stars and books

Bardot book1 Bardot book3

Brigitte Bardot reading

Keira Knightley book

Keira Knightley

gregory peck book

Gregory Peck

 ava gardner with a book

Ava Gardner

Monroe book1 monroe book3monroe book6 Monroe book4 monroe book5

Marilyn Monroe

Diana book

Young lady Diana

Dietrich book

Marlene Dietrich


Gérard Philipe

woodyallen romy schneider book

Woody Allen and Romy Schneider in a movie What’s New Pussycat?

delon schneider book

Romy Schneider and Alain Delon


Françoise Dorléac and Michael Caine

Diane Kruger book

Diane Kruger


George Clooney

Lionel Messi books

Lionel Messi


The Impressionists (2006, TV mini-series)

If you like impressionist paintings, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Auguste Renoir and their friends, this 3-hour movie is for you.

The whole story of friendship and rivalty is told by old Claude Monet, but mostly we see young Claude Monet played by this excellent actor:

The Impressionists Richard Armitage

If you didn’t recognize him, here is a hint 🙂


Young Claude Monet is one of best roles performed by Richard Armitage. And it’s very interesting to see in “The Impressionists” landscapes of Giverny, Normandy and Provence comparatively to the paintings that immortalized them.

Claude Monet Lilac Irises Claude Monet Jeanne-Marguerite Lecadre in the garden

Claude Monet. Lilac Irises; Claude Monet. Jeanne-Marguerite Lecadre in the Garden.

Pictures found via google.

“Midnight in Paris” (2011)


A wonderful sunny movie about a writer who is in love with another epoch and found how to travel to his favourite time.

Woody Allen is man of genius, and it’s one of his best movies.

Ask the Dust (2006)

Colin Farrell is an extremely talented actor, but usually his talent is not used by cinema makers even at 50 percents. Ask the Dust is a rare movie where he’s not playing a gangster/bad guy killed for nothing in a final scene.

The movie plot is very French – and when I say French I mean a kind of story focused strictly on 2 persons and their relationship. Other characters can appear (and disappear), but after all their only function is to make the main couple more significant. If you’ve seen some movies by Truffaut, like La Peau Douce or La Femme d’à côté, their plots have this typical French structure.

Ask the Dust is a movie about a writer (performed by Colin Farrell) and a waitress (played by Salma Hayek) who met in 1933 in Los Angeles. He’s not rich, she’s just poor, and their story is more dramatic than a usual love story in cinema.

It seems to me that the director likes very much old movies, and in his film he tried to get as close as possible to their style and their leisurely tempo. For example, the opening credits are made in a form of book:


Costumes and cars are very stylish:

ask03 ask09ask14 ask22 ask23 ask25 ask28 ask36 ask37 ask47 ask70 ask71 ask72 ask73

I like to see typewriters in movies, and this one is Underwood:

ask02 ask39

The cast is also including such excellent actors as Donald Sutherland and Eileen Atkins. She asks Arturo: ‘Do you have a job?’ and after his answer ‘I’m a writer’ looks at him with such an expression, as if it’s not a profession at all.

Being Julia (2004)

It’s a film adaptation of Theatre, one of best novels by W. Somerset Maugham. I think the director adored the book and wanted to create a correct – well, let’s call it correct translation to the language of cinema. And as I am an admirer of the novel, I like very much this approach 🙂

Both movie and novel are about theatre people, about an actress who falls in love with an insignificant young man, and about theatre again. It’s a kind of competition: who will win, life or theatre?

All the actors work as one wonderful team. Maybe Jeremy Irons and Michael Gambon are particularly good, but Annette Benning really surprised me – she was just splendid as Julia.

teatre16 teatre02 teatre03 teatre04 teatre05 teatre06 teatre07 teatre08 teatre09 teatre10 teatre11 teatre12 teatre14 teatre15

Though the film is not about Belle Epoque (heroes live and act in 1938), it’s always a pleasure to see excellent actors in a good movie. And if you didn’t read Theatre before, read it. Maugham himself worked many years as dramatist and mentioned many interesting moments in his novel.

The Wings of the Dove (1997)

It’s also a film adaptation, this time of a novel by Henry James. Well, historical movies about Belle Epoque are often adaptations, and if we want to see what this distant time was like, cinema can offer an imitation.

Costumes in this movie are very good:

wings28 dove wings01 wings02 wings03 wings04 wings05  wings07 wings08 wings09 wings10 wings11 wings12 wings14 wings15 wings16 wings17 wings18 wings19 wings20 wings21 wings22 wings23 wings24 wings25 wings26

And the heroes come in Venice (I love Venice). And Helena Bonham Carter is a very good actress, and there’s also Michael Gambon, I like his works very much, but – but I didn’t like this movie.

I think a movie about the passion should be made with passion, but this movie is cold. And the second problem is, I think, a problem created by Henry James. He wants to make me believe that a reporter in this time cannot earn enough to have a family, but it’s not true. Of course he and his wife wouldn’t live like millionaires, but they could marry and live a normal life.

The Lady with the Little Dog (“Дама с собачкой”, 1960)

A b/w film adaptation of a classic story written by Anton Chekhov. According to the Russian tradition the movie completely follows the plot and even the dialogues of the original text.

It’s an old movie where a movemenet of eyelashes means more than a sex scene in a contemporary movie, – and after all I wouldn’t say it’s an ordinary love story. I think Dmitry and Anna (played by wonderful Iya Savvina) imagined their love because they are both unhappy in their marriages. But it’s just my own opinion (Chekhov is not a simple writer and his stories can have many meanings).

03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 12 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 24 25 27 28 29post office

And here

23unkle Vanya

is seen a detail of a poster for Chekhov’s play “Unkle Vanya”, performed in Moscow in 1899. It’s not only very nice, but also historically correct, because The Lady with the Little Dog was published the same year.

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