10 Movies For Circus & Carnival Lovers To Watch  | ScreenRant

The attractions. The snacks. The costumes. The sounds. The excitement. Yes, there is nothing quite like visiting a circus or a carnival, and these types of places have been entertaining guests for years and years. Whether they are world-renowned or whether they pop up, randomly and secretly, they provide entertainment for one and all. 

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In between our visits to these thrilling spots, we can keep the magic alive by watching circus- and carnival-themed movies! That is right… There are several out there, including the 10 must-watch ones that are listed out down below for everyone to browse through and enjoy.

10 The Greatest Showman 

Let’s get this list started off with a real bang, shall we?

A very well-known film about the circus is The Greatest Showman, which was released in 2017. It featured an all-star cast that was made up of people like Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams and Zendaya, and it was inspired by P. T. Barnum’s life. This work was also nominated for several awards and won accolades such as a Golden Globe for Best Original Song (That award was because of the song This Is Me, though, as fans know, there were so many great tunes in this work).

9 The Greatest Show On Earth

In 1952, The Greatest Show on Earth came out, starring Betty Hutton and Cornel Wilde as trapeze artists, Charlton Heston as a circus manager and James Stewart as a clown who never takes off his makeup. Since the setting of the story was the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the actual troupe was featured, with 1,400 people and hundreds of animals. This helped create over-the-top scenes, as well as a behind-the-scenes look into the world of circuses, which resulted in honors such as two Academy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards.

8 Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights, which was inspired by The Book of One Thousand and One Nights and which was released in 1942, is up next. It featured actors like Sabu, Maria Montez, Jon Hall and Leif Erickson as characters who were part of a wandering circus, such as Sherazade, Sinbad the Sailor and Aladdin.

This was one of the more exotic stories that came from Universal Pictures during the time of World War II, and it was nominated for four Academy Awards. So while the iconic Disney flicks, Aladdin, may not be about life under the big top, this story certainly featured that fun.

7 Big Top Pee-Wee 

After Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in 1985, Big Top Pee-wee came in 1988. It, of course, starred Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman, and it had music by Danny Elfman.

The plot centered around a traveling circus, complete with a ringmaster named Mace Montana and a trapeze artist named Gina Piccolapupula. While this may not be the most popular film that has ever been released, it is one that focuses on that magic that happens under the big top!

6 Oz the Great and Powerful

In 2013, the world received Oz the Great and Powerful, a spiritual prequel to one of the most celebrated films of all time, The Wizard of Oz. Directed by Sam Raimi, this movie starred big names like James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams and Zach Braff.

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Franco portrayed Oscar Diggs, a circus magician who ended up in the Land of Oz, a very whimsical place full of tiny dolls and flying monkeys and witches. Another fun fact is that Danny Elfman did music for this film, too! And overall, it was named the Best Live Action Family Film and received the MTV Movie Award for Best Villain (specifically given to Mila Kunis, who played the Wicked Witch of the West).

5 Freaks 

Some circus and carnival movies are scary, like Freaks from 1932; this is all about a trapeze artist who marries the leader of carnival sideshow his inheritance. The sideshow performers were played by people such as Harry and Daisy Earles, dwarf siblings, and Daisy and Violet Hilton, conjoined twin sisters.

Even though this flick was described as grotesque and even banned in some places, it was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry, as it is considered a classic. 

4 The Funhouse

On a similar note, there was The Funhouse, which came out in 1981, thanks to Tobe Hooper, who had previously directed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The plot of this movie focuses on four teens getting stuck in a carnival ride with a killer… That does sound fun!

It should be noted that this was released with the title Carnival of Terror, as well, and a novel version came out, which was written by Dean Koontz, too.

3 Water For Elephants 

In 2011, a film that was based on the novel of the same name was released: Water for Elephants. This love and circus-themed story featured Reese Witherspoon as Marlena Rosenbluth and Robert Pattinson as Jacob Jankowski, and it told the story of a man who joined a traveling circus and fell in love with the ringmaster’s wife.

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The animals, the romance, the setting of the 1930s… There is so much to enjoy here, and it was able to be enjoyed through written words and on the big screen!

2 The Elephant Man

The Elephant Man came in 1980, to tell the story of Joseph Merrick, a real man who was deformed and who, in the film, was found at a Victorian freak show in London. This work was filmed in black and white, and it starred John Hurt and Anthony Hopkins. It also earned Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations and won BAFTA Awards for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Production Design.

1 Dumbo

Of course, this also Dumbo, the fourth Disney animated feature film that was ever made, back in the year 1941. Its notable story centered around an elephant with big ears who is nicknamed Dumbo… and who learns and then help in teaching such as sweet lesson.

In 2019, a live-action version of this story came out, too, which was directed by Tim Burton and which starred people such as Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito and Eva Green. This means that there are two adaptations of this magical movie to watch and to love. 

NEXT: Carnival Row: 10 Details Most People Don’t Know About The Main Characters

2020-02-05 01:02:03

Bri Thomas

Carnival Row: 10 Details Most People Don’t Know About The Main Characters

Carnival Row is a unique fantasy series, combining the thrill of a noir mystery with the aesthetic of steampunk in a Victorian England full of mythological creatures. Immigrants from war-torn kingdoms find their way to the city of Burgue, where their human colonizers live among them in an uneasy peace. Inspector Rycroft “Philo” Philostrate (Orlando Bloom) is tasked with solving a string of murders that have started on Carnival Row, where the city’s mythological immigrants call home.

RELATED: 10 Things To Know About Carnival Row

Murders are the least of his worries, as he reunites with his old fae flame Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevingne) who he thought perished in a conflict long ago. Their story is but one of dozens in the city. However convoluted the plot can be, it’s the layered players that inhabit Carnival Row that make us drawn to its subject matter. Below you’ll find 10 details most people don’t know about them!


One of the hallmarks of Carnival Row are the whimsical polysyllabic names of the characters. Creator Travis Beacham explained that he liked to find the “sound that says who the character is.” He was inspired by the names like Puck and Mustardseed from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the novels of Charles Dickens, who combined adjectives and verbs to create surnames.

