Netflix‘s most expensive endeavour yet, The Crown, focuses on Queen Elizabeth‘s rise to the throne beginning from her marriage to King Philip. Set to take place over six seasons at ten episodes each, you can bet the Internet Television purveyor is confident in its investment. The ambitious drama series takes us within the walls of Buckingham Palace, peeling-off the Royal Family mask and giving us fly-on-the-wall access with a few scandalous surprises along the way. Stephen Frears returns to direct here after finding Oscar success on familiar territory with 2006’s The Queen.
We had the pleasure of previewing the first few episodes of The Crown and right away found ourselves swept away into Queen Elizabeth‘s (Claire Foy) world after suddenly she is thrust into the spotlight with the sudden passing of her father, King George (Jared Harris). We had little clue who Foy was before setting her eyes upon her here, but we quickly have become a huge fan of her already. Possessing physically one-part the relatability of Reese Witherspoon and one-part the commanding elegance of a Felicity Jones, something feels familiar about her. She captivates at every turn and we want very much to see her transformation as a young wife, mother, daughter and sister into a powerful world ruler. We want also to witness and understand the change in family dynamics that come with her new role.
Aside from the Queen‘s journey, we get insight on some of the power struggles both the Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Jon Lithgow) and Royal Family in the wake of King George‘s (Jared Harris) death,the former venerable and vulnerable as his standing in the political world is threatened as others chomp at the bit to succeed him. The Crown reads at times as a political drama and other times like a juicy soap opera.
We see Princess Margaret also as an arresting young beauty involved in an illicit romance with married Group Captain Peter Townsend (Ben Miles), Vanessa Kirby playing the much criticized public figure with great empathy. Her carefree nature juxtaposes well with her sister’s great focus when matters become serious after her father’s passing.
Matt Smith balances a young King Philip with a perfect aloofness and at once an awareness that keeps us invested with him as an outsider looking into a world rooted deeply in tradition and history, in which he along with we, are just getting immersed.
Performances aside, the cinematography is simply breathtaking and clearly we see where that well-publicized budget of $7.5 million per episode was spent in all the detail.
The Crown looks to be an adored staple for seasons to come. We’re thrilled for the world to discover the Royal Family as you’ve never seen them before. Netflix Canada stream the first 10 episodes of THE CROWNFriday, November 4, 2016.
See this brand-new Featurette from the Series:
We had the pleasure of meeting both Vanessa Kirby and Jared Harris, just recently in Toronto for the Series. More here.
Seven-time Tour de France-winning Cyclist Lance Armstrong certainly is no stranger to controversy and not one, but two Films are on their way about his fall from grace after his doping offences were brought to light.
Just beginning production this past weekend, Stephen Frears (The Queen, Philomena) is directing a Biopic simply known as The Cycling Project, based on the Book Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong by David Walsh. Cast in the role of Sportswriter Walsh is Australian Actor Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, The Sapphires), who persistently hounds Armstrong for years. Playing Armstrong is Ben Foster (seen above) who has been selective in his roles to date, but soon will be seen in Kill Your Darlings, opposite Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan. He currently is attached to Robin Wright and both were spotted in Toronto at TIFF ’13 just last month. StudioCanal is producing the Film. TIFF ’14, perhaps?
Also premiering at TIFF ’13 was Documentary The Armstrong Lie by Filmmaker Alex Gibney who followed Armstrong for four yearsfollowing his Comeback post-Cancer to his admission of doping in 2012, following a federal investigation. The Film includes interviews with Armstrong‘s Teammates and Doctors. “It’s not a Story about doping, it’s a story about Power and hanging onto that Power”, says Gibney. Mongrel Media releases on Friday, November 29, 2013.
See the Trailer for The Armstrong Lie below:
(Photo credit: StudioCanal | Video credit: Mongrel Media)