OPINION | Load shedding: The horror movie villain who continues to rise from the dead – News24

2019-12-10 11:56

This is the villain that leaps out of the bath in a rage when you thought that he was dead. This is a toddler throwing a tantrum because he doesn't like what is happening. This is Eskomse last push, writes Howard Feldman

You know those predictable action horror movies, where after the final confrontation with the evil villain, he finally lies beaten and unmoving?

The viewer and the hero breathe a sigh of relief, thinking that finally it's all over, only to be shocked by the sudden movement, rise and aggression of the anti-hero.

It never lasts for more than a second or two before he is finally permanently stopped. But no cheesy movie is complete without this scene.

Meet Eskom 2019.

SAA has gone into business rescue. Prasa is under administration. Sars and the Hawks and the NPA have been recaptured.

Even Home Affairs has cancelled the outrageous visa business.

It is really only the Public Protector and Eskom who remain on the outside looking in.

It should be no surprise that South Africa is experiencing unprecedented load shedding.

Monday early evening Eskom announced that the country would move to stage 6.

Perplexing in that even the most aggressive and deadly of cancers are only classified to stage 4.

Stage 4 was perplexing enough in that it is mid-summer, meaning it gets dark later.

Most of the country is cooler than usual, meaning that fewer air conditioners are being used.

It is also December, meaning industry has slowed down.

In short, this means that less power will has been consumed than at other times.

The important and obvious factor is that stage 4 load-shedding began one day after SAA was placed into business rescue. Stage 6 began a day after Prasa was put under administration.

When did we face our last bout with Eskom?

The day after it was announced in Parliament that Eskom should be broken up.

This is not about wet coal. It is not about spontaneous breakdowns. This is Eskom going to war with Ramaphosa's ANC. And consequently, going to war with the people of the country.

This is the villain that leaps out of the bath in a rage when you thought that he was dead. This is a toddler throwing a tantrum because he doesn't like what is happening.

This is Eskom se last push.

It is also the moment that will define Ramaphosa's presidency.

Cyril Ramaphosa's success in many ways has been due to his patience.

He has played the long game magnificently and, in many ways has succeeded. Never one to act quickly, the most recent move by Eskom will not be easy for him, given his style.

But decisive action is needed and should he not move quickly, he and the country will pay the price.

I believe that Ramaphosa needs to do the following:

By declaring stage 6 load shedding, Eskom has declared war on the country. But like the anti-hero in our horror movie, they will be unable to outlast the forces of good.

By declaring stage 6 load shedding, Eskom has risen from the "dead" in an act of final rage.

It's time to make sure that they never torment us again.

-Howard Feldman is a keynote speaker and analyst. He is the author of three books and is the morning talk show host on ChaiFM.

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

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The Horrific History of Creepy Kids – 25YearsLaterSite.com

Not all children are little angels. In the realm of horror movies, the creepy kid trope is king. Some tiny terrors are born evil (The Omen) while some suffer from a supernatural affliction that threatens to destroy everyone around them (The Exorcist). The appeal of a small hand gripping a butchers knife (Childs Play) or a ghostly girl back from the grave for revenge (The Ring) has obsessed horror audiences for decades.

Nothing is more potent for fright fans than when innocence is corrupted or lostand the underdeveloped brain of a child becomes a primal force of evil, blurring the line between victim and monster. Whether these fears stem from real-world fears about parenting, gender, and social responsibility, or myths passed down in different cultures, the appearance of pint-sized fiends in horror films evokes the darkness of a juvenile psyche that remains mysterious. So lets explore the history of creepy children in cinema.

The Bad Seed (1956) was one of the first films to really place the child as the evil protagonist in film. Eight-year-old Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormack) looks like butter wouldnt melt, doesnt she? But she terrorised her family, school friends, even the gardenerkilling off anyone that stood in the way of what she wanted. It turns out that the evil was hereditaryher mother was adopted, and her birth father was a serial killer. The evil skipped a generation; little Rhoda was the bad seed.

The film was based on a play of the same name by Maxwell Anderson. His story ended with Rhoda killing her mother and the evil child surviving. But back in 1956, the film censors did not want to allow crime to pay. So, Rhoda is struck and killed by lightning and her mother survives. Yes, this film is still pretty psychologically scary, but its the final scene that creeps me out the most. The cast is introduced in a theatrical-style curtain call. After her credit is announced, Nancy Kelly puts Patty McCormack over her knee and gives her a spanking. Both are visibly laughing, possibly intending to remind an unnerved audience that what theyve watched is fictional. The spanking continues as the film fades out; a screen card then requests that the audience not divulge the climax. So yeah, that really is creepy and weird.

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Outside of TheBad Seed, most children were influenced paranormally as seen in Karen (Night of the Living Dead), Damien (The Omen), Regan (The Exorcist), and the Satans spawn inRosemarys Baby. Their terrorisation was a result of infection, demonic possession, or their parents making a pact with the Devil. I believe these earlier representations of horrific children, are indicative of fears on several levelsfear of the younger generation on a broad scale, being surpassed, taken over, rendered irrelevant. On another level, there is a fear of being a bad parent, making mistakes, and not being able to control your past or your present.

Take Village of the Damned (1960), for example. All of the children in this 1960 movie are nightmarish. Its set in a town that is beset by strange events, with first everyone in it falling unconscious then eventually all the women who live there becoming pregnant at the same time. They all give birth to platinum blonde ghouls with white eyes, oversized craniums, and all the warmth of Ian Duncan Smith. David Zellaby is their de facto leader; hes just that bit odder than all the rest. These kids are telepathic and force their parents to do things against their will, going as far as making them kill themselves. The only solution to getting rid of them is literally killing them with fire.

Rosemarys Baby (1968) is the story of a woman being raped and impregnated by the devil, and also her husband (they are basically one and the same on a metaphorical level). The film is ultimately an empathetic genre study of feminine subjugation and ruinand, as a result, a harrowing depiction of the paradigms that feminist movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp are currently striving to dismantle. Thats never more apparent than during its finale, in which Rosemary, confronted with her demon baby, overcomes her horror and embraces her traditional role as its mother. Forced to care for her monster child, Rosemary suffers one final cruelty and, in doing so, becomes the poster child for women whove been denied their agency and freedomand had their maternal instincts turned against themby those they most care for, and by society at large. Half a century later, it as relevant as ever.

Children are symbols of purity. We tend to project innocence onto childhood and its experience. Creepy children, in all their forms (possessed kids, ghost kids, killer kids) quickly subvert that and unsettle us. We do project that innocence, though, and I think deep down, we also realise theyre capable of strange thoughts and nasty behaviour. We all were at a young age. Childhood is weird. Its messy and aggressive, and as brains and personalities form, strange ideas bubble around in there. Maybe we dont like to acknowledge those darker aspects, and creepy children in horror are confrontational reminders.

Theres no doubt that the insanity that crept into and eventually drove Jack Nicholsons character, Jack Torrance, was the driving force of 1980s The Shining. But there were a few totally creepy kids in the film as well. Well start with poor Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd), Jacks young son. His creepiness stems from his psychic power (the shining), which rarely predicts anything shiny and happy. Hes always had an imaginary friend called Tony, who Danny impersonates with a gravelly voice. But at the Overlook Hotel, Tony inhabits Danny, who groans in that voice, Redrum! Redrum! Which, of course, is murder backwards. Worse, he says this while creepily caressing a giant knife and finally writing the word in red lipstick in his mothers bedroom while she sleeps. I feel a sort of resonance with Danny. I had an imaginary friend called Nelly when I was about five. She got me in trouble a lot for leaving a mess wherever she went. It wasnt me. It was her. Years later, we found out a little girl called Nelly died in my mothers house and that my brother had seen her too. Yep, even young me creeps me out.

Then, of course, there are the Grady twins. Danny is riding his Big Wheel through the halls of the vacant hotel, when he turns a corner to see two little girls dressed exactly alike at the end of the hallway, holding hands and not moving. They creepily call to him, Come and play with us. Forever. And ever. And ever. And cut in between the girls are images that Danny sees of the two girls hacked to death in the same hallway. Terrifying.

The late 70s saw the rise of the Slasher genre, which stayed strong throughout the 80s. It is true that kids, or at least teenagers, were often the victims in these movies, but little sociopaths were often the protagonist too. Take Michael Myers (Halloween, 1978) for example; he murdered his sister at the tender age of five. Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th, 1980) was bullied and drowned as a young boy, then rose from the Crystal Lake to avenge his mothers death. Angela in Sleepaway Camp isnt particularly creepy, until the last two minutes of the film in which the whole movie is turned on its head.

Not forgetting, Alice, Sweet Alice (1976) which has one of the weirdest trailers of all time. Firstly, theres no need to watch the film after youve seen it as the entire plot is spoiled. Secondly, on the back of Brooke Shields rise to fame, the trailer leads you to believe she plays the 12-year-old murderess Aliceshe doesnt. She plays her little sister Karen and is on-screen for 15 minutes if that. For some inexplicable reason, they also include her headshot three times. The film borrows heavily from Dont Look Now and has quite a cult following, with its damning representation of Roman Catholicism, themes of childhood emotional neglect, and the disintegration of the American nuclear family.

When lethal things come in small packages, its the ultimate reversal of expectations. Children symbolise innocence. They depend on adults for survival. If the audiences cinematic fight for survival comes against a pint-sized, bloodthirsty pre-schooler, its beyond our comprehension and violates our sense of right and wrong. Films where kids are the killers present us with an unspeakable moral dilemma: what would you do in the face of evil in the form of a child? Would you kill a kid if it was the only choice you had to survive? These films present us with a terrifying scenario that strikes a deep emotional chord. I think thats why audiences will always flock to them.

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As for the plethora of horrific children that burst forth in the 1990s/2000s, well, thats a whole different ball of wax. Something was going on at this point that allowed so many movies to make the child the monster and also someone worth vanquishing. So what changed? Is it our definition of innocence, of childhood? Who knows. There was no marked increase in delinquency, drug use, abuse, or a massive uptick in divorces. In this case, I think it has to do a lot with power dynamics. Children are the targets of advertising. Children syphon off our hard-worked, underpaid wages. As more and more parents work, the children grow up without us around, and maybe the world compensates by trying to cater to them in every other way. Realistically, its probably because of their power to consume. They are the targeted consumer, so they are a bottomless pit of wants. Adults are no longer in control of their world. Advertising, pop culture, technology, and home life are centered around the childwhich, in turn, is very threatening and possibly contributing to our desire to depict them this way in horror.

