Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sapphic milkmaid

Bruno Bayon of Libération (September 11th, 2002) reviews Possession in possibly the most impenetrable French I've ever read. Babelize it for a laugh.

En revanche Possession, autre promesse de plombage carabiné, se révèle de bonne compagnie. Ce semblant de thriller hypertextuel à quatre mains sur les traces d'un poète victorien supposé (Henri Ash), dont l'action adultérine à deux vitesses se déroule dans divers «jardins anglais» très peu meurtriers, a pu être jugé «alambiqué». Voire. Tout est dans cette subtilité du dosage, sur un fil de tarabiscotage tendu entre Harlequin et mandarin. Fausse héroïne et blonde de l'affaire, Gwyneth Paltrow, qu'on avait laissée au tapis, éléphantiasique idiote de 245 kilos montrant sa foufoune noire dans le répugnant Amour extra-large, relève ici de cette pesée spécieuse. Sibylle givrante. Le dialogue de même, assorti au profilage psychologique vieille Angleterre, conjuguant beach boy de bibliothèque ricain (Aaron Eckhart) et Frénétique anglais plus déliquescent que nature (Jeremy Northam), fait dans le rébus. L'intrigue au demeurant ne lésine pas sur le double fond, en abyme de «sympathie» spirite, hermétismes à tiroirs révélant écrits enfouis et vies parallèles antérieures. L'étoile masquée de cette énigme aux airs nervaliens est son héroïne capiteuse Christabel LaMotte. Soit Jennifer Ehle, imprévisible Laitière saphique transfigurée bi préraphaélite d'une Leçon de piano «possédée» par la métrique.

A truly hopeless attempt at the last bit:
The hidden star of this Nerval-esque mystery is its heady heroine Christabel LaMotte. That is, Jennifer Ehle, the unpredictable Sapphic milkmaid turned Preraphaelite bisexual of The Piano, "possessed" by metrics. [??!?!]

I know, I know. "Metrics"?! "The Piano"!? Au secours, francophones!

Pride and Prejudice original script

Our friends at Colin Firth 24/7 have Part One of the (original) script of Pride and Prejudice written by Andrew Davies. It's a PDF file, 192kb. Unlike the other scripts posted here before, this version includes not only the dialogue but also directions and such.

This is as good a time as any to give shoutouts to other collaborators over the year: Driving Mr Spacey, A Genius At Work, AustenBlog and A Truth Universally Acknowledged - thanks for your help! Thanks also to the good folk at Pemberley and Clever Company for putting up with our pot-banging.

Friday, December 30, 2005

The thingo

Here's the collage of fans' birthday wishes.

What you see is not exactly the same as what we sent her. Her version allows for mega mega zoom so all the text can be read, whereas this public version is small and low-quality so the text can't be read. Wasn't sure whether it was entirely clear to people who submitted things that the final product would be made public, so this is to avoid treading on privacy toes. Hopefully you can get the general idea.

Thanks to everyone who took part!

BUT BUT BUT...this just in!

Thank you all so much! That is so sweet and creative of you. They are all wonderful and generous but there [are] a few particularly apt references...

Evelyn- have been reading much Pooh (the classic edition, of course, of course). There is little finer.

Mary- Kerala?! That's wild cause [I'm] on my slow boat there now. Or do you know that already?!

Tina- the Elvis - I've always fancied Eddie Izzard playing me in the hypothetical blah de blah but now you've got me wondering how things might have been...

I can not thank you all enough for thinking of me- a sweet, generous gift.

Thank you again,

What a way to end the year. Freaking cool, no?

Miss Bennet returns down under

Brisbane's Courier Mail reports:

Mr Darcy returns

Foxtel's Ovation Channel will replay the BBC's much-loved 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice from Tuesday, January 10, at 7pm.

This series is considered to be the best interpretation of the Jane Austen story and stars Colin Firth, below, as Mr Darcy -- the role that led to his part playing Mark Darcy in the Bridget Jones franchise -- and Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennett.

Fans of Absolutely Fabulous should also tune in to see Julia Sawalha play a very different character to the long-suffering Saffy Monsoon.

Article not online.

Birthday mentions

Ms Ehle's birthday is mentioned in several places today. Apparently she shares it with Jude Law, president Andrew Johnson and the YMCA, amongst others!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Happy Birthday, Ms Ehle!

We wish you the happiest of days!

That's one of the graphics Chelsea created for the package we sent her earlier this month. Brilliant, eh? If you don't get it, read question 1 of the interview.

The thingo isn't sent yet because it's only the 28th in the US. All will be revealed later...

"Pride bride"

This is a scan of the 1997 Radio Times feature; the fansite has the text. Click on the picture to get the large 288kb version.

His hair, Louisa!

A different sort of review of Pride and Prejudice from last year's Age.

Dark-eyed Miss Bennet surely knows the laws of sexual attraction state that when you enter the territory of the sidey, there's no will in the world that can withstand the smouldering temptation of taciturn facial decor that admits to the fault of temper. Cheekbone warmers creeping seductively down from the earlobes have been a symbol of majesty, mystery and power - and an invitation to skip dessert, dash the dishes and fling back the doona - since time immemorial. And that Mr Darcy's burnage? Well, Lord save us, we're talking James Brown crossed with a young Elvis, a hint of Thomas Jefferson and a smidgin of King George IV.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

English Sunshine official site

Yay, the Paramount site is (back?) up. It has the usual photos, trailer, cast bios, etc. In the "Sonnenschein Family Album" section, you'll find the proper English versions of the quotes I attempted to translate earlier from the French official site.

Jennifer Ehle says: “I simply adored Valerie as a person. She is very different from many female characters that we see onscreen. She is strong, and while she never tries to please people, it is important to her that those around her are happy. She wants everything to be stable and balanced which is a difficult job in this family. Valerie tries to keep the peace, but without ever compromising herself or what she believes.”
Rosemary Harris says: “Valerie is truly an extraordinary woman for her time. She doesn’t go with the flow, she has her own thoughts and feelings about things and she sees through other people’s subterfuge. Since I took the part I’ve learned a lot about Hungarian history and how people’s fortunes were swayed by the winds of change in the politics. But Valerie remains steadfast throughout. She doesn’t get easily swayed, she has her own compass set and she stays on her own course all her life. Playing the role with my daughter Jennifer means knowing what we each feel about the character without having to spell it out.”

Pride and Prejudice anniversary DVD back cover

Aisle Say and NY Post review Other Side

Not very positive, I'm afraid. Aisle Say says:

Under the direction of Blanka Ziska, the play is performed with an urgency matching its silliness, Mr. Farber seeming more stiff than strict, and veterans Cullum and Harris spinning pleasantly respectable variations on their personae, familiar from so much previous exposure on stage and in the media. It all seems like a strange literary exercise, removed without fanfare from a time capsule, only to be sent back once the limited run concludes...

The NY Post review is along the same lines. Registration required; bypass with BugMeNot.

While the metaphor is reasonably evocative, its thinness becomes apparent very quickly, and Dorfman fails to provide the wit necessary to sustain the concept.

It's unfortunate, both because of the play's relevance and the typically strong performances by the veteran stars. While it might have been highly effective as a brief one-act, in full-length form "The Other Side" feels both precious and attenuated.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


...Rosemary Harris, radiant as ever, glows from within as the matriarch Levana. Her refusal to give up on the promise of her son's return home fuels just about every moment of this play with a fierce power that very precisely illuminates Dorfman's central ideas.

It all makes for a theatre experience that's as compelling and searing as it is harsh. Art is supposed, sometimes, to tear at our hearts and souls. The Other Side is a visceral, sad reminder that the atrocities of war that we take for granted when we see them on TV newscasts can still authentically touch us.

Review by Martin Denton of Note how the same adjective is also used to describe her daughter.

Sex and money

That'll get some Google hits. This is an article from the NYT in 1996 about Pride and Prejudice, titled "An Austen Tale of Sex and Money In Which Girls Kick Up Their Heels".

For Elizabeth, who is 20 in the novel, the producers searched far and wide, interviewing hundreds of actresses between 15 and 30. The part went to Jennifer Ehle, who is in her mid-20's and had appeared in a television mini-series and two stage products by Peter Hall since leaving drama school in 1991. "I also had five syllables as Cynthia Lennon in a film called 'Backbeat,'" said Ms. Ehle, who jumped at the part of Elizabeth.

