dirac

New BBC Fonteyn movie "Margot"

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A film based on the latter part of Margot Fonteyn's life and career is planned.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1172991

But the film, being made for BBC4 by director Otto Bathurst (who made last year's superb Criminal Justice TV drama) and screen writer Amanda Coe, will also delve into the dark side of her marriage to Dr Roberto Arias, a shady diplomat with Panamanian credentials and an eye for women who weren't his wife.

Seems to me this can only be a mediocre effort at best. Apart from anything else, casting a non-dancer as Fonteyn means the dance sequences will have to be shot under less than optimal circumstances, and Duff seems about as appropriate a choice for Fonteyn as her hubby James McAvoy would be for Tito or Rudi. Oh, well.

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James McAvoy was terrific in the British TV series "Shameless". He's a lot more versatile than his romantic lead roles would suggest, and he's very adept with a dark side underneath surface charm.

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I didn't mean he was a bad or limited actor. I meant he was unsuited for either role - not the type in the one case, and not a dancer in the other. (There are other ways, too, but it's off topic. Shouldn't have mentioned it in the first place, sorry, but I thought it was a passing remark that wouldn't inspire debate. Let's talk about the film, everyone. :yahoo:)

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A film based on the latter part of Margot Fonteyn's life and career is planned.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1172991

But the film, being made for BBC4 by director Otto Bathurst (who made last year's superb Criminal Justice TV drama) and screen writer Amanda Coe, will also delve into the dark side of her marriage to Dr Roberto Arias, a shady diplomat with Panamanian credentials and an eye for women who weren't his wife.

Seems to me this can only be a mediocre effort at best. Apart from anything else, casting a non-dancer as Fonteyn means the dance sequences will have to be shot under less than optimal circumstances, and Duff seems about as appropriate a choice for Fonteyn as her hubby James McAvoy would be for Tito or Rudi. Oh, well.

I have written at length elsewhere on this subject and will concur with dirac's, "Seems to me this can only be a mediocre effort at best."

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Looking on the bright side, it's possible for even less than great movies about ballet to inspire new interest in the art. Perhaps this one will, as well.

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I can't say I'm inspired by the photograph of Huff: it's hard to imagine how she'd physicalize Fonteyn's offstage carriage and grace.

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This is of interest.

Just in case, Covent Garden stars, past and present, are being considered to 'dance' the role.

They include the likes of Alina Cojocaru, for instance, or Darcy Bussell - although a balletomane observed, wickedly, that Ms Bussell might be too 'robust' to make us think of Fonteyn's slim, elegant physique.

Maybe we need a new "Everything Else Ballet" thread: who should dance Fonteyn?

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Alexandra Ansanelli

YES - Any maybe act it too. I have not idea if AA can act but she has an elegant quality the Fonteyn had & is beautiful.

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Alexandra Ansanelli

YES - Any maybe act it too. I have not idea if AA can act but she has an elegant quality the Fonteyn had & is beautiful.

That was my first thought -- cast her to do both. But they'd have to shoot her dancing from the waist up, unless she spent a lot of time trying to move like Fonteyn. She moves her legs and feet very differently than Fonteyn.

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She moves her legs and feet very differently than Fonteyn.

True, but that would only make a difference to the likes of us, perhaps. The general audience would see a beautiful ballerina with a general resemblance to Fonteyn, and that would be enough.

I saw Duff in The Magdalene Sisters and yet another miniseries on Elizabeth I, and while she seems a good actress I can’t imagine her as Fonteyn.

YES - Any maybe act it too. I have not idea if AA can act but she has an elegant quality the Fonteyn had & is beautiful.

I find that often as not in ballet-themed films the ballet dancers are at least as good as any professional actors in the cast (and sometimes better)!

I have not seen Tamara Rojo, but would she be appropriate?

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It should have been Anne Hathaway, who so resembles Fonteyn in looks, IMO.

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I don't see Ansanelli bearing much of a resemblance to Fonteyn looks wise, other than they both have dark hair. Rojo may be a better fit (again, only basing this on looks). Duff looks nothing like Fonteyn, but I can't really think of another actress who could be a good fit. Emily Mortimer and Emily Blunt are too tall (although about the same height as Duff, according to their imdb bios). Maybe Natalie Portman?

