Marvel’s Edgy First TV-MA Series on Disney+ and Hulu – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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The reverberations of upcoming Disney+ series “Echo” are immense for both the MCU and Disney+ streamer.

The Marvel installment centers on Indigenous deaf antihero Maya Lopez, played by Alaqua Cox, who first appeared in 2021 Disney+ series “Hawkeye.” However, “Echo” will take a “grittier” approach to the Marvel storytelling, according to Brad Winderbaum, head of streaming, TV, and animation at Marvel and an executive producer on the series.

“It is kind of a new direction for the brand, especially on Disney+,” Winderbaum said at a press event (via Variety).

“Echo” is the first Disney+ series rated TV-MA; the series will debut in its entirety, as opposed to typical Marvel weekly installments, on both Disney+ and Hulu, another first for both platforms. “Echo” marks the return of “Daredevil” stars Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio ahead of the new Daredevil Disney+ series which is currently in flux amid a series of reshoots and a shuffling of writers and directors.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE, (aka MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7), Tom Cruise, 2023. © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

“Echo” also stars Zahn McClarnon, Graham Greene, Tantoo Cardinal, Devery Jacobs, Chaske Spencer, and Cody Lightning. Catriona McKenzie also directs.

“Echo” director and executive producer Sydney Freeland noted that the series is set out to be different from other Marvel installments with “street-level” consequences that include fatalities and more violence.

“We wanted very, very adamantly to show that these are people on our show — they bleed, they die, they get killed and there are real consequences,” Freeland said, citing how the show is an “exploration of trauma — how we deal with it, how we cope with it, how it affects us, how we affect it, how it affects those around us.”

As for Marvel being behind the shift in more adult content, Freeland said, “They protect the shit out of their creatives. I felt absolutely protected and empowered.”

The titular superhero is an Indigenous deaf character, and Freeland met with the Choctaw Nation to form a partnership for onscreen representation and accuracy.

After Marvel’s Defenders series left Netflix in 2022 and moved to Disney+, the Parents Television Council (PTC) issued an open letter to Disney slamming the lack of “family friendly” content.

“It seems wildly ‘off-brand’ for Disney Plus to add TV-MA and R-rated programming to this platform, ostensibly to increase subscription revenue,” President of the Parents Television and Media Council Tim Winter wrote at the time. “So what comes next, adding live striptease performances in Fantasyland at Disney World? Its foray into TV-MA-rated fare will forever tarnish its family-friendly crown.”

Disney+ updated the parental control settings with the addition of “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “The Defenders,” “The Punisher,” and “The Iron Fist” on the streaming platform.

“Echo” premieres January 10 on Disney+. Check out the trailer below.

Marvel Studios' Echo | Official Trailer | Disney+ and Hulu

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Taylor Sheridan ‘Lawmen’ Series Is Criminally Bad – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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In the last two years, Paramount+ has released 13 drama series, six of which have stemmed from “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan. Some are directly tied to the hit cable (and now broadcast) series, like the timestamped prequels “1883” and “1923,” while others merely bear the prolific writer and producer’s name (“Mayor of Kingstown,” “Tulsa King,” and “Special Ops: Lioness”). All have been considered successful by the nascent streamer (if less so by the culture at large), and thus the Taylor Sheridan Television Universe continues expanding.

Its latest, “Lawmen: Bass Reeves,” is actually built from both sides of the Dutton family’s ever-expanding fence — or it was, at least. While always about the first Black U.S. Marshall west of the Mississippi River, the seasonal anthology series was originally tied to “1883” before redevelopments set its story apart and Sheridan, who was once attached to direct, ended up solely an executive producer. Through four of the 10 episodes, I can’t say it really matters if “Bass Reeves” was directly linked to Kevin Costner’s TV family or not. Perhaps waiting around for a Tim McGraw cameo would make a difference for “Yellowstone” completists, but “Bass Reeves” is far too formulaic, too rushed, and too incurious to be propped up MCU-style by cameos.

Aubrey Plaza and Will Sharpe in 'The White Lotus'

Determined viewers do face a slight dilemma: You could skip the hourlong premiere episode and read the “early career” section of Reeves’ Wikipedia page, or you could slog through the uninspired, point-by-point recitation and be rewarded with Shea Whigham quoting Alfred Lord Tennyson on the battlefield. As a compromise, may I suggest checking out the first five minutes and skipping the remaining 52 — you’ll hear Whigham’s paraphrased poetry reading, yet won’t have to endure the increasingly predictable events that follow. Created by Chad Feehan (“Ray Donovan”) with a pilot directed by “Yellowstone” veteran Chistina Alexandra Voros, “Bass Reeves” picks up mid-combat, after Reeves (Oyelowo) has been dragged into the Civil War — and forced to fight for the Confederacy — by Colonel George R. Reeves (Whigham). Bass is not a soldier; he’s enslaved and acting at the behest of the Colonel, though you’d be hard-pressed to explain the difference once his skills with a rifle prove instrumental to both men surviving an ambush or two.

Despite the historical lack of clarity over how Bass secures his freedom, “Lawmen” sticks to the internet’s summation of events, providing even less context or motivating factors than any thoughtful reader could speculate on their own. Bass’ internal drive, his motivations, are kept as broad as possible. He leaves because he’s fed up and fears for his safety. He goes where he feels safe and he’s needed (a rural farm in Indigenous territory). He adapts quickly, as the series jumps ahead months (and sometimes years) after each commercial break. (“Commercial break?” you may ask. “Isn’t this a streaming series?” Yes, it is! But streaming has ads now, and “Bass Reeves” could follow in “Yellowstone’s” footsteps and end up airing on CBS, should the powers that be want to continue their synergistic release strategies.)

Bass Reeves TV show Lauren E. Banks as Jennie Reeves and Demi Singleton as Sally Reeves in Lawmen: Bass Reeves streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Credit: Emerson Miller/Paramount+
Lauren E. Banks and Demi Singleton in “Lawmen: Bass Reeves”Courtesy of Emerson Miller / Paramount+

It takes two full hours for “Bass Reeves” to reach what should’ve been its starting point: when Bass is sworn in as a Deputy U.S. Marshal. By then, knowing there are only 10 total episodes to this tale, it’s too late. “Bass Reeves” trots through a couple of perfunctory investigations, collaring a couple of criminals, and surviving a few dust-ups. Along the way, he picks up random partners (including Garrett Hedlund, who I can only assume is playing the great, great grandfather of his “Tulsa King” character), but the only parts that stick are thematic (and even those aren’t as striking as Oyelowo, always a committed, immersed performer).

