04:20 PM EDT 03/19/2015
Originally posted 07/28/2012 09:35AM
My impression was that movie director Danny Boyle's opening ceremony for the Olympics would be an epic yet compact interpretative history of Great Britain. I misunderstood.
It began – horribly if appropriately – with Kenneth Branagh reciting Shakespeare with enough hammy gusto to bring down the Old Globe. But as the evening went along the event evolved into a weirdly psychedelic pop-culture fantasy, referencing everything from J.K. Rowling to Queen – I mean the band.
Perhaps this is because British history effectively came to an end with World War II, and there was nothing else for Boyle to say. Well, you might argue, what about Margaret Thatcher? Oh, you must mean that old woman who was played so well by Meryl Streep.
But more likely the show, titled "Isles of Wonder," really was Boyle's vision. In his movies he loves to jam together styles and images and effects, and so he did here.
This was Trainspotting minus heroin.
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
Wow! Melissa McCarthy Looks Stunning at the Spy Premiere: See the Pic
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar Are 'Focused on Their Faith and Each Other' and Not Their TV Show: Source
What's at Stake for the Duggars if TLC Cancels 19 Kids and Counting?
Father of Boy Found Dead in Swing: I Warned a Judge About His Mother's Mental Illness
The Bachelorette's Britt Nilsson and Brady Toops Are Going Strong (PHOTOS)
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!