"Elizabeth has many of the characteristics that women in the 1990's think that we have reclaimed, or even invented," she said. "It's exciting to see those in a woman written by a woman in the early 1800's." [more]

The quote above is very similar to that in the Orange County Register article. My pick of the other interesting bits:

In one scene, after stripping down to a shirt and tight riding pants, he plunges into the pond on his estate, observed, as it happens, by Elizabeth Bennet, who is well on the way to dropping her prejudice after getting a good eyeful. It is pretty clear that she doesn't mind the look of Darcy's estate either. Sex and money indeed.
Just as important, the British public had to believe Mr. Firth as Darcy, one of the most memorably drawn characters in the language. An early vote came while shooting was in progress, when Angela Horne, whose house in Wiltshire stood in for the Bennet abode, took Mr. Firth's measure.

As Ms. Fine tells it, Mrs. Horne, who is well into her 80's, approched her one day and said, "I was most intrigued when they wanted to use the house for 'Pride and Prejudice,' but I was terribly worried about Darcy. Well, I met him this morning, and he will do. He gave my heart quite a flutter."
Ms. Birtwistle has been getting fan letters ever since. One was from a woman who recounted, with some embarrassment, a visit to the hospital emergency room after seing the last episode. Her symptoms -- shortness of breath, sweating and racing pulse -- suggested an impending heart attack.

"The doctor examined her, asked what she had been doing, thought a bit and came up with a diagnosis," said Ms. Birtwistle. "He told her, 'You are in love with Darcy.'"

Need belated Christmas pressies?

Never fear, eBay is here.
  • El cheapo River King DVD - only USD$6.
  • The Relapse program
  • Philadelphia Story poster with a picture of Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Ehle from the final weeks
  • Not particularly new, but I hadn't seen the VHS of Pride and Prejudice with this cover before. Nice change from the other versions which have the wrong character enlarged.
  • Monday, December 26, 2005

    HRM JE

    A bit of randomness from the "it's a public holiday, why are we on the computer?!" pile. This is from the Adelaide Advertiser on July 21st 2000, by Patrick McDonald and Simon Yeaman.

    * Royal in focus BRITISH TV company ITV is planning a $5 million drama about the Queen Mother, focusing on her life as a young woman, wife and mother. Sources say the project, expected to go into production next year, will start with the abdication of Edward VIII and the then-Duchess of York's feelings about her brother-in-law and Wallace Simpson.

    It will include a tender account of her relationship with and marriage to the shy Duke of York, later George VI, and show her wartime efforts and devastation at becoming a widow at age 51 in 1952. The film is expected to end with the Coronation of her elder daughter, Elizabeth II.

    Pride and Prejudice star Jennifer Ehle is said to be among those considered for the lead role.

    According to a senior royal aide, the Queen Mother a keen TV viewer would "take no interest in it".

    In other royal news, it has been confirmed the Queen Mother will receive a telegram from her daughter on her 100th birthday.

    Sunday, December 25, 2005

    Merry Chrismukkah!

    Fröhliche Weihnachten, Boas Festas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noël, Buon Natale, Vrolijk Kerstfeest, Shinnen omedeto, Seng Dan Fai Lok, Chestita Koleda, God Jul, Hyvää Joulua, Wesolych Swiat, Kellemes karácsonyi ünnepeket, Gledileg Jól, Geseende Kerfees, I'D Miilad Said...and so forth!

    We wish the Ehle/Harris/Ryan family and all our fellow fans a holiday full of joy, peace and pudding.

    From Paradise Road, the only Christmas scene in Ms Ehle's films I could think of. Click to enlarge, and look closely.

    Saturday, December 24, 2005

    The Right Honorable Ms Ehle

    A cute story from a Yahoo fan club (like EhleNews, but smaller). This dates back from The Real Thing.

    Tonight I met Jennifer Ehle.

    I waited by the stage door and out she came...I couldn't move. Finally I ran over to her and got her to sign my program and asked if I could shake her hand. She laughed and said, "Of course you can! My...I'm beginning to feel like I'm running for office!" Mine was not the only hand she'd been asked to shake that night. :) Oh my God, I could die right now. :)

    She'd have my vote! Citizenship be damned.

    Villager: "Ariel Dorfman's Bedroom War"

    In this interview, the playwright of The Other Side talks about how the play relates to his own experiences.

    “My own existence,” said Ariel Dorfman, “has been affected, let’s say, by exile and repatriation of a sort. My work has always turned around borders, and identity.”

    Friday, December 23, 2005

    Tickity tock

    Last chance!

    5 stars

    Amy Wallace, an Amazon reviewer and fan of the book, gives The River King full marks:
    I personally attended a small, private and rather elite college on the East Coast. Throughout the novel I was getting feelings of Deja vu; convinced I was back at Benningon. Not only is the story totally engrossing and haunting, the film starts to become reality and capture the emotions of the audience, without the usual hollywood tricks.

    This film blew away my expectations. I was a huge fan of the novel; I read it over and over again. I anticipated the movie being a dissapointment, but found myself captured and surprized, even though I knew what was going to happen next.

    Myriad's River King trailer

    We posted the Brazilian trailer for The River King earlier. Now the Myriad Pictures official site has it as an embedded WMV file. Here's the unembedded version for dialup users (1.3mb, .wmv) and broadband users (3.9mb, .wmv).

    Oh look, the NYT has it too, with RealPlayer options.

    Guardian reviews Painter of Dishonour

    Boswell's production is both intellectually rigorous and voluptuously theatrical. The sombre Velazquez interiors of Rob Howell's panelled design are offset by a white-robed Barcelona carnival and the ubiquitous flame-red figure of Death. John Carlisle also brings a craggy grandeur to the role of the dishonoured painter, and there is bracing support from Jennifer Ehle as his divided bride, Clifford Rose as a silvery ambassador and Tony Rohr as the hero's tale-spinning servant. A marvellous revival that makes me hope we shall continue to dig for Spanish gold. [more]

    Part of our Holiday Blogging (aka Really Really Old Reviews as Substitute for News, aka Crap) Series. Lo siento!

    Thursday, December 22, 2005

    "Radiant" and "winning"


    As Sally, Jennifer Ehle looks like a young Meryl Streep and is winning enough to make men and women swoon. It isn't at all a stretch that Leo and Sally share a special bond; nor is it making a statement on Leo's gayness. Rather, Troche gently and without an agenda portrays ordinary human emotion and unexplainable attraction.

    Sally (the radiant Jennifer Ehle, from A&E's Pride and Prejudice), who is a school chum of Leo's. When some "more than friends" feelings start to arise between Leo and Sally, it becomes clear that the film is trying to be more than your average queer romantic comedy. By fully exploring the dual nature of Leo's and Brendan's sexual orientations, Bedrooms and Hallways bursts open rigid comedic doors and lets in the fresh air of complexity.

    These are Bedrooms and Hallways reviews, by the way.

    Second to none

    Except Princess Leia.

    (It's the silly season.)

    Wednesday, December 21, 2005

    Financial Times on The Other Side

    Brendan Lemon, 19 December 2005, Financial Times (USA). Not online.

    While the play is more watchable than some reviews have suggested, it displays its Modern Master influences - Pinter, Beckett - a little too obviously and develops its storyline in fits and starts.
    Dorfman's language can be eloquent: Levana recites a verbal aria about suffering ("We'll feed off the dead. We'll sell the dead. One by one.") that is a high point of Harris's polished performance.
    Like [Death and the] Maiden, The Other Side provides some marvellous moments for actors, even as its political concerns have been explored more engagingly by others.


    Self Catering is the Obscure Research Project of the moment (at least it's more productive than sudoku). The present haul:

  • Ryan K Johnson's review

    Alan Bleasdale produced this Channel 4 allegorical movie about five survivors on a desert island after a plane crash. The two men and three women adopt new names based on movie stars and then begin to act the parts. John Gordon-Sinclair (who calls himself "Henry" -- thinking he's Henry Fonda) sums it up best when he says, "I think we're all in the company of people who in other circumstances we'd arrange our lives to avoid." That doesn't mean that every possible sexual combination isn't first attempted by the group, which culminates in a bizarre, serio-comic non-ending that the British seem to adore in these sorts of films. Looked at it one way, this is the deconstructionist version of Gilligan's Island.

  • EhleNews has a couple of reviews from fans. You need to be a member to read them - do join, the archives hold many treasures.
  • And another review from IMDB...

