Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Ondine is an Irish film written and directed by the Irish filmmaker Neil Jordan who made, among other things, “Interview with the vampire”. The most important character in the film is played by Colin Farell.

The story takes place in Ireland. One day, a recovering-alcoholic fisherman named Syracuse brings up a woman in his net. She doesn’t say much about herself, besides that her name is Ondine, meaning “of the sea”. She doesn’t want to be seen by anyone and Syracuse lets her live in the house of his dead mother. And surprisingly, every time she sings aboard his boat, she brings luck in his fishing. Syracuse’s daughter, Annie, concludes that Ondine must be a Selkie, a seal creature. According to the Celtic myth, a Selkie can become human during 7 years if she removes her seal coat, and can then return to the sea by putting it back on. Annie thinks Ondine is coming to live on the earth with her father and that she can use her Selkie’s wish to cure her kidney failure. Syracuse eventually falls in love with the girl, but is wary of this sudden luck. And he is right, because a mysterious man arrives in the village and he is looking for the woman. It soon becomes clear that Ondine is not really a lucky charm coming from the sea… As Syracuse gets more and more doubtful about the mythical streak in her, Ondine ends up telling him the truth: her real name is Joanna and she comes from Romania. Before she was pulled up in Syracuse’s fishing net, she was on a boat smuggling drugs with the man who is now looking for her. They were going to be caught by the police, so she jumped out of the boat with the drug. She swam as long as she could, but exhausted, she almost drowned. Almost, because she was saved by Syracuse. At the end, the man coming to get the drug back is caught by the police, as well as Joanna. She spends a while in prison and when she comes out, Syracuse decides to marry her so that she becomes Irish and can stay in Ireland with him and Annie.

I appreciated this film, because its theme is quite uncommon. In fact, all begins like a fairy-tale: a fisherman meets a kind of mermaid and they fall in love. The story takes then a more realistic turn and becomes nearly a thriller. The rhythm changes completely and this reversal finally tells us the truth about Ondine, because since the beginning we have been kept in suspense: we don’t really know if she is a creature of the sea or a simple human…
Then, it was also the occasion to contemplate some beautiful and wild Irish landscapes. In fact, the film was shoot in Cork, on the Beara Peninsula, a mountainous region known for its many fishing ports.
And finally, the story has also its moments of emotion with Annie who has to cope with her disease and its touch of humour with the priest who is good at repartee.

Amélie Bulon

The Ghost Bus Tour

During my trip in Dublin, I have done a very interactive and funny activity: the Ghost bus tour.

The bus used is specially customised for the tour. The exterior of the bus is purple, with ghosts painted on it. When you enter the bus, you quickly notice the purple seats and the curtains added to the windows to create a gloomy mood. It is dark and on the 1rst floor, there is a seated skeleton on the left, just behind the driver. To go to the 2nd floor, you have to go through black ribbons that are hanging before the steps. Once everyone is sitting, you meet the tour guide who is all dressed in black. He takes a mike and tells you that the tour includes two stops where you get off and visit locations where ghosts have allegedly been seen.

The bus leaves O’Connell Street to first stop at the College of Physicians. You stay in the bus and watch the building while the guide tells you the story of Dr Clossey, a surgeon paying body snatchers for fresh corpses. His spirit is still walking the corridors carrying a bucket of human entrails. This story leads you to St Kevins Churchyard. There, the man tells you about a priest who have been tortured and gives you more details about the grave-robbers. He asks then for a volunteer to show you how the robbers did to rob parts of the corpses.

The next stop of the tour is St Audoen’s Church and the 40 haunted steps. The apparition of the “green lady” and her child in this place has been reported in Ireland for generations. On the way back to O’Connell Street, the guide tells you about a young boy and a woman who have been possessed by the devil 40 years apart in the same area.

I appreciated it because it was a very uncommon activity. The tour guide was a very good actor and put us at our unease by locking the door of the churchyard and startling us in the dark. The bus in itself was an attraction and it was interesting to discover the chilling legends of Dublin. It is a way of learning more about the city. The activity was quite interactive because we had to recognise horror films just by hearing the sound track. We also listened to recorded tapes of a dead girl called Mary Masters and of the woman possessed by the devil. The negative points were that it was very cold outside and that it was sometimes difficult for me to understand all the details of the stories.