Orphan (2009) tells the story of an adopted 9-year-old girl who isnt quite what she seems. The theme of parents not really understanding their children runs through horror a lot around this period. Childhoods have changed so much in a short space of time, that the priorities for a child in the 90s were very different from a childs in the 60s and 70s. Parents felt their kids were growing up too fast and knew more than they did at the same age. Innocence had been lost. In addition, it seems to posit that when you adopt, you honestly dont know what you are getting into. So explosive is that issue that the DVD of the film starts with a disclaimer stating that in no way is the film meant to criticise adoption, and also a P.S.A. about how wonderful it is to adopt a needy child.

It was Japanese Horror that really won the award for making children utterly terrifying for me though. Ringu (1998), Ju-on: The Grudge (2002), Dark Water (2002), A Tale of Two Sisters (2003), all featured kids so creepy I could barely watch. I dont get scared easily at all, but Sadako climbing up out of the well and through the TV really hit a nerve in my subconscious, as it did millions of others. Sometimes my seven-year-old son makes that Grudge-y clicking sound, and it is unnerving, to say the least.

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Dark Water was a real tear-jerker in addition to being creepy as hell. A single mom is doing her best to stay in control and provide for her daughter while going through a messy divorce and struggling with her mental health. In the end, she gives her life to save her daughter from a creepy ghost child in a yellow raincoat. Subliminally it is a movie about depression, and the threat of her child being taken away from her led her to her death, where she could live with the ghost child forever as a doting mother. Single mothers, sometimes close to the edge, with young, creepy children either being haunted by or doing the haunting, were very popular around this time. The Sixth Sense (1999), The Others (2001) Ju-On: The Grudge (2002), The Babadook (2014), The Conjuring 2 (2016), are just a small sample of the Horror films that featured lone, vulnerable mothers, doing their best to protect their young.

So where are we at with kids in Horror now? Well, its kind of a mixed bag of everything really. With so many horrors happening to children in the real world, putting them through hell on-screen as well perhaps seems too much. That being said, some of the most successful horrors and thrillers of the last few years; Hereditary (2018), Bird Box (2018), A Quiet Place (2018), Us (2019) Midsommar (2019) and Brightburn (2019), plus remakes of Pet Sematary and Childs Play, and sequels; IT: Chapter 2 and Doctor Sleep, all feature creepy kids or child victims, it appears that our love for the spooky kids trope is nowhere near dead yet.

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Its not hard to understand why the theme of creepy kids is so attractive, even though its also so repulsive. Children are supposed to be innocent. Adults deserve what they get if they are bad, but children should always be exempt. Our entire moral understanding depends on everybody agreeing upon this. Audiences project onto children their own feelings of protectiveness, and depicting a child in distress is one of the most effective ways of engaging an audience in any story.

But what about children who are not innocent or good? What about children who dont seem like children at all? Such strange creatures act as deeply destabilising influences. A calm and chilly-eyed child is scarier than a monster in the forest. Those dead-eyed twins in blue dresses still call to us from down that long hallway, and they will forever, and ever, and ever.

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Isabelle Fuhrman and Rory Culkin Head Back to 1843 for Horror Film ‘The Last Thing Mary Saw’ – Bloody Disgusting

In addition to the upcoming Escape Room 2, Orphan star Isabelle Fuhrman will also be starring in the period horror movie The Last Thing Mary Saw, set in the year 1843.

Deadline reports that Fuhrman will star alongside Rory Culkin (Lords of Chaos), Stefanie Scott (Insidious: Chapter 3) and Judith Roberts (You Were Never Really Here).

From writer-director Edoardo Vitaletti, the film follows the youngest daughter of a strict religious family who finds herself detained after discovering her ominously matriarchal grandmother dead.

Intrinsic Values Aimee Schoof and Isen Robbins will produce alongside Harrison Allen and Madeleine Schumachers Arachnid Films, with Stephen Tedeschi.

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Isabelle Fuhrman and Rory Culkin Head Back to 1843 for Horror Film 'The Last Thing Mary Saw' - Bloody Disgusting


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100 greatest movies of the 2010s – cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It was a decade seemingly ruled by big budget franchises and studios, from the MCU and "Star Wars" to Pixar and "The Hunger Games."

And yet, looking back on the past 10 years, you'll find yourself celebrating the little movies that could and did become cultural forces. That included Jordan Peele's influential directorial debut, a surprising Oscar-winner from Barry Jenkins and an animated Spider-Man movie that was better than anything Marvel did.

This was a diverse decade in filmmaking. One that delivered very original movies in between blockbusters that set box office records.

Whether a big budget thriller or a tiny indie film, the best movies left us wanting more and often picking are jaws up off the floor.These 100 films did it better than the others.

Disney/Marvel

100. The Avengers (2012)

We might as well start with the most culturally significant movie of the decade. There's no denying it. "The Avengers" took the already successful Marvel Cinematic Universe and shot it into the stratosphere. There was no turning back. Marvel and its cast of well developed comic book characters would rule the movie world for the next several years. And with the launch of Disney+, there's no signs of things slowing down.

Next Entertainment World

99. Train to Busan (2016)

"Train to Busan" was a massive success in South Korea and for good reason. Zombie movies are all the rage and having it so the apocalypse happens while the characters are traveling along innocently enough on a train is genius. It provides for some amazing action and unpredictable scenarios. It also helps that the characters have depth, giving us engaging stories within a story about redemption.

Disney

98. Frozen (2013)

"Frozen" is not the greatest Disney movie of all time. But it feels like the biggest. The recent success of "Frozen II" helps. The original is also one of the most theatrical animated films you see. It feels tailor made for Broadway, which makes sense considering it stars Idina Menzel. Maybe it's the music or the characters or the story or all of it. "Frozen" was a movie that just wouldn't go away. And you can expect more sequels.

Claire Folger

97. The Way, Way Back (2013)

"The Way, Way Back" didn't get the attention of a "Juno" or "Little Miss Sunshine," films that came from the same studio. But it's just as charming. Coming of age films are common. But "The Way, Way Back" comes with a fantastic cast of funny players who make it one of the sweetest and most fulfilling summer movies you'll see.

Jaap Buitendijk

96.World War Z (2013)

The production behind "World War Z," the adaptation of the popular novel of the same name, was famously a mess. This was a movie that either shouldn't have been made or was doomed to be terrible. Yet, it somehow works. All the script changes, hirings and firings result in a movie divided into two parts. The first is a bonafide action horror film. The second is a slow-moving zombie flick. Both are compelling and anchored by Brad Pitt's star power. He deserves all the credit for getting this thing made.

A24

95.Amy (2015)

"Amy" doesn't have any visual tricks or special narrative elements. It's pretty basic in the telling of the rise and fall of one of the greatest singers of her generation. But as a documentary, it's a brilliant look into the mind and struggles of Amy Winehouse. It would have been easy to sum her life up as just an artist who crumbled under the pressures of fame. But there was more to it, from toxic relationships to enablers around her. "Amy" is a look at the human element of an artist that was gone too soon.

Kerry Brown

94. Silence (2016)

Martin Scorsese gets the rap as a guy whose been making gangster films his entire career. That's not really true. It's actually a film like "Silence" that he's been working towards his whole life. Even in his mob flicks, Scorsese often tackles the idea of faith. No movie questions it more (including "The Last Temptation of Christ") than "Silence." It's one of those long, drawn out, late career Scorsese movies. But unlike, say, "The Irishman," there's a payoff in the end. It's not sexy or tidy in the least. But the thoughts on religion and spirituality stay with you after the brutality.

Universal Pictures

93. Queen and Slim (2019)

It may seem too early to say, but "Queen and Slim" feels like one the biggest political statements, in terms of movies, of the decade. Other films have tackled police violence towards African Americans. But "Queen and Slim" turns that on its head, creating a modern day Bonnie and Clyde. Yes, it's a fugitive story. But the timing couldn't be any better.

Disney

92.Moana (2016)

A movie like "Moana" might have fell victim to stereotypes and cliches if released by Disney back in the early 1990s. But not these days. The film, with its amazing songs and animation, is a family-friendly tale with charismatic performances led by a strong female character. It's one of the most well-rounded films Disney has released in some time.

Lionsgate

91.Locke (2013)

Tom Hardy spends every second of "Locke" inside a car. That's all the viewer gets for 85 minutes. And yet, "Locke" is still one gripping movie. Much of the credit goes to Hardy in one of his finest performances. But Director Steven Knight keeps the anxiety flowing with a man at the center who has everything to lose and nothing to gain other than doing the right thing.

Lionsgate

90. Youre Next (2010)

The trailer and plot for "You're Next" would lead you to believe it's a pretty generic slasher film. That doesn't tell the true story of how entertaining and funny of a film this is. It's bloody as hell, but the magic is in how the gore makes you laugh. Maybe you'll feel guilty. But you'll never stop enjoying the fun.

David James

89.Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Tom Cruise actually made several movies during the decade that could have appeared on this list (including multiple Mission: Impossible films). But the most compelling of the bunch was "Edge of a Tomorrow," a movie with a live-die-repeat "Groundhog's Day" plot to go along with its spectacular science fiction visuals. As a viewer, the frustration of living every day just to die builds. But once you start putting the puzzle pieces together, the intrigue will consume you.

Robert Zuckerman

88.Unstoppable (2010)

"Unstoppable" is probably the most unlikely great action movie of the 2010s. Director Tony Scott and Denzel Washington have routinely done great work. But with "Unstoppable," they create a thrill ride that unexpectedly leaves you on the end of your seat. The idea of a runaway train might seem pretty straightforward, but not in the hands of these two.

Lacey Terrell

87.Enough Said (2013)

If you only knew James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, "Enough Said" is a must-see in terms of showing his full capabilities as an actor. It's a romantic comedy that leaves its characters' flaws on full display. Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus are fantastic as an unlikely couple that's reached the point in life where a fairy tale ending may not be in the cards, and that's okay.