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He’s long felt, that the sound of a name implied as much about a character’s history or personality as their wardrobe choices or dialect. Just consider the surname “Spurnrose” for a haughty aristocrat like Imogen.


Carnival Row is based on a film script that’s been in development for over a decade. From the time it was penned by Travis Beacham during film school to its premier on Amazon Prime, it went through several potential directors and actors while languishing on Hollywood’s black list.

When it was instead developed for a streaming service, it lost one of its biggest stars: Hugh Jackman. Perhaps as a nod to the man famous for playing rough-and-tumble Theodore Logan, Philo is a much more rugged hero than we’ve seen Orlando Bloom play on screen.


The city of the Burgue had a lot to do with shaping the main characters’ personalities and narratives. Both citizens and immigrants find themselves changed by simply trying to make their way, a concept which Rycroft Philostrate straddles due to his heritage.

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Growing up in an orphanage in Burgue, it wasn’t simply a lack of prospects that made him join the Burguish Army. He wanted a chance to repay the city for what it had done to raise him and protect him, especially given the mysterious circumstances of his birth and his bloodline.


The rapid fire banter between the two leads, Rycroft Philostrate and Vignette Stonemoss, is important. It’s not just about having chemistry, it’s about having a sense of humor despite absurd circumstances. Travis Beacham had a very specific foundation in mind for their interactions, especially when they first meet.

He likened it to the leads in a screwball comedy of the ’30s and ’40s, where stars like Katherine Hepburn and Gary Cooper would antagonize each other in the midst of a chaotic plot, ending up with one another in the end despite everything that’s thrown at them.


While on the surface it may seem like Chancellor Absalom Breakspear is a friend to the fae and other mythical creatures that are forced to immigrate to the Republic of the Burgue, the reasons for his conciliatory nature are steeped in avarice.

RELATED: 10 Best Carnival Row Characters

Like during the Industrial Revolution, when cheap labor meant more profits, what began as an earnest measure from a more compassionate young politician turned into opportunism and greed. But it suits his purposes to foist the villainy onto his rival Ritter Longerbane, who feels the immigrants take the resources that belong to struggling Burguish humans.


The relationship between Piety and Absalom Breakspear is one of advantageous political efficacy. While he could have married a poor faerish woman in his youth and abdicated his destiny as Chancellor, he elected to pursue Piety instead, the daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh.

While not much detail is given about her heritage, it wasn’t uncommon for dynasties to preserve their familial bloodlines by engaging in incest, which occurs in Carnival Row to some extent and is explained away with a pharaonic reference.


For all the mythical creatures featured in Carnival Row, there isn’t a lot of magic incorporated into the series. What “magic” we see comes from the inclusion of the Haruspex, the witch-doctor/augur entity that can divine the future from reading a being’s entrails.

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Fairies are thought to have magic because they have wings, but their power of flight is simply attributed to their unique physiology, not “pixie dust” or any special powers to speak of. More about their abilities, including heightened senses, is expected to be revealed in Season 2.


For all its imaginative splendor, tragedy is at the heart of Carnival Row. The love story between Philo and Vignette is scarred by it, and the trust the lovers have to rebuild between each other provides of the series’ most fundamentally soulful moments.

Much of Vignette’s backstory, the intervening years between Philo and the Burguish army’s departure from Tirnanoc, and her arrival to the Burgue has yet to be explained. What we do know is that Vinny lost her family, the details around which will be explained in Season 2.


Cara Delevingne was involved with nearly every aspect of the character building process for Vignette Stonemoss, right down to her hairstyle. While Delevingne wore her hair short at the time of filming, she urged producers to let her have a “pixie cut”.

She also specifically wanted Vignette to be Irish, as she felt the political connotations were important. Historically, the Irish were persecuted as immigrants to England, and regarded as second class citizens on their own lands when part of the United Kingdom. The fae are also specifically from Celtic mythology, known to inspire much Irish folklore.

NEXT: The Crown: 10 Hidden Details About The Main Characters Everyone Missed

2019-09-15 05:09:06

Kayleena Pierce-Bohen

Carnival Row: 10 Behind The Scenes Facts Most People Don’t Know

The enchanting world of Carnival Row is one of the most immersive environments in a television series today. Not since Game of Thrones has there been such a unique blend of fantasy and history, but with enough of its own eccentricities to distinguish itself entirely. It combines the aesthetic of steampunk and neo-noir, with the high fantasy concepts of mythological creatures living alongside humans in a gritty world reminiscent of Victorian England.

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Much time and care were taken by costume designers, set technicians, and the makeup and FX departments to bring this elaborate series to life. From constructing entire sets to asking the cast to brave subzero temperatures, it was a labor of love that resulted in one of the most magical shows available to stream. Below you’ll find 10 behind the scenes facts about Carnival Row, currently available to stream on Amazon Prime, with the second season in development.

10 It Was Based On The Killing On Carnival Row

Unlike most science fiction and fantasy television series or movies today, Carnival Row doesn’t have any source material. It wasn’t inspired by an epic series of novels like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings but comes straight from the mind of Travis Beacham.

Beacham wrote the series initially as a film script back when he was in film school. He’d been to London and spent time watching the Royal Shakespeare Company do a moody rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which inspired him to write a tale that combined fantasy, Victorian steampunk, and the Jack the Ripper murders into one intriguing story.

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One of the ways that the magic of Carnival Row comes alive is by the settings its characters inhabit. The location for filming happened to be in Prague, where the cast had to withstand subzero temperatures while they filmed scenes in the streets of the city of Burgue.

The actors often had to wear layers of thermal underwear underneath their normal costumes, which was easier to accomplish if they were female and wearing copious petticoats. The advantageous aspect of filming in Prague in the winter was that the snow and rain were completely authentic in every shot.

8 The World Is Divided Into Two Hemispheres

What isn’t explicitly explained or alluded in the series is that the world of Carnival Row, at least on a map is divided into two hemispheres. The continents of humankind are on one hemisphere, and on the other hemisphere are all the other mythical creatures.

