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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunday, July 30, 2006 1:54 am by M.   6 comments
The Observer publishes this Sunday very interesting news concerning Brontë, the film written and directed by Angela Workman.

Brontë, likely to be filmed from October in a Yorkshire village that has yet to be chosen, will not replace chocolate-box images with black clouds and tragedy. The £6 million movie will argue that what the sisters achieved in spite of the death and disease was a miracle of imagination and nothing short of heroic.

Concerning the cast, besides the already known names of Michelle Williams as Charlotte Brontë, Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Branwell Brontë, Brian Cox as Rev. Patrick Brontë and Ben Chaplin as Rev. Arthur Bell Nichols (it is noticeable the absence of the previously reported Imelda Staunton as Aunt Branwell), finally we have names for the other siblings:

The role of Emily, author of Wuthering Heights, has gone to Natalie Press (left picture) who appeared in the recent BBC adaptation of Bleak House and the critically acclaimed film My Summer of Love. Anne, who with The Tenant of Wildfell Hall never matched the literary reputation of her siblings, will be portrayed by New Zealander Emily Barclay (right picture), who was in the film In My Father's Den.

(Another (bigger) picture of Emily Barclay, - another (bigger) picture of Nathalie Press)

Angela Workman and Brian Cox talk about the project:

There was terrible disease in the town and burials in the ground around the Brontes every day,' said Angela Workman, the film's writer and director. 'Yet within this trauma they created and turned it into a heat and a life force.' (...)

'There's a fear of telling this story because there's a fear it will be too depressing,' added Workman. 'There was great tragedy in their lives and they died young, but the lifespan for women in that region at that time was 25, and it occurred to me that the Brontes lived beyond that. For me, the story is about the way they defied death and created.'

From the suppressed emotion between Jane and Mr Rochester to the wild passion of Heathcliff and Cathy, many readers have speculated on the Victorian writers' sexual lives. Workman, a Canadian of British descent who spent four months researching at Haworth, said: 'Everyone talks about how passionate the books are. I think writing became an outlet for them. That will be in the film: a sexuality that emerges out of them in the way it does for people who can't express it, who are physical and temperamental. It comes out in their fantasies as they're playing, in the dirt, wind, rain, cold.'

Brian Cox said of his character, Patrick: 'He lived until his eighties and saw them all off - he was an extraordinary man. Haworth was one of the wettest places in the world: they were living in a permanent state of damp and were doomed from the start.'

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  1. I'm looking forward to this production, especially now that Nathalie Press has been cast!

    She was brilliant in My Summer Of Love and Bleak House (although I did feel they underused her).

    I do hope they film it somewhere in Yorkshire, I've heard they might film it in Ireland instead.

  2. Good to hear she's a good actres :D Hopefully we will get a glimpse of the "real" Brontës at long last.

    Last we heard it was being shot in Ireland. We will see.

    What I'm finding a little weird is that Emily is a blonde girl and Anne has a darker shade, but there's always dyes, I guess.

  3. Yes you're right, I think they'll dye her hair for that.

    I actually think that Nathalie bears some resemblance to Emily's painting below.

    She successfully managed a Yorkshire accent for My Summer Of Love as well!

  4. From what you are saying, it looks good. Can't wait !

  5. Wait and see but for the time being, I can't figure out where Brian Cox found any physical ressemblance between Michelle Williams and Charlotte Brontë...

  6. I can't seem to find it - where does Brian Cox say that? But anyway, as we have repeatedly said: good makeup and acting go a long way towards looking like somebody else.