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If you Love British Actors, get in line because you’re not the only one…

There really hasn’t been any Black Sky in the fandom for a while now, as far as news is concerned.

It’s been RAining Armitage, however the following picture has reminded me how neglectful I have been of my other crushes.

The image comes from The Hobbit Book Tie-In.

Check out other Hobbit pictures at TORn.

I’ve spent the morning analyzing whether fancying both the uncle and his nephews wasn’t too weird.

I can conclude it’s morally OK in my book!

Dear Aidan!
You, me, and Richard in a dark cinema 😉

As the summer is coming to an end, and so are the days of freedom to do whatever I want, I decided to continue on my quest to immerse myself in the best British actors have to offer.

It actually turned into a triple bill, but about that a little later.

The first film I decided to watch was Third Star,  a 2010 British comedy-drama film directed by Hattie Dalton, staring Benedict Cumberbatch.

It tells the story of James, a young man terminally ill with cancer, who sets out on a last hiking trip with his three best friends, Davy, Bill and Miles.

Third Star

I won’t go into details as to the plot, as I found it quite predictable.

This is a touching comedy drama which focuses on friendship and love against the backdrop of suffering and loss.

In many ways, it follows the path of other road trip adventure movies.

What is interesting to see is the different ways people deal with the inevitability of death.

Some are repulsed by the illness, others sacrifice their own plans and ambitions to a point where they almost become a martyr to it.

By the end my eyes were puffy from crying, but this definitely isn’t so much about cancer as it is about friendship, and the sacrifices we make for those we love.

There’s a quote from James that particularly resonated with me:

So I raise a morphine toast to you all.

And if you should happen to remember it’s the anniversary of my birth, remember that you were loved by me and that you made my life a happy one.

And there is no tragedy in that.”

Here’s the trailer:

I also found it on YT in parts with subtitulada en español 🙂

Please do yourself a favour and watch this movie.

It won’t disappoint!

To balance things out, I decided to watch Penelope, a 2006 fantasy/romantic comedy directed by Mark Palansky  next.

Call me jaded I’m not a big fan of the fairytale genre.

If it wasn’t for James McAvoy, I wouldn’t even give it a try.

The film tells a story of a young girl from a wealthy family, who, because of a curse, has a pig nose and ears (no info regarding the tail…).

It is said that the curse can only be lifted if ‘one of her own’ learns to love her, which her parents interpret as meaning that Penelope must marry a man of noble birth.

The thing that aggravated me the most is that Christina Ricci’s character is supposed to look like a monster, hideous enough to scare away any prospective husband.

I think she resembles a young Victoria Beckham (and I mean that in the nicest way possible).

I’d (semi) recommend this film for three reasons.

Firstly, as always, James McAvoy gives a powerful performance amidst all the bubbles.

Although he’s Scottish, and very often uses a British accent when he plays parts, here has an American one.

It’s not my favorite as one of the main attractions of loving a British actor is that they sound like they’ve just had tea with the Queen.

But there’s an intensity about McAvoy I find irresistible.

He’s not remotely my type (in oppose to you Mr Armitage, you check ALL my boxes), but the passion he installs into his characters make them sexy as all hell.

The second aspect I found adorable is Penelope’s wardrobe.

I know, I’m shallow, but the costume designer really did a great job putting together adorable retro outfits for the female protagonist.

I’m jealous and I want it all!

Last, but definitely not least, Peter Dinklage plays Lemon, the demonic paparazzi who’s on a mission to hunt down Penelope.

There’s a scene in prison with him that desperately needs to be turned into a gif 🙂

Is this the best movie I’ve ever seen?

Not by a long shot!

It wasn’t even the best movie on the day.

But if light and fluffy is what you’re after, it’ll fit the bill.

Here’s the trailer:

After the sickly sweetness of the previous film, I really needed to cleanse my pallet, and I think I made the perfect choice.

The Last Station is a 2009 biographical drama about the final months of Leo Tolstoy’s life,  directed by Michael Hoffman.

The film follows the battle between Sophia, Tolstoy’s wife (Hellen Mirren) and his disciple Vladimir Chertkov for his legacy and the copyright of Tolstoy’s works.

 James McAvoy plays Tolstoy’s new secretary Valentin Bulgakov, who finds himself mediating between the two sides.

It’s an interesting commentary on love, marriage, ideology and passion.

This film displays two of my favorite features.

Firstly, it’s based on fact.

I found the authentic footage of Tolstoy featured at the end to be haunting.

I also felt quite sentimental every time they drank tea.

It was served in glasses placed in little metal ‘baskets’, just like I remember from when I was a child.

They’d also sweeten it with jam instead of sugar.

Secondly, it takes place in Russia at the start of the twentieth century.