Humakind’s main continent is Mesogia, while the other hemisphere has Tirnanoc (where the majority of the fae reside), and Ignota (Latin for ‘unknown”) where the fauns (“pucks”) and other creatures dwell. For the majority of the series, viewers spend a lot of time in the city-state of the Burgue, which is based on late Victorian London as well as Venice, and even the concept of the Vatican.

7 Humans Are The Only Beings With Western Influences

It’s not just that the people of the Burgue are humans, and therefore need their own distinguishing wardrobe and culture, but that they’re supposed to specifically represent Western ideologies. From colonization to capitalism, they convey what was more important to Victorian England.

Joanna Eatwell and her creative team of costume designers felt it therefore necessary to make all the mythical creatures have influences from all the places England might have tried to colonize or desired resources and trade from. They drew inspiration from the Middle East, Africa, as well as Eastern Europe for their clothing and their religion.

RELATED: Carnival Row: 10 Hidden Details Everyone Missed

6 Many Of The Sets Were Built For The Show

While filming in Europe can mean access to some of the most amazing historical locations on Earth, chances are it’s difficult to find them without a slew of modern anachronisms. Telephone wires, satellite dishes, are just a few of the things that might pull viewers out of the immersion of the environment.

Jiri Matura, the production designer for Carnival Row, felt it imperative to build sets modeled after Victorian London, Paris, and medieval European cities. He wanted to mimic the juxtaposition between the old world and the new world that occurred with the onset of industrialization. It made European cities look as uniquely cobbled together as the city of Burgue.

5 The Ads In The City Of Burgue Were Hand-Written

To create and add to the bustling chaos of city life in the Burgue, production design teams had to look to London and Paris at the dawn of the 20th century. With the rise of industrialization and mass-produced items, advertisements became the single most influential way to communicate to consumers.

All of the advertisements in the streets, from the sandwich boards, to the marquees, to the signs on the side of trucks were all hand-written and incorporate both human and Critch products and services.

4 Each Of The Stores On Carnival Row Have A History

Great care was taken with the set dressing crew to communicate an intimate story with each shopfront in the Burgue. From the faun-owned candle shop with rows of hand-made candles dangling in the windows, to the fae owned bakeries making fae treats and pies, every merchant and their family had a history.

Set dressers were often tasked with switching the decor in a certain shop front to make it double for another location further down Carnival Row. This helped create the illusion it was bigger than it was.

RELATED: 10 Best Carnival Row Characters

3 Costumes Establish Each Character Distinctively

Joanna Eatwell, the lead costume designer behind the series felt it was important that each character have a distinct costume that not only made them stand apart from the rest of the cast but also indicate the transition of their narrative through the larger plot.

For instance, for Piety Breakspear, buttons were placed going down her back to look like a spine. She begins the series in warm hues like yellow and green, then shifts to slightly more aggressive hues like red and brown, and by the end she’s in shimmering fabrics that shift between violet and black, imitating her mercurial and nebulous alignment.

2 Pucks Have The Most Complicated Costumes

Of all the fantasy creatures featured in Carnival Row, Pucks are not only some of the most instantly recognizable, with their prominent ram horns and cloven hooves, they also have the most difficult costumes for the actors to function in. Shortcuts had to be created by designers, such as using magnets to clip the horns to the skull caps, in order to make the process as efficient as possible.

Actors slip on leggings with built in foam portions that make their thighs look massive, as well as foam to bulk up their calves so that they can seamlessly align with the furry hoof-heels. Since these don’t have a heel in the technical sense, actors are balancing perpetually on the balls of their feet.

1 Faeries Have Heightened Senses

When preparing for the role of Vignette Stonemoss, Cara Delevingne had the added benefit of being completely transformed by her makeup and wardrobe. The props (such as wings) and prosthetics used to turn her into a fae (including uniquely shaped ears!) were monumental in helping her inhabit the part.

She explained that to “think like a fairy” is to reach out with your feelings. Fairies are said to be highly emotional creatures with heightened senses. Their bodies are more in tune with their natural surroundings, which gives them a strong sense of empathy and compassion.

NEXT: Carnival Row: 10 Questions That Need To Be Resolved In Season 2

2019-09-14 03:09:18

Kayleena Pierce-Bohen

10 Things That Don’t Make Sense About Carnival Row | ScreenRant

The wonderfully immersive world of Carnival Row doesn’t insult its audience. It drops its viewers into its steampunk Victorian fantasy with no prior knowledge of the names or locations being referenced, expecting them to just pick clues up as the narrative progresses. It’s part of the charm of the series, premiering on Amazon Prime with eight episodes that combine Celtic mythology, Victorian propriety, and colonial politics.

RELATED: Carnival Row: 10 Hidden Details Everyone Missed

Humankind has set about pillaging the natural resources of surrounding mythological kingdoms, the inhabitants of which seek refuge in the capital city of the colonizing power. Combining political intrigue with a good old fashioned mystery, as well as a compelling love story, Carnival Row combines several genres to ambiguous success. However, even as intrigued as viewers are by the plot and the complex characters involved, there are aspects about the series that leave them incredibly perplexed.


In one of the strangest and most extra power moves on the show, Piety Breakspear decides that it would be a good idea to kidnap her own son. This is the son destined for “great things,” according to her snaggle-toothed augur friend, but junior can’t seem to get with the program and spends all his nights partying and putting his father, the Chancellor, in constant political jeopardy.

RELATED: 10 Best Carnival Row Characters

So, in order to possibly knock some sense into him, she has him kidnapped and held captive in an abandoned bathhouse. It does afford her the opportunity to take out the Chancellor’s rival, who is framed for the boy’s kidnapping, but the mother’s motivations are never really made clear.


For the majority of her time spent on screen, Sophie Longerbane, the daughter of Chancellor Breakspear’s longtime political rival, reminds us how cunning and intelligent she is. She explains that by assuming her father’s place in Parliament after his untimely death, she can throw the entire Burgue into chaos.