Built as a revisionist western (that still savors its shootouts), “Lawmen: Bass Reeves” sees its titular star dwelling on what it means to be both a lawman and a Christian. Most of his difficulties center on how his duties conflict with his pacifism, as he has no taste for killing, though Bass also notices ways the supposedly impartial law partially tips the scales of justice. A Black man who steals out of necessity is given the same sentence as white cowboys who act out of greed. A doctor trying to decide which wounded patient to prioritize asks Bass, “Who got plucked? Law or outlaw?” “They both die about the same,” Bass replies. When an atheist cowboy (Dennis Quaid, who chews nearly as much tobacco as scenery) mocks Bass for believing in a God that allows men to suffer in slavery, Bass merely says that his faith “gave me the hope to believe” he could someday be free. Later, he swears to enact God’s will through the justice system, claiming, “Until God say [sic] otherwise, I’m the only law they [sic] is.”

Donald Sutherland plays Judge Isaac Parker, who Wiki informs me will come to see Bass as a “valued deputy.” The seeds of their relationship are planted in Episode 3, but “Lawmen” doesn’t take the time to engage in any debate between an old school adjudicator and a newly hired officer. It just bookends the hour with an unremarked upon disagreement, trusting the audience to take away whatever they want. “Lawmen: Bass Reeves” isn’t interested in the nuanced internal conflicts that must have roiled inside a former slave who chose to protect and serve slave owners, a Black man forced to fight for the Confederate army, or even a pacifist who picked up a gun every single day — at least, it’s not interested enough, soon enough. It solemnly nods at such issues as they walk by, but it does not stop to engage with them.

Instead, it tells yet another tale of a farmer who’s sworn off killing, yet kills again anyway; a husband who loves his wife (Lauren E. Banks) more than anything, yet risks losing her whenever the cowboys come callin’; a father who’s proud of his kids (his eldest is played by Demi Singleton), but who’s rarely around to see them do much of anything. Toss in a few shameless deaths to motivate Bass, and you’ll soon feel like you’ve seen this dark and dour story before. That may be the point. Given how quickly the Sheridan-verse is expanding, it needs easy stories, and fast. But Bass Reeves, no matter who he really was, deserves a more inquisitive case study than this.

Grade: C-

“Lawmen: Bass Reeves” premieres Sunday, November 5 on Paramount+ with two episodes. New episodes will be released weekly.

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Daisy Ridley Leads Damp Thriller – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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Based on nothing but its name, Neil Burger’s “The Marsh King’s Daughter” sounds like the first draft of a Shakespeare comedy or maybe a fantasy adventure about a princess who inherits a spirited wetland full of talking birds and bullfrogs. Indeed, the title first belonged to a Hans Christian Andersen story about a pair of talking storks who build their nest atop the home of a Viking warrior, and Burger’s movie — much like the 2017 Karen Dionne novel on which it’s based — re-uses it as part of a conscious effort to set fantastical expectations for what turns out to be a grounded (if somewhat dubious) psychological thriller. 

It’s a fitting misdirect for a film about a tween girl whose seemingly magical childhood, spent way off the grid in the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is violently disenchanted by the discovery that her father is actually a demented survivalist who abducted her mother and has been keeping the whole family captive ever since. Played during the prologue by “The Florida Project” star Brooklynn Prince (who passes the baton to Daisy Ridley), Helena thought she grew up in a fairy tale, but everyone she’s met in the 20 years since her rescue — and her father’s subsequent imprisonment — insists that she was raised in a nightmare. The self-divided struggle to reconcile those stories has only gotten harder for Helena now that she’s an office drone with a daughter of her own, which means that she isn’t in the best state of mind when daddy Jacob (Ben Mendelsohn) breaks out of jail in the hopes of reuniting with his “little shadow” and stealing her back to the marsh.

"The Boy and the Heron"

Dionne published “The Marsh King’s Daughter” a year before “Where the Crawdads Sing,” and though it lacked the soft and willowy core needed to earn Reese Witherspoon’s endorsement, the whole “semi-feral white woman who needs to murder her way out of the wetlands” schtick is still tawdry in a way that limits the story’s intergenerational death match to the stuff of cheap suspense.

Perhaps suffering from the same kind of identity crisis as its heroine, Burger’s soggy mishmash of an adaptation struggles to thread the needle between pulpy fun and a probing character study. While appropriately hard-nosed when compared to the florid, YA-adjacent tone of last summer’s “Crawdads” movie, “The Marsh King’s Daughter” has to fight an even steeper uphill battle against silliness. It doesn’t have the time to take its own premise seriously: This thing was palpably shot on a schedule so tight that even its best scenes feel like they’re gasping for air.

The Marsh King’s Daughter (2023) Official Trailer - Daisy Ridley, Ben Mendelsohn, Garrett Hedlund

Ridley is a strong actress who can struggle to make an impression in a role without enough meat on the bone (relatable for a film critic straining to say anything of interest about a mediocre film). She does some experience playing capable women with complex family histories, and her flinty but implosive performance as Helena is compelling enough to lure “The Marsh King’s Daughter” away from schlock in favor of something more nuanced.

Ridley is perfectly believable when the movie throws her character into action mode, but she really excels during quieter moments when Helena struggles to figure out where she belongs. With a nearly imperceptible eye twitch that shudders with the force of an earthquake, she internalizes a lifetime of secrets and doubts; it’s a preview of her wonderfully recessive performance in the forthcoming “Sometimes I Think About Dying.” Alas, the potential offered by Ridley’s performance is a mixed blessing in a movie that lacks the substance to make something of it and the discipline not to try. 

“The Marsh King’s Daughter” could have been a lean and rugged action-thriller about a woman using the skills her father taught her to free herself from his influence, sacrificing her fucked-up fondness for him like an animal chewing off its own leg to escape the clutches of a fatal trap. It also could have been a semi-heightened domestic drama about the wounds that people try to keep from their partner (and prevent passing down to their children); Elle and Mark L. Smith’s screenplay does what it can to flesh out Helena’s relationship with the cop (Gil Birmingham) her late mom remarried after Jacob’s arrest, or shine a light on the strain that Helena’s secrets place om her relationship with a loving but understandably miffed Garrett Hedlund. Instead, the finished product is both and neither all at once.

Ridley can do it all, Mendelsohn is typecast as a menacingly charismatic weirdo for a reason (it’s wild how, turn on a dime, he can make Jacob engender sympathy) and the dry-gold hinterlands of Ontario embody northern Michigan with the “more human than human” aplomb of a British or Australian actor playing American. However, Burger doesn’t have the chops to sell the inevitable sequence in which Helena and Jacob hunt each other in the same marshes where they formed their toxic bond, nor does this movie’s clipped 108-minute runtime give him enough runway to meaningfully tee up the “most dangerous game” of it all. 

