Richard Armitage in character

So, this blog post by Guylty inspired me to collect some of my own fave in-character photos of Richard Armitage. No screencaps, just photos, and only one per character. This means that I have just spent a lovely 90 minutes or so going through my own saved pictures and pictures on Ali’s excellent Richard Armitage site (that alas seems mostly dormant now).

So, my Richard Armitage fascination started 13 (!!) years ago, when Richard played John Thornton in North & South:

John Thornton

When I met Richard at The Old Vic’s stage door in 2014 he even signed this picture that I have on a little poster I made, which hangs in my bedroom…

John Thornton signed

To this day John Thornton remains an absolute favourite character of mine that Richard has portrayed.

Next up: Harry Kennedy in The Vicar of Dibley. This picture together with Dawn French as Geraldine Granger just makes me feel all kinds of warm and fuzzy inside – that huge smile and that profile! Sigh…

Harry Kennedy & Geraldine

I was never a huge Guy of Gisborne fan, even though Richard was quite magnetic in this Robin Hood adaptation. This following photo of Richard as Guy is heartstopping, though. I’m a sucker for an instense Richard profile picture.

Guy of Gisborne2

Lucas North in Spooks is next. Again, not a favourite but this picture makes me think he could be sitting right next to me at work, and what a joy that would be, right?

Spooks

Strike Back, with Richard as John Porter, was a character I did enjoy. It was a little tough picking a favourite photo, but I settled on this one. I’d let him drive me anywhere…

John Porter3

Richard as Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit was another high point for me! I love this picture…

Thorin Oakenshield

And I have to add one more. For the premiere of the final installment, The Battle of the Five Armies in 2014, you could tweet to a certain account and receive an automated digital signed autograph card with your name on it in return. That was a great picture too that I just can’t resist sharing:

Thorin digital signed

Next up is Gary in Into the Storm. Again, not a movie I like very much, but Rich did have a sympathetic role in it (albeit with a bit of a cringey US accent) and was easy on the eyes:

BLACK SKY

And then came another Richard masterpiece: he played John Proctor in The Crucible. My absolute fave photo from that is this following one. I also have it as a poster, it’s an image I can just stare at indefinitely and never get enough of:

John Proctor

I also very much like this picture of Richard as Bernhard Hare in Urban and the Shed Crew. I was lucky to see it last year at the Newcastle Film Festival, but when will it finally be released on DVD? Candida Brady tweeted this picture some years ago, there is something very endearing about this image…

Bernhard Hare CandidaBrady-twitter-26Aug15

When I think of Richard as Francis Dolarhyde in Hannibal, I shudder. He portrayed him absolutely brilliantly but it’s not a role I can revisit, this horror genre is just not my thing. However much I disliked the character, Richard was able to make me feel sorry for Francis to a certain extent, something that I had completely not expected. He showed a new versatility in this role and he used his body so beautifully, right down to his hands…

Francis Dolarhyde

Moving on to Brain on Fire, there was one photo that absolutely warmed my heart – Richard as daddy Tom Cahalan:

Tom Cahalan

This one from Pilgrimage with Richard as Raymond de Merville is really nice too. I liked his look in this movie, it’s such a pity the man he portrayed was so evil:

Raymond de Merville

The final one I’m sharing is one of Richard as Daniel Miller in Berlin Station, season 2. Not a great series by any means, but this picture just somehow grabs me. Again, I think it’s the way he holds his body, combined with that intense look. So nice!

Daniel Miller

So, that’s it! My fave Richard in-character photos that aren’t screenshots. I tend to have a soft spot for profile pictures, also very much noticeable in this selection. 🙂 Anyone else want to join in? I wouldn’t mind seeing more pictures and other people’s choices… And thanks Guylty for this very enjoyable Richarding-evening!

30 Day Movie Challenge – Day 8

Day 8 – The best movie score/music

I’ll not be long winded about this – the only movie scores we actually own on CD are all The Lord of the Rings ones. I love that music! And on The Hobbit (which we also have) – Richard Armitage singing Misty Mountains… man, I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of that… ever! That deep voice singing does something to my insides.

Except for that no-brainer, other music that springs to mind is the soundtrack from the Twilight movies. I thought the movies were OK, not bad or great, but the music was awesome. The music on Twilight introduced me to the English band Muse, who have since become my favourite band!

I’ve seen them live in concert twice already and can hardly wait to see them live again next March in Amsterdam (I already have awesome tickets) 🙂

(30 Day Movie Challenge – the full list of questions)

 

30 Day Movie Challenge – Day 5

Day 5 – A movie that reminds you of someone

This one is easy for me, but in my case it’s a few people and a set of movies and it’s all about  The Lord of the Rings trilogy! This trilogy always makes me think of some people who are very dear to me…

I was first introduced to The Lord of the Rings by my husband. He loved the books and although I thought I wouldn’t much like this whole fantasy adventure thing, once I saw The Fellowship of the Ring in the cinema with him I was hooked! My husband wouldn’t give me any spoilers as to what would happen next, so I went on to read the book almost instantly; I just had to know how the story would unfold. My husband and I love these movies and the subsequent The Hobbit movies as well. The Hobbit also combined my love for Richard Armitage with my husband’s affection for Tolkien, which is of course an extra bonus! This is what one of our bedroom walls looks like:

LOTR&Hobbit

If I hadn’t loved my husband so much already, I could have easily fallen in love with him then and there in December 2001 for introducing me to these stories J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson have so masterfully crafted.