Amélie Bulon


Eragon is the first part of the series called Inheritance written by Christopher Paolini. The second one is titled The Elder and the third one Brisingr. The last one is not published yet.

This young author began to do researches for his novel at the age of 14 in 1998. To create the powerful and mysterious setting of the story, he drew his inspiration from the Beartooth Mountains in the wild region of Montana, where he spent his childhood. During 2 months, he read works about how to write a scenario and create characters, as well as mythological reports. At 15, he started to write the first book of the series, Eragon. He even got the idea to create different languages for each race of imaginary creatures such as the elves, the dwarves or the Urgals. 2 years later, the work was finished and it was published in the United States in 2003. Thanks to a perfect scenario and an elaborate and original language, the book became quickly a bestseller, to the great surprise of this talented author and his family.

The book tells the incredible story of Eragon, a poor farm boy, who is spending a simple life in a village of the Empire of AlagaËsia, until the time when he discovers a polished blue stone in the forest. He doesn’t know then that this stone is actually a dragon’s egg which will turn his life upside down. The legends he was told turned out to be reality as he became a powerful Dragon Rider, heir to a select caste that the king Galbatorix wants to eradicate. Eragon is only 15 and the fate of the empire rests in his hands. He will have to cover many kilometres to escape dangerous creatures such as the Urgals or the Shade who are trying to kill him. He will also learn the ancient language that enables him to use magic, learn how to handle a sword or to ride a dragon. An other important character is Brom, the story-teller. He will teach Eragon everything about the dragons, the riders, the elves and the dwarves. But the closest friend of Eragon is his dragon, Saphira. They can read in each other’s mind and are complementary.

I bought this book because I knew it was something known and appreciated by a lot of people. It is not the kind of story I usually read, but I loved it. There is a lot of action and fantasy, a bit of humour and romance. The characters are various and have each their own personality. I let my imagination carry me to a world of power, magic and destiny. The landscapes, towns and protagonists are so well described that it’s not quite difficult to see them while we are reading. There is also a map in the book to help the reader follow the route of Eragon through the cities, mountains, forests or deserts.

Amélie Bulon

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Mentalist

The Mentalist is an American television series which debuted on September 2008, on CBS. The show was created by Bruno Heller. It follows Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant in a fictionalized version of the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) based in Sacramento. Patrick Jane formerly had a lucrative career as a psychic medium and enjoyed celebrity. One day he appeared on television to claim that his paranormal abilities helped the police to find a serial killer named Red John. When this one saw the show he angered and murdered Jane's wife and young daughter in revenge.
Jane consequently gave up his career as a psychic to team up with the CBI. As the agents investigate a vast variety of crimes, Patrick adds to each investigation by incorporating elements of his experience as a mentalist. By watching human reactions and using hypnosis and autosuggestion and by looking at someone, Patrick is able to say if she/he is telling the truth or not.

eside Patrick Jane, the team of the CBI includes the agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney), agents Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti), Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) and Kendall Cho (Tim Kang).Teresa Lisbon is the chef of the team. Patrick often annoys her with his unusual behavior but she views him as a valuable member. She is also the only member of the team he trusts and they work well together, though his attitude often causes problems for her with local law enforcement. Grace Van Pelt is the newest member to the CBI. She often does research for other members. She has a deep belief in religion and psychics and often disagrees with Patrick’s ideas. Kimball Cho is the one with a dry, deadpan sense of humor and is shown to be friends with Rigsby. Probably the most down-to-earth of the group, he is often the one who sees through Jane's parlor tricks. Finally, Wayne Rigsby is an arson specialist. He develops strong feelings for Grace Van Pelt so that both begin a secret relationship.

In my opinion, this is a great series with talented actors. I particularly appreciate the character of Patrick Jane, he is very enigmatic and we never know what he is thinking. If you still don’t know the Mentalist I would recommend it, it’s worth watching.

