Essential Film Directors, Hettie MacDonald

Hettie MacDonald is a British director best known for her award-winning work, Beautiful Thing.  The film follows a young man named Jamie, who is an introverted and emotionally frustrated teenager.  Living with his mother and her long line of ever-changing love interests, Jamie seeks love and comfort beyond the walls of his childhood home.  He soon finds himself infatuated with a boy named Ste, a neighbour and classmate at the local school.  Ste, who has been often abused by his father and elder brother, comes with his own set of issues.  In some ways, Ste and Jamie find they have very much in common, both coming from less than ideal home situations.  While Jamie’s homosexuality remains secret, love still manages to grow between the two boys as a touching and heartfelt relationship develops.

Beautiful Thing

Born in Great Britain, Hettie MacDonald is an accomplished director of film, television, and theater performances.  Hettie directed the Doctor Who episode titled Blink, which won the 2007 Hugo Award and is still today regarded as the finest episode of the modern revival of the Doctor Who series.

MacDonald studied at Bristol University in the UK.  Following her course of study in English, MacDonald received formal training as a director for the Royal Court Theater in London and the Wolsey Theatre, which can be found in Ipswich.

Though much of her work is in television, MacDonald earned a plethora of awards and nominations for her touching film, Beautiful Thing, which released in 1996.
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Hettie MacDonald’s career began with one of her finest and most respected works, the 1996 film Beautiful Thing, which follows the story of two young gay men who fall in love amidst their own trying and difficult family environments.  Shortly thereafter, MacDonald focused her directorial skills on the stage and small screen, directing for some of the UK’s finest theaters, including the Royal Court Theatre in London.

In television, MacDonald directed a variety of popular episodes for series such as The Fixer, Poirot, and her finest television achievement, the 2007 episode “Blink” from Doctor Who.  MacDonald still directs for various television series today.

All pictures reproduced courtesy of Film4

Alexander Ryll
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