Belated TV Recommendation: War & Peace

War & PeaceLifetime and some of its affiliate networks aired the new BBC War & Peace miniseries early this year, and I finally had a chance to finish watching it last weekend. So I am here to tell you very tardily that you should catch it on demand immediately – here, at least, it expires in a few days – because it was just a delight. I’ve never read the novel, but this left me thinking “I can’t wait to read this book!” which is certainly a good thing for an adaptation to accomplish.

The story is, of course, sweeping and epic and so, so soapy, with all sorts of crazy interpersonal drama laid over an examination of aristocracy and social class in czarist Russia as well as, of course, Napoleon’s invasion. (Watching it made me want to read non-fiction about the time period as well as the novel itself, actually. I love TV that makes me want to read lots of things!) The cast is great – James Norton, Paul Dano, Lily James, Jim Broadbent, and many more – and the scenery and sets and costumes are all breathtaking. It’s just a highly satisfying piece of television.

Here’s the BBC trailer for the miniseries:

Anyone else watch it? Did you like it as much as I did?

War & Peace Casts Gillian Anderson & More

Gillian AndersonThe Weinstein Company’s War and Peace miniseries, directed by Tom Harper, keeps adding exciting people to the cast: Gillian Anderson! Joe Broadbent! Rebecca Front! Aneurin Barnard! Tuppence Middleton! The cast already included Lily James, James Norton (hi Sidney Chambers!), Stephen Rea, and more, so this is shaping up to be quite the star-studded adaptation. I’m pretty excited. (Will I be able to read the book in time? I need to make myself a schedule.) Variety has the full rundown on the casting news.

Movie Casting Updates: Paper Towns & More

Cara DelevingneCara Delevingne will play Margo Roth Spiegelman in the adaptation of John Green’s Paper Towns. A lot of people seem to have a lot of feelings about this – partially, I think, because Delevingne has worked mostly as a model – but since I’ve seen neither her audition for this nor her acting in anything else, I see no reason not to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Whoa, they’re making a movie of Mary Downing Hahn’s Wait Till Helen Comes! It will star Maria Bello and Sophie and Isabelle Nelisse.

That Ben-Hur remake has started casting – so far it’s got Jack Huston and Morgan Freeman.

By the way, Huston is also playing Wickham in the long-rumored adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which also includes Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Emma Greenwell, and Douglas Booth.

Live by Night has added Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, and Elle Fanning.

Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin will star in Me Before You.