    This is an average film that just happens to contain a large number of memorable quotes, and for that reason alone I would have to say that I enjoyed this movie. The storyline is rather uninspired, as this film tells the story of five completely different people who live in isolation after being the lone survivors of a plane crash. Needless to say, these polar opposites continually butt heads, and civil conversations almost always disintegrate into heated arguments. Yet having said all that, I still managed to like this film. The performances are all good, it moves along at a good pace, and the writing is clever enough that I still remember lines from this film, even though I haven't seen it in four years. I'm not quite sure of how available this film is, but if you ever come across it, give it a chance.
  • One for the CV

    In an article about stars who once were theatre ushers (The Independent, 8 January 1999, Daniel Rosethal):
    Jennifer "Pride and Prejudice" Ehle may have pointed you to the bar at the Lyric on Shaftesbury Avenue.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2005

    Join the mailing list

    I've added a new form doodad on the sidebar which lets you sign up to the blog's mailing list. You'll receive reminders about blog events and important dates. We'll only write if there's something really important. No spam, promise.

    Also, pssst...only 2 days left!

    The Other Side video

    David Cote's review of The Other Side is scathing, but at least you can see some clips from the play. Click on the "dialup" or "broadband" buttons under the title.

    August King goes Hollywood

    We've been neglecting John Ehle for a while. Here's an article about him from the Greensboro News & Record in 1996 about the movie adaptation of his novel The Journey of August King. As usual the bit about his daughter is extracted below, but the full article is worth a look.

    Since 1967 Ehle has been married to Rosemary Harris, an English actress acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic. They have a 26-year-old daughter, Jennifer, who is now in England establishing a reputation as a gifted stage and screen actress.

    Over the years the movie rights to "August King" had been optioned by several studios and producers, but nothing came of it. Then, at a White House reception in 1992, Ehle and Harris bumped into Sam Waterston, an old acquaintance of Harris's and a major Hollywood player who was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role in "The Killing Fields" in 1984.

    "When Rosemary played Peter Pan out of doors in a summer stock theater in Connecticut," Ehle says with a chuckle, "Sam Waterston pulled the rope (that enabled her to fly). So far as I know, that was his first theater experience."

    Harris asked Waterston to read her husband's script. He agreed, and liked it. Meanwhile, at a party in London, Jennifer Ehle asked Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein to read the script. Once again the response was enthusiastic. Duigan was signed up to direct, with Waterston as a co-producer and a leading actor.

    And suddenly, after languishing for a quarter of a century, an old novel had a new life and was on its way to the silver screen. [more]

    Monday, December 19, 2005

    Martyn James Brooks photo

    This is one of my all-time favourite photos. It's up on the fansite, but MJ Brooks has a slightly higher-resolution version on his site, with different cropping as well. There's also a shot of the whole Bedrooms and Hallways cast and portraits of the other actors.

    Mini Backbeat reviews

    Two of the few reviews that actually mention Ms Ehle's performance in Backbeat.

  • "Backbeat scores with tale of relationships", Mal Vincent, Virginian-Pilot & Ledger-Star, May 7th 1994.
    Gary Bakewell looks like Paul McCartney and plays him as if he were a whining and ambitious pest. Jennifer Ehle is suitably commonplace as Cynthia, who became Lennon's first wife.

  • "Forgotten Beatle's tale told", Sharon Johnson, Harrisburg Patriot, May 9th 1994.
    Gary Bakewell and Chris O'Neill capture the look and sound of McCartney and Harrison while Jennifer Ehle (the daughter of actress Rosemary Harris) is suitably poignant as Cynthia Powell who will achieve her dream of being Mrs. John Lennon, though not for long.
  • Archives index

    I've finally gotten around to indexing the blog's archives. Posts are sorted into categories, for easier access. You can browse through the full index, or click on some of the groupings below. The index will be updated every month or as soon as sanity permits. Please let us know if you find any mistakes.

  • Interviews and articles
  • Encounters
  • Photos and stills
  • Multimedia: online
  • Multimedia: offline
  • Work news & reviews

  • Awards
  • Miscellaneous
  • Rosemary Harris
  • John Ehle
  • Admin comments/appeals
  • eBay

  • PS. The "A-muse-ing" post below has been deleted - just realised it's a possible breach of our privacy policy. It wasn't very interesting anyway.

    Sunday, December 18, 2005

    Even more

  • New reader reviews at the NYT site. This one's by "sonic79".
    Call Me Crazy...but I thought this was a very strong play with great acting. Rosemary Harris gave what was, to me, her best performance in years as a hardened (and surprisingly sexy) woman in the middle of a battlefield. The play is otherworldly and strangely familiar, symbolic without losing its realism. I loved the moment when the house flew apart and the soldier marches in to establish a border straight through the bed, a symbol that asks big questions about how cultures can live together. I felt like the play was well-paced, interesting, funny, and visually (and aurally) superb. I would recommend this play to any fan of Beckett or Carol Churchill, or any lover of strong, challenging theatre.

  • William Wolf, Wolf Entertainment Guide.
    Despite the presence of the accomplished Rosemary Harris and John Cullum, Ariel Dorfman’s play about war is a misfire...The newcomer joins in the pompous talk, and although all three actors pour their hearts into the dialogue and drama, the situation is too contrived to sustain.

  • Harvey Kissel, NY Daily News.
    The elderly man and woman who live there, born in the opposing countries, must now ask permission to cross the border in their own home.

    This, too, might have been amusing for 10 minutes, but it is too preposterous and too pretentious to engage us much longer, despite fine performances by Rosemary Harris and John Cullum as the couple and Gene Farber as the guard.
  • Warm fuzzies

    In an article from The Guardian (April 23rd 2004), drama students talk about their inspirations and aspirations.

    Rosalind Porter

    I've always wanted to be an actor but I didn't have the guts to go for it until I was at university and I went to see The Real Thing with Jennifer Ehle and Stephen Dillane. I was blown away, and I wanted to be able to move people the way I'd been moved.

    Saturday, December 17, 2005

    RIP Under the Wigs

    Under the Wigs, the Jennifer Ehle fanlisting, is now closed. A sad day. However, this means that someone can open up a new one. I'd do it, but don't have the required HTML and graphics skills - this blog is run on a standard template and a prayer. If you have the chops, apply at The Fanlistings.

    More Other Side press reviews

  • Charles Isherwood, NYT.
    Ms. Harris brings a surge of anguished conviction to a poetic litany in which Levana mourns the blank future: "We'll feed off the dead. We'll sell the dead. One by one. The only thing this place produces. We'll trade the dead, we'll buy milk with the dead, we'll warm ourselves with the coal of the dead." But there is more dutiful professionalism than passion in her performance, and in Mr. Cullum's spry turn as the pessimistic Atom.

  • Michael Sommer, Star Ledger.
    Regardless of their material, Harris and Cullum are eminently watchable. So harmonious are their physical rhythms together that they truly appear to be a longtime couple. Gene Farber is a gruff yet oddly appealing figure as the officious fellow who may or may not be their beloved son.

  • Brian Scott Lipton, TheatreMania.
    Harris, one of the theater's greatest living treasures, makes an equally vivid contribution whenever the script allows her to. A still-youthful 78, she brings her trademark dignity, conviction, and expressiveness to the role of headstrong Levana Julak, and she does everything possible -- if not more -- with a couple of nearly heartbreaking speeches in the play's more serious second half. But watching Harris try to breathe life into this disappointing work only makes us long to see her in the kind of triumphant role that her contemporaries Lois Smith and Frances Sternhagen are now playing in The Trip to Bountiful and Seascape, respectively.

  • Eric Grode, NY Sun.
    Ms. Harris fares best despite being given much of Mr. Dorfman's most selfconsciously florid material. ("We'll build your toilet with the samples we take from the dead, we'll make love in the night blessing the dead.")

  • AmericanTheater Web.
    There's no doubt about it. The pairing of Rosemary Harris and John Cullum onstage is delectable. Her feisty charm matches his sweet curmudgeonly presence beautifully. The opportunity to watch their wonderfully complementary presences and their sense of craftsmanship when it comes to character truly is an early holiday gift. Unfortunately, Ariel Dorfman's The Other Side, the play in which theatergoers can find Harris and Cullum currently and which opened last night in a Manhattan Theatre Club production at City Center Stage I, is not an equal cause for celebration.
    Theatergoers will savor Harris and Cullum's performances as they enter into these minor skirmishes and pondering their implications in the larger, and less successful, context, of Dorfman's play. Audiences, looking for fresh and insightful, anti-war theater, however, would be well advised to look elsewhere.

  • Ron Lasko,
    The cast, lead by Rosemary Harris and John Cullum, is top-notch. The seasoned stage veterans do surprisingly well with the bipolar script. Director Blanka Zizka is lucky to have them. As the guard, Gene Farber makes the most out of a fairly one-note role.

    If you are a fan of Harris or Cullum, The Other Side may prove to be a worthwhile and provocative outing. If you really want a war comedy, stick with M*A*S*H.

