The time has come to say goodbye to my fellow Nora fans! Thank you all for checking out our blog regularly and all your comments. If you happened to miss any of the four movies, be sure to check back on our TV schedule for dates and times to catch the encores presentations. And don't forget, if you missed any of the movies or you just want to relive the magic, all four are available to download on iTunes.
Be well and keep on reading!!
With the last of the Nora movies, comes our last critique from our die-hard Nora fans, Suz and Wym. Let's see what these lovely ladies had to say about last night's premiere of "Carolina Moon."
"This movie worked for me on several levels," says Wym. "I really enjoyed Stephen Tolkin's screenplay. He said, "I worked to make sure that the script did its best to capture the romance, excitement and emotional force of the original." He succeeded. The heart of the story was on the screen." Suz too was a big fan of the movie. "In watching the movie, I found myself wanting to re-read the book. Which to me, is the sign of a good movie.
Turns out both women were a big fan of Oliver Hudson. "He was a delicious Cade—I could sop him up with a biscuit!" says Suz. Even Wym divulged her deep dark secret. "I've always known that there was something inherently wrong with lusting after a man young enough to be your son. Correction. Lusting after a man the same age as your son. Okay. Okay. Lusting after a man who was born in the same hospital as your son and right down the hall! Wrong. Wrong. Wrong."
As for the other character's Wym loved Josie Davis as Faith and Chad Willett as Wade. "While all the layers of their relationship couldn't be explored, I think the viewer got a sense of their history together. And Jacqueline Bissett was a wonderful Margaret Lavelle. So beautiful before Hope's death and so brittle after." While Suz found Josie Davis to be a wonderful actress who encompassed Faith's "bratty, bitchy, confident, and sexy" characteristics, she did find Claire Forlani wasn't what she envisioned Tory to be. "I didn’t feel much passion coming through from her. One moment she’s strong, the next moment she’s weak. I didn’t feel that she gave the character as much depth as she could have."
All in all it seems as though "Carolina Moon" was the fan fave of the four movies. Wym felt it "was true to Nora's vision ... the story, the casting. It showed me that it was possible to make a really good movie from a really good book. Suz found the story was well adapted, and liked the visions and flashbacks technique used. "It had a wonderful pace and prompted me to grab the book off my shelf for a re-read. To borrow from Vanessa Williams' hit song, I think Lifetime “saved the best for last!”
Suz gives “Carolina Moon” 5 out of 5 Glasses of Champagne. Impressive!!
Thank you again ladies for all your critiques!!
Here's a fun fact for you: Did you know star of "Carolina Moon," Oliver Hudson comes from quite the celebrity pedigree? That's right, this down-to-earth cutie is the son of none other than Goldie Hawn AND brother to the stunning Kate Hudson (talk about a star-studded fam!) Lifetime caught up with the actor to see what he thought about his experience was like filming this movie.
"Claire and I hit it off," says Hudson. "We have similar personalities because we both like to get on each other like brother and sister." But don't worry, in Hudson's eyes, poking fun of someone is just a sign of affection. "If I'm making fun of you or ribbing at you, that’s how I show my love. And that was our relationship—head bunting in the bet of ways! The minute you stop having fun on set, there's no longer a point in being there."
When he and his co-star Forlani weren't joking around, the actor also admitted to taking advantage of his surroundings in Calgary. "I've worked there before and there are some amazing places to see. When I wasn’t on the set, I'd spend my time fly fishing at a river right across from the hotel in walking distance," says Hudson. "Then after hanging at the river, I'd pack up my rods and head to the casino and play poker." Fishing and poker? Talk about every guy's dream!
(P.S. Josie Davis played Sarah in "Charles in Charge")
Ok time to test your classic television smarts. Jose Davis, who plays Cade's sister Faith in "Carolina Moon" also starred in what hit series? Check out the picture—but look closely…she's grown up quite a bit!!
*Hint: Think 80's people!