Why? Because she has a crush on Jonah Breakspear, the next Chancellor should his father die (which he does). After all Critch are confined to Carnival Row quarantine, who’s going to be answering the doors and waiting on the human beings? Also, why did she send a blackmail note to Piety Breakspear in the first place?


As the leader of the opposition to the Chancellor in what appears to be a two-party system of government, Ritter Longerbane has a responsibility to his political peerage. He also has responsibility to the daughter he’s raising alone.  She’s growing up without a mother, because her mother is the wife of the current Chancellor.

Ritter, for all his need to bring the Chancellor down politically, happens to know about his own little secret; the half-blood son born from his indiscretion with a fairy. Aside from a few little jibes in session, he completely sleeps on this devastating information, continues to resent the mother of his child, and hates on Critch while having technically been with one (or however we’re supposed to take “pharaohic” people).


In the beginning of the series, we learn that humans are basically all represented by the people of the “Burgue,” both the name of its capital city, as well as its country (the Republic of Burgue). They’re part of a colonial power marching on the lands of mythical beings to pillage their resources for themselves.

Eventually, a rival comes to claim the prizes in fae land, and we’re introduced to the Pact. The Pact look a lot like the Burgue, but we’re never expressly told they’re humans, and they also have the ability to wield lycanthropy as a sort of biological weapon via their soldiers.


According to the Haruspex, who divines the future from reading entrails, a Darkasher is a creature that can be made from parts of dead things and brought to life.

Accepting that this is possible, we are also supposed to accept that it cannot be killed as long as the person controlling it still lives. Wouldn’t it be useless chopped into a few pieces? When Piety Breakspear’s Darkasher loses its head, so how does it reattach? Did the fish/rodent Darkasher of Philo’s fuse back together? Does Piety have to pantomime all its actions?


Several different mythical species are presented in the series, many of which are familiar to viewers via fantasy books and other fantasy television shows/movies. It’s not uncommon to see human beings interacting with fauns, centaurs, kobolds, fairies, and so forth, as they all coexist in the Burgue.

For the more humanoid of the species, such as fauns, how does their physiology work? Can they contract diseases found only in animals? Can their internal organs process human food? Do they give birth the same way? How is it they can mate with humans? When they do, do dominant traits (like fairy wings) carry over?


The wings of the fae are some of the most beautifully-imagined aspects of the series, but they’re somewhat problematic in their presentation. In Carnival Row, they’re made to resemble dragonfly wings, with one large set and a slightly smaller set underneath.

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The way dragonfly wings work is that they remain soft in the pupae state, but then “inflate” to become rigid for flight. The faery wings are constantly “floppy”, and seem to have an almost leathery appearance and texture, not unlike the webbing in a bat-wing. How are they able to be both durable and incredibly delicate?


When we first see Vignette Stonemoss, she’s the most badass librarian you’ll ever meet. You so much as think about checking a book out of her super secret fae library and she’ll cut you. That being said, Philo is about the only person she’d have to worry about trespassing, given that it’s buried within a mountain and practically inaccessible except for individuals with wings.

RELATED: 10 Things To Know About Carnival Row

This brings us to the question, how did the Burgue possibly get it? When last we saw the Burgue in Vinny’s neck of the woods, the Pact were usurping their position at the holy city and taking over via airships. To prevent anyone from finding and pillaging the library, Vinny basically initiates its self-destruct sequence, which makes it all the stranger when she runs into an entire exhibit of the library in the Burguish museum.


It’s seen as pretty devastating that Philo is revealed to be half-blood: half-human, half-Critch. In this case, his mother was a famous fae chanteuse, and his father was the Chancellor of the city of Burgue. He was born with some pretty feeble-looking wings, which were cut off to give him a better life.

At some point towards the end of the series, we learn that the doctor who clipped Philo’s wings has been rumored to perform all sorts of other procedures to help Critch “pass” for human in the Republic of Burgue. Are there many more half-bloods than we know about? Is Philo really all that special after all? Did he get any other fae genes besides wings?


There are a couple of aspects of Rycroft Philostrate’s heritage that are more than confusing. Initially, he explains to Vignette that he can’t get medical help for anything, because if he goes to a doctor, they’ll peg him as a half-blood. He’s constantly worried about getting his blood tested, which doesn’t seem to be a science even mentioned in the series.

Furthermore, at every opportunity for him to do more good, he further digs his heels into being a member of the “Critch” society once the jig’s up about who his mother was. While we can acknowledge the narrative imperative, as well as the desire to be validated for who you are, his passing privilege gave him the opportunity to save himself and those he loved many times over.

NEXT: Carnival Row: 10 Questions That Need To Be Resolved In Season 2

2019-09-14 03:09:09

Kayleena Pierce-Bohen

10 Best Carnival Row Characters | ScreenRant

One of the best new shows right now is Carnival Row. If you got hooked on the first season, which released over Labor Day weekend, then it may just be your latest genre obsession to fill the void left behind by Game of Thrones. The dark fantasy series follows the conflicts between Humanity and the Fae.

Related: 5 Best & Worst Episodes Of Game Of Thrones (According To IMDb)

Its issues of immigration and politics are very topical to the current landscape. The series is led by Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne but full of vibrant side characters too. Amazon has already renewed it for a second season. We’re taking a look at the ten best characters on the show so far.

10 Darius

Darius is one of Philo’s only real friends outside of the relationships he’s made with Vignette and Tourmaline. They fought together in the war and Philo remained by Darisus’s side even after he had been bitten and changed into a werewolf. In return, Darius kept Philo’s secret about him being half-fae. He could smell it on him ever since the change.

At present, we know Darius is being held in a cell but now that Philo’s true nature has been revealed, it’s not clear what will happen to Darius moving forward. Considering what a great character he is and how much story they can still tell with him, hopefully, he sticks around.

