Toni Collette, Damian Lewis to Star in Welsh Racehorse Drama ‘Dream Horse’

Read on: Variety.

Toni Collette (“Hereditary”) is set to star as Jan, a woman who starts a racing syndicate in her small Welsh village and attempts to raise a champion racehorse, in “Dream Horse.” Damian Lewis (“Billions”) has also been cast in the film and will play th…

‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ Film Review: Jake Gyllenhaal Plays a Haunted Critic in Campy Art-World Horror Show

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Sophisticated even as it mocks the pretentiousness and inflated self-importance of those who profit from creative endeavors, Dan Gilroy’s “Velvet Buzzsaw,” which premiered Sunday at Sundance Film on its way to Netflix, is a deliciously vicious satire unafraid to use campy gore to assert its commentary on commodified art.

An animated title sequence crafted to resemble moving oil paintings, perhaps a nod to what’s to come later, gives way to our first encounter with Morf Vandewalt (a fabulously wild Jake Gyllenhaal), a decisively flamboyant art critic whose opinions are weighted in gold. God-like power has been attributed to his reviews: his raves can increase the value of pieces, and he can ravage entire careers when vitriolic.

Simultaneously loathed and revered, Morf has the ear both of prominent art dealer Rhodora Haze (Rene Russo) and Gretchen (Toni Collette), an LA art curator with intentions to dabble in the market herself. Yet, the self-serving, presumably bisexual, expert only trusts Josephina (Zawe Ashton, “Nocturnal Animals”), who’s currently a receptionist at Rhodora’s firm but clearly holds higher aspirations.

Watch Video: Jake Gyllenhaal Plays a Snobby Art Critic in Horror Satire ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ First Trailer

Gilroy’s aptness for piercingly witty dialogue and morbid humor lace every one of the exchanges among these rabid purveyors and tastemakers. Morally repulsive characters also occupied his directorial debut “Nigthcrawler”; what’s changed here is the incorporation of a supernatural element not fond of these greedy antics. Reunited in service of the writer-director’s vision, Gyllenhaal and Russo reinvent themselves. This time out, his character is capable of remorse while hers stays affixed to her interests, even as appalling phenomena threaten her.

Not long into the film, uproar pierces Morf’s privileged bubble when Josephina discovers numerous pieces by an unknown artist named Vetril Dease, who died mysteriously in her apartment building. With Morf’s help, Rhodora and Josephina (now business partners) amplify the reputation of the unknown master whose paintings depict unsettling scenes of violence. Demand is high, and the entire art world apparatus is ready to make a killing.

Also Read: MSNBC, CNN Slapped With ‘Nightcrawler’ Comparisons for Raiding San Bernardino Shooters’ Home

But the more that’s unearthed regarding Dease’s past and inspirations, the higher the risk for anyone involved in his art’s commercialization of being punished by an otherworldly entity. Inventively, Gilroy utilizes exaggerated horror tropes to take to task our cynical thoughts about artistic creation. His sharp “Velvet Buzzsaw” is an exquisitely diabolical exposé on the merciless materialistic ambitions that run rampant in cultural fields.

Bearing Gilroy’s signature, the film can also be described as an amalgamation of Ruben ?-stlund’s “The Square,” the “Final Destination” series, and the Hungarian animated feature, “Ruben Brandt, Collector,” about a psychotherapist tormented by several paintings that come to life before his eyes in terrifying ways. Gyllenhaal’s Morf shares Ruben Brandt’s symptoms, since he also sees Dease’s tortured subjects menacingly jump from the canvas.

“Critiquing is limiting and emotionally draining,” says Morf, hoping that Dease will allow him to surpass the barriers of his own perception when analyzing subjective material. Though Morf’s yearning may not be fulfilled, the highly quotable lines he unleashes make of the movie a prime candidate for a cult following.

