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Tag Archives: James McAvoy

Richard and the Armitage Crew (when do I get my crew tattoo?)

Yowza, it’s been a while since I last posted, luckily it was less than 10 days ago, so I can count that far, plus I have a pinky or two to spare.

My excuse defense is that I have been keeping myself busy with good RL stuff, but as I have failed as a blogger, I am humbly accept my punishment so I’m ready for my spanking Mr Armitage…

Today I shall start by write about one of my absolute favorite aspects of our little community of Armitage Admirers.

As I had mentioned before, due to my planned trip to see the thespian Richard Armitage in July, I’ve had to tighten the ol’ belt and couldn’t splash out on Urban Grimshaw and the Shed Crew by Bernard Hare until debts were paid off and London pocket-money (or rather a large sack, judging by how expensive that city is…) was safely tucked away waiting for July.

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I must admit, with all the positive reviews of the book, it did very much feel like a kid with its nose stuck to the sweet shop window, but needs must and I was focusing on the greater good.

Turns out two beautiful souls ( you know who you are and, more importantly, I know who you are!)  gifted me a copy, so this sugar-starved snotty-nosed kid could dive right into the book, so thank you and I.O.U!!!

To continue with my annoying sweety metaphor,  I couldn’t stop devouring Hare’s book and it was so good it gave me literature diabetes…

I bet there have been dozens of posts written on the topic of Urban, both about the book, the film adaptation, Richard’s part and everything in between, so let me just offer a few random thoughts:

I’m was adamant that I wouldn’t really enjoy the plot as I’d be focused on the character that Richard plays, how prominent he is and whether he has any good lines etc.

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Officially my favorite Chop pic to date!

Not to worry, Chop is the narrator, the part is plump and perfect for our Mr A- juicy, disturbing, heart-breaking and, at times, ridiculously tender.

Judging by the set pics, book Chop has been transformed from an overweight long-in-the-tooth boozer to a slimmer boozer with dodgy dress sense.

Ergo, just like beards started being hot right about the time Richard grew one, I’m betting grandpa-meets-second hand shop garb and dodgy hats will stoke our fires red-hot very soon.

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This part is just what Dr AgzyM ordered as an antidote to The Hobbit madness and the fact that I’m actually getting my wish makes me think I should seriously play the lottery and maybe hit another jackpot.

Also, no spoilers, but there is a scene that involves dangerous water and Richard getting soaked, so yahoo! for us and bummer! for him.

And when I say water… well… maybe it’s not pure H2O, but then Porter stuck a Swiss Army knife up you-know-what, so let’s not get prissy…

For those who read the book and would like to delve deeper into the dark world of welfare benefits and estates and need a bit of context to understand Urban better, here are two recommendations:

I adore the first season of Shameless (UK version, not the US).

It follows the Gallagher family and other occupants of the fictional Chatsworth council estate in Manchester and stars the delicious James McAvoy (nuff said!).

You can watch it on YT, episodes chopped up into small mouthfuls:

You can also check out a 5-part documentary called Benefit Street, which follows people living on James Turner Street in Birmingham, where it is reported 90% of the residents are on benefits.

 

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It’s Shameless how good British TV is!

I had mentioned that James McAvoy had me ‘at hello’.

The first time I consciously saw him on screen was in the UK version of Shameless.

This comedy-drama follows a group of siblings, living on a council estate in Manchester, who are basically abandoned by their parents, and develop mechanisms to survive.

Frank Gallagher (David Threlfall), an intelligent but wasteful alcoholic and his large, dysfunctional family, struggle to make ends meet by coming up with schemes.

The series is now in its 9th season, however it has fallen victim to the curse of actors who move on to bigger and better things.

This is the case with James McAvoy, who plays the role of Steve, a middle-class guy from a good family who falls in love with Fiona (Ann-Marie Duff), the oldest sibling of the Gallagher Family.

I especially recommend the first two seasons, after that characters leave the show and by season 4 the focus shifts when new characters are introduced.

There’s something beautiful about the relationship between Steve and Fiona, and when they leave the series suffers.

Nothing is ever as it seems with the Gallagher’s, and the twists and turns in the plot keep you glued to the screen.

I dare you  not to fall in love with the Gallagher Family!

Despite their illegal activities and inappropriate behaviour, you find yourself rooting for the siblings.

This series is a strange twist on the concept of family and drawing strength from those closest to you.

There’s a US version of the show.

I haven’t seen it, but I hear it doesn’t hold a candle to the UK equivalent.

You can watch entire episodes on YT.

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:

McAvoy’s Rory O’Shea Was Here, and it made me think…

When the news spread about Richard’s first post-Hobbit project, I was less than thrilled.

I’ve written a post about the Category Six before, making light of it, but I found it difficult to express why I was a tad disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll go see it with an open mind.

It just that I wanted… more.

A while back I saw, and wrote about,  “Van Gogh. Painted with Words”, with the wonderful Benedict Cumberbatch playing the part of Vincent Van Gogh.

It inspired me to search for other projects he had been in.

Cumberbatch is hailed as the hottest actor around, appearing in both independent films, but also being scooped up by the big name directors.

It would seem that appearing in blockbusters and playing ambitious parts is not mutually exclusive.

On my British Actors high, I also started collecting films with James McAvoy, and yesterday I watch him in, what the critics call, one of his best roles.

“Inside I’m Dancing” also known as “Rory O’Shea Was Here”, came highly recommended by Joanna.

We both have a thing for British actors (who in their right mind wouldn’t?), and she suggested I give it a try.

As open-minded as I am, I sometimes feel prejudiced against some books or films, especially when the subject matter isn’t something I would ordinarily pick.

Michael (Steven Robertson), who suffers from cerebral palsy, has spent all his life in residential care.

He has spent his whole life at the Carrigmore Home for the Disabled (“a special home for special people”).

His life is structured and safe, and he’s sheltered from everything that is happening beyond the walls of the home.

In comes new resident Rory (James McAvoy), a rebel determined to gain freedom and independence despite his Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Rory and Michael become friends, and eventually persuade the authorities to give them a personal living allowance.

They create their own ‘cripple heaven’, with the help of a beautiful personal assistant Siobhan (Romola Garai).

The story has you laughing out loud, crying like a nut, but it also makes you pause and think what freedom and independence really means.

It was this film that summed up why I was disappointed with RA’s new project.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that Richard is testing out international waters, and he probably chose the part with care, but I would love him to be able to play such a challenging character.

The much loathed season 9 of Spooks proved that Richard can play a character unravelling, falling apart at the seams, and this was with some extraordinary dodgy writing.

We all know he can do it, as he attacks each part with an intensity, and ends up adding a third dimension to a character that would ordinarily be as flat as a pancake (Porter, anyone?).

Maybe producers and directors see him as an action hero, but I don’t doubt he would be able to give any character the vulnerability needed.

How about giving Richard Armitage a chance to be more than that?

Anyway, as always, YT gives you the opportunity to see “Inside I’m Dancing”.

Here is the first part.

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