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costume in cinema

19th century, costume in cinema

Movie Review: Bel Ami (2012)

Hey look at me, doing all this blogging!  I’ve been thinking that I will post costume movie reviews as individual blog posts, and then also cross-post them to the appropriate Costume in Cinema page for posterity.  That way, it creates a bit more content for this here blog, plus allows you to let me know what you thought of the movie (and/or my review).

Bel Ami (2012)

Starring Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Christina Ricci.  Costumes designed by Odile Dicks-Mireaux.

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Based on an 1880s French novel written by Guy de Maupassant… and if that doesn’t give you an idea of the tone of this movie, then let me summarize late 19th century French literature for you:  the people are pretty, but the emotions are BLEAK and will hammer you over the head with their BLEAKNESS!  My boyfriend Robert Pattinson is Georges Duroy, a poor Algerian vet who climbs the Parisian social ladder by manipulating various women.   Pattinson’s performance is better than you might expect, you Twilight haters, but there’s a bit too much grimacing instead of emoting; the three female leads turn in nice performances, but nothing that made me jump up and down.  It’s unclear just what Duroy’s charm over women is supposed to be, exactly — most men can’t stand him, but when he smile/grimaces at a lady (or brings her a pear?), she just keels over, which never ends up working out too well for her.  The costumes are very pretty and quite accurate — I think the opening title card says it’s 1890, but I could be misremembering — they perfectly capture that transition between late 1880s bustle and 1890s.  Lots of pretty sleeveless evening gowns with that vertical line, hair up on top of the head in that pre-Pompadour (except Thurman, who randomly has hair that is about a decade out of style).  None of the gowns made me jump up and down, but they all looked RIGHT, and that’s saying something!  Also, I kept hoping Pattinson’s brows were going to get shaped up as his lot improved, but no dice.

My rating:  2 (out of 5)

If you like this era, you might also want to check my Victorian costume movie reviews.  I specifically recommend the following late bustle/early 1890s costume films:  An Ideal Husband (1999) and Tipping the Velvet (2002).


15th century, costume in cinema, Frock Flicks

Finally! New Frock Flicks Podcast!

It’s taken a very long time, and this time it’s MY fault — but there’s finally a new episode of the Frock Flicks costume movie podcast!

This time we invite Francis to join us as we watch the first two episodes of Showtime’s The Borgias (season 2 is premiering soon, so it’s sort of topical!).  Listen as we geek out on shoes and eyeglasses, discuss historical body ideals, and bemoan the shy guys!

Warning: Not for the easily offended, totally sober, or honestly, anyone under 21. This one finally went over the top & we gave it an “explicit” tag in iTunes for frequent discussion of male body parts. Give us a break, there weren’t a ton of costumes to look at. Just pope-y stuff, so we kinda went south fast.

Grab a cocktail & go here:
http://www.trystancraft.com/frockflicks/frockflicks.xml

Or go here, click “View in iTunes,” & then click “Subscribe.”  Then you’ll get all our updates whenever you open iTunes & refresh your podstreams.

The time lag, for once, is my fault — I told Trystan I’d take over editing and uploading the podcasts, because I wanted to do more and get them posted quicker.  Well, when you hear Sarah inviting you all to the costume bloggers meetup at LAST year’s Costume College, you can know it was my lagger-y-ness to blame!

Let us know what you think!

16th century, 19th century, 20th century, costume in cinema

Finally: New Costume Movie Reviews!

I’ve had a list of movies to review lingering for-evah, and finally got around to writing them up!  They are:

  • Ancient – 16th c.: The Borgias, Camelot (TV series), Gunpowder Treason & Plot (a slightly older BBC miniseries), and The Princess of Montpensier
  • Victorian: Jane Eyre (2011 feature), The Crimson Petal & the White
  • Edwardian: Angel
  • 20th Century:  Bride Flight, Garden of Eden, Glorious 39, Midnight in Paris, South Riding, Women in Love

And as always, the Upcoming Movies page is up to date.

18th century, costume in cinema

Les Adieux à la Reine – oh goody, another travesty!

Thanks to Heileen, who posted a photo from the upcoming French film “Les Adieux à la Reine” (Farewell My Queen) on Facebook, starring Diane Kruger as Marie-Antoinette in a story about her relationship with her reader in her final days.  I had to track down more to confirm suspicions — what I found was a making-of video in French, and I screencapped some of the costumes… and I am disappointed!  Apparently MA is a drag queen, aniline dyes are period, necklines come up to the throat, and Ye Olde Back Lacing Bodice rears its ugly head.

I also found this video, also in French but with tons of costume shots (mostly of extras), if you want to poke the wound a bit more.

Please to discuss!

costume in cinema

Upcoming Costume Movies!

I’ve got a ton of reviews to write, but in the meantime… I’ve added a bunch of new upcoming costume movies to my listings — including Anonymous (apparently the Earl of Oxford wrote the Shakespeare plays!), Three Musketeers (did you know they had airships in 17th c. France?), My Week with Marilyn (is Michelle Williams REALLY Marilyn Monroe material?), W.E. (about Wallis Simpson — check out the photo gallery Sewphisticate linked to on FB), Farewell My Queen (French film about the final days of Marie Antoinette), the various Snow Whites, and more!

costume in cinema

New Costume Movie Reviews

It’s been a looooooooooong time since I’ve had a moment to write any movie reviews, but I finally found the time!  Here you go:

  • Frenchman’s Creek on the 17th c. page
  • The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister on the Regency page
  • Cheri, Downton Abbey, The King’s Speech, and Miss Marie Lloyd Queen of the Music Hall on the Edwardian page
  • Cracks, Land Girls, and Upstairs Downstairs on the 20th c. page
  • And, the Upcoming Movies page is up to date (The Borgias FTW!)