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Two Buckets, Filling One Another - Laura Wise

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December 28th, 2013


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05:12 pm - Two Buckets, Filling One Another
Hullo!

I will have News in a couple of days, but for now, let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings. Or rather, I'll talk about seeing the cinema showing of the RSC's Richard II, with David Tennant. Or rather again, I'll talk about one thing that struck me most particularly as I was thinking back about my reactions.

I really really prefer works where the protagonist and antagonist are well-matched, just as I prefer romances where the hero and heroine are equally well-developed and strong.

David Tennant was SUCH a strong Richard, chock-full of caprice, danger, and star power. (We pass over the truly unfortunate hair and nightgown what the hell WAS that costuming.) He was great at verse-speaking with a nice touch for both the lines that afford comedy and the poetry, and of the five Richards I've seen, he's probably the one I most believed to be a king. (Bad king, yes, but KING.) The production's Bolingbroke, though -- Nigel Lindsay was perfectly solid, and his reading of Bolingbroke as sort of thuggish is not out of order or anything, but he wasn't Tennant's match. And that means that for me, the production was unbalanced.

This is not the reaction I had to the Hollow Crown production: I have a visceral dislike of Ben Whishaw and I quite quite like Rory Kinnear so I was Team Bolingbroke Yay during that one, but Whishaw and Kinnear are equally powerful. That's what I like.

(Yes, I know that Prince Hal tells us in the next play. "two stars keep not their motion in one sphere." Whatever, Hal, your victory wouldn't be as strong if Hotspur weren't a freakin' star, okay?)

What matched pair in fiction or film or drama is your favorite?

May you have buckets of goodness in your weekend. :)

(16 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:kathyh
Date:December 28th, 2013 11:07 pm (UTC)
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Commenting here now just to confuse you :)

I do agree about Bolingbroke. He started out quite well and then faded when he should have become stronger. I wish we'd been able to see a combination of David Tennant and Rory Kinnear.

Have a lovely weekend :)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:December 28th, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
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Yes, Lindsay faded to nothing in both the castle and the deposition scene. A good Bolingbroke should be dangerous just standing there. :)

(And yes, Tennant and Kinnear would have been cool. However, as I was pondering this, I suddenly was struck by the vision of Tennant's Richard against Matthew MacFadyen's Bolingbroke. Wouldn't that have been something?)

Hugs, K! And thanks for your earlier review, which I did go back to. :)
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From:mamculuna
Date:December 28th, 2013 11:12 pm (UTC)
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Who knows if I'll ever get to see the Tennant version, but I did very much like the Hollow Crown RII, and now that you say it, I can see that the good match was one of the big reasons. I will say that I didn't think that the Hollow Crown HIVp1 (at least, haven't seen pt 2 yet) worked as well on that basis. In that play, I want the good balance also between Hotspur and Falstaff (who to me are the two directions Hal is pulled in), and I don't think it was there with Armstrong and Beale.

A great pairing? Oddly, the first thing that came to me was James Mason and Peter Sellers in Lolita! Both twisted and weird, both with something really there. I want to think of a female pair, and maybe I will by morning...
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:December 28th, 2013 11:33 pm (UTC)
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The cool thing about the Hollow Crown HIV Part I is that while I agree that we don't see the right balance with Hotspur and Falstaff, we have such a compelling Henry IV in Jeremy Irons that I saw the play afresh. :)

What a fascinating great pairing! :) I actually almost immediately thought of Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday.

Cheers and a lovely weekend to you!
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From:janus_74
Date:December 29th, 2013 12:03 am (UTC)
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News sounds intriguing :) Play sounds neat as well.
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From:laurawise
Date:December 29th, 2013 11:40 am (UTC)
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Thanks, T! Also, hugs and good cheer to you. :)
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From:gwynnega
Date:December 29th, 2013 01:04 am (UTC)
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I can't help but think of Anna Devane and Dr. Obrecht on GH. I'm always rooting for Anna, of course, but Dr. O. is such a fabulous antagonist. :-)
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From:laurawise
Date:December 29th, 2013 11:41 am (UTC)
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Oh, that's a fine example. They're both powerful figures indeed, with interesting vulnerabilities. [nods]

Hugs and a good Sunday!
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:December 29th, 2013 01:50 pm (UTC)
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Kelly and Scotty! Laura and Remington Steele! [hands to heart]

:)

Thanks, L, and hugs and a great day.
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From:lazy_neutrino
Date:December 29th, 2013 04:06 pm (UTC)
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We've just been given The Hollow Crown DVD set for Christmas (we plan to watch it during this Christmas break, with mulled wine and mince pices although, sadly, no snow). Have not seen the DT, but managed to - finally! - watch his Hamlet which we'd recorded, um, two years ago... Excellent, but a bit too scenery-chewing in parts. A good Horatio, though.

For a matched pair - Adrian Lester's Othello and Rory Kinnear's Iago. Two months on and I'm still going 'Wow.' I will be going 'Wow' forever, I think.
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From:laurawise
Date:December 29th, 2013 09:58 pm (UTC)
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Peter de Jersey WAS a good Horatio to DT's Hamlet! :)

And I am envious and yet pleased to hear how wonderful Lester and Kinnear were in Othello. That makes it fairly well unanimous among people I know. Wish I'd seen it.

Cheers and a happy New Year to you!
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From:beadattitude
Date:December 29th, 2013 06:10 pm (UTC)
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I had NO idea he played Richard III, I'll be very interested to see that.

His Hamlet was the one RSC production I've not had huge problems with, and I think a great deal of that had to do with Patrick Stewart being so strong. A lot of times, Claudius oddly fades into the woodwork because Hamlet is so BIG.

I saw Hamlet with Daniel Day Lewis (days before his nervous breakdown) and it was AWFUL. Just dreadful. Everyone seemed so dead inside, and when Polonius died, I left shortly there after because it was just painful. Just painful. I think they knew they were on a slow trainwreck and worried about their star.

And no, I lied, I did enjoy Lear, which had Ian McKellen as Gloucester. My father didn't, because the sets were extremely minimal. But again, it was unbalanced, because I kept wanting Ian McKellen to come back.

I have so many pairings I don't know where to begin.

I looked up Hiddleston's Crispin's Day speech, and have to admit, I still love Branagh's rah-rah version better. Hiddleston's was so....exhausted and...no rah. Hollow Crown does get the gritty dragging reality of what they were trying to do, though. How very very different than Olivier's, hmmm?

I'm glad it's not just me about Whishaw.
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From:laurawise
Date:December 29th, 2013 10:00 pm (UTC)
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Yes, if there could be a definitive Claudius PStewart would be it.

I prefer Hiddleston's Hal to his Henry, but I might be alone in that. :)

Cheers and hugs to you! (And no Whishaw without warning.)
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From:stateless82
Date:December 30th, 2013 04:35 am (UTC)
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Because I've been thinking about it- Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole in A Lion in Winter. They were amazing.

[User Picture]
From:laurawise
Date:December 30th, 2013 01:00 pm (UTC)
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Oh, what a great pair!

While I was with my father before Christmas we watched How to Steal a Million, in which Peter O'Toole was fabulous. But he and Audrey, while great together, weren't QUITE matched. :)

Hugs!

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