Funny letters live

I’ve been aware of the Letters Live project for quite a while and have seen occasional letters read by actors. They were quite beautiful lengthy love letters mostly but the other day another one popped up for me, a letter written to an insurance company. I wasn’t in the mood for long letters but this one was just under 4 minutes, so I clicked on it and it just made me laugh. I spent a short amount of time watching a few other humourous letters being read and thought I’d share those here as well. I’m sure there are many more, I just stuck to these few shorter ones before moving on to other things. So, if you too are in the mood for a few quick smiles, watch these.

I don’t know Fred Allen, but apparently he was a comedian and this is the letter that made me laugh first…

This one’s a bit bizarre but very amusing…

I love me some Olivia Colman, I already smile when I just see her…

The age old debate of cats versus dogs, read by several actors and one politician…

A short and very clear letter from 1913 written by a suffragette…

And another bitingly sarcastic one by another suffragette (and the wife of Winston Churchill) from 1912…

A nice little interlude, no? Now back to other business…

Wet shirts and bare chests

Oh wow, Armitage world erupts again, because of these…

armitage proctor @washbasin

A whole controversy has emerged over whether it is OK to ogle these, whether it doesn’t objectify Richard Armitage/John Proctor. Well, these are public pictures, everyone involved in the production must know the effect such images can have and it takes nothing away from the absolutely electrifying performance by Mr. Armitage. In fact, it adds to it! A state of undress like that may seem sexy (and believe me, I like to look) but it also shows a vulnerability and that’s what these images convey to me as well – a strong, sexy man at a very vulnerable stage in his life.

As soon as I saw these pics of a bare chested Armitage at the washbasin it made me think of this:

Darcy wet shirt 2

Darcy wet shirt 0In 1995 Mr. Darcy emerged in a wet shirt from a lake, with nipples showing and everything, and the world went gaga… He too, at that moment, was at a very vulnerable point in the story and the “less formally attired” look added to his desperation. What makes these pictures so sexy? I don’t believe it’s just the look that makes it sexy, it’s the context in which this scene is placed as well and the character of the person! Of course, things get taken out of context, and that has happened with the Darcy wet shirt. It has become a legendary, stand-alone image. But Colin’s name is attached to that, so that’s not bad PR… you can have a worse image than being considered sexy.

So, was Colin Firth/Mr. Darcy objectified for this scene? Er… yes, I think so! And even now, almost 20 years on, this may be the most famous scene from the whole 1995 Pride and Prejudice production. So much so that it has passed into legend and is referenced endlessly. For instance:

In a time travel romantic comedy adaptation of Pride and Prejudice called “Lost in Austen” (things work out quite differently than in the book – loved it! Oh, and check out the Mr. Darcy and Tinky Winky scene), the actor Elliot Cowan was specifically asked to step into the lake, to recreate the Darcy-wet-shirt look:

wet-shirt Lost in AustenLizzie Bennet appreciates Darcy in a wet shirt just as Amanda appreciates it in Lost in Austen:

Lizzie w Darcy in wet shirtAmanda w Darcy in wet shirt

There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to Darcy’s wet shirt: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mr-Darcys-Wet-Shirt-Appreciation-Society/150114028390072

In 2013 a statue was made of Mr. Darcy in a wet shirt and it was placed in a lake in London, it even toured England!

Colin Firth wet shirt statue

More recently I came across this:

benedict-cumberbatch-colin-firth-460x272Even Benedict Cumberbatch gets in on the wet shirt action! http://www.unrealitytv.co.uk/showbiz/colin-firth-vs-benedict-cumberbatch-wet-shirt-competition/

Colin Firth answers questions about it in interviews and has a good laugh with it. He has recently even said he should have been naked in the scene! My, what a fuss that would have caused! http://www.express.co.uk/news/showbiz/553741/Colin-Firth-wet-shirt-Pride-and-Prejudice

And in the extras of the second Bridget Jones film, Bridget Jones interviews Colin Firth, the actor (so not in character as Mr. Darcy), about the wet shirt – this interview cracks me up and Colin plays along so brilliantly!

I follow all this with great amusement and yes, I ogle as well. So, are we objectifying? I guess we are to a certain extent. But is that always wrong? I don’t think so. Believe me, there are times when I very much objectify my husband and in those moments I am really not thinking of his other wonderful characteristics and all the wonderful things he does… It’s OK to zoom in on certain attractive aspects of a person, doesn’t mean that is the only thing you care about.

So… if anyone ever decides to do a statue of Richard Armitage with his bare chest so that he too can pass into sexy-man legend, then I hope they choose this image, it’s my favorite one:

armitage proctor @washbasin 5

Benedict Cumberbatch…

…. is absolutely awesome in The Imitation Game! If he wins an Oscar for this role it is totally deserved!

Went to see this film this afternoon with 2 friends of mine and my 13 year old son who is turning into a bit of a Benedict Cumberbatch fan (he’s taken a liking to Sherlock). I have known Benedict Cumberbatch for years now, first saw him about 7 or 8 years ago in a film with James McAvoy (another great actor!) called ‘Starter for 10’ which I really enjoyed. When I first saw him and McAvoy in that film I knew they were both keepers! Excellent actors to look out for. And I was right. 🙂

Cumberbatch to me has a bit of an odd face but an interesting one and the emotions and expressions that flick across his face are amazing. He is excellent as a nerdy character and has a great voice.

Anyway, back to The Imitation Game – it is the incredible story of Alan Turing who cracked the code of the German Enigma machine in World War II. He was a highly intelligent nerdy socially handicapped mathematician who was also gay and was condemned for that. The film really was excellent, it totally lived up to what I hoped it would be. The build up of the story was excellent, it time jumps between the main portion of the story during WWII, Turing’s boyhood and Turing in the 1950s when he is accused of “gross indecency”. The acting was so good, drawing you in from the first scenes, and Benedict Cumberbatch stood out for me. The man is amazing, his face and his body language are so very expressive, he becomes the character so very completely. The secrets he has to keep and live with are extremely difficult to bear and give his life it’s tragedy. I am not a huge Keira Knightley fan but for some reason I like many of the films she is in (she picks well) and she really is very good yet again. Another stand out for me is Mark Strong who proves yet again that he is under-used in movies! Give the man some more leading roles in big productions!

benedict-cumberbatch-alan-turing-keira-knightley-mark-strong-the-imitation-game

I need to watch this again, to catch all the nuances and Cumberbatch, although a bit of an odd bloke, deserves every accolade for his portrayal of Alan Turing! Yes, by all means give the man an Oscar! Although, I have to say, I haven’t seen Eddie Redmayne yet in “The Theory of Everything”, which I suspect may be an acting tour-de-force as well…