Stephen Frears

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Stephen Frears
Stephen Frears OIFF 2014-07-12 113913 (cropped).jpg
Frears at the July 12, 2014 Odessa International Film Festival
BornStephen Arthur Frears
(1941-06-20) 20 June 1941 (age 77)
Leicester, Leicestershire, England
EducationGresham's School, Norfolk
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
OccupationFilm director, television director
Years active1968–present
Notable workMy Beautiful Laundrette
Dangerous Liaisons
High Fidelity
The Queen
Philomena
Spouse(s)Mary-Kay Wilmers
(m. 1968; div. early 1970s)
Anne Rothenstein
(m. 1992)
Children4

Stephen Arthur Frears (born 20 June 1941) is an English film and television director. Frears has directed numerous films since the 1980s including My Beautiful Laundrette, Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity, The Queen, Philomena, and Florence Foster Jenkins. He has been nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Director: for The Grifters and The Queen. In 2008 The Daily Telegraph named him among the 100 most influential people in British culture.[1]

Early life[edit]

Frears was born in Leicester, England. His mother, Ruth M. (née Danziger), was a social worker, and his father, Russell E. Frears, was a general practitioner and accountant.[2] Frears was brought up Anglican, and did not find out that his mother was Jewish until he was in his late 20s.[3][4][5]

Education[edit]

From 1954 to 1959, Frears was educated at Gresham's School,[6] a boarding independent school for boys (now co-educational) in the market town of Holt in Norfolk. This was followed by Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1960 to 1963.

Career[edit]

At the University of Cambridge Frears was Assistant Stage Manager for the 1963 footlights Revue which starred Tim Brooke-Taylor, John Cleese, Bill Oddie and David Hatch.[7] After graduating from the University, Frears worked as an assistant director on the films Morgan! and if..... He spent most of his early directing career in television, mainly for the BBC but also for the commercial sector.

Frears contributed to several high-profile anthology series, such as the BBC's Play for Today. He produced a series of Alan Bennett's plays for LWT, taking responsibility for working in the gallery on The Old Crowd while Lindsay Anderson worked with the actors.

Frears in Sweden, 1989, promoting his film Dangerous Liaisons

In the late 1980s, Frears came to international attention as a director of feature films. His directorial film debut was the detective spoof Gumshoe (1971). His direction of My Beautiful Laundrette unexpectedly led to wider notice. The interracial gay romance, based on a Hanif Kureishi screenplay and shot on 16 mm film, was released theatrically in 1985 to great acclaim. It received an Academy Award nomination and two nominations for BAFTA Awards: it is known as the film that helped launch both Frears and actor Daniel Day Lewis.

In 1987, Frears worked with Adrian Edmondson on Mr Jolly Lives Next Door, for a 45-minute programme by cult ensemble The Comic Strip Presents. In 1985, Frears also directed a Comic Strip parody of Daphne Du Maurier's novel Rebecca.

Frears next directed the Joe Orton biopic Prick Up Your Ears, another collaboration with playwright Alan Bennett. His second film adapted from a Kureishi screenplay was Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987). The following year, Frears made Dangerous Liaisons in France, with a cast that included Americans Glenn Close, John Malkovich, and Michelle Pfeiffer. Based on the late 18th-century French novel of romantic game playing, the film received numerous Academy Awards and BAFTA nominations. Frears was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Direction. Frears had further critical success with his next film The Grifters, another tale of con artists. The film earned Frears his first Academy Award nomination for best direction.

In 2006, Frears directed The Queen, about Queen Elizabeth II. It touched on the social strains caused by the people's mourning for the death of Princess Diana on 31 August 1997. The Queen also achieved immense critical acclaim, box-office success, and awards. Frears received his second Academy Award nomination for best direction, and Helen Mirren won numerous awards for playing the title role.

Frears' other films include Western The Hi-Lo Country (1998), which won him the best director award at the Berlin Film Festival, High Fidelity (2000), which features a number of scenes where star John Cusack addresses the audience directly, Dirty Pretty Things (2002), and the British theatre comedy Mrs Henderson Presents (2005).

