Tuesday 10 December 2013

Of Lego, Belstaff and rogue locks of hair

There have been so very many new pictures and interviews and soundbites and livestreams and screencaps and other tidbits this week. I think I've now seen and read most of them, but the sheer volume of material that has been released during this week of the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has completely overwhelmed me. But I've enjoyed every single minute of it. The second instalment in the The Hobbit trilogy will be released here in Belgium in exactly 1 day and I can't wait to finally see the film! For me, that is going to happen on Thursday evening...It will be the first of many times, there is absolutely no doubt about that!

Looking back at this crazy week or so, I have so much new info about Richard Armitage! Please don't ask me where these pieces of info come from because I couldn't even begin to try and remember what was written where or what was said in which interview.

Prosthetic hands are the cause of huge disappointment *wink*

Richard does Smaug, and quit well, I must say. *multi-talented, of course!*

He's amused by the fact that people still don't always know how to pronounce his name. *Trust me, my dear, I know how frustrating that can be. Better to laugh about all the variations than to let it get to you.*
Richard is not afraid to show the geek *geek is the new sexy*

I nominate Evangeline Lilly for honorary membership of the Armitage Army *after Philippa Boyens, who has been one of us since last year's release of An Unexpected Journey!*

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel, portrait from Empire Magazine

Richard has not yet done everything he needs to do in front of the camera before going into directing or producing *yay!*

Working and living in New Zealand has been a life-changing experience... *but he's still our sweet, shy Richard... forever the gentleman, but now with a slightly more obvious, very cheeky, geeky side! :-)*

Richard loves his Belstaff jackets just as much as we love him in them ;-)

Black is still his colour, but grey is not too shabby either

LEGO! *It goes without saying*

To be able to handle Orcrist, Richard had to do a lot of training with his right arm *Oh please get your mind out of the gutter! ;-)* Orcrist makes an excellent air guitar as well:

.gif published by World of Armitage on tumblr

Peter Jackson got Richard on his knees from utter exhaustion. A minute later, he was doing another take of that same scene *Passion*

Richard is still hoping to return to the stage... and he's very well aware of the fact that the entire fandom get really excited when he mentions that in interviews... but he continues to do so...and he still hasn't found the right play for his return to the theatre. :-(  *He's such a tease!*

Richard would have loved to take home the chair from Beorn's house... but Mikael Persbrandt got it instead... *OK, I guess it makes sense that Beorn got first dibs on his own furniture*

Richard Armitage in Beorn's chair with interviewer David Weiner
Picture from www.richardarmitagenet.com

Richard is still an incorrigible flirt *And it manages to wake up the butterflies in my stomach every time!* :-)
The rogue lock of hair strikes again! :-O

Richard at the premiere for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Berlin (9 December)
Picture from RAVietnam Facebook page

Bombur's BBQ Chicken is to die for! *Stephen Hunter rocks! #TeamBombur*

Ed Sheeran wrote "I See Fire" from Thorin's perspective. Good to see that Ed recognises who the main character of this film really is.

Richard and friends dressed up to go and see one of the Lord Of The Rings films. Richard wore elven ears. *such a lovely thing to imagine*

On some days during production of The Hobbit, Richard had to get up at 3am to be ready for the start of filming at 8am. *Tough job*

Richard is on Warner Brothers' list of people for the Academy to consider for an Oscar nomination in the category 'Best Supporting Actor'. *fingers crossed*

Richard is a sock thief! He took home every single pair of costume socks he was given - and they got a new pair every day, for 18 months - he could probably open his very own sock shop!! *Such an adorably geeky thing to do*

Richard is planning to retire in New Zealand... someday *but not too soon, please!*

What have you learned this week?

Sunday 1 December 2013

Enter the dragon!

10 days to go before the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Belgium (on 11/12/13!!)

And isn't it about time we got to see the dragon? Yes. And we did, in the most fierce way possible!

"He was a fire drake from the North" ...and he flew Air New Zealand!!

Ladies and gentlemen...I give you: Smaug the Stupendous!!

