In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne (Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Weisz) governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail (Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.
When Lee Israel falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception. An adaptation of the memoir Can You Ever Forgive Me?, the true story of best-selling celebrity biographer Lee Israel.
Richard E. Grant,
On the run in the year of 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie, on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken.
One of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time, Marie Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontline of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless.
In 1962, Tony "Tony Lip" Vallelonga, a tough bouncer, is looking for work with his nightclub is closed for renovations. The most promising offer turns out to be the driver for the African-American classical pianist Don Shirley for a concert tour into the Deep South states. Although hardly enthused at working for a black man, Tony accepts the job and they begin their trek armed with The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide for safe travel through America's racial segregation. Together, the snobbishly erudite pianist and the crudely practical bouncer can barely get along with their clashing attitudes to life and ideals. However, as the disparate pair witness and endure America's appalling injustices on the road, they find a newfound respect for each other's talents and heart to face them together. In doing so, they would nurture a friendship and understanding that would change both their lives.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The film is dedicated to "Larry the Crow," a bird that hung around the shooting location. Viggo Mortensen cared for the animal after it was hit by a car. See more »
When they were stopped in the snowstorm, the back window was clean in the long shots, but full of snow when shown from inside the car. See more »
Dr. Don Shirley:
So if I'm not *black* enough and if I'm not *white* enough, then tell me, Tony, what am I?
See more »
"Larry the Crow" gets a mention. This was an actual crow that Viggo Mortensen found injured near the set, and tried in vain to nurse back to health. He was no doubt named for Viggo's favorite soccer team, San Lorenzo (Lawrence in Spanish). The team nickname is "the Crows". See more »
Critic-proof festival hit should be big holiday winner
Some of my movie friends were stunned when I mentioned in a thread that this was my "People's Choice Award" vote for TIFF 2018 (it won, btw). I generally go for weightier fare, so the idea that I could be won over by a PG-13 road film with the familiar "they-couldn't-have-been-more-different" premise directed by the auteur co-responsible for such recent classics as "Dumb and Dumber To" and "The Three Stooges" elicited a virtual double-take.
But I couldn't help it ... it really WAS the best film I saw. I think this is largely because it's based on a real-life story about the beginning of a lifelong friendship - a story that has writing participation by the son of one of the real-life characters. There's definitely an air of authenticity to the events as they unfold that could never occur with a purely contrived plot. Consider: A college-educated concert pianist of Jamaican descent hires a temporarily-unemployed Italian-American nightclub bouncer who's streetwise but academically dim to drive him to venues in the Deep South back in 1962. That's not a setup that a Hollywood script written from scratch would ever have come up with.
The two lead actors really click. Mahershala Ali makes a nice Oscar follow-up playing the aloof pianist passenger to Viggo Mortensen's "b.s. artist" driver. Ali is certain to get another nomination; Mortensen's performance may be a little too broad to garner one, but he delivers exactly what's called for. And he makes a believable Italian-American, which is impressive considering that he's Danish.
I'm allergic to preaching and heavy-handedness in movies no matter what the message, and with the exception of one borderline scene, I'd say that the movie nicely sidesteps these proclivities that surface so often in socially-conscious films.
The music and FX are excellent. When an actor plays a piano player, there's always the challenge of making the playing look believable. It doesn't get any better than it gets here - Ali's piano playing is every bit as convincing as Margot Robbie's ice skating in I, TONYA. You never see a disconnect between hands and body as he's filmed against a variety of backgrounds. And if I could bet on an Oscar win right now, it would be Kris Bowers for Best Original Score. (He also supplies Ali's hands, which should clinch it.)
Top everything off with a Capra-esque Christmas Eve finale and a closing line that sends everyone home smiling, and it all adds up to a monster hit. Its commercial payoff could be huge - the movie practically begs for a TV series spinoff, and the real-life characters remained friends until they both died in 2013.
So congratulations to Peter Farrelly on his graduation from co-directing lowbrow fare to solo-directing middlebrow (i.e. mass-appeal) fare. You can't deny the talent and craftsmanship it takes to make a mainstream movie that works as well as this one does.
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