I’ve finished the overview page for ‘Outlander‘ in the projects section. So go there to see a more in-depth description of the film and Sophia’s role. I’ve tried to stay away from major spoilers but of course if you want to remain unspoiled before seeing the film for yourself don’t read. The film is certainly on a par with major blockbusters – even though better than your usual period action piece. What I personally liked very much was the authentic look and feeling of the Viking period, the epic shots (e.g. air-shot of the Viking village, whole waterfall sequence), the score, the shield dance as well as the acting performances (apart from Sophia, Jack Huston, John Hurt, Jim Caviezel). Of course to me the best thing about it is Sophia Myles! As we’ve been able to judge from the stills already the red hair suits her very well – and even better her character Freya. She’s certainly very willful and more than able to handle a sword. Freya’s introduction scene is very impressive. Sure, Sophia’s played other willful girls before, but they’ve always been using words rather than actions. Freya tops even Lady P.
The film also features plenty of gore – which is to be honest not really my kind of thing – but there should be plenty of people happy to hear this. As to the film’s supposedly featuring lots of known elements, well how could it not? After all the idea was to kind of tell the ‘real’ story behind the Beowulf legend. While major monster movies usually tend to have too glossy a look for my taste many other monster movies are marketed as family entertainment and everything looks too neat, too colourful. ‘Outlander‘ in my opinion features a balanced mixture of epic, glossy, rugged and authentic look. The film is what it claims to be – and all the elements work well, this is escapism in its purest form. We certainly were treated to some fabulous entertainment.
It was raining in the whole country on Friday – probably the hardest down in Locarno. So, we were more than anxious what the weather would be like in the evening. Fortunately, it cleared up and we stayed dry. No rain, yes, but it was cold! Very cold for a summer day in August. The film was screened in both the Piazza Grande (outdoor venue) and the FEVI (indoor venue) but I watched outside. We had fantastic seats and it was amazing to see all of the action on such a huge screen. And the sound! They really must have had some fantastic sound equipment. The action was all around us and we felt like being right there, celebrating the defeat of the bear, being under Moorwen attack, laying in the monster’s liar and fighting it under the waterfall – and thanks to the temperatures it was also almost as if we were right there in cold Nova Scotia.
We met up with Sophia Myles and the rest of the ‘Outlander‘ team at the beautiful Palazzo Casorella and posed for some pictures with Sophia down at the Piazza Grande (see last update). Sophia was radiant and charming, Jack Huston very entertaining (he’s sure to get his big break soon, he’s got everything it takes to be a major star for a long time to come), and Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain very enthuasiastic about their work. There was also a team from Frenetic – the film’s Swiss distributor. No clear information on release dates yet. Maybe early 2009. Switzerland will have similar release dates as its neighbouring countries Germany, France and Italy. And everyone seems to look to the US anyway. Thank you very much Sophia (and Frenetic) for making Friday evening the wonderful experience it was for us! I guess I’m also thankful to the Locarno Festival for having ‘Outlander‘ in their programme.
I’ve not been able to find many reviews for ‘Outlander’ following its world premiere. The Outlander website put together an overview. Almost none made any special reference to Sophia – Variety simply says Kate Winslet lookalike Sophia Myles. And The Hollywood Reporter had this to say: “Myles looks the part too even if her plummy English vowels and crisp consonants jar a bit but then again you’d be amazed if a daughter of John Hurt didn’t speak well.” Well, we’d expect nothing less from a princess, certainly!
The film had its world premiere at the Locarno International Film Festival and, handled suitably by the Weinstein Company in the U.S. and Wild Bunch internationally, it should do crowd-pleasing business all around.
I added 5 more HQ pics of the ‘Outlander’ Photocall as well as 2 pics I took when the ‘Outlander’ team was on stage. I was standing at a very fortunate place really, but not when it came to taking pictures of the gang on stage. In addition I was also trying to juggle carrying jackets and what not while filming. So I really only got a few seconds (watch in the Media Archive). I’m especially sad to have missed the moment when Sophia adressed the audience. She said she was happy to be back in Switzerland after something like 10 years and thanked the festival for this opportunity.
Unfortunately, I’ve as of yet not been able to find any video coverage by the media. If you come across something please be sure to pass on the information! Also if you’re not able to provide a clip or a link we’d be most happy to hear a report of what a media outlet had to say about Sophia/the movie!