Alan Markfield

86.Looper (2012)

"Looper" had all the makings of a sci-fi classic. It didn't quite reach those heights, but it wasn't for lack of trying. The movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a contract killer (called a "Looper") who is hired to kill people from the future. All is good until he's asked to kill the future version of himself. JGL goes to great lengths to look and act like a younger version of Bruce Willis. And both actors are game in a visionary film by Rian Johnson. The plot is a lot to take in, but over-arching themes offer up serious impact potential if you embrace them.

Merie Wallace

85. The Descendants (2011)

There's this thought that George Clooney never really plays a character. That all of his roles are merely extensions of his own personality and charisma. There's some truth to that. But if you want an argument to the contrary, look no further than the scene in "The Descendants" where Clooney's character finds out his wife, who is in a coma, was cheating on him. He runs through the neighborhood in dad flip-flops looking for answers. The scene breaks down the wall Clooney's charisma and sets the stage for a powerful moment later in the film where he confronts his wife, who is still in a coma.

Paramount Pictures

84.A Quiet Place (2018)

Coming up with originality in a horror film isn't easy. But John Krasinski's "A Quiet Place" gets the job done. The story of a family trying to survive in a world where even the slightest of sounds draws the attention of blind alien monsters puts you right in a "What would I do?" state of mind. Krasinski was wise to give the leading role in the film to his real-life wife Emily Blunt, who gives one of her best performances as a mother running out of ideas.

Paranoid Pictures

83.Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

One of the most fascinating documentaries ever made, some people still think "Exit Through the Gift Shop" was all a hoax. The truth is, it doesn't matter. The most amazing aspect of the film is its unparalleled look at the underground art world and the ability to bring its figures who have achieved larger than life reputations back Earth.

Lionsgate Films

82.The Hunger Games (2012)

You could spend days arguing about which is the best "Hunger Games" film. But the impact of that blockbuster series will always come back to the first entry, where Jennifer Lawrence gave us one of the decade's best film heroines. From that moment on we'd follow the girl on fire anywhere.

Claire Folger

81.The Town (2010)

Ben Affleck's movies as a director, from "Gone Baby Gone" to "Argo," have a distinct feel to them. And his most entertaining is "The Town," a crime thriller with precision action scenes that are jaw-dropping. A movie like "The Town" doesn't usually offer much depth with its characters. But strong acting performances by Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm and Rebecca Hall, among others, leave us attached to characters whose fates are up in the air until the very end.

Pixar

80. Inside Out (2015)

It's tough to remember now, but "Inside Out" arrived at a time when Pixar was in a downswing. "Cars 2," "Brave" and "Monsters University" were all considered disappointments. Some even thought the studio's glory days were over. But "Inside Out" redefined Pixar as a company that could still make beautiful films while also setting the stage for great acting performances. It's a movie about emotions and the characters deliver moments that are funny, touching and heartbreaking, multiple times over.

A24

79. Uncut Gems (2019)

If you're familiar with the Safdie brothers' films, you know they move fast and carry a ton of tension throughout. "Uncut Gems" is essentially a two-plus hour panic attack. Part of that is the gritty visuals that go along with a career best performance by Adam Sandler. "Uncut Gems" is a crime thriller that can be funny one minute and dark the next. Credit to the Safdie brothers for handling that balancing act.

Paramount Pictures

78.Top Five (2014)

"Top Five' marked the return of Chris Rock to doing good work. And all it took was him writing a script that was somewhat autobiographical. The chemistry between Rock and Rosario Dawson is what drives the film. But the standout moments are plenty, from J.B. Smoove's one-liners to Rock discussing his favorite rappers with Leslie Jones and others (a clear improv session) to a refreshing standup scene that strikes at the heart of what comedy is.

20th Century Fox

77.Life of Pi (2012)

"Life of Pi" isn't the fastest moving film and its ending doesn't quite feel as impactful as it does in the book. Still, Ang Lee does a breathtaking job bringing Yann Martel's novel to life. The end result is one of the those most visual stunning films ever created. What pushes "Life of Pi" from good to great is the subtle emotional weight it carries. You'll find yourself crying without knowing why.

Jay Maidment

76.Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

"Guardians of the Galaxy" might be Marvel's biggest triumph and biggest risk. The MCU was on a role when the adaptation of a comic book mainstream audiences weren't familiar with was announced. But Marvel and Disney knew better. The tremendous humor and entertainment value of "Guardians" turned Chris Pratt into a leading man and proved that Marvel could pretty much do no wrong.

Fox Searchlight

75.Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

If more people were to see "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," the world would be a better place. It's a coming-of-age movie whose takes on death and friendship in far more captivating ways than most movies characters twice the age. The tale of a high-school kid who was afraid to befriend anyone but grows attached to a girl dying of leukemia is sure to break your heart. But the self discovery of the three lead characters is something to behold.

Spot Films

74.The Assassin (2015)

Director Hun Hsiao-hsien won Best Director at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for "The Assassin" and it's easy to see why. Few directors have ever found such a mesmerizing balance between restraint and stunning artistic displays. "The Assassin" is one of the most beautiful films you'll see. But it doesn't overpower you with its scenes. The movie seeks to build tension. Being patient can have great rewards and "The Assassin" is one of them.

Magnolia Pictures

73.Blackfish (2013)

Whether you're a big animal lover or not, the most affecting horror movie of the past decade is a documentary about a whale. "Blackfish" follows Tilikum, a killer whale at Sea World that embodied the consequences of the theme park's captivity of killer whales. Needless to say, Sea World doesn't come out looking good. The movie paints a picture of greed and neglect by corporate entities that produces tragic results both for the creatures and for the people trying to care for them.

Oscilloscope Laboratories

72.We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)

"We Need to Talk About Kevin" doesn't slow play its tragic ending, letting you know from the start that Kevin is in prison after committing a massacre at his school. But that doesn't make the gut punches felt throughout the movie any less painful. Your heart breaks for Kevin's mother, played by Tilda Swinton. Did she do everything she could to save her son and prevent such a tragedy? There are no easy answers.

A24

71.The Farewell (2019)

You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger tearjerker from 2019 or a better movie about family this whole decade. "The Farewell" follows a family who finds out its matriarch has just a short time to live, but doesn't tell her. Instead, they schedule one last get together to say goodbye. The examination of these relationships, life lessons and concept of death provides for one heck of an emotional rollercoaster ride that will make you want to get your family together sooner rather than later.

Nordisk Film

70. Melancholia

There are two films from 2011, both by polarizing, experimental directors whose art is highly regarded by critics but somewhat baffling to the masses. One is "The Tree of Life," Terrence Malik's Palme d'Or winner that some might rank as the best movie of the decade. Clearly, we didn't see it that way. But Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" holds up as an art film that leaves you in awe in watching the end of the world as von Trier sees it.

IFC Films

69. Frances Ha

Noah Baumbach may have directed "Frances Ha," but the real driving force behind the film is writer and star Greta Gerwig. "Frances Ha" isn't a movie with a traditional plot format. Instead, it's a look into the life of Frances, played sensationally by Gerwig. She's a New York City woman who deals with relationships, loneliness and pursuing her dreams in such authentic ways.

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100 greatest movies of the 2010s - cleveland.com


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Doctor Strange 2 Director Will Return to R-Rated Horror with Joe Hill Adaptation – MovieWeb

Scott Derrickson will be returning to the world of R-rated horror in the relatively near future. The filmmaker has revealed that, once he's done with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, he's going to be making a new horror movie with his writing partner C. Robert Cargill. Not just any horror movie, mind you. The two are adapting one of author Joe Hill's stories for the big screen.

The reveal was made by Scott Derrickson on Twitter. He got his start in horror, directing movies like The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister before landing the gig directing Doctor Strange for Marvel Studios. In a tweet, Derrickson explained that he's often asked about a possible return to R-rated horror, at which point he revealed that those plans are already well underway. Here's what he had to say about it.

C. Robert Cargill previously partnered with Scott Derrickson on 2012's Sinister, which was produced by Blumhouse and went on to become a big hit. The two have also worked together on both Doctor Strange movies and have developed quite the creative partnership. Cargill also added a bit to the news in a tweet of his own by revealing that it is indeed going to be a Joe Hill story they're tackling.

Joe Hill, authorof Locke & Key and NOS4A2 and the son of Stephen King, has a wealth of stories to pull from. The previously mentioned titles have already been adapted, with Scott Derrickson originally attached to direct the first episode of the Locke & Key TV series before things shifted to Netflix. Without any further information, it's tough to even begin to speculate which story they might be taking on, but Hill has plenty of material that would make for good R-rated horror in the right hands.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is expected to shoot next year and is being billed as the first horror movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie is scheduled to hit theaters on May 7, 2021, which means Derrickson is going to be busy for the next year and a half. It would seem summer 2021 would be the earliest before they can begin filming this mystery Joe Hill adaptation. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. You can check out the announcement from Scott Derrickson's Twitter below.

Topics: Doctor Strange 2, Doctor Strange

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The Best Actors of 2019 – The New York Times

The 10 Best Actors

of the Year

Chosen by A.O. Scott

and Wesley Morris

Photo Portfolio by

Jack Davison

These are the 10 actors whose work in movies we found most captivating, challenging, shocking and inspiring in 2019. The performances are wildly varied and yet, this year, we stumbled up on a theme, or at least a pattern. Call it a motif of meta-ness: Most of these actors not all, but a clear majority have been chosen for their portrayals of other performing artists, people who live on the stage or screen or some other space where authenticity and artifice collide.

This isnt new. Movie actors have been impersonating actual and fictional thespians and thrushes at least since The Jazz Singer, and the musical or theatrical biopic may be the most reliable route to an Academy Award. Just ask Barbra Streisand (Fanny Brice), Sissy Spacek (Loretta Lynn), Jamie Foxx (Ray Charles) and Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury). This year is no different, with Taron Egertons Elton John, Rene Zellwegers Judy Garland and Tom Hankss Fred Rogers all vying for Oscar biopic love. But the performers we chose did more than embody the stars of the past. They created new ones.

