Tuesday, September 04, 2012

A Star in the making.

Her provenance is excellent: her father Peter Hall has been the backbone of the British theatre for decades, her mother an exciting opera singer who eschewed a body stocking when playing Salome and threw herself at Herod’s feet naked (see below), and her  five siblings are all prominent in the arts.

She is versatile and although she has a willowy beauty can also –if the part demands look like a toothy geek.  Just now she is dazzling as the wayward wife in Parade’s End and gives real gravitas to the triangular love affair.

At Roedean she was a reluctant head girl, and thence to Cambridge dropping out before her final year more because she was doing so well rather than that she was struggling.  Not surprisingly her parents were upset.

I first saw her in 1992 when as a ten year old girl she played Sophy in her father’s TV adaptation of The Camomile Lawn  Rebecca Hall is now thirty and at the top of her game.  She won the Ian Charleson Award for Mrs Warren’s Profession and was nominated for a Golden Globe, appeared in for Vicky Cristina, Barcelona the Woody Allen film with Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz – now that I must see, and she was awarded a BAFTA for best supporting actress in Channel Four’s production of Red Riding.

We have just had the second episode of Parade’s End and it gets better and better.  Interesting that both Rebecca and the director Susanna White studied English Literature at University but were not familiar with Ford Maddox Ford although he was an important member of the Stein, James, Conrad, Wells, Chesterton Galsworthy literary circle.  I should think by the third episode his books will be flying off the shelves.

The cast glitters with some of our best actors attracted, no doubt by having the writer Tom Stoppard on board.  I think he has softened with the years and though he claims it is a comedy it certainly is an intriguing love story a little reminiscent of Orczy’s tale of Sir Percy Blakeny and the beautiful Marguerite St Just.

The first episode was promising but a little confusing.  In the second episode things are becoming clearer, (and Rebecca takes a leaf out of her mother’s book and appears naked) concentration pays off and it is a real treat but as someone said whilst you can go out and make a coffee during Downton Abbey and keep a grip on the plot, you certainly can’t with Parade’s End.  However I find to sit entranced for an hour is no bad thing.

The director has said:

“If in Bleak house we went back to Dickens an episodic writer who wrote in instalments with cliff hangers; what we were trying to do with Parade’s End is to be true to what Ford was doing and really challenge people. To make demands of the viewer as Ford makes demands of the reader.”

Don’t miss it.



The Unbearable Banishment said...

Thanks for the tip! I hurriedly scrolled down for the naked pic you teased of. 3:48 seconds later! "Magnificant! Marvalous!" indeed. Nudity is almost always worth the wait. Marisa Tomei did the Salome bit here in New York a few seasons ago.

Tonight I'm seeing a Gore Vidal play on Broadway. "The Best Man." A political commentary. How timely for us Yanks!

Granny Annie said...

This is the second time you have given an exceptional review of PARADES END and I still can't find it available to me. I shall continue the search!

savannah said...

you mentioned this series earlier and i immediately looked to see when it will play here! seems even though hbo is involved (producing, i would guess), i can't find any release date here! not familiar with the author, so i'm off to the library to find the books! Thanks, sugar for another great tip! xoxoxox

angryparsnip said...

I enjoy these posts when you talk about actors, theater and TV series. You lets us into the world of acting that I don't know and loved reading about.
I can't wait till it gets to shown over here.
Like Savannah I must check out the library.
Wonderful post today.

cheers, parsnip

As for the photo you mentioned on my blog, did you download it and then link ? I am now posting my photo by web album because that the only way picasa will now work. What a mess. Every day it seems to have a new problem.

Mage said...

We will have to wait till it get's here. Great review tho.

Pat said...

UB; you are only allowed to watch the video if you read the copy.
Wish I could see the Vidal. I quite liked his waspish tongue.

Granny Annie: it has to come to America and will as surely as night follows day.

Savannah: there is a large army of us not familiar with his books. I've just bought 'the Good Soldier'.

Parsnip: I'm keeping my fingers crossed it comes to you soon but it is worth waiting for.
I think re photo I got onto Dashboard and downloaded it from my libraries. I had only just copied it and had trouble finding it. I go all round the houses and sometimes it works but one at a time!

Mage: thank you. I hope you enjoy it eventually.

Pearl said...

Let's hope it makes it to The States...


Pat said...

Pearl: would a petition help?

About Last Weekend said...

Have to see if I can get this on Netflix, what an achiever she is! Also love that word 'provenance' - must use it today

Pat said...

ALW: I wasn't certain one could apply it to people but I did snyway:)

Eryl said...

Still not used to having a tv, I never think to switch it on myself so only ever see anything randomly. You make this sound worth trying to make some effort to remember, and I've always liked Rebecca Hall in anything I've seen her in.

LL Cool Joe said...

You know I never watch tv, so I have no idea about all the wonderful people you talk about, but your reviews are always excellent.

Pat said...

Joey: sweet of you to say so:)

Eryl: now you didn't choose him because of his TV?