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Pondering the Pursuit of Phantom Passion


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Susan, thank you so much for your thought-provoking thread. You have said some things that I have been thinking of lately (and others too). I came with the first wave of Phantom madness, having seen it on the big screen in December, 2004. To say I was gobsmacked was an understatement. I was completely bowled over by Gerry's performance and to this day I don't see the Phantom as Gerry. Those were crazy days...fan sites jumped by the thousands back then. We wanted to support Gerry as he was a relative unknown at the time. I almost felt sad when others came on to his fandom after...we kind of had him all to ourselves for awhile, like it was our great secret.

As far as Gerry being accessible to his fans...he is always so happy to see new/familiar faces. He really does appreciate his fans in a way no one else does. He is truly one of a kind and that's what keeps us around. I'm not going away anytime soon...I love that he portrays roles that speak to him. I think he's truly unique in that aspect. As far as attendance at any of his movies...I only saw POTO twice, but have gone on to see his newer movies as often as I can. I saw 300 18 times, I just could not get enough of it. PSILY 6, TUT countless times, Gamer 2/12 times and now LAC 7 times. I will always support him by putting my butt in the seats.

I know of quite a few people who came to Gerry fandom following PSILY. Even my non Gerry fan daughter loves that movie. I met two girls from Australia who had just come into the fold following PSILY.

As far as the after-party for LAC went, I think Gerry was just busy meeting and greeting as many people as he could. He didn't even have time to eat, but seemed very happy with his first production from ET. He should be very proud...many I've talked to were in complete sympathy with Clyde and didn't like him dying in the end. He can just draw one into a role.

I will always support him in any way I can...going to talk shows, premieres, putting my butt in seats no matter what. Do I like some films more than others? Yes, I do and it's really hard to pick my favorites, but #1 will always be the Phantom as Gerry in that role as it changed my life in ways I didn't dream would be possible. I am looking forward to future roles with great anticipation...I think Coriolanus will make everyone sit up and pay attention.

:yay::wuv:

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Just because of how long, I`ve been a fan of Gerry`s, I can recall even as recent as a couple of years ago, that I would mention his name to people and they would look at me with a complete blank stare on their face and a giant question mark above their heads.When I was in high school, none of my friends knew who he was unless I mentioned him constantly, which I did; and since then a few of my closest friends have been converted to Gerry fans. But, it just goes to show you that, Gerry can be in a enourmous blockbuster like 300 and still be considered an unknown unless King Leonidas is mentioned directly or 300 is mentioned by its title...and then all of a sudden, the person`s face goes from blank to "oh! that guy!"

I still consider Phantom to be one of his greatest performances, there was just something about him in role that to this day leaves me completely breathless and shaken.

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EGG---SACTLY! To some POTO will always be the movie that not only was a beautiful and compelling movie but brought this charming, gorgeous, outstanding actor into their....to some non-existence..... lives! Woke up something in me I can tell ya! :cunning:

:wave: Frannie

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This is a very good thread, Susan. I was also overwhelmed with POTO and this new found actor I knew nothing about, whom had touched me to the core.

I think that newness caused a lot of fan talk...Who is he, what has he been in, where did he come from, and of course listen to that accent! I couldn't get enough information about him. It was very stimulating and passion was high as I learned about his struggles and watched all his movies. It was so exciting to see him on a TV talk show for the first time! (We all know- The first of anything can be very powerful.)

He isn't a secret (Phantom actor) anymore. The world knows who he is . A lot of the questions have been answered. I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, the passion will probably never disappear. It only changes from the first level, infatuation and getting knowledge to a different level of ongoing admiration, appreciation and respect for the talents of one Mr. Butler. Each character he creates makes me feel something new and helps me learn more about me and gives me insight on others as well. I love watching his career unfold before my very eyes. As long as he has passion for acting and shows up for fans, Deb and I will be around.

