Laura Linney to Make London Stage Debut in ‘My Name Is Lucy Barton’

Laura Linney will make her London theater debut in June in “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” the stage play adapted from the Elizabeth Strout novel of the same name. Theater veteran Richard Eyre will direct, having previously worked with Linney on a Broadway adaptation of “The Crucible” and in the 2008 movie “The Other Man.” […]

Laura Linney will make her London theater debut in June in “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” the stage play adapted from the Elizabeth Strout novel of the same name. Theater veteran Richard Eyre will direct, having previously worked with Linney on a Broadway adaptation of “The Crucible” and in the 2008 movie “The Other Man.” […]

Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson Lead ‘King Lear’ Adaptation for BBC, Amazon Prime

An all-star cast joins an upcoming adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” which will air on BBC Two and Amazon Prime in 2018.

Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson are reuniting for their third collaboration together in the production. Hopkins will play the titular ruler while Thompson will play his eldest daughter, Goneril.

This version will take place in an alternate present-day reality where Lear presides over a military dictatorship in England. In the play, an elderly king who’s descending into madness makes the decision to split his kingdom among his three daughters, which sends the land into chaos.

Also Read: #ShakespeareInTheTrump: ‘Julius Caesar’ Backlash Mocked With Trump-Takes on Bard’s Works

Joining Thompson as Lear’s other daughters are Emily Watson (“Theory of Everything”) as the middle daughter Regan and Florence Pugh (“Lady Macbeth”) as Cordelia, the youngest.

“King Lear” will also star Jim Broadbent (“Gangs of New York”) as the Earl of Gloucester, Andrew Scott (“Sherlock”) as his son Edgar and John Macmillan (“Hanna”) as his illegitimate son Edmund.

Other castmembers include Jim Carter (“Downton Abbey”) as the Earl of Kent, Christopher Eccleston (“The Leftovers”) as Oswald, Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”) as the Duke of Cornwall, Anthony Calf (“Riviera”) as the Duke of Albany and Karl Johnson (“Rome”) as Lear’s jester.

Also Read: Anthony Hopkins Compares ‘Genius’ Michael Bay to Spielberg, Scorsese

BAFTA Award winner Richard Eyre (“Notes on a Scandal”) will be directing the TV movie.

“It is a tribute to the great Richard Eyre that we have brought together such a remarkable cast. The film is a testament to the BBC’s on-going commitment to the single drama, and we are very appreciative of their continued support,” executive producers Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman said.

“King Lear” was commissioned by Charlotte Moore at the BBC and will air on BBC Two. It’ was produced by Playground (Wolf Hall”) and Sonia Friedman Productions in association with Lemaise Pictures Limited. It is a co-production with Amazon Studios.

Other producers include Scott Huff and Lucy Richer.

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An all-star cast joins an upcoming adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” which will air on BBC Two and Amazon Prime in 2018.

Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson are reuniting for their third collaboration together in the production. Hopkins will play the titular ruler while Thompson will play his eldest daughter, Goneril.

This version will take place in an alternate present-day reality where Lear presides over a military dictatorship in England. In the play, an elderly king who’s descending into madness makes the decision to split his kingdom among his three daughters, which sends the land into chaos.

Joining Thompson as Lear’s other daughters are Emily Watson (“Theory of Everything”) as the middle daughter Regan and Florence Pugh (“Lady Macbeth”) as Cordelia, the youngest.

“King Lear” will also star Jim Broadbent (“Gangs of New York”) as the Earl of Gloucester, Andrew Scott (“Sherlock”) as his son Edgar and John Macmillan (“Hanna”) as his illegitimate son Edmund.

Other castmembers include Jim Carter (“Downton Abbey”) as the Earl of Kent, Christopher Eccleston (“The Leftovers”) as Oswald, Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”) as the Duke of Cornwall, Anthony Calf (“Riviera”) as the Duke of Albany and Karl Johnson (“Rome”) as Lear’s jester.

BAFTA Award winner Richard Eyre (“Notes on a Scandal”) will be directing the TV movie.

“It is a tribute to the great Richard Eyre that we have brought together such a remarkable cast. The film is a testament to the BBC’s on-going commitment to the single drama, and we are very appreciative of their continued support,” executive producers Colin Callender and Sonia Friedman said.

“King Lear” was commissioned by Charlotte Moore at the BBC and will air on BBC Two. It’ was produced by Playground (Wolf Hall”) and Sonia Friedman Productions in association with Lemaise Pictures Limited. It is a co-production with Amazon Studios.

