Category Archives: Film

Julianne Moore 12.3.13 Thought of the Day

 

Julianne Moore at the premiere of the movie TH...

 

“Comedy is ridiculously hard. And if the rhythm is not right, if the music or the line is not right, it’s not funny.” –Julianne Moore

Julie Anne Smith was born on this day in Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 1960. She is 53  years old.

The eldest daughter of three children born to an army officer, Peter Moore Smith, and psychologist /social worker, Anne Smith, Julie moved a lot as a child (as the family moved from base to base for her father’s career). She considered medicine, but in high school she began to do theatre.

She earned a BFA in Acting from Boston University’s School of Performing Arts in 1983 and moved to New York. It was there, when she applied for her Equity Card, that she knew she’d have to change her name. With a “Julie Smith” and a “Julie Anne Smith” already on the roles she chose to honor her father by taking his middle name as her last name. She mashed up her first and middle names to make Julianne and “Julianne Moore” was born.

She paid her dues working as a waitress and in off-Broadway plays for a few years before landing a couple of gigs on day time dramas. Her tenure on The Edge of Night was brief, but her stint as  twins Frannie and Sabrina on As The World Turns ran for three years and earned her a an Outstanding Ingenue Daytime Emmy Award in 1988.

 

 

Her stage work included Ophelia in Hamlet at the a Guthrie Theater, and a workshop performance of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.

 

In 1990, she made her film debut in Tales of the Darkside. Moore, however, gained more notice for her supporting role in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992). [Biography.com]

 

She followed that with four movies in 1993:

  • Body of Evidence
  • Benny & Joon
  • The Fugitive
  • Short Cuts

She took on Uncle Vanya again in the movie version Vanya on 42nd Street in 1994.

Vanya on 42nd Street

Vanya on 42nd Street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Julianne moved to bigger roles in bigger movies, including the blockbuster second installment of Jurassic Park — The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 1997.  She picked up  her first Oscar nomination the same year for her role of Amber Waves in Boogie Nights.

She took on several more sequels and remakes, like the 1998 remake of Psycho, and the sequel to Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal.

Never afraid to swing from comedy to drama she’s been in movies as diverse as The Big Lebowski and Children of Men.

Children of Men

Children of Men (Photo credit: nata2)

She has been nominated for 4 Academy Awards. Besides Boogie Nights she’s gotten the nomination for After The Affair, Far From Heaven, and The Hours.

She can currently be seen the reboot of the Stephen King classic Carrie.

English: Actress Julianne Moore - 66th Venice ...

English: Actress Julianne Moore – 66th Venice International Film Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coming up Moore will be seen as:

  • Jenn Summers in Non-Stop (2014)
  • Havana Segrand in Maps to the Stars (2014)
  • Mother Malkin in Seventh Son (2015)
  • President Alma Coin in The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay (Part 1 — 2014, Part 2 — 2015)

 

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Secondary Character: The Beast, Beauty and the Beast

Advertisement for Beauty and the Beast

Advertisement for Beauty and the Beast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WHO: The Beast

 

FROM: Beauty and the Beast (Disney version)

 

BY: Linda Woolverton, Roger Allersetal et al — Writers      Alan Menken — Music, Howard Ashman — Lyrics.

 

WHEN RELEASED: 1991

 

PROS: Under his furry, grumpy exterior he’s really a kind, warm person.

 

CONS: he’s hot-tempered and tends toward self loathing and self-pity. At the beginning of the tale he was also selfish, vain, and judged other by the way they looked.

 

BEST SHINING MOMENT: Letting Belle go to her father even though it means he’ll always be a Beast.

 

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: Imprisoning Maurice.

Blu-ray Diamond edition cover

WHY I CHOOSE HIM: I like the Beast’s story arch. He learns something in the course of 84 minutes that changed how he saw himself and how he saw the world. He learned to love, and was willing to let that love go if it meant her happiness.

Honestly I didn’t need the last five minutes of the show. I’m glad [SPOILER ALERT] Belle saved his life.  But for me he could have stayed in Beast form. He’d already proven that he was beautiful on the inside. He didn’t need to transform outwardly. BUT I do think the absolute glee that he feels for his friends after their transformation is a lovely touch.