By Laurence Henriet

Tamara Drewe

Tamara Drewe is a 2010 film adaptation, of the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds, which was itself inspired by Thomas Hardy « Far from the madding crowd ».
This comedy, directed by Stephen Frears, is the story of a young and attractive journalist called Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton), who returns after her mother’s death, to the rural village where she grew up, in order to fix up the house so that it can be sold.
Across the valley, Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam) a successful author of detective novels and his wife (Tamsin Greig) who is in fact at the origin of her husband’s success, run their country home to other novelists in search of inspiration. Joining them is Glen (Bill Camp), an American author working on a book about Thomas Hardy.
Writers are there to work but the arrival of Tamara with her new nose disturbs the peace in Ewedown Village. Tamara Drewe, once an unattractive teenage girl, has been transformed into a devastating beauty (with help from plastic surgery) and now represents the object of sexual frustration among all the men in town. They are all amazed at the improvement of her appearance but Tamara doesn’t care. After an interview with Ben Sergeant (Dominic Cooper), a British rock star, the two begin a romantic relationship and he eventually proposes much to the dismay of Ben’s obsessive fans Jody and her friend Casey. The plot’s motor is in fact provided by these two schoolgirls who will stop at nothing to make Ben change his mind and to sabotage his relationship that will create a string of consequences.

The premiere was held on 6th September 2010 at the Odeon Leicester Square and Momentum Pictures released the film in the United Kingdom on 10 September 2010.
The film premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival in May and was released nationwide in France on 14 July 2010.

In my opinion, this was not a bad movie but it did not deserve all the positive reviews I heard. I must admit I was a bit disappointed by the movie. However, I really appreciated the role of Jessica Barden (Jody) who presents a character whose motives are sinister and whose passions are overflowing.

By Laurence Henriet

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse is a museum devoted to the famous Irish beer: the Guinness. When we went to Dublin for our BA3 trip, we had the opportunity to visit this Dublin tourist attraction situated in the heart of St James's Gate Brewery. The Storehouse was originally built to house the Guinness fermentation process but it is now a museum since 2000. The Storehouse counts 8 floors.

The ground floor introduces you to the four basic ingredients you need to make the perfect Guinness beer: water, barley, hops and yeast. As you continue you also get information about the man without whom we wouldn't have known the beer, Arthur Guinness, the creator of the famous Irish drink.
On the first floor, you see how the beer is brewed and how different varieties come out of this brewery process. Visitors also explore the world of the Guinness transport.
On the second floor, you find the history of Guinness advertising. You see lots of examples of advertisements for the beer: posters, TV shows, bottles but also the different icons used to represent the famous brand.
The third floor is called the 'Choice Zone': you are here in an interactive zone where you can test your drinking habits and knowledge as well as recognise the fine line between enjoying yourself and drinking to excess.
As far as the fourth floor is concerned, it presents you the story of the building from its construction and opening in 1904 to its transformation in 2000 to become the Guinness Storehouse as it is now.
On the fifth floor you can learn to pour you own pint of Guinness. You also have two different bars in which you can sit and have a drink.
As for the sixth floor, it teaches you things about the man who was in charge of the Guinness advertising from the 1930s to 1960s, namely John Gilroy. This section of the exhibition is called "My Goodness My Gilroy" and it was opened in July 2004 to celebrate the 75th birthday of the Guinness advertising.

Last but not least, on the seventh floor you can find the Gravity Bar from which you have a panoramic view of the city. You also receive a free pint of Guinness and can enjoy the moment there.

The Guinness Storehouse was really a good attraction. It is one of the activities I preferred in Dublin. We had the opportunity to taste the Irish beer, and it was really interesting to see how a typical beer is brewed but also to learn things about its history.

The Social Network

"The Social Network" is an American movie directed by David Fincher. David Fincher is an American film and music video director. He directed among other things "Zodiac" in 2007 and "The curious case of Benjamin Button" in 2008. As everyone surely knows, "The Social Network" tells us everything about the creation of what is being today perhaps the most visited site on the internet, namely Facebook.

