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The harshness of the shoot translates to the screen, where the tortured passion between Cathy and her adoptive brother Heathcliff is mirrored by the fiercely elemental backdrop. And it's not only nature that's untamed in the movie. Arnold has a track record in coaxing miraculous performances from non-actors: (...) Wuthering Heights features Skins regular Kaya Scodelario as the adult Cathy, but her co-stars are all greenhorns: Shannon Beer, 13, and Solomon Glave, 14, as the young Cathy and Heathcliff, and 23-year-old James Howson as the older Heathcliff. (...)The Yorkshire Post highlights the fact that the film will be screened at the opening gala (November 4) of the Leeds Film Festival:
This decision to go for rawness rather than technical skill or celebrity is characteristic of Arnold, who only inherited the project after it had twice fallen through. (...) But Arnold favoured authenticity over A-list, and also wanted to square her Heathcliff with Emily Brontë's original. "There are five or six clear descriptions of him in the novel," she explains. "He gets called 'a little Lascar', which meant an Indian seaman, and there's a reference to Chinese-Indian parentage. He also gets called a Gypsy. In the end, I decided that what I wanted to honour was his difference."
More noteworthy than the "black Heathcliff" angle is Arnold's decision to shoot only half of Brontë's novel (which has been adapted for screen several times, most famously with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon in the title roles). "It's such a complex book that I just had to pick out the things that had resonance to me, while still honouring the work as a whole. I knew I wanted to keep the kids in the film for the first hour, whereas most people only show them for 10 minutes then move on to the adults. But the childhood is so important in the book that, without it, the adulthood wouldn't make sense. They're yearning for what they had as kids. I knew then that I couldn't squeeze everything in. I love the second half of the book: what you feel, at the end, is that Heathcliff's death makes it complete because only once he dies can he be with Cathy. It brings it full circle. But in my version, I have to leave him suspended. It's unresolved – you almost feel that he's still out there, wandering the moors." (...)
Arnold seems almost surprised at having wrapped on Wuthering Heights. She had, after all, professed that she would never make a period piece, and had no interest in adapting a novel. "It's almost like you don't have a choice," she shrugs. "The material chooses you." She admits that she might do the film differently if she had another chance. "The journey has taught me so much about what I feel towards the material. I was even thinking I might have cast a woman as Heathcliff. That would have been interesting." (Ryan Gilbey)
The stars will be out in Leeds this week as the cast and director of the latest adaptation of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights will be special guests at the gala screening.By the way, the film will also open the Cornwall Film Festival the same day, November 4.
It will open the Leeds International Film Festival and a giant banner has gone up across the front of Leeds Town Hall with an image from Wuthering Heights on it to celebrate the festival’s 25th anniversary. (...)
Bafta-winning director Andrea Arnold will be joined by Leeds actor James Howson and others who will attend the opening gala screening at Leeds Town Hall on Thursday night.
Best ActressIndieWire also speculates about the nominations of the Independent Spirit Awards (announced next November 29). Jane Eyre 2011 has a chance of being nominated in the best feature and best actress categories.
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Rebecca Hall – The Awakening
Mia Wasikowska – Jane Eyre
MyAnna Buring – Kill List
Olivia Colman – Tyrannosaur
Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk about Kevin
The winners will be announced at the much anticipated 14th awards ceremony, which will take place on Sunday 4 December at the impressive Old Billingsgate in London.