Clearly killing time until the big climactic showdown, there’s a gaping hole where the middle of “The Marsh King’s Daughter” should be. Jacob escapes from jail at the end of the first act only to stay off screen until the third, rendering his threat largely existential, and the movie is so afraid of making viewers restless that it shies away from dramatizing anything it can’t resolve in 20 seconds or less. 

We’re told that Helena had a meaningful relationship with her stepdad, but in this story he exists only to translate one of the tattoos that Helena’s biological father gave her as a brand — it means “owned” in Ojibwe, not “family.” Oops. We’re told that Helena’s mother killed herself several years earlier, but the anguished and potentially fascinating dynamic between mother and daughter goes unexplored. The resentment Helena maintains for Jacob is easier to articulate than the resentments he conditioned her to have toward anyone who didn’t share “their happiness.” 

There’s a very good scene in which Helena acts out how things might have gone had she told her husband about her past on their first date, and several more in which Ridley plays with the performativity of her character’s identity as a suburbanite worker bee (Helena has to put on her mom voice, otherwise she defaults to the “kill or be killed” brusqueness she inherited from Jacob). But hinting at such undercurrents isn’t enough to bring them to life, and “The Marsh King’s Daughter” isn’t viscerally elemental in a way that allows its characters to be expressed through action. 

And so, we’re left with a film adrift somewhere between fantasy and reality. It’s not self-divided, but it lacks both the resolve to commit or the nuance to thrive in the space between. It’s a film that knows raising a child should mean preparing them to exist outside of your shadow, but it isn’t distinct enough to imagine what self-definition might look like for Helena, or for itself.

Grade: C

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will release “The Marsh King’s Daughter” in theaters on Friday, November 3.

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Talia Ryder Meets an Unhinged Jacob Elordi – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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There’s nothing as sweet as discovering the inner cults behind modern America. Or so it seems to acclaimed cinematographer Sean Price Williams, who makes his directorial debut with twisted coming-of-age dramedy “The Sweet East” that stars a who’s who of millennialGen Z talent.

Written by Nick Pinkerton, “The Sweet East” follows a high school senior Lillian (Talia Ryder) who hails from South Carolina and gets her first glimpse of the wider world on a class trip to Washington, D.C. Separated from her schoolmates, she embarks on a fractured road trip in search of America. Along the way, she falls in with a variety of strange factions, each living out their own alternative realities in our present day.

Jacob Elordi, Jeremy O. Harris, Ayo Edebiri, Simon Rex, Early Cave, Rish Shah, and Gibby Haynes also star as the outrageous characters Lillian meets along the way home.

Featuring everything from Nazi rallies to pedophile rings, “The Sweet East” was deemed “unhinged” by IndieWire critic David Ehrlich, who reviewed the film out of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Ehrlich wrote, “Williams is an acclaimed cinematographer whose free-range, scuzz-core aesthetic has become synonymous with several of the most bitter and/or feral independent films of the last 15 years (e.g., ‘Frownland,’ ‘Heaven Knows What,’ anything directed by ‘The Sweet Eas’” producer Alex Ross Perry), but if you didn’t know any better, you could almost be fooled into thinking that his directorial debut might owe more to Richard Linklater than the Safdie brothers.”

Daisy Ridley in "The Marsh King's Daughter"

Ehrlich continued, “Textured with Williams’ usual grain and kept alive by his keen eye for detail, ‘The Sweet East’ essentially sees America as a series of concentric cults. Lillian is like a teenage Virgil leading us on a tour through some kind of stupid new hell where anyone who believes in anything does so with an all-defining religiosity that demands to be mocked. In real life, it’s the stuff of modern American myth, but in the bizarro world of ‘The Sweet East,’ every liberal punchline is taken at face value, and every morsel of progressive logic is treated like a joke.”

Filmmaker Alex Ross Perry produces “The Sweet East” along with Craig Butta and Alex Coco. Jimmy Kaltreider and David Kaplan serve as executive producers, with Utopia distributing.

“The Sweet East” premieres December 1 at the IFC Center in New York, followed by a national rollout. Check out the trailer below.

The Sweet East | Official Trailer | Utopia

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All Hail Bradley Jackson, Reigning Chaos Queen on ‘The Morning Show’ – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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One thing you gotta give Bradley Jackson: She was right to freak out.

The maverick news anchor played by Reese Witherspoon on “The Morning Show” has been off-kilter since Season 3 premiered on September 13, and for good reason; not only was she at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, but her brother Cal (Joe Tippett) was one of the insurrectionists and assaulted a police officer.

Because this is “The Morning Show,” nothing is ever enough. Bradley had to be at the center of history, and she had to have a deeply personal conflict of interest. Despite the number of people storming the Capitol that day, she had to run into her brother, coincidence be damned, he had to hit a police officer, and there had to be video evidence of everything to make matters so much worse.

But Bradley Jackson doesn’t do things by half. Why settle for personal entanglement in matters of criminal prosecution? As a journalist, it’s her duty to tell the truth — so naturally she destroys the evidence. When she gets an award for her hard-hitting journalism, Bradley gets drunk and moody at the ceremony, drawing attention to herself with this behavior and the palpable weight of her obfuscation.

"The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst"

A sensible person would let it all fade into the rearview, but a sensible person Bradley Jackson is not — and it runs in the family. Wracked by guilt, Hal plans to confess, and Bradley puts her moral compass on the back burner to talk him down. The awards ceremony debacle hinted that Bradley might actually want to come clean too, but as soon as it’s someone else’s idea she rejects it, stressing that Hal will ruin her career. (She’s also worried about his family, but it couldn’t be clearer that it’s a secondary concern.)

Anyone who watches crime-based media knows how sloppy it is to leave even a hint of what happened on her work email server. Again, because it’s “The Morning Show,” there simply had to be a cybersecurity breach that would jeopardize the confidence of Bradley’s emails and underscores the fact that Bradley shouldn’t trust a literal soul with the secret, including and maybe especially UBA producer Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup). Cory has been allegedly in love with Bradley since Season 2 (I’d argue it pales in comparison to his adoration for UBA+), and while she might be counting on that for him to keep her secret, it could also turn nasty if she runs afoul of his feelings.

In the end, it was in fact Bradley’s tangled personal life that shattered her fragile cloak-and-dagger cocoon. Ex-girlfriend Laura (Julianna Margulies) takes Audra’s (Mindy Kaling) extremely chaotic advice and reads through Bradley’s emails, expecting to find evidence (or exoneration) of an affair between Bradley and Cory. Instead, she finds references to Bradley’s obstruction of justice, and because Laura is a better journalist, she finds the truth. One of the episode’s best moments is their confrontation; Margulies’ on the offensive, outraged, indignant, and Witherspoon in disbelief, defensive, vulnerable. Bradley blurting out the detail about Hal hitting a cop is the cherry on top — proof that this woman cannot keep secrets and loves mess!