In a culture saturated with celebrity and ruled by reality television, that is no small feat. The roster of great performers in these pages includes not only Jennifer Lopez but also Ramona Vega, the gentlemens-club dancer who brings dazzle and drama to Hustlers. Not only Elisabeth Moss but also Becky Something, a rock n roll diva who spends nearly the entirety of Her Smell teetering on the edge of abjection and transcendence. Not just Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson but also Charlie and Nicole Barber, the theater artists in Marriage Story who started out as actors and find themselves competing to direct the sad comedy of their divorce. Not just Antonio Banderas but also Salvador Mallo, the cineaste facing the austere autumn of a career defined by flamboyance in Pain and Glory. Not only Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt but also Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, a minor Hollywood star and his stunt double, holding the line against the counterculture in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Professional performers arent the only ones putting on an act. The hit man played by Robert De Niro in The Irishman pretends to be anyone other than who he really is, even as he risks losing touch with his self and his soul. Julianne Moore, as the utterly ordinary title character Gloria Bell, enacts a dramatic critique of the roles that women are compelled to play in everyday life. And Lupita Nyongo, in Us, splits herself in two, brilliantly challenging our assumptions about private and public behavior and the masks we wear to deceive our families, our societies and ourselves.

Were in an era of high performance, of constantly questioning the reality not simply of what we see but also of who people are. Is this elected official, reality-show participant, Facebook friend to be trusted? That wariness makes perfect sense. (Who wants to be duped?) But it might miss the point of a proper performance, a proper great performance. You need a sense of artistry for that, a talent for magnifying the central elements of a character or an idea. We tend to talk about performance as though its the definition of falsehood when, at its best, its the height of truth. A.O. Scott and Wesley Morris

Adam Driver

Marriage Story

If you want to insult an actor, you call him interesting. On the other hand, if you said that about someone you met in real life, it would be a pretty unambiguous compliment. An interesting person is someone you want to know better, someone worth thinking about, someone who has shown you something of who he is but at the same time held a little something back to encourage your ... interest.

Adam Driver has to thread this needle in Marriage Story, Noah Baumbachs tale of a divorce. Theres no question that Charlie Barber, Drivers character, is an interesting guy. He knows it, too. A director who runs a theater company in Manhattan, he is used to being listened to, admired and liked. His confidence in his own appeal just makes him more appealing. His charm is unforced. His soon-to-be-ex-mother-in-law adores him, maybe more than she likes her own daughter, his soon-to-be-ex-wife.

But his wife Nicole, played by Scarlett Johansson doesnt love Charlie the way she used to. Thats largely why they are splitting up, and a lot of the plot of Marriage Story involves Charlies struggling to understand what is happening. Like many intellectuals, hes deficient in both self-knowledge and the full awareness of other peoples existence. Nicole was always there, part of the unified field of his ego, which is now fracturing. In order to hold on to the people he loves, Charlie needs to let go of some of his narcissism, which is to say that he has to learn to be less interested in less interesting to himself.

Driver, of course, has to move in the opposite direction, drawing us closer to the character and deepening our willingness to care about him. From the very beginning of his career ever since he was that other Adam, on Girls he has displayed a complicated charisma. Hes like a jigsaw puzzle with too many pieces. The essential picture keeps shifting from sweet to angry, sardonic to sincere. This is more than just the technical mastery of emotional complexity. There is an element of epistemological volatility in his acting: You never know for sure if the hints of self-consciousness, of anti-realism, come from him or from the characters.

Thats always interesting. In Marriage Story, its devastating. A.O. Scott

Lupita Nyongo

Us

Im greedy about my stars. There is usually never enough of the good ones. Take Lupita Nyongo. This woman can make a perfume ad worthy of the Louvre. She can turn a red carpet into the Yellow Brick Road. But I also like my stars onscreen. And shes just not there very often. How can the fashion world be treating an Oscar winner better than the movies? Im not the only person who wants to know. Jordan Peele appears to have been so determined to intervene that he cast Nyongo in his horror-thriller Us not once but two times, as a woman and her clone.

One is sane and the other is evil, meaning Nyongo alternates, terrifyingly, between two poles of psychological extremity. Sure, that in itself is a feat. But its merely the most obvious thing to applaud. The rigor of her achievement is that it wont stop revealing itself. For the movies first third, what shes doing might seem rather unremarkable. She plays Adelaide Wilson, who is bright, upper-middle-class and on vacation at her California ranch house with her goofy husband and their two children. Her biggest worry appears to be her teenage daughters decision to quit the track team. But you can sense her gathering fear that some terrible event is on its way; its dimming her glow as it heightens our anticipation.

The event, of course, is the other Nyongo. ...

Julianne Moore

Gloria Bell

What a crapshoot actor Julianne Moore is! Shell go for broke even if she breaks the movie, even if the movie might break her. (No movie has yet managed that.) Her best mode is some combination of wisdom, carnality and lunacy (the films as much as the characters). Another way to put this is: I love deep-end Julianne Moore. To start: Safe, Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, Magnolia, Chloe, Don Jon, Maps to the Stars.

Gloria Bell is mid-deep-end Moore. Shes an owlish divorce who manhunts at her favorite nightspot. The movie is less about romantic predation than it is about nostalgia. Gloria believes in love in this club because once upon a time we all did. Moore makes Gloria radiantly lonely. Then she meets a prospect (John Turturro), and Moore gets to sensualize herself.

Gloria doesnt appear to be a deep-ender at all until you realize she has already leapt into a void. Moore plays her in a way that seems suspended between an afterlife and actual existence, as a viable middle-aged woman resisting the retiring ghostliness expected of her. Solitude has left her enticingly off. Thats what Moore makes the most of: how Glorias a little too eager to connect, to be known by men in that nightclub, by her own adult children. Its your mother, shell say at the end of a rambling voice mail message.

The entire performance (based on the Gloria that Paulina Garca so archly played in the original 2013 Chilean movie) is suffused with subdued panic. Is Gloria as sad, nervous and faux-casual as Moore makes her appear? If she falls in love again, will she stay in it? The thrill of Moore in this movie is the nature of that leap. Its physics. Its existential. Wheres she going to land? Will she land at all?

Moore thrives in the peculiar gray zones of adult feeling. She can give a character life. But lots of good actors can do that. Moore can give you something greater: a character you can see has actually lived. Wesley Morris

Brad Pitt

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

and Ad Astra

As the stuntman Cliff Booth in Quentin Tarantinos Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood, Brad Pitt laid down a performance of vintage Hollywood dudeness. His character is equally at ease being a human security blanket for his B-list-actor boss, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, as he is subduing murderous Manson family members while tripping on acid.

In James Grays Ad Astra, Pitt used the same tools he wielded so deftly in Tarantinos film laconic cool; understated emotion to build an entirely different version of masculinity. In it, hes Roy McBride, an astronaut on an interplanetary mission to find his absentee (in multiple senses of the word) father. But McBrides imperturbability is rooted in repression and hurt, nothing like Booths so-it-goes acceptance.

The two characters could be connected, Pitt says, in the sense that you have to go through an evolution to get to a place of comfort. You have to go through profound internal hardships. David Marchese

Antonio Banderas

Pain and Glory

Aging should be the easiest thing to perform. Strictly speaking and leaving aside enhancements like prosthetic wrinkles and talcum-powdered hair you dont have to play it at all. Sooner or later, age plays you. An actor who reaches a certain stage of life, and has been a familiar face for at least half of his earthly span, needs only to show us that face. Well do the rest, measuring the longevity of our attraction in crags and furrows and whitened follicles as we muse on the mercies and ravages of time.

In Pain and Glory, his eighth collaboration with Pedro Almodvar (but only their third since 1989), Antonio Banderas lets his grizzled, melancholy, beautiful features carry their share of the burden. Its a little shocking to see him looking not just gray but frail, as if his almost-60 body harbored a soul in deep senescence. That body is racked by a painful medical condition, and also by memories. Banderass character, a Spanish filmmaker named Salvador Mallo, was once a rebellious and celebrated cultural figure, very much like Almodvar himself. Now, 30 years past his groundbreaking early prime and in a semiretirement that looks a lot like creative paralysis, Salvador reconnects with his former leading man, Alberto, a wayward, charismatic actor who might have a resemblance to Antonio Banderas.

But Pain and Glory is more than a game of biographical peekaboo. Banderas, trailed by memories of his studly-sensitive, sometimes brutish personas in Almodvars Law of Desire, Matador and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! embodies a faded, unapologetic flamboyance. He is a maximalist in a shrunken time, a former thirst trap playing a man whose throat has grown dry. He moves slowly and cautiously. His voice is heavy. His face is gentle and impassive.

The performance is so quiet and specific you might wonder if Banderas is even acting. He is, of course, but that isnt all hes doing. He is paying tribute to a friend and mourning a friendship, being himself and channeling the man who made him who he is, reclaiming his prime and leaving us to wonder how it all went by so fast. A.O. Scott

Jennifer Lopez

Hustlers

We see Ramona do a final flourish and walk down the stage. As Jennifer Lopez remembers it, thats how an early draft of the Hustlers script described her characters first scene. The flourish turned into something much more elaborate: an extended pole dance in which Lopez, dressed in something close to nothing, spins, twists and kicks through a display of erotic athleticism that ends with 300 strip-club patrons on their feet roaring, the stage carpeted with dollar bills and a struggling young dancer named Destiny (played by Constance Wu) in a state of slack-jawed adoration. Doesnt money make you horny? Ramona asks Destiny as she heads for the roof, where she stretches out in her fur coat and lights a cigarette.

The pole work, which required six weeks of training with a Cirque du Soleil acrobat, was Lopezs idea. She explained the genesis of the scene on a gray afternoon in November, almost exactly two months after Hustlers, shot in 29 days on a relatively low budget the previous spring, opened, becoming one of the few nonfranchise hits of the movie year.

I said to Lorene Scafaria, who wrote and directed Hustlers that we have to see why Ramona is the star of the club. We cant say it. We have to show it. Im going to do this amazing dance. I dont know what it is, but its going to be good. And from there you will see that she has total control of the club and the crowd, and Destiny is going to fall in love. She cant help it. ...

Scarlett Johansson

Marriage Story

Sides are the way of divorce. Each partner gets one, and then everyone else has to choose. So whose side is Marriage Story on? Seems like Charlies. Adam Driver plays him with so much coiled-up charm that you might excuse his self-absorption (hes a worshiped downtown director) and fail to notice Nicole, the actress exiting his shadow.

She emerges, in the opening shot, from darkness into light, then floods a montage with the attributes that Charlie finds most adorable. Minutes later, shes slumped in a mediators office, irate. Her eyes are wet and concerningly tiny. She doesnt want to be the dream girl from that montage. She wants to be who she is. And the only way to figure that out is to decamp.

