When the late, great website The Dissolve ended operations, its commenting community had The Solute to call home, but the staff and writers of The Dissolve have been scattered to the winds of the Internet. With Dissolve On, we collect some of the essential film writing being done by these essential film writers. Because there’s always a Dissolver writing something notable about the movies somewhere on the Internet.
Kate Erbland on Submergence (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“Choked by overwrought trappings and suffocated by an unforgiving narrative structure, Wim Wenders’ “Submergence” is only bolstered by a pair of sterling performances from stars Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy, both of whom somehow rise above the lackluster film they’re sunk into. Based on J.M. Ledgard’s novel of the same name and adapted by screenwriter Erin Dignam (who previously penned Sean Penn’s much-maligned “The Last Face”), the film revels in playing up hinky parallels that rarely coalesce into anything of much substance. It sinks.”
Tasha Robinson on The Shape of Water (TIFF) for The Verge:
“Del Toro has always been a strong visual stylist who puts intense colors and elaborate settings and costumes on the screen, and here, once again, he gives his story a lush setting and intense tone that both wobble between the breathtakingly beautiful and the grotesque.
The grotesque, in particular, takes a couple of forms in The Shape of Water. There’s nothing conventionally erotic about Jones’ fish-man, who secretes a thick slime, has razor-sharp claws, communicates only in clicks and gurgles (some supplied by del Toro himself) and requires nauseatingly polluted water to survive.”
Sam Adams on The Death of Stalin (TIFF) for Slate:
“It’s a rapid-fire farce punctuated by gunshots and the sound of bodies hitting the floor.
Like the graphic novel on which it is based, The Death of Stalin opens with a sequence that combines comedy and terror. (Before the screening, Iannucci explained that he wanted the audience to laugh, but also to be “slightly nervous.”) Midway through a live concerto broadcast, a Moscow orchestra gets the call that Stalin himself would like a recording of the performance. Just one problem—no one was recording it.”
Matt Singer on Mom and Dad (TIFF) for ScreenCrush:
“The last really Cage-y Nic Cage performance was 2011’s Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. It’s probably no coincidence that both these movies were directed by (or, in the case of Ghost Rider, co-directed by) the same guy: Brian Taylor. That is why today I am calling Congress to pass legislation that will force these two to make a new movie together every two years. We must make America Cage again.
Mom and Dad is a good start in that effort. The premise, written by Taylor, is the first truly clever riffs on the zombie genre in a long time.“
Kate Erbland on Kodachrome (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“The film draws from A.G. Sulzberger’s 2010 New York Times article about Kodachrome obsessives who made pilgrimages to small-town Kansas, where there’s one shop that will still develop their final rolls. However, “Kodachrome” only offers brief glimpses of the slice-of-life mini-dramas that made its source material so compelling. (Hey: Where’s that movie?) Instead, it focuses on the fractured bond between two men who are at the end of their respective, fraying ropes. Jonathan Trooper’s script sets the pieces in motion early, introducing conflicts and characters at a breakneck pace — though it easily telegraphs nearly every beat to come.”
Scott Tobias on Who We Are Now (TIFF) for Variety:
“For a significant portion of “Who Are We Now,” an exemplary indie drama from writer-director Matthew Newton (“From Nowhere”), the lives of its two main characters never intersect, almost to the point where it feels like two short stories that are barely tethered together. This is a risky narrative strategy, to say the least, but it also reveals the depth of Newton’s commitment: He wants the audience to understand these two women completely — their jobs, their families, their turbulent emotional states — before they get to know each other. By the time that finally happens, the stakes are extraordinarily high and the performances, by Julianne Nicholson and Emma Roberts, have a combined power that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.”
David Ehrlich on Who We Are Now (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“[…][N]obody can be told what makes Julianne Nicholson so great, you have to see it for yourself — she’s kind of like the Matrix in that way (a movie in which she regrettably wasn’t cast). But lo, this review brings good news for all the potential fans who have been failing the actress (and themselves) for far too long: There has never been a better showcase for her talents than “Who We Are Now.” Told with the full texture of real life, Nicholson’s second collaboration with “From Nowhere” filmmaker Matthew Newton is a close-up character study that explores notions of forgiveness and self-worth with surgical precision.”