 

I’m somewhat jaded when it comes to Disney. It seems that the Mouse is rather ham-fisted in the way it monopolizes children’s entertainment. They often opt for a watered down, sugared up, “what-will-sell-best” version of a story over the original classic (Winnie the Pooh, anyone?) But with Beauty and the Beast they got it right. It’s not the original French fairytale, but it is a lovely version of the story and it is told with depth and … well… beauty.

A frame from the famous "Beauty and the B...

A frame from the famous “Beauty and the Beast” ballroom dance sequence. Using Disney’s CAPS software, the traditionally animated characters of Belle and the Beast are combined with a rendered computer-generated background to give the illusion of a dollying film camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The movie was the first animated featured film ever nominated for an Oscar. Although it didn’t win Best Picture, Beauty and the Beast did win Best Original Score and Best Original Song.  It was made into a Broadway musical  in 1994.


Gene Kelly 8.23.13 Thought of the Day

Promotional photograph of actor Gene Kelly.

“I got started dancing because I knew it was one way to meet girls” — Gene Kelly

Eugene Curran Kelly was born on this day in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in 1912. Today is the 101st anniversary of his birth.

He was the third of five children  born to James and Harriet Kelly. His mother enrolled Gene and one of his brothers in dance classes but the boys bulked. Gene would rather play baseball than dance. He dreamed of playing shortstop for the Pittsburg Pirates. He returned to the dance studio by the time he was 15.

Kelly put his lessons to good use in college, teaching at a local studio to help him pay for his education. He also performed with his brother, Fred. [Biography.com]

Kelly went to the University of Pittsburg as an Economics  major. He also participated in the Cap and Gown Club which put on musicals. He recieved his BA in Economics in 1933 then went on to Law School at Pitt.

Gene Kelly's senior picture in the 1933 yearbo...

Gene Kelly’s senior picture in the 1933 yearbook of the University of Pittsburgh (The Owl). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His family opened two dance studios (one in 1932, the second in 1933) and Gene taught dance when he wasn’t studying. He eventually managed the studios. But in 1937 he moved to New York to make his way as a full time entertainer.

After “small roles in Leave It to Me! starring Mary Martin, and One For the Money” [Ibid] Kelly hit it big with the lead in Pal Joey. By 1942 he’d landed a movie contract with MGM and had made his film debut in For Me and My Gal with Judy Garland.

Other highlights in Kelly’s amazing career include:

  • Anchors Aweigh
  • On the Town
  • An American In Paris
  • Singing in the Rain
  • Inherit the Wind
  • Brigadoon
  • Summer Stock

Here are few clips to get your toes tapping…

And…

Kelly had a temperature of 103 when they filmed that btw.


Errol Flynn 06.20.13 Thought of the Day

“I allow myself to be understood as a colorful fragment in a drab world.”

 

“It isn’t what they say about you, it’s what they whisper.”

 

“By instinct I’m an adventurer; by choice I’d like to be a writer; by pure, unadulterated luck, I’m an actor.”

 

— Errol Flynn

 

English: The front cover of Errol Flynn's auto...

English: The front cover of Errol Flynn’s autobiography, “My Wicked, Wicked Ways”. The front cover is part of John Kobal’s Kobal Collection images. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn was born on this day in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia in 1909. Today is the 104th anniversary of his birth.

 

Son of Theodore and Lily Mary “Marelle” Flynn, Errol had a knack for adventure and trouble,

 

 Young Flynn was a rambunctious child who could be counted on to find trouble.
Errol managed to have himself thrown out of every school he was enrolled in. [IMDb]

 

That included Sydney Church of England Grammar School, the Shore School, which he managed to get expelled from for both fightiing and for having a romanitic assignation with the school’s laundress. [Per his autobiography “My Wicked, Wicked Ways”]

 

By the time he was in his late teens he’d left (or was ejected from) school for good and set out to find his fortune… literally…

 

he set out to find gold, but instead found a series of short lived odd jobs. Information is sketchy, but the positions of police constable, sanitation engineer, treasure hunter, sheep castrator, shipmaster for hire, fisherman, and soldier seem to be among his more reputable career choices. [Ibid]

 

By the early 1930s he was in England, and by 1933 his good looks, atheletic ability, and smooth voice had landed him a gig with the Northampton Repertory company. That same year he appeared in his first movie as Fletcher Christian on In the Wake of the Bounty. (Ironically, Flynn claimed that his mother descended from a midshipman of the Bounty).

 

Cover of "Captain Blood"

Cover of Captain Blood

 

Now that he had his sea legs under him, Warner Brothers signed him to a contract and he moved to America to star in Captain Blood.