Playing Nicole, Scarlett Johansson might have the hardest acting assignment of the year. She has to observe and absorb while Driver simmers, Laura Dern declaims, Ray Liotta leaks unction and Julie Hagerty pilfers everything she gets her hands on. But Johanssons combination of emotional steadiness and personal uncertainty is the core of this movie.

At some point, Nicole visits the cozy, skyscraping law office of Derns Los Angeles divorce warrior, who leans over and all but whispers, What were going to do together is tell your story. And so for about 10 straight minutes, Johansson wanders around the room, in rumination, exclamation, exhalation, tears. Telling. At last. Johansson doesnt get enough credit for being a great talker in the movies; for Woody Allen, in Scoop and Vicki Cristina Barcelona, and in a film like Spike Jonzes Her, where her honeyed alto is the voice of an entire operating system. But giving language to years of unexpressed hope and exasperation in that lawyers office is the most wonderful, most human speaking Johansson has done.

Johansson is playing a woman whose certitude has, for years, been divided by marital second guesses, by Charlies (and Drivers) emotional bigness. Whats left is rue, weariness, indignation and self-rediscovery. Maybe it takes a second viewing to discover that Nicoles rationality (and Johanssons) obviate such a concept as sides. But this is a divorce film; and if its taking us to the battlements, Im on hers. Wesley Morris

Robert De Niro

The Irishman

Disturbingly stoic, violent and seeking absolution hes not sure he needs, the mob killer Frank Sheeran allowed Robert De Niro to deliver a majestic, subtle performance in The Irishman that has the feel of a crowning achievement and for reasons that go beyond the screen. Based on Sheerans memoir, I Heard You Paint Houses, the film is haunted by the cinematic moments that De Niro, the director Martin Scorsese and the co-stars Al Pacino and Joe Pesci have made in so many movies about hard men with hollowed hearts.

The fact that me, Joe and Al were doing this film is something in and of itself, said the halting, taciturn De Niro, who also played a key role in this falls controversial, Scorsese-indebted Joker. Marty directing it says something. It all sets a tone. The audiences perception of each character, us actors being together and what the story is the film is all those things.

Its also a reminder, as if we needed one, of the brutal and beautifully unsentimental revelations that only a peak De Niro performance can provide. David Marchese

Elisabeth Moss

Her Smell

There are difficult characters, antiheroes, supervillains, leading men and women who test the limits of likability and then there is Becky Something. She is the frontwoman and main creative force in Something She, a fictional but unnervingly real-seeming 90s all-female power trio. Also its main destructive force. Beckys greatest talent may be alienating the people who care most about her. Those include an ex-husband, her mother, two long-suffering bandmates, the head of her record label and just about everyone in Her Smell not played by Elisabeth Moss.

There are stories of addiction and recovery, portraits of artists on the verge of breakdowns, tales of rock n roll dysfunction and then there is Her Smell. Moss, obliterating the memory of Peggy Olsons Mad Men pluck and Offreds Handmaids Tale stoicism and also, of course, playing off those same qualities gives a performance that is both violently verbal and abrasively physical. No vanity, but a kind of abject bravura. She does not fear sweat, spit, snot, vomit or smeared mascara, but she also relishes Beckys flights of wit, invective, insight and inspired nonsense. (Big bad bossy Becky makes maudlin Mari mope is how she summarizes a fight with a bandmate in the middle of the fight.) The surprise of her language is the key: Its why everyone keeps coming around, even when what they get is disdain, humiliation and abuse.

There are directors who test the audiences tolerance for discomfort, rubbing our noses in ordinary human awfulness and then there is Alex Ross Perry. Her Smell is his sixth feature. Moss has appeared in half of them, often unhinged or in tears. This one, like a horror movie in reverse, lets the monster out early. And then, in the middle, Becky goes quiet. Sober and penitent, shes almost catatonic, whispering as if afraid to wake up the internal demons. Her young daughter, visiting for the first time in a while, asks for a song, and Becky plays one on the piano: Bryan Adamss Heaven, a cheesy Gen X ballad that is the opposite of punk rock. Its a clumsy, heartfelt cover of a bad classic song, and its proof of Beckys artistry, which is to say of Mosss too. A.O. Scott

Leonardo DiCaprio

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Do you consider Leonardo DiCaprio funny? Like, on purpose? Well, please do! Some of his best moments are the riotous ones. Once, in The Wolf of Wall Street, as the wolf, he downed some quaaludes and rolled down the steps of a country club like a sack of apples in a stop-motion dream. Another time, he was one of those genteel antebellum racists Calvin Candie in Django Unchained whom he inflated with a lot of I do de-clahr! effrontery. (With all due respect to Django, DiCaprio was unchained.) Rick Dalton is the latest and most embarrassed enrollee in DiCaprios Comedy Club.

Rick is an actor whose star, in 1969, has grown dingy. And in Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood, DiCaprio has a ball recreating Ricks TV-Western mulch and B-movie schlock. He gives the gunslinging every ounce of deadpan machismo he can summon and becomes exactly the flamethrowing maniac you need for an action pageant called Fourteen Fists of McCluskey. DiCaprio has to hold on to the movies satirical showbiz insanity as well as Ricks alcoholism, square bravado, insecurity, faded stardom and private misery.

None of that is funny, per se, except that DiCaprio wills it to be so, not simply in the furious mock-Hollywood bits but in a long, gorgeous passage right in the middle of the movie, on the set of a western series. Rick has taken a gig as a villain (another one), and before the cameras roll, he finds himself chatting with a young co-star who tells him hes the best actor shes ever worked with. In between, Rick flubs a line and, in costume and in his trailer, proceeds to berate himself for being an undisciplined hack. Its as divine as any of DiCaprios great eruptions, at once a joke on acting and perhaps a window into the soul of a star Jack Lord devastated that hell never be Jack Lemmon. Im with the kid. Sort of. Rick is one of the most mediocre actors Ive ever seen. But it takes a real maestro to summon all that talentlessness and keep knocking you out of your chair. Wesley Morris

Stylist: Brian Molloy.

Set designer: Julia Wagner.

On-set producers: Nicole Tondre (New York); Michael Kachuba/3Star Productions (Los Angeles); Ana Gmiz (Mlaga, Spain).

Grooming: De Niro: Lynda Eichner; DiCaprio: Kara Yoshimoto Bua; Driver: Amy Komorowski; Pitt: Stacey Panepinto.

Hair: Johansson: David Von Cannon; Lopez: Chris Appleton; Moore: DJ Quintero; Moss: David Von Cannon; Nyongo: Naivasha; Pitt: Sal Salcedo.

Makeup: Johansson: Frankie Boyd; Lopez: Scott Barnes; Moore: Hung Vanngo; Moss: Daniel Martin; Nyongo: Nick Barose.

Manicure: Johansson: Casey Herman; Lopez: Eri Ishizu; Moore: Gina Eppolito; Moss: Casey Herman; Nyongo: Sonya Belakhlef.

Assistant stylist: Sarah Lequimener.

Clothing: Banderas: Margaret Howell; De Niro: Charvet; Johansson: Molly Goddard; Lopez: Ann Demeulemeester and Herms; Moore: Yohji Yamamoto and The Row; Moss: Issey Miyake from New York Vintage; Nyongo: Loewe and Valentino; Pitt: Lemaire

Additional design and development by Jacky Myint.

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The Real-Life Story Behind ‘The Conjuring 3’ Might Be The Strangest Yet – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

Horror movies are perfect for many occasions. Whether its Halloween time and you want to get into the spooky spirit, or its just a weeknight, and you want something to go with your pizza. One of the biggest horror movie franchises,The Conjuringuniverse, is now coming out with another film that you can enjoy under the safety of a blanket.The Conjuring 3s title and synopsis were just released at the Brazilian convention, CCXP, and the real-life story will make your head spin more than Regan MacNeils.

Over the weekend, Warner Bros. made several announcements and released clips of upcoming filmsScoobandIn The Heights. A highlight was footage fromThe Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, the third installment of the mega-popular film. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson have been in the roles of Lorraine and Ed Warren since 2013. Since then, theyve been in the original three films, along with spin-offsThe NunandAnnabelle Comes Home.

As Deadline reports, this film is aboutthe real-life case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson. Michael Chaves, director forThe Curse of La Llorona,will direct.Its the first time one of the coreConjuringmovies will be led by someone other than James Wan, wholl be a producer on this film.

The story has an accurate title. It involves the first murder case in America, where the defendant pled not guilty to a crime using the defense of demonic possession. Deadline reports that Johnson claimed a demon that was in the body of 11-year-old David Glatzel came into Johnsons body and urged him to kill his landlord, Alan Bono. The Warrens had already looked at Glatzels possession case, which is why theyre a part of Johnsons story.

People magazine reported that Johnson urged andtaunted the demon inside of David Glatzelto take him instead. Which, if youre a believer, thats what happened. Johnson was engaged to Davids older sister at the time, which is why he was witness to his exorcism and subsequently possessed.

Warner Bros. also released footage of this third movie to CCXP audiences, and it involved a morgue (of course). Lorraine is trying to read a dead body, but cant, and then the lab exhibits typical haunted aspects (flickering lights, scary atmosphere, etc.).

In an interview Wilson did with The Hollywood Reporter in November, he said that longtime fans of the franchise should expect something new from this sequel. Its a much different feel, Wilson said. Its still the same bones; itsstill very much Ed and Lorraine. Again, we are pushing our characters to places they havent gone, but the film will be a really nice addition because its definitely a different beast. Pun intended.

He said that he enjoyed making cameos in the spin-offs, but that the flagship movies are exciting. Theres a different weight to those movies just in scope alone, budget, time to shoot it, and all that stuff, he said. Its got great producers, and honestly, a super happy and supportive studio. So its a lot of positivity even though youre dealing with a lot of negative demons. I cant wait.

If youre into courtroom dramas or horror (especially both),The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do itis right up your spooky alley.

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2019’s best (and worst) at the movies – Cover Story – News – Maine Edge

-

BEST

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

I dont care who you are you probably have a fondness in your heart for Mr. Rogers. He is an icon, a man not just nice but Nice, a living embodiment of humanitys innate love for our children. To so many of us, Fred Rogers is the Socratic ideal of a good human being.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood attempts to show us just how monumental an impact an encounter with such a person can have on our lives. Inspired by a 1998 Esquire profile written by Tom Junod, the film opens a window onto the one singular truth about Mr. Rogers that is both unbelievable and utterly expected that he is precisely the man he appears to be.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a thoughtful, well-made story about the power of the good. Fred Rogers is someone beloved by so many; it would have been easy to get tripped up in any number of ways. Instead, thanks to a fantastic performance by Hanks, Heller and company have created a lovely tribute to the memory of a lovely human being.

