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Joan Plowright

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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | June 10, 1994
To hear the voice is to know why there'll always be an England. It's not one of those regal things, aristocratic and nasal and refined and beautifully modulated. Actually, voices like that are a dime a dozen.No, what's loose in the great Joan Plowright's tones, under the warm, plummy density of the accent, is a torrent of merriment, a sparkle of spontaneity, a trill of delight; there's a note of conspicuous irony and actual physical pleasure, as if the owner were actively sucking fun from the air even as she spoke.
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By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 26, 2006
The veteran British actress Joan Plowright and relative newcomer Rupert Friend bring a subtle grace to Mrs. Palfrey at The Claremont, a quiet, restrained and largely delightful example of the sort of movies people say they don't make anymore. Plowright, never settling for grand gestures when a simple glance will do, is Sarah Palfrey, an aging widow casually ignored by her daughter and grandson. Not wanting to be a bother to anyone, she moves into a seen-better-days London hotel whose elderly residents find themselves in straits similar to hers: alone, neglected and living out their final days with whatever dignity they can muster.
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By CHRIS KALTENBACH and CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | May 26, 2006
The veteran British actress Joan Plowright and relative newcomer Rupert Friend bring a subtle grace to Mrs. Palfrey at The Claremont, a quiet, restrained and largely delightful example of the sort of movies people say they don't make anymore. Plowright, never settling for grand gestures when a simple glance will do, is Sarah Palfrey, an aging widow casually ignored by her daughter and grandson. Not wanting to be a bother to anyone, she moves into a seen-better-days London hotel whose elderly residents find themselves in straits similar to hers: alone, neglected and living out their final days with whatever dignity they can muster.
FEATURES
By Michael Ollove and Michael Ollove,SUN STAFF | November 27, 2003
Ah, Thanksgiving Day. Genial games of Parcheesi in front of a crackling fire. Burbling children playing Red Rover on the front yard. Grammy in a cheery sweater with a turkey outlined against an autumnal field. The companionable noises of holiday food preparation. The loving embrace of family. The loyal golden retriever wagging its ... Oh, brother. Enough already. Who's kidding whom anyway? Outside the saccharin-soaked imagination of the people who create Hallmark cards, do these sort of serene, life-affirming, goodwill-toward-all Thanksgivings actually exist?
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | May 14, 1999
"Tea With Mussolini" exudes the ineffable perfume of memory, redolent of sensory cues and ephemeral moments. Luckily for filmgoers, the memory in question belongs to Franco Zeffirelli, who adapted this film from his own memoirs with the novelist John Mortimer.The story begins in 1935 in Florence, Italy. Benito Mussolini has been in power for 13 years, and at the moment, as a subtitle tells us, "the sun is still shining on the square and statues, and the dictator Mussolini is the gentleman who makes the trains run on time."
FEATURES
By Roger Moore and Roger Moore,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 7, 2003
Bringing Down the House is a gut-busting black-and-white culture clash comedy. It's not elegantly done. Some of the acting is too broad to enjoy. It has plot problems and racial-stereotype problems. And truth be told, Disney is not the studio you'd expect to try to get jiggy with it. Disney's comedies with black actors have often had an unpleasant aftertaste. But that's kind of the point. The first truly funny movie of 2003 plays the race card, often to hilarious effect. In this corner - Peter, an uptight divorced white lawyer, played by the perfectly cast Steve Martin.
FEATURES
By New York Times News Service | October 14, 1990
New releases of video cassettes; reviews by New York Times critics."The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover," 1990. Vidmark. $89.95. Laser disk, $39.95. Closed captioned. Unrated.Peter Greenaway's elegant, brutal film explores what would happen to love and the social order if the most crass, sadistic people were to gain power. In a milieu of sophisticated taste, the thief, who talks and acts as if he has crawled out of a sewer, dines nightly at a restaurant with his henchmen while his wife disports with a bookish fellow behind the scenes on the premises.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Josh Mooney and Josh Mooney,Los Angeles Times Syndicate | April 12, 1991
'Avalon' follows tribulations of an immigrant family in 0) BaltimoreAVALONRCA/Columbia Pictures Home VideoNo price listed.An artist who time and time again returns to the well of his own past and history for inspiration is a rare one indeed, especially in the context of big-time Hollywood film-making. So director Barry Levinson is to be applauded for setting yet another film in his home town of Baltimore -- crucially, the Baltimore of the past. His earlier films "Diner" and "Tin Men" looked at the city in the late 1950s and early '60s; this one, more ambitious but ultimately less satisfying than either of those, spans the years from before World War I to the '50s, when television encroached on both culture and the family.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 17, 1996
"Mr. Wrong" checks in somewhere between a bad situation comedy and a good Jim Thompson novel, but unable to chose between them, ends up in the movie desert of Nowheresville.Ellen DeGeneres, trying to re-create the magic of her TV and stand-up appearances, plays Martha, a single 31-year-old professional woman (a TV talent coordinator) who has pretty much given up on waiting for Mr. Right. She's settled into a nexus of comfortable platonic "friendships" with office friends (Ellen Cleghorne is the most amusing; John Livingston the most annoying)
NEWS
By Franklin Mason | November 30, 1990
HE'D BEEN to movies 70 years, 70 years and more, but never like this time. He is going to the Senator, a movie house near his house. And it is a Baltimore movie, about Baltimore, made by a Baltimore man, Barry Levinson. It's called ''Avalon.'' They say it's the ultimate Baltimore movie. All of which is quite enough for him, yet there's more. He (himself in person) is in the movie, or thinks he is. If he can find himself.It's Sunday now (he remembers when you couldn't go to movies Sunday in Baltimore)
FEATURES
By Roger Moore and Roger Moore,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | March 7, 2003
Bringing Down the House is a gut-busting black-and-white culture clash comedy. It's not elegantly done. Some of the acting is too broad to enjoy. It has plot problems and racial-stereotype problems. And truth be told, Disney is not the studio you'd expect to try to get jiggy with it. Disney's comedies with black actors have often had an unpleasant aftertaste. But that's kind of the point. The first truly funny movie of 2003 plays the race card, often to hilarious effect. In this corner - Peter, an uptight divorced white lawyer, played by the perfectly cast Steve Martin.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | May 14, 1999
"Tea With Mussolini" exudes the ineffable perfume of memory, redolent of sensory cues and ephemeral moments. Luckily for filmgoers, the memory in question belongs to Franco Zeffirelli, who adapted this film from his own memoirs with the novelist John Mortimer.The story begins in 1935 in Florence, Italy. Benito Mussolini has been in power for 13 years, and at the moment, as a subtitle tells us, "the sun is still shining on the square and statues, and the dictator Mussolini is the gentleman who makes the trains run on time."