Ever think about what it would be like if you met Nora face-to-face? Two Noraholics (our resident ADWOFF fans Suz and Wym) had some interesting accounts of what it was like to meet the publishing powerhouse.
Wym first met Nora about five years ago in Philadelphia area on tour for her novel "The Villa." Wym's first encounter happened in the mid nineties. " In 1997, nine of us, online friends but strangers in "real" life, decided to travel to Boonsboro, Maryland for the first anniversary of Nora's husband's bookstore, Turn The Page. We met each other at a hotel and then were fortunate to meet Nora. We've been returning to Boonsboro each summer to celebrate—except now there's over one hundred of us!"
Among the hundred plus fans is Suz, who travels over three hours for a mere five minutes with Nora, and she explains why: "Attending a Nora Roberts book signing is like going to see Santa Claus. For weeks, you know that you are going to see a legend in the flesh! You are so excited you can't sleep the night before. Then you wait in a seemingly endless line for hours until finally, it's your turn to see Nora! You have so many things you want to tell her, but suddenly your mouth is dry and you can't remember your mother's name let alone what you wanted to say to Nora. But then Nora smiles and says hello and it's like a switch is flipped in your brain and you start to babble and can't stop even though you know you are."
So what did Suz think of Nora after all was said and done? "Nora is patient and attentive and listens to you ramble. She'll even pose for a picture with you and you pray that you don't come out looking like a deer caught in the headlights. She is an amazing woman well as the author—both fascinating to me.
Think about how cool it would be if you were one of those people with psychic abilities similar to that Tory in "Carolina Moon." You'd know exactly what you're boss was thinking, you'd know where your kids really were last night and Powerball may not seem so out of reach anymore! But now-a-days, it's hard to tell who's the real deal and who's, well, a hack (for lack of a better term). Oliver Hudson. "People have gifts that allow them to be able to, but you never know if it's valid. I've been to some psychics where it was enlightening and some where they were off the mark."
"I believe there is a higher being and power and we as humans are capable of tapping into something greater than we actually do," says star of the movie
Turns out even Nora is a believer. "I think some people are gifted, but probably ninety-nine percent of them who claim they are, aren’t," says Roberts. "There was this woman in my area which people used to come from all over the country to see. We called her Miss Betty. She had a little trailer and was absolutely amazing. It was just fascinating to be around someone who has a gift."
Anyone else a believer or had an interesting experience? Let's hear it!
Curious as to what was going through screenwriter, Stephen Tolkin's mind when adapting "Carolina Moon" into a movie? So were we! Here's what he had to say:
"I knew I couldn't cram 300+ pages of character development and plot turns into an 88 minute movie intact, but it was very important to me to capture the essence of the world Nora had created, and at every step of the adaptation, scene by scene and character by character, I worked to make sure that the script did its best to capture the romance, excitement and emotional force of the original."
Luckily, Tolkin was fortunate with all the wonderful characters on hand I didn't have to invent any. He did however combine the actions of several of Nora's characters into one. "In the book, Tory has a lot of family living in Progress--her Uncle Jimmy, her Aunt Boots and her cousin Wade, as well as her grandmother Iris a few towns over. It made sense to give all their plot stuff to Wade, who is one of the romantic leads of the piece as well."
When it came to keeping the Nora following satisfied, Tolkin also pointed out that "it helped that Claire Forlani, who plays Tory, is a big reader of Nora's books and really understood the heart of what makes Nora so hugely appealing to so many people." Now that's what we like to hear!
**Tune into “Good Day L.A.” tomorrow morning, Thursday, February 15 when Jacqueline Bisset stops by in the 9:00 am hour to discuss her role in “Nora Roberts’ Carolina Moon” and show clips of her new Lifetime Original Movie.
It's that time again, to check in with two of our fave fans, Suz and Wym, to see what they thought of last night's premiere of "Blue Smoke."
Suz's initial thoughts? "Wow! Bitchin’ opening of “Blue Smoke!” Can I say "bitchin" on Lifetime?" (Hey…why not!) "Such a visually grabbing beginning. I like the fire in slow motion with Reena’s voice over. The cadence of her voice flows with the dancing flames. It’s almost hypnotic."