9 Constable Berwick

Constable Berwick is Philo’s faithful partner while he works as Inspector. He doesn’t get much development or even many lines yet he’s always present and does his diligence to aide Philo in any way he can. When Philo gets thrown in a jail cell, Berwick is the only one to believe Philo is innocent.

He comes to warn Philo about the plans Dombey has for him to ensure he doesn’t wind up dead. It would be fun to see Berwick become more of an ally moving forward, especially if he became something of a mole inside the police force in season two.

8 Sophie Longerbane

Sophie Longerbane is the daughter of the Chancellor’s opposition, Ritter Longerbane. She is played with graceful finesse and cunning by actress Caroline Ford. It is Sophie who technically kickstarts the events of the series by writing a blackmail letter supposedly from Aisling and sending it to the Chancellor.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Cersei Lannister Is The Strongest Character On Game Of Thrones

Piety discovers it and begins her murderous rampage. Sophie’s goal is to create chaos because chaos breeds opportunity. She’s sort of like the Cersei Lannister of Carnival Row, incest included, since she willingly starts an intimate relationship with her half-brother and by season’s end may even be marrying him.

7 Piety Breakspear

Piety is the main antagonist of season one. She creates a Darkasher after discovering that her husband has a secret illicit half-fae son that could threaten the very prophecy she has bid her entire future on. Piety fiercely believes that her son, Jonah, is destined for greatness as foretold by a faun witch.

Philo’s very existence threatens Jonah’s future and his potential ascension to power. We find out she is the one responsible for all the murders on the Row. Luckily, Vignette and Philo are able to stop her and her Darkasher before she succeeds in finishing her evil plot. Indira Varma plays Piety and she is phenomenal in the role. Piety makes for a wicked and entertaining antagonist.

6 Absalom Breakspear

Played by professional and respected actor Jared Harris, it’s impossible to imagine a world where Absalom doesn’t wind up on this list. His character development doesn’t begin or make sense until towards the end of the season, but he’s a genuinely good man who doesn’t hate fae like most other humans.

He is revealed to be Philo’s birth father and is deeply saddened by his mother’s death and the fact he never got to know his son. Absalom even does his best to get Vignette freed and pardoned so that she and his son can leave the Burgue forever and be happy together. It’s a shame he died so soon.

5 Imogen Spurnrose

Imogen is not a likable character at first. Her cruelty and distaste towards fae and particularly Mr. Agreus doesn’t endear anyone. But over time, she and Agreus fall for one another and embark on an unconventional romance.

Played by accomplished actress Tamzin Merchant, Imogen quickly becomes one of the characters on the show that is the most fun to watch. By season’s end, she and Mr. Agreus escape on a ship. In season two, we should see how their journey truly begins as they attempt to escape the wrath of Imogen’s vengeful brother Ezra.

4 Agreus Astrayon

Mr. Agreus is a wealthy faun that moves into the house across the street from the Spurnrose residence. Initially, Imogen Spurnrose detests the fact a faun is living in high society. She ignores him, treats him with disdain, and hopes he’ll leave. But then when she and her brother need money, they come to a deal for Mr. Agreus to invest in their business while Imogen helps him find a place with her inner circle.

Agreus is a strong willed man. Despite being a faun and aware of discrimination, he doesn’t let people talk down to him. He’s cheeky and has a dry wit that attracts Imogen after a while.

3 Rycroft Philostrate

Orlando Bloom plays the leading character in the series, Inspector Rycroft Philostrate. Philo’s story is the one we are asked to get most invested in as we slowly begin to learn the truth about the murders being perpetrated by the mysterious and foreboding Darkasher. It turns out the link all the dead share is none other than their involvement in Philo’s life.

RELATED: The Lord Of The Rings: 10 Facts About Frodo They Leave Out In The Movies

Along with the core series mystery, the first season also follows Philo’s journey to understanding who he is, coming to terms with his long-held secret, and the deep love he holds for Vignette after everything they’ve been through.

2 Vignette Stonemoss

Cara Delevingne delivers a surprisingly subdued and heartfelt performance as the brave and fierce Vignette Stonemoss: a fairy who fled from Tirnanoc after the Pact took over. From the very beginning, Vignette is hard to ignore, given her willingness to help her own kind and try to save them from becoming victims to the Pact’s cruelty.

She is the main female lead of the show although surprisingly, her storyline doesn’t wind up being as central as Philo’s is. Come season two, Vignette should get more of a focus seeing as she and all the other fae are now trapped on the Row.

1 Tourmaline Larou

Tourmaline may not be one of the leading characters, but she is still a significant part of the series. As Vignette’s best friend and former lover, the blue-haired pixie is incredibly bubbly and hilarious. It’s impossible not to be charmed by her, and she stole everyone’s heart by the end of the first episode.

She still holds a torch for Vignette, and they even share a steamy kiss at one point in the season. For now, it looks like Vignette and Philo are getting back together but is it possible that Tourmaline could still be a viable romantic rival come season two? If not, hopefully, she gets a fantastic new love interest of her own.

Next: 10 Pre-Lord Of The Rings High-Fantasy Movies That Are Still Worth Watching

2019-09-07 03:09:10

Madison Lennon

Why Carnival Row’s Reviews Are So Negative | Screen Rant

Amazon’s ambitious new fantasy series Carnival Row features a murder mystery, a troubled romance, and a fantasy world rich with neo-noir and steampunk aesthetics – but it’s also attracted a significant number of negative reviews. Why has a TV show that seemed to have so much promise left so many critics dissatisfied?

Carnival Row stars Orlando Bloom and Cara Delevingne as estranged lovers Rycroft Philostrate and Vignette Stonemoss. Philo was a soldier who fought in a war in Vignette’s homeland of Tirnanoc, until the human forces of The Burgue decided to pull out of the war and leave the fae defenceless against their invaders. Vignette and Philo met in the war and fell in love, but got separated in a battle that left Vignette believing Philo was dead. They’re reunited when Vignette joins her fellow fae refugees in The Burgue and discovers that Philo is alive, well, and serving as an inspector with the city’s constabulary.