Also Read: Inside Toni Collette’s Blazing, ‘Deeply Draining’ Performance In ‘Hereditary’

In juicy supporting roles, the rest of the cast gets to rejoice in extravagant personas that nourish the over-the-top brilliance of Gilroy’s screenplay. Toni Collette exudes Edna Mode vibes and gets the biggest laughs in outrageously dark fashion. Meanwhile, Billy Magnussen as Bryson, a handyman at Rhodora’s company, cleverly upends typecasting and pigeonholing. Then there is John Malkovich as a depressed veteran artist seeking redemption, and Daveed Diggs as an emerging voice not willing to sell out. Lastly, Natalia Dyer as young employee Coco, who works for literally everyone else in the film at one point or another, is a scene-stealer that connects with audiences in the way Lil Rel Howery did in “Get Out.”

“Velvet Buzzsaw” is as lavishly produced as one would expect a film set in this ravishingly expensive underworld to be. Production designer Jim Bissell (“Surburbicon”) deserves special recognition for the fantastic recreation of spaces, the paintings at the center of the ghost-story plot, and other contraptions like the Sphere, a metal ball with multiple holes for the user to insert his arm and experience a variety of sensations — sometimes painful ones. Bissell presented cinematographer Robert Elswit (another “Nightcrawler” alum) with a colorful domain to capture, and their partnership results in a sublimely shot pastiche of which Morf himself would approve.

Negative reviews eventually haunt Morf into self-destruction, and whether or not this is a cautionary tale for critics, reviewing a film about the act of observing, interpreting, and grading almost feels like winking back at Gilroy for pushing us to do so in the first place.



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Oscar Nominations 2019: Biggest Snubs and Surprises, From Yalitza Aparicio to Mister Rogers (Photos)

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Hollywood awards gurus — like our own beloved Steve Pond — have gotten Oscar prognostication down almost to a science. But that doesn’t mean that the Academy doesn’t throw us a curveball every year. Here are the nominations that…

Jake Gyllenhaal Plays a Snobby Art Critic in Horror Satire ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ First Trailer (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Most artists and critics would tell you they’d die defending their work, but they probably didn’t mean like this.

In “Velvet Buzzsaw,” Jake Gyllenhaal plays a snobby art critic in the wealthy, contemporary Los Angeles art scene who discovers a breathtaking new artist, only to discover that his paintings are alive and out to kill.

“You ever notice anything about this painting,” a character played by Daveed Diggs says in the trailer. “You look at it long enough, it moves.”

Also Read: Jake Gyllenhaal to Star in Remake of Danish Cop Thriller ‘The Guilty’

Yeah, it sounds ridiculous, but that’s the point. Dan Gilroy’s film is a horror satire, playing on how art collides with commerce in often violent ways, and in this case, not metaphorically speaking. It reunites both Gyllenhaal and Rene Russo with their writer/director on “Nightcrawler,” and it also stars Toni Collette, Daveed Diggs, Natalia Dyer, Billy Magnussen, Natalia Dyer, Zawhe Ashton, Tom Sturridge and John Malkovich.

This is Gilroy’s follow-up to “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” starring Denzel Washington, and it is just Gilroy’s third film after his debut on “Nightcrawler.”

“Velvet Buzzsaw” will make its premiere at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, and then it will debut for streaming on Netflix on Feb. 1.

Watch Gyllenhaal in the first look trailer above.

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Sorry, ‘A Star Is Born’ and ‘Black Panther’! Netflix’s ‘Roma’ Is Dominating 2018 Critics’ Awards So Far

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

As most regional and national film critics’ groups have chosen their favorite movies and performances of 2018, Alfonso Cuarón’s deeply personal memory piece “Roma” has a clear lead in best-film wins.

It also is the leader in directing, cinematography, editing and foreign-language awards, dominating the critical landscape even though it doesn’t have a single win in an acting or writing category from the first 30-plus critics’ groups to declare winners.

Among that group, 11 different films have been chosen as the year’s best. But the 13 wins and one tie for “Roma” far outdistance the runner-up, Yorgos Lathimos’ twisted period piece “The Favourite,” which has four wins and one tie.

The only other films to be declared the year’s best by more than one group are “Green Book,” with three wins, and “Black Panther,” “A Star Is Born” and “The Hate U Give,” with two each.