Other producers include Scott Huff and Lucy Richer.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Emma Thompson Recalls Defending Hayley Atwell From Body-Shaming Movie Producer (Video)

Emma Thompson Says Trump Once Asked Her Out: 'I Didn't Know What to Do' (Video)

'The Dresser' Star Anthony Hopkins Exclusive Portraits (Photos)

Anthony Hopkins Regrets Making 'Hannibal,' 'Red Dragon'

A24, DirectTV Acquire Emma Thompson Pic ‘The Children Act:’ Toronto

EXCLUSIVE: A24 and DirecTV have teamed to acquire U.S. rights on The Children Act, the Richard Eyre-directed drama that premiered in the Special Presentations section Saturday at the Elgin Theatre. The film stars Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead, and has drawn strong reviews for Thompson’s performance.
She plays High Court judge Fiona Maye, who’s in personal crisis as her marriage hits the rocks. Professionally, she faces a life changing…

EXCLUSIVE: A24 and DirecTV have teamed to acquire U.S. rights on The Children Act, the Richard Eyre-directed drama that premiered in the Special Presentations section Saturday at the Elgin Theatre. The film stars Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead, and has drawn strong reviews for Thompson’s performance. She plays High Court judge Fiona Maye, who’s in personal crisis as her marriage hits the rocks. Professionally, she faces a life changing…

Toronto Film Review: Emma Thompson in ‘The Children Act’

In the arena of law, it’s commonly known — and widely derided — that one can unfairly “win” any debate by using the so-called “Helen Lovejoy defence,” named after the self-righteous wife of the town reverend in “The Simpsons,” whose fallback argument on any issue amounts to the inarguable emotional plea, “Won’t somebody please think of the… Read more »

In the arena of law, it’s commonly known — and widely derided — that one can unfairly “win” any debate by using the so-called “Helen Lovejoy defence,” named after the self-righteous wife of the town reverend in “The Simpsons,” whose fallback argument on any issue amounts to the inarguable emotional plea, “Won’t somebody please think of the... Read more »

‘The Children Act’ Review: Emma Thompson Grapples with Conscience in Sluggish Legal Drama

If Emma Thompson can’t make “The Children Act,” a drama about a family-court judge conflicted over her own decisions and the precarious state of her own family, into something interesting and meaningful, then no one can. And she can’t.

Screenwriter Ian McEwan, adapting his own novel, and director Richard Eyre (“Notes on a Scandal”) have assembled a fine cast to tackle controversial subjects brimming over with dramatic possibility, but the results are stultifyingly subdued. It’s all so polite, so sober, so convinced of its own importance, that it never has a pulse. This is love and life and death discussed as though they were paint swatches for the guest room.

Thompson stars as Fiona Maye, a high-court judge who specializes in hot-button issues that often put her in the crosshairs of religious fundamentalists. (The “Act” of the title is a noun and not a verb.) As the film opens, we see her giving the Solomonic ruling to separate a pair of conjoined twins, over the objection of the parents, as she argues that the possibility of one of the newborns living supersedes both of them definitely dying.

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Her next big case involves Jehovah’s Witnesses who want to keep their almost-18-year-old son from receiving blood transfusion treatments for his leukemia; before handing down a decision, Fiona takes the near-unprecedented step of meeting the young man herself to get a read on his devotion to his church’s teachings. Adam (Fionn Whitehead, “Dunkirk”) strikes her as lively and intelligent and capable of thinking independently from his parents — although he too wants to refuse the treatment — and the two of them sing a song together before she returns to court and rules that he must receive the transfusions.

As a healthy Adam grows estranged from his parents and his faith, he begins stalking Fiona — in a friendly way, but it’s still a little disconcerting to her how he keeps turning up, even when she goes off to Newcastle for a business trip. While Fiona’s various work dramas are unfurling, her husband Jack (Stanley Tucci) registers his dissatisfaction with the marriage. He asks permission to have a mistress, but takes one anyway after Fiona says no — and kicks him out of the apartment.

Also Read: Stanley Tucci’s ‘Final Portrait’ Acquired by Sony Pictures Classics

Is this going to be yet another movie where an accomplished, intelligent woman has to bear blame for not having children? You bet it is, down to a scene where Jack reads bedtime stories to visiting nieces, a moment designed to show us how great he is with kids (and thus implying how terrible Fiona is to deprive him of them).