  • Linda Winer, Newsday.
    She has the bemused, tufted smile of a cat. He has the ornery bluff of a buzzard. Rosemary Harris and John Cullum are riveting together as Levana and Atom, a long-married couple who bury the dead for money during decades of war between his town and her former village.

    Whatever the heavy-handed frailties of Ariel Dorfman's "The Other Side," the 75-minute wartime parable that opened last night at Manhattan Theatre Club, the connection between these theater royals is electric. Every time we think the absurdist drama might've been more provocative as a short story, an unexpected rough gesture from the elegant Harris or a lemon-tinged outburst from the low-key Cullum pulls us into the material with urgency.
  • Self Catering and Pleasure

    There is little to be found on Self Catering and Pleasure, but Media Week from August 12th 1994 has this little blurb on the two "Alan Bleasdale presents" features.

    Alan Bleasdale Presents.

    A new platform for young script writers, produced by Alan Bleasdale. Self-Catering, which stars Jane Horrocks, tells the story of five survivors of an aircrash on a desert island who suddenly realise their personalities possess a life of their own. Pleasure portrays a modern Madame Bovary who, given an agonising choice, opts for freedom.

    Ms Harris "a joy to watch"

    AP drama critic Michael Kuchwara reviews The Other Side, finding it "heavy-handed" but...

    No matter what she is in, Harris, an expressive, sympathetic performer, is a joy to watch. She brings a dignity and pathos to the character, qualities that are meagerly represented in Dorfman's play, which presents ideas rather than real people. And Cullum offers strong support in the thankless role of her cranky yet loyal husband.

    Friday, December 16, 2005

    She's ours!

    Winston-Salem native gets British film academy honor
    24 April 1996
    Greensboro News & Record
    (Copyright 1996)
    North Carolina native Jennifer Ehle won a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for her performance in the TV miniseries "Pride and Prejudice."

    The Winston-Salem native, who now makes her home in Great Britain, won the BAFTA award, the British equivalent of the Oscar, for best television actress for her portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet, the heroine of "Pride and Prejudice."

    Ehle, 26, is the daughter of Winston-Salem author John Ehle and English actress Rosemary Harris. "It's a great honor, and I am so pleased and so proud," said John Ehle, who was with his daughter when she won the award Sunday night. "It was a wonderful surprise. Her mother, of course, was very moved when she won, too." Harris could not be there for the ceremony, which fell on opening night of her latest show in New York, "A Delicate Balance."

    Ehle was born in Winston-Salem, where she also attended elementary and high school. She received part of her acting education at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Her father said she left Monday for Malaysia and Australia to act in a new feature film, "Paradise Road."


    Emma Thompson wins Britain's best actress award
    22 April 1996
    Reuters News
    (c) 1996 Reuters Limited

    U.S. imports won many of the television awards, with hospital drama "ER" taking the prize for best foreign television programme.

    The "people's vote" for best TV programme went "The X-Files".

    But Briton Jennifer Ehle, who played Miss Elizabeth Bennet in another Jane Austen adaptation -- television's "Pride and Prejudice" -- won best television actress.

    Stars in the alley

    Playbill covers the "Stars in the Alley" event in May 2000.
    The 2000 Stars in the Alley, peppered generously with plugs for the upcoming Tony Awards, had more than a few of the 2000 nominees. Eartha Kitt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Karen Ziemba, Laura Benanti, Cherry Jones and Jennifer Ehle were among the performers and presenters at the Stars event, held at 11:30 AM in Shubert Alley.
    Jennifer Ehle, the star of Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing, connected revivals like her play and long-established pieces by Anton Chekhov and Noel Coward with the new "classics": Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and The Phantom of the Opera.

    Thursday, December 15, 2005

    Fan review of The Other Side

    This comes from 'wheldridge' of EhleNews.

    I was lucky enough to see The Other Side last month when it was in previews. I finally got around to writing something about the play on Monday, but realized that the review would be out this week. I wasn't bold enough to post this without seeing the reviews. Now that I have seen them, I am surprised. My friends and I thoroughly enjoyed the play. It was 90 minutes without intermission. One of the things that impressed me was Rosemary Harris was in excellent shape. With the salt and pepper wig, she looked much longer than her age, and she had to crawl under the bed twice! The play was funny, tragic, and thought provoking. The "Other Side" applies to so much more than just a war. The acting, as you might expect, was excellent.

    More of The Other Side

    More information about The Other Side, although not quite a review. Kenneth Jones from Playbill News talks about the show and cast.

    And a VERY ouch-ie article from The Journal News. The article's called 'The Other Side of awful'. Enough said. I'll copy the nice bit:

    Take Rosemary Harris, the luminous star of Edward Albee's "A Delicate Balance" and Noel Coward's "Waiting in the Wings."

    Her theatrical magic is too rarely seen on our stages, and you would normally rush out to catch her in anything. She opened last night in a play called "The Other Side," by Ariel Dorfman ("Death and the Maiden"), at Manhattan Theatre Club.

    Wednesday, December 14, 2005

    The Other Side: first batch

    There's a spoileriffic, blow-by-blow account of the play at the Hartford Courant, while USA Today opines thusly:

    Dorfman's post-absurdist script nods to original sin and will evoke various conflicts and catastrophes for viewers, not least of all the conflict in Iraq. But for all its disturbing aspects, Side, which runs through Jan. 15 at New York City Center, ultimately makes a case for the power of love and empathy, even in a troubled and disjointed world.

    However, it hasn't gone down very well with these NYT reader reviewers. Variety is a little more even-handed:

    Ariel Dorfman delivers his message right off the bat in this political allegory about two unnamed nations worn out by an endless war. But having made his point about the absurdity of war between neighbors who share a common heritage, the Chilean scribe leaves himself nowhere to take this static drama. Despite forceful performances from veteran thespians Rosemary Harris and John Cullum, this bleak tale feels out of its element in Blanka Zizka's overstaged production for MTC and more suited to the literary form of short story or novella.


    [edit: just realised this article is a breach of our posting policy. Apologies]

    Tonys photos

    This Stephen Dillane site has some photos from the Tonys that aren't up on the fansite. The explanation for the above pic:

    SPOTTED: Stephen Dillane, who won best actor at the Tony awards, distributing buttons just before the ceremony began to fellow cast members of The Real Thing. On one side he had printed "I lost", on the other, "I won".

    Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    Happy birthday, John Ehle!

    "A Proper Lizzy"

    This is from an anti-2005 Pride and Prejudice adaptation blog, so if you like it or are sensitive about it, do not read. I'm only blogging it because they are nice about Jennifer Ehle, and there's some funny stuff on it.

    At the bottom, they state, "Keira Knightley, allow me to introduce Jennifer Ehle... a proper Lizzie." With the accompanying photo to the right.

    And there's a pretty funny letter from "Mr Darcy", no doubt written by the author of the blog, complaining about the new adaptation. They say:
    "Second—and more worrisome—is the actress you hired to play my dearest, loveliest Elizabeth. In the wonderful 1995 TV adaptation, you hired a fair skinned, healthy and fine eyed Jennifer Ehle to portray my better half. She had the proper proportions and demeanor. You can tell this much from here. (Aside: boy don’t I look dashing)"
    *Photo to the side

    Pond Scene Clip

    Ok fangirls. It's the wet shirt. Albeit a very short clip, you can rewind and start again as many times as you want. I think you need quicktime though.

    Monday, December 12, 2005

    Deadline extension

    We're moving the deadline for the thank-you project to December 22nd.

    Tonys speech

    Click on either the little "dialup" or "broadband" buttons on the NY1 page about the Tonys to see a short clip from The Real Thing, as well as a shot of Ms Ehle embracing her mum and thanking her parents in her speech. Her bit starts about 52 seconds in.

    [edit: apologies, intelligence malfunction. Copied the wrong link by mistake. The video from the awards ceremony is here]

    NY1 also has an article about the Tony nominations, but the videos don't work for me. You can try your luck.

    Christabel or Chucky?

    Village Voice's review of Possession isn't that positive, but J. Hoberman comes up with an unusual metaphor:
    Perhaps [Jeremy Northam]'s been hypnotized by the round-faced, green-cloaked poetess Jennifer Ehle, whose gracious smile and wide-eyed twinkle as Christabel LaMotte have the uncanny animation of a young girl's favorite doll come to life.

    That's meant to be a compliment. I think.

    Sunday, December 11, 2005

    Interview with Blanka Zizka

    Here's an interview with Blanka Zizka (director of The Other Side) from the Manhattan Theatre Club. She speaks about The Other Side, and technical aspects of the play, as well as Ariel Dorfman.

