Masterpiece Contemporary

Tonight on Masterpiece Contemporary: The Thoroughly Charming “Framed”

Tonight at 9pm, catch Framed on Masterpiece Contemporary, starring Waking the Dead’s Trevor Eve and Torchwood’s Eve Myles and based on the book by Frank Cottrell Boyce. It’s a fanciful, lighthearted, thoroughly charming story, in which the National Gallery is forced to move its priceless collection of artworks to a remote Welsh village while a massive plumbing leak is fixed.

While this premise is an event that would probably never actually occur nowadays (though something similar did happen during World War II when Winston Churchill was concerned about the possibility that British treasures might be damaged in the Blitz), the story is fun enough that you won’t care so much that it’s not entirely plausible. The colorful array of local village residents – especially the children – are quirky and entertaining and the film strikes a perfect fun holiday tone to round off your long weekend.

This film also marks a bit of a personal first for me, as it’s the first time I’ve ever really loved Eve Myles in anything. Her character on Torchwood has always struck me as just this side of annoying, but she’s really quite charming and adorable in this, so perhaps I’m finally starting to see her appeal as an actress.

Preview The Song of Lunch

Let’s spend a Sunday night watching a film dramatization of a narrative poem! You’re forgiven if an eyebrow went up at reading that sentence –it’s almost a little too painfully highbrow, even for me, and I live for stuff like this. But The Song of Lunch is a unique, occasionally painful depiction of a lunch date between two ex-lovers over a decade after their relationship ended is definitely worth a look. It’s rare that something on television nowadays is willing to take a risk and be original – and this has that in spades.

Take a minute to watch a scene from the film, then click through for a few of my (spoiler-free) thoughts!

The Song of Lunch This Sunday on Masterpiece Contemporary

Coming this Sunday night to Masterpiece Contemporary, The Song of Lunch is an innovatively presented drama starring the always awesome duo of Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. While writing about Bill Nighy’s role in Page Eight last weekend, I was reminded of how very much I adore the film Love Actually and apparently all roads lead back to that film for me this week, because it’s the Rickman/Thompson storyline that’s my favorite bit there. They’re just incredible together. (It’s also the only storyline that I wish they’d continued a few minutes further on at the end of that film, but that’s a rant for another day.) So, I am especially looking forward to watching this, if only because it’s always a pleasure to see two people who are such excellent actors on their own work together.

The interesting thing is that The Song of Lunch is a narrative poem. Written by Christopher Reid, it’s the story of ex-lovers who meet for lunch at an old favorite restaurant. The film is largely a dramatic reenactment of the poem and uses minimal dialogue other than the text itself being read. I think this is a tremendously intriguing concept, so watch this space for an early review towards the end of the week. For now, take a look at the preview to get a feel for it, and marvel how both of these actors just keep aging so darn well.

Preview Tonight’s Masterpiece Contemporary: Page Eight

The new season of Masterpiece Contemporary kicks off tonight at 9pm with a star-studded, twisty spy drama called Page Eight. The cast list is impressive – Bill Nighy, Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes, Judy Davis, Michael Gambon and more – and reason enough on its own for you to tune-in, but Page Eight is also a cracking good drama that’s much more focused on character than it is about the traditional trappings of spy films. (Nothing blows up and no one waves a gun at anything.)

Page Eight has a similar feel to some of the other conspiracy-themed dramas that have been popping up in recent years. If you’ve enjoyed Homeland, Rubicon, State of Play, or any of their ilk, you’ll like Page Eight. It’s familiar enough to fall into easily, but the story still feels fresh, despite the fact that “Higher Ups in Government Hide Information From General Public” is not exactly a new tale.

Watch a preview to get a feel for the film, and then click through for some (spoiler-free!) thoughts!