Scott Tobias on Plonger (TIFF) for Variety:
““A relationship, I think, is like a shark,” says Woody Allen in “Annie Hall.” “It has to constantly move forward or it dies.” Though adapted from the Christophe Ono-dit-Biot novel of the same name, Melanie Laurent’s feverish relationship drama “Plonger” (meaning “to dive”) plays like a meditation on that quote, replete with the surprisingly literal appearance of a shark whose movements are tracked by a GPS device. A photographer who lives in the moment, Maria Valverde’s Paz falls in love more eagerly than she settles into it, and her restlessness courses through Laurent’s expressionistic bauble like an ocean current.”
Tasha Robinson on Downsizing (TIFF) for The Verge:
“Ambitious science fiction considers radical changes to culture and humanity, and possibly to the entire universe. […]Meanwhile, bad science fiction adds superficial changes to a familiar world, then loses track of those changes, and gets bogged down in familiar stories. There’s nothing more disappointing in the genre than a great idea that ends up buried under a mediocre story.
That’s what happens with Downsizing, Alexander Payne’s initially ambitious, ultimately bland film about a world where people are choosing to miniaturize themselves.”
David Ehrlich on Disobedience (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“Sebastián Lelio’s “Disobedience” is a beautiful, fraught, and emotionally nuanced drama that wrestles with hard questions about the tension between the life we’re born into and the one we choose for ourselves. The title alone suggests a holy status quo, as well as a biblical impulse to spurn it. A lesbian love story that’s set in a community where unmarried men and women aren’t even allowed to touch each other and the patriarchy has made itself divinely unimpeachable, the film uses the preordination of sexuality as a lens through which to confront the strictures of faith and the role they impose on self-identity. And it does that with a sex scene in which Rachel Weisz delicately spits into Rachel McAdams’ mouth.”
Noel Murray on The Mountain Between Us (TIFF) for The Playlist:
“Idris Elba stars in “The Mountain Between Us” as Dr. Ben Bass, a neurosurgeon with a keen intellect and an overabundance of caution. Kate Winslet plays Alex Martin, a photojournalist who was rushing home to Denver for her wedding day when her commercial flight was cancelled due to weather, forcing her to book a charter flight with a similarly under-the-gun Ben (who needed to get back to Baltimore for an emergency operation). The duo have to work together to survive, which the movie’s title suggests will be enormously difficult, perhaps due to some sort of personality conflict or deeply ingrained biases that’ll make it tough for them to trust each other. And frankly, that conflict never materializes.”
Matt Singer on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (TIFF) for ScreenCrush:
“McDormand has never been better as the indomitable Mildred, but Rockwell might have the tougher part of the two. In 115 minutes, he has to transform from punchline to monster to plucky underdog. Somehow he pulls it off. Both of them deserve awards consideration. So does McDonagh’s screenplay and the lovely cinematography by Ben Davis, which finds ways to complement the performances without ever overpowering them.”
David Ehrlich on The Third Murder (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“A harsh and largely unwelcome change of pace from Japan’s greatest living humanist filmmaker, “The Third Murder” finds Hirokazu Kore-eda abandoning the warmth of his recent family dramas (“Still Walking,” “After the Storm”) in favor of an ice-cold legal thriller that pedagogically dismantles the death penalty. It begins in a cold ditch on a dark night, as a man named Misumi (the great Kôji Yakusho) conks his boss on the back of the head and lights his body on fire. The killer is all too happy to confess that he committed the crime, but when he meets his defense team — a scraggly trio led by a suave lawyer named Shigemori (“Like Father, Like Son” actor Masaharu Fukuyama) — he starts to change his story.”
David Ehrlich on Unicorn Store (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“A millennial fairy tale that’s very confused about who actually belongs to that demographic cohort (aren’t we all), Brie Larson’s “Unicorn Store” is too adult for kids, too childlike for adults, and too muddled for the motley lot of misfits and dreamers who just want to think different. It’s a movie that sustains its strained plot with a huge heart — a movie that redeems its empty characters with a terrific cast. Most of all, it’s a movie that reminds you why “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” opted not to have a subplot about sexual harassment.”
