back…

Ingrid Bergman 17 - back in US

She also spent time with all 4 of her kids together…

Ingrid Bergman 18 - with her four children

But she didn’t film in Hollywood, she chose to film in Europe instead. With Cary Grant (a good friend of hers whom she had also filmed with in the 1940s – excellent Hitchcock movie called Notorious) and Anthony Perkins (from Psycho fame).

She also won her second Oscar during that time, for Anastasia, which Cary Grant accepted on her behalf. I love this set of pictures of her…

Ingrid Bergman 20 - portrait

…and I think this following one is now one of my fave pictures of her ever!

Ingrid Bergman 21 - door

She fell in love again, this time with a Swedish theatrical producer called Lars Schmidt. They were married for 17 years (1958 to 1975) and were apparently friends until her death.

Ingrid Bergman 23 - Lars

In her later years she made a movie in which her daughter Isabella had a small role as a nun…

Ingrid Bergman 24 - Isabella Rossellini

She won her 3rd Oscar for her supporting role in the 1974 movie Murder on the Orient Express. She also worked with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman (almost the same name!) in 1978…

Ingrid Bergman 25 - Ingmar Bergman

She died in 1982, on her 67th birthday, after battling breast cancer for many years. This was the last official portrait taken of her in 1982…

Ingrid Bergman 26 - Last portrait

Ingrid Bergman was a woman who took a very distinct path in life and followed her heart. She wasn’t perfect but she lived life with a passion, breaking some conventions along the way. She was a great actress and I have fallen in love with her all over again through this book! So far I have only just looked at the pictures in this book and the pictures I have shared here are only a tiny selection of all that is in it. I still need to read the texts that go with the pictures but boy, am I already happy that I purchased this!

More fangirling in London!

Well, not only fangirling, we mostly did touristy stuff… As I already blogged about in my previous post, my 15 year old son and I were in London this past weekend and what a lovely time we had!

We went inside Tower Bridge and walked on the glass floor there, looking down!

My son was fearless about that and while I did do it briefly, I found it scary. But I did it – yay me! We also saw the engine room…

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… and when we finished our tour, we were greeted by a cannon salute across the river!

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OK, so the salute wasn’t for us but for the Queen’s 91st birthday. Still, we felt honoured. 🙂

We passed through Westminster…

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… and went on to Portobello Road in Notting Hill…

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… which was also a bit of fangirling for me as it reminded me of the lovely movie Notting Hill. The Notthing Hill thing was a spontaneous idea; if I had thought of it sooner, I would have researched it better and would have fangirled my way to Hugh Grant’s front door from that movie.

That evening my son and I went to see The Lion King musical, which we both very much enjoyed (we had a good view from the front row of the Grand Circle)…

While we were walking to the theatre, we passed by Covent Garden and walked by a street artist/comedian getting ready to do his thing. The street artist looked straight at my son and in his microphone announced “Ah, there we have Justin Bieber”! I had to laugh and the whole crowd turned to look at my son as we scurried along and my son turned beet-red! He has been compared to a younger Justin Bieber before and he hates it… I know I’m probably an awful mother but I have ribbed him about this incident regularly and in hindsight he now also has started seeing some of the humour in it.  He still insists he looks nothing like Bieber, though. 🙂

We shopped a bit in Oxford Street and also met up with fellow Richard Armitage fan Hariclea from the Opera is Magic blog on Saturday afternoon! We met at “Fortnum and Mason” and had ice cream ‘coupes’ at the ice cream parlour on the first floor! Beautiful, delicious, filled our stomachs right up! So much so, that my son felt a little sick there for a moment! Luckily he recovered quickly. It’s always a delight to see Hari and it was so much fun that I forgot to take pictures of our beautiful ice cream creations! The only picture I took was of two teacups priced at ÂŁ145,- while waiting for Hari…

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Hari and I may have mentioned Richard Armitage a few times in passing but didn’t get too carried away in the presence of my son. That evening, as Hari went off to the theatre, my son and I went to see the Scarlett Johannson scifi movie Ghost in the Shell in a Leicester Square theatre with a truly huge screen. The movie was not the greatest scifi movie I’d ever seen, but it was quite fun and had nice visual effects.

We spent our Sunday on Hampstead Heath. We walked there for a bit, my son even climbed a tree…

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… we got up to Kenwood House (also a Notting Hill film location, by the way!)…

… and treated ourselves to some delicious scones (this had been something my son had particularly wished for).

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Later that afternoon we made our way back to the airport and flew home again. But I didn’t leave London without some specific fangirl items!

I’ve bought a DVD of a Gregory Peck movie I came across that I have always wanted to see but have never been able to…

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I’m not that much into Westerns but, come on, it’s Gregory Peck, my first real teenage fangirl crush!

At Kenwood House I bought the book Belle that accompanies the excellent movie of the same name, about a black young lady who lived as a lady and not as a servant in Kenwood House in the 18th century. She was also featured in a painting that was painted at the time but alas that painting is not at Kenwood anymore and is now somewhere in Scotland. I had seen the film, I now saw the book and grabbed it for myself…

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And, I did some more Jane Eyre fangirling when, in a bookstore, I happend upon a book with this title…

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I immediately recognized it as the first sentence from the last chapter of Jane Eyre and just had to have it, especially considering we will be visiting writer Charlotte BrontĂ«’s house this coming summer.

Last but not least, there was Audrey Hepburn fangirling as well! I came across this POP doll of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s  and just couldn’t let it go…

So, yes, London is a great place to fangirl; it makes me feel greedy when I see all these goodies together even though they all didn’t cost that much. London is also a great place to spend time with my son! He picked out pretty much all our activities (Portobello Road and meeing Hari were my picks, the rest were his) and I loved that one-on-one time with him. I think that, except for my snoring at night, he enjoyed his time with me as well. We’ll definitely be back!