The Phantom character that touched me so, also seemed to touch him. I disagree with those who don't want the sequel. I think this character touches Gerry more deeply than any of the others he has played. I feel he needs to complete the story, (Deb and I discussed this) for himself as much as for us. Finish the freaking story!!!

Don't throw your shoes. It is just how we feel.

Sally

Edited by cybrsal
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PERSONAL OPINION!!!

I was only eight when I first saw POTO and I fell in love :wuv: .Not with Gerry ( I didn't know about Gerry then) but with the beautiful costumes and the sadness behind this beautiful loving man. When I got older I saw just what this movie was about.I have seen The Phantom of the Opera in Vegas but it wasn't

the same. Yes it touched my heart but not in the same way Gerry did, in my opinion,Gerry is what made POTO so wonderful!

Lots of love to Gerry and all his GALS,

LD :hearts:

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After reading all of these I had almost all the same feelings as I watched POTO.

Admiration, passion and a little sadness.

Holly as Lisa said at the LAC premiere Gerry was on and had a wonderful exchange with us.

At Craigs, and Leno again he was on... I have been curious about your time with him because

you have said in your routines what you would like to say to him. I get the feeling you did

not and I am really sad about that. I think if he would have heard your passion he would have

felt better. We can not know what was going on with him that night I just hope he knows how

much we support him.

All I can say for myself with a bit of humor. My GB relationship is the longest one I have had

in all my life LOL!!! But, I believe it is because of all the friendships I have made here.

As the "main" man in my life he has not disappointed me and I hope to keep it that way by

realizing he is only ours thru the movies he makes and the precious moments we are in his

company.

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I am so for a Movie Sequel of POTO with Gerry. :rose:

I am sorry for the GALs who do not want this. I do want the sequel of the Phantom written by ALW to be made into a movie preferably by Joel. I like his theory of yes it's sad, but make it sexy. I want these members of the original cast back.

Posted Image

Now of the thought of it is too hard on Gerry as an actor to go back to that sad place he had to go to portray Erik the first time then I will be a little sad. I will understand because Gerry is a real life person and he is more important than fictional Erik. That goes for Patrick, Emmy, Jen, and Miranda as well.

Just to me they are those roles because it was first Phantom of the Opera I ever saw.

Like I said before. I do not get to get out and watch movies and plays. I am not trying to make you pity me. I am just explaining why I have not been exposed to other versions.

Of course I am a live and let live person. If others disagree then that's fine. We can agree to disagree.

I have never seen Gerry in anything where he did not give 100%. He doesn't care if he has to act, happy, sad, mad or crazy. He brings all he has. I suppose that is why I have never met a Gerry movie that I have ever seen thus far.

Love,

Tracy

:hug:

Edited by JustCallMeTracy
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Hi everyone!

I joined this forum a couple of days ago but I'm also a member of GBnet and happy to find another great place to talk about the man I adore. :drool1:

I'm Natalia and I live in Belgium, I'm 32 years old and I fell in love with Gerry's talent and personality when I saw Phantom of the Opera in January 2009 (I know it's a bit late but better late than never! :D).

I'm glad to be a part of this forum and I wish you all a wonderful day! :phantom:

Here you go! Just another example. POTO has got to be the movie that just about captured all of our hearts and for most it was because of the breathtaking portrayal played so passionately by Gerard Butler!

:wave: Frannie

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Hi everyone!

I joined this forum a couple of days ago but I'm also a member of GBnet and happy to find another great place to talk about the man I adore. :drool1:

I'm Natalia and I live in Belgium, I'm 32 years old and I fell in love with Gerry's talent and personality when I saw Phantom of the Opera in January 2009 (I know it's a bit late but better late than never! :D).

I'm glad to be a part of this forum and I wish you all a wonderful day! :phantom:

Here you go! Just another example. POTO has got to be the movie that just about captured all of our hearts and for most it was because of the breathtaking portrayal played so passionately by Gerard Butler!

