May 15, 2019 at 3:52 pm #1202895499
If Judi Dench was looking for a way to earn one more Oscar nomination in case she gets snubbed for Cats, she may have just found one.
Dench has been cast in Blithe Spirit, an adaptation of the 1941 play of the same name by Noel Coward. She will star as Madame Arcati, a medium who causes a lot of chaos after she accidentally summons the ghost of the deceased wife (Isla Fisher) of a novelist who had sought her services (Dan Stevens).
The play was previously adapted in 1945; that film being directed by David Lean, starring Margaret Rutherford, Rex Harrison, and Kay Hammond, and winning the 1947 Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.
This… is gonna be interesting.May 16, 2019 at 7:01 am #1202896258
This sounds awesome! Elvira should be Anne Hathaway or Claire FoyMay 16, 2019 at 7:17 am #1202896289
This sounds awesome! Elvira should be Anne Hathaway or Claire Foy
I actually think they would be better suited to play Ruth, the second wife of Dan Stevens’ character.
Elvira will basically be trolling the other three characters for the entire film. Fisher is more than capable of taking that to the nth degree.
Speaking of Fisher, be prepared for category fraud if this gets Oscar attention. Although she’s co-lead with Dench, odds are she’ll get the same treatment Cate Blanchett got with Notes on a Scandal because, well, her co-lead is the Dame!June 18, 2019 at 8:04 am #1202942736
Looks like the initial reports of Fisher playing Elvira were wrong. Leslie Mann will be playing that part instead. Fisher is still attached, but she’s in fact playing a different role, most likely Ruth.June 19, 2019 at 8:27 am #1202944138
Leslie Mann- love her!February 28, 2020 at 1:26 pm #1203364139
Trailer is out. And I don’t know what to say.
The dialogue makes it clear that this is going to be a very different take on the original story. Diehard fans of the original are probably going to hate it with a passion going into the theater, so it’ll have to be undeniably good to have widespread success with the critics, much less have any chance of major awards recognition.February 29, 2020 at 9:49 am #1203364900
I LOVE THE TRAILER.February 29, 2020 at 12:10 pm #1203365064
I’ll literally watch anything with Queen Judi in it!March 18, 2020 at 8:41 am #1203385521
Release has been pushed back from May to September, likely due to coronavirus concerns.June 30, 2020 at 8:29 pm #1203560018
The movie has been pushed back again to December 25… in the UK.
Given that this is an adaptation of a play which was written by a British man and takes place in the UK, it is very likely that it will be released in the UK before it is released in the US. This in turn very likely means a 2021 release in the US. But will it be in January or February, making it eligible for the 93rd Oscars?September 22, 2020 at 6:39 am #1203727337
The film will be making its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival on October 8.
NOTE: Mill Valley is in California, but not LA County. This means if the film sucks, the producers can still save it for the 2022 Oscars if they don’t have the time to recut and release by February 28.October 17, 2020 at 11:16 am #1203784397
The film is now scheduled for a February 2021 release in the US. Normally, this would’ve make it ineligible for the 93rd Oscars, but thanks to COVID the eligibility period has been extended to include films released in January and February of 2021.October 17, 2020 at 11:31 am #1203784424
First online review (from its Middleburg Film Festival screening) is up.
In this Cortland Jacoby’s opinion… it’s not good.
In Jacoby’s 2/5 review, he criticizes Edward Hall’s direction, finding the overall tone to be too mean-spirited to be considered comedic. He also finds most of the performances to be “annoying,” with the notable exception of Judi Dench. He is especially critical of Leslie Mann and Dan Stevens’ performances.
And then there’s the ending. Apparently, the original ending was completely thrown out and replaced with what Jacoby calls “a feeble attempt at some feminist team up” that drastically changes Madame Arcati’s character arc. Whether this changed ending works or not is up to individual viewers, but it clearly doesn’t work for Jacoby.October 18, 2020 at 12:26 pm #1203786557
At this point I made peace with the idea that Dench will not get that 8th Oscar nom. I naively thought that a funny supporting role in this might do it for her.January 15, 2021 at 4:36 pm #1203985665
The film has finally been released in the UK. As of right now, it’s at a 39% critics rating. That’s the same level the recent Rebecca remake is at, if you want to compare recent remakes of Golden Age films.
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