David Ehrlich on Kings (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“Consider the differences between Justin Chon’s “Gook,” which came out late this summer, and Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s “Kings,” which is slated for release this fall. Both films are about the L.A. Riots, and both films are especially attuned to how Soon Ja Du’s murder of 15-year-old Latasha Harlins reverberated through the city’s black and Korean communities. But one of them is a call to action, the other is an invitation for reflection. One of them is about fighting to be heard, and the other is about fighting less in general. One of them boasts few familiar faces (and no white ones), the other co-stars Halle Berry and Daniel Craig. “Gook” is never shy about its purpose; “Kings” may not even have one.”
Scott Tobias on Revenge (TIFF) for Variety:
“There’s no more treacherous horror subgenre than the rape-revenge thriller, because the worst examples confuse exploitation for empowerment, answering graphic scenes of sexual assault with a gruesome parade of righteous kills. The small miracle of “Revenge,” an exceptionally potent and sure-handed first feature by French writer-director Coralie Fargeat, is that it adheres to the formula yet feels invigorating and new, a stylistic tour-de-force that also tweaks the sexual politics in meaningful ways. Fargeat brings a rare woman’s perspective to the table, for one, but she also flat-out delivers the goods, operating at the high end of extreme French horror films like “High Tension,” “Martyrs” and, especially, “Inside.” “
Scott Tobias on Catch the Wind for Variety:
“[…]What if an employee simply followed her job overseas? That idea sounds absurd to everyone but Edith, a textile factory worker who doesn’t think twice about forfeiting her severance, abandoning her home and heading from France to Morocco for a new life. Director Gael Morel shines a light on the appalling labor conditions to come, but “Catch the Wind” isn’t the next “Norma Rae” by any stretch. Instead, it’s a toothless vehicle for the great Sandrine Bonnaire, who plays Edith as a stubborn introvert turned accidental adventuress. The film undergoes a surprising evolution from righteous exposé to picture-postcard travelogue, losing much of its potency in the process.”
Mike D’Angelo on Brad’s Status (TIFF) for The A.V. Club:
“White attempts to walk a tricky tightrope with Brad’s Status, acknowledging that Brad is stressed out about a life that many people would envy, while simultaneously honoring the very real anxiety that such privileged problems can inspire. The film’s efforts at perspective are often clumsy—there’s wall-to-wall voice-over narration spelling out Brad’s every tortured thought and supporting characters (most notably a Harvard student played by Shazi Raja) whose sole function is to lecture Brad about how cluelessly lucky he is. Happily, though, White altogether avoids the sourness that marred his directorial debut, 2007’s Year Of The Dog, and he’s made a real find in Abrams, who counters Stiller’s raw neediness with hilarious disaffection.”
Matt Singer on Brad’s Status (TIFF) for ScreenCrush:
“White is a talented guy, and he’s written honest, funny, and sometimes deeply painful movies in the past. Brad’s Status returns him to familiar territory, but it never comes close to the heights of previous efforts like Chuck & Buck or School of Rock.[…]He also cast Stiller in a self-pitying role that strips him of all his strengths as an actor. Even in Stiller’s more serious movies, he tends to play intense, passionate people that give him license to unleash his manic intensity. Brad’s too beaten down for that, and his complaint-filled monotone narration never lets up.”
Charles Bramesco on Papillon (TIFF) for The Guardian:
“Why are there so many bad remakes of good movies? It’s a fair enough question. When dealing with a text that has already proven itself functional, it takes an active effort to make it worse. The path of least resistance would lead somewhere agreeable if not extraordinary, perhaps not matching the given source’s greatness but at least managing a respectable measure of success.
Merely by achieving and then exceeding base competence, Michael Noer’s handsome new rendition of the 1973 film Papillon (itself an adaptation of one unusually determined French prisoner’s 1969 memoir) puts the innumerable lifeless resuscitations of memorable properties currently clogging multiplexes on notice.”
Mike D’Angelo on The Glass Castle for Las Vegas Weekly:
“Nothing inspires easier sympathy than children in peril, especially when their parents are the primary threat. Give The Glass Castle credit, then, for making a sincere (if not always successful) effort to complicate its tale of four kids growing up with a flighty, irresponsible mom and an alcoholic dreamer of a dad. Adapted from former gossip columnist Jeannette Walls’ 2005 memoir and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), the film focuses primarily on the turbulent relationship between Jeannette and her father, and takes pains to emphasize their tender, loving highs just as much as their destructive lows. There’s enough emotional truth here to compensate for the occasional lapses into Hollywood phoniness.”