Frears returned to directing for television with The Deal (2003), which depicts an alleged deal between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown over which of them should become leader of the Labour Party in 1994.

Frears has also directed two films adapted from novels by Roddy Doyle, The Snapper (1993) and The Van (1996).

Frears holds the "David Lean Chair in Fiction Direction" at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, where he teaches.

His 1992 film Hero, starring Dustin Hoffman, was a major box office disappointment. Frears was nominated for a Razzie Award for his direction of Mary Reilly.

His 2013 Irish adoption drama, Philomena, written by Jeff Pope and Steve Coogan, won the best screenplay award at the 2013 Venice Film Festival and the BAFTAS, and was nominated that year for Best Picture at the BAFTAs and the Academy Awards. It stars Coogan and Judi Dench. The same year, HBO released his television drama Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, which depicts the US Supreme Court deliberation over banning Muhammad Ali from boxing for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War.

His biopic of disgraced cycling champion Lance Armstrong, The Program, was premiered in the 2015 BFI London Film Festival.

Many of Frears' films are based on stories of living persons, but Frears has never met any of his subjects.[8]

National Life Stories conducted an oral history interview (C1316/07) with Stephen Frears in 2008 for its The Legacy of the English Stage Company collection held by the British Library.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Frears lives in London with his wife, the painter Anne Rothenstein, and their two children. He also has two children from his previous marriage to Mary-Kay Wilmers.

Early in his career, Frears made a programme featuring the band the Scaffold and is name-checked ("Mr Frears had sticky out ears...") in their hit song "Lily the Pink".[10]

He was one of several celebrities who endorsed the parliamentary candidacy of the Green Party's Caroline Lucas at the 2015 general election.[11]

Awards[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Frears at the Cardiff Film Festival in 2006 for the premiere of The Queen.

Film[edit]

Year Title Contribution Notes
1968 The Burning Director/Producer Short film
1969 Report: St – Ann's Nottingham Director/Writer Documentary
1969 St. Ann's Director Documentary short
1971 Gumshoe Director
1978 Long Shot Actor Biscuit Man
1982 The Tractor Factor Director Short film
1984 The Hit Director
1985 My Beautiful Laundrette Director Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Film
1987 Prick Up Your Ears Director Nominated – Cannes Film Festival for Palme d'Or

Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film

1987 Sammy and Rosie Get Laid Director
1988 Dangerous Lisasons Director Association of Polish Filmmakers Critics Award for Best Foreign Film

Bodil Award for Best Non-European Film

Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Director

Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film

Fotogramas de Plata for Best Foreign Film

Guild of German Art House Cinema for Foreign Film

Sant Jordi Award for best Foreign Film

SESC Film Festival for Best Foreign Film

Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Direction

Nominated – Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists for Best Foreign Director

1990 The Grifters Director Nominated – Academy Award for Best Director

Nominated – Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Director

Nominated – National Society of Film Critics for Best Director

1992 Hero Director
1995 Satan at His Best Producer Documentary
1996 Mary Reilly Director Nominated – Berlin International Film Festival for Golden Berlin Bear

Nominated – Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Director

1996 The Van Director Nominated – Cannes Film Festival for Palme de'Or
1998 The Hi-Lo Country Director Berlin International Film Festival for Best Director

Nominated – Berlin International Film Festival for Golden Berlin Bear

2000 High Fidelity Director
2000 Liam Director Nominated – Valladolid International Film Festival for Golden Spike
2002 Dirty Pretty Things Director British Independent Film Award for Best Director