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 22, 1998
Who says television dumbs down great talent?NBC has a new sitcom, "Encore! Encore!" premiering tonight that stars Nathan Lane (Tony Award for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"), with Joan Plowright (Tony Award for "A Taste of Honey") as his mother.Twice in the pilot, Lane's character reaches out to greet his mother with a hug, and she responds by smacking him on the side of the head so hard he falls to the floor.Anne Schedeen as Kate Tanner smacking ALF on the side of the head on "ALF," or Mark Linn-Baker smacking Cousin Balki (Bronson Pinchot)
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | February 17, 1996
"Mr. Wrong" checks in somewhere between a bad situation comedy and a good Jim Thompson novel, but unable to chose between them, ends up in the movie desert of Nowheresville.Ellen DeGeneres, trying to re-create the magic of her TV and stand-up appearances, plays Martha, a single 31-year-old professional woman (a TV talent coordinator) who has pretty much given up on waiting for Mr. Right. She's settled into a nexus of comfortable platonic "friendships" with office friends (Ellen Cleghorne is the most amusing; John Livingston the most annoying)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | June 10, 1994
To hear the voice is to know why there'll always be an England. It's not one of those regal things, aristocratic and nasal and refined and beautifully modulated. Actually, voices like that are a dime a dozen.No, what's loose in the great Joan Plowright's tones, under the warm, plummy density of the accent, is a torrent of merriment, a sparkle of spontaneity, a trill of delight; there's a note of conspicuous irony and actual physical pleasure, as if the owner were actively sucking fun from the air even as she spoke.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | February 15, 1993
Three-hundred-sixty-four days a year, Hollywood's a late-night kind of place, with the after-hours clubs on the Strip wailing almost till dawn and the bright and beautiful young butterflies of the industry seeking pleasure in all its forms and costs.But one day a year -- it falls on Wednesday this year -- the town gets up with the cows, like any hick burg -- at 5:30 a.m.Groundhog Day?No. It's something else. It's . . . Producerhog day!That's because 5:30 a.m. Western Standard Time is 8:30 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, the last and most viewed half hour of New York morning talk-show frenzy, and that's when the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences hauls a few has-been stars out of the rehab centers to reel off the nominations for the 1992 Oscars.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | September 22, 1998
Who says television dumbs down great talent?NBC has a new sitcom, "Encore! Encore!" premiering tonight that stars Nathan Lane (Tony Award for "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"), with Joan Plowright (Tony Award for "A Taste of Honey") as his mother.Twice in the pilot, Lane's character reaches out to greet his mother with a hug, and she responds by smacking him on the side of the head so hard he falls to the floor.Anne Schedeen as Kate Tanner smacking ALF on the side of the head on "ALF," or Mark Linn-Baker smacking Cousin Balki (Bronson Pinchot)
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | February 15, 1993
Three-hundred-sixty-four days a year, Hollywood's a late-night kind of place, with the after-hours clubs on the Strip wailing almost till dawn and the bright and beautiful young butterflies of the industry seeking pleasure in all its forms and costs.But one day a year -- it falls on Wednesday this year -- the town gets up with the cows, like any hick burg -- at 5:30 a.m.Groundhog Day?No. It's something else. It's . . . Producerhog day!That's because 5:30 a.m. Western Standard Time is 8:30 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, the last and most viewed half hour of New York morning talk-show frenzy, and that's when the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences hauls a few has-been stars out of the rehab centers to reel off the nominations for the 1992 Oscars.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Josh Mooney and Josh Mooney,Los Angeles Times Syndicate | April 12, 1991
'Avalon' follows tribulations of an immigrant family in 0) BaltimoreAVALONRCA/Columbia Pictures Home VideoNo price listed.An artist who time and time again returns to the well of his own past and history for inspiration is a rare one indeed, especially in the context of big-time Hollywood film-making. So director Barry Levinson is to be applauded for setting yet another film in his home town of Baltimore -- crucially, the Baltimore of the past. His earlier films "Diner" and "Tin Men" looked at the city in the late 1950s and early '60s; this one, more ambitious but ultimately less satisfying than either of those, spans the years from before World War I to the '50s, when television encroached on both culture and the family.
NEWS
By Franklin Mason | November 30, 1990
HE'D BEEN to movies 70 years, 70 years and more, but never like this time. He is going to the Senator, a movie house near his house. And it is a Baltimore movie, about Baltimore, made by a Baltimore man, Barry Levinson. It's called ''Avalon.'' They say it's the ultimate Baltimore movie. All of which is quite enough for him, yet there's more. He (himself in person) is in the movie, or thinks he is. If he can find himself.It's Sunday now (he remembers when you couldn't go to movies Sunday in Baltimore)
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