The Lord of the Rings also reminds me of two of my very dearest friends. We met online not long before Fellowship came out and when they too fell in love with the films (and my one friend fell in love with Viggo Mortensen even more than I did), we suddenly had extra shared interests to talk (and gush) about. These movies also lead to us finally meeting in person in Boston in 2004 when my one friend said she wanted to see an exhibition there on how The Lord of the Rings was made.

LOTR exhibition

So we all travelled to Boston – me from the Netherlands, they came from their corners of the world in the US, and we met as part of a larger group. However, only the three of us went to that exhibition, which was an adventure in itself as two of us were, well, a little hungover and the third was such an excellent sport about it. Meeting each other in person and going to that exhibtion together cemented a friendship that is still going strong today!

Not bad, having such an excellent movie trilogy remind me of my husband and two of my best friends, right? 🙂

(30 Day Movie Challenge – the full list of questions)

 

The last goodbye

I still have to wait for my The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies extended edition BluRay to come out. I have an empty spot saved for it in my movies cupboard, beside the other two The Hobbit BluRays and the The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Many years ago I was not into fantasy or science fiction at all but I had fallen in love with a man, my husband now, who did like those things. Through him I came to love Jean-Luc Picard and Star Trek and through him I was introduced to The Lord of the Rings.

My husband enjoys a good film but is not a real film fan. So, when we go to the cinema together, I am usually the one to pick the films. Over the years the man has come to enjoy a good romantic comedy or two and has even gotten to like Jane Austen of sorts. From the beginning of our relationship, some 23 years now (oh my, I sound old!), he has more than indulged me. So when 14 years ago he said he wanted to see the first The Lord of the Rings film in the cinema, I magnanimously agreed. Sure, I could make the sacrifce for him for once, I thought. I wasn’t really expecting much but he had proven good taste before with Star Trek: The Next Generation, so who knows, maybe this wouldn’t be too bad?

And then I saw The Fellowship of the Ring… and I was blown away! It looked gorgeous, the whole world, the story, the characters were fascinating! Of course, I fell in love with Strider/Aragorn, so that helped too (and I came to really, really like Viggo Mortensen).

Aragorn - Fellowhsip

Wait a whole year to find out what happens next? I don’t think so! When the film ended I badgered my husband to tell me the rest of the story but the good man wouldn’t. So, I immediately read the book which was a page turner and again to my surprise, I was hooked. I feverishly anticpated the next two Rings films and loved every minute of them and especially the extended editions when they came out! Kudos to my husband for not being smug about it and saying “I told you so”!

Quite some years later, imagine my thrill when I hear my favourite actor is going to play Thorin Oakenshield in the new Peter Jackson/Middle Earth fantasy adventure! I hadn’t read The Hobbit yet because, well, it didn’t have Aragorn in it… But I corrected the situation, read it… and was a little underwhelmed by the character of Thorin. But by now I trusted Peter Jackson and the things he did for Middle Earth. I figured he would find a way to make Richard Armitage shine as Thorin Oakenshield and I was not disappointed!

I am awed by Richard as Thorin and I absolutely loved Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and last night I couldn’t resist and downloaded the last Hobbit extended edition and watched it. I don’t have the extra’s (I will wait for those when I buy the BluRay), just the movie… and I was hooked again! I admit to getting a little battle-weary and The Hobbit trilogy isn’t quite as powerful to me as The Lord of the Rings trilogy was, but even so, I loved it! And I loved what Richard did with his role, the subtle emotions battling in his eyes and on his face. He moved me to tears and I know I am not alone in thinking he did a great job. I loved Bilbo in it too, and his love for Thorin made me cry extra at the end… This, more than the other two Hobbit films, was Thorin’s film.

When the titles rolled, I was wiping away tears but Billy Boyd singing “The Last Goodbye” didn’t help (it’s all really over now!). I love love love the artwork for these films and the character drawings at the end, shown during the titles, are absolutely stunning to me, like this one:

Thorin Oakenshield drawing

Afterwards I went to YouTube and watched the video to Billy Boyd’s song and saw all the Lord of the Rings images as well…

… and now I just want to watch all 6 movies back to back again… extended editions only!