Evening Standard British Film Award for Best Film

Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best British Film

2004 The Route V50 Director Short film
2004 Rainbow Soup Actor (voice role) Short film

Lil' Will

2004 Lawrence of Arabia Close Actor Short film

Mr. Gilthor

2005 Mrs Henderson Presents Director Hollywood Film Award for Hollywood World Award

Nominated – Bangkok International Film Festival for Best Film

Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Director

Nominated – David di Donatello Award for Best European Film

Nominated – London Critics Circle Film Award for British Director of the Year

Nominated – Los Angeles Film Critics Association for Best Foreign Film

2006 The Queen Director Chicago International Film Festival for Audience Choice Award

Golden Eagle Award for Best Foreign Film

Goya Award for Best European Film

London Critics Circle Film Award for British Director of the Year

New York Film Critics Online for Best Director

Toronto Film Critics Association for Best Director

Nominated – AARP Movies for Grownups Award for Best Director

Nominated – Academy Award for Best Director

Nominated – Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Picture

Nominated – Alliance of Women Film Journalist Award for Best Drama by or About Women

Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best British Film

Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Direction

Nominated – Bodil Award or Best Non-American Film

Nominated – British Independent Film Award for Best Director

Nominated – Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film

Nominated – Chicago Film Critics Association Award or Best Director

Nominated – Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Director

Nominated – Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Director

Nominated – David di Donatello Award for Best European Film

Nominated – Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures

Nominated – European Film Award for European Director

Nominated – European Film Award for Best European Film

Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Director

Nominated – Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists for Best European Director

Nominated – New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director

Nominated – OFTA Film Award for Best Director

Nominated – Polish Film Award for Best European Film

Nominated – Robert Festival for Best Non-American Film

Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Director

Nominated – St. Louis Film Critics Association for Best Director

2007 Moog Actor Short film

Headmaster

2009 Cheri Director/Actor (voice role) Narrator (uncredited)

Nominated – Berlin International Film Festival for Golden Berlin Bear

2009 Jean Charles Executive Producer
2010 Tamara Drewe Director Seville European Film Festival for Audience Award
2012 Lay the Favorite Director
2013 Philomena Director David di Donatello Award for Best European Film

Hamptons International Film Festival for Best Narrative Feature

Middleburg Film Festival for Narrative Feature

Mill Valley Film Festival for World Cinema

Nominated – AARP Movies for Grownups Award for Best Director

Nominated – Abu Dhabi Film Festival for Best Narrative Feature

Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best British Film

Nominated – Chicago International Film Festival for Audience Choice Award

Nominated – European Film Award for Audience Award

Nominated – Hawaii International Film Festival for Best Film

Nominated – Robert Festival for Best Non-American Film

Nominated – Toronto International Film Festival for People's Choice Award

2014 Night Will Fall Executive Producer Documentary

News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Programming – Long Form

2015 The Program Director
2016 Florence Foster Jenkins Director Capri-Hollywood Film Festival for Best Director

Nominated – Polish Film Award for Best European Film

2017 Victoria & Abdul Director Heartland Film Award for Truly Moving Picture Award

Nominated – European Film Award for Best European Film

Nominated – Film by the Sea International Film Festival for Best Feature Film

Television[edit]

Year Title Contribution Notes
1969 Parkin's Patch Director 2 episodes

– "The Deserter"

– "Boys"

1970 Tom Gratan's War Director 5 episodes

– "The Walking Bomb"

– "Blind Man's Bluff"

– "Bridge of Death"

– "The Coward"

– "Badge of Fear"

1971–1973 Follyfoot Director 4 episodes

– "Dora" (1971)

– "The Charity Horse" (1971)

– "Know-All's Nag" (1971)

– "The Distant Voice" (1973)

1972 A Day Out Director Television Movie
1973 Sporting Scenes Director Episode: "England, Their England"
1973 The Cricket Match Director Television Movie
1974 Second City Firsts Director Episode: "Match of the Day"
1975 Daft As a Brush Director Television Movie
1975 Three Men in a Boat Director Television Movie
1975–1979 Play for Today Director 3 episodes

– "Sunset Across the Bay" (1975)

– "Early Struggles" (1976)

– "Long Distance Information" (1979)

1976–1981 BBC2 Playhouse Director 2 episodes

– "Play Things" (1976)

– "Going Gently" (1981); Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Single Play

