Friday, 20 August 2010

The Spin-Off, Season One: Episode 1

When I mentioned a couple of months ago that I felt that there was eons of story beneath the characters in An Education it was Mrs. Mellor, played excellently by Cara Seymour, that stood out the most. Remember that moment when David stops in for a drink and Marjorie says, laughingly, of her past life “I’m trying to think what you missed. Nothing much comes to mind.” It’s little moments like that that get me thinking about Marjorie Mellor as a real person and not as a plotpoint in An Education of Jenny Mellor. And, really, wouldn’t that be a capital film. Sequels, spinoffs and reinterpretations are a big no-no right now, cinematically speaking. The thing is, the reason those end up doing so poorly is because there’s really nothing new to be seen. Same story, different protagonist. Sure, the convoluted action flick might be a moderate smash at the box-office…but it’s more than just about the money. Right?
It would be a whole other kind of An Education if we could see Marjorie as a young Briton in the forties. I did say she reminded me a bit of a Helen who’d taken the high road. Thus, who better than the actual Helen to play her? Rosamund Pike has been doing too many thankless supporting roles. She needs a leading role worthy of her brilliance. Bring back Lone Scherfig to direct and Nick Hornby to write the script and we could have a winner on her hands. How did Marjorie end up with her stick-in-the-mud husband? Granted, it’s anyone’s guess if Jack was always so uptight. And who to cast as the resident fuddy-duddy? Matthew McFayden, no less. He’s not as deliciously histrionic as Alfred Molina (who is?), but he’s a “safe” choice – the type of affable man who feels he is not good enough for his wife. Am I the only one getting the feeling that Mr. Mellor is well aware that he’s a lucky bastard for catching Marjorie? I love that moment near the beginning where Jenny’s asking for directions to St. John’s Smith Square and Marjorie says, “It’s in Westminster. Just around the corner from the Abbey.” Jack does the slightest of double takes, “How d’you know that?” Marjorie is unaffected, “I had a life before we were married, you know.” No passion – just a fact. Cara Seymour is just perfect in her role…and that only gets me wondering more, was Marjorie a prominent socialite?
I don’t quite know what the plot would focus on. Was she born in Twickenham? Did she always want to be a dutiful housewife? Perhaps she was a nurse during the war. Or perhaps she had hopes of becoming an actress in her day that were thwarted by a love affair with the amicable, if somewhat trite, Jack. Yes, my brain’s just hopping around but that’s one spinoff I’d pay good money to see.

Am I barking up the wrong tree, or would your interest be piqued at the idea of a prequel for Marjorie Mellor? Rosamund and Matthew…or someone else?


Ryan T. said...

Couldn't even think about possible casting, but great post. I have to pay special attention to that character now when I re-watch the film.

Luke said...

In all honesty - YES! I'd probably be much more interested in seeing her story than Jenny's, in fact. I thought Cara Seymour was the stand-out in the movie... her SAG snub still baffles my mind!

joe burns said...

Yes! That's a great idea!

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

ryan oh please do, she's so forgotten and unfairly so.

luke that snub still bewilders me.

joe thanks!