Last year, 718 feature films were released in U.S. theatersor about 14 a week. And, as much as we all enjoy a two-hour respite from the attention-grabbing antics of our commander-in-chief, a man the USA Today editorial board recently branded unfit to clean toilets in Obamas presidential library, even the most vigilant of moviegoer couldnt possibly catch em all.
Among the many gems that fell through the cracks last year was A Bigger Splash, a sexy, sun-soaked tale of jealousy and deceit by Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, helmer of the buzzy Call Me by Your Name; newcomer Anna Rose Holmers visually entrancing coming-of-age saga The Fits; and Green Room, a punks vs. Nazis grindhouse thriller by Jeremy Saulnier.
And, buried between towering blockbusters like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and our annual Marvel-superhero rations were some truly outstandingand criminally overlookedfilms this year, too.
PERSONAL SHOPPER (March 10)
People forget that, before those terribly popular emo-vampire films, Kristen Stewart was a character actress par excellence; a performer whose aching vulnerability, paired with a mlange of striking close-ups, stirs the soul. Her creative partnership with French auteur Olivier Assayas, which began with the 2014 film Clouds of Sils Maria, continues with Stewart portraying a damaged young woman who, when shes not acquiring high-end dresses and jewelry for her celebrity-boss, is attempting to contact her recently deceased brother in the spirit world. And Stewart, all raw nerves and twitchiness, proves the perfect vessel for Assayas paranoid journey.
THE LOST CITY OF Z (April 14)
I suspect that, if this film had landed its intended star Brad Pitt, youd be seeing it on a lot more top ten lists. It tells the story of Percy Fawcett, a British explorer who becomes fixated on finding an ancient lost city deep in the Amazon. Though Charlie Hunnam is a bit of a blank as Fawcett, Robert Pattinson, behind a bushy beard, completely disappears into the role of his right-hand man, and Sienna Miller turns in one of the best performances of the year as Fawcetts tormented, endlessly devoted wife. Also, nobody not named Michael Haneke composes a final shot better than James Gray (Two Lovers, The Immigrant), and he doesnt disappoint here. It will leave you breathless.
OKJA (June 28)
Theres a lot going on. A young Korean farm girl who travels to Seoul in search of her beloved genetically-engineered super pig. A goofy corporate CEO, played by Tilda Swinton, who hopes to profit from the cutting-edge creature. Paul Dano as the leader of a militant band of animal-rights activists hell-bent on exposing the food corporation. Jake Gyllenhaals batshit-crazy TV zoologist, who is in way over his head. And at the helm of it all is Bong Joon-ho, the acclaimed South Korean filmmaker behind Snowpiercer, whos crafted a playfully mischievous fantasy-epic bursting with imagination.
A GHOST STORY (July 7)
Lets first address the elephant in the room: Casey Affleck stars in this film. Some will find that a problem. He plays a man who, after perishing in a car accident, awakens in the morgue as a ghost with a sheet over his head and proceeds to haunt first his grieving wife (Rooney Mara), and then the succeeding residents of his Texas home. What sounds silly on paperan Oscar winner under a sheet, framed by a 1.33:1 aspect ratio, in search of closure before passing onproves to be a bold, poetic meditation on love, loss, and mankinds pursuit of serenity. And Rooney Mara is dynamite. Youll never look at a chocolate cream pie the same way again.
COLUMBUS (Aug. 4)
If there were any justice in Hollywood, this stunningly rendered film would be up for a slew of Academy Awards. Marking the feature directorial debut of video essayist Kogonada, it stands as a monument to the architectural beauty of the Midwest, as two lost soulsa morose forty-something (John Cho) whose architect-father is in a coma, and a whip-smart 19-year-old (Haley Lu Richardson) putting her life on hold to care for her recovering-addict mothernavigate the Saarinen-designed structures of Columbus, Indiana, as well as their pasts. It never hits a false note thanks largely to Richardson, whose performance is nothing short of profound. A star is born.
