Keira Knightley’s Atonement: “Clever, Ambitious, Compassionate…”

  • The road to Oscar keeps on rolling for Keira Knightley‘s new film, Atonement. Today, The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw gives Atonement four stars: “What a clever, ambitious, compassionate picture it is; what a success for Joe Wright and for Knightley and McAvoy…”
  • The Guardian also has video interviews with James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, and director Joe Wright. Mr. Wright looks like he hasn’t slept in about a year.
  • James McAvoy says his love scenes with Keira Knightley were “liberating” because they were completely choreographed by the director. “In love scenes it is quite advantageous. There’s no, ‘Shall I feel her boobs? I don’t want to feel her boobs because nobody has talked about that…’”(MSN)
  • The Daily Telegraph‘s Sukhdev Sandhu lauds Knightley’s acting in the film: “Knightley, jejune and clumsy in so many of her earlier films, shows welcome signs of maturity here as a young woman who is both haughty and disciplined – and able to use the veneer of hauteur to mask her tremulous feelings. So often a rather giggly, lightweight performer, she is willing to exude a flintiness that borders on unlikeability here.”
  • Helen Mirren called her hometown, Leigh-on-Sea, “the armpit of the world.” The folks back home aren’t pleased.(Mirror)
  • Naomi Campbell says she was “traumatized” by her friend Gianni Versace’s murder ten years ago. “I partied when I wanted to, burning the candles at both ends. It put me spiritually and emotionally on my knees.” (Now)
  • Listen up, Courtney Love: Steve Coogan‘s all about giving life, not taking it away. He’s being rutted in the press for his alleged role in Owen Wilson‘s downfall, but now comes news that he literally brought his poor dad back to life after a heart attack. The star says, “I once resuscitated my dad whose heart had stopped, so for a moment he was a dead body. I gave him a heart massage and mouth-to-mouth. I had to take his false teeth out.”(Contact Music)
  • Sir Michael Caine entertained the Queen with sex jokes during a royal dinner.(Contact Music)
  • Jordan and Peter Andre will host their own TV talk show on Britain’s ITV2.(BBC)

    Seven British shows made TIME magazine’s 100 Best TV Shows of All-Time. They are Brideshead Revisited, I, Claudius, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Prime Suspect, The Prisoner, The Singing Detective, and the British version of The Office. The U.S. version of The Office was also listed.

  • The Sex and the City movie has been filming in the London NYC Hotel, which is where Gordon Ramsay’s New York restaurant is located.
  • Rome star Kevin McKidd confirms that he’s in talks to appear in the Thor movie – but not in the title role.(IGN)
  • That Simon Pegg is one lucky bastard. He tells The Sun‘s Grant Rollings, “In my last two films I have had Kirsten Dunst and Thandie Newton as my love interest.It really gives hope to pudgy little ordinary guys everywhere.”
  • Hotel Babylon actress Tamzin Outwaithe says she’s looking to start a family with husband Tom Ellis. Could that mean a return to EastEnders, the show that made her a household name? “I wouldn’t see it as a failure to go back to EastEnders,” she said in today’s Sun. “There is a misconception that if people go back to things then their career hasn’t worked. EastEnders is a good thing to do if you’ve got children. When I was on it, Gillian Taylforth [Jackie from Footballers Wive$] would come in and out. It was a good little gig for her because of the kids.”
  • Hollyoaks star Benjamin Hart, who played Nancy’s boyfriend Foz, has joined the cast of Aussie soap Neighbours.
  • As the Rugby World Cup begins, The Daily Telegraph counts down the 15 fittest players. No. 1 is France’s Frederic Michalak. Janine di Giovanni writes: “Michalak, 24, is rugby’s Beckham – he wears diamonds in his ears, strolled down the catwalk for Christian Lacroix and is heavily tattooed (he has a star branded somewhere intimate). Speaking of which, he is the ‘face’ of a French condom brand. Zut alors.”

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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