    Elizabeth Ehle II

    I was shocked, appalled, and surprised to discover that Keira Knightley isn't the only one to call Jennifer Ehle "Elizabeth Ehle". It seems Miss Bennet is just as hard to shake as Colin Firth's Darcy. These are only some of the instances I've found:

    Fan Reviews:
    Cable TV talk
    I like the re-make of Pride and Predjudice with Elizabeth Ehle and Colin Firth.

    …and I think that Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen were every bit as good as Colin Firth and Elizabeth Ehle.

    Even a reviewer for the movie, Sunshine!
    Ignatz eventually married Valerie (Elizabeth Ehle), his cousin who was raised as his sister, and he became a high-ranking Judge under the Austro-Hungarian emperor.

    And even Amazon (for the sale of Pride and Prejudice)!!!

  • This is either a compliment to Jennifer Ehle for her convincing performance, or gross ignorance. I can't decide which.
  • Saturday, December 10, 2005

    Ariel Dorfman on radio

    Broadway World reports that Ariel Dorfman, writer of The Other Side, will be featured on WKCR's "Composed on the Tongue" program tomorrow (Sunday) from 9-9.30pm (89.9 FM). Perhaps there will be clips from the show? Cross your fingers.

    The Other Side official site

    Manhattan Theater Club's official site for The Other Side is open. There's a synopsis, a gallery with photos from the show, biographies of the cast members, and a page with info about tickets and the schedule (8pm Tue-Sat, 2pm Sat-Sun, 8pm Sun from Dec 18-Jan 1, 2pm from Dec 21-Jan 22).

    Playbill also has some pics from the opening night partay. There's one of Rosemary Harris with Jin-chaek Sohn, who directed the play in Japan and Korea.

    We're a bit confused about the opening date. It's either December 6th or 13th. Either way, the play is on now!

    The Other Side preview

    A funny, thought provoking piece (no pun intended), “The Other Side” is a brief 75 minute work being performed at the Manhattan Theatre Club until January 22. With an experienced cast and insightful writing, the show is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy your holiday.

    Says Washington Square News, NYU's paper. If you too are scratching your head...piece, peace. Yeah.

    Friday, December 09, 2005

    As promised...

    I've posted my thoughts on The River King at the forum. It's pretty long, so here's the relevant bit:

    Need I say anything about JE? Of course she stood out. Of course I wanted more screen time. That, at least, was expected. Seriously though, I totally bought her as the caring teacher who’s unfulfilled by her relationship with her jerk of a fiancé. Her best scene was when they converse on entirely different wavelengths over breakfast, I reckon. Have to add, she looked fabulous in this. I dig the short brown hair. And the natural accent goodness!

    However, as Chelsea noted, the affair between Abel and Betsy wasn’t quite right. Sort of gratuitous. I didn’t really understand why these characters were attracted to each other, let alone falling into bed with each other. I think it was because you don’t really get that much background about them – Abel is shown as relationship-shy in one scene, and then soon after, he’s meant to be making puppy eyes at Betsy. The kiddies’ triangle was more fleshed out and more essential to the story.

    Forum events

    We're doing a group-watch of Pride and Prejudice at the forum today. Want to join us? We're watching Episode 1 at 09:00 GMT (ie. 9am London time, 8pm here in Melbourne) and coming online at 10:00 GMT to discuss/squeal/sigh. We're going to be doing one episode a day til Wednesday. [edit: from Saturday onwards we're going to watch at 11:00 GMT and chat at 12:00].

    We're also messing around trying to write a "P&P-in-15-minutes" parody, à la Movies in 15 Minutes. One LiveJournaler has already done one for the new film. Come play!

    Pride and Prejudice script in full

    Just noticed that the Pride and Prejudice script I linked to in an earlier post isn't complete. Well, Script-O-Rama has the whole thing, albeit without character names. They also have a transcript of the 1940 Garson/Olivier version.

    By the way, 12/12 is approaching. It's soon, but there's time to throw something together. One nice submission we've had so far is a photo of scenery where the person lives and a little message, in a Word file. Nothing more complicated than that is needed.

    Thursday, December 08, 2005

    "Celebrating Ariel Dorfman's The Other Side"

    Three early cheers for The Other Side, the Manhattan Theatre Club's new Arial Dorfman play about war, identity and love (with a dash of dark comedy to boot). On December 6, the cast, which features John Cullum, Rosemary Harris and Gene Farber, the plawright, director Blanka Zizka and MYC alums gathered at Rue 57 to enjoy an early party in preparation for the official opening on December 13. The Other Side arrives in our world in a timely fashion. Here's to a peaceful run!

    Pictures of the cast members are available on the website.

    Old fan review

    This is a September fan review of The Philadelphia Story by "Shining lil *star*" from this blog. Warning: she loves Jennifer Ehle, but is extremely frank about others, ie. Spacey.

    What a fantastic play the ‘Philadelphia Story’ was!!! I’m almost tempted to hire out the ye olde black and white original film starring Katherine Hepburn as the cast in the play at the Old Vic was amazing!!! I think I am yet to stay completely entertained by a play- but this play officially wins! :D

    And yay- after some advice from a very nice usher dude- we found the Stage door where the cast slowly leaked out of and Clare got Mr Spacey’s (yes the Oscar winner) autograph while I filmed her cheesy moment and got snapped with the leading lady- the true star of the show without a doubt – Jennifer Ehle. The cast were all very approachable but totally wanting to get away from the mob- and quite frankly Kevin needs to cheer up. He was a bit of a grumpy git.

    Hmmm I wonder how easy it is to get into film on the design and make-up side of things? Loving the wigs and how natural they looked.

    Wednesday, December 07, 2005

    The River King audio clip

    Listen. ~600kb, mp3 format, 56kbps. This is from the first scene Ms Ehle is in, along with the first encounter between Betsy and Abel. Scroll down to the bottom and choose the free download option.

    [edit: seems like Rapidshare is down. Try Putfile. Not really sure how it works]

    [edit #2: thank goodness someone knows what they're doing! Thanks to Jhana for mirroring the file. Try this link first]

    "Underground theater"

    First blog review of The Other Side by Ted Green, dating from the previews:

    It's an intense little show about war -- between countries and between parents and their children. Harris gives an amazing performance as a Mother who has been waiting for the return of her son for over twenty years.
    The audience today seemed like a real New York crowd. I'm guessing most of the audience were subscribers to the theater. I liked the show, but I heard a lot of discontented muttering on the way out. In fact, when the show was over several seemed unsure if the show was actually over or if it was simply an intermission.

    Tuesday, December 06, 2005

    "War, Rape, Barbed Wire: Remember, It's a Comedy"

    It's a little too early for reviews on The Other Side, but here's an article about the play, and especially Ariel Dorfman, by Randy Gener.

    IT'S okay to laugh at an Ariel Dorfman play. Although this Chilean author is a prolific chronicler and dogged opponent of torture, repression and human rights abuse in that Land Where Terrible Things Happen, he insists that laughter is sometimes an entirely appropriate response to grim events.

    "When you come from Latin America, laughter becomes necessary for survival," said Mr. Dorfman, whose new play, "The Other Side," opens Dec. 13 at City Center in a Manhattan Theater Club production. "A great deal of tragedy comes out of situations that are absurd and ridiculous. The rigid attitudes of people, the gap between their illusions of reality and reality kicking them in the butt, are a great source for laughter. We're one inch away from the pratfall becoming a cliff fall."

    "The Other Side" is the first Dorfman play to be produced in New York City since his 1992 work, "Death and the Maiden," and the second of three major Dorfman premieres mounted in the United States this season. In it, the dramatist's black sense of humor declares itself soon after a loud explosion. An unknown man, a border guard, smashes through the wall of wooden hut, erected by a husband and wife (played by John Cullum and Rosemary Harris) on the border of two countries that have been waging a war for several decades.

    Go to full article

    Monday, December 05, 2005

    The River King Swedish review

    Computer problems here, so my own review of The River King will come later. Meanwhile, here's a review from a Swedish blogger. Babelfish doesn't have Swedish so try InterTran.

    He he, vad har folk emot internatskolor egentligen? Jag vet ju vad jag har emot fenomenet, men i USA är dom väl rätt så inne på det där med individens frihet och sånt, eller? (Välj vad du vill! Om du har råd förstås...) Det finns ju hur många såna här filmer som helst. Kanske att det finns någon slags socialdemokratisk folksjäl (eller jantelag) även i Det Stora Landet Over There. Burns är iallafall bra som vanligt, storyn rätt så spännande även om det är lite standardvändningar över det hela. En OK rulle.

    I've found the first audience review of The Other Side, unfortunately it's unfavourable. In any case, see for yourself - the play opens December 6th.

