Thursday, July 26, 2012

In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures - Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren has been an internationally acclaimed actress and the recipient of many awards, transferring without obvious effort from stage, cinema and television for over 40 years. Known in her youth for a forthright style, a liberated attitude and a bohemian outlook, she has never ceased to be out of the public eye, with legions of admiring fans all over the world. This illustrated memoir is an account of an extraordinary talent, and a life well lived. Helen's aristocratic Russian grandfather, Pyotr Vasielivich Mironov, a military man, was sent to London by the Tsar and found himself stranded and penniless by the Bolshevik revolution, cut off from the family estate near Smolensk. He brought with him a trunk of papers and photographs. This delightful memoir starts with contents of the trunk, with evocative pictures of Helen's Russian antecedents. She has kept a rich seam of photographs and memorabilia from her life, and her parents, family life, childhood, teenage and early years as an actress living in insalubrious flats are vividly documented. Helen's many distinguished roles in theatre, cinema and television and the illustrious men and women she has encountered are commemorated, as well as her forays into Hollywood and her subsequent life in the US with her husband, film director Taylor Hackford. Golden Globe and Oscar ceremonies make their appearance, as do many stunning images of Helen by the world's leading photographers. In the Frame is a book to savour, created and written by one of the great personalities of our age.


I seldom read autobiographies but last week I was offered the chance to read Helen Mirren's autobiography and just couldn't resist.

I have enjoyed her work as an actress and always thought she might be an interesting person. But the truth is that with actors you never really kno, sometimes they are so well hidden behind their parts that it may be the character instead of the person that makes you curious.

Besides the book is filled with beautiful photos. Some pages even look like they came out of a scrapbook album. They are lovely to look at!

Mirren writes about her russian heritage, her childhood and teenage years, her beginnings in the theather world, her experimental acting on various parts of the globe and achieving world wide success with roles like Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect and Elizabeth I and II. She also tackles her personal relationships with friends and lovers and especially her relationship and marriage to Taylor Hackford. 

She doesn't follow a strict chronological order, which can be a bit confusing at times, but her writing was interesting an engaging. In the end it was a book I enjoyed. It made me feel that I knew her a bit and that she is a good, down to earth person.

Grade: 4/5


  1. I love LOVE Helen Mirren ! This is something I would enjoy to read, so I'm adding it to my wishlist right now. Thanks for the review, Ana.:D

  2. You're welcome! I hope you enjoy it at least as much as I did. To be honest it was so engaging I wouldn't have minded less pictures and more text but knowing how you love pictures I think this really your kind of book.

    I found out that there's an english library in my town. Isn't that great? :-)


I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...