Sunday, July 14, 2013

HOLLYWOOD SPY EXTENSIVE SPOTLIGHT ON BBC & STARZ EPIC SHOW "THE WHITE QUEEN" WITH DAVID OAKES, REBECCA FERGUSON, JANET MCTEER, ANEURIN BARNARD. WHAT WE THINK ABOUT THE SHOW SO FAR!

  THE WHITE QUEEN
 WAR OF THE ROSES
Here in Europe we are already watching the first season of new BBC historical show THE WHITE QUEEN, but here's a spotlight and a review of what we've seen so far for all of those who will watch the show on Starz over in USA from August. Depicting the famous War of the Roses in which King Edward IV fought for the throne with his brothers and other candidates, the show throws a focus on a number of women who also took part in the fight either through plots and intrigues or even through use of magic. You can expect a more of a refined, elegant European court show than one of those American epic gorefests.

  WHITE QUEEN STORY
WOMEN IN WAR
The year is 1464 and England has been at war for nine years battling over who is the rightful King of England: ­ it is a war between The House of York and The House of Lancaster. The House of York’s young and devilishly handsome Edward IV (Max Irons) is crowned King of England with the help of the master manipulator Lord Warwick “The Kingmaker” (James Frain). But when Edward falls in love and secretly marries a beautiful young widow, the commoner Elizabeth Woodville (Rebecca Ferguson) Warwick’s plan for control over the English throne comes crashing down around him. Frustrated by the new Queen’s influence he will stop at nothing to maintain his grip on the King. The captivating and beautiful Elizabeth Woodville marries for the love of her King, with the help of her mother Jacquetta (Janet McTeer) a self proclaimed sorceress. Elizabeth’s most fierce adversary is the staunchly loyal Lancastrian Margaret Beaufort (Amanda Hale)­ a damaged and highly religious woman who would willingly lay down her life to see her young son Henry Tudor take the throne. And then there is Anne Neville (Faye Marsay), Lord Warwick's daughter – a pawn in her father’s battle for control, who finds her strength and ambition when she takes control of her destiny and marries the King’s younger brother Richard Duke of Gloucester (Aneurin Barnard). David Oakes plays Edward's other brother George, Duke of Clarence, Eleanor Tomlinson is his wife Isabel Neville, and Tom McKay portrays Jasper Tudor, Margaret Beaufort's secret love.

  WHITE QUEEN ACTORS
OLD SCHOOL VS NEW FACES
I've noticed around the net that most people agree with my opinion that Max Irons is the weakest link in the cast. His high school acting and absence of expressive depth don't really correspond well with the role of a royal authority. Rebecca Ferguson is rather charismatic, but sometimes maybe too modern. Both her and Amanda Hale (playing the extremely of putting character of Lady Beaufort) often use facial expressions which are maybe a bit too modern for a medieval show. For me, Oscar nominee Janet McTeer steals the show as refined, wise and calm Lady Rivers, queen's mother. She shows a deep understanding of her character without being overly theatrical like her younger cast members.
My general problem is that the events in the plot happen so quickly leaving no space for character development and even after four of five episodes we aren't introduced more closely to the characters and the nuances within them.

  WHITE QUEEN COSTUMES
HISTORICAL INACCURACIES
The costumes are sometimes outstanding and exciting, and at some points strangely plane, monotonous and washed out, but since I didn't explore the fashion of the period more closely, I won't criticize too much since it might be true that the outfits of the period weren't so intricate and ornately designed and patterned like those from later eras. There were many historical inaccuracies with costumes (corduroy jackets, almost visible zippers, rubber soles on shoes), but viewers, in general, don't notice such details, so I guess all is well and I wouldn't be overly petty about it.

OUR FAVOURITE SCENE
 ELIZABETH VS DUCHESS CICELY
You probably shouldn't miss the scene in the second episode when Elizabeth Woodville is finally brought to the court as the new queen and goes to get introduced to the king's mother Duchess Cicely. Thinking   she will humiliate Elizabeth by showing power and her bitter tongue, and by expressing her disapproval of her son's choice of wife and her readiness to disown her own son denying him the throne, Cicely actually unexpectedly faces a mighty storm in both Elizabeth and her  outstandingly wise mother Lady Rivers (who is never caught of-guard or unprepared for action) which ends with Cicely being forced to bow and kneel in front of the new queen. Don't miss the hugely entertaining scene!