1977 Black Christmas Director Television Movie
1977–1978 BBC2 Play of the Week Director 2 episodes

– "Able's Will (1977)

– "A Visit from Miss Prothero" (1978)

1977–1978 ITV Playhouse Director/Producer 2 episodes

– "Last Summer" (1977)

– "Cold Harbour (1978)

1978 Me! I'm Afraid of Virgina Woolf Director/Producer Television Movie

Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Single Play

1978 Doris and Doreen Director/Producer Television Movie
1979 Afternoon Off Director/Producer Television Movie
1979 One Fine Day Director/Producer Television Movie
1979 The Old Crowd Producer Television Movie
1979 All Day on the Sands Producer Television Movie
1980 Bloody Kids Director Television Movie
1982 Walter Director Television Movie

Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Single Drama

1983 Walter & June Director Television Movie
1983 The Last Company Car Director Television Movie
1983 Saigon – Year of the Cat Director Television Movie

Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Single Drama

1984 December Flower Director Television Movie
1984–1988 The Comic Strip Presents... Director 3 episodes

– "The Bullshitters: Roll out the Gunbarrel" (1984)

– "Consuela: (Or 'The New Mrs Saunders')" (1986)

– "Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door" (1988)

1986–1993 Screen Two Director 2 episodes

– "Song of Experience" (1986)

– "The Snapper" (1993); Goya Award for Best European Film

Toronto International Film for People's Choice Award

Valladolid International Film Festival for Silver Spike

Nominated – BAFTA Award for Best Single Drama

Nominated – Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film

Nominated – Italian National Syndicate of If Film Journalist for Best European Director

1995 A Personal History of British Cinema Director/Writer Television Documentary
1997 Beyond Fear Executive Producer Television Movie
2000 Fail Safe Director Television Movie

Nominated – Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television

Nominated – OFTA Television Award for Best Direction of a Motion Picture or Miniseries

Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special

2003 The Deal Director Television Movie

BAFTA Award for Best British Film

Nominated – Directors Guild of Great Britain for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television Movie/Serial

2008 Skip Tracer Director Television Movie
2008 Freezing Actor Episode: "#1.3"

Stephen

2013 Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight Director Television Movie

Nominated – Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television/Miniseries

Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special

2018 A Very English Scandal Director/Executive Producer 3 episodes

– "Episode: #1.1"

– "Episode: "1.2"

– "Episode: "1.3"

2019 State of the Union Director/Executive Producer 10 episodes

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The 100 most powerful people in British culture: 61-80". The Telegraph. 18 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Stephen Frears Biography". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  3. ^ "Hidden Heritage Inspires Director" Archived 10 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Naomi Pfefferman, "Frears and Pfeiffer reunite for Colette courtesan drama ‘Chéri’", Jewish Journal, 20 May 2009. Archived 21 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Nick Curtis, "'I hope you find it vulgar'"". Standard.co.uk. 2005-11-10. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  6. ^ "Film director returns to Gresham's". Gresham's School. Norfolk. February 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  7. ^ New Arts Theatre Club programme (July 1963)
  8. ^ Husam sam Asi (25 November 2015). "Stephen Frears on telling real life stories in cinema – Interview". Youtube. Retrieved 2016-04-03.
  9. ^ National Life Stories, 'Jellicoe, Ann (1 of 11) National Life Stories Collection: The Legacy of the English Stage Company', The British Library Board, 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2018
  10. ^ Scaffold, "Lily the Pink" lyrics. Archived 23 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Elgot, Jessica (24 April 2015). "Celebrities sign statement of support for Caroline Lucas – but not the Greens". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Berlinale: 1996 Programme". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
  13. ^ "Berlinale: 1999 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  14. ^ "Stephen Frears reçoit les insignes de commandeur des Arts et des Lettres" (in French). Agence France-Presse. 18 March 2009. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  15. ^ "Award Winners". Odessa International Film Festival (in Russian). Archived from the original on 26 September 2015.

External links[edit]