Also Read: 11 Best Movies of 2018, From ‘Paddington 2’ to ‘Eighth Grade’ (Photos)

In the best-director category, Cuarón and “Roma” are even more dominant, taking 17 first-place awards plus one tie. There are three nods for “BlacKkKlansman” director Spike Lee, two plus a tie for Lynne Ramsay (“You Were Never Really Here”) and two each for Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) and Debra Granik (“Leave No Trace”).

“Roma” is also running away with the cinematography awards, where Cuarón has 20 wins to three for “Cold War” cinematographer Lukasz Zal, and the best foreign-language category, where the black-and-white drama has won 21 times, almost three times as much as every other film combined. (“Shoplifters” is second with three wins and a tie, while “Burning” and “Cold War” also won awards.)

In the four acting categories, Regina King from “If Beale Street Could Talk” is by far the most dominant winner, taking 19 supporting-actress wins to three for Emma Stone, three for Rachel Weisz and two for Olivia Colman, the three stars of “The Favourite.” Colman also won eight awards and tied for another in the leading-actress category for that film, making her a narrow leader over “Hereditary” star Toni Collette (seven wins and a tie) in the category.

Also Read: ‘Roma’ Is the Year’s Best Film, Say Los Angeles Film Critics

Among male actors, Ethan Hawke has won far and away the most lead-actor awards from the critics, taking 19 awards. Christian Bale has three awards and one tie for playing Dick Cheney in “Vice” and Rami Malek has three awards for his turn as Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

In the supporting-actor category, Richard E. Grant has won 14 awards and tied once for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” That places him well above Mahershala Ali, who has won five awards and tied once for “Green Book.”

Morgan Neville’s Mr. Rogers nonfiction hit “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is far ahead in documentary awards, winning 21 critics’ prizes — compared to three for “Minding the Gap” and two for “Three Identical Strangers” and “Shirkers.” In the animated-feature category, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” leads “Isle of Dogs,” with 16 wins to 12.

Screenplay awards have been divided among 15 different films, with the most-honored films being “The Favourite” (nine wins and a tie), “First Reformed” (six wins and a tie) and “BlacKkKlansman” and “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (five wins each).

TheWrap will continue to update the statistics as more critics’ groups announce their winners. The full list of winners appears below.

Also Read: New York Film Critics Circle Winners: ‘Roma’ Named 2018’s Best Picture

The critics’ groups included in this tally: African American Film Critics Association, Atlanta Film Critics Circle, Black Film Critics Circle, Boston Online Film Critics Association, Boston Society of Film Critics, Chicago Film Critics Association, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association, Detroit Film Critics Society, Florida Film Critics Circle, Indiana Film Journalists Association, Kansas City Film Critics Circle, Las Vegas Film Critics Society, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society, Nevada Film Critics Society, New Mexico Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle, New York Film Critics Online, North Texas Film Critics Association, Online Association of Female Film Critics, Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Phoenix Film Critics Circle, Phoenix Film Critics Society, San Diego Film Critics Society, San Francisco Film Critics Circle, Seattle Film Critics Society, Southeastern Film Critics Association, St. Louis Film Critics Association, Toronto Film Critics Association, Utah Film Critics Association, Vancouver Film Critics Circle, Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association and Women Film Critics Circle.

This does not include critics’ groups based outside of North America, or groups that have announced nominations but not final awards. It also does not include the National Board of Review, which is often lumped in with critics’ groups but is made up of academics, film professionals and film fans rather than critics.

