Foyle requires an explanation from his friend, Stephen Beck.
Pop Culture Comfort Food You Can Turn to When You Need a Break From President Trump (Slate.com):
This very British series is a police procedural set in Hastings, England, during World War II. But it’s also about Christopher Foyle (played by the great Michael Kitchen), a good cop and a great man, who always manages to do the right thing, even when bending the rules might seem like the expedient thing to do. A prolonged ode to integrity seems like it might be useful viewing these days.
To Michael Kitchen’s eight minutes in an eight-hour series.
Foyle, the master of brevity, knows when he’s said enough to bring the guilty party to his knees.
And Michael Kitchen knows how to use his incomparable mouth shrug and eyes to maximum effect.
Casually easy on the eyes.
Foyle and the colors of fall.
Goodbye, Mr. Foyle.
John Donne said, “No man is an island, entire of itself.” but, I’d argue, that Foyle comes as close to proving him wrong as any fictional character and MK played that perfectly.
This is inspired. Thank you for sharing, KT. In light of your comment, I particularly got a kick out of this New Yorker cartoon. →
Mary McNamara of the LA Times makes “a case for an Emmy (or more) for Foyle’s War“:
Created and written almost entirely by bestselling novelist Anthony Horowitz, “Foyle’s War” is the Mona Lisa of television: small, quiet, utterly hypnotic and mysteriously perfect.
A small and often silent man, as kind as he is morally rigorous, Foyle stands guard over basic humanity as the whirlwind of war and modernity threatens to uproot the good with the bad. Year after year, he has been brought to vivid vibrant life by Kitchen, an actor of rare and controlled brilliance. Each season, he gave the performance of a hundred lifetimes while appearing to do little more than shrug off his coat, bite his lip and refuse endless offers of tea.
…the final episode of the series, “Elise,” is what the American-based Acorn TV, which has co-produced the series since its return, will submit in all the relevant television movie categories — some of which it better win, despite the low-key nature of its radiance and, perhaps more significant, the famous long-standing refusal of its leading man to do any publicity.
Neither should matter at all if the awards are truly about excellence.
Kivrin has written a lovely Foyle vignette that picks up after this final scene.
Michael Kitchen is all sun-kissed gorgeousness and gentlemanly charm as Berkeley Cole in Out of Africa.
Michael Kitchen makes even the most mundane dialogue interesting to watch.
Mr. Kitchen is possibly the eighth wonder of the world. Never flashy … but nevertheless the center of every frame in which he appears. – hikari
From John Powers’s review of Foyle’s War on NPR:
What makes the whole thing irresistible is Michael Kitchen’s enthralling performance as Foyle, who, in his reticence, sly humor and triumphant decency, is our fantasy of the ideal Englishman.
Beautiful Michael Kitchen/Richard Crane.
Thank you KF, you always make my day! Perhaps Reckless should have been titled Breathless? At least that’s how MK playing Richard Crane leaves me feeling. ;- )
Seems we do a good job of making each other’s day. Completely agree about that feeling of breathlessness MK brings on whenever he appears in Reckless. 🙂
Nope, I wouldn’t either, Richard.
Another one of the gorgeous closeup shots of Michael Kitchen from A Lesson in Murder. ****
Christopher Foyle/Michael Kitchen smiles, and the room lights up…
Having an actor as gifted and exacting as Michael Kitchen interpret one’s work is undoubtedly a huge boon to writers, but it’s not without its challenges as Anthony Horowitz has described in interviews:
Michael is as responsible as I am for the character of Foyle. Michael Kitchen has always been one of our most revered actors here in Britain. He had never done a long-running television series until Foyle’s War. The only reason he took it on, I think, was because I was able to persuade him that it wouldn’t just be a case of him getting a thud of an envelope through a door every two weeks with a new script; he would be very much part of the creative process. That is what we have done for nearly ten years. It’s not always been easy. Michael is very demanding. One of the funny things about him is that he’s the only actor I know who demands fewer lines. He’ll look at a speech and say to me, “Actually I can do all of that — five lines — with one look.” And the annoying thing is, he’s always right; he can — which means I have to write more dialogue for the other actors to fill out the episode. – PBS Q&A for Series 7
Curiously, he had never taken the lead in a long series. In part, this may have been down to his reputation for being ‘difficult’. …Was he difficult? He was certainly demanding – utterly focused on the character with a rigid determination to ensure that the integrity and the quality of the drama would never be compromised. Sometimes, he would cut or rewrite a scene hours before it was due to be filmed, and I won’t pretend that this wasn’t frustrating. But for him the performance was everything, and the result is there on the screen. I have no doubt at all that a huge part of the success of the show was down to Michael. – Daily Mail (Jan. 5, 2008)
An assessment that continues to ring true today, especially with a divisive hatemonger and cretin leading this country, so it’s good to be reminded by former President Obama in his speech yesterday that “[we’ve] got to embrace the longer and more optimistic view of history…” in spite of “a politics that threatens to turn good people away from the kind of collective action that has always driven human progress.”
