Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Tag: liam neeson

“Happy-Go-Lucky” Is Worth A Look

My apologies to all who thought—as I did—that Weekly in the title Weekly Wilson meant that I would not go more than a week without posting.

I have excuses.

Mostly, the excuses involve my always-rocky relationship with computers.

The hinge on my laptop somehow came undone. So, no laptop to write my post on and most of the graphics I’d need are within said laptop. Computer Revolutions scavenged a new top from an old computer and ordered and installed a new hinge. They did this between Friday and Tuesday, but I still was without a computer recently.

In the meantime, I tried to go downstairs and use my desk top.

Can’t make it type even a letter to the sister for her birthday. Not sure why. Could be “updates.” Could be that I owe money for something that I don’t know about. After all, we were gone from November through May, so various “updates” had to be installed.

Now that I’m (more-or-less) back, I’d like to recommend some viewing, including “Start Up,” which features Martin Freeman and Ron Perlman in a tale from Miami about the Internet, which also features Academy-Award winning actress Mira Sorvino, whom you seldom see onscreen. (Her career a Harvey Weinstein casualty, I believe).

We started watching “The Ice Road” last night, the #1 rental on Netflix with Liam Neeson. When we got to the point where both trucks were on their sides, I asked how they were going to get them both upright again. Still don’t know, as the film quit loading/running.

Last, but not least, Sally Hawkins (the deaf mute girl in “The Shape of Water”) and “Terry” (from “Ray Donovan,” as portrayed by Eddie Marsan) appeared on my late-night television viewing in “Happy-Go-Lucky” and I heartily recommend this film if you are in the market for an upbeat film (from 2008) that has a lot to say about optimism in the face of life’s normal setbacks. (Preview above).

Liam Neeson Talks About Wife’s Tragic Death

Irish-born actor Liam Neeson (movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800019540) has not spoken out in detail about the tragic death of wife Natasha Richardson’s on March 18, 2009. Natasha had been skiing in a remote area of Quebec (Neeson was filming in Toronto) when she fell and hit her head. Immediately after the fall, she seemed fine.

Three hours later, she complained of headaches. Seven hours later, she was in critical condition and was airlifted to Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. Two days later, Natasha Richardson Neeson died  at the age of 45 (Liam is 58).

Neeson has not spoken about that tragic night.—until now.

THE NIGHT NATASHA DIED

In the March, 2011 “Esquire” magazine, Tom Chiarella interviewed Neeson (pp. 108-113).

The interview was supposed to have taken place over a year  earlier. Neeson canceled  as Chiarella was on his way to the restaurant. Neeson says, apologetically, that it was just too soon to talk about Richardson’s death , the events  too raw and fresh in his mind.

THE EMERGENCY ROOM DRAMA

The night that Natasha died, Neeson says:  “I walked into the emergency–it’s like 70, 80 people, broken arms, black eyes, all that—and for the first time in years, nobody recognizes me. Not the nurses. The patients. No one. And I’ve come all this way (from Toronto where he was filming Atom Egoyan’s “Chloe,”)   (movies.yahoo.com/photos/red-carpet/gallery/2123/the) and they won’t let me see her.   I’m looking past them, starting to push—I’m like,’ F***! I know my wife’s back there some place’. I pull out a cell phone and a security guard comes up, starts saying, ‘Sorry, sir, you can’t use that in here,’ and I’m about to ask him if he knew me when he disappears to answer a phone call or something.

So I went outside. It’s freezing cold, and I thought, What am I gonna’ do? How am I going to ge past security? And I see 2 nurses, ladies, having a cigarette.  I walk up, and luckily one of them recognizes me.  And I’ll tell you, I was so f****** grateful—for the first time in I don’t know how long—to be recognized.  And this one, she says, ‘Go in that back door there.’ She points me to it. ‘Make a left.  She’s in a room there.’ So I get there just in time.  And all these young doctors, who look all of 18 years of age, they tell me the worst.  The worst.”

WORK AS SALVATION

Liam Neeson went back to shooting “Chloe” after Natasha Richardson’s funeral. He says, “I just think I was still in a bit of shock.  But it’s kind of a no-brainer to go back to work.  It’s a wee bit of a blur, but I know the tragedy hadn’t just really smacked me yet.” (p. 113) Neeson also said, in a “New York Times” article  (Monsters and Critics.com, “Liam Neeson Talks of Wife’s Final Moments”), “I think I survived by running away. Running away to work.”