Everything takes place in October 2003 when Mark Zuckerberg, student at the University of Harvard, is dumped by his girlfriend, Erica. Vexed of being dumped, Mark hacks into the databases of the computer system of Harvard, downloads pictures and names of female students and, in a few hours, helped by his best friend Eduardo, he creates a website called "Facemash". On this website male students can vote for the girl they find the more attractive of the two presented side by side. The success grows up quickly and becomes a virus, bringing down parts of Harvard's netword. Mark is then accused of intentionally violating the security, reproduction rights and respect for privacy. Nevertheless, it is at this time precisely that was born what is now known as Facebook.
The fact that he created "Facemash" in only one night, while drunk, brings him to the attention of Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, twin brothers and members of Harvard's rowing team. As a result, he gains a job working for them as the programmer of their website, Harvard Connection. Afterwards, Mark tells his friend Eduardo of his idea for what he calls "Thefacebook.com", an online social networking website exclusive to Harvard University students. He explains this would let people share personal and social information in total security. Eduardo agrees to help Mark, providing a thousand dollars to help start the site. The website spreads quickly through Harvard, but also through the principal Amercian universities before spreading through the world. To bring Facebook to Sillicon Valey's venture capitalists (in order to have money to spread the site), Mark is helped by Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake), the founder of Napster, which is a digital music service, offering MP3 downloads and unlimited on-demand streaming. The wonderful invention of course generates conflicts because, as the poster of the film says 'You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies'. Firstly, Eduardo takes Mark into court because he neglects him, saying that he is the only creator of Facebook. Secondly, the Winklevoss brothers will accuse Mark of having stolen their idea while working for them and will also bring him to court.

I've found the film very interesting. When I heard about the theme of the film, I was interested in seeing it to know how such a great invention was created, in which circumstances and by whom. According to me, the film is really well filmed. You see scenes of the trial of Mark Zuckerberg and then you move to what really happened in 2003, before moving back to the court again and so forth and so on. During the whole film you see the story from different perspectives. It is really a film of our time, with a subject which cannot be more current that it is. The performance of Eisenberg, who plays Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, is really brilliant, making it worth seeing in any case. The Winklevoss twins are both played by the same actor, namely Armie Hammer. The thing that strikes me the most, now that I know the story, is that the creator of a 'social' network is someone who is really antipathetic and asocial.

Exhibition: "America it's also our history"

"America it's also our history" is an exhibition about the common history of America and Europe and the three centuries of relations between the two continents. Through the whole exhibition you see how Europe first influenced America, before being itself influenced by Uncle Sam's land. All is a question of 'I love you, neither do I'. The visitor's journey is marked out by a lot of different things to show these relations: frescoes, charts, audiovisual productions, artistic installations, objects and art works. This goes from the simple corn or bean to paintings or ship models. The exhibition is divided in four movements and a prologue.

You first begin with a prologue in which you seel a film editing with all sorts of film clips related to America, from Disney's Snow White to Marilyn Monroe. This introduces you to the world of the American dream. Everything is made to make your mouth water.

The first movement being presented is what they call 'European America'. This includes the period between 1620 and 1783. In this episode you see how Europeans colonized North America. Gradually they took root in the new continent and became American. You have explanations about the 'Journey of the Pilgrim Fathers', the clash between European powers to master the new continent, but you also see how the daily life of the American Indians as well as the life of the slafes that Europeans imported from Africa are organised. This part results in the American Revolution.

The second movement, 'American America' from 1783 to 1917, shows how America turned away from Europe at the same time that European culture, science and technology continued to inspire it. In this period America wanted to be the master of his territory, but it built itself through the European immigration. In this part of the exhibition, you see for example that the Statue of Liberty, symbol of America today, was a gift of the French in 1886.

The third movement is called 'American Europe'. In the period from 1917 to 1989 the American came back to Europe and influenced our continent in its turn. Twice in half a century, the Americans rushed to rescue Europe which was in difficulty. In the 1920s a lot of Americans went to Paris which was the world capital of the Roaring Twenties. Conversely, in the period when Hitler was in power, a lot of European Jewish artists but also scholars, writers or musicians flew from Europe to Uncle Sam to escape the German dictator. After the episode of the Second World War and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Europe got Americanized, fascinated by the GI's and Hollywood. They discovered the American Way of Life.