    Sunday, December 04, 2005

    The infamous NC cabin on Ebay!

    You can spend a full week in the infamous Ehle mountain cabin from $395 US. This was built by John Ehle and includes 12 photos of the house. If I'm correct, and there is only one mountain cabin that was built by John Ehle, then it is the same one mentioned three times by Jennifer Ehle in this part of the interview. And Ms Ehle and Mr Ryan lived there for five months after they were married. If I wasn't a very long plane ride from North Carolina, I'd be there.

    My Review of The River King

    Ok, this is my review of The River King after seeing it a few days ago. I'd firstly like to say that I loved the movie, and Jennifer Ehle was wonderful. Of course, it was a critique, so it also contains my opinions on 'areas for improvement'. Tina will post her review soon as well.

    The River King is an accurate, although somewhat rushed adaptation of Alice Hoffman’s compelling, fascinating book. Most aspects of the storyline were included, and flashbacks were placed appropriately. The movie had strong casting, strong acting, and beautiful cinematography, albeit lacking the emotional punch and detail that the novel had.

    Jennifer Ehle, obviously, and as per usual, stole the show. She was incredibly beautiful, and played Betsy sensitively and connected with the audience tremendously well. The other standout performances were from Rachelle Lefevre (Carlin Leander), and the boy who played Gus Pierce (was that Thomas Gibson?…). He showed great potential as a newcomer, and made you connect with Gus, and the pain he was going through. Rachelle, although different to how I’d imagined Carlin, was a perfect choice. Their relationship developed well, and in quite some depth. Harry was also extremely nasty, but devastatingly handsome, which worked particularly well.

    One aspect of the movie I was disappointed with was Betsy and Abel’s relationship. I must say that I was dissatisfied with Ed Burns' performance. He made a good Abe, but didn’t bounce off Jennifer Ehle the way he ought to. I could tell Jennifer Ehle was trying to create the sparks (especially in the early parts of the relationship), but he had trouble reacting, perhaps as a result of being too involved in his own part. That made their affair a little unbelievable, and it didn’t convince me that they were consumed with passion.

    There were parts of the story that I missed, as they were not included in the film. Firstly, Betsy’s clumsiness and awkwardness- which to be fair, was probably due to Kane and Willing trying to cut down on aspects of the story to fit into a movie. The same goes for Helen Davis, who was not included at all in the film, and Abe’s admiration of his grandfather. All of these aspects of the story go to help the reader/viewer to understand each character’s situation, and motivations. I think characters could have been more well-developed if more time was given to the production, as it was only around 1.5 hours, instead of relying so heavily on the acting (although the actors were so good, they were able to pull it off).

    I’m being far too critical and nit-picky. I really enjoyed the film and would encourage others to see it as well. Reading the book beforehand did not help matters! I think I wouldn’t have been as critical if I hadn’t read it. But all in all, it’s quite accurate, using similar lines to the original, and does what it can with the development of the characters in the small amount of space that is provided. And Jennifer Ehle is spectacular! Isn’t that the main thing…?

    Any other fan reviews out there? We'd love you to e-mail them to us at

    B&H Round-up

    If all else fails, post more reviews. These are from Bedrooms and Hallways.

    From PlanetOut
    As Sally, Jennifer Ehle looks like a young Meryl Streep and is winning enough to make men and women swoon. It isn't at all a stretch that Leo and Sally share a special bond; nor is it making a statement on Leo's gayness. Rather, Troche gently and without an agenda portrays ordinary human emotion and unexplainable attraction.

    From Safe
    Jennifer Ehle (best known as Elizabeth Bennet in the latest BBC "Pride and Prejudice" opposite Colin Firth) does a commendable job with a role that is underwritten and quite contradictory at different points in the film.

    From SFGate
    "Experimentation" is inevitable. All of the signs point to that fact: For one thing, Brendan owns a deli called "It's Only Natural" with his girlfriend, Sally (luminous Jennifer Ehle, who looks like a lit-from-behind Meryl Streep, with a symmetrical face).

    Saturday, December 03, 2005

    Globe and Mail Camomile Lawn review

    A touchstone for memories of youth
    This provocative five-hour drama chronicles the deliciously tangled lives of a group of friends and relatives who spend a summer together on the eve of the Second World War

    John Haslett Cuff
    14 June 1993
    The Globe and Mail
    All material copyright Thomson Canada Limited or its licensors. All rights reserved.

    There are many pleasures to be found in watching the sexy and beautifully executed British mini-series The Camomile Lawn, which begins on CBC-TV tonight and continues for the next four weeks. Among its more provocative aspects is a sometimes shocking moral complexity that touches on child sexual abuse and promiscuity. There are also assorted shots of full- frontal nudity and some occasionally explicit language.

    But both nudity and frankly adult language are used sparingly and with appropriately dramatic effect and, though titillating, they hardly account for the mini-series' overall appeal. Much more to the point, the series' unfailing intelligence and morally ambiguous revelations of character are relatively rare in the black-and-white simplicity of most North American television drama.

    Based on the novel by Mary Wesley and adapted for television by one of the finest screenwriters in the world, Ken Taylor (The Jewel in the Crown) , the disingenuously named five-hour drama chronicles the deliciously tangled lives of a group of young cousins, aunts, uncles and friends whose last summer together in Cornwall on the eve of the Second World War becomes the touchstone for their shared memories of youth and departed innocence.

    The specially planted herb lawn, notable for its strong scent and medicinal properties, is a striking symbol for those moments in their lives which they relive as they gather 40 years later for the funeral of Max Erstweiler. An "outsider," Max was an Austrian refugee violinist who, along with his indulgent wife Monica, brought music (literally and figuratively) into the otherwise rather typically stiff, bourgeois British lives of these characters. His romantic antics and the moral anarchy of war freed all of them to enjoy fuller lives than they might otherwise have done.

    Although the war forms both a backdrop and a vivid context for the behaviour of the various characters, this is by no means an obviously romantic or sentimental excursion into the past. There are no theatrical heroics and tragedies underlined or exploited for cheap effect. Instead there is a gay, cynical tone that is at once charming and distancing both for the viewers and the characters themselves.

    Sex is a practical rather than a moral issue; love and passion are there in abundance but without histrionics (or strings) because life and love are obviously all too precarious (almost too precarious to even speak of) in a country at war.

    Of course, war is hell - at least on the battlefield. But for these assorted characters it is also exciting in a way that life will never be again. The characters - particularly the women - take full advantage of it to explore their sexuality in ways that might not even be considered under normally repressive (for women) conditions.

    A large ensemble cast plays characters ranging in age from about 10 to 60 plus, and each one is powerfully affected and - in most cases - liberated by the events accompanying the outbreak of war. Felicity Kendal, Paul Eddington (Yes, Minister) and Claire Bloom will be familiar to many viewers but the younger members of the cast, who carry much of the action, will not. Jennifer Ehle is especially memorable as Calypso and Rebecca Hall is exceptional as the youngster Sophy who, more poignantly than anyone, represents the loss of innocence.

    The series was directed by Peter Hall and exquisitely photographed by Ernie Vincze. It is a co-production between Channel 4 and the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

    Friday, December 02, 2005


    You've got 10 days left to participate in our project for Ms Ehle's birthday. Make haste, make haste!

    Another (belated) reminder: The River King came out in Thailand on November 22nd.

    There's an additional not-worth-its-own-post item as well, photos from Possession signed by Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Ehle, Jeremy Northam and Aaron Eckhart on eBay.

    Design for Living roundup

    Following our policy of being Fair and Balanced and not self-censoring, some of these reviews are rather critical. But olds is olds, right?

  • Dominic West interview
    He’s never before worked with Jennifer Ehle [E-lee]. “I’ve seen a lot she’s done; I’ve always admired her from afar.”

  • CurtainUp
    Ehle, last seen as another independent and contradictory woman in The Real Thing, seems ideally cast as the woman who declares "I shouldn't feel cozy married; it doesn't fit my principles" but who nevertheless ends up marrying Ernest, a successful and quite conventional art dealer (a character who, thanks to John Cunningham's excellent performance, is extremely likeable). But while Ehle delivers her lines with fine precision and looks smashing whether wearing a slip or one of several gorgeous silk kimonos, she's more moody than madcap, one reason that the evening's two and a half hours induce as many yawns as appreciative laughs.

  • Village Voice can admire Jennifer Ehle's intensity and beauty, while trying to guess what role she thinks she's playing (Andromache? Cordelia? Amanda?) instead of Gilda.

