Sunday, September 5, 2010

Silver Screen Sunday {Charlotte Gray}

I stopped doing the Silver Screen Sunday posts because they were getting to be too time-consuming for me – almost each post had screencaps that I did myself on an ancient PC, for one thing – but I have a very deep love for cinema and it’s wonderful to be able to share it with others, even if I’m not ‘reviewing’ the film as such.

I mentioned in my ‘ten things’ post that I have an eclectic taste in film (as I write this I am watching my favourite, Rocky Horror Picture Show) but these posts were always about films that had costumes I felt fit the mood of my blog so you may not get an idea of the full scope of my taste but you will, at least, know which films have costumes that make my heart soar.

So, for my comeback Silver Screen Sunday I decided to look at Gillian Armstrong’s 2001 film, Charlotte Gray. Though it is officially spring in Australia, the almost incessant rain says that winter is holding on for dear life – that is, in part, why I chose a film that seems to be set mainly in colder weather.

Set in WWII, Charlotte Gray tells the story of its title character, played by the incredibly amazing/talented/beautiful/lovely Cate Blanchett*, a Scottish woman working in London who is recruited as a secret agent to work with the French resistance. Though it is obvious that she is more than willing to ‘do her bit’ for her country and is saddened by what has happened to France, her main catalyst for going is to rescue her RAF lover (played by the rather adorable Rupert Penry-Jones). Then a whole lot of dramatic things happen, as you would expect in a film of this sort but I’m not here to talk about plot, characters, etc. I want to talk about the gorgeous costumes!

The beauty of Cate’s costumes is in their seeming simplicity – tailored suits, cosy knitwear, fabulous hats and gorgeous, rich Autumnal tones.

Charlotte Gray

Charlotte Gray

Charlotte Gray

Charlotte Gray

Charlotte Gray

I found a couple of things on etsy that I don't think would look at all out of place in the film:

Fabulous suit from Wearing History, listed here.

Listed here.

This reminds me so much of Charlotte's beret. Listed here.

And, despite the not entirely convincing French accent (I’m assuming that is what he was aiming for), Billy Crudup is kind of lovely as Julien Levade. That’s nothing to do with costumes, I know, but he was so cute I felt I ought to mention it.

I do recommend this film for more than its costumes, though – it’s a very touching story and beautifully filmed. I love films about strong, interesting women because I don’t think there are enough around and Charlotte certainly has both of these qualities. I don’t know much about the French resistance (I don’t think watching ‘Allo ‘Allo as a child counts much, does it?) but you don’t need to to enjoy this film. It’s also directed by Gillian Armstrong, who is both female and Australian. Hurrah! She directed one of my favourite Australian films – Star Struck. Another big plus for me.

I do hope everyone enjoyed my comeback Silver Screen Sunday post – I hope to get back to doing these regularly. If not every week, then at least once a fortnight (but we’ll see how I go).

Andi B. Goode

*I really like Cate Blanchett, what can I say?

P.S. I have another great dress for sale (from my personal collection but now too small for me.)


  1. Cinema from the midle twenty century is better, in general, than the actual cinema. On the other hand, I watched the last day that we have common films that we like.

    A question. Why do you sell this nice dress? It fits perfect on you!!!!

  2. for some reason i still haven't seen that movie and Cate is one of my favourite actresses. One of the most beautiful in the world!

  3. great tip - I really like Cate Blanchett and costume-movies - how come I never saw this movie???

  4. Oh, yes, I watched this again not long ago and shared your same reaction (including to Billy Crudup. The guy is a cad, but he is so gorgeous)

  5. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh i love this movie so muuuuuuuuuch!

  6. I adore Cate Blanchett but I havent got round to watching this you've really made want to :) She simply looks stunning in every picture, how does one accomplish that?!
    Great blog by the way xxxx

  7. I saw this when it was first released,it is such a great movie!Love the outfits ,definitely my sort of thing except for the pleated skirt,i can't really wear pleats unless they're box pleats.That beret is wonderful!
    Hope you had a great weekend:) xxx

  8. Ooh, a film I have actually seen! (There are so many on my to-see list, it's ridiculous..!) I really enjoyed it, too, I thought it was visually amazing. I love all those rusty colours!

  9. Xavi: I love movies from any era. =] And the dress, sadly, doesn't fit me anymore! But thank-you.
    Betty Lou: Oooh, you should see it. And she truly is. <3
    sueper: Hehe, I'm not sure! It took me a while to see it.
    Baroness: Glad to know we felt the same ;] And, yes, cad is a great word for him. But definitely gorgeous. ;]
    Phebe: Yayyyy!
    Fashion Limbo: Well, I'm glad I made you want to watch it! It's great. And I know what you mean - effortlessly beautiful. And thanks! =D
    Mrs Cleaver: Hurrah for another fan. =] Yes, I don't wear pleats often myself.
    Marianne: Yay! =D Hehe. I know what you mean - my to-watch list is super long, too. The colours sure are lovely.

  10. went straight off to watch this film as soon as i read this. and bawled my eyes out. Oh. :'(


  11. AnnieLindsay-Smith: Oh dear! I probably should have mentioned it's rather heart-wrenching. I had the same reaction, to tell the truth.

  12. that movie took forever for me!! It was so lonnnnnnnnnnnng but very good. . .just bored me at times. I too loved her outfits and such.

  13. Justice Pirate: Really? I didn't find it drawn out at all. But each to their own. ;]


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