Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)

Maggie McNarmara, Dorothy McGuire, and Jean Peters star in this Academy Award nominated film about three American secretaries working abroad in Rome, Italy.

Charade (1963)

Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant star in this delightful romantic comedy involving spies and missing money. Set in Paris. Walter Matthau also makes an appearance as a CIA agent.

The Best of Everything (1959)

Original tagline: "These are the girls who want the best of everything...but often settle for a lot less!" Mid-century drama following the lives of three young career women living in New York City.

High Society (1956)

Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra star in this delightful musical comedy remake of the beloved classic The Philadelphia Story (1940).

Far From Heaven (2002)

Set against a spectacular autumn palette, Juilanne Moore, Dennis Quaid, and Dennis Haysbert star in this compelling drama which grapples with issues of race and homosexuality in conservative 1950s Connecticut.

Death In Venice (1971)

An aging German music composer sojourns to Venice in hopes of improving his health and finds himself enraptured by the beauty of a young adolescent boy. A visually mesmerizing film.

Cracks (2009)

Based on the novel of the same name, Eva Green stars as a young, charismatic teacher at an all-girls English boarding school.

Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005)

Based on the true story of the Windmill Theatre in London, Judi Dench stars as a wealthy, eccentric widow who purchases a theatre and turns it into a somewhat Moulin Rouge-esque venue that featured nude performers.

Desk Set (1957)

The introduction of computer technology renders the reference jobs of three women potentially useless. Stars Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

Sylvia (2003)

A biopic of writer Sylvia Plath set in the 1950s starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig.

Howard's End (1992)

Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins and Helena Bonham Carter star in this E.M. Forster classic set in turn-of-the-century England.

May 30, 2009

Scoop (2006)

I am a huge fan of Woody Allen's films and I'm delighted that he has been setting his stories in Europe in the last few years. I saw Scoop (2006) when it first came out but I just bought the DVD and watched it again today and wanted to share some of the designs that caught my eye this second time around.

For those of you unfamiliar with the lighthearted comedy, it's about a young journalism student (Scarlett Johansson) who travels from America to England to interview a famous actor. When that didn't work out, she and her friend (whose house she's staying at) go to a magic show where she meets a kooky, neurotic magician (Woody Allen). When she was volunterring in one of his acts, (while she was shut up in a box) the ghost of a journalist visits her and attempts to give her his last, unfinished scoop. He tells her that the well-respected aristocrat Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman) is actually a serial killer. She and Woody Allen's character then set off on a hilarious investigation to uncover the truth.

Firstly, some odd tidbits here and there. I really love this red leather button tufted armchair, for example:


Here area couple images of the antique shop that they stopped in:



I am obsessed with pearl inlaid furniture. Check out this gorgeous chest of drawers:



Here's the rest of the girls' room. It feels so English to me, with all the floral motifs. It reminds me of my room as a child. Notice the string of butterflies on the headboard. And the striped tote and colorful umbrellas leaning against the radiator on the right:


Her friend's house also has a small sunroom/conservatory/dining area on the first level, which leads out into the backyard garden:




Now we switch over to Hugh Jackman's character's digs. The wealthy aristocrat has a townhouse in London and a large manor estate in the country. The temperature controlled "music room" filled with priceless instruments is located in the basement of his London townhouse:




Notice the green bird figurines on the table to the left:


I don't think anyone really sleeps in a bedroom such as this:


Loving the floral curtains:



Here are a few images of the gardens/grounds attached to the mansion:





May 26, 2009

Meet Joe Black (1998)

Meet Joe Black welcomes the appearance of a very innocent, very cute, and somewhat clueless DEATH in the corporeal form of a deliciously handsome Brad Pitt and follows him as he enters the physical realm of humankind and pays a special visit to a billionaire tycoon (Anthony Hopkins) about to meet his imminent end. Only of course will Death ever look like Brad Pitt in movie la-la land but to be perfectly honest, I think this is one of Pitt's best performances (and I'm generally scathingly harsh on the pretty boy's acting abilities). It has its flaws, of course (personally I think the ending should've happened a few minutes earlier than it does) but overall, it's a really sweet and quiet, reflective little film that you should pick up if you're in "that kind of mood."