Mike D’Angelo on Mother! for Las Vegas Weekly:
“[…][T]he movie’s main attraction is its deranged chutzpah. What initially appears to be a vaguely creepy chamber drama gradually builds and builds and builds until it achieves a level of frenetic chaos that almost beggars belief—all without ever leaving the house. Aronofsky keeps the camera close and tight on Lawrence, who gives a performance unlike anything she’s ever done before; she’s not playing a human being so much as an idea (literally, in one interpretation), and delivers expressionistic embodiments of beatitude, then consternation, then fury.”
Kate Erbland on Chappaquiddick (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“In John Curran’s “Chappaquiddick,” Jason Clarke opts for a more low-key approach to Teddy Kennedy, eschewing a big accent or showy mannerisms, and fully disappears into the role. It’s his finest work yet, and proof of his ability to excel given the right material.
[…]Curran approaches the material with a pointed perspective that lays bare all of Teddy’s worst impulses and tragic obsessions. “Chappaquiddick” is just as consumed by the various theories as to what scars mark the Kennedys as America has been for decades, but Curran confidently layers on the various forces – reputation, legacy, hubris, family – that push and pull Teddy not just from choice to choice, but moment to moment.”
Kate Erbland on Mary Shelley (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“For a film that chronicles the rise of a creator obsessed with reanimating the dead, “Mary Shelley” is utterly lifeless. It contains a sparkling and startlingly raw performance by Elle Fanning, but Haifaa Al-Mansour’s disappointing followup to her remarkable “Wadjda” doesn’t push beyond paint-by-numbers biopic posturing, with revelations as insightful as the “Frankenstein” author’s Wikipedia page. The film documents the portion of Shelley’s life dominated by her romance with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and meanders toward the subsequent creation of her signature novel. As the budding writer hammers away at her craft, the film’s own structure and style weaken into nothing more than a thin fever dream.”
Matt Singer on The Disaster Artist (TIFF) for ScreenCrush:
“Franco’s Tommy is introduced in acting class, hurling folding chairs around the room while screaming “Stella!” like Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire. His go-for-broke technique catches the eye of fellow student Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), a shy model with the good looks of a Hollywood actor, but not the confidence. Greg envies Tommy’s fearlessness. Tommy envies Greg’s handsome features and youth (even if he constantly insists he’s Greg’s age, a claim that’s about as plausible as his assertion that he’s originally from New Orleans). The two aspiring actors become fast friends, make a pinky-swear pact to always support each other, and head to Los Angeles to follow their dreams.”
Sam Adams on The Disaster Artist (TIFF) for Slate:
“The Disaster Artist is a riot—and, paradoxically considering its subject matter, the best and most assured movie Franco has ever directed. In the lead role, he nails Wiseau’s thickly unplaceable Eastern European accent (he refuses to say where he is from, implausibly insisting he was born in New Orleans), but his portrayal never slides into caricature—no mean feat, considering that Wiseau is virtually a freestanding caricature on his own. When the two took the stage together after the movie, Franco occasionally slipped back into his Wiseau voice, and if you’d closed your eyes it would have been difficult to distinguish between the two.”
David Ehrlich on The Current War (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, director of the perceptive and unjustly maligned “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” is a young, thoughtful filmmaker with an inventive visual imagination and a very bright future ahead of him. That being said, something clearly went very, very wrong during the making of “The Current War.” A lifeless period drama about the rivalry between two of America’s greatest geniuses, Gomez-Rejon’s lavish third feature unfolds like a more historically accurate riff on “The Prestige,” albeit one lacking even a trace amount of magic (Nikola Tesla factors in, however, and Nicholas Hoult’s performance pays tribute to David Bowie).”