Images taken from the Air New Zealand Twitter page

Saturday 30 November 2013

Going once, going twice...sshhht!!

All day today, the media here have been full of images of 'Black Friday'. The day after Thanksgiving, stores in the US sell certain items at enormous discounts and all we here in Europe get to see are pictures of people camping out in front of the shops, or fighting over towels or T-shirts or TVs or videogames at 70% off. It's amazing how people give thanks for everything they have one day, and go out and get new stuff the next...

Anyway, instead of Black Friday, you may want to spend your money on charity instead so other people have things to be grateful for next Thanksgiving. And if you get an incredible, RA-inspired item as a reward, what could be better than that?

How, where, when, what, you ask? Well, get yourself over to I Want To Be A Pinup and feast your eyes on the wonderful items, all donated by RA fans. See anything you like? It could be yours for however much you would want to spend! Yes, you guessed it: this is a silent auction!

"Marian, don't tell me how much you wish to bid for that beautiful necklace! This is a silent auction!"

I think this is an absolutely brilliant idea and the donated items are gorgeous, every single one of them! I'm going to have to think carefully about what I'd like to spend my money on because only the highest bid wins.

Read the details carefully, so you know exactly what to do, find your favourite item and send in your bid (only a few days left!)... and then all you can do is wait for the results... fingers crossed!!

Oh, and all the money is sent to one of Richard Armitage's favourite charities on JustGiving, so don't forget to vote for the charity that you prefer!

Good luck! And thank you for your generosity!

Monday 25 November 2013

Random thoughts: I hope you dance

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder

You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger

May you never take one single breath for granted

God forbid love ever leave you empty handed

I hope you still feel small when you stand by the ocean

Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens


Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance

Living might mean taking chances but they're worth taking

Lovin' might be a mistake but it's worth making

Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter

When you come close to selling out, reconsider

Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance

Dancing Thorin taken from AnUnexpectedDwarf on Tumblr
Lyrics from the song 'I hope you dance' by Lee Ann Womack

Sunday 17 November 2013

This new Thorin poster is not good


So, everyone seems to be getting excited about a new poster for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Great! Let's have a look! I'm sure it's beautiful and majestic and fierce and wonderful and...wait - what!?

No no no, this poster is not good at all. Yes, it's a perfect design, as usual and the detail of Thorin's armour is impressive and all that. But what I really see is the Prince of Durin, the next King Under The Mountain, the rightful ruler of Erebor, overcome by the horrible disease that plagued his grandfather and that made Erebor an easy target for Smaug The Terrible.

All I see is dragon sickness.
And that is not good.

Richard Armitage, your fans are the best!

My goodness, I have not been here since Richard's 42nd birthday in August. I had no idea that it had been that long! *hangs head in shame*

For the last few months, I have been forced to take a step away from my blog. I'm sure we've all been there: real life tends to take over now and then, taking our attention away from what's fun and exciting, and making us focus on what's really important for a while. My time, my mind (and my sleep) have been monopolised by other things and that has not done my inspiration any favours.

So, for a while now, I've had to watch Mr. Armitage and my fellow fans from afar and the distance has given me great insights. The most important one is this: Richard Armitage has got the absolute greatest fans. If I were in his shoes (or should I say 'boots'?), I would thank my lucky stars every single day for their unrelenting love and support. honestly, we're the best! :-)

Allow me to illustrate that point with 2 examples.

We love you when you're ugly
In these digital times, you can't always control which pictures of yourself appear online. A friend might snap a shot of you at a party and post it on Facebook and you 'll be horrified to discover it the next day because your hair, clothes or face didn't look great in the picture. That's how I think RA must have felt when this picture was released onto the world.

Picture taken from the Richard Armitage France page on Facebook

Personally, I think it's not the best shot of him. But, great fans that we are, we loved it! The beard, the boots, the long legs, the thighs, the glimpse of chest hair (which I don't like, by the way), the iPad (don't pretend you're not on the internet, dear Richard, even you couldn't resist a peek at what people are saying about you and about your version of Thorin forever), the jacket, the jeans... they were all discussed in the most meticulous detail and it was quickly proclaimed to be the new favourite picture of the fandom. You do ugly well, Richard, you do tired and dishevelled well, Richard. And the fans love it!