And because — say it with me — this is “The Morning Show,” it does not wrap up as simply as Bradley and Laura parting ways or the actions of the justice system. Before he’s implicated in all this, Cory is the target of a news item claiming he groomed Bradley ever since she was first hired, that he’s yet another sexual predator in UBA’s long line of them. Bradley, called out by Paul Marks (Jon Hamm) who’s about to acquire UBA, makes the pivotal, inevitable, and oh-so-dramatic decision to resign before she faces consequences — and to do it on air, no doubt prompting thousands of questions and incessant probing into her personal and professional life.

But this is “The Morning Show,” and this is Bradley Jackson, and she simply will not allow someone else to have the last, most unbelievable word. Whatever happens in the November 8 finale, Jackson’s reign of chaos will continue.

“The Morning Show” airs Wednesdays on Apple TV+. Season 3 concludes on November 9.

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‘Rye Lane’ Tops List – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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The British Independent Film Award nominations have been unveiled, with “Rye Lane” leading the honors.

The BIFA ceremony will take place Sunday, December 3. “Rye Lane” tops the nominations with 16 nods, followed by 14 nominations for both “All of Us Strangers” and “Scrapper.” “How to Have Sex” follows with 13 nominations, plus 11 nods for “Femme.”

In total, 26 British feature films were recognized. Hosts Susan Wokoma and Morfydd Clark announced the 2023 nominations from One Hundred Shoreditch, London on November 2. Previous BIFA nominees like Tilda Swinton, Paul Mescal, Jamie Bell, and Amir El-Masry are recognized this year, with Andrew Scott being the sole male nominee for Best Lead Performance.

Raine Allen-Miller’s romantic comedy “Rye Lane” is dually nominated for Best Director and the Best Debut Director (The Douglas Hickox Award), as well as Best Screenplay, Best Debut Screenwriter, and leads Vivian Oparah and David Jonsson for Best Joint Lead Performance. Oparah is additionally recognized in the Breakthrough Performance category.

Simon Rex and Talia Ryder in "The Sweet East"

The Richard Harris Award, introduced in 2002 in honor of Richard Harris, will be announced soon. The honor recognizes outstanding contributions to British film by an actor. Previous winners have been Daniel Day-Lewis, Julie Walters, John Hurt, Emma Thompson, Judi Dench, Kristin Scott Thomas, Glenda Jackson, Riz Ahmed, and Samantha Morton in 2022.

The BIFA ceremony host and this year’s juries will also be announced at a later date.

See select 2023 BIFA nominations below and click here for the full list.

Best British Independent Film

ALL OF US STRANGERS Andrew Haigh, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Sarah Harvey

FEMME Sam H Freeman, Ng Choon Ping, Myles Payne, Sam Ritzenberg

HOW TO HAVE SEX Molly Manning Walker, Ivana MacKinnon, Emily Leo, Konstantinos Kontovrakis

RYE LANE Raine Allen-Miller, Nathan Bryon, Tom Melia, Yvonne Isimeme Ibazebo, Damian Jones

SCRAPPER Charlotte Regan, Theo Barrowclough Best International Independent Film sponsored by Champagne Taittinger

ANATOMY OF A FALL Justine Triet, Arthur Harari, Marie-Ange Luciani, David Thion

FALLEN LEAVES Aki Kauriskmäki

FREMONT Babak Jalali, Carolina Cavalli, Marjaneh Moghimi, Sudnya Shroff, Rachael Fung

MONSTER Hirokazu Kore-Eda, Yuji Sakamoto, Genki Kawamura, Kenji Yamada

PAST LIVES Celine Song, David Hinojosa, Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler 

Best Director sponsored by Sky Cinema

RAINE ALLEN-MILLER Rye Lane

SAM H FREEMAN, NG CHOON PING Femme

ANDREW HAIGH All of Us Strangers

MOLLY MANNING WALKER How to Have Sex

CHARLOTTE REGAN Scrapper

Best Screenplay sponsored by Apple Original Films

NATHAN BRYON, TOM MELIA Rye Lane

SAM H FREEMAN, NG CHOON PING Femme

ANDREW HAIGH All of Us Strangers

MOLLY MANNING WALKER How to Have Sex

CHARLOTTE REGAN Scrapper

Best Lead Performance

JODIE COMER The End We Start From

MIA MCKENNA-BRUCE How to Have Sex

TIA NOMORE Earth Mama

NABHAAN RIZWAN In Camera

ANDREW SCOTT All of Us Strangers

TILDA SWINTON The Eternal Daughter

Best Supporting Performance

RITU ARYA Polite Society

JAMIE BELL All of Us Strangers

SAMUEL BOTTOMLEY How to Have Sex

ALEXANDRA BURKE Pretty Red Dress

AMIR EL-MASRY In Camera

CLAIRE FOY All of Us Strangers

PAUL MESCAL All of Us Strangers

ALIA SHAWKAT Drift

SHAUN THOMAS How to Have Sex

KATHERINE WATERSON The End We Start From

Best Joint Lead Performance

LOLA CAMPBELL, HARRIS DICKINSON Scrapper

DAVID JONSSON, VIVIAN OPARAH Rye Lane

NATHAN STEWART-JARRETT, GEORGE MACKAY Femme

The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director) sponsored by BBC Film

RAINE ALLEN-MILLER Rye Lane

SAM H FREEMAN, NG CHOON PING Femme

SAVANAH LEAF Earth Mama

MOLLY MANNING WALKER How to Have Sex

CHARLOTTE REGAN Scrapper

Breakthrough Producer sponsored by Pinewood and Shepperton Studios

THEO BARROWCLOUGH Scrapper

GEORGIA GOGGIN Pretty Red Dress

YVONNE ISIMEME IBAZEBO Rye Lane [also produced by Damian Jones]

GANNESH RAJAH If the Streets Were on Fire

CHI THAI Raging Grace 

Breakthrough Performance sponsored by Netflix

LE’SHANTEY BONSU Girl

LOLA CAMPBELL Scrapper

PRIYA KANSARA Polite Society

MIA MCKENNA-BRUCE How to Have Sex

VIVIAN OPARAH Rye Lane

Best Debut Screenwriter sponsored by Film4

NATHAN BRYON, TOM MELIA Rye Lane

SAM H FREEMAN, NG CHOON PING Femme

MOLLY MANNING WALKER How to Have Sex

NIDA MANZOOR Polite Society

CHARLOTTE REGAN Scrapper

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Sofia Coppola Movies Ranked Worst to Best – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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Sofia Coppola movies are defined by desolate landscapes, lonely characters, a wry sense of humor, and painterly compositions. For fans of this aesthetic, it’s pretty hard to get it wrong, and Coppola’s nearly 20-year track record attests to the consistency of her talent. From her feature-length debut “The Virgin Suicides” through “Priscilla,” Coppola’s dreamlike visuals and deadpan tone have remained a distinctive voice in American cinema, one filled with gentle, forlorn faces and a world that always seems as though it’s on the verge of devouring them whole. (If there isn’t already a Reddit forum theorizing that all Coppola movies exist in a single universe governed by the laws of sadness, someone should kick it up.)