Matt Singer on Professor Marston and the Wonder Women for ScreenCrush:
“Given that Marston, Elizabeth, and Olive’s relationship involves bondage, role play, and assorted other fetishes, you might expect (or maybe even want) Professor Marston to morph into a salacious, taboo-busting romp. Instead, director Angela Robinson shoots Professor Marston like your standard issue biographical film, with plenty of slow-motion photography, tasteful dissolves and gauzy, golden images of the stars in various degrees of undress. In a way, though, Robinson’s less-edgy aesthetic is even more subversive than graphic sexuality. By treating the Marstons’ lovemaking the same way arthouse movies have treated heterosexual couples for decades, she refuses to portray them as aberrant or abnormal.“
Noel Murray on I Love You, Daddy (TIFF) for The Playlist:
“[…]Why tell this story in a movie, and not as an episode or even a whole season of “Louie?” One of the arguments against C.K. continuing his TV series was that in the later seasons many episodes were becoming aimless and self-indulgent, and too loaded down with scenes that were essentially loaded dialectics. Those same criticisms could be leveled at “I Love You, Daddy.” The film is too shapeless and slackly paced to be truly great. (Pretty much everything to do with Glen’s inability to write his half-baked nurse show feels like wheel-spinning.) And the most memorable “set pieces” are just long, contentious conversations.“
Charles Bramesco on Loving Pablo (TIFF) for The Guardian:
“[…][E]verything about Pablo Escobar, the paunchy cocaine baron Bardem effortfully portrays in this adaptation of the memoir Loving Pablo, Hating Escobar, was larger than life. Already dramatized everywhere from Netflix’s Narcos to a movie-within-a-movie on Entourage, his story brings him from humble beginnings as the most ruthless kingpin in Colombia through a stint as a publicly elected (well, “publicly elected”) official to his inevitable fall from power.
Aranoa’s film attempts to put a new spin on this colorful tale by telling it through the perspective of that memoir’s author, Escobar’s longtime mistress Virginia Vallejo (Penélope Cruz). But even with the newscaster-turned-accomplice calling the shots, Escobar remains the star of the show.”
Kate Erbland on Jane (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“Brett Morgen’s revelatory “Jane” offers up contributions from a bounty of some of film’s finest working professionals, from the award-winning Morgen himself to composer Philip Glass and cinematographer Ellen Kuras, but the real star is reams of lauded wildlife photographer Hugo van Lawick’s pristine 16mm footage, following the early years of wildlife conservationist Jane Goodall, mostly set in her adopted home of Gombe, Tanzania. Well, the real star is Goodall (and her chimps, her accomplishments, and her passion, but mostly just the eponymous Jane), but the footage itself is a sterling testament to not just Goodall’s career, but also Morgen’s incredible eye and craftsmanship.”
Mike D’Angelo on Strong Island for The A.V. Club:
“Strong Island is a very personal film for [Yance] Ford, years in the making. It’s about his older brother, William, who was shot and killed in 1992, at the age of 24. The circumstances of William’s death are depressingly familiar: Angry that a mechanic who’d hit his car hadn’t yet made the promised repairs, William hurled some harsh words at the guy, followed him into the garage to pursue the argument, and took several bullets to the chest. Though William was unarmed, a grand jury decided that the shooter had reasonable cause to believe that he was in danger, and declined to indict. One of the two individuals involved in the incident was white, and one of them was black. Care to guess which was which?”
David Ehrlich on Super-Size Me 2: Holy Chicken! (TIFF) for IndieWire:
“If “Super-Size Me” was about the danger of calories, the hugely watchable “Super-Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” is about the power of words. In particular, it’s about the words that fast-food chains started to use once people like Spurlock began to expose the toxicity of their products. “Free-range.” “All-natural.” “Crispy,” which is just a fancy way of saying “fried.” Marketing companies have arrived at these terms by thinking of them as the “health halo,” a nifty bit of branding unto itself. We live in a world of Orwellian doublespeak in which how things are sold to us is how we tend to think of them, and that’s as true for burgers as it is for politicians.”
Nathan Rabin on Army of One (2016) for My World of Flops:
“[…][W]hen it was announced that Academy-Award winning national treasure (and National Treasure star) Nicolas Cage was going to star in Army of One, a wild satirical comedy from Borat and Bruno director Larry Charles about the true story of a Colorado handyman named Gary Faulkner who decided to single-handedly hunt down Osama Bin Laden after being ordered to do so by God, I naturally assumed that I would be hearing an awful lot about this audacious project.
[…]The reason people aren’t talking about Army of One, I soon discovered, is because it’s utter garbage: condescending, brutally unfunny, devoid of laughs but big on unearned self-regard.”