Trouble is brewing, the time for change is near, yet it’s filtered through the rural existence of Tolstoy and his disciples.

This movie is a must!

You can watch in movie in parts on YT:


About Agzy The Ripper

Sew, Rip, Repeat... and love each moment of it! Join me as I embark on a myriad of sewing and crafting shenanigans.

25 responses »

  1. I love Third Star. One of my favourite songs are from that movie. So lovely!

  2. I’ve already watched McAvoy movies and agree with your point of view. Now, the one related to BC is a bit difficult. I hope he becomes more popular in the country, so I can know more about his works. Anyway, your tips are always good. Thanks and wish you a very nice weekend! 😉

    • I’m surprised as I would have thought Cumberbatch was the IT boy internationally.
      His films aren’t easy, but then the roles he’s offered are a testament to his acting skills. I know many would disagree, but for me he isn’t a typical poster boy. I thought about getting a BC screensaver, but because of the roles I associate him with, I really couldn’t bring myself to do it.
      Third Star will have you crying, but there are so many funny moments, and the dialogue is very witty. It’s a Must See!

      • Although BC is not super famous, at least he is known (compared to RA). I did a quick search and found six of his movies on dvd (unfortunately Third Star is not among them). Besides, he’s known for his work in Sherlock Homes, which has been broadcasted in a cable TV.

        • Well, maybe YT is your best bet. I came across some people online moaning about how hard it is to buy the DVD, as stocks quickly run out, even on Amazon!

  3. Thank you for the link “The last station”. I didn’t know it.The relations between Tolstoy and his wife were very weird and I have a weakness for this era.
    I would mention two comedies “Death at a Funeral” with Matthew Macfadyen and “Tamara Drewe”. I enjoyed them very much.

    • I freaking love Death at a Funeral 🙂 I have to check the other one out! Thanks for the recommendation.
      The Tolstoy marriage is at the heart of this movie, and it’s shot and acted beautifully! There’s so much love and passion, it easily becomes loathing. A very interesting study in what happens when, in time, the passion doesn’t die between two people.

  4. Thanks for the recommendations, Agzym. I’ll have to try and find Third Star. As someone who enjoys the fairy tale genre, I thought Penelope was pretty good. I liked the various quirky characters who peopled the story. The Last Station was a great movie, love McAvoy, Mirren and Plummer. Such a great combination of actors!

    • Third Star is a must! A low budget meant all the actors had to bring their best to the project. It’s shot beautifully, and the lanscape is breathtaking.
      Have plenty of tissues and a hot cup of tea at the ready, though!

  5. I love The Last Station. Christopher Plummer is an older crush for me and I love Dame Helen and will watch her in anything. I enjoy period bio films–watching to see if they get the details of the costumes and furnishings, etc. right

    I also really liked the additional of the actual footage of Tolstoy. James MacAvoy is too boyishly cute to be my cup of tea, either, but I do think he’s an excellent actor and I always enjoy seeing his performances.

    I saw part of Penelope but lost interest. Sorry I missed Peter Dinklage, though, as I adore him. If you have never seen him in The Station Agent, make an effort to do so. Small independent film with great performance by Dinklage.

    Will have to check out Third Star.

    • James McAvoy may be boyishly cute, but his intensity makes him all man 😉 I found him fascinating from the first time I saw him, and he’s never disappointed me. I’ll even forgive him for being a nail-biter ( a HUGE NoNo! for me). There’s just something about his body language, gestures, facial features that keeps my interest.
      What’s interesting, I actually don’t fancy him as a man at all, not as a male actor either. It’s only the parts he plays that raise my temperature 😉

      Dinklage is another example of an actor who fascinates me. I’m happy he got to play a love interest in Nip/Tuck, and did it very well.
      I’ll check out The Station Agent, thanks for the recommendation 🙂

      • Seeing as you are a Dinklage admirer and appreciate “smaller” movies, I think you would like it. Good performances by Patricia Clarkson and Bobby Cavanelle (sp?) too.

        Forgot to add I LOVE Death at a Funeral. Peter was great (in both versions) but Allan Tudyk’s perfomance as the nervous boyfriend unknowingly tripping out on a hallucinogen is HILARIOUS. Also, I thought his Brit accent was spot-on for an American. He is another actor I have enjoyed in all his roles.

        One thing that kept bothering me watching X Men was how red Jame’s lips appeared. As if he was wearing lippie. I know he just has a lot of pigmentation, but it did bug me. LOL Not dissing him, you understand. Fine actor.

        Just doesn’t seem to– capture my fancy in the same way, say, Peter Dinklage does.