Booksmart

Im an unabashed fan of teen comedies. From John Hughes on down, I have always loved stories of teenagers doing teenager stuff. I particularly love coming-of-age stories, whether theyre emotionally grounded stories of tentative steps into adulthood or broad last night before graduation raunchfests.

Booksmart is a heartfelt and thoughtful in ways that will ring true to anyone who is (or ever was) a teenager, capturing the challenges faced by a certain kind of student as they prepare to move forward from high school. But it is ALSO a foul-mouthed and unapologetically weird comedy, packed with high-minded jokes and lowbrow gags alike.

Booksmart is a crystal-clear and deeply funny look at female friendship, an exploration of the dynamic that isnt often seen on the big screen. First-time director Olivia Wilde absolutely nails it not only does she have a wonderful eye for scenic pictures and a sharp ear for dialogue, shes possessed of a fearlessness that belies her inexperience behind the camera. This is a movie full of bold choices. And almost all of them work.

Seriously however good you think this movie is, its almost certainly better.

Hustlers

Heads up, in case you forgot: Jennifer Lopez is legitimately good at everything. She is a talented pop singer, an excellent dancer and a gifted actress, a savvy businesswoman and social media savant, smart as hell and still hungry after more than two decades in the spotlight.

Those skills are on display in Hustlers, directed by Lorene Scafaria from a screenplay she adapted from a magazine article by Jessica Pressler. Its an unapologetic look at what it takes to get ahead in a world where the deck is stacked against you, a story that refuses to condemn its characters for embracing the same tactics that the men of the world get rich employing. Its a story about people who, instead of playing the hand that they were dealt, choose to change the rules to which they are expected to adhere.

Hustlers is a film made by women about women and its sad how relatively rarely we get that. Particularly when the result is this good. At its heart, its a heist movie, only with a buddy comedy sensibility, all of it powered by the pop culture dynamo that is J-Lo.

The Irishman

The Irishman is an achievement in filmmaking, an American epic of the sort that many had simply given up ever seeing again. It is Scorsese embracing the sordid past of our cultures underbelly, finding shadows in the sun. Over the course of its sprawling (and admittedly sometimes self-indulgent) 209 minutes, it shares a kind of secret history of the American dream.

Featuring a pair of all-time talents in frequent Scorsese collaborator Robert De Niro and Al Pacino supported by a Murderers Row of exceptional talent, The Irishman is an ambitious film one that occasionally succumbs to the consequences of that ambition, but whose successes far outweigh the odd minor stumble. It is an intricate, immense memory play, driven by the vision of one of the greats.

The Irishman is one of the best films of the year, directed by one of film historys best directors and featuring two of its best actors. It is a meditation on morality and mortality, a look at what it means to live a complicated life and what it means to feel that life slipping away.

Knives Out

Knives Out is a delight. Theres really no other way to say it. It manages to accomplish that rare feat of being a throwback to the films of a Hollywood gone by while also being very much of the moment. Theres a wonderful complexity to the plot that allows plenty of room for the unexpected; its kind of great to watch a film that you know intends to fool you, yet still manages to find methods of misdirection that surprise and engage.

From the films opening moments to its dynamic conclusion, Knives Out is firing on all cylinders. The aesthetic is exquisite, packed with details both ornamental and load-bearing. The narrative is nuanced, with a twisty-turny plot that finds ways to both celebrate and subvert the conventions of the genre. And the cast is magnificent, a collection of top-tier talent welded together into one of the most entertaining ensembles to hit theaters this year.

Knives Out is a film both familiar and completely unique, an old-school whodunnit from a new-school filmmaker. Its a razor-sharp mystery one that cuts deep.

Marriage Story

When does the story of a marriage end? And how should it be told when it does?

Thats the fundamental question behind Marriage Story, the latest offering from writer/director Noah Baumbach. The film which stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson is a portrait of a marriage in dissolution, a relationship that has arrived at its expiration date. It is emotionally raw and darkly funny, driven by moments of passion and poignancy.

There are many reasons for two people to choose to be together. There are many reasons some the same, some altogether different for two people to choose to stay together. And there are many reasons a surprising number shared with the previous choices for two people to choose to break apart. And the underlying reality is that the story of a marriage has two sides and the truth lives somewhere in the middle.

Marriage Story is unrelenting and discomfiting and one of the years best films.

Midsommar

Midsommar is a bizarre and occasionally gruesome puzzle box of a movie rendered all the darker by the fact that it never actually gets dark. You wouldnt think placing most of the action in bright sunshine would somehow make things more unsettling, but writer/director Ari Aster takes advantage of an unexpected truth the brightest lights cast the deepest shadows.

Going into much detail about Midsommar would do the viewer a disservice theres a LOT of weirdness going on here, but knowing about it ahead of time robs the film of its visceral impact. Just know that stuff gets strange and occasionally gross, but all of it is rendered in a way that is both narratively engaging and visually stunning.

Midsommar surprised me. I knew it would be weird, but I had no idea it would be THIS weird. And heres the thing the more I think about it, the more I like it. If theres a better indication of artistic merit, Id love to hear it.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Quentin Tarantinos ninth (Ish? Still not sure Im buying the Kill Bill duology as one movie) film is the culmination of a creative journey of sorts; a full-on love letter to the Hollywood of the late 1960s, the Hollywood that produced so many of the influences that impacted his creative development. At its heart, from the title on down, it is a fairy tale. It also might be the most sentimental offering of QTs career.

While it unfolds using the Manson Family murders as a backdrop, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood isnt really ABOUT Charles Manson or his followers or even the doomed Sharon Tate. Its about what it means to fade from a world that is itself fading away. It is about the ever-turning cogs behind the romance of Tinseltown and the notion that the end isnt coming but has instead already happened without you noticing. It is about what it means to be a rising star and what it means to fall. It is a vivid reimagining of a tumultuous time, all viewed through the lens of one mans battle against his looming irrelevance.

Toy Story 4

I didnt want Toy Story 4.

Yes, I understand that sequels are valuable currency in the cinematic realm these days. And no, its nothing against Pixar my admiration for their work is well-documented. I just remember being so fundamentally satisfied with how the trilogy wrapped up that the idea of another movie felt somehow wrong.

But what I got was a shockingly worthwhile addition to the series, a film that moves the saga forward in a way that is both respectful of what has come before and enthusiastic about exploring new directions. It is consistently hilarious, of course. Prepare for things to get dusty a couple of times standard operating procedure with Pixar though it does pull its punches just a bit.

Toy Story 4 is legitimately great. Smart and funny, it tells a meaningful story in a meaningful way, expounding on its ideas and engaging with our emotions without ever coming off as calculated or manipulative. The vocal performances are outstanding, and the narrative development is on point.

Its just about the best possible follow-up to a movie that seemingly needed no follow-up.

Us

Us is Jordan Peeles sophomore effort, a follow-up to his acclaimed debut Get Out. The horror thriller delves into the tropes of home invasions and evil twins and more, using those genre touchstones as part of a meaningful conversation about social stratification and class warfare and other important issues confronting the America of today. Us could easily be read as U.S. and thats certainly not a coincidence.

This film is driven by Peeles burgeoning confidence as a filmmaker, rife with the cultural references that marked his earlier work while also leaning into the development of a striking and compelling visual aesthetic. The directors technical proficiency has grown significantly; that, plus a much larger budget, has resulted in some absolutely stunning screen snapshots. It is smart and thoughtful, a straight-up thriller that just happens to have something to say.

Us is the sort of thematically challenging and compellingly constructed film that we rarely see spring so fully into into the mainstream. It is a horror movie and it is more than a horror movie. This is Us. And this is us. See it for yourself.

Bonus pick Avengers: Endgame

As a dyed-in-the-wool Marvel lover, I couldnt in good conscience NOT talk about Avengers: Endgame.

Its the culmination of more than a decade spent weaving a narrative and building a world around the heroes at the center of the Marvel Universe. Sprawling across well over 40 hours in total, the MCU is MASSIVE. And regardless of where you come down on how you feel about these movies, theres no disputing that thus far, this has been one of the most ambitious and impressive feats of filmmaking in the history of the medium.

The film is a beautifully-constructed piece of popcorn cinema. It is a heartfelt goodbye packed with emotion; anyone who gave their time to this world will find it to be a rewarding and effective payoff. Often, an ending is nothing more than an ending. Sometimes, however, an ending is also a beginning.

Well see whats next in the MCU, but this chapter is closed.

(Honorable Mentions: Ad Astra; Brittany Runs a Marathon; Dolemite is My Name; Dark Waters; Ford v. Ferrari; John Wick 3; Harriet; High Flying Bird; Joker; The Laundromat; The Lighthouse; The Peanut Butter Falcon; Ready or Not; Rocketman)

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WORST

Angel Has Fallen

Angel Has Fallen is happy to lean into the assorted tropes and clichs of the genre, featuring a convoluted narrative packed with inexplicable decision-making, totally telegraphed betrayals and meaningless technobabble jargon to go along with loads of grim grimaces and steely glares. It did manage to at least improve upon its execrable (and kind of racist) predecessor London Has Fallen, the follow-up to Olympus Has Fallen, best known as the Deep Impact to the Armageddon of the Channing Tatum/Jamie Foxx team-up White House Down.

Lets be clear there is a lot in Angel Has Fallen that just doesnt make any sense. Almost from the beginning, the internal logic of the narrative is shown to be questionable at best and it only goes downhill from there. Theres never any doubt who the bad guys are; the movie seems content to just ask the audience to play along and act surprised when the time comes. The action sequences are ludicrous across the board, from basic physics right on up.

Its not good never good but its better. A low bar, but there you have it.

Countdown

The latest iteration of the internet is evil horror subgenre is Countdown, a nonsensical supernatural thriller whose basic conceit seems to be that ignoring the terms of service will kill you. Its a slapdash attempt to mine the internet for scares, throwing a filter over the standard evil curse narrative and calling it a day. It meanders and flails, jumbling together a mess of clichs and assorted tropes without ever committing to anything. In fact, the only thing consistent about this movie is its unrelenting stupidity.