Related: Amazon’s Carnival Row Cast & Character Guide

Those who have already fallen in love with the world of Carnival Row have no need to fear that the negative reviews will end it after one season. Amazon announced Carnival Row season 2 alongside the release of the first season, so we can expect to see Vignette and Philo return no matter what. Currently the show has a “Rotten” score of 51% on Rotten Tomatoes, and here are some of the reasons why reviewers were less than impressed – in their own words:

New York Times:

“Reanimates bits and pieces from different branches of the fantasy genre into a glum and lumbering beast that only occasionally sparks into life… The energy left over from this exercise in world assembly doesn’t appear to have gone into creating vivid characters or an involving mystery or romance.”


“Bloom, pitching his voice low as a human detective, does little at all while trying to solve various uncompelling mysteries. However much narrative energy spent ginning up an alternate universe in which divine creatures exist seems wasted as Bloom plods through cases that are either uninspired or inspired by every Jack the Ripper copycat in history.”


“Not an episode goes by that doesn’t make one wonder what Carnival Row could have been had it not bitten off far more than it can chew. There’s much to like here—mostly the kaleidoscopic genre-mixing—but not enough to overcome the show’s confused handling of the socio-political allegory at its core. Would that this beast were more thoughtfully stitched together.”


“World building is hard enough, but as circus acts go, Carnival Row is like a juggler on a unicycle. It’s kind of interesting to watch, but nobody really needs it. Nor does the prejudice directed at the mythological races really come alive, as allegorical as it might feel.”

The Week:

“Carnival Row leans heavily on ornamentation to distract from shallow tropes and cliché plots. But whimsical sets do not make a show inherently interesting. Neither do fancy-sounding names like ‘Vignette,’ which only serve to gussy up the one-dimensional characters underneath.”

Carnival Row uses the influx of fae into The Burgue as a transparent allegory for real-life issues such as immigration and racism, but a lot of critics said that this aspect of the show falls flat – either because it’s too clumsily inserted, or because its an element that feels like it’s been done too many times before. The show can also be somewhat alienating to those who aren’t already enthusiastic fantasy fans, with its rapid-fire world-building and cast of characters with names like “Tourmaline Larou” and “Agreus Astrayon.” However, Carnival Row is already finding an enthusiastic fanbase among viewers, and some reviews are considerably warmer towards the new series:

Hollywood Reporter:

“It takes a few episodes for the series to introduce and spin out this cobbled mythology — and that will undoubtedly lose some people — but ultimately it works when it gets going. Carnival Row has a strong cast and if you’re in the open-minded mood to see how humans, fairies and inter-species creations fight to get along in a dark world of magical realism and Jack the Ripper-era British police tactics — replete with political machinations, an otherworldly serial killing spree and disparate tribes of combatants — then this is precisely your stew.”

Entertainment Weekly:

“If a group of hardcore genre fans got together and wrote a TV show, and then somebody’s rich Uncle Jeff (Bezos) Venmo’d them several million dollars to produce it, the result might be something like Carnival Row… At times, the mythology can feel needlessly complex, but there is something truly endearing about Carnival’s earnest, irony-free storytelling.”

Sydney Morning Herald:

“As a piece of fantasy fiction, this is rich and engaging… The visual touches are stunning, an intoxicating blend of Victorian grime and gilded age polish, where mansions and slums clash, sliced in two by monorails of clanking steam trains overhead.”

Ultimately, it seems like Carnival Row is a show where you’ll have to watch for yourself to find out if its your cup of tea. And it’s worth at least giving it a chance – after all, there aren’t a lot of steampunk fantasy shows that feature Jack the Ripper-esque murder mysteries and puppet shows starring tiny kobolds dressed up in costumes on TV right now.

More: Read Screen Rant’s Review of Carnival Row

2019-08-31 06:08:01

Hannah Shaw-Williams

Carnival Row Season 2: Release Date & Story Details | Screen Rant

Amazon’s steampunk fantasy series Carnival Row is returning for season 2, and here’s what we know so far about the next chapter of Philo and Vignette’s story. Created by Travis Beacham and René Echevarria, Carnival Row is set in a Victorian-era style called The Burgue, where fae refugees fleeing from a war in their homeland are treated with hatred and suspicion by the human population.

Cara Delevingne stars as Vignette Stonemoss, a faerie who was aiding refugees in escaping from Tirnanoc until one day a shipwreck landed her on the shores of The Burgue. Orlando Bloom plays Rycroft Philostrate, a former soldier in the Burguish army who met and fell in love with Vignette during the war. Now, as an inspector with The Burgue’s constabulary, he finds himself reunited with his old flame in a city filled with rising political tensions, where a mysterious series of violent murders have been taking place. Carnival Row season 1’s cast also includes Indira Virma, Jared Harris, Andrew Gower, Tamzin Merchant, and Karla Crome.

Related: Amazon’s Carnival Row Cast & Character Guide

Many steampunk fantasy fans were delighted to have a new big-budget mainstream TV show to watch that blends a grimy neo-noir plot with troubled romance and magical creatures. For those looking forward to Carnival Row season 2, here’s everything we know so far about its potential release date, and what the story could be.

Amazon is heavily invested in Carnival Row, eager to step in and fill the gap that Game of Thrones left behind, so it’s little wonder that Carnival Row season 2 was announced alongside the release of the first season on August 30, 2019. The renewal was announced on Twitter, with the tease that “We know you’ll want more. The story is just beginning.” The streaming platform has been working on building its library of original content since 2013, but Carnival Row is Amazon’s first fantasy series.

Unlike traditional TV networks, streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon don’t tend to premiere new seasons of shows at the same time every year. For example, The Man in the High Castle premiered in January 2015, but the second season wasn’t released until December 2016 and the third released in October 2018. While some Amazon series have a faster turnaround, Carnival Row is ambitious and big-budget enough that we’re likely looking at a similar wait of around 18 months to two years for season 2. So, expect to see Philo and Vignette back on your screens around summer 2021.

Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Carnival Row season 1.