While Coppola’s career was set in motion to some degree by the influence of a very famous father, her filmmaking capabilities are hardly dictated by Francis’ accomplishments. The tough, masculine sagas of “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now” exist a world away from Sofia Coppola’s intimate portraits — all of which, it must be said, feature strong-willed women. In May of this year, Coppola became the second female director in history to win Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, and you couldn’t ask for a better filmmaker to make up for lost time. The hallmarks of her style reflect a complete artistic vision.

Simon Rex and Talia Ryder in "The Sweet East"

All of this is to say that a ranking of Coppola’s movies from “worst to best” should not imply that a single bad movie exists in Coppola’s oeuvre. At the same time, Coppola’s storytelling approach has found her tackling a range of subjects over the years with varying results, some of which are more wholly satisfying than others. Nevertheless, chances are strong that if you’ve responded to one Coppola movie, you’ll find something rewarding in all of them, and will find that the process of examining her entire body of work offers even more riches than any single movie can provide.

With the release of “Priscilla” marking the first theatrical opening of a Coppola movie in four years, IndieWire took a look at revamping our old ranking of the director’s output. Only feature-length films qualified, meaning her early short “Lick the Star” and her 2017 recording of Italian opera “La Traviata” are not included. Needless to say, Coppola shows no signs of slowing down, and any overview of her accomplishments will likely need a big update in the years to come.

With editorial contributions from David Ehrlich.

[Editor’s Note: This list was originally published in June 2017. It has since been updated.]

9. “A Very Murray Christmas” (2015)

A Very Murray Christmas George Clooney Miley Cyrus
“A Very Murray Christmas”Netflix

It’s almost a cheat to include this Netflix quickie, a musical revue set in Manhattan’s Carlyle Hotel against a flimsy Christmas Eve plot that’s basically an excuse for Bill Murray to do his thing. On the brink of recording his Christmas special, Murray realizes that the bulk of his guests can’t make it due to a snowstorm, but manages to throw together a lively show anyway by improvising the night away. Standout vignettes include a hilarious, awkward sequence in which he drags a baffled Chris Rock onto the stage for a rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and Maya Rudolph belting out “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).” Cheeky cameos from the likes of George Clooney, Miley Cyrus and Jason Schwartzman round out the playful ensemble, and they basically exist to prop up Murray’s marvelous capacity to charm the room.

Unfurling with a loose, freewheeling quality, this is the least Coppola-esque movie that Coppola has directed — until you consider how late-period Murray, with his melancholic gaze and bittersweet embodiment of fame’s alienating qualities, basically owes his existence to “Lost in Translation.” In that context, “A Very Murray Christmas” may be the closest Coppola ever comes to making a “Lost in Translation” sequel, although it’s more like a B-side that suggests even a sad, aging artist past his prime can find some modicum of solace in his art. —EK

8. “On the Rocks” (2020)

ON THE ROCKS, from left: Rashida Jones, Bill Murray, 2020. ph: JoJo Whilden / © A24/Apple TV+  / Courtesy Everett Collection
“On the Rocks” ©Apple TV/Courtesy Everett Collection

Too light to resonate emotionally and too heavy to feel good, “On the Rocks” is one of Coppola’s only films that feels unsure of what it’s trying to be. The tale of Laura (Rashida Jones), a wealthy novelist who ropes in her semi-estranged father Felix (Bill Murray) to help her find out if her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) is cheating on her, is rife with lingering resentment and bitter feelings but takes the form of a slight comedy of manners. Despite all the intriguing ideas underneath the surface of the film — about aging, fractured family bonds, and upper-middle class ennui — Coppola’s script lacks her usual exacting detail, and the whole thing floats by as a mere wisp of a thing, unable to reconcile the sharper and thornier emotions with its sitcom-like premise. Still, even at her least fulfilling, Coppola’s ideas still intrigue, and Murray’s performance as a charming cad still manages to intoxicate. —WC

7. “Priscilla” (2023)

Cailee Spaeny, 'Priscilla'
“Priscilla”Ken Woroner

Priscilla Presley only had a few precious lines in Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” (a delirious biopic whose title always feels like it’s missing an exclamation point), and even fewer of them were memorable in the slightest. But, a little more than a year since that movie came out, one bit of Priscilla’s dialogue continues to stay with me for how succinctly it crystallized the film’s conception of her. “I am your wife!” She yells at Elvis, as if he doesn’t know. “I AM YOUR WIFE!” That was all she was in that story. It was no different than if Vernon Presley had screamed “I AM YOUR DAD!” or if Colonel Tom Parker had bellowed “I AM YOUR MANAGER!” (which he probably did).

And that’s fine, I suppose — “Elvis” had its own agenda, and its namesake’s only wife didn’t play a large part in it. But Luhrmann’s spasmodic rhinestone spectacle may have finally served its purpose, as it now provides helpful context for a new film that another major artist has made about The King’s one-time queen. Which isn’t to suggest that Sofia Coppola’s soft and muted “Priscilla” should be seen as some kind of rebuttal to last summer’s orgiastic blockbuster, but rather to reaffirm her decision to frame this claustrophobic marriage story as a gradual process of separation. Not just Priscilla’s separation from Elvis and the endless shadow of his celebrity, but also her separation from her parents, from her own iconography, and from everyone and everything else that tried to define her before she was able to define herself.

Of course, Coppola was never going to approach this story in any other way. Long compelled by the negative space between young women and the worlds they inhabit (a gap that “The Virgin Suicides” described as “an oddly shaped emptiness mapped by what surrounded them, like countries we couldn’t name”), Coppola has made a career out of freeing privileged girls from gilded cages; girls who are desperate to escape the sense that they’re merely disguised as themselves, always watched but seldom seen. From “Lost in Translation” to “Marie Antoinette,” her films have often framed marriage as the purgatorial first step in a heroine’s path towards actual personhood. Her latest feature makes it impossible to shake the feeling that Sofia Coppola would probably have been moved to invent Priscilla Presley if Priscilla Presley hadn’t ultimately found a way to invent herself. —DE

Read IndieWire’s complete review of “Priscilla.”

