Frozen

Ok, so, we may be a bit late in reviewing this film, but here it goes. Walt Disney Animation studios latest animated adventure follows two sisters, “the film tells the story of a fearless princess who sets off on an epic journey alongside a rugged, thrill-seeking mountain man, his loyal pet reindeer, and a hapless snowman to find her estranged sister, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom in eternal winter”.

There are some fine performances from the cast, Kristen Bell leads the cast as the fearless, yet clumsy Anna, who’s journey to find her sister is an emotional ride. With the help of Olaf the snowman and Sven the reindeer (perhaps the best thing about this film), the jokes these two characters bring to this otherwise harrowing story about loneliness, siblings, loss of their parents. Elevates this film from just another Disney film.

Chrisophe Beck’s score, along with the clever songs, really make this more than a Disney film. His music enables empathy for both sisters, along with the love and confusion between Anna and Kristoff.

A tour de force and something for everyone to enjoy.

Naomi Jeffreys, The Rabbit and Reel

Hattie Morahan: The Bletchley Circle’s New Girl

“This year has been exciting, rewarding and changing.  A Doll’s House has genuinely changed things for me, it’s been a mad year, it’s been lovely, playing Nora has now become so familiar, each rehearsal period we’ve come back to has been like getting back in to an old coat and it’s like ‘oh yes I remember this’, she’s a really interesting character to play and I really enjoy her contradictions and the strange journey she goes on and so to get to have another crack at it, it’s so complex and the play is so multi layered and so rich that it it’s just a really lovely opportunity to play Nora again”

Hattie Morahan has had an exciting year, since our last interview she has won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actress a Critics Circle Award as well as an Olivier Nomination, all due to her performance as Nora in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House¸ which had two successful runs at the Young Vic and is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End.  I meet her in her dressing room, which is scattered with copies of Ibsen and she is dressed in jeans, a striped top and her hair is tied up.

I wonder what her awards mean to her and if they have helped her career, “that’s never been the goal of what one does, it’s quite daunting to take on a part which is known and people have opinions about, it’s reassuring to know that the consensus was I didn’t screw it up,” she laughs “I don’t consider it to be totally objective, I’m aware that it’s a part that draws attention to itself and it’s a part that has history. I think the Critics Circle I was particularly proud of, as these are people who really know their stuff and have been in the game for many years between them” she smiles.

The English Touring Company recently revealed a nationwide search to find the Nation’s favourite play written in the English language, I ask what her favourite play would be, “Oh gosh I’d say Shakespeare, As You Like It

Morahan is also set to appear as one of the main cast in the second series of The Bletchley Circle, I wonder if she could tell me a little bit about the show and her role in it, “There’s a group of women who worked at Bletchley Park during the War, they signed the official secrets act so all of their work helping the government break codes means they can’t tell anyone.  It’s now 1950s austerity Britain; there aren’t opportunities for bright women to find something that’s rewarding to their capabilities. So they start solving crimes, in the true tradition of ITV Dramas.”

“I play a character  who was in Bletchley Park and who has various secrets in her past, so she’s a guest in the first two episodes and she’s in prison for a crime, a serious crime and we don’t know what it is, and shes very enigmatic, and doesn’t give much away. Then she later becomes one of the group and I would say she has a lateral brain, lateral thinking, very logical, likes system and machines and shes a sort of geek.” She smiles.

” She was great fun to play and has very strong feelings and feels passionately about the people who are important to her. Shes not very gregarious, but shes intelligent in her own way, shes lovely to play, shes called Alice. I really love playing her.”

Clearly it’s been a successful year for Morahan, coupled with television appearances, leading an award winning show in the West End, she also has time to pursue projects on the side and she recently did a reading at the National Portrait Gallery of the memoirs of artist Laura Knight whom she portrayed in A Summer in February “there’s been this lovely exhibition there and there was this fortuitous coming to together of passions where I was really pleased to read her memoirs”

The Bletchley Circle series two starts on Monday 9pm on ITV1

Naomi Jeffreys, The Rabbit and Reel

Rush

Ron Howard directs a classy, engrossing biographical action film which tells the true story of the infamous rivalry between F1 stars James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) in the 1976 German Grand Prix.

There are some confident performances from the two leading men, Chris Hemsworth portrays a ‘live for the moment’ James Hunt, who parties off the track and who uses his gut instinct on the track.

Contrasting this, is Daneil Bruhl, who plays Niki Lauda, an F1 driver who worked hard to get to where he was, serious, determined and who’s crash in the 1976 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring could have killed him. His fight for survival and recovery is excellently portrayed, it’s his steely determination which enables him to fight for the F1 title after his accident.

The supporting cast do their part, but it is Ron Howard who brings to life the rivalry between Hunt and Lauda, with brilliantly choreographed driving sequences and nuanced scenes off the track. Howard brings these legends to life.

A must see.

Naomi Jeffreys