The last movement 'Europe and America' shows how it is from 1989 onwards. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, America is the only super power in the world. They were the only winner of the "game" which was the war. Europe lost a lot of things in the war, but it has now single currency and tries to be unified.

What I really found interesting is that they are things for everyone: from the child to the paintings lover. You can play chess on a computer, with questions related to the exhibition; there are comic strips so that children can understand more easily, games about Disney and so forth and so on.

The exhibition is really worthwhile. I would recommend it to everyone. If you want to see this exhibition it is still possible. The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Europe and it takes place until 9th May 2011 in Tours & Taxis in Brussels.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Fair Game

Fair Game is a movie directed by Doug Liman and is based on the true story of CIA agent Valerie Plame, played by Naomi Watts, whose cover was revealed to the press by the White House. In these conditions she couldn’t work at the CIA anymore. Valerie Plame is the wife of ex-ambassador Joseph Wilson (Sean Penn) and she was working in the Counter-Proliferation division, which prevents and controls the proliferation of weapons. At that time she was leading an investigation to find out whether there were actually weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The CIA had to find evidence of an uranium sale from Niger to Iraq and Valerie’s husband himself was sent on a mission to Niger to find evidence of a deal between Saddam Hussein and Niger but he found nothing. According to him, it was impossible that Niger made a deal with Iraq because it was not to its interest to break the current relations with the USA. But Wilson was not the only one to be sent to Niger, many others were as well and had to make a report. However, Wilson’s assertions were not taken into account. Not long after this, President George W. Bush pronounced thefollowing famous 16 words: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” When Wilson heard this, he reacted against this allegation and wrote the truth in an article called “What I didn’t find in Africa”, published in the New York Times to be read by a great number of people. But to protect the president and maintain his credibility, Vice-president Dick Cheney and other members of his office revealed to the press that Joseph Wilson was CIA agent Valerie Plame’s husband. After this “leak” Valerie Plame’s career as a CIA agent was over. From this moment onward she received death threats every day while her husband was fighting this injustice on TV. But the Vice-president’s office didn’t stop there and did everything to ruin Valerie Plame and her husband’s reputation.

The real Valerie Plame wrote a book. It is called: Fair game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House. Fair game is a metaphor: « If you say that someone is fair game, you mean that it is acceptable to criticize or attack them, usually because of the way that they behave. » In short, it was acceptable to attack Valerie Plame and her husband because they were threatening the Bush government. Seeing this movie can be very interesting because it can help us to understand what happened beyond Valerie Plame's life: the film does not only tell us her story, it also reveals some real power relationships in our society, the manipulations of citizens by governments and the big influence that media has on people. The most revolting thing in this whole story is that, by the revelation of her cover-up, Valerie Plame was not the only one to be endangered: all her current operations were ruined because of it and many people who were depending on her were killed. Basically, to protect one man, some others are ready to do anything, even if that means the sacrifice of innocent lives.


‘Cinémagique’ is an impressive theatre-show attraction at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Resort Paris. It has been presented since 2002. The show is performed in French and in English, starring Martin Short, a Canadian-American actor and comedian and Julie Delpy, a French-American actress. Martin Short plays the male protagonist, George, Julie Delpy the female protagonist, Marguerite. This attraction is staged several times a day. It is directed by Jerry Rees, an English animator and director.

