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.
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)
In his outstanding commentary for the New Yorker David Remnick writes:
For most people, the luxury of living in a relatively stable democracy is the luxury of not following politics with a nerve-racked constancy. Trump does not afford this. His Presidency has become the demoralizing daily obsession of anyone concerned with global security, the vitality of the natural world, the national health, constitutionalism, civil rights, criminal justice, a free press, science, public education, and the distinction between fact and its opposite.
Fortunately, I have a counter-obsession to help lift my spirits in these distressing times.
Trying Not to Drown in a Flood of Major Breaking News
Our intelligence agencies and their partners must be having one heck of a day thanks to the loose cannon occupying the White House.
[Trump] is thus the all-time record-holder of the Dunning-Kruger effect, the phenomenon in which the incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence. – “When the World is Led by a Child“, David Brooks.
Like an Old Married Couple according to the amusing TV Tropes page on Brian Pern.
Is there a show that’s not on TV Tropes? I even found Cable Girls, the escapist eye candy from Netflix that I’m rather enjoying at the moment.
Just finished reading Robert Harris’s novel, An Officer and a Spy, about the astounding Dreyfus affair and can’t help thinking that I’m living through a similar abuse of power at the highest levels of government. We need the equivalent of a Colonel Picquart to expose the corruption and lies. Two other bestsellers authored by Harris, Fatherland and Archangel, are familiar to fans of Michael Kitchen. If only the Trump presidency were like the Nazi regime in Fatherland — alternate history fiction.
Much of France has something else to celebrate today.
I could have used a handyman and/or a tall, sturdy ladder today.
When the Freedom Caucus congressman representing my district is ridiculed on Seth Meyers’s “A Closer Look” after voting for the Trumpcare disaster.
“Situation in which opposed parties maintain a tense, contentious relationship.”
Seems to be the case more often than not these days.
In The War That Never Ends (1991), a minimalist BBC dramatization of the speeches and dialogue that triggered the events of the Peloponnesian War, Michael Kitchen plays the 2nd Athenian Representative alongside Stephen Moore (Sam’s father). Broadcast in the UK five days before the start of the Gulf War and in the US during the Bosnia-Herzegovina conflict, the play showed the parallels between present-day diplomatic maneuverings and those of the ancient Greeks that led to the destruction of the Athenian Empire. Worth checking out on YouTube if only for the parade of veteran British actors delivering their lines with such skill — and to see MK expertly raise one eyebrow.
Also drawing on history for comparison, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen’s latest is a fascinating piece on Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.
Coincidentally, NPR referred to both the Peloponnesian War and WWI in its discussion this morning on the risk of accidental war posed by the “Thucydides trap”.