Tag Archives: Hugh Bonneville

Paddington Bond… Bear

It’s not every author who gets to have a memorial service in St Paul’s Cathedral. But I think we can agree that Michael Bond deserved that, can’t we?

I wasn’t invited, but seem to know a few people who were. And I gather there was a – limited – opportunity to obtain a free ticket online, for those in the know. I hope everyone who attended had a good time.

Hugh Bonneville aka the Earl of Grantham aka Mr Brown of Paddington fame, was there, along with his two fictional Brown children.

The Bookwitch family went to see the second Paddington film in the cinema, the evening before. We had a great time, and the rare chance to actually dislike Hugh Grant. That doesn’t happen often.

I loved the scene were the prisoners shared pudding recipes, but suspect that really young viewers might not get the humour about the pannacotta recipe. So, something in there for all.

And isn’t it marvellous how a children’s book can spawn a couple of lovely films for all ages to enjoy?

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Pieces of Poirot

Poirot falling to pieces was a novelty. I’ll give them that. But the consensus in these parts seemed to be that we prefer a slightly saner Poirot, and if the murderers can be more cheerful as they go about their business that would not be a bad thing. At least if it’s Murder on the Orient Express, and they are almost justified, and they get to travel on that great train.

David Suchet, Murder on the Orient Express

But it must have been the justification that had the screenwriter in a twist. It wouldn’t be pc to allow murderers to get away with it (although it seems to be in vogue in real courts, here and now), so we need to have Poirot all religious and with flashback to a possible mistake made earlier, as well as putting the current murderers in context with the stoning of an adulteress.

It is a very Christmassy Christie, what with the snow and all. Considerably more ‘current news’ than they could possibly have hoped for, as well. Trains stuck. Cold trains. Bad customer service. Ineffective digging in snow drifts. Almost British. The period feel is good, and the train is lovely.

But we don’t want Poirot falling to pieces. He didn’t in the ‘old’ film, nor, as far as I recall, did he in the book. When did he become a catholic, or at least, so overtly religious? As the film began Daughter muttered that she hoped they weren’t going to change who did it. A bit hard with this scenario, but it began to look as if they’d change Poirot’s decision at the end.

Was it just me, or had much of the casting been done by someone who knew exactly what each character should look like, as defined by the old film?

And was this intended as Poirot’s last case? If so, I suppose he’s allowed to go round the bend somewhat. As Son pointed out, everyone was so very angry.

Murder on the Orient Express 2010

(This post co-published with CultureWitch)