Two major plot points of Carnival Row season 1 were the Darkasher killings that Philo was investigating and the mystery of Philo’s origins, which turned out to be connected when it was revealed that Piety Breakspear was behind the killings, and Chancellor Absalom Breakspear was Philo’s father. As a half-fae, half-human, Philo found himself torn between two worlds and forced to hide his true nature. However, when Jonah Breakspear took his father’s place as Chancellor and declared war on non-humans, the inhabitants of Carnival Row found themselves corralled into what is now effectively a concentration camp within The Burgue. Seeing Vignette on the other side of the barricade, Philo declared “I am critch,” and joined Vignette and his fellow fae in Carnival Row.

It’s safe to assume that Carnival Row season 2 will focus on the fae’s fight for liberation against the formidable new alliance of Jonah Breakspear and Sophie Longerbane. Meanwhile, star-crossed lovers Imogen Spurnrose and Agreus Astrayon find themselves on the run after a violent altercation with Imogen’s brother, Ezra, and will have to deal with the fallout of that and the new war on the fae. It will be interesting to see whether the show retains its crime mystery elements amid all this uproar and introduces a new case for Philo and Vignette to solve in Carnival Row season 2

More: Read Screen Rant’s Review of Carnival Row

2019-08-30 04:08:06

Hannah Shaw-Williams

Amazon’s Carnival Row Cast & Character Guide | Screen Rant

Amazon’s new series Carnival Row is now available to watch on Prime, so we’ve put together a cast and character guide to help you get to know the humans and fae of this steampunk fantasy world. Carnival Row is set primarily in a grimy city called The Burgue, which is historically home to humans but more recently has been flooded with refugees from the fae land of Tirnanoc.

The faeries of Tirnanoc have been forced to flee their home due to an invasion by a more ruthless species of fae called the Pact. The Burgue at first fought on the side of the Tirnanoc faeries, but ultimately abandoned the fight and went home, leaving Tirnanoc to the ravages of the Pact. During the war, a faerie called Vignette Stonemoss (Cara Delevingne) met a human soldier called Rycroft Philostrate (Orlando Bloom), and the two of them fell in love – only to be separated during a battle, with Vignette believing that Philo had died.

Related: The Best Horror Movies To Watch On Amazon Prime

Several years later, Vignette joins the rest of the refugees in The Burgue, where she discovers that Philo is alive and well and serving as a detective with The Burgue’s police force. Alongside these two star-crossed lovers, The Burgue is populated by a diverse and magical mix of characters – faeries, pucks, and humans. Here’s a guide to who’s who in Carnival Row.

Cara Delevingne as Vignette Stonemoss – Originally the guardian of an ancient fae library, Vignette took on a very different role after The Burgue retreated from the war: helping fae refugees to escape Tirnanoc. Though some view her as a hero for saving so many from the Pact, Vignette feels guilt over the fact that she effectively helped sell them into indentured servitude to humans.

Orlando Bloom as Rycroft Philostrate – A war veteran turned police officer, Philo is one of the few members of The Burgue’s constabulary who is sympathetic to the fae and actually willing to investigate when one of them is murdered. This doesn’t make him popular among his colleagues, but his connections to the fae make him uniquely skilled at unravelling difficult cases.

Karla Crome as Tourmaline Larou – An old friend and lover of Vignette’s who escaped Tirnanoc and now works in a brothel, providing services to customers who enjoy the unique qualities of faerie sex.

Jared Harris as Absalom Breakspear – A member of the Commonwealth Party in The Burgue’s Parliament, who is fighting for the rights of the so-called “critch” to remain as refugees in the city. However, Absalom’s political influence is threatened by the scandalous antics of his spoiled son.

Indira Virma as Piety Breakspear – On the surface a supportive wife to Absalom, Piety Breakspear has her own agenda in The Burgue, and connections to the fae that can help her to achieve it.

Arty Froushan as Jonah Breakspear – Absalom and Piety’s only son and the shame of the Absalom family, Jonah spends most of his time getting drunk and having fun in faerie brothels on Carnival Row, and is one of Tourmaline’s clients.

Andrew Gower as Ezra Spurnrose – The young head of the wealthy and snooty Spurnrose household, Ezra owns the ship that’s used to transport fae refugees from Tirnanoc to The Burgue. He’s hit with financial disaster when the ship sinks in a storm, and claims Vignette’s indentured servitude as recompense.

Tamzin Merchant as Imogen Spurnrose – Ezra’s sister, a beautiful socialite who looks down on the fae, and pucks especially. Needless to say, Imogen is horrified when a puck moves into the neighborhood.

David Gyasi as Agreus Astrayon – The Spurnrose’s newest neighbor, a wealthy and mysterious puck who appears unphased by Imogen’s efforts to make him feel unwelcome.

More: Read Screen Rant’s Review of Carnival Row

2019-08-29 06:08:21

Hannah Shaw-Williams

10 Things To Know About Carnival Row | ScreenRant

Only a few days remain before the new Victorian fantasy series, Carnival Row, launches on Amazon Prime, and viewers are intrigued to find out what the brooding show will have in store. The show blends several popular genres, including fantasy, steampunk and crime drama, which puts it on par with series like A Game of Thrones in terms of potential audience interest, but will it deliver?

RELATED: 11 Amazon Original Series Coming in 2018

Given that it’s going to feature a love story as well as some conflict between humans and refugees, who happen to represent Irish mythological characters, it may be a timely cultural comment that also banks on the current revival of myth and magic.

10 It Features The Land Of Tir Na NOg

The land of the Irish fairies, Tir na nOg, has been featured in several productions, from the Hellboy franchise to the lush animated feature Song of the Sea, but this will be a much more prominent focus on the land and its people. In this case, the inhabitants of the mysterious Celtic world are displaced as refugees following a great war.

Guillermo del Toro, who directed the first two Hellboy films, was originally a part of Carnival Row, which is probably why so much of the trailer feels like he had a hand in it. He’s listed in the credits for one episode as a writer, but he was juggling too many projects to remain on board.

