29th Nov2014

Paddington – Film

by timbaros

images-296Paddington Bear is now Paddington the Movie, and it’s very warm and fuzzy.

Paddington the Movie has been a long time coming. It’s the first film incarnation of Britian’s best loved bear, having been in book form since 1958, and it was also a 1975 television series. Paddington Bear has always been known as a stuffed animal collected and loved by many generations over the past 60 years. Now the bear film hits the big screen and it’s like Paddington Bear has turned life like!

In the beginning of the film, we see the bear (not named until he gets to London) in his natural habitat, with his family, in the hills of Peru. A terrible earthquake takes place and their habitat is destroyed, along with some of his family members. So his aunt, who is off to the bears retirement home, puts him on a boat bound for London, with bottles of marmalade for food, and in case of an emergency, a sandwich of marmalade under his hat. He’s going to London to look for an explorer who had visited Peru many years ago and told the bears that they would be welcome in London anytime.

The bear makes his way from the ship and into London via in a garbage bag, and finds himself at Paddington Station. He’s jostled and practically stepped on by daily commuters (just like the rest of us are), but he’s eventually picked up by the Brown family, including Mr. Brown (Hugh Bonneville), Mrs. Brown (Sally Hawkins), and their two children Judy (Madeleine Harris) and Jonathan (Samuel Joslin). The don’t know what to call him but in the background there is a sign that reads ‘Paddington’ – so that is what they call him – Paddington. Mr. Brown is very reluctant to take this bear home but Mrs. Brown, and the children, talk him into it to let him stay at their house for just one night. Upon arriving at their three story Notting Hill home where housekeeper Mrs. Bird (Julie Walters) maintains the household, Paddington creates a right mess his first night at the Brown’s house. He’s not sure how to use the sink and eventually floods the bathroom, causing water to cascade down the staircase and into the family’s kitchen. It’s not a good start for Paddington. But Mrs. Brown is on his side and she wants him to find the explorer so she talks Mr. Brown to take him to the Royal Geographical Society to look in their archives for M. Clyde, the famous explorer who many years ago had visited Peru. Told by the front desk that there is no record of him, Mr. Brown dresses as a cleaning woman to infiltrate the research room to get the information. But soon enough him and Paddington are caught and they make a lucky escape. As Mr. Brown and Paddington (and the children) bond, Paddington continues to look for the explorer, and one night when he overhears the Brown’s saying the he is causing too much of a mess in their home, he knocks on every M. Clyde door in town. But he’s not the only one looking, he’s also being chased by Millicent (a very mean Nicole Kidman) – a taxidermist at the Natural History Museum who wants to add him to her collection – stuffed. Will Paddington find the explorer in the hopes he will give him a home? Will he get kidnapped by Millicent and end up on her wall? How can anyone not be charmed and warmed over by his loveable face is beyond me!

Paddington the Movie does not disappoint on all levels. It’s funny, cute, loveable, charming, and a film for all members of the family. It also includes musical interludes from the era when Paddington was ‘born,’ music that is West Indian in flavour. And Ben Whishaw’s voice is perfect as Paddington (not quite grown up yet quite too young). And there are quite a few cameos in the film, including Matt Lucas as a cab driver and Peter Cipaldi as the Brown’s nosey next door neighbor. And even though a couple of the scenes in the film are a bit ridiculous (Bonneville dressed as a woman as mentioned above, and a long street chase where Paddington is returning the wallet of a man who happens to be a pickpocket), overall it’s a great film. But’s it the spirit of Paddington that this film is based on, and Producer David Heyman (Gravity) and Writer and Director Paul King successfully bring Paddington’s spirit to the film, a film to be enjoyed by all ages up to and after Christmas.

29th Nov2014

Run – Theatre

by timbaros

B3dL60NCYAARNOb.jpg-largeFour interns start new jobs at an unnamed investment bank. They work long, hard and crazy hours, perhaps too long and too hard as one of the interns dies from exhaustion.

Run, now playing (up until Saturday) at the New Diorama Theatre in Regents Place, is based on the true story of 21 year-old Moritz Erhardt from Germany. He was interning at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and worked 72 hours straight, and was found dead in the shower at his Bethnal Green flat.

Playing the four interns in the bare bones production of Run are Al Jarrett, whose character got the internship because his uncle works at the bank; Joseph Sentance plays a smart recent Cambridge graduate new to London; Beatrice Scirocchi’s character is a cold backstabber from Bosnia who will stop at nothing to get ahead; and Charlotte Watson plays a prim and proper professional, yet haunted by the death of her younger brother years ago from a heart murmur.

The four interns are thrown into an office environment, an environment that is new to them. Some of them thrive, while one of them makes an almost career-ending mistake, yet they are all interning for the same reason – to get a permanent job at the bank, and they will do whatever it takes to get the job done. In Watson’s character’s case, she looks like she will be the one who will outshine the others, but when she starts taking pills to stay awake, she literally (and figuratively) runs herself into the ground, extremely exhausted, yet she still goes back to work on very little sleep. And ultimately, ending with tragic consequences.

Run is all about the story, and the acting. And wow – all four actors are excellent. Jarrett gives an impassioned speech when he’s reprimanded by his boss – it’s a speech that will leave you breathless. Scirocchi is cold as ice because she wants a job very bad and will even turn on her fellow interns to get what she wants. Sentance is perfect in his role – he’s a natural on the small stage, and no doubt he’s bound for bigger and better things. Yet it’s Watson’s performance you will remember hours and perhaps days after you see the show. She literally runs herself down right before our very eyes, she’s tired and she knows and feels it, yet she still works far into the night, at her desk, typing away, eyes glossed.

Run is an incredible piece of work in a very tiny theatre. Kudos to the Engineer Theatre Collective who actually spoke to many people working and/or interning in the financial sector to put this show together. It’s an exhilarating piece of work, stripped right from today’s headlines. Drop your plans for tonight or Saturday and go see this show.

Tickets can be bought at: