Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Does this look like Cameron Mathison?







































I don't think so.

But this is how I picture Father Tim from Jan Karon's first book in her Mitford series, At Home In Mitford.

Hallmark channel thinks differently and has cast Cameron Mathison as the portly priest. 

Aarrgghh!!!!!!!! [great angst here]

I love you, Cameron, but get thee back to Murder, She Baked!

I must save my breath to cool my porridge and just get over it. I and the other Mitford fan base have been arguing this out for a month now.

We agree that not one single person has been cast accurately for this movie, especially Father Tim and his wife Cynthia who will be played by Andie MacDowell. 

We're very afraid that Cynthia is going to take center stage in this movie, that properly should belong to Father Tim, our beloved Episcopalian priest.

 We're disappointed that Barnabas is going to be a large brown dog with a black head instead of a solid black dog. We can't imagine them not having Dooley being a eleven year old red head, but we're not holding our breath on that one either.

Some of us say we refuse to watch it. Others of us are complete Jan Karon fans and if she sold it to Hallmark, then that's good enough for us. I, by the way, am of that persuasion. 


So Sunday night August 20, 2017 at 9 p.m. central time, please don't phone me. I will be glued to the Hallmark channel to watch this perhaps very loosely adapted movie. 

I owe it to Jan Karon who has given me so many hours of pleasure and inspiration while reading her books about the portly priest of Mitford, North Carolina. And he no longer is portly after landing in two diabetic comas from eating such things as Mitford's world famous Orange Marmalade Cake.

But he still doesn't look anything at all like Cameron.

And that's just fine with Mitford fans.


Here's a link to our esteemed author, with news of her latest book to be released in September,



And my model for Father Tim, top of page, is actually Carl A. Peterson of Boston in an ad for Macmillan Oil in Life magazine, August 1948. A plump Michael Kitchen would have been my choice for Father Tim's role but Hallmark forgot to check with me when casting the role.

Any Mitford fans among my readers? What do you think about my Father Tim?






43 comments:

  1. I favor your Father Tim-I think they have the characters far to young in the TV show. Actually, I've always pictured Cynthia Coppersmith as looking pretty much like Jan Karon herself! Not sure if I'll watch it or not.

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    1. Jan, I picture Cynthia looking like Jan too!

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  2. You can't imagine how much of a Mitford fan I am!! I have done book talks on each edition as it came out. I even had an Indiana senator at one of them. He, like me, had made a pilgrimage to Mitford (Blowing Rock, N.C. which is just over the mountain from my hometown of Roanoke, Virginia). When I was there, I parked outside of Lord's Chapel near the rectory and the little yellow house. I've long hoped for movies based on the books but did not know the Hallmark Channel had the rights. No Dooley? Seriously? Jan has a new book coming out in September. She says that, after that, she has one more book in her. Let's hope that's true.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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    1. I would have loved to be at your book talks on the Mitford books, Bonnie! We too made the pilgrimage to Blowing Rock and a couple of times got autographed books at the local bookstore. And drove by her house, hoping there would be a glimpse of her in the garden but it was not to be. Our favorite trip was in October at the peak of leaf color.

      I didn't write clearly enough in the post about Dooley. There will be a Dooley but early photo release on the Jan Karon Fans FB site showed a much older boy, and he had brown hair. I'm wondering if that changed though when they delayed the airing a few weeks.

      It will be a sad day when no more September releases of Jan Karon books.

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    2. Our visit was in an October. Jan was home. The old brown Toyota was parked in front of her house. She has since moved to Charlottesville, Virginia. I visit there every October but have never seen her. I will try to watch the movie with an open mind.

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  3. Carl A Peterson of Boston is the PERFECT Father Tim type.
    NOT a tall YOUNG hunk!!! even though I do adore Cameron in everything he does.
    and yes. I like Andie McDowell... especially in Four Weddings and a Funeral. but Cynthia she is NOT! besides...
    Cynthia is blonde is she not???
    OH I am astounded!!! somehow I knew nothing about this yet!
    I of course will watch it. simply because I love Jan Karon so much! but I will be cringing the whole time.
    and Barnabus! they're even messing with Barnabus! couldn't they have just found an all black lab? it's not like they're rare!
    I guess I'm going on here to much! I think I'm in shock. LOLOL!
    it's when I saw the first Hamish Macbeth movie. it looked NOTHING like Hamish. he was supposed to have red hair. and it was as dark as dark could be. I finally got used to it but it wasn't what I had read. and it was very disappointing.
    are they AFRAID that older people wouldn't draw an audience? why does everybody have to look like Hollywood? that's it you know. that's exactly why. it's irritating to the extreme!
    ok. retiring my soapbox now. so glad you warned us. those of us who love Father Tim and Cynthia will be ready for it now. thank you dsm! thank you! xoxo♥

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    1. Tammy, one thing I've learned is that Mitford lovers are very protective of Mitfordians. We think they are OUR characters, don't we? And no one but Jan should let them change!

      How did I miss the Hamish Macbeth books and movies? Please let me know if you see them playing and I'll add the books to my library list.

      I think Andie is beautiful, love her voice too. I think I can even accept her dark hair. But why couldn't they have chosen a Father Tim who is older than her? There are so many great older actors who would have been perfect.

      Maybe someday we'll know the whole story behind the casting -- and how Jan feels about it!

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  4. Oh, a Mitford movie! We don't have cable, so I hope it's released elsewhere some time. I'd love to see it. I think your choice is just right for Father Tim.

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    1. Maybe it will be on DVD someday? I've never checked to see if Hallmark releases them that way. Wish you could see it, Lorrie!

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  5. Well, I've been out of the loop. I had no idea there was going to be a Mitford movie. I will be in the group that doesn't watch. There are some books that movies just can't ever do justice. One of those was The Shell Seekers. They cast Angela Landsbury, which was perfect, but there was no way a two hour movie could capture that beautiful book. I prefer to keep picturing Mitford as I first saw it, through the pages of Jan Karon's books. And I've purchased every one of them, so I think I've honored her in that! (But I'll be watching for your post on what you thought of the movie on Aug 21st;)

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    1. A whole lot of fans feel the same way as you do, Karen. They just don't want Mitford ruined for them. And I remember being so very disappointed with the television movie of Shell Seekers, one of my very favorite novels. I adore Angela Lansbury and she did her best but I didn't see her in the roll.

      I think the only movie that I've liked better than the book was Julie & Julia. Love love love the movie but was dismayed by the language in the book.

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    2. I agree about Julie & Julia. I couldn't get through the book. Loved, loved the movie!

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  6. Your Father Tim is pretty much the way I envisioned him also!!! I love the Mitford books and I bought the cookbook, too....I had planned to make that marmalade cake, but it never happened....YET!! I'm adding that movie to my DVR recordings, thanks for the heads up!

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    1. Yeah! Another Jan Karon fan! There are more of us here than I knew.

      Debbie, you are the woman to bake that OMC! And I bet it won't take you all day, the way it would me. Please post about it when you do.

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  7. I have not read these books, since I am generally a nonfiction reader. However, it bothers me enormously when movies veer so off course from the movie. I remember reading Gone With The Wind a few summers ago and even the few changes in plot ruffled me. I hope that you are pleasantly surprised by your movie!

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    1. Kim, I'm really glad I saw GWTW at the theater before I read the book. (Not the first time it played, please remember! I'm old but even my mother was a young teenager when it first played!) I was so surprised to find that there was so much more in the book than the movie--like two extra children, wasn't it?

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  8. I became a Mitford fan with the release of the first book, and anxiously awaited each book that came after. It's disappointing that Hallmark is steering away from the portly older priest in favor of a younger trim man. To me that was one of the endearing aspects of the story. Father Tim was so human, so real, a confirmed older bachelor that meets a younger, vivacious woman, chemistry takes over and his ordered life is turned topsy turvy. So heartwarming. I guess since Andie is Co-Executive Producer of the movie it makes sense that she would cast herself as Cynthia. Also, the release is written in a way that makes it sound as though it's primarily Cynthia's story and not Father Tim's, so who knows how true to the book it will be. Part of me doesn't want to watch it for fear it will depart so terribly far from the book. On the other hand, Hallmark has never disappointed in its ability to turn out a good production, so a new twist on an old favorite just might be okay. Just not sure.

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    1. A very good synopsis of At Home In Mitford, Nancy. If only Andie had hired you to guide her! It will be fun to compare notes after we watch it. I think what we're all hoping for is a statement from Jan concerning the movie, but that may never happen if a contract forbade it, right?

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  9. Oh, how I love the Mitford books. But I, too, picture an older and bit more rotund Father Tim. I think Hallmark uses the same actors over and over in their movies. When they are a series made of a character (like their mystery series),I can watch. But in the past few years they have produced so many movies each year, and the same actors keep re-surfacing in movie after movie as different people, and it gets a bit crazy!! I will TRY to watch the movie, but I am afraid, like so many others, that I have the books in my head (and have read them several times), and it might be hard to have the Hallmark version clash with my own vision!! Hope you post after watching so we can share our thoughts!!

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    1. Chris, I hadn't thought about a followup post until several suggested it but I think that's only logical to do, so God willing and the creek don't rise I'll be back here Monday so we can hash it all out! Maybe some others will do posts on it too.

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  10. Sounds like I need to read some Mitford books! I love that they've inspired such passion in you! ;) Movies are NEVER as good as the books. Ha! I'll be waiting to hear what you think about the show! blessings and hugs ~ tanna

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    1. Tanna, I guess Mitford fans are passionate about these books and their author. And you might that we get a tad proprietary about the author's characters. I wonder what she thinks about that? Somehow, I believe she understands it.

