Stephen Frears (2010)
Stephen Frears is one of Britain’s most distinctive and provocative directors.
Born in Leicester in 1941, he studied law at Cambridge University before working in the theatre at the Royal Court and then working as Assistant Director to Karel Reisz on MORGAN and to Lindsay Anderson on IF.
In the 70’s, he directed many notable television plays, written by Alan Bennett, Tom Stoppard, Peter Prince, Neville Smith and Adrian Mitchell.
His breakthrough as a feature film director came with the low budget hit MY BEAUTFIUL LAUNDRETTE in 1985. Initially intended for television and written by Hanif Kureishi, the film was given an international release and became a critical and commercial success.
Stephen made his Hollywood debut with DANGEROUS LIAISONS in 1989, which received six Oscar nominations, followed by THE GRIFTERS, produced by Martin Scorsese, which gained him an Oscar nomination for Best Director in 1991. He directed the 20th century western THE HI LO COUNTRY in 1998, returning to more familiar territory with HI FIDELITY, a humorous look at the nature of commitment.
In 2003, Stephen returned to British television to direct THE DEAL, which looked at a pivotal moment in the relationship between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair and was the first time the two figures had been represented on TV. Featuring Michael Sheen as Tony Blair and written by Peter Morgan the film won a BAFTA award for Best Single Drama in 2004.
In 2005, he directed Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins in MRS HENDERSON PRESENTS followed by THE QUEEN with Helen Mirren, which has been highly acclaimed both commercially and critically,earned him an Oscar Nomination, was awarded a BAFTA for Best Film and for which Helen Mirren won an Oscar.
Last year he directed CHERI adapted from the Colette book by Christopher Hampton starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend about an ageing courtesan in turn of the century Paris and her love affair with the young son of her friend.
His latest film is TAMARA DREWE based on the book adapted from the Posy Simmonds book, an ironic look at life in the quiet of the English countryside.