  WHITE QUEEN TIDBITS
THE REAL HISTORICAL FACTS
The show will bring us three weddings and two coronations! Queen Elizabeth's coronation gown had hundreds of pearls sewn onto it! The Palace of Westminster seen in the series was built and designed  sp ecifically for this show. Production designer even had to build a real forest since the shooting took part in winter and they needed summer forest for a masque forest ball celebrating 15 years of Edward's coronation. They even made a frozen river and fake snow!
The true ending of the WHITE QUEEN story was sad: Elizabeth's and Edward's two sons were secretly killed as kids in the Tower by their own uncle Richard who was supposed to be their protector. Elizabeth, who outlived her own sons, later on married her eldest daughter to Henry Tudor, the son of Margaret Beaufort! Her daughter will then become the first queen of the new Tudor dynasty after Henry overthrows Richard. Her daughter was known as The White Princess, the mother of Henry VIII whose life we watched in THE TUDORS show.

36 comments:

  1. well that was a good healthy post on the white queen... i say, nice thank you... now hoping someday i might be able to see it.

    have a grand day!

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    1. yep, we were rather extensive today :) but there are lots of pics to look at :)
      Well, it comes to your Starz this August, or you can always Torrent it like poor little moi who lives in the middle of nowwhere and has no BBC nor STARZ

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  2. Henry VIII sure lived in a ironic life. After all that trouble for a son, his daughter becomes his true successor. Her brother ruled for a very short time.

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    1. His two daughters, to be more precise, Adam :) Mary ruled first, and when she died Elisabeth took the throne and then she ruined the dynasty by not having a direct heir and leaving the throne to Mary Queen of Scot's son :)
      British royal history is a complex, ironic and deeply crazy one....

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    1. yep and corduroy which was invented methinks in the 18th century or something like that :)

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    2. and they even have concrete stairs at the court, and concrete wasn't invented back then :)

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  4. I haven't gotten into this yet but I have been recording it!

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    1. I torrent it every week and watch it on weekends :)

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  5. I agree Dezzy, Janet is the best on the show though I'm entranced by Rebecca. FYI what happened with the princes in the tower is a mystery to this day! The bodies were never found and there is no evidence that Richard was behind it some speculate he had nothing to gain by their death even and that it was done to put him in a bad light. This came up again after his body was found and the queen did refused a dig to possible clear up this mystery.

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    1. I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I haven't seen Janet before this show, even though she's an Oscar nominee. She is really amazing.
      I know about the tower story. Having in mind the dynasty and throne plots, I tend to believe that Richard was behind it and tones of historians believe so. I don't know how can someone say that he had nothing to gain when he got the throne.

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  6. Great informative review of The White Queen Dezz. I agree with another commenter who said the *Richard III as murderer of his own nephews* story was probably propaganda by the Tudors after they executed and usurped the throne of a very popular king.

    Shakespeare was financially supported by Elizabeth I and therefore had a great deal to gain from painting RIII with a black brush.

    Can hardly wait for Aug 10 when TWQ premieres here on Starz. *historical epics rule!*

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    1. But since the mother of Tudors was the sister of the two lost princes, I will hold onto her side :) Richard did, at this is a historical fact, kill Lord Rivers, their granfather and he did put both princes into Tower. That says enough. He also kept imprisoned their sister Elisabeth and also the son of his other brother Clarence.
      You will probably enjoy the show, it is calmer and more elegant and not like GAME OF THRONES, SPARTACUS, VIKINGS and other of the current historical shows. And not sexy and glamurous like TUDORS were :)
      I'm watching the fourth episode in an hour or so :)

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    2. and I forgot to mention that he was extremely unpopular among the crowds and people due to high taxes and he was also deemed scandalous for proposing to marry his very own niece Elisabeth after his wife died.