The Oscars 2015

Every year, for many years now, I stay up all night to watch the Oscars live on TV (ceremony starts at around 2 am here and ends at around 6 am!). For the past 5 or 6 years a close friend of mine comes over to watch it with me. We take the Monday off work and after breakfast/lunch at around 1 pm she heads home again…

Oscars

Ever since my early teens in Germany ‘discovering’ Hollywood I always wanted to see the Oscars. It was a celebration of film and I could ogle actors in ‘real life’ – but more glamorously. Yes, there’s always criticism about the choice of nominations and who wins and the awards show itself and the speeches and who wore what and looked stunning/awful and in the grand scheme of things I do realize it is fluff and not so important. But it is fun and I like fun! I could never watch the ceremony then, it didn’t air on any channel we received. In later years in The Netherlands it occasionally aired somewhere on a channel somewhere and then some years I couldn’t find an airing of the ceremony anywhere, to my great chagrin. Only in more recent times have I been able to watch regularly on a paid cable film channel that opens up for free on Oscar night! And so, maybe 10 years ago or so, my all-nighters began and I could finally see for myself on a regular yearly basis what everyone was writing about.

Watching the Oscars also means that I like to see at least some of the movies nominated. I don’t go see them all, just the ones that really interest me and sound good to me beforehand. I had seen The Imitation Game and loved it. Last week on a Wednesday afternoon, while my husband was working from home, I was able to catch the very last screening in our local cinema (on my own, with just 4 other people present in the room!) of The Theory of Everything. Yes, excellent performances by Eddie Redmayne and for me, especially from Felicity Jones! I wanted to blog about that as well, especially about Felicity, but I was too busy and then this past week I have been ill (hence the Oscar post only now and not 3 days ago).

Felicity Jones - Jane HawkingWow, I so would have liked for her to win an Oscar for playing Jane Hawking! So strongly acted and culminating in the heartbreaking  scene near the end at the break up of their marriage. Beautiful, understated, so well done!

David Oyelowo - Martin Luther King

Then on Sunday evening, before my all-night Oscar party, my friend and I went to see Selma. The name “Selma” is special to me and I love that it is now also associated with a good movie! For me, it was not the best movie of the year (somehow The Imitation Game touched me more, but that may be because that story is less known) but, boy, was it solid and good. And especially David Oyelowo was excellent! That man has been robbed for not being nominated for his role in Selma!

This year the Oscar viewing was a bit different – I didn’t have to stay awake after the Oscars to get the kids up and off to school as they have the week off. And they decided they wanted to watch the Oscars as well with my friend and I! So, kids had gone to bed early and we woke them up about an hour before the ceremony began (just after 1 am!). They watched some of the red carpet with us and then the ceremony as well. My husband gave up at around 3.30 am and went to bed but the kids, my friend and I watched till the end. It was so nice having the kids do this with us, although I suspect they were more fascinated by the staying-up-through-the-night aspect of it all than by the actual Oscars thing. 😉

ThiEddie Redmayne Oscars year I didn’t have so much to really root for. I would have slightly preferred Cumberbatch to win over Redmayne but did love that Redmayne had won and his joyous acceptance of the award. I really like Julianne Moore but I was rooting for Felicity Jones. Loved that The Imitation Game received one vital award (adapted screenplay – and the wonderful speech that went with that!) but wished they could have received more. I loved the speech the winner for best foreign film gave (Polish film called “Ida”) and how he went on talking through the music and the disarming honest humor in that speech. I couldn’t join in the Birdman fuss as that film isn’t out here yet I don’t think… and that’s where my gripe starts…

This was mostly about films no one the-hobbit-Thorinhas seen! Granted, I love small films and feel they deserve awards like these, but a little more recognition for a blockbuster like, oh, The Hobbit would not have been amiss! I think people are so used to the wonders of Middle Earth that it isn’t considered special anymore… I really missed The Hobbit in all this…

As for the show itself – Neil Patrick Harris didn’t do it for me as a presenter. I so much preferred last year’s Ellen DeGeneres and some years before that: Hugh Jackman, who had really surprised me at the time! Harris delivered some nice jokes – only to undo each and every one of them after the punchline with a little grin!

I really liked the song “Glory” from “Selma” that won the Oscar – very powerful performance on Oscar night with John Legend, Common and a gospel choir to back them up! And then the most surprising performance of the night and real high point for me – when Lady Gaga did that The Sound of Music medley! I mean, yeah, I knew Lady Gaga could sing – but like that?!? Wow!

Lady Gaga - Julie Andrews 2 Lady Gaga - Julie Andrews

And then Julie Andrews came out and hugged her and said “Dear Lady Gaga… thank you for that wonderful tribute, it warmed my heart”… my goodness, goosebumps and the best 5 or 6 minutes of the whole show for me!

So, yes, thereColin-Firth-Oscar was little for me to get excited over on the awards front this year (unlike 4 or so years ago when Colin Firth won – I was over-the-moon then! Still so happy about that, that I need to share a picture on the right here). And yet, this still was a memorable Oscar night for me: there was the Lady Gaga surprise and Julie Andrews, there was sadness at missing The Hobbit and, most memorable of all, there was the sharing of this Oscar night with my kids for the first time!