AFRICAN AMERICAN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “Black Panther”
Best Director: Ryan Coogler, “Black Panther”
Best Lead Actor: John David Washington, “BlacKkKlansman”
Best Lead Actress: Regina Hall, “Support the Girls”
Best Supporting Actor: Russell Hornsby, “The Hate U Give”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Breakout Performance: Amandla Stenberg, “The Hate U Give”
Best Screenplay: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Best Song: “All the Stars” from “Black Panther”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Quincy”
Best Animated Film: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Best Independent Film: “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Also Read: Ryan Coogler to Write and Direct ‘Black Panther’ Sequel

ATLANTA FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best Picture: “The Favourite”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Best Supporting Actress: Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Best Ensemble Cast: “The Favourite”
Best Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Animated Film: “Isle of Dogs”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Original Score: Justin Hurwitz, “First Man”
AFCC Special Award for Breakthrough Performer: (Tie) Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade” and Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
AFCC Special Award for Best First Film: Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”

BLACK FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best Picture: “Black Panther”
Best Director: Ryan Coogler, “Black Panther”
Best Lead Actor: Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Best Lead Actress: Viola Davis, “Widows”
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Original Screenplay: Boots Riley, “Sorry to Bother You”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Foreign-Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Quincy”
Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

BOSTON ONLINE FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “You Were Never Really Here”
Best Director: Lynne Ramsay, “You Were Never Really Here”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Toni Collette, “Hereditary”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Screenplay: Paul Schrader, “First Reformed”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Film Editing: Joe Bini, “You Were Never Really Here”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Also Read: ‘You Were Never Really Here’ Film Review: Stylish Psychological Thriller Falls a Bit Short on Substance

BOSTON SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS
Best Picture: “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Director: Lynne Ramsay, “You Were Never Really Here”
Best Lead Actor: John C. Reilly, “Stan & Ollie”
Best Lead Actress: Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Screenplay: Nicole Holocener and Jeff Whitty “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Film Editing: Tom Cross, “First Man”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Shoplifters”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Isle of Dogs”

CHICAGO FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “Roma”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Actress: Toni Collette, “Hereditary”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Original Screenplay: Paul Schrader, “First Reformed”
Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Editing: Alfonso Cuarón & Adam Gough, “Roma”
Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Animated: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Best Documentary: “Minding the Gap”
Most Promising Performer: Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade”
Most Promising Filmmaker: Ari Aster, “Hereditary”
Visual Effects: “Annihilation”
Production Design: “The Favourite”
Score: Nicholas Britell, “If Beale Street Could Talk”

DALLAS-FORT WORTH FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “A Star Is Born”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Christian Bale, “Vice”
Best Lead Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Isle of Dogs”

Also Read: ‘A Star Is Born’ Writer Eric Roth on 4 AM Writing Sessions With Bradley Cooper, Private Lady Gaga Concerts

DETROIT FILM CRITICS SOCIETY
Best Picture: “Eighth Grade”
Best Director: Adam McKay, “Vice”
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Actress: Toni Collette, “Hereditary”
Best Supporting Actor: Josh Hamilton, “Eighth Grade”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Ensemble: “Vice”
Breakthrough Performance: Bo Burnham – Writer/Director – “Eighth Grade”
Best Screenplay: (Tie) Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Curry And Peter Farrelly, “Green Book” and Adam Mckay, “Vice”
Best Documentary: “Three Identical Strangers”
Best Use Of Music: “A Star Is Born”
Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Ma: Into The Spider-Verse

FLORIDA FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best Picture: “The Favourite”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, “You Were Never Really Here”
Best Lead Actress: Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actor: Steven Yeun, “Burning”
Best Supporting Actress: Sakura Ando, “Shoplifters”
Best Original Screenplay: Boots Riley, “Sorry to Bother You”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Cinematography: Lukasz Zal, “Cold War”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Shoplifters”
Best Documentary: “Shirkers”
Best Animated Feature: “Mirai”

INDIANA FILM JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “The Hate U Give”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Amandla Stenberg, “The Hate U Give”
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Schrader, “First Reformed”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Audrey Wells, “The Hate U Give”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Also Read: ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ Post-Credits Scene Explained

KANSAS CITY FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best Picture: (TIE) “The Favourite” and “Roma”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: (TIE) Christian Bale, “Vice” and Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, “Vice”
Best Original Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Wilmott & Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

LAS VEGAS FILM CRITICS SOCIETY
Best Picture: “Roma”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Original Screenplay: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck & John Krasinski, “A Quiet Place”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Debra Granik & Anne Roselini, “Leave No Trace”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Editing: Alfonso Cuarón & Adam Gough, “Roma”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Isle of Dogs”