THE VILLAINESS (Aug. 25)
The plot to this South Korean action flick is more convoluted than the first Mission: Impossible film. There are double- and- triple crosses, sleeper agents, and a female assassin-protagonist who gets plastic surgery to completely alter her appearance. But holy shit, the action sequences in this movie put even The Raid to shame. Theres a highway chase on motorbikes, with our aforementioned hero dodging a flurry of samurai swords while weaving between lanes, that is so jaw-dropping youll want to race home to Google how they did it. Filmmaker Jung Byung-gil has immediately catapulted himself to the top of the action-movie food chain, and star Kim Ok-bin is, without question, the most badass action-hero on film this year.
BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 (Oct. 6)
Nearly twenty years after his finest film performance in Clay Pigeons, Vince Vaughn has returned with his second-best: as a tattooed ex-boxer who, after falling in deep with mob, must fight his way through the prison system in order to kill a man housed in a hellish maximum-security facility, thereby freeing his kidnapped pregnant wife (Jennifer Carpenter) on the outside. The film is skull-crushingly violent, and yet, Vaughn proves to be both physically imposing and incredibly charming, breaking bones and mangling faces with a wink and a smile. And the man at the helm, filmmaker S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk), is like a cross between Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez: he knows how to keep you firmly on the edge of your seat.
Peter Dinklage gets yet another Emmy for his role as Tyrion Lannister
Peter Dinklage wins yet another Emmy for his role in ‘Game of Thrones.’
Peter Dinklage won his third Emmy for most outstanding supporting actor in a drama series at the Emmys on Monday.
Dinklage, who plays the iconic Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones, was nominated alongside fellow Game of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays his brother Jaime Lannister.
For his work as Tyrion, Dinklage has been nominated in the category seven times, winning in 2011, 2015, and now 2018.
In his acceptance speech, Dinklage thanked Coster-Waldau, who earned his first Emmy nomination for his work on Game of Thrones this year.
Hopefully both actors survive the final season of Game of Thrones coming in 2019, or at least get one more nomination next year if they do meet their demise.
‘Green Book’ Wins Toronto Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award
Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” has won the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF announced at an awards ceremony on Sunday.
The film, which tells the true story of an Italian-American nightclub bouncer (Viggo Mortensen) who serves as the chauffeur for a black pianist (Mahershala Ali) on a tour through the Deep South in the early 1960s, opened at the festival on Tuesday and was an instant hit with audiences and critics, although Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” had been considered the likely winner of the People’s Choice Award.
Runners-up for the award were Barry Jenkins’ lyrical James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Alfonso Cuaron’s moving memory piece “Roma.”
In the past, Toronto audience members voted by depositing their ticket stubs in a box at the theater, or by using the TIFF app — festival organizers took into account the size of the theaters in which each film screened — with the films that received votes from the largest percentage of their audience winning the prizes…………………”
Read More Here: https://www.thewrap.com/green-book-wins-toronto-film-festivals-peoples-choice-award/
Henry Cavill Out As Superman!
“It’s not Kryptonite that will end Henry Cavill’s run as Warner Bros.’ grimdark Superman; it’s a studio pivot.
Cavill is reportedly finished as the Man of Steel, with unnamed studio insiders telling The Hollywood Reporter that he won’t be donning the signature DC Comics superhero’s cape and tights again. It’s said to be part of a larger move aimed at fixing WB’s flagging DC Extended Universe (DCEU).
The rumored exit apparently started with a much smaller disagreement: The studio wanted Cavill for a cameo in the upcoming Shazam!, out April 5, 2019. But talks between WB and the actor’s reps didn’t go anywhere.
Beyond that, the studio also understands that bigger changes are needed. To date, the only universally successful DC-pegged release was 2017’s Wonder Woman, which landed both with critics and at the box office.
As one insider said, “There’s a recognition that some parts of the previous movies didn’t work.” (LOL at that understatement.) So now, WB is trying to hit “reset” (per another source) on the whole endeavor.
That reset reportedly includes a shift in focus from Superman to Supergirl. That movie would serve as an origin story, starring a teenage hero………………….”
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