Our loyalty is as fierce as Thorin's majesty
Let's be honest, dearest Richard, you haven't exactly done much work lately (that we know of). We haven't exactly been spoiled with new examples of your excellent acting talents for about a year or so. Yes, we love Thorin and we can't wait to see more of him very soon. And it looks like Into The Storm will finally be released next August, which will be almost 2 years after you worked on it. I look forward to finally meeting your Gary Morris. But we are still here.

Beautiful new poster for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,
starring Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield

In the meantime, Aneurin Barnard got to play the dream role of Richard III and Batman went to Ben Affleck (I'm sure you were in the running for that role at some point, although I think you're capable of so much more than a rehash of a vintage superhero) and there's competition everywhere. Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston, just to name a few other excellent actors who have been churning out the films and the stunning performances like a well-oiled machine.

It would have been so easy to forget all about Richard Crispin Armitage and be mesmerised by one of your enchanting colleagues. But I don't think you've lost a single fan to any of them. On the contrary! I personally have never even been tempted by them. Fassbender amazed me with his portrayal of Bobby Sands, I love Benedict's brilliant Sherlock Holmes and Tom gave us an excellent Loki, but none of that has made me want to join the Cumberbitches or make this blog about Tom Hiddleston instead.  

Our loyalty is as fierce as Thorin's majesty. And that is not about to change. 

Thursday 22 August 2013


Happy Birthday, Richard Armitage!!

Ah, 42, the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything!! :-)

Mr. Armitage, dear Richard, I hope you have a wonderful day with a nice bottle of red wine, lots of chocolate ice cream or birthday cake (or both!) and the very best of friends to sing "Happy Birthday" to you.

My birthday wish is that in your 43rd year on this earth, we will find you on stage in London's West End and I eagerly await the day when you will grace us with a musical performance on the cello ;-) . That would allow me to tick 2 important items off of my own bucket list! And maybe you'll get closer to the top of Mount Everest as well...

Happy Armitage Day to all !!

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Long live King Richard!

So, The White Queen has come to an end with the death of King Richard III.

If you've read my review of episode 1, you know that I enjoyed the beginning of the seriesvery much and that I was looking forward to the rest of it. And I was especially looking forward to seeing Richard of Gloucester become Richard III, seeing him grow from a boy into a king. And although I feel the story of Richard's reign was rushed and important details forgotten or only touched upon, I was impressed by Aneurin Barnard. His portrayal of King Richard was spot on: silent, innocent, introverted, stoic, stylish and strong. Conflicted in the right place, emotional at the right time. Truly a performance fit for a king. I hope Aneurin Barnard is extremely proud of this role and I wish him all the best for the rest of his career. He can come back to play 'our Richard' anytime! ;-)

It's almost freaky how, thanks to the discovery of King Richard's remains in Leicester and the research done by the team at Leicester University, we now know exactly how accurate his portrayal was, even though Aneurin did not know that at the time when he was filming The White Queen. He was spooked by it, and so was I! Richard III's final scene was gripping...I definitely felt a chill down my spine...

Aneurin Barnard - remember that name!

But let me take you back to the main subject of this blog: have you noticed how similar Aneurin Barnard and Richard Armitage are? Yes, there's a bit of an age difference, but forget about that for a moment. No wonder I would love for Richard to get a chance to play King Richard as well... Actually, I can't believe nobody has come up with some Alternate Universe story yet in which Richard III miraculously survives Bosworth and lives on!

Let's take a look at these two Richards...

They both look good in black...

Aneurin Barnard as King Richard III
Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne
And they both look good in candle light... They have both mastered the look of a brooding, conflicted royal prince...

And they both have that majestic style: dark hair, pale skintone, a royal grace... and piercing blue eyes!

Someone should write a great script and put them in a film together. Now there's something I would pay money to watch!!

Did you watch The White Queen? Or maybe you're watching it in the USA where it has only just started? What do you think?