:wave: Frannie

I know Matreshka aka Natalia from GB.net. She is a sweetie. Another benefit of being a fan of Gerry's is new friendships.

Love,

Tracy

:hug:

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Gerry had been coming to me in small pieces although I did not realize it until now. The first piece was in Reign of Fire. I can remember I stopped watching when he died, no longer interested without his character even though I had no idea who he was. The second piece was in Timeline but by then I had forgotten all about Reign of Fire and never made the connection. The third was 300 which afterward he was on my radar but I was still yet to be fully Butlerized.

This July is when I fell hook, line and sinker. I rented POTO and took it to a friends house to watch. She was so uninterested and looked at me like I was a loon when I started crying. I was such a wreck, my throat hurt from the hiccup sobs I had to stifle during the music box scene. Gerry's portrayal of a tortured soul changed me in a way that I still am trying to figure out. HIS Erik knocked the air out of my lungs while breathing some sort of new something into my life I am still trying to figure out. In a very childish way I hate that I have just now discovered him and his work.

When POTO came out I wanted to see it in the theaters but for whatever reason I just didn't which I regret horribly. Seeing it in a theater was, I am sure, beyond words.

You are only discovered once and even though he had been coming to me in very small pieces over the last few years, I did not have my true moment of fully discovering Gerry until this summer. Thank goodness for this site and the people here. My friends think I am nuts and would most assuredly stage an intervention if they knew I was planning on going to Vegas in June. It's hard when you can't just say hey, what did you think of Gerry in this or that movie to people around you. When there is something going on like the 2+ week Gerry Juice bender we all took in October it's nice to know there were others just as "drunk" on it as I was.

Gerry's portrayal of Erik is what drew me in but it's his warmth and genuine nature that has kept me. You can see it in his interviews, hear it in his laugh and feel it in his smile. He is having the time of his life. What you see is what you get with him and I don't think any level of stardom will change that. While I wish I would have followed my heart and seen POTO when it premiered, I am so incredibly happy to be here now.

Becca

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For a small group of us, the 2004 film was movie magic, where through a special combination of talents and passion, a romantic dream floated into our psyche. It was the combination of those talents and not just one talent that made this film so special. Yes, Gerry's role is up front in the movie, and he was brilliant as the Phantom, but it was also the music, the art direction, and Joel's decision to make a lush romantic tableau of ALW's stage play. That will NEVER be repeated. Phantom's film magic was for THAT time and that time only.

Each time you watch it, don't you find yourself wishing it could go on, or that there would be something new in the movie you had not seen before? Still, each time we watch, it's THAT film. It will always be that film, and this is why it means so much to us. It will never change....30 years from now, THAT magic will still be on the screen. If that kind of magic could be conjured up again, it would lose some of its preciousness, and it is my belief that Gerry will never be able to recreate that same passion and magic again in another role.

However, he has and will go on to create a different magic in other roles. They may not resonate with us on a personal level like the Phantom, but they will still have their own kind of magic.

I do long to see him cast in another romantic film...but do we realize how rare that time of film is? How many seriously romantic dramas have come along in the last decade? Films that held the same resonance as the Phantom? Hollywood just doesn't make this kind of film, and if they do, they muck it up like The Time Traveler's Wife, which had great potential to be a memorable romantic film, but IMO, failed to touch the audience.

I really don't want to place expectations on Gerry to create the Phantom's magic again in another role, because it doesn't seem fair. He's got to move on and explore other roles, other characters who might have something to say to, or about him.

I have not been as passionate about his films since Phantom. I have enjoyed most of them, but none have turned my world upside down like POTO did. I've learned to accept that, and I've had to let him go in my mind, to portray other characters.

I do believe the best is still ahead for Gerry, but I don't expect to ever be left sitting in the darkened theater with tears streaming down my face like that again.

