ByKen Anderson, writer at
Ken Anderson

BBC Four (BBC America to us Yanks) unveiled its trailer for Burton and Taylor, the forthcoming 90 minute TV movie about former Hollywood Royalty and tabloid press “It” couple, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Starring and , Burton and Taylor looks at the twice-married couple as they embark on their final professional collaboration: a critically lambasted (and audience adored) theatrical tour in Noel Coward’s =Private Lives

The trailer for the British funded TV movie unspools to the strains of Roxy Music’s 1975 hit, “Love is the Drug,” and looks to examine the couple’s tumultuous 1983 reteaming through the prism of addiction. Their well-documented on-again/ off-again coupling being just another toxic drug... like Burton's battle with alcoholism, Taylor's dependency on sleeping pills, and the fame addiction that led both of them to continually seek the limelight.

The 45 second clip gives us a fabulous looking Helena Bonham Carter capturing late-era in all her blowsy, glamorous glory (she even seems to get Taylor’s voice which vacillated unpredictably from cultured, British whisper to bawdy fishwife). Meanwhile, West conveys a somber gravity that hints that this classier looking TV bio has a better chance of dodging the high camp pitfalls of last year’s Lifetime Network fiasco, Liz & Dick. Harder to gauge in this brief glimpse is how well the film's budget can capture the time, place, and wealth excesses of the high-living pair.

Celebrity biographies are a dicey business, but this trailer has me thoroughly stoked. Burton and Taylor is slated for release on BBC America sometime in the fall of 2013.

YouTube trailer for BBC Four’s “Burton and Taylor” [[yt:hYU2mhxEDQI]]


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