Director: Stephen Frears

Information about the director.

Works

Film:The Queen

The Queen

Stephen Frears

Tradition Prepared Her. Change Will Define Her.

The Queen is a witty and ingenious look at a moment that rocked the house of Windsor: the week that followed the sudden death of Princess Diana in 1997.

Film:Dirty Pretty Things

Dirty Pretty Things

Stephen Frears

The luminous Audrey Tautou (Amelie) stars in Dirty Pretty Things, a riveting thriller about an illegal immigrant in London named Okwe (Chiwetal Ejiofor, Amistad), a doctor in his homeland who now works days as a taxi driver and nights as a hotel desk clerk. When a hooker tells him there’s a mess in one of the hotel’s bathrooms, Okwe finds a human heart in the toilet. He soon discovers a snare of desperation, poverty, and black-market body organs—and finds that his only friend, a Turkish hotel maid (Tautou), may be the next to be caught.…

Film:The Grifters (1990)

The Grifters

Stephen Frears

Annette Bening twists like a mink on a leash through Stephen Frears’s adaptation of Jim Thompson’s novel. This may be the perfect trope for the moral hysteria that coils around a mother, her son, and his girlfriend in this slender but highly pleasurable neo-noir. Small in effect and local in scope, the film is about small-fry, attractive, bloodless con artists who view the world as neatly split between ropers and suckers, grifters and squares. “Grifter’s got an irresistible urge to beat a guy that’s wise,” an old-timer tells Roy (John Cusack). And yet the three…

Film:Mrs. Henderson Presents

Mrs. Henderson Presents

Stephen Frears

The blitz-bombing of London in World War II provides the serious backdrop for the uplifting entertainment of Mrs. Henderson Presents, a delightful British comedy anchored by the flawless performances of Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins. After losing a son in World War I, and becoming a widow in 1937, the wealthy and respectable Mrs. Henderson (Dench) decides that the best way to support soldiers going off to battle is to give them a wartime send-off they’ll never forget. Thus, she buys and renovates the Windmill Theater in London’s Soho district, hires Mr.…

Film:Dangerous Liaisons

Dangerous Liaisons

Stephen Frears

A sumptuously mounted and photographed celebration of artful wickedness, betrayal, and sexual intrigue among depraved 18th-century French aristocrats, Dangerous Liaisons (based on Christopher Hampton’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses) is seductively decadent fun. The villainous heroes are the Marquise De Merteuil (Glenn Close) and the Vicomte De Valmont (John Malkovich), who have cultivated their mutual cynicism into a highly developed and exquisitely mannered form of (in-)human expression. Former lovers, they now fancy themselves rather like demigods…

Film:The Hit

The Hit

Stephen Frears

This memorable drama helped bring British director Stephen Frears back from the limited opportunities of television (where he spent 13 years after making his promising debut feature, Gumshoe) and into the ranks of world-class filmmakers. Driven by the self-confident charisma of Terence Stamp, the vicious charm of John Hurt, and a fascinating debut performance by Tim Roth, The Hit concerns a criminal informant (Stamp) on ice for the past decade in Spain. Found out by the mobster who wants revenge on him, Stamp’s character is apprehended by a pair of…

Film:Mary Reilly

Mary Reilly

Stephen Frears

Stephen Frears reunites with the production talents who made the tempting Dangerous Liaisons for this new look at the infamous Dr. Jekyll (a deft John Malkovich). Instead of being in the laboratory where the good doctor unlocks his evil twin, we stay in the mansion overlooking the lab. An inquisitive, proper maid, Mary Reilly (Julia Roberts) slowly becomes Dr. Jekyll’s confidant. Rather than a horror story, the film is a spooky mystery that keeps us in the dark, and what a wonderful dark Frears and his designers have fashioned. Roberts carries the movie,…

Film:The Van (1996)

The Van

Stephen Frears

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