Swannie

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I can't say that POTO turned my world upside down, but GERARD BUTLER did. I'm not one who focuses on his characters. POTO was and is a beautiful movie that brings me to tears everytime I watch it, but it's because of Gerry's portrayal. I have also cried at PSILY becuase Gerry portrayed Gerry Kennedy in such a perfect way that it's almost painful.

So I guess for me the deed is already done and now each new role that he comes out with will bring in new fans at their own level of passion, and perhaps a different character will speak to them the way Erik or The Stranger, even Gerry Kennedy speaks to many established fans.

It'll be interesting to see if Gerry is able to find another charcter and give another performance that creates such fervor.

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I have not been as passionate about his films since Phantom. I have enjoyed most of them, but none have turned my world upside down like POTO did. I've learned to accept that, and I've had to let him go in my mind, to portray other characters.

I do believe the best is still ahead for Gerry, but I don't expect to ever be left sitting in the darkened theater with tears streaming down my face like that again.

Swannie

Swannie, I agree. My tears were in my living room. They would have thrown me out of a theater I was crying so loud I was inconsolable for about 30 minutes.. The story behind Slide sounds full of potential for making one cry. I have cried at other Gerry movies that have made me cry Attila, P.S. I love you. Beowulf and Grendel, 300, Shattered, Dear Frankie and some more I am sure I cannot recall at the moment.

The Phantom though is something I have made a study of since watching Gerry's movie. Having read 9 books after watching it, the Libretto to the stage play by ALW and several fan fictions. Also watching two more movie versions. So I love the Phantom with Gerry and even without. Though he shall always be my favorite phantom and he is who I visualize in all the books except the original and Susan Kaye's

Heck I have even giving a go at writing some POTO fan fic myself.

Plus I have to give POTO props. It knocked It's A Wonderful Life out of being my favorite movie for decades.

Love,

Tracy

:hug:

I can't say that POTO turned my world upside down.

Without Erik i would not have found without Gerry I would not have found Erik.

That doesn't mean I don't love Gerry in other roles because I do.

Love,

Tracy

:hug:

Edited by JustCallMeTracy
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I can't say that POTO turned my world upside down, but GERARD BUTLER did. I'm not one who focuses on his characters. POTO was and is a beautiful movie that brings me to tears everytime I watch it, but it's because of Gerry's portrayal. I have also cried at PSILY becuase Gerry portrayed Gerry Kennedy in such a perfect way that it's almost painful.

So I guess for me the deed is already done and now each new role that he comes out with will bring in new fans at their own level of passion, and perhaps a different character will speak to them the way Erik or The Stranger, even Gerry Kennedy speaks to many established fans.

It'll be interesting to see if Gerry is able to find another charcter and give another performance that creates such fervor.

Girl, that is exactly the way I feel about it. I can say honestly that if it had been anyone else it wouldn't have been the same for me. Something in his eyes during the music box scene just.....it's like I had forgotten the movie for a moment and was watching this man break in front of me- not the Phantom but Gerry himself and that's what just broke my heart. I KNOW that's what acting is all about but there was just something in that moment that to me, rang true to the core.

Edited by ready2fly
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Girl, that is exactly the way I feel about it. I can say honestly that if it had been anyone else it wouldn't have been the same for me. Something in his eyes during the music box scene just.....it's like I had forgotten the movie for a moment and was watching this man break in front of me- not the Phantom but Gerry himself and that's what just broke my heart. I KNOW that's what acting is all about but there was just something in that moment that to me, rang true to the core.

I can't tell you how many times I have said that exact thing. Gerry embodies that character so well, just like The Stranger when he's walking with Lizzie and finds out about how Frankie became deaf. Same thing.

Gerry is a phenomenal man, and I'm sure we can all agree on that.

