5 FLIGHTS UP
A rare director with the ability to shift between Shakespeare and spy films
at the drop of
the hat, RICHARD LONCRAINE has been turning out fine movies in
nearly every genre since
the mid-'70s. As equally adept as he may be at all kinds of films, it's
precisely his wide
versatility that has likely kept the director from gaining widespread notice
world of cinema scholars.
A U.K. native and respected artist whose detailed sculptures were often found
display at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Loncraine aspired to become a set
before honing his skills as an actor. His talents outside of the film world
served to reflect
his versatility in the realm of cinema, and Loncraine first courted commercial
the creator of Newton's Cradle, those incessantly clacking silver balls that
became a fixture of every CEO's desk from the U.K. to the U.S. in the early
Loncraine soon began directing documentaries and educational BBC programs,
series of commercials helped him refine his skills behind the camera. When
John Schlesinger chose him to create the toys designed by a pivotal figure in
"Sunday, Bloody Sunday," Loncraine convinced the director to hire him as an
opportunity proved a pivotal one for Loncraine, and, in 1975, he made his
debut with the musical drama "Flame." Not only was the film well received by
and audiences, but it also spawned a fruitful partnership between Loncraine and
Tom Conti that would endure for years to come. Loncraine subsequently tried his
at several other genres, including horror ("The Haunting of Julia," 1977),
("Deep Cover," 1980), comedy ("The Missionary," 1982), and psychological
("Brimstone and Treacle," 1982) -- all to surprising effect.
After moving into crime drama territory with "Bellman and True" (1987), the
a break from the screen before returning with the affecting drama "The Wedding
1994. Though 1995's "Richard III" made a unique attempt to meld classic
with a speculative historical setting, the film drew mixed responses from
despite earning several BAFTA and Oscar nominations. In 2002, Loncraine received
Emmy for his contributions to the acclaimed HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers."
following years found him experimenting more and more with drama with such
as "The Gathering Storm" (2002), "My House in Umbria" (2003), and "Godspeed,
Lawrence Mann" (2004). Directing that year's "Wimbledon," Loncraine worked with
of his most star-studded casts to date in a tale of a dispirited tennis player
hope for the future after meeting a young female player from the Wimbledon
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