Optimum celebrates 10 years with Tolstoy film

Optimum Film Releasing is ten years old today, according to ScreenDaily. It has an impressive track record of distributing very interesting independent films in the UK. Rudo & Cursi is currently on release and the charming Coco Before Chanel is due on 31 July. Optimum has just announced that it has acquired the UK rights to a film I'm really looking forward to: The Last Station, which is the story of the final year in the life of Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) and his marriage to Countess Sofya (Helen Mirren). The film is written and directed by Michael Hoffman, and also stars James McAvoy, Paul Giamatti and Anne-Marie Duff.

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Looking forward to An Education

An Education is to be released in UK cinemas on 30 October 2009, and I'm very much looking forward to it. It went down very well at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. My fear is that, being the kind of independent film it is, it will only end up in the small independent cinemas like the wonderful Harbour Lights in Southampton or have very short runs in the multiplexes. I hope UK film distributors E1 (and Sony Pictures Classics in the USA) will give it a good push. It won two prizes at the Sundance Film Festival easlier this year: World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic and the World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic.

Carey Mulligan, who for Doctor Who fans is unforgettable as Sally Sparrow in 'Blink', stars as a brilliant teenager who is set to go to Oxford, when she falls under the spell of a wealthy, urbane older man. The cast also includes Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Emma Thompson, and Dominic Cooper. Perhaps even more exciting that this impressive line-up is that the screenplay was written by Nick Hornby. An Education is directed by Danish director Lone Scherfig. I confess I knew nothing about her until yesterday, but what I've read suggests she's very talented.

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David Tennant to be in St Trinian's II

Filming started in London yesterday (6 July) on St. Trinian’s II: The Legend Of Fritton’s Gold.
As a boy I loved the original St. Trinian's films, especially the first three: The Belles of St. Trinian's (1954), Blue Murder at St. Trinian's (1957) and The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery (1966). I have no recollection of director Frank Launder's other two in the series, The Pure Hell of St. Trinian's (1960) and The Wildcats of St. Trinian's (1980). When Oliver Parker's new version, simply called St. Trinian's, in 2007, I didn't want to watch it because it was unlikely to be good enough to compare with my childhood memories. And the reviews were not, on the whole, very positive.

I'm hoping Parker and co-driector Barnaby Thompson will do a better job of this new one, not least because it will be starring David Tennant. Rupert Everett will return as the headmistress, Miss Fritton, and it will also star Colin Firth, Gemma Arterton, Talulah Riley, Jodie Whittaker, Juno Temple, Tamsin Egerton, Celia Imrie, Fenella Wollgar and Montserrat Lombard.

Screen Daily reports:

The film see the girls embark on a rollercoaster-style treasure hunt for the legendary Fritton’s Gold, which sees them face the villainous Pomfrey, played by Tennant, and his sidekicks from the women-hating secret society known as AD1.

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© Tony Watkins, 2020
The Tony and Jane Watkins Trust oversees and supports the ministries of Tony and Jane Watkins in Christian training, education, and communication. It is a charity registered in England and Wales, no. 1062254.
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