Everything you see in this movie is something that youve seen before in an almost-certainly better movie in the past. The narrative is flimsy, offering little rhyme or reason regarding whats happening. Explicit explanation isnt necessary, but some degree of basic storytelling coherence would be nice. Character motivations are unclear and underdeveloped; people make decisions for nonsensical reasons or simply no reason whatsoever.

Countdown is sloppy, dull horror, a whole lot of nothing. The story is incoherent, the performances are lackluster and the tone is muddled. The most frightening aspect of this movie is the fact that people paid money to see it.

Dark Phoenix

Despite extremely low expectations, Dark Phoenix still managed to disappoint me. One could argue that this latest installment the last before the characters pass from 20th Century Fox into the control of the Disney machine represents the nadir of the franchise.

Its not even that Dark Phoenix is bad although it is, boring and meandering and occasionally incomprehensible so much as that it is bad in the EXACT SAME WAYS that the last effort to tell this story was bad. Hey, we really blew it the last time we told this story. Maybe this time, if we do pretty much the same thing, people will like it more.

Its the second effort by the franchise to tell perhaps the most important arc in the history of the X-Men and the second failure. This is an iconic storyline, not just for the X-Men, but for all of comicdom. And yet it is peppered with sloppy storytelling, disinterested characterizations and unclear decision-making.

Well have to wait and see how Disney folds the characters into the greater MCU, but hey its almost certainly going to be better than this.

Five Feet Apart

Ill be the first to admit that Im a soft touch, emotionally speaking. My buttons can be pushed pretty easily. If a movie wants to make me cry, it will have little problem doing so. Whether or not that emotional manipulation is earned, well it doesnt really matter. It will work. However, just because my emotions are impacted doesnt mean Im unaware of the strings being pulled.

Five Feet Apart is nothing BUT strings. It is almost cynically manipulative, with a star-crossed love story featuring terminally ill teenagers falling for one another yet being kept apart by forces beyond their control. It is so formulaic, so boilerplate, that it almost feels algorithmically-generated a product of maudlin mathematics.

Five Feet Apart knows precisely who its true audience is and homes in on it with a sharp, almost cynical precision. The beats are familiar and formulaic, but the target viewers could not care less. Its what you get when you clone a John Green book, only to immediately clone the clone; a faded photocopy of teenage terminality.

Hellboy

One of the things that people sometimes forget about comic books is that they can (and do) get a lot weirder than your standard superhero business and that that can be a good thing.

Mike Mignolas Dark Horse Comics creation Hellboy is that kind of weird, yet the character preceded the MCU to the silver screen, with movies in 2004 and 2008. And thanks largely to director Guillermo del Toro and star Ron Perlman, they worked.

With the new Hellboy, we get Neil Marshall and David Harbour, respectively talented, yes, but they wind up swinging and missing. Its a big, loud, gory mess, a jumbled-up and chaotic slog that cant be salvaged despite the game effort put forth by Harbour, whose delightfully slovenly dad-charisma is undermined by prosthetics and CGI.

Youd think that in the current climate of constant comic book content, this movie would be even more successful than the ones that came before. Instead, it is far less so, a blaring, boring slog that should have been better. While the stage was set for a sequel, it might be best for everyone to simply walk away.

The Kitchen

Based on the comic book series of the same name, The Kitchen tells the tale of three women forced by circumstance to team up and fill the void left by their absent husbands, who have been sent to prison. The leading trio is wildly talented, as is much of the supporting cast, but it isnt enough; first-time director Andrea Berloff directing from her own script cant seem to avoid the pitfalls of returning to such thoroughly excavated territory.

Thats perhaps the biggest problem faced by the 1970s-set film; it tries to venture down some different and interesting paths, but other than a few flashes, winds up largely bogged down in the clichs and tropes of the subgenre.

The Kitchen is a deeply flawed movie that cant take advantage of its strengths. Thanks to an inexperienced director and a muddied screenplay, the talented cast is left to flounder and make the best of a less-than-ideal situation. It honestly doesnt matter if you can stand the heat or not youll want to get out of The Kitchen.

Gemini Man

What could be better than a blockbuster movie starring Will Smith? How about TWO Will Smiths?

Thats what you get with Gemini Man, a sci-fi clone thriller featuring Will Smith doing battle against a digitally-deaged Will Smith. Adding to the fun is the fact that the film is directed by Ang Lee, who has plenty of Hollywood juice of his own; Lee continues his embrace of bleeding edge cinematic tech as well.

And with all that you get a ho-hum movie. Gemini Man tries to use the charisma of its star and the innovative nature of its filmmakers technology and techniques to push past the films shortcomings, but instead, we get a lackluster performance from Will Smith(s) and an aesthetic that often reads more mid-tier video game than top-tier Hollywood blockbuster.

Gemini Man is too serious to be silly and too silly to be serious, and no amount of Will Smith (and theres a lot) or fancy camera tech (and theres a lot) can fix it. As far as this films success is concerned, two Wills make a Wont.

Rambo: Last Blood

Rambo: Last Blood is a lot. It is almost defiantly dumb, its bare-bones narrative existing solely to move us from mumbled Sylvester Stallone monologue to preparatory montage to explosively violent outburst, rinse and repeat. It feels less like a story and more like a checklist, boxes being ticked with every knife sharpening and grimacing close-up.

With a disinterested and generic script co-written by Stallone and Matthew Cirulnick and bland direction from Adrian Grunberg, this fifth installment in the series brings nothing new to the table. Instead, it seems to exist solely to give Stallone a chance to flail around in his blood-soaked sandbox; it is visceral in its violence and largely absent of anything resembling real connection. The body count isnt as high as the last installment, but Last Blood offers plenty of, well blood. The violence is so over-the-top as to become absurd.

At this point, all we can do is hope that Rambo: Last Blood is true to its title, because no one needs any more of this. Time for Stallone to let Rambo bleed out.

Replicas

Full disclosure: I had definitely forgotten that this movie existed. Happily, this list me back to it, because wow.

Replicas is so bad as to be baffling. The story is nonsensical, a jumble of illogical decision making and word salad jargon. The effects border on the laughable; the CGI work would have been bad a decade ago, let alone today. And the performances are wooden to the extreme, with the shocking exception of star Keanu Reeves, who might be the most emotive performer in a cast for the first time in ever.

Where to begin? How about nothing makes any sense. The timelines, the processes, the aftermath none of it adds up in the least. Logical leaps and staggering stupidity are on display throughout; I dont need full-on verisimilitude for an off-brand sci-fi movie, but it should at least make some kind of sense.

Replicas should have quietly come and gone on Netflix rather than receiving anything like a wide theatrical release. It is poorly conceived and poorly executed on every possible level. This is not a so bad its good situation. No, this movie is so bad its bad.

Serenity

Every once in a while, you get a movie so inexplicable, so bizarrely conceived, so batst crazy that the binary is out the window. It isnt good, it isnt bad, its what in Gods name did I just watch?

Serenity very much falls into that third category.

For its first half, Serenity is nothing special, a sort of beach noir thriller. The pieces are a little ill-fitting, but its all fairly conventional. Meanwhile, the second half of the movie hinges on a Shyamalan-on-acid twist, one of the weirdest narrative turns Ive seen in a mainstream movie in years. Maybe ever.

I still dont know how to feel about this movie. One minute, I think its one of the dumbest movies Ive ever seen. The next, Im considering whether it might be subversively brilliant. Im leaning toward dumb, but its all very confusing.

You might be saying to yourself Really? I saw the trailer and it looked pretty straightforward to me. And youd be right, as far as that goes. The trailer DOES make it all look pretty straightforward. But rest assured it is not. At all.

(Dishonorable mention: The Goldfinch; Greta; The Hustle; Maleficent: Mistress of Evil; Men in Black: International; Miss Bala; Shaft; Stuber)

Continued here:
2019's best (and worst) at the movies - Cover Story - News - Maine Edge


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The Conjuring 3 is called The Devil Made Me Do It, and it releases next year – GamesRadar+

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It is the next entry in the acclaimed Conjuring series, and it's coming September 2020. We also know it'll star franchise veterans Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the paranormal-investigating duo Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Warner Bros. updated The Conjuring series' website with new info revealing the newest entry's title, release window, logo, and official synopsis.

"'The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It' reveals a chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything theyd ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense."

Warner Bros. also unveiled footage from The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It at the Sao Paulo Expo (via Deadline), confirming that the plot will once again center around the Warrens' experience in the paranormal research field. This time around, we'll see the Warrens take on the infamous case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who murdered his landlord and was later sentenced on manslaughter charges. The film will be directed by Michael Chaves, who most recently helmed The Curse of La Llorona, another horror film set in the Conjuring universe.

In the mood for some good ol' holiday scares? Check our ranking of the 30 best horror movies of all time.

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The Conjuring 3 is called The Devil Made Me Do It, and it releases next year - GamesRadar+


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Finn Wolfhard and Ryan Reynolds Have a Not-So-Serious Conversation – Interview

Since erupting onto the scene in Stranger Things, Finn Wolfhards life has been turned, well, upside down. Along with Millie Bobby Brown, his co-star and love interest on Netflixs inescapable hit series, the high school student is arguably Hollywoods busiest teenager, racking up screen time in one marquee project after another. He polished his horror bonafides as one of the lovable Losers in the surprise blockbuster It (2017) and reprised the role in this years sequel, It Chapter Two. He breezed through an Eastern European accent as the mysterious Boris in the adaptation of Donna Tartts Pulitzer Prizewinning novel The Goldfinch (2019). And this winter, the Vancouver native will once again embrace the darkness as an orphan with a secret in Floria Sigismondis haunted house creep-fest The Turning. And yet, despite casting directors best efforts to convince us otherwise, Wolfhard, who will next appear in Jason Reitmans secretive Ghostbusters reboot, is as well adjusted as any 16-year-old kid with 18 million Instagram followers can be. After leaving class at an undisclosed location, Wolfhard connected with his hometown hero Ryan Reynolds for the first time to discuss the ups and downs of the industry, the advantages of being a Canadian in Hollywood, and the subtle art of not taking art too seriously.

RYAN REYNOLDS: Hows it going, Finn?

FINN WOLFHARD: Good, man. I just got out of school.