9 Orlando Bloom And Cara Delevingne Star

Both of the stars of Carnival Row have had plenty of years of experience in making fantasy, sci-fi and action films. Orlando Bloom, renowned as Legolas from The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, will be Rycroft Philostrate, a war veteran from the battle between the fae and humans. The character is a detective in this new post-war world. From Kingdom of Heaven to Pirates of the Carribean, he’s certainly ready for a world full of fae folk.

RELATED: Lord Of The Rings: The 10 Most Powerful Magic Items, Ranked

Delevingne is famous for roles such as Enchantress in Suicide Squad, the mermaids in Pan and Sergeant Laureline in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Although her forays into the fantasy realm haven’t been as commercially successful as Bloom’s, she is still a talented actress who may have found her biggest role yet in Carnival Row.

8 Rycroft Philostrate and Vignette Stonemoss Have A History

While it might occur in flashbacks, there will be no meet-cute at the heart of this story. Protagonists Rycroft Philostrate and Vignette Stonemoss are well known to one another, having been lovers in another life before the faery, Stonemoss, became a refugee in Philostrate’s human world.

We don’t know a lot about their relationship at this point, but we do know that he left her behind- or so Stonemoss believes. There may be more to the story, but we will have to wait until August 30 to find out. Given that it’s launching the same day Netflix is airing The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, it will be a big weekend of binging for lots of fantasy lovers.

7 It’s Got Lots Of Fantasy And Sci-Fi Cred

Carnival Row isn’t coming from the minds of newbs to the genres it represents, but old hats from a variety of worlds in the same vein. There’s an Arrow writer, Marc Guggenheim, on board, as well as Batman and Harry Potter creature designer, Nick Dudman. Pacific Rim’s Travis Beacham is the executive producer of the series,

RELATED: Suicide Squad: 10 Things It Actually Did Well

That may seem like a pretty wide blend between sci-fi, the DC universe and the Potterverse, but that’s probably what a series like this one needs in order to succeed, given the number of genres and themes it crosses. Of course, we can’t help but mourn the loss of one creative who didn’t stay on for the series, Guillermo del Toro.

6 A Series Of Unsolved Murders Are At The Heart Of The Series

Make no mistake: this is not a romance. While there may be romance in the series, it’s a crime drama that will be focusing on a series of unsolved murders that Philostrate is tasked with solving–at least, at the beginning of the series, that is where we meet him. Where it leads to is anyone’s guess.

Given the Victorian era in which the film takes place, it’s possible that we’ll also see similar themes to series Sherlock Holmes. Other famous TV shows that have utilized this time period include Doctor Who, Penny Dreadful, The Alienist and Ripper Street.

5 Del Toro Wasn’t The Only Person To Leave The Project

If Carnival Row has a Sherlock vibe, it’s because the first episode was directed by Sherlock director Paul McGuigan, who was also behind projects like Teen Wolf, Luke Cage and Victor Frankenstein. McGuigan was set to be an executive producer of Carnival Row as well, but he was replaced by English filmmaker Jon Amiel.

RELATED: The Ultimate Pirates Of The Caribbean Gift Guide

Amiel, who wrote and directed the 2009 Charles Darwin biopic Creation, has also worked on projects like Hemlock Grove, The Tudors and Marco Polo, so he’s no stranger to a period piece. Clyde Phillips, who worked on Dexter, also left the series. Both exits followed a scandal surrounding Amazon entertainment chief Roy Price.

4 Refugees Are Not Allowed To Fly Or Love

According to the synopsis of the series, the fae refugees, whose population only continues to grow, are “forbidden to live, love, or fly with freedom.” Other series summaries have pointed out that there is intense hostility between the humans and fae folk, which makes perfect sense since one is the reason the others have no home left, or so it seems.

Early trailers of the show depicted Delevingne and Bloom back-to-back, wings fluttering between them, and it was difficult to see just whose wings they were. This may be an omen foretelling that they will have one another’s backs.

3 The Affair Isn’t Over

According to the show synopsis, the main characters will “rekindle a dangerous affair despite an increasingly intolerant society,” which alludes to the tension between the humans and the fae as well as the possibility of laws forbidding their love. The star-crossed lovers between two worlds might end up being the main conflict rather than the ongoing struggles between their people.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Why The Hobbit Trilogy Wasn’t As Good As The Lord Of The Rings (And 5 Why It Was Better)

If this occurs, we will certainly be seeing even more genres in the mix of the show. Given that the people of this world are already living in an “uneasy peace,” perhaps their forbidden love will be what breaks the truce.

2 She Presents A Danger To Him

Is Vignette Stonemoss simply a displaced fae in love with a human, or will she become something more, maybe even something darker? The show’s description states that she “harbors a secret that endangers Philo’s world during his most important case yet: a string of gruesome murders threatening the uneasy peace of the Row.”

Is Stonemoss the culprit, or is she close to someone who might be? Perhaps she’s not truly in love with Philostrate, especially if she believes that he abandoned her in her own kingdom. It’s quite possible that she has something nefarious up her sleeve for her old flame.

1 It’s Already Renewed For A Second Season

Amazon isn’t waiting for audience approval with this one. It’s already given the green light for a second season of the eight-episode show, so confidence regarding the show must be high. Whether or not it’s the new Game of Thrones, it certainly features elements from several popular shows that may lend it likability.

Carnival Row is also supposed to feature plenty of creatures and special effects, which is a draw in and of itself. There probably won’t be white walkers, but if nothing else, viewers will certainly tune in just to catch a glimpse of what kinds of beasties might show up on screen.

NEXT: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – 10 Things To Know About The Upcoming Netflix Series

2019-08-17 01:08:45

Sara Schmidt

CARNIVAL ROW Official Trailer # 3 (NEW, 2019) Cara Delevingne, Orlando Bloom, Fantasy Series HD

CARNIVAL ROW Official Trailer # 3 (NEW, 2019) Cara Delevingne, Orlando Bloom, Fantasy Series HD
© 2019 – Amazon Prime Video

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2019-08-07 09:01:53