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  11. I was blessed to meet Jan Karon several years ago and she's as charming in person as you would think she is! I can't wait to see this version on TV, but like you am holding my breath on the authenticity! Thanks for the reminder. I penciled it in my calendar!

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    1. I remember your post about receiving your own Mitford map, Leslie Anne, so very envious of you!

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  12. Dewena, I'm not familiar with this movie, now I'm curious. I've seen Cameron Mathison a lot lately, and he's in one of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies. And Andie MacDowell is always so talented. Some have said that I look like her in the movie "Michael" with her long curly hair. : ) You will have to tell us how you liked the movie later on. Hallmark channel draws me in every time. : )

    love, ~Sheri

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    1. I remember Michael, Sheri! So funny and so sad too. And she was beautiful, still is, so that's a real compliment!

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  13. Oh dear, Dewena...I don't get the Hallmark channel, nor have I read any of the Jan Karon books, AND...I don't even know who Cameron Mathison is! Strike three, I'm out. ;-)

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    1. I love your comment, Melanie! Transparency at its best!

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  14. I'm not familiar with the author or the book, but I hate it when they don't cast movies correctly. In fact I rarely ever like the screen adaption, but no one asks me either LOL!

    Love to you, my friend,
    rue

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    1. Rue, the mistakes that Hollywood makes from not consulting us just blows the mind, doesn't it?

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  15. I've been meaning to read some of Jan Karon's Mitford series, especially after our trip to Blowing Rock. Shame on me.

    I love the Hallmark movies and I do note that they rotate actors around. In one movie they may be a criminal or someone unlikable, in another they may be in a love story and quite lovely. It gets a bit strange sometimes. I do like Cameron, perhaps he's been eating a lot of ice cream for this role? Hey, I'd audition for Father Tim under these circumstances!

    Great post, Dewena. I truly hope you aren't disappointed, nor your fellow Mitford fans.

    Jane xxx

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    1. Jane, I truly believe that you would like this series. Maybe next time you have some retreat days at the lake house?

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  16. Well, I am not familiar with Jan Karon's series, but from the sounds of it, those who are, yourself and Tam and a few other of your readers, agree with you! Having said that, you are quite the trooper to tune in this Sunday to watch the Hallmark version, which I sincerely hope will not disappoint!

    Have fun, regardless, and enjoy the experience!

    Sending love,
    Poppy

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    1. I think the best way I can enjoy it, Poppy, is to just accept it as a Hallmark movie and not expect it to be one of Jan's little masterpieces. And at least I know I'll be watching a wholesome show. And that's not easy to find on television these days. Love you too, dear friend!

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  17. I love the Mitford series. We listened to it on audio on a road trip from Wisconsin to Montana and back. My boys were 13 and 11 and enjoyed it too.
    Keep me posted on the TV version.
    Carla

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    1. I had a feeling you would be a Mitford fan, Carla. And knowing that your sons enjoyed it too just proves why so many men are her fans too.

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  18. How dare they cast these roles without consulting you Dewena! Surely they're more interested in mediocrity than excellence, but then again, it is Hallmark ;)

    xxx

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    1. Isn't that the truth, Doreen! I would be thrilled if they had just let Jan Karon cast the roles!

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  19. In my imagination he was always rather thin, since he was a runner, and slightly balding but good looking in a natural way...not a hunk but you know, nice features.

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  20. Dewena, I wanted to answer your question.....Yes, that was an omelette, and they put avocado on top and there is a SALSA you can put on too. I get it often because it's soooo good. I wonder if they have a Mimi's in your state because they are all over the place?

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  21. This is all news to me. I had to google this Cameron guy since I didn't know who he was. NOT Father Tim, IMO. I've not read all the Mitford books, but enough to agree with your choice of actor. I read Shepherds Abiding last Christmas. Really enjoyed it.
    I won't watch the latest Anne of Green Gables series. I enjoyed the Megan Follows one so much I'm afraid what they've done to it.
    It's always tricky doing a movie of a beloved book.
    BTW, I just read an article that said Hallmark is experiencing an uptick in new viewers. People want a break from all the crazy news out there! xo Deborah

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  22. I've not read any of the Mitford books, but I know from reading other friends blogs they are popular.

    Hasn't this month zoomed by!
    I can't believe we will be in September at the end of next week!

    All the best Jan

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  23. LOL there is so much that I could comment on :) I'll just comment on Mitford and movies :) When you read 6-8 or whatever books in a series, these people are pictured in your imagination already / it is very hard for a movie to ever follow a book in my mind

    Having said that, and having read the Hobbit / Lord of the Rings series at least 2x before the movie came out, I was surprised to find that it did the book well...I can still recall sitting in the theatre ( ages ago ) seeing the hobbits hidden in bushes / greenery on the roadside as those dark riders and horses tried to sniff them out ..the only movie that I ever saw that actually MET my imagination when I was reading :)

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