Stephen Frears

Stephen Frears

Highest Rated: 100% Night Will Fall (2014)

Lowest Rated: 18% Lay the Favorite (2012)

Birthday: Jun 20, 1941

Birthplace: Not Available

Known for making provocative, stylized, and tightly budgeted films about people living on society's social and/or sexual fringes, British director Stephen Frears is renowned as one of his country's most vibrant and recognizable filmmakers. Regarding his tendency to make films that branch into unfamiliar territory, Frears has said that he likes "making films about different cultures...I'm interested in things that I've never encountered before. I try to put myself in the audience's position." Born in Leicester on June 20, 1941, Frears studied law at Cambridge University before turning to the arts. He became involved with London's Royal Court Theatre, where he served as an assistant to director Lindsay Anderson and to actor Albert Finney. He started his career in the film industry as an assistant director to Karel Reisz, with whom he worked from 1966 until 1972.In 1971, Frears made his directorial debut with Gumshoe. Starring Finney, it was a tribute to the hardboiled detective drama. Frears helmed a few made-for-television films, and in 1985, he had his breakthrough directing My Beautiful Laundrette. Written for the screen by Hanif Kureishi, the film used its central story of the relationship between a young Pakistani and a London street punk (a then unknown Daniel Day-Lewis) to explore issues encompassing homosexuality, racism, and intergenerational tensions. An edgy, offbeat tale, it earned great critical acclaim, a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination, and a New York Film Critics Circle award for Kureshi. Frears and Kureishi again collaborated on Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987), a film about the faltering relationship between a London couple. Like My Beautiful Laundrette, it looked at a number of issues that were particularly relevant to late-'80s British society; unlike Laundrette, it failed to make much of an impression on critics or audiences.Frears' next three films proved to be some of the most successful of his career. The first, Prick Up Your Ears (1987), was a biographical drama about the celebrated and controversial English playwright Joe Orton. Featuring stellar performances by Gary Oldman as Orton, Alfred Molina as his tragically unstable lover, and Vanessa Redgrave as his agent, the film was widely praised. A year later, a Best Director BAFTA nomination and a number of international honors greeted Frears for Dangerous Liaisons, his adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The director's most opulent piece to date, it was an elegant, witheringly cynical tragi-comedy that boasted an Oscar-winning script by Christopher Hampton and deliciously nasty lead performances from John Malkovich and Glenn Close, the latter of whom earned an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the scheming Marquise de Merteuil. Frears gained more international acclaim and a Best Director Oscar nomination in 1990 for The Grifters. The gripping, stylish depiction of a deadly power struggle between three con artists (John Cusack, Anjelica Huston, and Annette Bening), the film earned a reputation as one of the best noirs in recent memory. Both Huston and Bening were nominated for Oscars for their work, and Frears duly earned a reputation as one of the most gifted British directors of his generation.Frears' subsequent films have been of wildly mixed quality. Hero (1992) and Mary Reilly (1996) were complete duds, while two Roddy Doyle adaptations, The Snapper (1993) and The Van (1996), were modest affairs that enjoyed a fairly positive reception. Despite the presence of a strong cast that featured Woody Harrelson, Billy Crudup, Penélope Cruz, and Patricia Arquette, Frears' 1998 film, a 20th century Western entitled The Hi-Lo Country, was a sizable disappointment. A number of critics remarked that Frears was out of his element directing a film about cowboys. In 2000, however, Frears returned to more familiar territory with High Fidelity. Adapted from Nick Hornby's popular novel of the same name, the film reunited Frears wit


Highest Rated Movies



66% Victoria & Abdul Director $21.7M 2017
87% Florence Foster Jenkins Director Screenwriter $27.4M 2016
62% The Program Director 2016
100% Night Will Fall Executive Producer 2014
90% Philomena Director 2013
38% Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight Director Executive Producer 2013
18% Lay the Favorite Director $21.5K 2012
No Score Yet Le cinéma britannique aujourd'hui, la tradition des francs-tireurs Actor 2012
64% Tamara Drewe Director $0.6M 2010
66% Great Directors Actor $18.4K 2010
51% Chéri Director $2.7M 2009
No Score Yet Jean Charles Executive Producer 2009
No Score Yet 40 X 15 Actor 2008
96% The Queen Director $56.3M 2006
67% Mrs. Henderson Presents Director $11M 2006
No Score Yet The Deal Director 2003
94% Dirty Pretty Things Director $8M 2003
70% Liam Director 2001
100% Fail Safe Director 2000
91% High Fidelity Director 2000
54% The Hi-Lo Country Director 1998
38% The Van Director 1997
No Score Yet Howard Hawks: American Artist Actor 1997
26% Mary Reilly Director 1996
97% The Snapper Director 1993
65% Hero Director 1992
91% The Grifters Director 1990
93% Dangerous Liaisons Director 1988
94% Prick Up Your Ears Director 1987
80% Sammy and Rosie Director 1987
No Score Yet Loving Walter Director 1986
97% My Beautiful Laundrette Director 1985
85% The Hit Director 1984
No Score Yet Saigon: Year of the Cat Director 1983
No Score Yet Loving Walter Director 1982
No Score Yet Bloody Kids (One Joke Too Many) Director 1979
No Score Yet A Day Out Director 1972
100% Gumshoe Director 1971
No Score Yet The Burning Director 1968


96% Quiz
Director Executive Producer 2020
96% State of the Union
Director 2019
97% A Very English Scandal
Director 2019
No Score Yet Today
Guest 2017
No Score Yet Charlie Rose
Guest 2017


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