For the past six decades, Helen Mirren's career has successfully shifted from a respected theatre actress to an iconic fixture on British television to a beloved Hollywood star. Her celebrated range of work has earned her the triple crown of acting - an Academy Award for The Queen, a Tony for The Audience, numerous Emmys, including for her iconic performance in Prime Suspect - and, since 2003, an appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Now in its fifth year online, The Helen Mirren Archives chronicles Miss Mirren's life and career from the early days to the recent with information, pictures and videos. Enjoy your stay, and check back soon.
  February 21st, 2019       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

According to Variety, the executive producer of anthology film “Berlin, I Love You” is engaged in a war of words with Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, whose contribution to the movie was left on the cutting-room floor. Ai contends that the segment he shot for “Berlin, I Love You” was axed by the producers for political reasons, out of fear of upsetting Chinese officials. But Emmanuel Benbihy, the film’s Shanghai-based executive producer, says that Ai’s segment did not meet the requirements for inclusion and that the award-winning artist is obsessed with criticizing China. “Berlin, I Love You,” whose short takes feature such stars as Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley, was submitted to the Berlin Film Festival but failed to land a slot, even out of competition or in one of the fest’s sidebars. Instead, it began its commercial career with a Feb. 8 theatrical release, handled by Saban Films, in the U.S. To Ai’s surprise, the finished picture left out the segment he shot in 2015, long before contributions from Peter Chelsom, Til Schweiger and nine others went before the cameras. Ai directed his piece remotely, issuing instructions by video-call, while under house arrest in China, to Claus Clausen, the Germany-based producer of the film, who co-directed. (Ai later relocated permanently to Berlin.) The segment focuses on a boy, played by Ai’s son, who discovers a new city and uses unreliable technology to keep in touch with his distant father. The complete story can be read over at Variety.

  February 13th, 2019       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Can you imagine a Helen Mirren film being released and no one – literally no one – notices? Nope, me neither. But this is the case with “Berlin, I Love You”, the latest (and most probably final) installment of the Cities of Love series, following “Paris, je t’aime”, “New York, I Love You” and “Rio, Eu Te Amo”. It was released on February 8 on-demand, without any kind of promotion. Described as a “collective feature-film”, 12 stories are told, directed by 12 different directors – and not one of the stories feels anything like Berlin. One of the first segments, starring Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren, has been directed by Iranian director Massy Tadjedin. Their story features solid performances, but it’s nothing more than a short subject in a 100 minute bore. After “Collateral Beauty” and “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”, it seems Knightley and Mirren are not each other’s lucky charm 🙂 You’ll find “Berlin, I Love You” on various on-demand platforms. Screencaptures have been added to the photo gallery.


  February 13th, 2019       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

After a less-than-successful November release on the big screen, Disney has launched “The Nutcracker the Four Realms” on home video and on-demand earlier last January. You’re probably in for a good ride if you enjoy Disney movies. Helen’s Mother Ginger is little more than a cameo towards the end of the film. Screencaptures have been added to the photo gallery.


  February 9th, 2019       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Few people could introduce a fake documentary called “Bats— Valley” with a straight face. But if there’s anyone for the job, it’s Dame Helen Mirren. Clad in a shin-length orange dress, Mirren, studio host of the parody series “Documentary Now!,” stood resolute at her mark and took a lengthy pause before delivering the introductory line, “This is ‘Bats— Valley,’” deadpan to camera — only allowing herself a brief chuckle when the director called “cut!” “It was a little long, but I wanted it to be frightfully serious,” Mirren said, explaining why she delayed the final expletive. “Bats— Valley” was just one of multiple mockumentaries for which Mirren filmed intros on a hot August day at Walt Disney Studios. Reading from a teleprompter, the seasoned actress knocked each one out back-to-back, only pausing every so often to clear her strained throat (ADR work earlier that day required “a bit of shouting”). The final product will be featured at the beginning of episodes throughout the third season of Bill Hader and Fred Armisen’s “Documentary Now!” Since she began working on the show in 2015, Mirren has solidified her regal hostess look — comprised this season of the long, fitted dress, simple earrings, and sensible nude heels. The complete article can be read here.

  January 21st, 2019       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

On an amusing note, if there’s one film I completely forgot about, it’s “Winchester”, the spooky house horror film that was released last February. The Razzie committee did not forget about it and recognized it today with 4 nominations! The film scored a nod for “Worst Picture” while the Spierig Brothers share a nod for “Worst Director”, for “Worst Screenplay”, and Helen Mirren – in a career first – is nominated as Worst Actress! Four nominations is an impressive score if you consider the Razzies only feature nine categories. As I reviewed the film upon its release, it was really a disappointment because it lacked the two things you would expect from a film like this – it was neither scary nor was it entertaining. I’m sure it was a fun shoot for Helen Mirren, but this time it didn’t transform to the screen. Edit: There has been an article the other week in which members of the Razzie committee have strongly criticised the nominating and voting process, so while I still think it’s a “fun” achievement worth to be doing an update about, this will be the first and last about the Razzies.