 

He quickly rocketed to stardom as the undisputed king of swashbuckler films, a title inherited from Douglas Fairbanks, but which remains his to this day. Onscreen, he was the freedom loving rebel, a man of action who fought against injustice and won the hearts of damsels in the process. [Ibid]

 

He wasn’t fulfilled with the roles Hollywood was offering him.  Of the well over 50 movies he made he said, “I’ve made six or seven good films – the others, not so good.” He also noted, “I felt like an impostor, taking all that money for reciting ten or twelve lines of nonsense a day.”

 

Cropped screenshot of Errol Flynn from the fil...

Cropped screenshot of Errol Flynn from the film That Forsyte Woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

Off Screen he ran at life full throttle. He drank hard, romanced the ladies (especially the young ladies) and self-medicated with both legal and illegal drugs.  He lead –as author Benjamin S. Johnson put it–an “Errolesque” life. His hard living eventually caught up to him. His youthful, handsome face gave way to a puffy lined one. He was no longer able to do his own stunts. Roles came fewer and father between.  “A few good roles did come his way late in life, however…” [IMDb]  and he was finally “making a name as a serious actor before his death.” [Ibid] The Sun Also Rises (1957) was, perhaps the best performance of his career.

 

Flynn in The Sun Also Rises. [Image courtesy: Warner Brothers]

Flynn in The Sun Also Rises. [Image courtesy: Warner Brothers]

Flynn died  on October 14, 1959 of  myocardial infarction, coronary thrombosis, coronary atherosclerosis, liver degeneration, liver sclerosis and diverticulitis of the colon. Allegedly his last words were “I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.” He was 50 years old.

 

 

 

This image shows a photograph of Errol Flynn, ...

This image shows a photograph of Errol Flynn, taken ca. 1940. Under Australian law, all photographs taken in Australia before 1955 are in the public domain. This image is in the public domain under both Australian copyright law and US copyright law. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 


Secondary Character Saturday: James Montgomery “Scotty” Scott

James Doohan as Scotty.  [Image courtesy: Paramount Pictures]

James Doohan as Scotty.
[Image courtesy: Paramount Pictures]

WHO: James Montgomery Scott

FROM: Star Trek

BY: Created by Gene Roddenberry

PUBLISHED: The series premiered in 1966.

PROS: Loveable, brave, funny,  and  super smart, Mr. Scott knows every thing there is to know about the Enterprise. He’s the ultimate engineer, so he’s got that going for him too.

Scotty's position on the far left of this cast picture puts him firmly in the Secondary Character rhelm... But what would the crew of the USS Enterprise have gotten with out him? Pulled over to a service station and had the dilithium oil checked? I don't think so.

Scotty’s position on the far left of this cast picture puts him firmly in the Secondary Character category… But what would the crew of the USS Enterprise have gotten without him? Pulled over to a service station and had the dilithium oil checked? I don’t think so.

CONS:  Mr. Scott was very proud of his ship… blindingly proud… and it often got him in trouble, like when he…

started a bar fight aboard Deep Space Station K-7 when the Klingon named Korax suggested that the ship should be hauled away as garbage. As a result, he was confined to his quarters by Kirk. Scott smiled and told Kirk the punishment would give him a chance to catch up on technical journals he had not had time to read. [Memory Alpha.org]

MOST SHINING MOMENT:  Every other episode when he fixed the transporter, cajoled the engines to perform at warp 9 (plus) for an extended period of time, or otherwise earned his  nickname of “the miracle worker.”

LEAST SHINING MOMENT:  Being accused of murder on Argelius (3 times!) Fortunately it was just the alien reincarnation of Jack the Ripper.

MEMORABLE QUOTE: “I’m giving it all she’s got Captain..”

In the Star Trek prime universe Mr. Scott was played by Canadian character actor James Doohan. In the 2009 / 2013 reboot movies he’s played by Simon Pegg.

[Images courtesy: Universal Pictures]

[Images courtesy: Paramount Pictures]

For an in-depth tribute to Mr. Scott see this You tube clip:

Pez Mr. Scott is ready to beam aboard from my bookshelf.

Pez Mr. Scott is ready to beam aboard from my bookshelf.


Peter Dinklage

“I like playing the guy on the sidelines. They have more fun.” — Peter Dinklage

[Image courtesy: MTV]

[Image courtesy: MTV]

Peter Hayden Dinklage was born on this day in Morristown, New Jersey, U.S. in 1969. He is 44 years old.