  • New York Theatre Wire
    Jennifer Ehle as Gilda is just like the girl next door. She is too ordinary, even though obviously neurotic, to have such sway over these two men. She has not got the delivery, the tone, the sophistication, the mystery and the allure such a woman must have, if we are to believe the plot. She is badly costumed with awful gray clothes which emphasize her bust (too large for the stage) and underscores her colorless, almost lifeless performance. She throws away her lines most of the time, and often she is barely audible. Gilda should be more of a Garbo type, an inscrutable woman, an enigma, a compelling, but not obvious sexual creature capable of winning any man, and holding her own in a world of painters and writers. None of this is evident in Ms. Ehle's performance.

  • NY Metro
    Jennifer Ehle, despite an unflattering period hairdo, and Dominic West, perhaps a trifle too callow, struggle valiantly but keep foundering on Alan Cumming.

  • Wolf Entertainment guide
    Jennifer Ehle, who was so good as Annie in "The Real Thing" and on screen in the film "Sunshine," is disappointingly flat as Gilda. It is impossible to imagine her as the daring woman in the play.

  • Interview with directors Joe Mantello and Todd Haimes
    With this play in particular, the casting of the three main characters really dictates the tone of the production. It lives and dies by how sensational they are and what their chemistry is on stage. We were really lucky to have Alan Cumming on board right from the beginning. And then it was just a question of finding the right people to go with him. When you see Jennifer Ehle, Dominic West and Alan together, there is something sort of contemporary and fresh about the play because of who they are.

  • Portico
    I'm not sufficiently familiar with ‘Design for Living’ to know where the script stops and the interpretation begins, but I’m pretty sure that Gilda needn’t be played as gravely as Jennifer Ehle plays her. The seriousness of this performance has all the signs of a well thought-out miscalculation, an attempt to do something with the role that, while interesting so far as the role itself goes, can’t be made to fit with the rest of the play. When the curtain goes up, Gilda is seen sitting in a slip in front of a whirring fan, lost in thoughts that, even if they’re happy (we’ll find that she’s just made love) are far from light. As if oppressed by an existential burden, Ehle holds the pose for about twice as long as an actress untutored by director Joe Mantello would, pushing the audience into wondering if something’s the matter with her – Ehle, not Gilda – and perhaps even drumming its fingers with impatience, lest we be in for an evening of Tennessee Williams. Ehle has a rich low voice, which she puts at the service of interpretive complexity: her simplest ‘no’ suggests hours of knotty deliberation, but for all that it’s unlikely to be a final answer.

  • TimeOut's 2001 Tonys predictions.
    WHO'S MISSING [from the "Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play" category] Jennifer Ehle. She charmed us—even in a misguided Design for Living.

  • Plurp
    Contrapunctually, Jennifer Ehle as Gilda rushes her lines, and might benefit from ordering her cappuccinos decaf from now on.

  • Buy the poster

    PS. Thanks to Chelsea for holding the fort this past week!
  • Thursday, December 01, 2005

    Random collection of reviews

    The title is self-explanatory. Reviews from Possession, Wilde, Sunshine, and the new Pride and Prejudice (mentioning Ms Ehle).

    From StudentLife (Pride and Prejudice- if that doesn't take you to the page, go here, and click the first link)
    Any production of "Pride and Prejudice" will no doubt be compared to the landmark A&E production of the Jane Austen novel, in which Jennifer Ehle gave a commanding performance as the spirited and likable Lizzy...
    Knightley certainly looks the part of an English beauty, but perhaps due to the shorter length of the film or the distracting way in which she twitches her nose at every opportunity, her performance falls short of Ehle's

    From BoxOffice Magazine (Possession)
    Ehle in particular is at once cherubic and mature, clever and cultured, selfish and sacrificing

    From (Wilde)
    ...a woefully underused Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice) as Wilde's wife. Despite limited screen time, Ehle manages to fashion Connie Wilde into a heartbreakingly sympathetic character, which makes the truncation of that subplot all the more frustrating.

    From Spirituality and Health (Possession)
    Jennifer Ehle, who was so mesmerizing in Istvan Szabo's Sunshine, steals the movie with her incandescent performance as Christabel

    From (Sunshine) (Again)
    The film's spark plug is Jennifer Ehle (who had the lead role in the astounding made-for-TV miniseries of Pride and Prejudice), who brings a spirit to young Valerie that is as fiery as her red hair. Ehle is only around for the film's first third, and, although Rosemary Harris is effective after inheriting the role, Sunshine is never quite the same.

    From Scott's Movie Reviews (Sunshine)
    Jennifer Ehle provides the real sunshine in the film as the only family member to live through the tragic events that befall her. Her sweet-natured performance is supplemented by a strength and vibrancy that helps her remain optimistic in the face of unbeatable odds. Ehle's real-life mother Rosemary Harris plays Valerie in her later years, adding even more credibility to the role.

    Wednesday, November 30, 2005

    River King in Saskatchewan

    This is Tina's post- but she seems to still be away, so I thought I'd take the initiative. God forbid I should break the 'post-a-day' promise!

    The Regina Public Library Film Theatre is going to be screening The River King on Thursday, December 8th, at 9pm. Can't find the address of the Film Theatre on the site, but I assume it's at the Central Library: 2311 - 12 Avenue, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P 3Z5. Ring them up on 777-6037 for more information.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2005

    Clip of the 'P&P kiss'

    Here's a short clip of the final kiss on Pride and Prejudice (QuickTime format) at this website. There's an accompanying article which analyses (or criticizes) Colin Firth's kissing techniques...

    From the article:
    In the clip you are about to see, Jennifer Ehle is staring ardently into Mr. Firth's eyes and waiting for him to make his move... and waiting... and waiting... and waiting.
    When he finally does move in for the kiss, it's not until they're halfway there that he realises that not only will their noses collide before their lips do, but he's likely to knock her unconscious with the brim of his hat. So, at the last possible second, he "goes to the right."

    Neil LaBute on Possession

    I've transcribed some of Neil LaButes commentary from the Possession DVD. Obviously not the whole thing, just the bits about Jennifer Ehle.

    Some highlights:

    ...she’s such an amazing actress; she’s, ah, beyond the obvious magnetic qualities she has as an actress, she’s so bright, and makes such interesting choices; uh, she really was the only choice I put forth as Christabel, she was the one I was most hopeful of getting in the role...

    Jennifer Ehle has such great passion, and, ah, you can see in her eyes, she acts with her eyes often- they’re so expressive- they way in which she studies her and the pain she feels, and the anger at her lover at this moment and this kind of explosive- (JE tips over the table) - that sort of just came out of something that Jennifer wanted to do there, that came out of the moment of rehearsal of ‘I wanna tip this over’ until we accommodated it all it was something a little different on the page, but um, she just wanted to show that um, people 150 years ago weren’t averse to turning over tables, or, because it was a very strict, sort of décor of society, it didn’t mean that people didn’t have outbursts of passion or anger, and so, um, that was an exciting choice I think she made.

    ...I think she’s one of the best ‘cryers’ that we have in movies, ah, she’s one of the best we have of everything in movies- she’s really exceptional.

    Full Transcript of Jennifer Ehle sections

    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Summerfolk, and the living is easy

    Er, moving on. A couple of Summerfolk reviews, both (slightly) nasty and nice:

    The transition from laughter to tears in seconds by the beautiful Varya played to the T by Jennifer Ehle

    There are also some audience opinions at the National Theatre's talkback pages. Some rather lovely comments there:

    I must admit my main reason for seeing the play was the fact that Jennifer Ehle was in it. She is a consummate actress with a style very much her own, and It's always a pleasure to witness her performances, especially in the theatre, where her considerable talent can be displayed to the full. She gave a superb performance in The Real Thing where she was able to show her emotional range much more than in Summerfolk. Let's just hope that Trevor Nunn can persuade her to become a regular player at the National. Could we ever be that lucky? I certainly hope so.

    Sunday, November 27, 2005

    Blogging Miss Bennet

    Here are some interesting posts about Jennifer Ehle/Lizzy Bennet from various blogs.

    Firstly, a complimentary review:
    But now and forever, North Carolina native Jennifer Ehle is Elizabeth Bennet to me, and I'm sold on Colin Firth as Darcy as well. Ehle (pronounced Eeeeleee), born in Winston-Salem, looks so much the part and fulfills my own adolescent image of Elizabeth so well I'm not sure how I'll accept Knightley in the part.

    Ehle caught both the intelligence, wit and human failings of Elizabeth for me, but also the look. Her pale, goregous face framed by her Austen like curls of dark hair and punctuated by a cupid's bow mouth, tiny, with an Austen pucker, reminds me so of the period style illustrations accompanying so many 18th century novels.