Saturday 27 July 2013

Gaubdûkhimâ gagin yâkùlib Mahal, King Thorin!*

* “May we meet again with the grace of Mahal, Thorin!”
(a formal goodbye in Khuzdul, the secret language of the dwarves of Middle-Earth)

“Roads go ever ever on,
Under cloud and under star.
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.”
(From ‘Roads go ever on’ by JRR Tolkien)
I’m sure you’re all aware that filming for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy has now completely wrapped. If not, take a look at Mr. Jackson’s official Facebook page, where he has been live blogging the last day of shooting on Friday.
Of course, this also means that Richard Armitage is now finally allowed to really let go of Thorin Oakenshield. As he’s lived with this character for about 2,5 years, that can’t be an easy thing to do.

There are a few things Richard could do to ease the Thorin/Richard break-up. I have a few suggestions:

1. I hate to say it, but he could get rid of the beard. Apparently, Dean O’Gorman couldn’t wait to shave off his beard after wrapping his scenes as Fili, he even posted a picture on Twitter!

"I'm wrapped, and so is the beard!" says Dean O'Gorman as he prepares to say goodbye to the Fili beard
Here's a scary thought: Could this really be the very last picture of Richard Armitage rocking the beard? (For the record: I hope it's not!)

Picture tweeted by Graham McTavish: "Some very tired and emotional dwarves last night..."
Left to right: Richard Armitage (Thorin), Mark Hadlow (Dori), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Peter Hambleton (Gloin)
 2. Richard needs to get away from everything that reminds him of Thorin. In other words, he needs to get out of Middle-Earth/New-Zealand. Like Stephen Hunter, who has already left. He shared a lovely goodbye message on Vine:

A change of scenery is perfect for a new start, preferably somewhere that is completely different from New-Zealand. Well, how about New York City? It seems, Richard has just bought a very nice apartment in Greenwich Village. This could just be the perfect place to drop off the grid for a while…


3. The best way to step away from Thorin Oakenshield, must be to get involved in a new project. Batman? Some vampire? A King from days gone by? The new Doctor in Doctor Who? Rumours are flying and I’m sure Richard can now afford the luxury of picking the roles that he really believes in.

Well, my vote goes to none of the above. I’m crossing my fingers for the lead in a play in London’s West End. Now that would be a dream come true for me! So, Richard, I hope you’re paying attention!

Any more suggestions?

Monday 17 June 2013

The White Queen - Episode 1

Tonight, we finally got to see the first episode of a long-awaited new Original British Drama series on the BBC: The White Queen.

The White Queen tell the story of Elizabeth Woodville who, although her family supported the Lancastrian king Henry VI, married king Edward IV of York during the time of the Wars of the Roses in 1462, and became queen of England.

I liked it. I liked it a lot.

The White Queen is based on Philippa Gregory's famous novels about the English wars of the roses, the conflict in which supporters of the red rose of Lancaster and the white rose of York fight for the throne of England. And although Ms Gregory's novels are not necessarily 100% historically correct, they are based on true events or speculation about what could have been, and in that respect, they do justice to the course of history in the best way possible. There is simply so much that is unknown about the exact details of this period, that some creative license must be allowed.

Rebecca Ferguson is quite convincing as Elizabeth Woodville and Max Irons, son of Jeremy Irons, brings Edward to life as I would have imagined him: tall, blond, handsome and confident as king, but quite easily seduced and driven by his emotions, not necessarily by political gain.

The rumours that Elizabeth's mother Jacquetta used magic to make Edward fall for her daughter and that Elizabeth had the power to see the future are taken as true and they provide a more sinister aspect to Edward and Elizabeth's seemingly idyllic meeting and subsequent secret marriage.

James Frain plays Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick. I don't want to judge the character too much after only one episode, but I was slightly disappointed in Frain's portrayal of The Kingmaker. I was expecting him to be more glamorous, more arrogant, more lavish. Instead, he was rough and rude and loud. It will be interesting to see how this character develops in the future episodes. 

I look forward to the next episode. I want to see the Yorkist princes in action: Edward and his brothers George and Richard. If you've read this blog before, you know that I have a specific interest in Richard III, so I especially look forward to seeing Aneurin Barnard as Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the future king Richard III. 

