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The Lovely is a 2010 Lovian historical drama feature film by Heritage Studios, starring Pierlot McCrooke, T.S. McCartney, Elly Buick, HRH Dimitri Noble, Kimberly, Suzanna Dujardin, Jhon Lewis and others. Arthur Jefferson directed this motion picture featuring the life of Abigail Johnson. It was planned to be in the theaters by October or November 2008, but was postponed to January 2010 due to the nation's political slum. It won the Jury Prize at the 2010 edition of the Malipa Cinema Festival.
The Lovely tells the life story of Abigail Johnson, one of the female Founding Fathers, nicknamed Abbie or the Lovely. She is born in a Californian mine village, where both her parents work hard. They both die, and she fears having to work in a deadly mine or stranding in an orphanage. She moves to San Francisco herself, where she does anything to stay alive. Only 15, she has a though time working on the streets and in factories. One day, she finds a dead man's body in San Francisco. Abigail looks - hungry and poor - for his wallet, where she discovers a real fortune.
Then, her "life re-make" begins. She buys new clothing, dresses like a noble lady, and adjusts to the San Francisco top class life. On a market, she meets a young man from Europe, Arthur Noble, and some of his friends. They were just planning a discovery trip to the West, hoping to find a secret archipelago. She is asked to join them on their trip and she finally decides to take the offer. Their ship leaves the San Francisco harbor, on its way to an unknown world.
The crossing of the Pacific Ocean near the Californian coast is very hard. The first hours of the trip, the weather was mostly wonderful, but then it turned. The Francis II finds itself in a storm, causing heavy damage aboard. They try to fix it, and then recommence their course to the beloved archipelago. Once Abigail, Arthur and the other Founding Fathers arrive on Peace Island, they are astonished by the natural beauty of the Noble City Bay. They decide to throw out their ankers and discover the bay area. Arthur Noble starts the construction of a settlement, that they have named after him.
In the last act, Abigail has a relation with Arthur Noble, who has been crowned King of Lovia. Their relation is very complex, and though they love eachtother very much, the relation is not able to last in these bare circumstances.
The story was planned to be told from the viewpoint of Abigail Johnson, the protagonist, while Arthur Noble and Stephen Robinson in fact are protagonists as well. A short overview of the planned main characters:
- Abigail Johnson, nicknamed Abbie and the Lovely - the main character whose life we watch from her birth to her last years of her life.
- Arthur Noble, later crowned King Arthur I - the second character whose life is followed from the moment he meets Abigail Johnson until he bids her farewell.
- Stephen Robinson - the second most important Founding Father who met Abigail when he was talking to Arthur Noble on a San Francisco market.
- ACT 1 - MINE VILLAGE
- A. Harry and Lilly before and soon after Abigail's birth
- B. Abigail at the age of 15
- ACT 2 - SAN FRANCISCO
- A. Abigail moves to San Francisco
- B. Abigail finds the money and does a make-over
- C. Abigail meets Arthur and his companions
- D. The Founding Fathers are leaving for Lovia
- ACT 3 - THE CROSSING
- A. The Founding Fathers leave the harbor
- B. The Founding Fathers in a storm
- C. The Founding Fathers discover the Archipelago
- ACT 4 - PEACE ISLAND
- A. Discovery of the Noble City Bay
- B. The building of the settlement
- C. Abigail has an affair with Arthur
- ACT 5 - ABIGAIL AT AGE
- A. Abigail wandering trough Noble City
- B. Arthur's farewell on the rocks
- Elly Buick as the child Abigail Johnson (child)
- Kimberley H. Dujardin as the young Abigail Johnson
- King Dimitri I as the young Arthur Noble
- T.S. McCartney as Stephen Robinson
- Suzanna H. Dujardin as the adult Abigail Johnson
- Arthur Jefferson as George Smith
- Pierlot McCrooke as Joe, a friend of hers in San Francisco
- Lindsay Mansell as a companion of Arthur
- George Matthews as tea merchant and as captain of the Francis II
- Jhon Lewis as Andrew Johnson
- Director: Arthur Jefferson
- Producer: HRH King Dimitri I of Lovia
- Screenplay: Lars Washington and Arthur Jefferson
- Director of Photography: Marius Ştefan
- Art Director: Lars Washington
- Sound Director: Geribaldi Grabowski
Filming locations Edit
Besides the indoor studio scenes, most of the film is being filmed on outdoor locations, such as San Francisco and the NC Trading Quarter.
- Bird Island, some shots of the crossing and the discovery are filmed at this location. Also several shots of the Seven Islands are filmed as background scenes and atmospheric images.
- Kings Island, the first discovery of the archipelago is filmed around Kings Island.
- Mount Emerald, besides the atmospheric images, some parts of the farewell scene and the island discovery are shot on the flanks of this mountain.
- Trading Quarter, Noble City, many of the scenes of the construction of Noble City are filmed in and around the Trading Quarter. Though many others were filmed in a retro-village, built on Asian Island just for the filming.
- Old Harbor, Noble City, the arrival and various city scenes were taken in this neighborhood.
- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the farewell scene is almost entirely filmed in Cabo San Lucas, that is used to portray a Peace Island cliff.
- Bodie, California, all shots of Act 1 were set in the old mine village Bodie, that was partly restored to its original settings for the movie.
- San Francisco, California, though a great part of the movie is set in San Francisco, only a couple of scenes are really shot in this city. Most of the scenes were filmed at movie sets in Hightech Valley, using several technologies reproducing San Fransisco landmarks.
- Seattle, Washington, the only scene set in Seattle, is the one in which the Francis II leaves the San Francisco harbor.
Critical reception Edit
The Lovely won the Jury Prize at the 2010 edition of the Malipa Cinema Festival. The movie also was the public favorite for Best Screenplay, but eventually the prize went to the American independent movie Goodbye Solo. Nonetheless it was praised by all jury members and won its prize after an anonymous vote. The jury stated that the film "was of a high level considering the budget and we wish to see more of this promising director."
The film made a gross revenue of more than 800,000 dollar. It was one of the biggest box office successes in Lovia and had a moderate success in the United States.