Helena Bonham Carter :: The Changeling


More of Annie Leibovitz's and others' photos in The 2011 Hollywood Portfolio for Vanity Fair. {above photographed by Tim Walker, London}

"Who’d have guessed, when she debuted as a demure little E. M. Forster heroine in 1985’s Merchant Ivory frock-fest, A Room with a View, that we’d even still be watching Bonham Carter, much less savoring her versatility? Back then, she seemed merely a well-cast pretty young thing, a Spandau Ballet-era ingénue. But in the last year alone we’ve seen her unleash her sexy inner Death Eater as Bellatrix Lestrange inHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I;go all-out gonzo as the shrieking Red Queen inAlice in Wonderland(directed by the father of her two children, Tim Burton); and, most affectingly, play a queen of more tender inclinations, as Elizabeth to Colin Firth’s George VI, in The King’s Speech.Exquisitely marcelled but sensibly dressed, Bonham Carter’s queen consort is a pistol equipped with her own silencer—determined yet discreet in her mission to undo her husband’s speech impediment. Bonham Carter also gives the character a certain sense of devilish mischief: the way she thrills in her furtive scouting trip to a dodgy neighborhood and revels in the “good fun” of resting her bottom on her husband’s royal chest as he goes through his breathing exercises. It’s an utterly convincing performance, and utterly consistent with the lovable, gin-and-Dubonnet-tippling Queen Mum that the real Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon became later in life."

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