The brothers of York, the Plantagenet princes: David Oakes as George, Duke of Clarence, Max Irons as king Edward IV
and Aneurin Barnard as Richard, Duke of Gloucester

Monday 10 June 2013

The countdown has begun!

Only a few hours ago, Peter Jackson posted this picture on his Facebook page. It's the very first official poster for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I call this the official start of the countdown to the release of the film. I can't wait!

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is set to hit cinemas in Belgium (where I live) on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 (12 December in New Zealand, 13 December in the UK and the US). More release dates are listed on the film's IMDb page.

More good news: on Tuesday, 11 June at 19:00 Belgian time, a teaser trailer for the film will be revealed. The trailer will be shown in cinemas with the film 'Man of Steel', which hits cinemas in Belgium on 12 June.

Only 185 more days to go!!

Thursday 30 May 2013

Gatsby: Wishing on a star...

“Just think of all the moments that we'd spent
I just can't let you go, for me you were meant
And I didn't mean to hurt you, but I know
That in the game of love you reap what you sow”
Wishing on a star, by Rose Royce

In a recent interview, Richard Armitage has mentioned that he believes his fans to be very well-educated people who are always reading some interesting book. (Thank you for the kind words, Mr. A!) Well, I could say the same about him, because he’s obviously intelligent and also seems to be going through life with a book at hand. I’ve taken his advice on books on more than one occasion. For example: the book that is responsible for the name of this blog was a suggestion from Mr. Armitage himself. Yes, Richard, that was all you, see how you’ve inspired me!
Richard Armitage + Books = perfection!
RA as Harry 'the handsome stranger' Kennedy in The Vicar of Dibley (2006)
Sometimes, we even seem to have the same idea at the same time. On 1 May, Richard was interviewed via telephone on Scotty and Nige's radio show in Canberra, Australia, during his promotional press tour for the DVD release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Thank you to www.richardarmitagenet.com for the audio file!) . One of the questions in that interview was: Which book are you reading at the moment? And on the exact day that I had gone to the bookstore to buy this exact book, Richard said: “I’m reading The Great Gatsby”. Coincidence? I think not. More something along the lines of great minds thinking alike, I’d like to believe ;-)

I wanted to read the book before seeing the new film, and I’m very happy to say that I’ve now had the pleasure of doing both.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel (at only 167 pages, I would actually rather call it a novella, don’t you think?), even though it’s set in the summer of 1922, is more current than ever. It takes us to the Roaring Twenties, a time of loosening sexual morals, the excesses of post-war life in the US and a time of immense social upheaval. The social divides of the previous decades had been shaken by the war and people were struggling to find a new place for themselves, a new balance for their world and a new sense of purpose for their lives.

The unprecedented economic prosperity (did Fitzgerald in fact predict the stock market crash of 1929?), the new music of the Jazz Age, and a renewed belief in the concept of The American Dream were bringing a new sense of freedom and vigour to life in a city as glamorous as New York. Any ‘Noboby from Nowhere’ could be dirt poor one day and filthy rich the next, but the difference between ‘old money’ and ‘new money’ was a cause for frustration and resentment. People were trying to hold on to the conventions of the past, while the world around them was changing at an unprecedented speed.

In the middle of all this, Nick -“My family is something of a clan”- Carraway, moves from the American Mid-West to New York, specifically to Long Island, where he rents a house for the summer in West Egg, next to the grand mansion of the mysterious Mr. Gatsby, overlooking the bay of East Egg, where the old established families reside.

“Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.
I am still a little afraid of missing something, if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.”

Gatsby’s reputation precedes him. Everybody who is anybody has been to one of his extravagant parties full of music, food and alcohol. And even though they did not receive a formal invitation and many of them have no idea who or what Mr. Gatsby is, they still flock to the incandescent display of wealth and decadence in his house like moths to a flame. Everyone, except Nick Carraway. Nick does receive an invitation: Gatsby deliberately singles him out because Nick holds the key to the fulfilment of his carefully constructed dream-like existence, his reason for breathing, working, planning: Nick’s cousin, Daisy Buchanan.