The production designer was Dante Ferretti, a five-time Academy Award-nominee for his production designs for films like Interview with the Vampire (1994) and The Age of Innocence (1993). The budget for this film must've been massive because the entire interior set for the luxurious penthouse shown in the following images were entirely built up from scratch in a huge sound stage in Brooklyn. Even the pool was created for the sole purpose of the film!


Most of the decor is very traditional and conservative. The choice of furnishings and upholstery fits well with the architectural style of the building (love the ornate moldings!).



However, what made this film really stand out to me was the inclusion of all the fantastic pieces of modern art! I absolutely love the Rothkos, Kandinskies, Cezannes, Matisses, and Balthuses featured. They are a very refreshing contrast to the otherwise traditional decor. I feel like it says a lot about his character, as a man and as an entrepreneur, in that he believes in core, fundamental family values but at the same time takes bold, innovative risks and appreciates other like-minded creative revolutionaries. You can always tell a lot about a person by the type of art they're drawn to.




I also like his flair for hallway murals.


The pool room is also encased with an expansive mural:


Don't you just love the windows?!


Like, I said, except for the modern art, the rest of the penthouse is still very traditional:



Check out the beautiful silver. Wouldn't you love to use silver on a daily basis? During breakfast?!


And finally, I had to show these cakes. They are trying to decide which cake to serve for his upcoming birthday bash and these are smaller sample versions:


May 23, 2009

High Society (1956)

High Society is a 1956 remake of the better known 1940 classic The Philadelphia Story. For those who are not familiar with the storyline, the drama revolves around the imminent wedding of a wealthy socialite to what would be her second husband. To complicate matters, her first husband (now her ex) lives practically next-door and is trying to win her heart back. Oh, and to add to the chaos, a tabloid magazine has blackmailed the family into letting them send two journalists to cover the wedding (since it's the social event of the year) in exchange for not printing pictures of the girl's playboy father's most recent scandalous pursuits.

Instead of Philadelphia, it's set in Newport, RI. Instead of Katherine Hepburn, you get Grace Kelly. Instead of Cary Grant, you get Bing Crosby. And instead of Jimmy Stewart, you're stuck with Frank Sinatra. But despite the impressive cast, I still felt that it fell short of the spiritedness and charm of the original film.

The only thing that I can firmly say was better was the production design. Of course, this one is in brilliant technicolor (which is always nice!) and all sets and costumes are much more elaborate and stylish.

Here's a peek inside their Newport mansions:


I really love the settee with the scrolled arms in the image below (right side):

And the walls of this room look like they were handpainted. Also, notice the chair in the foreground to the right. I remember seeing these vintage types of chairs featured on a couple of design blogs, such as here and the lovely Courtney actually also mentioned High Society in her post here.

MOVING ON TO THE CLOTHES! I love how Grace Kelly's character effortlessly interchanges between very ordinary, casual blouse/pants ensembles and very beautiful, elegant dresses. Even when she's in full head-to-toe khaki, she still manages to look very chic and pulled-together. Is that part of the innate "high society" charm?







I absolutely love her gold mandarin-inspired dressing robe!






Grace Kelly behind the wheel of a convertible. Reminds me of a more famous scene where she's driving with Cary Grant in How to Catch a Thief. I am in love with her hooded cape, which if you'll look closely has a very bold and interesting interior lining! The exterior is off-white but the interior of the hood is orange and the rest of it is in a rainbow stripe! (the image of her in the library shows this, although not very well since it was less than a flash when she took it off).




Here are a couple of images of the two journalists hired to get the scoop on the wedding events:


Grace Kelly's character's mother in a very elaborate lacey pink dress! Not exactly sure if it's appropriate for someone of her age but it does look smashing on her:

THE MENSWEAR, featuring well-done pin-striped suit jackets, casual blazers, a sleek double-breasted suit, and a cut-away tux:




Now for some miscellaneous items...

Vintage leather suitcases and vanity case and hat box:

Louis Armstrong and his band were featured in this film and here they are, being received by the butler. I really love the vintage leather instrument cases and check out the plaid cover for the huge bass!

A very befitting vintage Mercedes convertible:

And finally, a model of the much larger sailboat by the same name:

Twitter Facebook Email GooglePlus Stumbleupon Digg More