The show may be called either a theatre or a cinema show. You see a life performance mixed with movie scenes on a huge screen. The spectators experience a journey through the history of film and all is accompanied by live action techniques. It is a very special show because it blurs the line between reality and cinematic history.
All begins with a montage of early black-and-white films. Suddenly a telephoning man walks on the stage; it is the male protagonist George. Meanwhile, a love scene between a man and a woman on the screen is interrupted by the noise made by George. The woman is the female protagonist Marguerite. The man on the screen wants to stop George but he cannot reach him because the screen is between them. So, he decides to call a magician. George is magically transported into the film by the gestures of the wizard. The man immediately attacks him, especially because he notices that George and Marguerite like each other very much. George tries to escape, runs away and climbs out of a window. From now on, an adventure through many different famous English movies starts. You see sequences with Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy. Afterwards, there is a transition from silent into talking films. George escapes from the black-and-white films and is found in the well-known Western movies Once upon a time in the West and Mary Poppins. In the meantime, Marguerite is following him through the same movies, they even find each other. The show is also very funny. When George jumps into a puddle, he lands into the scene from Pinocchio where the whale Monstro awakens and chases both George and Pinocchio. Thereupon, George reaches the surface and climbs on the ship ‘Titanic’ where Jack calls for help. George tries to find him, but each door reveals someone different from Jack, e.g. Hannibal Lecter. After an adventure through the science-fiction film Star Wars, George and Marguerite, who have found each other, land in a medieval film setting where they meet knights and Kevin Costner as Robin Hood. There comes an important scene where a knight throws a sword towards the screen. The sword lands on stage and creates a portal to go back to the theatre. George walks through it; the portal unfortunately closes before Marguerite can use it. This tragic scene is followed by a happy ending. They will be reunited by the help of the magician from the beginning of the show. He creates a portal for George to come back into the movie. The show ends with a loving embrace between Marguerite and George, accompanied by famous film kissing scenes.

In my opinion, this is a wonderful attraction. The show is impressive, funny and enjoyable. It is really sensational to see how George and Marguerite are put into real movie scenes. As spectator, you also feel as if you were within the show, made possible by life action techniques. Indeed, you are engrossed in this theatre-show from beginning to end. It is an absolute must at the Walt Disney Studios Park.

by Désirée Andres

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Tudors

The Tudors is a historical and dramatic series about the reign of King Henry VIII who lived in the 16th century. The series is named after the Tudor dynasty to which Henry VIII belonged. The series was produced between 2007 and 2010, filmed in Ireland and consists of four seasons. The creator is Michael Hirst, an English screenwriter, whose best known films are “Elisabeth” and “Elisabeth: The Golden Age”, starring Cate Blanchett.

The Tudors has an impressive cast. First of all, there is the central character King Henry VIII, played by the Irish actor and model Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Then you have the six wives of the King: Katherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Katherine Parr. Anne of Cleves is played by the well-known English soul singer Joss Stone. Princess Mary, Princess Elisabeth and Prince Edward are the King’s legitimate children. There are many different characters within the King’s court, Charles Brandon, the 1st Duke of Suffolk, is the King’s best friend. Thomas Cromwell is his chief minister and Cardinal Thomas Wolsey becomes his powerful Lord Chancellor. Thomas More is the King’s Lord Chancellor after Wolsey, he is also an important lawyer, philosopher, Renaissance humanist and author. He wrote the famous book “Utopia”.

The story focuses on one of the greatest figures of English history, King Henry VIII. He is represented as a lustful, egotistical and harsh ruler, which corresponds to the historical King’s personality. He is especially in a bad mood towards the end of his life, due to his bad health. The series emphasizes political affairs as well as the King’s marriages, thus his life with his six wives.
Season 1 represents King Henry as a young and ambitious monarch. He is married to Katherine of Aragorn and they have a daughter, Princess Mary. There is a growing distance between them because Katherine cannot bear a son and it is the King’s greatest desire to have a male heir. He meets Anne Boleyn and is immediately obsessed with her. Things go so far, that he wants a divorce from Katherine. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey is made responsible for arranging this divorce, but he is unsuccessful. This is one important point that explains his downfall.
In season 3, Henry is declared the head of the Church of England. He breaks with the Roman Catholic Church, because the Pope didn’t grant him a divorce from Catherine. The King marries Anne Boleyn who is rather an unpopular Queen in comparison with Katherine. There are also several attempts to kill her. Thomas More is executed in the second season because he cannot accept the King as the head of the English Church; it is in conflict with his strong Catholic faith. Towards the end of this season, the relationship between Anne and Henry becomes difficult, too. They have a daughter, Elisabeth, but Anne has not yet given him a son. Henry’s attention even shifts to Jane Seymour. Anne Boleyn’s situation is aggravated by the fact that she is accused of adultery and incest. Even if there is no clear evidence, she is found guilty and beheaded at the end of the season.
In season 3, Henry is married to Jane Seymour who finally bears him a male heir. She dies after her son’s birth which affects the King very deeply. He needs a new wife and Thomas Cromwell arranges the marriage with Anne Cleves which is really unsuccessful. The King is disgusted by his fourth wife and wants a divorce. Cromwell makes himself really unpopular with Henry. Accompanied by serious accusations, Thomas Cromwell is executed for treason and heresy. You already see the beginnings of Henry’s relationship with Katherine Howard in season 3.
Katherine Howard becomes the new Queen in season 4; she is very young and referred to as a teenage Queen. She is considered to be frivolous and is accused of adultery and beheaded like Anne Boleyn. But she really had affairs with other men. Then, there is the final successful marriage to Katherine Parr who outlives her husband. Season 4 also focuses on the question of the kingdom’s leadership after Henry’s death. The King dies at the end of this last season.