He is the youngest child born to Diane an John Dinklage. He attended Delbarton School then  received a degree in drama from Bennington College in 1991. He went on to study in London and Wales.

His stage work includes time at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic arts and shows Off-Broadway in New York, like:

  • The Killing Act
  • Imperfect Love
  • Richard III*
  • Uncle Vanya
  • A Doll’s House
  • Evolution

In 1995 he made his film debut in Living In Oblivion. He played an actor who resents being cast as a dwarf in a dream sequence. He calls the movie inside the movie’s director — Steve Buschemi — on the blantantly campy choice.

“Why does my character have to be a dwarf? … Is that the only way you can make this a dream? Put a dwarf in it? Have YOU ever had a dream with a dwarf in it? Do you know any one who has had a dream with a dwarf in it?’ NO. I DON’T even have dreams with dwarves in them. The only place I’ve seen dwarves in dreams is in stupid movies like this…” [dialog from Living In Oblivion]

Cover of "The Station Agent"

Cover of The Station Agent

His breakthrough movie was The Station Agent. Dinklage plays Finbar McBride, a man who inherits a defunct, rural train station.  He…

moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.    [IMDb]

The movie won the Sundance Film Festival’s Audience Award. Dinklage was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award  and a Screen Actors Guild Award for the role.

[Image courtesy: Bing]

[Image courtesy: Bing]

He followed that with smaller roles in such films as:
  • Elf
  • Find Me guilty
  • Surviving Eden
  • The Baxter
  • Escape Artists
  • Lassie
  • Penelope
  • Death at a Funeral
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

And starring roles in smaller movies like:

  • Pete Smalls is Dad
  • I Love You Too

In between he built his television resume with guest spots and recurring story arches on shows like:

  • Threshold
  • I’m With Her
  • Life As We Know It
  • Nip/Tuck
  • 30 Rock
{Image courtesy: HBO]

{Image courtesy: HBO]

In 2011 he took on the role of Tyrion Lannister, the drinking, womanizing, black sheep of the powerful, rich Lannister family in Game of Thrones. He sums up his character in this exchange…

Dwarfs don’t have to be tactful. Generations of capering fools in motley have won me the right to dress badly and say any damn thing that comes into my head….Let me give you some counsel …Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.” [Geroge R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones]

Dinklidge won an Emmy  and Golden Globe (along with other acolades) for his performance as Tyrion.

[Image courtesy: Bing]

[Image courtesy: Bing]

Next up for the actor, besides another season of Game of Thrones, are:

Personally I’d like to see him in a period drama. Might I suggest the role of Mr. Benson in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Ruth?

I was seriously thinking of choosing Tyrion Lannister for this Saturday’s Secondary Character. But then Dinklage went and had his birthday today, so I went with a bioBLOG instead.  Unfortunately there’s a lot NOT to like about Game of Thrones (the way women are treated / portrayed, the violence, the graphic … well everything, the author’s amoral determination to casually and cruelly kill off just about every honorable character) but Dinklage’s Tyrion is fantasic gem.

Dinklage visiting the NPR studios  [Image courtesy: NPR] [Yes Maggie, I put this on in just for you.]

Dinklage visiting the NPR studios [Image courtesy: NPR] [Yes Maggie, I put this on in just for you.]

• ritaLOVEStoWRITE Secondary Character Saturday: Ned Stark.

* I don’t know which role he played in Richard III, but oh how wonderful he would be as Richard. Am I right?


Aaron Sorkin 6.9.13 Thought of the Day

Well, it has officially happened. I’ve lapped myself. When I checked to see who’s birthday it was today in preparation for this blog I saw Cole Porter and thought “Cool, a music day! I love Cole Porter.” Then I thought “Wait a minute… didn’t I already do Cole Porter?” I checked. Yep. I did. LAST YEAR, and while I’ve still got him under my skin, I think I’d better profile some one else today. So how about… Aaron Sorkin?

[Image cortesy: Los Angees Times]

[Image cortesy: Los Angees Times]

“There’s a great tradition in storytelling that’s thousands of years old, telling stories about kings and their palaces, and that’s really what I wanted to do.” — Aaron Sorkin

“I love writing but hate starting. The page is awfully white and it says, ‘You may have fooled some of the people some of the time but those days are over, giftless. I’m not your agent and I’m not your mommy, I’m a white piece of paper, you wanna dance with me?’ and I really, really don’t. I’ll go peaceable-like.”— Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Benjamin Sorkin was born on this day in New York City, New York, USA in  1961. He is 52 years old.

