Mike Newell directed
TV episodes and TV movies such as The Man in the Iron Mask (1977) and the four-hour Blood Feud (1983).
Awakening (1980) is a horror movie about an Egyptian queen who was resuscitated by an English scientist.
Dance With A Stranger (1984) reenacts the drama of the last death
penalty execution in Britan (an entraîneuse, mother of two children,
who killed the car driver with whom she had a tormented relationship).
The story is a pretext to reconstruct the suffocating moralism of the 1950s.
With his first films, Newell demonstrated a speckless, professional approach
to cinema, a keen sense of comedy and of tragedy.
Good Father (1986) is another domestic drama. A man, an ex leftist
radical, divorced by his wife, helps a friend fight the wife who fled with
a lesbian lover. The man achieves his revenge against liberated women, but
also reveals his hypochrisy.
Amazing Grace and Chuck (1987) is a fairy tale in which a child, terrified after visiting a missile base, organizes a baseball strike, so that the president in person has to negotiate with him.
Enchanted April (1991) is one of those terribly boring period pieces,
with old-fashioned (i.e., with no imagination) acting and a plot that couldn't
be more obnoxious since it is based on obnoxious characters.
Competent but uninspired cast, sets, costumes and cinematography are
the norm with this kind of films.
Two English neighboring housewives, bored with their husbands,
rent a villa in Italy for a vacation.
Lotte is married to a businessman, Rose married to an author.
In order to afford the price,
Lotte and Rose decide to share the villa with two other women she found through
an ad: elderly dame Mrs Fisher and wealthy Lady Caroline.
The film revolves around these four women, all unsatisfied and all ready for
The Italian villa, the Italian weather and the Italian scenery are like
paradise to them and work miracles on their psyche.
The sour women soften and blossom.
Rose and Lotte find love with their husbands, while
Lady Caroline falls for the owner of the villa.
Into the West (1992)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) is a romantic comedy, at times
amusing but terribly slow.
Each shot lasts at least three times longer than it should.
Best man Charles is late for the wedding of Angus and Laura, and even forgets
that he replaces at the last minute with a toy. Charles is a bachelor who is
witnessing all of his friends getting married, and is quite happy to remain
a bachelor. He is nice and polite, but a little out of touch: his speech for
the newly married is embarassing.
At this wedding he meets Carrie, a beautiful American girl. They make love,
but then separate
At the next wedding, Charles is late again. This time the priest is a friend
of the family who is officiating for the first time and who makes a lot of
mistakes. At this wedding reception, too, Charles meets Carrie, but this time
she is engaged. Charles is clealy hurt.
His old girlfriend Anne is still heartbroken and trying to get back
Again, Carrie shows up when he least expects her and they make love.
They meet again in a clothes store, where she is shopping for a wedding dress.
This time Charles confesses his love.
Another wedding, and Charles is late again for the religious ceremony.
Carrie and Hamish are getting married. Anne has a boyfriend.
Charles is in a crisis, and the tragic death of a friend makes it worse.
Charles decides to marry Anne, who is still waiting.
So the next wedding is his own. Before the ceremony, he meets Carrie, and
learns that her marriage has fallen apart.
At the altar Charles' deaf and mute brother interrupts the ceremony and
forces Charles to confess that he doesn't love the bride. She knocks him down
and the wedding is off.
Charles and Carrie can get married.
Donnie Brasco (1997)
Pushing Tin (1999)
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
Mike Newell also directed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time (2010).
Love in the Time of Cholera (2007) is an adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel.
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