Michael James Radford (born 24 February 1946) is an Anglo-Indian-born English film director and screenwriter. He began his career as a documentary director and television comedy writer before transitioning into features in the early 1980s. His best-known credits include the 1984 film adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four starring John Hurt and Richard Burton (in his final role), the Shakespeare adaptation The Merchant of Venice, the true crime drama White Mischief, and the 1994 Italian-language comedy drama Il Postino: The Postman, for which he won the BAFTA Awards for Best Direction and Best Film Not in the English Language, and earned Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
|Alma mater||Worcester College|
National Film and Television School
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, television writer|
|Spouse(s)||Iseult Teran (1990–1997)|
Emma Tweed (2006 –present)
|Awards||1996 BAFTA Award for Best Direction, Il Postino: The Postman|
1996 BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language, Il Postino: The Postman
Early life and careerEdit
Radford was born on 24 February 1946, in New Delhi, India, to a British father and an Austrian Jewish mother. He was educated at Bedford School before attending Worcester College, Oxford. After teaching for a few years, he went to the National Film and Television School, becoming a student there in its inaugural year.
Between 1976 and 1982, Radford worked as a documentary film maker, mostly on projects for the BBC, covering subjects such as Scottish islanders on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides who believe in the literal truth of the Bible: The Last Stronghold of the Pure Gospel; the soprano Isobel Buchanan: La Belle Isobel; the singer songwriter Van Morrison: Van Morrison in Ireland; and the self-explanatory The Making of The Pirates of Penzance. On the last two of these Radford worked with the cinematographer Roger Deakins, who would later shoot two of Radford's feature films; Nineteen Eighty-Four and White Mischief. Another notable early work was Another Time, Another Place (1983), a feature film set in Scotland during World War II and centered on a love story between a local woman and an Italian POW.
Radford came to international attention with Nineteen Eighty-Four, his adaptation of George Orwell's novel 1984, starring John Hurt as Winston Smith, and in which Richard Burton gave his final film performance. The film was made in the time and place (London, April–June 1984) at which the book was set.
Radford's next film, released in 1987, was White Mischief, a period drama set in Kenya during the 1940s. Radford again wrote the screenplay, an adaptation of the novel by James Fox also called White Mischief.
Michael Radford is most widely known as the writer and director of the 1994 film Il Postino: The Postman, which Radford adapted from the novel Ardiente Paciencia by Antonio Skármeta. The massive international success of the film (for many years it was the largest grossing non-English language film ever made) led to international acclaim for Radford and the star of the film Massimo Troisi. Tragically Troisi died, aged 41, the day after the filming of Il Postino was completed. The film won many international film awards including the 'Best Film Not in the English Language' BAFTA for Radford, who was also nominated for the Best Director and Adapted Screenplay Academy Awards.
In 2000, Radford's film Dancing at the Blue Iguana was released. In a departure from his more usual development technique, namely adapting novels, this film was largely improvised, although Radford shared the screenwriting credit with David Linter.
In 2004, Radford directed The Merchant of Venice (2004). He adapted the William Shakespeare play (see: Shakespearean comedies), and the film stars Al Pacino as Shylock and Jeremy Irons as Antonio. In 2007, he reunited Demi Moore and Michael Caine (who had already been together in 1984 for Blame it on Rio) in Flawless, a diamond heist story set in 1960. His most recent film is Elsa & Fred (2014), a romantic comedy starring Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer.
Radford has a son, Felix (born 1991), from his first marriage to Iseult Teran. He also has a daughter, Amaryllis (born 2005), and a son, Linus (born 2010), with his current wife Emma Tweed.
In addition to English (his first language), he speaks fluent Spanish, French, Italian, and some Mandarin.
In September 2013, he took part in the Clipper Round the World Sailing Race, in which he raced one of 12 identical 70-foot racing yachts from London to Rio.
|1979||Everyman||Yes||Yes||Episodes: "The Last Stronghold of the Pure Gospel" & "La Belle Isobel"|
|Scotch and Wry||No||Yes||3 episodes|
|1976–77||Omnibus||Yes||No||Episodes: "Unita" & "The Madonna and the Volcano"|
|1980||The Two Ronnies||No||Yes||3 episodes|
|The White Bird Passes||Yes||Yes||Television film|
|1981||A Kick Up the Eighties||No||Yes||5 episodes|
|Three of a Kind||No||Yes||3 episodes|
|1982||The Late, Late Breakfast Show||No||Yes||11 episodes|
|1996||Homicide: Life on the Street||Yes||No||Episode: "Justice: Part 1"|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|1983||Taormina Film Fest||Golden Charybdis||Another Time, Another Place||Won|
|1985||Fantasporto||International Fantasy Film Award||Nineteen Eighty-Four||Nominated|
|International Istanbul Film Festival||Golden Tulip||Won|
|London Evening Standard||Best Film||Won|
|1986||Accademia del Cinema Italiano||Best Foreign Film||Another Time, Another Place||Nominated|
|1995||Ciak||Best Film||Il Postino: The Postman||Won|
|Rome Foreign Press Association||Best Film||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association||Best Foreign Language Film||Nominated|
|São Paulo International Film Festival||Best Feature||Won|
|1996||Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences||Best Director||Nominated|
|Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|Norwegian International Film Festival||Best Foreign Feature Film||Won|
|London Film Critics' Circle||British Director of the Year||Won|
|British Academy of Film and Television Arts||Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated|
|British Academy of Film and Television Arts||Best Direction||Won|
|British Academy of Film and Television Arts||Best Film Not in the English Language||Won|
|Argentine Film Critics Association||Best Foreign Film||Won|
|Directors Guild of America||Outstanding Directorial Achievements in Motion Pictures||Nominated|
|Radio Nacional de España||Best Foreign Film||Won|
|Radio Nacional de España||Rosa de Sant Jordi Audience Award||Won|
|1997||Académie des Lumières||Best Foreign Film||Won|
|Danish Film Academy||Best Foreign Film||Won|
|Kinema Junpo||Best Foreign Language Film||Won|
|2004||London Film Critics' Circle||British Director of the Year||The Merchant of Venice||Nominated|
|2005||Accademia del Cinema Italiano||Best European Film||Nominated|
|2012||Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma||Best Documentary Film||Michel Petrucciani||Nominated|
|2014||Bari International Film Festival||Platinum Award for Cinematic Excellence||N/A||Won|
|Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival||International Audience Choice Award||Elsa & Fred||Won|
|2017||El Gouna Film Festival||Golden Star – Feature Narrative Competition||The Music of Silence||Nominated|
|Montecarlo Film Festival||Career Award||N/A||Won|
- Sandra Brennan (2016). "Michael Radford". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014.
- "Michael Radford Filmography". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2014.
- Clipperroundtheworld.com Archived 25 August 2013 at archive.today
- "Michael Radford". BFI. Retrieved 19 November 2019.