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    3. The grandfather of the boys (their mother's father) was killed way before Richard was king. George's son, Edward, and daughter lived with Richard III and Anne, his wife, until their deaths. Edward was imprisoned by Henry Tudor and later executed by him. I feel like you don't know much. And the princes in the tower is a historical mystery, not fact...no one knows what happened. Go open a book.

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    4. I feel you should open a book. Judging from your comment you are a fangirl who likes to use random madeup facts just to support some actor who she is turned on and who plays a certain historical character in the show. Very immature.

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  7. Thanks for sharing all the tid-bits with us. With all that intrigue and betrayal, I'm sure glad we don't live in such uncivilized times anymore.

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    1. yep, I'm with Ricrar below :) We live in times in which western powers plot intrigues and lies in order to justify the attacks on smaller countries which they then rob and enslave. Quite civilized, isn't it? :( Nothing much has changed when it comes to mankind being prepared for doing evil for their causes

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  8. Lexa, no we just live in a time when we're spied upon by our own government and are targets of religious fanatics simply for not obediently wearing burqas and beards. Otherwise, it's paradise:) I do understand your point.

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    1. and read my comment to Lexa above :)

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  9. Dezzy quote: "You will probably enjoy the show, it is calmer and more elegant and not like GAME OF THRONES, SPARTACUS, VIKINGS and other of the current historical shows. And not sexy and glamurous like TUDORS were" :)

    REPLY: But I lovvvve sexy and glamorous, Dezzy:D You're right that I'll be happy to see it's not nearly as violent as the 3 shows you mentioned. Although, I do watch GoT eps about 3times each. Simultaneously reading that series of books does enhance the viewing experience. We search for HBO writers divergence from Geo Martin's books. It always amazes me that those writers seem to think they can improve on an already proven best selling series.

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    1. I love sexy and glamurous too :) but alas not much of that in WHITE QUEEN. They did put a few naked male bums and female boobs in some of the scenes, but they seem weird since they don't fit the general style of the show. They sometimes try to be something they're not - like the latest episode had a scene of a baby being pulled out of the queen's legs - not something that fits the general look of the show.

      When it comes to GOT, that show disgusts me and I decided not to watch the next season after all the torture porn in this one. They just use abnormal violence in it for pure entertainment, there's no real cause nor meaning in it. It's very dangerous. Very.

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  10. Hi Dezzie! I agree, Max Irons is a very weak link in this series. I wish they had cast a more experienced or just a good actor in the rôle. Also, sadly, it seems they recorded extra "sexed-up" scenes for the US market, at the expense of some story exposition. Not only will that be confusing, as plot lines will suffer, they also won't get to see the way an historic drama should be done... Oh well, at least I get to drool over David! LOL

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    1. yep, I said he would be weak when I heard the casting last year, but most people didn't believe me then :) I think it would've been better if David Oakes was Edward and Max played Duke of Clarence.

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  11. What's wrong with a gorefest in Medieval Times, hehehe?

    I doubt I'd notice rubber soles, but I would notice zippers! I'm sure some historical facts will be manipulated, but as long as the actual characters are not changed or distored, I can watch the series for entertainment, no historical education :)

    ......dhole

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    1. they say they didn't use zippers, but some of the backs of the dresses looked suspicious :)

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  12. More medieval stuff eh? I guess people really want Game of Thrones-esque material these days.

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    1. I'd never use horrid GOT as a reference for this genre.

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  13. Now I'm dissepointed. You didn't mention that they filmed on the locations of Bruges, Gent, Damme in Belgium. Also you didn't mention Veerle Baetens who playd the role of Margaret of Anjou.

    For the rest I find this a good review.

    Greetings
    Peter

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    1. oh, Peter, but I did mention it in most of my previous spotlights and posts on the show :)
      Margaret appears for a very short time in the show, only a few episodes or less.

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    2. This proves again that I have been to long out from the bloggers world. :-(

      They show it in authom in Belgium. My wife started looking at the BBC but she said that she will wait untill then.

      PS: I was teasing! :-D

      Greetings
      Peter

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    3. I'm torrenting it from BBC :)

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  14. I agree with facial expressions to be quite modern for a period film. Looking forward to see this one though.

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    1. you will see what I mean when you watch it, Arni. Some of the actors have very modern grimaces and moves for a medieval setting.

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