        I wouldn’t necessarily think I HAD to stop and watch a MacAvoy film if I ran across it n the satellite, wereas I likely would for Dinklage. I know there are plenty of people who would disagree with me. 😉
        Now I find myself craving more Game of Thrones. *sigh*

        • I understand when something bugs the heck out of you. I loathe the N&S scene where Richard’s face is lit all wrong and he looks really wrong. Bugs me every time! How is it possible to make that man look bad? Luckily it’s just a split second, but it isn’t nice.
          Death at a Funeral was one of those films that adults go to th cinema to see, and you’d expect everyone to be acting… well… adulty, and yet people were screaming out with laughter. British comedy at its best!
          Regarding actors some adore, others couldn’t care less about, Ricky Gervais is an absolute favorite of mine. Just watched The Office (UK) yet again. It just gets me every single time. I know people who find his acting so annoying, they won’t even give him a chance.

          • Re N&S, we were discussing at my blog how disappointing some of those publicity stills shot with Daniela were. You have two very attractive people and somehow they made them look much less so–particularly Richard. I am sure they didn’t want to give away spoilers, but shots from the train station scene would have looked much more appealing. Both Richard And DDA were just beautiful.

            It just cements my opinion that the Beeb had NO idea what they had on their hands when they were putting it all together–that Mr Thornton would become a heartthrob and an icon and this production would be deemed a classic in its own right.

            One of the things I loved about RH S3 was the abundance of scenes where the lighting of Guy is just–stunning. In some of the dungeon scenes, he looks like something out of an Old Master’s painting. I have joked the lighting techs had a crush on Guy, but they really did do a marvelous job of taking advantage of those striking features and that mane of hair.

            I have the DVD of Death at a Funeral and the commentary is such fun. Tudyk is one of the people commenting–he takes about his nude scene on the roof LOL

          • I agree that the BBC producers had no idea that they had stumbled upon the man who would claim the romantic hero throne from Mr Darcy. The sheer fact that they made him audition so many times for this part proves my point. I think it’s because RA is a late bloomer. he just gets hotter with age, Clooney-style. Nothing he had been in before screamed ultimate manly hottie, so they just couldn’t see it. I hope one day the BBC will release an edition of N&S, with a proper cover and images.
            BTW, DAaF is now on my list of DVD’s to buy 😉

          • Oh, yeah, I find RA more and more attractive with each passing year. I remember George in some of his early television roles–if memory serves me correctly, he was on a short-lived comedy series also called ER way back in the day– and he was quite different than now LOL Definitely improved with age. I admire the fact George seems to be aging naturally–not all nips and tucks and dyed hair as we see with certain actors.

            I suspect we may see some repackaging of not only N&S but several of Richard’s earlier projects on DVD in an effort to capitalize on his new-found fame once The Hobbit hits.

            I have seen that happen with other actors after their big break.

            I hope you enjoy the extras on DAaF. I had seen it before and ordered the DVD and Benny and I watched it. He laughed through the whole thing, too. 😉

  6. Uwielbiam McAvoy’a!. Penelopę widziałam tak jak większość jego filmów i zgadzam się ze wszystkim co powiedziałaś na jego temat, ma chłopak talent i jakąś taką łatwość grania. wygląda na to że przychodzi mu ono równie łatwo jak oddychanie, poza tym wygląda na to że dobrze całuje.;) Benedykta C. nie znam zbyt dobrze(nie widziałam najnowszego Szerlock’a) ale widziałam ten film który polecasz i zalewałam się łzami. Widziałas może “Starter from 1o”‘ z Benedyktem i Jamesem?. Panowie ci sa przyjaciółmi w realu , słyszałam tez ze koledzy aktorzy nazywają Jamesa “dirty Jimmy”;) .
    PS: Muszę obejrzeć “The last station” Agzym,dzięki!.Teraz przypomniała mi się Helen Mirren i Clive Oven, spróbuj obejrzeć”Greenfingers”-gorąco polecam.!

  7. Agzy I wondered if you knew these two UK comedy series “Father Ted” and “Black books” ?

    Irreverent, delicious and hilarious British humour !

  8. Hmmm sorry this is not the good link for Black books but you can easily find it on Youtube.

  9. While impressing on the small screen, McAvoy also proved to be a hit on the big screen, when Stephen Fry ‘s much anticipated comedy Bright Young Things was released in October 2004. The film had an all-star international cast, including Emily Mortimer , Dan Aykroyd , Peter O’Toole , Jim Broadbent , Richard E. Grant and many more. Bright Young Things was released in the U.S. in August 2005.

  10. There are only few of British actors which I like in movies and t.v. serials. New James bond and Morgan freeman are those which gave us some good movies..Thanks for sharing this here.

    • Believe me when I tell you you’re missing out 🙂
      I suggest you check out Richard Armitage, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Pure acting bliss!

  11. The first film I decided to watch was Third Star, a 2010 British comedy-drama film directed by Hattie Dalton, staring Benedict Cumberbatch.


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