Netflix lands golden ticket by buying Roald Dahl estate

Roald Dahl

The streaming giant will own and control works like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda.

The deal means the streaming giant will own creations like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG.

Netflix will control what happens to them in publishing as well as TV and film – and receive the royalties.

It will also create numerous spin-off games, stage shows and other live experiences. Neither side would reveal how much the deal is worth.

The takeover means The Roald Dahl Story Company – which is run by Dahl’s grandson Luke Kelly and was previously owned by the family and other employees – will now become a division of Netflix.

It earned £26m revenue from the author’s work in 2019, according to its latest accounts.

In a joint statement, Mr Kelly and Netflix boss Ted Sarandos said they were “joining forces to bring some of the world’s most loved stories to current and future fans in creative new ways”.

Source: Netflix lands golden ticket by buying Roald Dahl estate

Film Review: “Rose Plays Julie” is “The Parent Trap” with teeth

Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor take a familiar long-lost-family story – and add a dark, vengeful twist.

By Ryan Gibley

The story of an adult searching for the biological parent who gave them up at birth is played as screwball comedy in David O Russell’s Flirting with Disaster and as wrenching melodrama in Mike Leigh’s Secrets and Lies, both from 1996. The discordant mood of Rose Plays Julie, from the Irish writing directing team of Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor, offers none of the comforts of those genres.

The spadework has already been done before the film begins: Rose (Ann Skelly), a veterinary student with a pale, haunted face, knows that her birth mother is an actor named Ellen (Orla Brady), but calling her and hanging up is as far as she has got.

Rose watches footage of Ellen playing a cop, opening fire on a young woman who morphs into a snarling fanged ghoul. The clip strikes a chord, and not only because she has just come from a lecture entitled “Euthanasia and the Healthy Animal”. Perhaps she sees herself as monstrous, too, and liable to be put down – or as someone who was lucky to escape such a fate.

Posing as a potential buyer, she visits Ellen’s house, and encounters her own adolescent half-sister. As she creeps from room to room, Rose seems like a potential cuckoo in the nest – though it’s truer to say that she is the fledgling booted out of the tree, come to claim her rightful place

It isn’t confrontation she desires, but acceptance, clarity, love: “Do you ever think about me?” she wonders. When Ellen takes her into the middle of the woods – a classic fairy tale setting – she gets an explanation she hadn’t bargained for. Rose had imagined herself as the product of a besotted but panicked young couple. In fact, Ellen was raped. As Rose hears this, Skelly indicates from beneath the cover of her arctic expression the collapse of everything she thought she knew about herself. Birdsong fills the air, making no concession to her torment.

Having put her energies into that bid for maternal recognition, Rose is now compelled to find her father, too. All these years later, Ellen still can’t say her attacker’s name, so she types it into Rose’s phone. There is a jolt of grim humour when the word “Peter” produces the suggestion “Andre”. Good old autocorrect, always hopeless at reading the room. Except for when Ellen starts to key in Peter’s surname (“Doyle”) and it helpfully offers “Fouled” instead.

Peter (Aidan Gillen) is a celebrity archaeologist who has published a book called Below the Surface. “What I’m most drawn to is unlocking the past,” he says. Rose has the same mission. Having always felt her identity to be amorphous, she has no trouble pretending to be an actor called Julie (her birth name), who wants to join Peter’s dig as research for a role. The wig she wears for the task adds a femme fatale touch.

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Review | Hayley Mills became a Disney darling at 12. Her new memoir recalls how it went from there.

Haley Mills

In ‘Forever Young,’ the 75-year-old actress opens up about life before and after ‘The Parent Trap’

By Louis Bayard

By Hayley Mills’s reckoning, it was the “role that got away.” At the age of 14, the British actress was approached by Stanley Kubrick to star in the film version of “Lolita.” “I could see it was a good part,” she recalls. She even saw a bit of her innocent self in Nabokov’s nymphet: “She was teetering on the brink of womanhood, like me. … She wants her own way, she’s moody, she wants to be treated like a grown-up, but behaves like a child. I got all that.” But Mills’s parents turned down the role on her behalf, and if they hadn’t, it’s a safe bet that her employer, Walt Disney (having already vetoed her for “Exodus” and “The Children’s Hour”) would have sent both Kubrick and Humbert packing. “Disney’s daughter,” as Mills calls herself, would remain Disney property. Continue reading

Pedair, Cerys Hafana and Eve Goodman perform at the National Library of Wales

Gwedd fodern ar y byd gwerin yng nghwmni Pedair, Cerys Hafana ac Eve Goodman, rhai o berfformwyr mwyaf cyffrous y sîn yng Nghymru heddiw, o leoliad hyfryd Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru yn Aberystwyth.

A modern take at the folk scene in Wales today with Pedair, Cerys Hafana and Eve Goodman performing in the beautiful surroundings of the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Free The Heartbreak Kid: Why One of the Best American Comedies Has Disappeared

Charles Grodin and Cybil Shepard in "The Heartbreak Kid"

The Heartbreak Kid is one of late star Charles Grodin and director Elaine May’s best. So why is it impossible to watch?

By Brianna Zigler 

In the wake of Charles Grodin’s recent death, many fans of the deadpan comedy legend have taken to looking back on some of his most notable films. His impressive career, spanning 53 years, is marked mostly by filling supporting roles with unforgettable performances, such as impeccably playing off Robert De Niro in the buddy crime-comedy Midnight Run; portraying the slowly undone uncle to Martin Short’s psychotic, titular 10-year-old Clifford; or dominating scenes with quiet composure as the scheming secretary of billionaire oil mogul Leo Farnsworth in the Warren Beatty-led Heaven Can Wait. Though rarely a leading man, Grodin made the art of scene-stealing look easy, and often traded in his comedic chops with effortlessness for characters that are unironically conniving—like the double-crossing Dr. C.C. Hill in Rosemary’s Baby, or shady businessman Fred Wilson in the 1972 adaptation of King Kong. Grodin took the old saying of “there are no small roles, only small actors” to the utmost heart. But one of Grodin’s greatest performances was a rare instance where he was allowed to lead the film, in Elaine May’s second directed feature, The Heartbreak Kid—a film that is now virtually impossible to watch. Continue reading