I have constantly been writing about Wolf Hall for several weeks now — about all aspects of it that have fascinated me… And, I have kept one that TOPS it all for me until now…
That is the TIMELESSNESS of Wolf Hall.
Hilary Mantel’s writing and Peter Straughan’s wonderfully condensed script open a beautiful window to the intrigue and manipulation in the court of Henry VIII in the 16th century. Wolf Hall is such a dark, political animal that it is inevitable to chew on a little bit about its politics. Besides, both the book and the drama help us understand history through a contemporary perspective, and does it through its politics and in particular, through the contemporary conversations its characters have all the time. Continue reading “Wolf Hall is TIMELESS”
Vanity Fair has a series of videos and a special March issue about how the British actors have invaded — and maybe even conquered — Hollywood.
Well, Hollywood has always, and rightly so, admired and respected great British actors, say Jeremy Irons, Judi Dench, or Michael Kaine. But the on-going invasion is mostly done by a new generation of Brits who have now become “household names” in the US — some more than the others in my household 🙂 They sometimes fascinate us in British movies and TV shows, and sometimes play Americans in American movies and TV shows. And, thanks to their perfect American accents, some fans may actually find out much later that they are, in fact, British!
We earlier discussed here the authenticity of the costumes in Wolf Hall as well as how much the series costume designer Joanna Eatwell values Hans Holbein the Younger’s work in achieving this authenticity.
It turns out that Eatwell digged into the paintings of Holbein for research. From Lucy Worsley’s interview with Eatwell:
‘He’s a genius – all the information is in his paintings,’ she says.
‘He not only painted members of the court, he also painted merchants and even some of Henry’s courtiers and staff, so we have a complete cross-section which is incredibly important for a piece like this.’
Eatwell argues, in an audio interview with the BBC Academy, Holbein is a “master in his craft” and his paintings are realistic but also propaganda. The paintings make a statement about the person in the painting — she calls it the “photoshop” of the times.
Wolf Hall is getting darker by the minute in its penultimate episode. Henry is moody. He is capricious. He is obnoxious. He is EXPLOSIVE… And, then he turns into a little boy trying to make amends to his best friend. Damian Lewis owned Wolf Hall tonight, and gave some acting feast for us! The Independent, in its review of the episode, says “Damian Lewis is so good as the capricious king that you want to slap him.” I don’t want to make a case for Henry but I admit he has his reasons — it is all about his obsession with a male heir. And, add to this, his being very aware of his own mortality, and Henry makes a decision to move on… well, to the next wife.