    Secondly, 100 Elizabeth Bennet icons (they look fabulous!)

    There are also comments on many blogs that Keira Knightley appeared to somewhat mimick Jennifer Ehle, especially with her voice. For instance (from Ampersand Duck):

    ...she seemed to model herself upon Jennifer Ehle, and one or two times I could swear she'd stood in front of a mirror with the BBC playing next to her and a remote control and mimicked Jennifer's Lizzie until she got it right.
    And, from 'David's Journal':
    ...if you shut your eyes when listening to Keira it might as well have been Jennifer - the pace, the intonation, everything was just like Jennifer. It could just be that Keira made the mistake of watching the BBC production just one time too many and had assimilated too much.

    But they do say that imitation is the highest form of flattery...

    Saturday, November 26, 2005


    For a true Austenophile, however, the gold standard is the 1995 BBC miniseries featuring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle in the leading roles.

    Their chemistry together was positively combustible; Firth remains a superstar sex symbol to a certain fan base to this day (and will, I suspect, remain so even into his advanced years) thanks to his smoldering turn as Darcy. Ehle, too, created an indelible character; her Elizabeth is taut, focused and beautifully mannered when it comes to her own place in the world.

    From Dunro Munro's review of the new Pride and Prejudice movie in the Fresno Bee.

    There's a tiny little lead about Alpha Male at Box Office Prophets - it's said that the film will be given a limited release sometime in 2006.

    Regal Rosemary

    Here's a photo of Rosemary Harris from 1968.

    No news about The Other Side yet, though it's early days. But if you've seen it, we'd love to hear your impressions of it! E-mail to

    Friday, November 25, 2005

    Charity auction of Philadelphia Story program

    Haven't had an eBay roundup lately. The most notable item is this Philadelphia Story program signed by the entire cast and hand-delivered by Ms Ehle to Broadway Cares, the AIDS charity that is holding the auction.

    Printed on expensive heavy paper stock, it's as elegant as the play's Philadelphia mainline setting and features scholarly articles on Barry, the tabloid press of the 1930s, and detailed accounts of all of the Old Vic's 2004-2005 Season. Jennifer Ehle took on the patrician Tracy Lord and received rave reviews for her brave and daring portrayal -- no small feat considering Katherine Hepburn's iconic rendering of this character in the play's original Broadway run and subsequent 1940 film adaptation...Ms. Ehle, a longtime friend and supporter of BC/EFA since her Tony-Award-winning turn in THE REAL THING, personally hand delivered this rare theatrical keepsake from "across-the-pond" specifically for auction here.

    Can't afford the USD $127+ pricetag but still want to contribute? You can donate by credit card through the Broadway Cares site, which explains the difference a single dollar can make. If you want more than positive karma, have a look at their other auctions too.

    Other eBay items include:
  • The Tempest CD audio recording.
  • Pride and Prejudice keyring with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.
    Add it to your bunch of keys, attach it to your bag, or use it as body jewellery - whichever you choose, you'll be the envy of your mates!

  • Jane Austen's World, featuring photos from the Pride and Prejudice mini and other Austen adaptations as well.
  • Telegraph magazine with a 3-page interview, from April 2005.
  • Culture magazine with a 1.5-page interview, from Setember 2002.
  • Empire magazine with full-page photo and profile, from November 1997.
  • The Look

    By Jhana/Mary: The Look on loop. [edit: embedding removed because Mary says the file is 1.3mb]

    In other news, a wistful collective sigh is heard across the globe.

    Froggy style

    You'd think that Pride and Prejudice's popularity would be limited to Anglophone countries where Jane Austen's work is well known, but it appears that the series has made an impact worldwide. Here's a sample of the French take on it - a review from Le Monde in 2003, with high praise for Ms Ehle:

    Le jeu raffiné de Jennifer Ehle est à la hauteur de celui d'Emma Thompson, dans Raison et sentiments. Avec plus de retenue que la seconde, la première manifeste une grâce et un charme qui n'ont d'égal que son talent, déjà éprouvé dans d'autres productions de la télévision britannique. A l'image de celle d'Emma Thompson, la beauté de Jennifer Ehle ne correspond guère aux canons hollywoodiens, mais elle s'impose. L'éclat modulé de ses yeux sombres reflète toutes les nuances de l'âme de son personnage.

    Standard caveat - rough translation only:

    The refined acting of Jennifer Ehle is of the same calibre as Emma Thompson's in Sense and Sensibility. With more restraint than the latter, the former shows a grace and charm that have no equal but her talent, as already proven in other British TV productions. Like Emma Thompson's, Jennifer Ehle's beauty hardly corresponds with the Hollywood ideal, but she makes an impression. The controlled flash of her dark eyes reflects all the nuances of her character's soul. [more]

    Speaking of Pride and Prejudice, I've heard of people using the series as a cure for exam blues and as a sort of comfort food when ill, but never this...

    It’s not an easy life, at all, admitting to being a “Janeite,” as Rudyard Kipling would say. As one of them, I am herded together with an illusive cabal of old ladies whose books rest near scented candles on nightstands, rather than the other fans I actually know, who spend five hours on Sunday watching the BBC version of the P&P miniseries because it’s their hangover cure.

    From Detroit's Metro Times.

    Thursday, November 24, 2005

    "Elizabeth Ehle"

    We all know that Keira Knightley loved the BBC's Pride and Prejudice. And we all know that she admires Jennifer Ehle's portrayal of Elizabeth. She loves it so much, that she hasn't a clue where Elizabeth Bennet ends and Jennifer Ehle begins.

    ...she refers, several times, to the actress playing Elizabeth Bennet in that version as "Elizabeth Ehle, oh, Jennifer Ehle."

    "I desperately tried to not go up for this, even though I'd been completely in love with the book," Knightley says. "I couldn't see how not to do a copy of Elizabeth, um, Jennifer's wonderful, wonderful performance.

    These quotes are from an article written for The Montgomery Advertiser by Rodger Moore.

    Kidman/Ehle link

    These two bits of information I feel, didn't deserve a post each. So I put them together- just in case you might be interested...

    1) Obviously this is nothing but pure speculation, but I was interested to discover two links between Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Ehle. Maybe she's become a fan as well? Nicole Kidman saw The Real Thing (she co-starred with Stephen Dillane in The Hours), and was also spotted at a New York Premier, dressed as Ms Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet.

    2) On this website, the authors go to so much trouble to get every bit of Ms Ehle's life correct, including her background, education, filmography, and trivia. However, they somehow manage to put the wrong photo on the webpage. Does anyone know who that actually is? [edit: the photo is of Embeth Davidtz; thanks to everyone who let us know]

    Wednesday, November 23, 2005

    The Real Thing tidbits

    Here's a Curtain Up Review by Lizzie Loveridge. Some highlights are:

    We follow playwright, Henry (Stephen Dillane) through two marriages, both to actresses. The first wife is Charlotte (Sarah Woodward), a sardonic and slightly sour character. The second is Annie (Jennifer Ehle), an altogether sweeter prospect played by this most attractive actor with a delicacy of touch.

    Ehle is perfect as the nicely brought up girl getting a sexual frisson from associating with the kind of man she has not come across before, with prison and injustice to add to the fascinating mix.

    It is all very clever and funny, making you laugh again and again. Stoppard is never predictable. Some scenes end in a clever twist and others seem to follow an anarchic trail; for example, Annie, whilst trying to raise Henry's musical appreciation from hits of the Sixties to something more esoteric, sets him an opera quiz, asking him what she is playing:
    Henry - Strauss?
    Annie - No, it can't be Strauss. It's in Italian
    Henry - Ah, then -- Verdi
    Annie - Which one?
    Henry - Giuseppe (he says looking really pleased with himself)

    Dillane and Ehle act each other off the stage -- Dillane with his wonderful timing and expression, Ehle with her sincerity and sex appeal.

    [Full Text]

    Another review from The Wolf Entertainment Guide:

    We're particularly fortunate that Jennifer Ehle is playing Annie. She is a strong match for Dillane's Henry, fiercely defending her social action commitment of wanting to appear in a play written by the Scottish prisoner (Joshua Henderson) who she believes has been unjustly incarcerated. Henry amusingly mocks the play in one of his best speeches. Ehle conveys Annie's streak of independence, her willingness to lie to protect the relationship with Henry, the one she really cares about, and she also projects an earthy, playful sexuality that suggests volatility. The teaming of Dillane and Ehle is enough of attraction, but the rest of the cast is also excellent, including Sarah Woodward, Nigel Lindsay, Charlotte Parry, Oscar Pearce and the aforementioned Henderson. They work together with precision and seeming ease.