There are big ideas swirling around “The Children Act” about love and fidelity and spirituality and guilt and responsibility, but McEwan and Eyre have each of them either land with a thud or dissipate into the mist. We’re left with Thompson looking glum and unsatisfied, while Tucci tut-tuts and Whitehead has explosions of exuberance that get creepier as the film progresses.

Also Read: Emma Thompson Says Hollywood Sexism ‘Is Worse Than It Was Even When I Was Young’

“The Children Act” is the very model of a handsome production, with Fiona and Jack’s London digs tastefully assembled by Peter Francis and shot with Architectural Digest specificity by Andrew Dunn (“Bridget Jones’s Baby”). The peeks behind the scenes at British courtrooms provide some of the film’s most compelling moments, as Fiona’s treatment of her long-suffering assistant provides one of the film’s few emotional barometers for its lead character until her big Act III moments.

A film this steeped in respectability really wants you to take it seriously (and to consider it during awards season), but its many fine pieces never add up the way they should.

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If Emma Thompson can’t make “The Children Act,” a drama about a family-court judge conflicted over her own decisions and the precarious state of her own family, into something interesting and meaningful, then no one can. And she can’t.

Screenwriter Ian McEwan, adapting his own novel, and director Richard Eyre (“Notes on a Scandal”) have assembled a fine cast to tackle controversial subjects brimming over with dramatic possibility, but the results are stultifyingly subdued. It’s all so polite, so sober, so convinced of its own importance, that it never has a pulse. This is love and life and death discussed as though they were paint swatches for the guest room.

Thompson stars as Fiona Maye, a high-court judge who specializes in hot-button issues that often put her in the crosshairs of religious fundamentalists. (The “Act” of the title is a noun and not a verb.) As the film opens, we see her giving the Solomonic ruling to separate a pair of conjoined twins, over the objection of the parents, as she argues that the possibility of one of the newborns living supersedes both of them definitely dying.

Her next big case involves Jehovah’s Witnesses who want to keep their almost-18-year-old son from receiving blood transfusion treatments for his leukemia; before handing down a decision, Fiona takes the near-unprecedented step of meeting the young man herself to get a read on his devotion to his church’s teachings. Adam (Fionn Whitehead, “Dunkirk”) strikes her as lively and intelligent and capable of thinking independently from his parents — although he too wants to refuse the treatment — and the two of them sing a song together before she returns to court and rules that he must receive the transfusions.

As a healthy Adam grows estranged from his parents and his faith, he begins stalking Fiona — in a friendly way, but it’s still a little disconcerting to her how he keeps turning up, even when she goes off to Newcastle for a business trip. While Fiona’s various work dramas are unfurling, her husband Jack (Stanley Tucci) registers his dissatisfaction with the marriage. He asks permission to have a mistress, but takes one anyway after Fiona says no — and kicks him out of the apartment.

Is this going to be yet another movie where an accomplished, intelligent woman has to bear blame for not having children? You bet it is, down to a scene where Jack reads bedtime stories to visiting nieces, a moment designed to show us how great he is with kids (and thus implying how terrible Fiona is to deprive him of them).

There are big ideas swirling around “The Children Act” about love and fidelity and spirituality and guilt and responsibility, but McEwan and Eyre have each of them either land with a thud or dissipate into the mist. We’re left with Thompson looking glum and unsatisfied, while Tucci tut-tuts and Whitehead has explosions of exuberance that get creepier as the film progresses.

“The Children Act” is the very model of a handsome production, with Fiona and Jack’s London digs tastefully assembled by Peter Francis and shot with Architectural Digest specificity by Andrew Dunn (“Bridget Jones’s Baby”). The peeks behind the scenes at British courtrooms provide some of the film’s most compelling moments, as Fiona’s treatment of her long-suffering assistant provides one of the film’s few emotional barometers for its lead character until her big Act III moments.

A film this steeped in respectability really wants you to take it seriously (and to consider it during awards season), but its many fine pieces never add up the way they should.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Emma Thompson Recalls Defending Hayley Atwell From Body-Shaming Movie Producer (Video)

Emma Thompson, Michael Caine Blast 'Social Media' Generation of Actors

Fall Festivals Say It Loud: Here Comes Awards Season

'The Shape of Water' Review: Guillermo del Toro's Glorious Romance Blends Horror and Delight