This is Maggie Smith’s life cast. No fooling this crowd on the guessing front. Born in Ilford, Essex, England in 1934, Margaret Natalie Smith made her professional stage debut at age 17, playing Viola in ‘Twelfth Night’ at the Oxford Playhouse. She had to change her stage name to Maggie Smith due to another actress named Margaret Smith who had already made a name for herself. Looking back over six decades of acting, Maggie has covered it all. She made her Broadway debut in ‘New Faces of 1956.’ She performed Desdemona opposite Laurence Olivier’s Othello at the National Theatre in 1964. She reprised her role the next year on film, and received her first of six nominations for an Academy Award. She has received two Oscars, the first for Best Actress in 1969, for ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,’ and the second for Best Supporting Actress in 1978, for Neil Simon’s ‘California Suite.’ With her Tony Award for Best Actress in the 1990 play, ‘Lettice and Lovage’ and her Emmy Award for Best Actress in the 2003 TV miniseries, ‘My House in Umbria, Maggie became one of a few actors to accomplish winning the 'Triple Crown of Acting.' She has also received a record four Best Actress BAFTA Awards and five Best Actress Evening Standard Awards for her career on the London stage. From the Queen of England in 1990, Maggie was awarded the formal title 'Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire,' and in 2014, 'The Order of the Companions of Honour.' In the new millennium, Dame Smith is best known for her role as Professor Minerva McGonagall in seven Harry Potter films and as Violet Crawley in the TV series ‘Downton Abbey,’ from which she has received three Emmy Awards, in 2011, 2012 and 2016. #guesswho#reveal#whosthat#maggiesmith#margaretnataliesmith#britsth#england#actor#stage#movies#professormcgonagall#minervamcgonagall#harrypotter#violetcrawley#downtonabbey
Production Value: 5/5
Artistic Value: 4/5
Entertainment Value: 2/5
Grade: "Maybe A Matinee"
Allow me to geek out on this one.
I'm on the side of the fence that didn't care for Prometheus at all. It was all over the place and it didn't know what it wanted to be. The rewrites were terrible and the inclusion of Xenomorphs were an afterthought. Prometheus would have been easier to digest had it been just "a story based in the 'Alien' universe." Enter Covenant. It has similar problems as Prometheus...almost the inverse, in fact. We don't get enough Prometheus information, which were the better parts of Covenant. What we really get are insane character decisions "because plot". They're excuses to let the Xenomorphs run rampant and it's blatant. Again, just let the Prometheus story unfold on its own.
Truth be told, I feel like the problem is simple. "Alien" was intimate and terrifying. "Aliens" was grandiose and epic. Every movie since has tried to emulate one or the other. This new Prometheus storyline is trying to do both, and it's become clear they can't serve two masters. The gymnastics they'll have to employ to connect everything will be tough to perform.
It's hard for me to follow that this epic, universe shattering plotline is what had to happen to lead up to a genius, very lean film such as "Alien". It's almost too much. "Alien" is classic, and though its reputation seems to deserve such treatment, it diminishes what happened on the Nostromo narratively. It doesn't work for me, and I don't think it works period if we're being honest.
All that being said, it was more entertaining than Prometheus, Alien 3 and Resurrection. That doesn't make it great, but it makes it watchable.