Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson, Lindsay Duncan
Richard Curtis has written (and directed, in the case of “Love Actually”) some of the best romantic comedies of the past two decades, so it should come as no surprise that his latest movie follows in the same footsteps. Though Curtis has recently announced that “About Time” will likely be his final film as a director, the movie represents everything that’s great about the kind of romantic comedies Curtis excels at making. That’s because unlike most of the garbage in the genre, his films are about much more than just the superficial meet-cute between boy and girl, aiming for something a lot deeper and more emotionally rewarding, which he delivers in spades with the excellent “About Time.”
Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) has just turned 21, and the day after his family’s customary New Year’s Eve party, his father (Bill Nighy) lets him in on a secret: the men on his side of the family have the ability to travel through time. All he needs to do is go somewhere dark (like a closet or bathroom), clench his fists, and think of the time and place he wants to go back to. There are some caveats to Tim’s newfound powers, but the most important one is that he can only change events in his own life, so he decides to use them to find a girlfriend. It’s hardly the most inspiring use of such an incredible gift, but after moving to London to work as a lawyer, Tim meets the girl of his dreams in American import Mary (Rachel McAdams). He’s able to perfect every moment in their relationship by doing it over and over again “Groundhog Day”-style, but Tim eventually discovers that there are consequences to altering history.
Jack Davenport may not formally qualify for the descriptor “television staple” in the U.S, given that the majority of his Stateside series have lasted a single season or less, but between “Swingtown” in 2008 and “FlashForward” during the 2009-2010 season, he’s made enough headway on the airwaves that, when coupled with a U.K. success like “Coupling” and a recurring role in Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, he’s at least in possession of a face that inspires people to wonder, “Wait, why do I know that guy?” Davenport creeps ever closer to a more immediate recognition level as he continues onward with the season season of NBC’s “Smash.” I was fortunate enough to chat with him for a bit during the January edition of the Television Critics Association press tour, and although we didn’t get into too much detail about his current work on “Smash” (mostly because the interview took place before I’d seen any of Season 2), we still ended up discussing a fair amount of his small-screen work, along with a few stops on his cinematic efforts.
Bullz-Eye: Your character on “Smash” is regularly described in reviews as “difficult but brilliant,” and even on the NBC website they sum him up in a single sentence by calling him “one of Broadway’s most brilliant, yet arrogant, director-choreographers.” Did you have to pay people off to get the word “brilliant” out there so prominently?
Jack Davenport: Probably, yeah. [Laughs.] You know, the way the character’s written is the way people generally refer to him, and you are to believe that the man has half a dozen Tonys, probably two musicals that are international franchises, but that also makes you cocky. Also, in the real world of show business, no one refers to anybody as talented or brilliant. But when you’re doing a show about show business, weirdly, you do have to point that out on occasion. Not too often, but it’s sort of… Otherwise, you’re not really setting the scene properly, I don’t think.
BE: True enough. A few adjectives can save the writers from having to come up with a complete back story right off the bat.
JD: Oh, yeah. And as for “difficult,” I think that one speaks for itself. [Laughs.]
“Doctor Who,” that is. (What, like you were expecting it to be Dr. Pepper?)
At 9 PM on April 17th, everyone’s favorite Time Lord…well, statistically speaking, anyway…is making his return to BBC America in his new guise, which has him looking remarkably like actor Matt Smith. He is the Eleventh Doctor, if you’re keeping count, and he will be accompanied by a new traveling companion: Amy Pond, played by the highly cute Karen Gillan.
According to the publicity department, they will be exploring sixteenth century Venice, France during the 1890s, and the United Kingdom in the far future, where the nation is floating in space, and the new series will feature episodes written by Richard Curtis (“Pirate Radio,” “Love Actually”) and Toby Whithouse (“Being Human,” “Torchwood”) and guest stars including Alex Kingston (“ER,” “Flash Forward”), James Corden (“Gavin & Stacey,” “The History Boys”) and Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo (“The Secret Life of Bees,” “Hotel Rwanda”) and Tony Curran (“24″).
You can get more info by heading over to the “Doctor Who” portion of the BBC America website, but for now, enjoy this trailer for the new season. Is this a Dalek I see before me…? Why, yes, I believe it is…