REYNOLDS: Wait, are you in school in Vancouver or Los Angeles?

WOLFHARD: Vancouver.

REYNOLDS: What school?

WOLFHARD: Ill tell you, but theyll need to leave it out.

REYNOLDS: No, dont say, dont say. I already knowyoure in juvenile detention. Im so happy to talk to you. If I cut out for a second, its because Im neutralizing children as they run into the room. I have no fewer than 4,000 kids. I am singlehandedly doing my part to wipe men off the face of the earth by having daughters. Okay, Im going to dive in with my first question, which is about The Turning. How was your experience shooting this movie in rural Ireland?

WOLFHARD: It was a funny movie to shoot because I was really the only boy on set. The director, Floria Sigismondi, is an amazing woman. Mackenzie Davis, who plays our governess, couldnt relate to me because I was a 15-year-old boy, and I couldnt relate to her because shes a grown woman. We also couldnt relate to Brooklynn Prince, who plays my little sister, because shes seven. We all got along well, but it was weirdly isolating.

REYNOLDS: When I was 15 I would have given every last cent of my paper route money to be on set in the middle of rural Ireland with nothing but women and time. Did you use a Ouija board to make this happen or was it through good old-fashioned talent?

WOLFHARD: I paid a witch doctor.

REYNOLDS: Very wise. This movie is not your first time doing horror. Does horror agree with your sensibilities?

WOLFHARD: This movie is horror-ish. Its spooky. Its a really big coincidence that I do horror movies. I love them, but its not my favorite genre.

REYNOLDS: What is?

WOLFHARD: Comedy.

REYNOLDS: I feel like you get the best of both worlds on Stranger Things. What is the scariest movie youve ever seen?

WOLFHARD: That I can watch or that fucked me up?

REYNOLDS: I would say one that fucked you up or blew you away, either one.

WOLFHARD: Theres a lot. There are movies that messed me up that arent horror movies, but that are really disturbing. I watched this movie a while ago called Luna, by Bernardo Bertolucci, who did Last Tango in Paris, which is already a horror movie in itself.

REYNOLDS: Bertolucci is actually a horror movie covered in skin, but go on.

WOLFHARD: Its about this teenaged kid who goes and lives with his mom back in Italy, and he becomes a heroin addict. Its the grossest, ugliest movie, but its also really beautiful at the same time.

REYNOLDS: I started in show business when I was 13 years old, which is younger than you are now. But my career was an aggregate. It was very slow as I entered into the public forum, but in retrospect, I look at that as one of the greatest gifts ever, because it allowed me to integrate some of this stuff slowly, as opposed to being overwhelmed by it. We have a lot of friends in common, and every time someone speaks about you, they have nothing but the highest praise. They talk about you as someone who is disciplined and smart and charming and down to earth. How do you handle it all? Because its wild.

WOLFHARD: I paid a bunch of people off to say that. Number one, I have great parents, a great family, and people who support me, but who also keep me in line. I have been weirdly disciplined since I was seven or eight years old. I remember watching a bunch of movies and realizing I wanted to be a filmmaker. I found out about NYU Tisch School of the Arts and the film school there, and I was like, Okay, thats what Im going to do. Im going to go there after high school. And then I started acting, doing small indie stuff, and those are so fun to do.

REYNOLDS: Is it true that you got your first job on Craigslist?

WOLFHARD: Yeah. Theres a young band from Vancouver and I did one of their first music videos. It was my first job. After that, I just loved being on set so much. It comes from me wanting to make friends all over the world. Theres no point in being a dick and trying to make enemies. Thats just so much harder to do.

REYNOLDS: It takes a lot more work. Lazy people are nice, because its way harder to be a douche. Do you find that there are pitfalls? I certainly have my own personal list of pitfalls, but I try to combat those moments with gratitude and think, Well, I do a job that 99.9 percent of my peers would trade their right arm for. But there are moments that can be frustrating. I think its important to allow yourself those moments of frustration. What are some of those for you? Show me a chink in the armor.

WOLFHARD: I have a Reddit post called Top Five Ryan Reynolds Pitfalls so Im going to read them out. I dont know, I think me being under the age of 18 and starting as a child actor, that is such a buzzword now. When you think of child actors, you think, He goes to crazy parties and hangs out with all the hottest stars at the club.

REYNOLDS: I think like that. When parents say, I want to put my child in show business, I always say, Skip show business. Just put them into cocaine. Its a very dangerous thing. Theres a tremendous amount of expectation on young people who are even just in fucking school, let alone show business, where suddenly you have an industry thats revolving around whether or not you hit your mark, or whether or not you are perceived as entertaining or funny or charming. Thats a tremendous burden to carry around every single day. How do you handle that?

WOLFHARD: I think about my end goal, and what I want to do with it. I dont care about all the things that come with it, like the weird Instagram followers. I appreciate it, but Im not in it for that. Most kids and teenagers are constantly messing up and doing crazy things, but theyre not in the spotlight and theyre just kind of testing the boundaries. When youre in the spotlight as a kid, you cant do that. You cant make a mistake, or else its public and your career will be over. Its one of those things where you have to be ultra-vigilant about what you say and what you do.

REYNOLDS: Youre in an interview right now thats going to be on newsstands all over the world, and theres a certain pressure there, too. You dont want to say the wrong thing that becomes that cutesy little sound bite that travels all over the world for a week or two and wreaks havoc, so I imagine theres some stress there. I thought it was interesting what you said about being a younger person in this industry and having the natural growing pains and ability to express yourself and push boundaries and screw up from time to time, which is important to do. God knows I screwed up. You could fill a gymnasium with how many times Id screwed up before I even turned 18. And I didnt have a gigantic spotlight or social media or camera phones around that might have created a vortex of hell for me. Im curious if you find those same rewardspushing boundaries and getting the opportunity to screw upin your art?

WOLFHARD: Totally. Ive been writing a lot of screenplays recently, and thats really helped me test the boundaries. All my favorite directors and comedians are provocateurs, and they all test the boundaries. Hopefully as a filmmaker, I can portray what I want to portray in my movies and dance around the line and be able to say what I want with my art.

REYNOLDS: Has anybody ever given you a piece of advice that stuck with you or lifts you up when youre down?

WOLFHARD: Theres an actor named Aneurin Barnard who plays the older version of my character in The Goldfinch. He told me, This is acting. The minute you start taking it fully seriously and taking yourself seriously, its over. Thats when it starts to go down. The minute it stops being fun, you have to stop.

REYNOLDS: But its going to have ebbs and flows. I wish I could look back and say that I was in an absolute state of euphoria every single moment Ive ever been on set. I wasnt. There were times when all I thought about was getting the fuck out of there. And there were other times when I thought, Please make this moment last for the rest of my life. Ill die happy.

WOLFHARD: Id be a liar to say that every single moment on set is amazing, because tensions get heated and sometimes youre on a production for so long that youre like, Cool, its time to go home now. Can I go home? And theyre like, No, you still have three more months. And youre like, Oh, okay. Well, I guess Im just here now. Sometimes you have to deal with people who dont have the same values or morals as you. But thats the beauty of filmmakingyou get to meet so many different people.

REYNOLDS: I moved from Vancouver to L.A. when I was 18, and I found that my Vancouverness, my Canadianness, became an asset in this industry. Canada equipped me with an ability to laugh at myself and be self-effacing and not take myself too seriously, and really look for the joke in myself before I look for the joke in other people. Im curious if that resonates with you.

WOLFHARD: Theres no way Id be the same person if I wasnt raised here in Vancouver. You grew up on the West Side?

REYNOLDS: Yeah, I grew up in Kitsilano when it was more of a blue collar part of town. I loved it. Every time I go back, I still drive through Kits, past the pit that used to be my family home and has now been turned into some sort of weird, boxy McMansion. Kitsilano is in my blood, and so is Vancouver, and so is Canada.

WOLFHARD: Im the same way.

REYNOLDS: You just wrapped Ghostbusters, which is the altar to which Ive prayed at my entire life. Do you remember when you saw the first Ghostbusters?

WOLFHARD: I saw it when I was really, really young. I was a giant fan immediately, and it was one of the weirdest auditioning experiences that Ive had so far because, in season two of Stranger Things, theres a point where were all dressed up in Halloween costumes, and were all Ghostbusters.

REYNOLDS: For Halloween Im going as Joe Keerys character, Steve Harrington, from Stranger Things, in his little ice cream outfit. Im in love with Joe. [Reynolds recently wrapped production on Free Guy, opposite Keery.]

WOLFHARD: Hes one of my favorite people on the planet.

REYNOLDS: Ive never met anyone who can deliver exposition with the level of expertise that Joe Keery can.

WOLFHARD: He was freaking out about it, because I remember he came back to L.A. in between you guys filming in Boston, and he was like, I dont know how you do it, man. I was like, What do you mean? He was like, My character has to deliver a lot of exposition, and thats all your character does in Stranger Things and you make it sound so real.

REYNOLDS: Maybe youre his secret guru, because his exposition was one of the most riveting things Ive ever seen.

WOLFHARD: I dont know if he told you, but Im also his acting teacher, so every time he messes up, I spit on him, and by the end of the day hes covered in saliva.

REYNOLDS: Remind me never to screw up on your set. I noticed that there was this picture that Millie Bobby Brown posted on her Instagram, when you were fixing her dress at the Stranger Things season three premiere. She wrote, The Ryan to my Blake [Lively, Reynoldss wife].

WOLFHARD: Oh, man, I had no idea.

REYNOLDS: I know actors dont usually like to speak about their love lives, but I have to ask it because everyone who watches Stranger Things is dying to know: Is there anything going on between me and Joe Keery?

WOLFHARD: The first thing Ill say is that I got the invite. The second thing Ill say is that I got a little something for the baby, and its a little baby blue little leotard, and I wanted to let you know if he doesnt like blue, if he hates it, if he swats at it, then you can just return it, okay?

REYNOLDS: I want you to leave this interview not necessarily weeping, butI love getting to chat with a fellow Vancouverite. It calmed me down. It felt like going home again.

WOLFHARD: Me too, man.

Groomer: Anna BernabePhotography Assistants: Lindsay CollinsandJack x ProctorFashion Assistant: Bin X. NguyenProduction Coordinator: Brian Baldocchi

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Finn Wolfhard and Ryan Reynolds Have a Not-So-Serious Conversation - Interview


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