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Tribute to John Madden
After studying English literature at the University of Cambridge, John Madden (b. April 8th, 1949) began his career as a theatre director. For the National Theatre in London, he directed Caritas Christi, and several of his directing endeavours were to be seen on Broadway, including Beyond Therapy, Wings, and Grownups. He also directed radio plays for National Public Radio. He found his place in television in the 1980s, where he directed several TV films and episodes of TV shows. He worked on The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1986) and Inspector Morse (1987). Out of his current TV work, it is worth mentioning that he directed the pilot of a successful show, Masters of Sex (2013). His feature film debut was Ethan Frome (1993), starring Liam Neeson. Many famous actors have appeared in his later films.
Judi Dench played the Queen in Mrs Brown (1997) and later in the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love (1998). It was the historical love drama, Shakespeare in Love, which became his most successful film so far and earned seven Oscars including Best Picture. Best Actress in a Leading Role (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Judi Dench), and. The film is brimming with a quality cast that includes both British and American film stars including Judi Dench (Oscar for Best Supporting Actress), Gwyneth Paltrow (Best Leading Actress), Geoffrey Rush (nomination), Joseph Fiennes, Colin Firth, and Ben Affleck. Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001) had a cast that included Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, Christian Bale, and John Hurt.
In Proof (2005), based on David Auburn's Pulitzer-winning novel, the leading roles were played by Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, and Jake Gyllenhaal. After the low-budget Killshot (2008), the director has enjoyed an influx of new viewers with The Debt (2010) and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011). Once again, he bet on experienced actors. The Debt, a thriller, is centred around Helen Mirren accompanied by the excellent Tom Wilkinson. The Best Exotic Marigold hotel is a comedy drama with Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy, and Maggie Smith. It was so popular that the director made a sequel, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015). The charismatic Richard Gere spices up the cast of the sequel.
Following John Madden's career in the following years will be certainly interesting as he intends to film a famous musical, My Fair Lady, in 2016. The main role of the romantic story, was beautifully portrayed by Audrey Hepburn in 1964 under the direction of George Cukor, and won eight Oscars. The role of Eliza Doolittle is expected to be played by Keira Knightley in Madden's version.
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