Nathan Rabin on X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) for Lukewarm Takes:
“Yes, I was annoyed that X-Men: Apocalypse didn’t have fun with its Reagan-era setting, or, for that matter, have fun at all, with anything. Then came a sequence when that lightning-fast spawn of Magneto Quicksilver uses his super-power of being able to run real fast to race to the X-Mansion so that he can save everyone (and enjoy some Tab) in a sequence set to what sure feels like the entirety of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These)” and I found myself wishing the movie would stop trying to have fun with its 1980s setting.”
Nathan Rabin on My Father the Hero (1994) for Control Nathan Rabin:
“My Father the Hero has a lot of “fun” with intimations of pedophilia and incest. This is never more gallingly apparent than during an infamous set-piece where Andre, who has been known to tickle the ivories, is implored to share his gift with the world by playing and singing a French song on the piano.
Andre of course chooses pedophile anthem “Thank Heavens for Little Girls” and is so exuberantly wrapped up in his own crooning that he does not notice that while he’s seemingly bragging about his inappropriate sexual relationship with a barely pubescent girl young enough to be his daughter, nearly the entire crowd files out in disgust.
This is the film’s nadir as well as its apex.”
Keith Phipps on E.T. the Extra Terrestrial for Uproxx:
“The film’s titles appear on a black screen accompanied by some some atonal music by John Williams that’s more reminiscent of Jerry Goldsmith’s music for Alien than the anthemic scores that made Williams famous. In the opening moments, we see dwarfish figures performing some mysterious task in front of a spaceship that’s landed in a forest clearing. And though the music starts to become lighter, the tone of the film remains unsettled, tension growing as a series of trench coat-clad men wielding flashlights shows up. Soon they’re chasing one of the figures through the woods, the flashlights’ beams cutting through the darkness. (Add The X-Files to the list of creations that would look much different without this movie.)”
Kate Erbland interviews Brie Larson for IndieWire:
“The film is Larson’s third trip behind the camera, having previously co-directed the shorts “The Arm” and “Weighting,” which bowed at Sundance and SXSW, respectively. Those films helped fuel not just Larson’s relentlessly creative expression, but her sense of self. It seems only right that “Unicorn Store” tackles those same themes.
“Doing shorts was part of my way of taking control back from waiting around to get the next job,” she said. “Anything that I could do to make me feel like I had a life outside of acting, so that when I didn’t get jobs, it didn’t feel like my whole world was over. It just felt like one piece was kind of ending.” “
Kate Erbland interviews Alicia Vikander and Lisa Langseth for IndieWire:
” “The wonderful thing is that, going into this project, it is the feeling of being extremely natural, in the sense that you’ve created a way of working, you’ve created a language together,” Vikander told IndieWire at the festival.
Appropriately simpatico, Langseth feels the same way. “I still think that our relationship, from the beginning, because it was my first film and Alicia’s first film, really forced us to have a very honest relationship, because there was no other way to do a first film,” Langseth said. “It forced us to create this honesty. That stayed the same.” “
Charles Bramesco interviews Eili Harboe and Kaya Wilkins for Nylon:
“What were your first impressions of the script, and this concept?
EH: I actually got to read the script before I was cast, so I was super-grateful for that, because you get a fuller idea of your character. I fell in love with it, basically, when I read it. The character of Thelma is both vulnerable and strong, so she gets to be complex and challenging to portray.
[…]Thelma has been commonly described as a horror film, but I think that doesn’t quite pin it. There’s lots more to it than that.
KW: It’s way more than a horror film because it’s got a dramatic element, about relationships to your family and sexuality.
EH: It’s a coming-of-age story, too. It’s about inner conflict.”
Matt Singer interviews Angela Robinson for Screencrush:
“How much writing is there about the Marstons’ home life? Was the research into that side of the story difficult?
It’s interesting. There’s been kind of an explosion of interest in Marston in the last three or four years. But I started writing this project about eight years ago when there wasn’t much out there at all. So I had to do a lot of primary research, and I actually [incorporated] this amazing book [Marston] wrote called The Emotions of Normal People.“
Kate Erbland interviews Coralie Fargeat and Matilda Lutz on their film Revenge and an incident during its TIFF screening for IndieWire:
” “We started to hear someone say, ‘hello, hello,’ from the audience,” Fargeat explained to IndieWire at the festival. “[…]Apparently, from what I’ve been told, a guy had a seizure. But I think he’s fine!” (He is.)
The incident happened after a particularly harrowing scene — in a bloody, brutal, and deeply satisfying outing that provides plenty of them — when one character is forced to remove a sizable glass shard from his foot. Fargeat believes that the seizure was brought on from the intensity of the scene, and Lutz herself admitted to feeling queasy during that same moment.
“I was feeling weird,” Lutz said. “And I shot it! So I can only imagine.” “
Matt Singer interviews Brian Taylor for ScreenCrush:
“Did you write it with Nic Cage in mind?
No, but he’s the first guy I sent it to. For me in particular, he’s a real fun guy to work with. Because I’m tonally autistic.
You said something to that effect last night at the premiere. You claimed you don’t know what tone means.
I don’t know what it means! I’m tonally autistic. To me, if, at the most horrific time, a joke happens, that’s good. I don’t modulate; I always go for it. I don’t know if it’s good or bad. It’s probably bad. But Nic’s the same way. So it’s like, wherever you need him to go, he’s willing to go there if people believe in it.”
Charles Bramesco interviews Mike White for Nylon:
“Brad ends the film with some new perspective, but it kinda sounds like you’re still figuring this all out. Did making the film grant you any clarity?
To say I have clarity would mean the conversation has been resolved, and that might never happen. It’s like, if I step back, I’m really happy that I’m able to keep doing this at all. I never thought I had a populist streak in me, anyway. And movies are a very expensive way to express yourself. That I was able to get this movie made, or Beatriz at Dinner, or other stuff, I feel very fortunate.”
Noel Murray on “How the Toronto International Film Festival got deadly serious” for The Week:
“Is it frivolous to be spending a week watching movies and spotting celebrities, when so much else is going on in the world? The fest-goers I’ve talked to in 2017 — in lines and over meals — have been distracted to some extent by the hubbub outside the festival bubble. But we were all just as anxious one September ago, when TIFF coincided with one of the tenser weeks of the presidential campaign. Last year a lot of us from the States came to Toronto already edgy about the unknowns of the election. This year, we’ve nearly all spent months living in a constant state of emergency — which may be why more TIFF-goers have seemed eager to blow off steam.”
Jen Chaney asks, “Have We, As a Society, Reached Peak Scary Clown?” for Vulture:
“[…][N]ow that It has made an astonishing $123 million in its opening weekend, it seems fair to assume we’ll see It sequels of another sort: even more films and TV shows featuring scary clowns.
[…]The biggest movie in the country right now, which has been hyped for months, stars a homicidal, balloon-carrying Bozo. American Horror Story: Cult is packed with seemingly real clown terrorists who are running rampant through the homes and grocery stores of suburban Michigan. Hollywood is planning multiple movies centered around the Joker, who, sure, is a comic-book villain but, at his essence, also a scary clown that we have seen in many films, TV shows, cartoons, books, and video games for decades.”
Matt Singer criticizes a common cliché in recent biopics for ScreenCrush:
“At the Toronto Film Festival last week, I saw five biopics. Four of them ended with a standing ovation. […] One biopic I saw (which I shall keep nameless for spoiler reasons) ends with the title character giving a rousing speech to an audience about the importance of their life’s work. Hooray! Oh but wait: The character gives this rousing speech while they’re dying, and throughout the film, their work has made them a target of censorship watchdogs. So they’re a cultural pariah and a celebrated thinker at the same time? It feels like a false upbeat note grafted onto a downer ending to keep audiences from getting too depressed.”
SPOILER ALERT FOR THE END OF THE EMOJI MOVIE https://t.co/ZbwYi3RXQf
— Matt Singer (@mattsinger) September 14, 2017
Nathan Rabin covers the “Hollywood Masterclass” podcast for Splitsider’s Pod-Canon:
“This has been a very strange, rollercoaster month or so for fans of Hayes Davenport and Sean Clements’ feverishly adored cult podcast Hollywood Handbook. The Earwolf bad boys have been talking how bad, exhausted, worn out, and comedically threadbare they find their podcast even more than usual as of late.
To that end, they vowed to end the podcast after its 200th episode. Of course, it’s foolish to take anything Hayes and Sean say face value. They operate under so many layers of irony that it’s difficult to tell whether they’re being sincere, if ever.”