The cast seemed to go over well with the ladies. "I liked Alicia Witt and Matthew Settle and thought they gave solid performances," says Wym. "I am sorry we didn't get to see more of Talia Shire or Scott Bakula who always light up the screen even in small snippets. But I'm not sorry that we didn't see more of Christopher Fassbender—he was creepy enough in small doses, thank you very much!" Suz was also happy with the talent, but "while Alicia Witt captured certain characteristics of Reena Hale, I also felt she was a little weak in grasping the essence of the character. Reena was a little more “kick-ass” confident and self-assured than Ms. Witt portrayed her."
"I thought the flashbacks and her memories of the Sirico’s fire that Reena experiences as she struggles through the fire academy test was a great technique to use," says Suz. "Listening to Reena’s commentary you can sense her embrace the fire; you feel her passion, her love, her fear and her respect all intermingling with one another." Wym wished there was more time for even more family moments at the restaurant. "This story is very much about family - the drama and humor and love that are at its center. Though we don't experience that as much in the movie as the book, it still didn't detract from the flow of the story."
"While it’s difficult to not compare the book with the movie, “Blue Smoke” can definitely stand on its own," says Suz. "The book is the book and the movie is the movie. You’re always going to get more depth from a novel, and I think the Lifetime movies are doing a wonderful job of capturing the heart of Nora’s novels."
Wym is hoping that after people watch the movie, they'll run out and buy the book "knowing that in four hundred plus pages there will be many more layers to the characters and story than a two hour movie could reveal."
With a nod to Suz's champagne glasses, Wym gives "Blue Smoke" six out of eight delicious slices of a Sirico's Pizza. =)
Truth be told, I can't decide if I'm more excited for tonight's premiere of or the fact that I get to look at actor Matthew Settle for two hours! We wanted to hear from the sexy actor himself to see what his experience working with all that fire was like. "The last day we tried to burn the set down, and they had me there in my little Nomex outfit—as if that’s going to save my life. I guess since it was the last day of shooting, actors are considered expendable! Anyways, we all got so mesmerized by the flames and watching the set burn inside a studio when suddenly the flames were trying to get through the roof. It took a second for people to start screaming and the smoke to fill in!"
Settle also admitted to hitting it off with all the cast and crew, especially Talia Shire. "She's a hoot—we had some late nights. The local actors hung out at the bottom of the Space Needle in Calgary. It was a lot of fun, and they'd leave it open for us after hours so we'd get out of work by 3:30 and leave there at 6 30. I actually discovered a scotch called Dallwinee—one shot will do you all night!"
So what did Settle think of his character, Bo, in the movie? Turns out both have one key similarity. "We’re both romantic. I don’t want to say hopeless, but if you're not a romantic, you're hopeless." Is this guy perfect for the part or what?
Tonight's the night everyone's waiting for—and with only hours from the premiere of "Blue Smoke" Lifetime chatted with the director and screenwriter to hear about their experiences with the movie.
"This was a great story—intricate in it's construction with some great characters and relationships, all bound up in their fascination and passionate response to the deadly danger and beauty of fire, to which we can all relate," says director David Carson. "I am very used to an extremely caring fan base - and in this instance so much attention was paid by all departments to the original detail that Nora had created."
Let's see what screenwriter Ronni Kern had to say about staying true to the novel: "The best part of adapting "Blue Smoke" was that I got to spend every working hour with Nora's great characters and dialogue. The downside, of course, was that she filled 437 pages with them and I had to shoehorn them into an 87-minute movie," says Kern. "With all the cutting, I was inevitably nervous about both Nora's response and that of her readers. I personally grieve over losing so much of the young Reena for reasons beyond my control. Nora's writing is so vivid and so much of her dialogue was kept intact, however, that I'm hoping Reena's fans will be able to overlook what is missing." Talk about a tricky job!