He grew up in the affluent suburb of  Scarsdale, New York. His first love was acting. He was involved in theatre at Scarsdale High School and went on to major in Musical Theatre at Syracuse University. When he graduated in 1979 he moved to New York City and tied to break into the theatre scene there, but with little success. After a few years of odd jobs he discovered his writing talents.

His first professionally staged play, Hidden in This Picture, was debuted at the West Bank Cafe Downstairs Theatre Bar in 1998.He later adapted the one-act into a full-length show called Making Movies.

A Few Good Men at the Haymarket Theatre, Londo...

A Few Good Men at the Haymarket Theatre, London in 2005. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His sister, Deborah, who was working as a Navy Judge Advocate General, gave him the idea for A Few Good Men. She told her little brother about a trip she was about to take to Cuba to interview Marines at Guantanamo Bay. The conversations served as the bones for the story which Sorkin wrote on cocktail napkins while he was tending bar. At home he translated those notes into the script to A Few Good Men. The movie rights were sold before the play saw its Broadway premier (1989). Sorkin rewrote the play as a screenplay. The film, wiht Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise and Demi Moore was released in 1992.

Malice (1993), with Nicole Kidman and Alec Baldwin, and The American President (1995), with Michael Douglas and Annette Benning, followed.

Sorkin worked though much of the rest of the 1990s as a script doctor on various other film projects.

Sports Night cast [Image courtesy: ABC]

Sports Night cast [Image courtesy: ABC]

He found his stride with Sports Night, a comedy  that ran for two seasons on ABC. Sports Night is one of the best written shows to ever grace Prime Time. Fast, witty, intelligent, beautifully acted — it’s a wonder it  lasted 2 seasons.

His next offering was better received. The West Wing won a total of nine Emmy Awards just in its first season. He wrote almost all the of show’s episodes for the first four seasons before leaving.

West Wing cast [Image courtesy: NBC]

West Wing cast [Image courtesy: NBC]

In 2006 he delved behind the scenes of a late night sketch comedy show in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.    The show, while highly anticipated, didn’t make it past the first season, and Sorkin went back to the theatre, writing The Farnsworth Invention. The play won the Joseph Jefferson Award for best midsize production.

He returned to screenwriting  for Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), The Social Network (2010) and Money Ball (2011). He won an Academy Award for his screenplay for The Social Network.

The Social Network

The Social Network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then TV came calling again, this time  in the form of the cable giant HBO. Last June The Newsroom, a behind the scenes look at a fictional cable news show, premiered. The show, which stars Jeff Daniels, features Sorkin’s signature ‘walk and talk’ tracking shots and quick fire dialog. The show begins its second season next month.

The Newsroom

The Newsroom (Photo credit: Brennen Schmidt)


Helena Bonham Carter 5.26.13 Thought of the Day

“I should get a few ribs taken out, because I’ll be in a corset for the rest of my life.” —Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter at the press conference o...

Helena Bonham Carter at the press conference of “Toast”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Helena Bonham Carter was born on this day in London, England in 1966. She is 47 years old.

She is youngest of three children born to Elena and Raymond Bonham Carter. Her mother is a psychotherapist, her father was a banker. She went to South Hampstead High School  and Westminster School.  Although not formally trained as an actress Bonham Carter had plenty of gumption and talent. When she won second place in a national poetry writing competition she used the money she won to put her head shot in a casting directory. She started to get commercials and made a few television dramas.

Her first feature film was in 1985 with A Room with a View in which she played Lucy Honeychurch. The following year she nabbed the title role as Lady Jane Grey in Lady Jane. Period drama seemed in her blood and she was quickly dubbed the “Corset Queen” for her roles like:

  • Ophelia in Hamlet,
  • Caroline Abbott in Where Angels Fear to Tread,
  • Helen Schiegel in Howards End,
  • Elizabeth in Frankenstein,
  • Olivia in Twelfth Night and
  • Kate Croy in The Wings of the Dove.

But she could bring the drama (nd occasionally  a darkly comic sensibility) to more modern roles too, as she did in Fight Club, Live from Baghdad, and Terminator Salvation.

