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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

December 29, 2009 at 9:40 AM

A little reading: The “Sherlock” costumes, the “It’s Complicated” R rating, and more

When I have a cold, all I want to do is read. (Well, that, and talk, because this current cold is giving me a rather cool husky voice which makes me feel like Susan Sarandon, if Susan Sarandon coughed a lot and carried unsightly tissues around.) So here’s some interesting reading material, on the movie front. Enjoy, and talk amongst yourselves.
— Jenny Beavan, the Oscar-winning costume designer of “A Room With a View,” talks to Vanity Fair about creating the costumes for “Sherlock Holmes”. An excerpt, when asked about the absence of the typical Holmes attire (cape, pipe, etc.)

The whole thing about the perception of Sherlock Holmes as played by Basil Rathbone and many other great actors, it comes from a Sidney Paget illustration in the The Strand magazine. Conan Doyle published his stories weekly in a magazine, they were illustrated, and then Basil Rathbone adopted the deerstalker and the pipe and all that. It’s never in the Conan Doyle [books]. So, in fact, we weren’t taking any liberates at all–we were simply doing our version. The other was never Conan Doyle’s version; he never described any of that clothing. From [a sartorial] point of view, if you actually read the stories, it’s very all over the place.

— Also in Vanity Fair: Jeff Bridges talks about acting and the making of “Crazy Heart.”
— The R rating for “It’s Complicated” has raised some eyebrows, explored here. In some ways it’s a moot point — how many kids were going to see a Meryl Streep/Alec Baldwin movie anyway? — but it’s also the latest illustration of the MPAA ratings board’s alarming inconsistency. Ultra-violent films like “Taken,” “Transformers,” etc. easily earn PG-13, but a little pot smoking between adults rates an R?
— The New York Times takes a look at some movies coming up in 2010, many of which were shot some time ago. Among them: the Matt Damon war drama “Green Zone,” the vampire thriller “Daybreakers,” Martin Scorsese’s thriller “Shutter Island.”
— And Johnny Depp talks to the L.A. Times about his upcoming role as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s 3-D “Alice in Wonderland.” An excerpt:

In the 18th and 19th centuries, mercury was used in the manufacture of felt, and when used in hats it could be absorbed through the skin and affect the mind through maladies such as Korsakoff’s syndrome. Hatters and mill workers often fell victim to mercury poisoning which, in Carroll’s time, had an orange tint — hence Depp’s interest in adding brushstrokes of that particular watercolor to his portrait.
“I think [the Mad Hatter] was poisoned — very, very poisoned,” Depp said. “And I think it just took affect in all his nerves. It was coming out through his hair and through his fingernails, through his eyes”


The Master of Deduction, minus cape and pipe, in “Sherlock Holmes” (Photo: Alex Bailey, courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures).

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