6. “The Beguiled” (2017)

beguiled
The Beguiled

Coppola’s most straightforward movie to date finds her adapting the minimalist Civil War drama of Thomas P. Culinan’s novel using many of the same beats found in Don Siegel’s 1971 version starring Clint Eastwood, but applies her own expressionistic filter to the B-movie material. The story of a hunky injured Union soldier (Colin Farrell) taken in by an abandoned Virginia girls’ school headed by the domineering Martha Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman) has a premise that wouldn’t seem out of place in a softcore porn film. Coppola seems to acknowledge as much with playful hints at the eroticism associated with Farrell’s arrival as the young, sheltered women in the house begin to lust over him — especially Alicia (Elle Fanning) and Edwina (Kirsten Dunst).

But there’s an underlying eeriness to their attraction, and to the soldier’s ambiguous motivations as he gradually regains his strength, which sets the stage for the darkly comic suspense of the final act. Echoing the household of “The Virgin Suicides,” the movie transforms into a contained story about woman taking control of dire circumstances on their own terms. The tight, minimalist style that carries the movie forward speaks to the confidence with which Coppola enacts her tricky tonal balance, juggling campy extremes and more sophisticated ideas about femininity and isolation that have defined her work from the outset. It’s a taut, entertaining genre exercise with the potential to expand Coppola’s appeal beyond the insular arena of her devout fan base. —EK

5. “The Bling Ring” (2013)

bling ring
“The Bling Ring”A24

Coppola flirted with the prospects of celebrity in her youth, and her movies have constantly assaulted the destructive impact of fame, but “The Bling Ring” is her most ambitious statement on the matter. Adapted from a Vanity Fair article about teens who burgled the homes of celebrities they admired, the movie sticks close to the perspective of its gushy teens, led by an overconfident Emma Watson. The ease with which the team of five young thieves unearth celebrity addresses and plot their schemes with digital technology speaks gives a cogent identity to the malaise of 21st century youth culture, and it’s spiked with the most outwardly satirical moments in Coppola’s career.

The conclusion, in which the star-worshipers become vapid stars themselves, completes the movie’s cynical vision. While at times a bit too blunt for its own good, this is still a Sofia Coppola movie through and through, and particularly effective at letting its rambunctious anti-heroes run the show. (It’s safe to say they’ve found a more constructive outlet for their boredom than the ill-fated stars of “The Virgin Suicides.”) The final credit for the great cinematographer Harris Savides, “The Bling Ring” turns the architecture of outlandish Hollywood mansions (including a real one owned by Paris Hilton, who cameos) into angular mountains of royalty that the young marauders conquer with ease. Thematically, “The Bling Ring” is a strange, uneven work about the dangerous effects of showbiz, but Coppola’s unpredictable approach endows the overall package with profound concerns for a new generation. —EK

4. “The Virgin Suicides” (1999)

The Virgin Suicides
“The Virgin Suicides”

Viewed in retrospect, Coppola’s ethereal debut is something of a mission statement. Her adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel about middle-class suburban teens in ‘70s Detroit is brought to life as a vivid, nostalgia-laden saga in which men recall the women who changed their relationship to the opposite sex for good. The macabre circumstances in which the teen inhabits of the Lisbon household take their own lives is counteracted by Coppola’s poetic approach, which makes the events feel somehow less horrifying than ritualistic, as their inevitable suicide pact symbolizes the tough and unnerving passage into young adulthood. Assembled by ace cinematographer Edward Lachman, the expressionistic colors become extraordinary windows into the teen characters’ shifting moods; laced with a perfectly-curated soundtrack of ’70s tunes, and an original score by Air, “The Virgin Suicides” is a complete immersion into Coppola’s fresh perspective, and it remains a modern classic decades down the line. —EK

3. “Somewhere” (2010)

“Somewhere”

Coppola’s first film after the tumultuous experience of “Marie Antoinette” is a comparably small movie that returns her to the familiar arena of “Lost in Translation” with another tale of a bored celebrity trapped by the vapidity of a well-heeled existence. But while Murray’s Bob Harris is in the twilight of his career, Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) is just getting started. Living in the confines of L.A. Chateau Marmont, he juggles boring publicity obligations with aimless one-night stands, stuck in a superficial loop. While some critics found “Somewhere” too similar to earlier Coppola movies, the movie contains some of the quietest moments in her filmography.

Coppola fleshes out the emptiness of Johnny’s world with exquisite long takes that juxtapose his opulent surroundings with his bored, vacant expressions. Into this somber tableaux emerges Johnny’s 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning), whose affection for her father forces him to confront the meaninglessness that has enshrouded his world. It’s an obvious twist, but Dorff and Fanning have such believable chemistry that they manage to imbue fresh depth into the familiar father-daughter bonding routine, so much so that Johnny’s eventual meltdown after seeing his daughter off to camp feels like the only natural endpoint. Winning the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, “Somewhere” provided a welcome reminder that Coppola’s recurring fixations had solidified into a key element in her artistic identity. —EK

2. “Lost in Translation” (2003)

“Lost in Translation”Shutterstock

If “The Virgin Suicides” anointed Coppola as a major new talent, “Lost in Translation” proved she was just getting started. The fascinating, textured plight of aging movie star Bob Harris and the young woman he befriends at a palatial Tokyo hotel accomplished many things at once: It singlehandedly remade Bill Murray’s career and put Scarlett Johansson on the map; it turned the Westernized vision of Tokyo luxury on its ear; it assailed the advertising industry; it made karaoke seem cool. Both actors were readymade for Coppola’s playful, mysterious romantic comedy, a Kafkaesque tale of two people from different walks of life who find common ground in the sad, lonely world surrounding them. Murray’s face tells half the story, with each crease and cock an eyebrow speaking volumes about his internalized frustrations. But Johansson’s character, a young woman tired of playing trophy wife to her self-absorbed husband, has long been interpreted as an avatar for Coppola’s own experiences in her marriage to Spike Jonze.

Coppola doesn’t deny these characters the possibility of finding their way to a happy ending; but in a masterstroke that has become iconic, she denies the audience the ability to hear the would-be couple’s parting words. This is Coppola’s brilliance in a nutshell — the limitations of language can never convey the boundless possibilities of emotional engagement. We’ll be puzzling over Bob and Charlotte’s final exchange for ages, but its moving implications are undeniable. —EK

1. “Marie Antoinette” (2006)

Marie Antoinette
“Marie Antoinette”

“This is ridiculous,” says Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst), as she is forced through a morning ritual. The essential response: “This, madame, is Versailles.”

Coppola’s grandest production came on the heels of next-level acclaim for “Lost in Translation” and brought her reputation crashing back to Earth when the movie was booed at Cannes. But of course the French had a problem with this ironic period piece, in which the country’s most famous Queen is reimagined as a grinning party girl whose lavish exploits are set to the likes of The Strokes and The Cure, not to mention Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy.”