In my opinion, it is a great historical series, a wonderful production with brilliant actors. I think that Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays the role of King Henry VIII very well. I am really fond of the thespian abilities of Natalie Dormer who plays Anne Boleyn. According to the reviews, they are some which are very positive; The Tudors is called a “Masterpiece” and a “wonderful show”. But you can also read some references to historical inaccuracy which is seen as a negative point. Opinions are quite divided. With regard to the historical inaccuracy, it is interesting to know that the creator Michael Hirst said: “Showtime commissioned me to write an entertainment, a soap opera, and not history ...”
I would warmly recommend it to those who like historical films and series.

by Désirée Andres

Tamara Drewe

Tamara Drewe is a British comedy film of 2010 starring Gemma Arterton, Luke Evans and Dominic Cooper. It is directed by Stephen Frears, an English film director who has already won several awards and who has directed more than 20 films. The film is based on a graphic novel, published weekly in the British newspaper The Guardian. This graphic novel is, in its turn, based on an adaptation of the famous novel Far from the Madding Crowd, written by the English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy.

The plot is rather easy. The central character Tamara Drewe, once a shy and unattractive teenager, returns to her fictional home village Ewedown in Dorset, in the South West of England, as a beautiful journalist after a rhinoplasty. Her main intention is to sell her inherited mother’s house. The inhabitants of Ewedown are surprised by her appearance and some are even attracted to her. Andy had a relationship with Tamara when they were teenagers and at present he is still in love with her. The couple Nicholas and Beth Hardiment lives in Tamara’s neighbouring house, where authors can stay to work on their books. Nicholas is a writer himself and has many affairs with other women; he also has one with Tamara. He seems to appeal to women despite his unattractiveness. Beth almost always stays at home. She provides food for the authors and looks after them. Tamara meets the rock star Ben Sergeant at a concert where she wants to interview him. They madly fall in love and Ben stays in Ewedown, they even get engaged, but they split up after a while. Very funny are the two local schoolgirls Josey and Casey. Their head is always full of silly ideas. They throw eggs at cars and send emails in Tamara’s name. Jody is in “love” with Ben and therefore jealous of Tamara. When Ben leaves Ewedown, Jody tries everything to allure him back. Beth finds out her husband’s unfaithfulness, it affects her deeply. She wants a divorce and becomes fond of one of her lodgers. Towards the end of the movie, Beth’s husband Nicholas is killed in an accident. It is a rather shocking part because the film is a comedy and you don’t expect it. The humour is suddenly interrupted by a serious tragedy. But the film has a happy ending; Tamara and Andy get together again. Tamara also decides to stay in Ewedown and not to sell her mother’s house after all.

I must say that I expected a bit more of the movie due to positive reviews. However, it was quite a good movie. It was funny and the actors were nice. In my opinion, the movie lasted a bit too long; it sometimes gets a bit boring because there are some predictable parts.

by Désirée Andres