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 Eccleston as "Lennon Naked"

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The 2nd Doctor Roberts
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PostSubject: Eccleston as "Lennon Naked"   Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:13 am

Okay, if you can't stand Matt Smith or Craig Ferguson...

I just saw a PBS spot for "Lennon Naked" starring Christopher Eccleston as, well, John Lennon (presumably naked at some point). Also features Naoko Mori from "Torchwood" as Yoko Ono. This program will be part of "Masterpiece Contemporary" which is presented by...David Tennant.

It's scheduled to air November 21 at 9 PM, but it's probably a good idea to check the schedule of your local PBS station.

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happydalek
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PostSubject: Re: Eccleston as "Lennon Naked"   Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:49 pm

Did anyone see this? It was terrible; what a disaster! Christopher Eccleston's performance was amazing, though; that was the sole bright spot in this absolute mess of a film. It would have been funny if David Tennant got to make some sort of refererence or in-joke about the Doctor Who connection between himself and Eccleston in the introduction, but I guess they don't do those substantial intros and outros anymore, like Alastair Cooke used to do (I know, I know, I haven't watched Masterpiece Theater in a long time!).
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SeaDevil
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PostSubject: Re: Eccleston as "Lennon Naked"   Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:10 pm

happydalek wrote:
It was terrible; what a disaster!

That's disappointing. I wanted it for Christmas.
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happydalek
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PostSubject: Re: Eccleston as "Lennon Naked"   Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:42 pm

I was the only one of my group of Beatles friends who watched it, and I had a really hard time answering the question of whether I recommended they watch it or not. Eccleston's performance really was amazing; just outstanding work, and that aspect is absolutely worth seeing. However, in my opinion, that's unfortunately the only aspect of this production that was worthwhile. The story is handled in a choppy, disjoined way (which on one hand might have been the point; on the other hand, that technique could have been employed much better as a storytelling device, illuminating the steps in the development of Lennon's increased disaffection that culminated in his move to New York in the last scene). The direction was "artsy" in a pretentious way, to the point where I had the unfortunate reaction of almost laughing out loud at a dramatic high point during the climax (when he starts going to primal therapy sessions), and again during the very last shot. If you know the history of the Beatles pretty well, you'll be flabbergasted at the liberties taken with Beatles history in order to artificially create some more drama.

Let me live up to my (user)name and end on a positive note: Claudie Blakley (as Cynthia) was incredibly cute! Seeing her with long blonde hair and dressed in 60s fashions really did it for me!
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SeaDevil
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PostSubject: Re: Eccleston as "Lennon Naked"   Wed Dec 01, 2010 5:46 pm

Oh yeah, I'm a big Beatles guy, so I may be a little put off. However, I mostly wanted to see it because of Chris, so I may be ok. How was Naoko Mori as Yoko?
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happydalek
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PostSubject: Re: Eccleston as "Lennon Naked"   Wed Dec 01, 2010 6:05 pm

You will not be disappointed by Eccleston's perfomrance, Sea Devil! Even though he looks nothing like Lennon (even with the wig and glasses), and does seem just slightly too old (Eccleston is in his mid-40s, and the majority of the time he's playing Lennon in his late 20s-early 30s), he really pulls it off. A strange comparison that comes to mind is something I told my friends that I liked about the Get Smart film, which is that Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway didn't go for straight-out imitations of Don Adams and Barbara Feldon (by aping their speech patterns, body language, etc.), but instead took the basics of the characters of Max and 99 and played them in their own ways, and that's sort of what Eccleston with his interpretation of Lennon in this film (though he does do a great job with the voice).

Naoko Mori only comes into it during the second half, and doesn't do much, but she does it very well -- she basically gives a one-note performance as a spacey, avant-garde weirdo. There's nothing beyond that, but the script doesn't call for it (the focus is really on Lennon), so in that sense she does just fine with the material she is given.
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The 2nd Doctor Roberts
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PostSubject: Re: Eccleston as "Lennon Naked"   Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:13 am

What happydalek said.

The sight of Eccleston in a moptop wig almost sent the whole production off the rails at the very start. Even with the shades and being shot in black-and-white, he looked too old for the part. Once they moved on to long-haired John, he fared better.

His performance was fine, even if at times he seemed to be acting with his voice alone. The Lennon voice was too spot-on at certain points...he came off as someone doing a Lennon impersonation instead of acting, and it was distracting.

Mori was fine as well; she actually humanized Yoko and made the love story more believable.

I'm assuming this was an "authorized" biopic, since John's solo works are all over the movie...no Beatles tracks though. And be forewarned, "Lennon Naked" lives up to its title.

I'd be interested in what a non-fan thought of the movie...I'm familiar with Lennon's life and was able to "fill in the blanks" and completely follow what was going on...it might have been confusing to someone who, for example, couldn't immediately identify who Derek Taylor or Pete Shotton was.

I did ultimately enjoy it, and plan to get the DVD...no Blu-Ray release, though?
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PostSubject: Re: Eccleston as "Lennon Naked"   Thu Dec 02, 2010 9:05 am

Thanks for the reviews. If I get it as a gift, great. If I don't, I can wait.
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happydalek
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PostSubject: Re: Eccleston as "Lennon Naked"   Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:53 pm

That's a good point from the 2nd Dr. Roberts to keep in mind... if you're hoping to hear some Beatles songs, you'll be in for a disappointment. Reminds of the E True Hollywood Story of the Beach Boys, which saved money by not using any actual Beach Boys songs in it, but made for some funny viewing when they spent about ten minutes on the making of "Good Vibrations," and all of these talking head clips going on about how amazing it was... and you don't get to hear a second of it!
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