With time, however, “Marie Antoinette” has solidified its reputation as a stunning blend of period detail and contemporary mores, as Coppola uses the sweeping backdrop of Versailles to provide a lyrical immersion into the roots of affluence in Western culture. Dunst’s best role to date — at least until “Melancholia” — allows her to transform the former archduchess of Austria into a cunning young woman whose individuality transcends the frustrating rituals of her time and place. (Jason Schwartzman, as the shy and possibly impotent Louis XVI, is ideally cast as her opposite.) Coppola’s only big studio effort to date shows the potential of her vision when given boundless resources and autonomy to spare; the result may have seemed like a tough sell at first, but like Marie Antoinette herself, it has been vindicated by history. —EK

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Lisa Marie Presley Thought Elvis Was a ‘Predator’ in ‘Priscilla’ Draft – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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Sofia Coppola reassured the late Lisa Marie Presley that “Priscilla” was being made with a certain “sensitivity” to the legacy of Elvis Presley.

The writer-director responded to two emails sent by Lisa Marie in September 2022 that objected to the initial script. Coppola adapted the screenplay from Priscilla Presley‘s 1985 memoir “Elvis and Me,” with Priscilla serving as an executive producer on the film. The emails were obtained by Variety and IndieWire confirmed their validity with Coppola’s representatives. A24 declined to comment.

“I hope that when you see the final film you will feel differently,” Coppola wrote to Lisa Marie at the time, “and understand I’m taking great care in honoring your mother, while also presenting your father with sensitivity and complexity.”  

A representative for Coppola told IndieWire that the auteur’s statement “was in fact in her email response to Lisa Marie.”

"What Happens Later"

“Priscilla” began production in October 2022. Lisa Marie died in January 2023. The film is being released November 3, 2023.

Cailee Spaeny won the Best Actress prize at the Venice Film Festival at the film’s premiere for her portrayal of Priscilla. Jacob Elordi portrays Elvis in the film, which charts the couple’s love story beginning when Priscilla was 14 and Elvis was 24. 

“My father only comes across as a predator and manipulative,” Lisa Marie wrote to Coppola. “As his daughter, I don’t read this and see any of my father in this character. I don’t read this and see my mother’s perspective of my father. I read this and see your shockingly vengeful and contemptuous perspective and I don’t understand why? I will be forced to be in a position where I will have to openly say how I feel about the film and go against you, my mother, and this film publicly.”

Lisa Marie continued, “I am worried that my mother isn’t seeing the nuance here or realizing the way in which Elvis will be perceived when this movie comes out. I feel protective over my mother who has spent her whole life elevating my father’s legacy. I am worried she doesn’t understand the intentions behind this film or the outcome it will have. I would think of all people that you would understand how this would feel. Why are you coming for my Dad and my family?”

Lisa Marie added that “Priscilla” was being released on the heels of tumultuousness within the Presley family.

“I had to explain that we are going to have to endure another hit in our lives. That there is going to be a movie about her grandfather that is going to try to make him look really, really bad but it’s not true,” Lisa Marie said of telling her children, including actress Riley Keough, about the feature. “I had to explain that her beloved grandmother is supporting it. These two little girls have been through so much in the past seven years, enduring my divorce and horrific custody battle and then losing their brother. We’ve all been drowning.”

Lisa Marie instead pointed to Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” as “a break from suffering and a ray of light that hit us last year,” saying it made her family “so proud and honored” to be related to Elvis.

“It made them feel blessed for a moment and less cursed in life. It made us all so proud because it was a true depiction of who he really was,” Lisa Marie said, questioning why Coppola felt a “need to attempt to take my father down on the heels of such an incredible film using the excuse that you are trying to tell my mother’s story, but from your very dark and jaded reality.”

Coppola told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year that she was “struck by how much I connected with it emotionally” of Priscilla’s life story.

“I thought it was just going to be a fun adventure, and I was surprised by how relatable her story was,” Coppola said, citing being the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola. “I know from my family what it’s like to be inside a show business family. I know that growing up, people are looking at you in a different way. And also living in a house with my dad, this big personality, a great artist and a lot of our life revolving around that. And seeing my mom’s life, how she was trying to find her way within his, I could relate to that.”

Priscilla has called the film “masterful.” But the Presley estate denied Coppola the use of Elvis’ music following reports that the Presley Enterprises were unaware of “Priscilla” being produced. An estate official told TMZ that writer-director Coppola’s vision of Graceland is inaccurate, calling the first look at the film “like a college movie.”

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IndieWire Earns 9 National Arts & Ents Journalism Award Noms – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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The Los Angeles Press Club unveiled the nominations for the 16th annual National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards, and IndieWire earned nine nominations. After 1,600 entries were evaluated by the committee, IndieWire’s entire staff was honored with a nomination for Best Entertainment Website, and eight staffers received additional nominations for their individual works.

IndieWire’s TV Critic and Deputy Editor Ben Travers was nominated in the TV Critic category for his entire body of work over the past year.

IndieWire’s Executive Managing Editor Christian Blauvelt earned a nomination in the Soft News, Arts category, for his analysis piece “Will Disney Win Against DeSantis? The Florida Lawsuit Explained.”

IndieWire’s Executive Editor, Business Tony Maglio received a nomination for Humor Writing for his essay “I Took My Daughters, 3 and 6, to See ‘The Little Mermaid.’ Here’s Who Slept and Who Danced in the Aisles.”

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE, (aka MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7), Tom Cruise, 2023. © Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

IndieWire’s Senior Reporter Brian Welk was also nominated in the Business, Film-Related category for his story “Running a Movie Theater Is More Expensive Than You Can Possibly Imagine.”

IndieWire’s Weekend Editor Christian Zilko was nominated in the Personality Profile, TV Personalities category for “Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington Give Us ‘Siskel & Ebert’ at the Gates of Hell.”

The IndieWire Craft and Special Projects team was recognized for their video and podcast work with three nominations. Crafts & Special Projects Executive Editor Chris O’Falt, Crafts & Special Projects Writer Sarah Shachat, and Associate Producer Trevor Wallace earned a nod in the Soft News Feature, TV/Film — Over 5 Minutes category for their Deep Dive “‘Fight the Empire’: The Rise of Planet Ferrix in ‘Andor.’” O’Falt and Wallace were also nominated, along with Features Writer, Crafts and Special Projects Jim Hemphill, for two other awards: Soft News Feature, TV/Film — Under 5 Minutes for the feature “‘We’re Going to Fly in This Movie’: ‘Elvis’ Cinematographer Mandy Walker on Shooting the King.” And in the Soft News Feature, Podcasts category, they were nominated for the Toolkit Podcast episode, “How Michael Shannon & Jessica Chastain Became ‘George & Tammy.’”

The 2023 National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday, December 3.