Peter Hall was also co-director, albeit a mostly absent one, with Alan Ayckbourn for the latter’s hit comedy play, Bedroom Farce, in which Michael Kitchen was one of the six original castmembers. In this marvelous video from the National Theatre Ayckbourn talks of rehearsing the play and how all the actors doubted their own abilities in the weeks leading up to the premiere:
By the time we got to Birmingham, the cast was suicidal…
I think every single one of them, including Joan Hickson, the great Joan Hickson, and Michael Kitchen – wonderful cast – they all came up to me and said, “I know I wasn’t the first choice*. Uh, but, uh, I want you to know that I’m- I’m rotten at comedy. I’ve never- I’ve never liked doing comedy. Uh, and uh, I was so sorry, I’m letting down your play, and uh, I’m rubbish.”
*Ralph Richardson and Peggy Ashcroft were on the original wish-list.
Hard to imagine that Michael Kitchen with his superb comic timing once thought he couldn’t do comedy. It hadn’t occurred to me that Bedroom Farce was indeed his first major foray into comedy. Thank goodness the Birmingham audience went barmy on opening night and Michael Kitchen went on to many more roles that showcased his comedic talents.
(Also on the photostage.co.uk site, photos of Michael Kitchen in Romeo and Juliet.)
Grieving for the EPA and the planet.
Scott Pruitt’s covert sabotage of the EPA is nothing short of criminal. As a threat to our future, he’s up there with Kim Jong-un.
The E.P.A.’s recent attack on a reporter for The Associated Press and the installation of a political appointee to ferret out grants containing “the double C-word” are only the latest manifestations of my fears, which mounted with Mr. Pruitt’s swift and legally questionable repeals of E.P.A. regulations — actions that pose real and lasting threats to the nation’s land, air and public health. – Christine Todd Whitman, How Not to Run the E.P.A.
In her New Yorker piece, “Earth Day in the Age of Trump”, Elizabeth Kolbert writes:
…millions of Americans will celebrate Earth Day, even though, three months into Donald Trump’s Presidency, there sure isn’t much to celebrate. A White House characterized by flaming incompetence has nevertheless managed to do one thing effectively: it has trashed years’ worth of work to protect the planet. As David Horsey put it recently, in the Los Angeles Times, “Donald Trump’s foreign policy and legislative agenda may be a confused mess,” but “his administration’s attack on the environment is operating with the focus and zeal of the Spanish Inquisition.”
Small rays of hope in Michael Bloomberg’s piece, “Climate Progress, With or Without Trump“, and Mélanie Laurent’s documentary film, Tomorrow.
That would be me if I were so lucky. I should have chosen to vacation in Siena, despite the heat!
Bizarre and dismaying to be hearing about my home turf in Irish news reports.
Grateful to have been taking in the views from Mount Brandon instead of sidestepping violent, murderous neo-Nazis invading my town with their sick and twisted reasoning.
Only one correct answer to this question:
Milner gets it right, unlike the craven, despicable man occupying the White House right now.
Not only should Netflix retain Foyle’s War, but it should change its cover art for the show to this:
At the alarming rate that far-right judges are being appointed to lower-court benches, it won’t be long before we lose a vital bastion against Trumpism.
From The New Yorker:
McConnell didn’t just protect a Supreme Court seat for the next President; he basically shut down the entire confirmation process for all of Obama’s federal-judgeship nominees for more than a year. It’s the vacancies that accumulated during this time — more than a hundred of them — that Trump’s team is now working efficiently to fill.
McC now has the unmitigated gall to accuse Democrats of obstructionism?!
Michael Kitchen, Rowena Miller/Kitchen, and their son, Jack, attend Tom Stoppard’s birthday party at the Chelsea Physic Garden in London on July 1.
He’s gotten his thirty-something figure back.
Michael Kitchen and his wife were also photographed together at the 1994 BAFTA Awards where he was a best actor nominee for To Play the King.
Way to go, DC Circuit Court of Appeals, for ruling that suspending an EPA methane rule is “unreasonable”, “arbitrary”, and “capricious” — words that could be used to describe every action of the Trump administration. (Just what we need for dealing with North Korea.)
Since it’s National Handshake Day…
Like VIPs who have visited the White House this year, Jack Turner is the victim of an awkward handshake. Customary bowing, in my opinion, is preferable to shaking hands, especially when one must deal with a head of state whose hands have been grabbing the nether regions of untold women. For those with a bad back, though, I suppose a handshake is less taxing.
(Not quite the Michael Kitchen/Stella Gonet reunion I hoped for.)