After 2001, when she played Ari, a sympathetic ape in Planet of the Apes, she seemed to take on a new type of typecasting and this beautiful actress was suddenly thrust into the role of the haggard witch…which is what she played in Big Fish and the Harry Potter. She also did  creepy variations on that genre with her roles as:

  • Mrs. Lovett in Sweeny Todd,
  • Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables
  • Miss Havisham in Great Expectations and
  • the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland.

Then she did a perfectly lovely, warm and very funny turn as the Queen Mom in the wonderful The King’s Speech. She earned an Academy Award nomination for the role.

Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter filming T...

Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter filming The King’s Speech at Queen Street Mill Textile Museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Upcoming for films for Bonham Carter include:

  • The Lone Ranger
  • The Young and Prodigious Spivet and
  • Burton & Taylor (She plays Taylor to Dominic West’s Burton for the BBC biopic that promises to out act the Lifetime / Lindsay Lohan movie on the famous pair, Liz and Dick.)

Secondary Character Saturday: Sean Bean: Odysseus

Today is week three of Sean Bean month on Secondary Character Saturday! . Click HERE  to see the blog on Boromir or HERE for the bog on Ian Howe (from National Treasure). Today’s blog owes a special thanks to my rather amusing and sarcastic family. They had a lot of fun “helping” me write all about Odysseus. Enjoy!

——————————————————-

Speak to me oh sages, oh great Athena, Keeper of Wisdom, that my words may bring to life the tale of  (Sean Bean as) Odysseus, that hero of old.

WHO:  Odysseus

[Image courtesy Fanpop.com]
[Image courtesy Fanpop.com]

FROM: The Iliad and The Odyssey and the movie TROY

BY The Iliad and The Odyssey were written by Homer,  The Iliad was roughly adapted  for the screen and renamed “Troy” by  David Benioff

WRITTEN / RELEASED:  The epic poems were “written 800 B.C.E” [The Internet Classics ]; The movie came out in 2004.

PROS: Odysseus is …brave, smart, creative, loyal, realistic, cunning, and an eloquent speaker. He’s good with a weapon and never gave up. He (at least as played by Sean Bean) looks fine in a leather skirt. And he had a large book written about him that we got to read in high school.

The Resourceful Odysseus,… was the trusted advisor and chief lieutenant of Kings Menelaus and Agamemnon throughout the course of the war.  He would fight at the forefront of battle, restore order to the camp when necessary, and his speeches strengthened the resolve of the Greek soldiers to continue their struggle against the Trojans.  When Achilles fell in battle, it was Odysseus who fought his way through the hordes of enemy soldiers and retrieved his body.  At the funeral games following Achilles’ burial, Odysseus defeated Ajax the Greater in a wrestling match to win the title “Bravest of the Greeks”. [Bad Ass of the Week]

CONS: He’s stubborn and a bit quick tempered (just ask the suitors). He went over budget on the Trojan “Horse”  and it doesn’t even LOOK real. He gets along a little too well with the “ladies.” He doesn’t eat bacon — when any chef can tell you EVERYTHING is more epic with bacon. He had a large book written about him that we  HAD to read in high school.

Dispute between Ajax and Odysseus for Achilles...
Dispute between Ajax and Odysseus for Achilles’ armour. Attic black-figure oinochoe, ca. 520 BC. Kalos inscription. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MOST SHINING MOMENT: By inventing the Trojan Horse and bravely leading the men inside it he was the game changer in the Trojan War. One does not simple walk into the gates of Troy, you need a plan, and, Odysseus’ plan was both bold and brilliant.

LEAST SHINING MOMENT: Getting drunk with Calypso. Doh!

WHY SEAN BEAN IS SO GOOD IN THE ROLE: In the movie TROY the focus and camera stay sharply on a buffed and bulging muscles of Brad Pitt and the dark eyes of Eric Bana. Our boy Sean Bean just barely makes secondary character status. But when he IS on screen he steals the scene. He’s the one person on the shores of Turkey who seems in touch with reality. And in a movie that strives for epic status he gives a very human performance. He’s open with his emotions. You can see every bit of angst on his face. With Pitt there  is a blankness akin to blandness (that led me, at least,  to boredom.) Maybe that was an acting choice on Pitt’s part — play the demi god with an air of detachment — but for me? I’d rather watch more of Odysseus’s story.

To read the Iliad on line click HERE.

To read the Odyssey on line click HERE.


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