Neeson is still surviving by “running away to work.”  Called “one of the most compelling actors of the late 20th century” (Sunday, February 20, 2011 New York Times”), Neeson has a new movie, “Unknown,” where he plays Dr. Martin Harris, whose life is co-opted by another. (news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110217/ap_3n_ot/us_film_review_unknown).

He has a small role in this year’s “The Hangover, Part II,” which he credits to friend Bradley Cooper He replaced Mel Gibson in a cameo role as a character called Tattoo. (in.news.yahoo.com/iam-neeson-thankful-pal-bradley). In 2011, there is also “Last Stand” (www.obsessedwithfilm.com/movie-news/liam-neeson-is-an).

When 2012 rolls around, Neeson is set to play a role in “Battleship” (www.thelifefiles.com), “The Grey” (www.totalfilm.com/news/liamneeson-starring-in-thegrey). He recently made a guest appearance on “The Big C” with Laura Linney as “the bee man” (Neeson and Linney co-starred on Broadway in a remake of “The Crucible”) and he will be in “Wrath of the Titans,” as well,  reprising  his role as Zeus in the sequel to 2010’s “Clash of the Titans,” a remake of the 1981 film. (movies.yahoo.com/news/usmovies.thehollywoodreporter.com).

ACTING AS PRAYER

Back on May 9 of 2010 when excerpts from Retta Blaney’s book “Working on the Inside” (Rowman & Littlefield publishers) were printed on www.beliefnet.com, Neeson talked about his life as an actor, a life crossroads, his faith, and how he realized that acting is a form of prayer (“Acting is a Form of Prayer, May 9, 2010, Retta Blaney for www.beliefnet.com).

Said Neeson, “I found out in the jungles of South America (while filming “The Mission” with Robert DeNiro in 1986) that Stanislavsky (the originator of the ‘Method’ school of acting) had based his technique on the Spiritual Exercises (of Jesuit founder St. Ignatius Loyola.  It was a real revelation to me, and it brought 2 big parts of my life together.  The Irish Catholic side was married to the life of an actor, and I found out that acting could be a form of prayer.  It helped me, knowing that.  It was like a little godsend message.”

Before that, said Neeson, “I was reasonably successful as an actor. I was 32 or 33 with a potential career ahead of me.  I had done some flim-flam movies, but I didn’t understand what being an actor meant any more.” He described his life at that crossroads, when he was still single, as “getting drunk at night and getting laid as much as I could.”

BEGINNINGS

Neeson’s rise as an actor can be attributed to his stage work. He was appearing onstage in Dublin at the Abbey Theatre as Lennie Small in an adaptation of Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” when Director John Boorman (“Deliverance”) saw him and offered him a part as Sir Gawaine in “Excalibur,” Neeson’s first movie break.( www.rottentomatoes.com/m/excalibur). Neeson moved to the United States in 1987 and is a naturalized citizen, which he announced on “Good Morning, America” on August 9, 2009. In a February 21, 2011 “People” Q&A now on the stands, Neeson said of his adopted homeland, “I love the people, the spirit and the landscape—the vastness of it.” (www.People.com).

Luck is always present in anyone’s life and/or career.  Steven Spielberg saw Neeson in Jodie Foster’s film “Nell” and offered him the career-making role of Oskar Shindler in his much-honored film “Schindler’s List.” (movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800019540/bio)

THOUGHTS ON RELIGION AND LIFE

Once Neeson recognized that acting might be a prayerful thing, he said, he began to change. “I offer my performances as prayer for someone I’ve worked with as an actor or someone who has died.  The image that comes into my head as I walk to the stage, I offer that performance up for that person.”

Although he referred to himself as “a fallen-away Catholic” in the March, 2011 “Esquire” interview, he does acknowledge that he is raising his two sons (Micheal, 15, and Daniel, 14)  as Roman Catholics. In Retta Blaney’s book, Neeson said of faith, “I question more now. I don’t mean that it’s all hocum, but I’ve lost a simple faith.  I do still believe, but I like to encompass all religions now.  I believe we’re all paying homage to God.”

In that earlier interview—given before Natasha died— (from “Working on the Inside” by Retta Blaney, published by Rowman & Littlefield, excerpted on www.beliefnet.com on May 9, 2010), Neeson added, “Generally, I just give thanks for how lucky I am.  I’m healthy.  I have some money in the bank (the Neeson Millbrook, NY home was valued at close to $4 million dollars; he and Richardson purchased 16 more acres nearby in August of 2004) and I have a wonderful wife.”

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