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POTO has what I think of as a cult following. The emotions that movie inspired in so many fans is impossible to maintain, and a fandom cannot survive on that one movie alone ether. It was inevitable that some fans would drift away as Gerry’s career evolved, it’s impossible to build a career on waiting for or playing in those sorts of highly romantic stylized films. (See Colin Firth or Matthew McFadden alumni of the Pride & Prejudice franchise.) It would be a long wait first of all because those sorts of movies don’t get made all the time. And Gerry’s career sort of floundered a bit after POTO. The movie did eventually turn a profit but Gerry was never credited with the films success at all and outside POTO fandom, the movie is not looked upon kindly by many media commentators. I do admire Gerry’s passion and commitment to Phantom despite the derision it arouses in some quarters, he could have easily turned his back on that project.

Dear Frankie was terrific but hardly seen be anyone, and Beowulf and Game of their Lives hardly made a ripple. 300 launched Gerry into whole new level and his fan base began to diversify as the guys came on board and he has continued to add fans with each new movie. He now has a broad group of fans that go across several demographics. That gives him the potential for a lasting career.

A story that arouses his emotions and passions may be on his docket already or it may be a few years down the road. And it might not be anything like Phantom, and it may take his career far from that moment when many first knew him.

As much as I like Phantom, if I had seen in it in 2003 it would not have made me a fan. 300 would not have made me a fan. It was PS I Love You that got to me. Then I was able to go back and appreciate how wonderful Gerry was in both Phantom and 300. Sometimes it takes awhile to truly appreciate a good actor’s work

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Girl, that is exactly the way I feel about it. I can say honestly that if it had been anyone else it wouldn't have been the same for me. Something in his eyes during the music box scene just.....it's like I had forgotten the movie for a moment and was watching this man break in front of me- not the Phantom but Gerry himself and that's what just broke my heart. I KNOW that's what acting is all about but there was just something in that moment that to me, rang true to the core.

I can't tell you how many times I have said that exact thing. Gerry embodies that character so well, just like The Stranger when he's walking with Lizzie and finds out about how Frankie became deaf. Same thing.

Gerry is a phenomenal man, and I'm sure we can all agree on that.

OMFB! That just gave me the chills. His expression with Lizzie in that scene....just......wow. See, no where and with no one else in my life can I have this type of conversation. :wave:
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Well really if we are talking about how each of his movies have touched us in someway that is easy...When he cried for N'cara I found myself crying along with him, when he was told about what Frankies Dad did to him ....OMG!, And then of course the scene in POTO in front of the music box and Christine came back...Oh that little sob just kills me everytime....but I think I really cry the hardest when he relapses in The Jury! That just tears my heart out... Maybe because it's so close to home for me..I don't know but I think that was the moment that he earned his right to be called an incredible actor! PSILY was sort of different for me...I never shed a tear til Holly ran to her mother sobbing...that's when I started tearing up.....so I guess it's the fact that Gerry puts so much passion and thought into his characters that to us it becomes almost real....Now that's a GREAT actor!

:wave: Frannie

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As much as I like Phantom, if I had seen in it in 2003 it would not have made me a fan. 300 would not have made me a fan. It was PS I Love You that got to me. Then I was able to go back and appreciate how wonderful Gerry was in both Phantom and 300. Sometimes it takes awhile to truly appreciate a good actor’s work

This is what I meant earlier. Every fan discovers Gerry through subsequent films that move them in ways I may not understand, like you and others with PSILY. Not everybody was as moved by Phantom as I was five years ago. There will always be a divide between those who fell in love with Gerry and those who fell in love with The Phantom as portrayed by Gerry. Those who will follow his films with interest no matter what he chooses and those who wait for the next 'Phantom' to happen.