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Meg Ryan’s Charm Can’t Save Rom-Com – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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Meg Ryan has returned to rom-coms, but sadly, even one she co-wrote and directed is not worthy of her charm. Ryan co-stars alongside David Duchovny in “What Happens Later,” based on the play “Shooting Star” by Steven Dietz. Ryan co-wrote the script along with playwright Dietz and Kirk Lynn; the film marks her sophomore directorial effort following 2015’s WWII drama “Ithaca.”

In the film, Ryan and Duchovny play two halves of the same whole — literally. Both star-crossed characters are named W. Davis, which the script reminds audiences every ten minutes or so in metronome-like precision. The first W. Davis, William, who goes by Bill (Duchovny), is a former poet and songwriter-turned-stockbroker whose youthful artistic hopes are rekindled after running into his ex-girlfriend, Willa (Ryan). Their bickering turns to banter turns to, yes, an inevitable return to romance as both W. Davises are stuck in a podunk airport 25 years after last seeing each other.

US actress Scarlett Johansson arrives for the premiere of "Asteroid City" at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City on June 13, 2023. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Actress/director Ryan has compared the film to classic 1940s romantic comedies like “Bringing Up Baby,” and revealed “What Happens Later” was inspired by “When Harry Met Sally” screenwriter Nora Ephron, to whom the film is dedicated. Yet “What Happens Later” makes audiences wonder what they will be doing later after the 105-minute movie is up; as there is only so much quibbling between Bill and Willa that one can take.

“What Happens Later”Stefania Rosini

Trapped-in-the-airport films, which feels like a wacky sub-genre unto itself, are rarely successful. Sure, “The Terminal,” starring Ryan’s frequent onscreen rom-com counterpart Tom Hanks, is critically acclaimed; does that make it rewatchable? No. And “What Happens Later” falls into a similar category, one that is a decent enough watch on first blush, not quite forgettable, but definitely not a new holiday classic.

Both Bill and Willa are “looking for connection” at the airport, with their respective flights literally being rerouted and reconnected due to a thunder-snow storm. Their initial awkwardness at seeing each other again, complete with Willa trying to hide from Bill, makes for a somewhat promising opening. But “What Happens Later” descends into the quasi-lofty dialogue, musing about life, loss, parenting, and ultimately what could have been between them. Willa reminds Bill that they used to “make fun of small talkers” but the whole film feels adjacent to that: How many platitudes can we take from both W. Davises?

“What Happens Later”Stefania Rosini

There are sparks of chemistry between Ryan and Duchovny that feel reminiscent of better rom-coms, although none quite matching the films that Ryan is most known for. As Bill and Willa begrudgingly have dinner “together” at separate tables, facing opposite directions, their dialogue ramps up a bit with a better rhythm to the sarcastic jabs. Sadly, this is at the midway point of the movie, with the film never quite hitting its stride, lurching forward yet again until finding respite in another food-centric scene, this time at a bar (also inside the airport) where the tipsy exes no longer get on each others’ nerves and the teasing turns playful…and finally funny.

The film is conversationally-driven, much like “When Harry Met Sally” or “Before Sunrise,” despite both being far superior features. Bill asks Willa if he’s failed at parenting for warning his daughter not to be a professional dancer; Willa reminds Bill that following one’s dreams is the only way to live. The characters have a push-pull between his practicality and her artistic self-described “woo woo”-ness, he’s a stockbroker, she’s a free spirit; it’s a classic formula, one that Hallmark has perfected, and yet it doesn’t seem to come quite so easily to Ryan’s adaptation of the play.

Still, it’s promising to see a second chance love story play out with two non-thirtysomethings onscreen. “What Happens Later,” though, begs for more of that Ryan sparkle, with the airport becoming a purgatorial limbo between Willa and Bill’s respective lives instead of a bridge between them. While their farewell proves they both still have more left to say, the film never lets them say totally it.

Rating: C

A Bleecker Street release, “What Happens Later” will be released in theaters on Friday, November 3.

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Paramount Lost $238 Million from Streaming in Q3. That’s a Good Thing. – IndieWire – Armessa Movie News

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Paramount Global lost $238 million from its streaming business this summer — and that’s a good thing.

The number is a marked improvement over recent quarters (a $424 million loss in Q2 and a $511 million loss in Q1), and quite a bit better than the market expected. Paramount executives now say they believe their streaming losses peaked last year, and that we will no longer see a (new) peak this year. Next stop: profitability?

Paramount+ added 2.7 million subscribers in the summer 2023 quarter. The core (there’s also BET+, Noggin, Pluto TV, and the vanishing Showtime OTT app) Paramount Global streaming service now has more than 63 million subs, up from 61 million at the end of June. FAST-industry leader Pluto TV no longer reports monthly active users; at the end of March, MAUs had been 80 million.

The company’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) business posted expenses of $1.93 billion from July to September. The same line item tallied $2.1 billion in Q2 and $2 billion in Q1. (In the first quarter, Paramount began recognizing huge charges related to the integration of Showtime into Paramount+.)

Sofia Coppola Ranked

Q3 was the first full quarter of that integration. (The rebrand only existed for a handful of days in Q2.) The Showtime OTT app is set to be sunsetted; the linear channel will remains — for now.

Wall Street had forecast Paramount Global’s third-quarter earnings per share at about 11 cents on $7.12 billion in revenue. Paramount Global posted adjusted earnings of 30 cents per share on $7.133 billion in revenue.

Paramount Global’s stock (PARA on the NASDAQ) has had an awesome day (as has the stock market in general). Before the earnings were announced, shares had jumped 10 percent. As of this writing, they are up another 8 percent in after-hours trading.

L-r, APRIL O’NEIL, DONATELLO, RAPHAEL, MICHELANGELO and LEONARDO in PARAMOUNT PICTURES and NICKELODEON MOVIES Present A POINT GREY Production “TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM”
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem”Courtesy Paramount Pictures

Market confidence (and PARA’s price) is certainly not up because of Paramount’s Q3 2023 performance at the box office.

Paramount Pictures put out “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” and “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie” in Q3; “Paw Patrol 2” only played for two days in the quarter.

The studio’s mix of films gave Paramount a larger revenue haul vs. the same quarter in 2022 (the one after “Top Gun: Maverick” did most of its damage) — but that doesn’t mean it was necessarily a good quarter for Paramount Pictures. “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” was the biggest bummer of the bunch. It made $567 million at the global box office, which was a letdown, and ultimately got buried by the “Barbenheimer” craze. Paramount took an unplanned “L” there.

Paramount pulled “Dead Reckoning Part Two” from its 2024 release schedule — it’s now dated for May 23, 2025 — and pulled the title itself from the Tom Cruise film. As of right now, we’re all just referring to the coming installment as “Mission: Impossible 8.”

The animated “Ninja Turtles” film drew just $180 million at the global box office, but it was produced on a much lighter budget. Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo padded Paramount’s pockets — somewhat.

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