Tortoise in Love, a film made almost entirely by a small Oxfordshire village including a crew of three hundred volunteers of pensioners, young mums and members of the Womens’ Institute, is out in cinemas on July 13th.
The village of Kingston Bagpuize itself and the luxurious village house and gardens provided an idyllic setting for Tortoise in Love so, to celebrate the film’s release, we’ve put together a selection of films from this millennium that feature an assortment of historical country estates!
Starring Keira Knightly and James McAvoy, the first half of Atonement is set amongst glorious grounds of the Tallis’ family estate. There, Briony Tallis, 13 years old and an aspiring writer, sees her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner at the fountain in front of the family estate and misinterprets what is happening, thus setting into motion a series of misunderstandings and a childish pique that will have lasting repercussions for all of them.
The Duchess (2008)
The Duchessis a chronicle of the life of 18th century aristocrat Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and with such an important figure at the height of the Georgian period (a period of fashion and decadence) only a lavish estate would do as the ideal setting for the majority of this film. Spirited and adored by the public at large she quickly found her marriage to be a disappointment, defined by her duty to produce a male heir and the Duke's callous indifference to her. She befriends Lady Bess but finds she is once again betrayed by her husband who wields his power with the three eventually living uncomfortably together. Against this background, and with the pressures of an unfaithful husband, strict social pressures and constant public scrutiny, Georgiana falls passionately in love with Charles Grey, a rising young Whig politician. However, despite his ongoing liaison with Lady Bess, the Duke refuses to allow her to continue the affair and threatens to take her children from her.
Gosford Park (2011)
Set in the 1930's, the story takes place in an old fashioned English country house where a family has invited many of their friends up for a weekend shooting party. Gosford Park centers on the McCordle family, particularly the man of the house, William McCordle. Getting on in years William has become benefactor to many of his relatives and friends. As the weekend goes on and secrets are revealed, it seems everyone, above stairs and below, wants a piece of William and his money, but how far will they go to get it? Gosford Park features an all star cast including Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Ryan Philippe and Kristen Scott-Thomas.
First Night (2011)
First Nightis a unique story of love’s fluctuating fortunes set against a backdrop of visual and vocal beauty. As the cast, the drama, and the music carefully walk a tightrope between humour and pathos a timeless romantic comedy unfolds. Adam (Richard E. Grant) is a rich industrialist and frustrated opera singer aspiring to a more cultured world. Spurred on by playful jibes that he’s just a City suit living a capitalist dream he decides to stage an opera in his lavish country retreat which forms the lavish setting of First Night. He feels sure the shallow taunting will end once his friends see him in full voice. In fact his singing might even help him win the hand of Celia (Sarah Brightman) the female conductor he’s been pursuing, especially since she is the first to be recruited for his showpiece.
Jane Eyre (2011)
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell, this modern recreation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel Jane Eyre is set at Thornfield Hall as Jane Eyre goes out into the world to become a governess after a bleak childhood. There, she meets the dark, cold, and abrupt master of the house, Mr. Rochester. Jane and her employer grow close in friendship and she soon finds herself falling in love with him. Happiness seems to have found Jane at last, but could Mr. Rochester's terrible secret be about to destroy it forever?
Tortoise in Love (2012)
On a dark, wintry evening in January 2009 the village of Kingston Bagpuize and Southmoor decided to make a film. Almost four hundred villagers volunteered to make this happen and the village (and most significantly the lavish country home that is Kingston Bagpuize House) rapidly became the unlikely setting for one of the freshest and funniest films of the last few years, Tortoise in Love!
The film is about Tom, gardener at the big house, who is not a fast mover with women. In fact he's glacially slow. When beautiful Polish au pair Anya arrives for the summer, Tom falls for her catastrophically like the felling of one of the giant trees he cares for in the manicured grounds. Tom's adviser in matters of the heart is young Harry, abandoned by the rich owners of the house to run wild in the gardens. Harry's secret wish is for the Red Arrows to appear at the village fair: Tom's is to win the heart of Anya. Both seem impossible dreams until the whole village decides to lend a hand. The entire cast and crew stayed with villagers, the Women’s Institute organised catering on a vast scale and props, driving, costumes, make-up and a thousand other logistical tasks were all undertaken by a highly organised and frighteningly motivated army of villagers.
Watch the trailer for Tortoise in Love HERE at Cinemas Online. The film is out in cinemas on July 13th
For more information visit the website: www.tortoiseinlove.co.uk/ or Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tortoiseinlove
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