Every fan has a landmark film, a performance that suddenly made them aware of Gerard Butler and interested in what he'd do next. Attila and Dracula 2000 attracted a few early fans enough to begin a website to talk about Gerard Butler. POTO brought in a large group of new fans but it didn't stop there. Each new film will ignite new fans. Right now there are people who never thought much about Gerard Butler who have been wowed by his performance in LAC and have started to pay closer attention to what he's doing on film. And so it goes. That's good!

jane

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Well really if we are talking about how each of his movies have touched us in some way that is easy...When he cried for N'cara I found myself crying along with him, when he was told about what Frankies Dad did to him ....OMG!, And then of course the scene in POTO in front of the music box and Christine came back...Oh that little sob just kills me everytime....but I think I really cried the hardest when he relapses in The Jury! That just tears my heart out... Maybe because it's so close to home for me..I don't know but I think that was the moment that he earned his right to be called an incredible actor! PSILY was sort of different for me...I never shed a tear til Holly ran to her mother sobbing...that's when I started tearing up.....so I guess it's the fact that Gerry puts so much passion and thought into his characters that to us it becomes almost real....Now that's a GREAT actor!

:wave: Frannie

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I need to say, I would not want Gerry to do the sequel if he didn't feel the part. Not knowing the script myself, I trust Gerry to make that decision. Obviously, if the script and the cast didn't come together wondrously, forget it. It needs to fit magically... It could happen, yes it could.

I think the Burn's story could have lots of passion. Lots of possibility there.

Sally

PS I've cried in most of his movies. I cried the most at the music box scene. It broke my heart.

Edited by cybrsal
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I am so offended right now. I have been made to feel like some kind of mindless follower worshiping at the alter of Phantom of the Opera! And I am somehow less of a Gerry fan because of it. Anyone who has spent anytime with me, knows how devoted I am to both Gerry and Erik. The two things are totally different, and I am not a total twit. I am a well balanced adult who happens to be both a Phantom fan and a Gerry fan.

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I enjoy all the various points of view being expressed so respectfully here. That's what a good discussion should be. I wasn't speaking of an actual "Phantom-like" role for Gerry in the future (but respect those like Sally and Deb who hope he reprises the role in the sequel). Maybe that POTO frenzy was in some ways more negative than positive and I shouldn't even be thinking of a role that might create a similar reaction in the future...though it was a positive experience for me. You are right that we can't go back, we shouldn't even try. I know that the varied roles Gerry has tackled have brought in new fans from different quarters than those who came aboard with POTO and that is exactly what was needed to advance his career. I wasn't thinking that a new influx of super-impassioned fans was something Gerry himself needed or sought, I was just observing what had changed from my perspective as a fan, no issuing a judgment about whether that was good or bad. I've enjoyed watching Gerry's career grow and change and see his ability as an actor become more refined - I posted after my first viewing of LAC that I think it is his best work yet. But while I sympathized with Clyde (even when he did the most heinous things) I can't say I was impassioned by him. I don't think there is anything wrong with holding out hope that such a passion-inducing character is in Gerry's future, one that is soul-deep for him and hits me at that level as well. It might NOT be a "good guy" or "romantic lead" that does it, I have no crystal ball to tell me what it could be - or if it will be, so I will go on enjoying every moment that he is up there on the big screen in any and every role he tackles. I will buy tickets to his movies and copies of the DVD's.

As for the fansite friendships, there may be some that survive solely on the shared interest in Gerry, for me the closest friends I've made share far, far more than just that. Just within the circle of real-life friends I've acquired thanks to Gerry most have branched off into other interests and fandoms as well, but we still trace the origins of what connected us back to Gerry. I admit myself that I don't post nearly as much as I used to (which is a good thing, productivity-wise).

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*Hugs Deb* I hope I haven't offended you :-(

I will admit that Gerry's career has NOT gone in the direction I had hoped. I really wanted meatier and bigger roles for him. I'm not a fan of LAC, and GAMER was disappointing in many ways...but who am I to judge how Gerry is managing his career, when I don't have a clue how the movie business works?

I just wish there were better scripts out there, and film projects that COULD be as inspiring as POTO, but I think those scripts and stories are very rare.

I wanna see G play a dark and brooding romantic leading man with a fabulous script, fantastic leading lady (my choice: Kate Winslett) and great director, set in beautiful Scotland. Is that too much to ask?

Swannie

Edited by Swansong
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