“Sometimes they came and went without having met Gatsby at all,
came for the party with a simplicity of heart that was its own ticket of admission.”

To avoid any spoilers, about the book or the film, I will try not to talk about the events that take place in the story. But it is beautifully written: intelligent and elegantly descriptive proze that never lingers on insignificant details. The story moves at the same steady pass as the roaring twenties that it describes. All I can say is, please read the book, it is, with every right, a great contender for the title of ‘Great American Novel’.

And then there was the film. Going to see the film, I honestly tried to expect as little as possible, hoping that I would not be disappointed.

This is a film by Australian director Baz Luhrman, and it has his typical signature all over it. If you’ve seen Moulin Rouge, you will be familiar with his luscious, decadent style. Luckily, Mr. Luhrman always manages to find those stories for which his particular style makes sense: the glamour and decay behind the scenes of the glorious shows of the Moulin Rouge and the deafening contrast between the roaring, lush parties in Gatsby’s mansion, the lustre and wealth of East Egg and the poverty of middle America and the desolation of an abandoned house, overcome by darkness, scandal and, most of all, regret are superbly displayed on the silver screen.
Another element that contributes to the contrasts displayed in this film is the use of 3D. The people sitting next to me in the cinema were disappointed: they were expecting things to come at them and ‘the people to step off of the screen’. To be honest, I was very happy that Luhrman did not make anything fly out at me using the 3D technology to create false layers. Instead, he used the technology wisely; creating a sense of depth in certain scenes and making others appear very flat, in line with the emotion that he was trying to convey. After a while, I no longer even realised that I was looking at a 3D film (in spite of those horrible 3D goggles!), and that’s exactly the kind of effect that a filmmaker should strive for. The decadence of the parties, the strength of Gatsby’s emotional despair and the confusion in Nick Carraway’s mind, in my opinion, seemed to benefit immensely from the extra depth offered by 3D.

And I never realised how much emotion a white curtain in 3D can contain until Luhrman used it to frame his introduction of the carelessly beautiful Daisy Buchanan with it. That scene made me gasp out loud, it’s extremely powerful.

Daisy Buchanan is extremely well portrayed by Carey Mulligan. She embodies Fitzgerald’s description of Daisy:

“Her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it,
bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth, but there was an excitement in her voice that men who had cared for her found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion, a whispered ‘Listen’, a promise that she had done gay, exciting things just awhile since and that there were gay, exciting things hovering in the next hour.”

She’s careless and frivolous and her very essence breathes upper-class and money. She’s a good girl, sticking to the conventions of her upbringing and what is deemed proper for a girl in her position. She’s out of touch with reality, endearingly selfish and careless with love.

Tobey Maguire plays Nick Carraway, and although Tobey does so perfectly well, he was the only more negative element in this film. To me, Tobey Maguire will always be Peter Parker, not just because he played Spiderman, but also because he always seems to have stepped right out of a cartoon, even when portraying a more soft and subtle character like Nick Carraway. Even though we see this story from Nick’s point of view, it sometimes almost made me think that Nick was insane or had imagined the whole thing. And that must have been due to Tobey Maguire’s style, as that element is completely missing in the novel. Sorry Tobey!

Joel Edgerton, on the other hand, is superb as Daisy’s husband Tom Buchanan. He gives Tom a huge upper-class ego, careless disdain for the world around him, and the biggest double standards I have ever seen. He strongly reminded me of Billy Zane’s portrayal of Rose Dewitt’s finance Cal Hockley in Titanic. Tom seems to possess a little voice in the back of his mind that constantly reminds him to keep up the appearance of being untouchable. As long as everything happens behind the scenes and what people see remains good and proper, there’s nothing wrong with it. His entire character is based on perception and long-forgotten achievements on the polo field. Well done Joel!