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I saw Ansanelli do a fabulous imitation of Fonteyn in the opening of the Fonteyn movement of "Homage to the Queen" last year: same eyes, same head tilt, same neck. It was quite remarkable.

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I don't see Ansanelli bearing much of a resemblance to Fonteyn looks wise, other than they both have dark hair.

True, but Ansanelli is a dancer. (If the makers of "Isadora" back in the Sixties had cast Lynn Seymour as in the title role, she wouldn't have been an exact physical match, but in spirit and style she would have been as close to Isadora as anyone could have gotten.)

Duff also strikes me as a little young for the movie's time frame described in the article - she will be playing the middle aged Fonteyn, not the young dancer. So in the best of all possible worlds a suitable mature ballerina would be cast in the role, although no one springs to mind offhand.

It may be, of course, that the filmmakers don't intend on showing much if any dancing, in which case the project would indeed be worth very little....

Thanks for commenting, everyone! Keep posting.

(Edited to note that my comment was in response to Old Fashioned's post and not Helene's, which I didn't see before posting, and so I've altered this post slightly to reflect that.)

Edited by dirac

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She does have that million dollar smile, doesn't she, although the eyebrows need a little work. (But then I really like Anne Hathaway, so I’m slightly biased. A delightful talent.)

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True, but Ansanelli is a dancer. (If the makers of "Isadora" back in the Sixties had cast Lynn Seymour as in the title role, she wouldn't have been an exact physical match, but in spirit and style she would have been as close to Isadora as anyone could have gotten.)

Duff also strikes me as a little young for the movie's time frame described in the article - she will be playing the middle aged Fonteyn, not the young dancer. So in the best of all possible worlds a suitable mature ballerina would be cast in the role, although no one springs to mind offhand.

It may be, of course, that the filmmakers don't intend on showing much if any dancing, in which case the project would indeed be worth very little....

Thanks for commenting, everyone! Keep posting.

Do you mean the film "Isadora" with Vanessa Redgrave or the marvelous other Isadora film that starred the wonderful British actress Vivienne Pickles in the title role. ? Totally a non dancer, Ms. Pickles brought huge passion and clarity to the role. Well directed and with a good script, a non dancer could realistically play Fontyne. It also would depend on the story line. While we define the life of Fontyne by her dancing (duh!), still her other life away from ballet could prove quite a story. Wait and see.

mimsyb

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Thank you for mentioning the movie with Vivian Pickles, mimsyb. I had heard of it but I’ve never seen it. It is true that depending on the story line chosen, there may not be much dancing involved. I guess in this case we can only wait and see!

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You won't get flamed by me. Fonteyn was not a beauty, I agree. But on the stage it didn't matter, because there the charisma and skill of the performer can create the illusion of beauty. But she had pretty features, a lovely smile and figure, and, as she once noted, nice legs, and she made the most of what she had with impeccable grooming. She also photographed well in stills.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say Hathaway is too beautiful to play her, though.

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You won't get flamed by me. Fonteyn was not a beauty, I agree. But on the stage it didn't matter, because there the charisma and skill of the performer can create the illusion of beauty. But she had pretty features, a lovely smile and figure, and, as she once noted, nice legs, and she made the most of what she had with impeccable grooming. She also photographed well in stills.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say Hathaway is too beautiful to play her, though.

No flaming here either. Fonteyn had beautiful proportions in a classical sense. Just beautiful and pleasing to look at. Photos of a young Fonteyn reveal a South American look (in my opinion) that was not so apparent as she matured.

I still vote for Alexandra Ansanelli (a useless fantasy)

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By the standards of her day Fonteyn was a beauty (and in my ancient eyes, remains so), but I'm praying this ill-conceived project never gets off the ground. I'll be grateful for the recession if it prevents this abomination getting to the screen.

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Sounds like this might be a good topic for a Ballet Talk POLL. :(

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Perhaps 'Generation Me' would prefer that Alina Somova be Fonteyn? (tee-hee)

Awww, c'mon guys, Fonteyn was (is) THE epitome of the perfect face, the perfect features, the perfect body for ballet -- though I am not saying that her technical skills then would match-up to today's ballerinas, 50 yrs later. [she most likely would have matched or exceeded today's requirements, had they been requirements.] Every time that I've seen Anne Hathaway on the red carpet, her hair up, in a glamorous super-slim beaded gown, I instantly remember Fonteyn.

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