“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy—they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

But the biggest surprise of this film, to me, was Leonardo Dicaprio. Yes, obviously I did know he was in this film, I just never expected to be moved by his Gatsby. Leo has always been one of those actors who simply seem to play every role as a slightly adjusted version of themselves: Leo, to me, was always Leo. But not here: he was Gatsby; not only did he stick so very well to Fitzgerald’s novel, down to the very detail of his character’s facial expressions, but I could actually see it in his eyes. His demeanor would change completely from one scene to the next, depending on whether he was playing the accomplished businessman or the lovesick soldier. The despair, the gentle hope, the deep disappointments of life, it was all right there.

“They’re a rotten crowd’, I shouted across the lawn.
 ‘You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”
In one particular scene, he managed to move me to tears, and I was so surprised by my own emotional reaction, especially because I knew exactly what was coming from the book. It’s the scene in the book where Nick comes home and Gatsby is waiting for him. Nick has been out with Jordan Baker who has asked him, on Gatsby’s behalf, if he would be so kind as to invite his cousin Daisy to tea. I almost skimmed over those two pages in the book, the scene almost seemed silly, but seeing Leo put so much more into this short, insignificant conversation between the two men, made me realise its emotional charge and made my heart leap in tender compassion for Gatsby. It’s hard to describe, but Gatsby stole my heart in that exact moment. That was a little tour de force, Mr. DiCaprio!

OK, I think I’ve rambled on long enough now, I'm sure you get the general idea of why I liked the film. Please go and see it if you have the chance, and read the book first if you can. Just like me, you will not be disappointed!

The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
First published in 1926

The Great Gatsby (2013)
a film written and directed by Baz Luhrman
starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton

Wednesday 29 May 2013

I love a naughty dwarf! :-)

Have you ever wondered why I am so fascinated by Richard Armitage?
Well, I guess some of you have questioned my sanity on a very regular basis...

The video below shows everything I love about him. This was filmed at a screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey a few weeks ago which included a live Q&A with Richard.

I love his acting skills, his attention to detail, his lust for life, his love for his craft and so much more. If you watch it, you will understand (or maybe not, but I still love this man to death!)

I'm honestly amazed at how much of himself Richard is now willing to show in public. I guess, as long as he's talking about the characters and the craft, he's fine with just being himself, not necessarily always the dedicated professional. He's content, he's having fun, and I'm delighted to be able to see that!!

And... "Dwarves Illustrated 2012"? It was a present for Peter Jackson's 50th birthday.
Well, we know Richard was on the calendar for the month December.
We know he was sitting backwards on a chair throwing his long Thorin hair backwards.
There was a hairdryer involved. And I imagine that he had his eyes closed.
Not sure about wheter or not there was a strategically placed piece of oak! ;-)

So, it could have looked something like this: (notice the strategically placed Orcrist ;-))

Original image found here:
I'm sure you can imagine the rest :-)

Enjoy the interview:

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Random thoughts: 'I do' love the fashion!

In the last month and a half or so, I've been to 3 weddings.

Looking back on them, I realise that all three of them were completely different, but each one was the perfect wedding for that specific bride and groom. They had completely different ceremonies, completely different vows. One couple had a church wedding, another had a personalised ceremony at the town hall or just a simple, short, legal wedding.

One couple had a large wedding party that lasted halfway through the night and another simply had a reception with family and friends or even a family dinner.

The choices they made for their wedding day were the best choices for that particular bride and groom. The details that reflected their personalities made every one of these weddings really their day.
The best way for me to show you the differences, is by showing you the brides and their beautiful, but very different wedding dresses. I loved all three and I wish these beautiful brides all the best for the future!

Oh, and before I forget: the grooms scrub up rather nicely as well, don't they? ;-)

Which dress do you like best?

A white, heart-shaped corset dress with layered skirt. Long in the back,
shorter in the front, showing off the brides beautiful legs! And lovely peep-toe heels!

A short, A-line dress with heart shaped corset top. The bright red is perfectly matched with the short ivory-coloured jacket with red embroidery details and ivory-coloured heels.

This is the more traditional dress. White, with a long, smooth skirt. The sassy detail is the open back (which, unfortunately, you can't see in this picture) I love the collar - she really does look like a fairytale princess!