LOS ANGELES FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “Roma”
Best Director: Debra Granik, “Leave No Trace”
Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Supporting Actor: Steven Yeun, “Burning”
Best Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty, ” You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Editing: Joshua Altman and Bing Liu, “Minding the Gap”
Best Score: Nicholas Britell, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Production Design: Hannah Beachler, “Black Panther”
Best Foreign-Language Film: (TIE) “Burning” and “Shoplifters”
Best Documentary: “Shirkers”
Best Animation: “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”
New Generation Prize: Chloe Zhao
Special Citation: “The Other Side of the Wind”

Also Read: How Peter Bogdanovich, Frank Marshall and Netflix’s Money Saved Orson Welles’ Final Movie

LOS ANGELES ONLINE FILM CRITICS SOCIETY
Best Picture: “The Hate U Give”
Best Actor: Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Best Actress: Toni Collette, “Hereditary”
Best Supporting Actor: (TIE) Mahershala Ali, “Green Book” and Russell Hornsby, “The Hate U Give”
Best Actor 23 and Under: (TIE) Lucas Hedges, “Ben Is Back” and Alex Wolff, “Hereditary”
Best Actress 23 and Under: Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade”
Breakthrough Performance: Amandla Stenberg, “The Hate U Give”
Best Cast: “The Favourite”
Female Director: Lynne Ramsey, “You Were Never Really Here”
Male Director: Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Adapted Screenplay: Audrey Wells, “The Hate U Give”
Original Screenplay: Adam McKay, “Vice”
Action Film: “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”
Animated Film: “Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Blockbuster: “Black Panther”
Comedy/Musical: “The Favourite”
Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
First Feature: “Eighth Grade”
Foreign Film: “Roma”
Indie Film: “Eighth Grade”
Sci-Fi/Horror: “A Quiet Place”
Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Editing: Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick, “Searching”
Original Song: “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born”
Score: Nicholas Britell, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Stunts: “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”
Visual Effects: “Avengers: Infinity War”
Visual Effects or Animated Performance: Josh Brolin and Digital Domain, “Avengers: Infinity War”

NEVADA FILM CRITICS SOCIETY
Best Film: “Green Book”
Best Director: Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Best Actor: Christian Bale, “Vice”
Best Actress: (TIE) Nicole Kidman, “Destroyer” and Toni Collette, “Hereditary”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”
Best Original Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole, “Black Panther”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Production Design: Fiona Crombie, “The Favourite”
Best Visual Effects: “Avengers: Infinity Wars”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Movie: “Isle of Dogs”

NEW MEXICO FILM CRITICS
Best Picture: “The Favourite”
Best Director: Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Best Actor: Victor Polster, “Girl”
Best Actress: Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Best Supporting Actress: Sakura Ando, “Shoplifters”
Best Ensemble: “The Favourite”
Best Young Actor/Actress: Zain al-Rafeea, “Capernaum”
Best Original Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Best Cinematography: Lukasz Zal, “Cold War”
Best Editing: Alfonso Cuarón & Adam Gough, “Roma”
Best Music/Score: Marc Shaiman, “Mary Poppins Returns”
Best Original Song: “Suspirium” from “Suspiria”
Best Production Design: “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Burning”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Burning”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Film: “The Wolf House”

Also Read: ‘The Favourite’ Tops All Films in Critics’ Choice Award Nominations

NEW YORK FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best Film: “Roma”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Actress: Regina Hall, “Support the Girls”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Cinematography: Alf, “Roma”
Best Screenplay: Paul Schrader, “First Reformed”
Best Foreign Film: “Cold War”
Best First Film: “Eighth Grade”
Best Non-Fiction Film: “Minding the Gap”
Best Animated Film: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Special Award: Kino Classics Box Set “Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers
Special Award: David Schwartz, stepping down as Chief Film Curator at Museum of the Moving Image after 33 years

NEW YORK FILM CRITICS ONLINE
Best Picture “Roma”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Foreign Language: “Cold War”
Best Actress: Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Breakthrough Performer: Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade”
Ensemble: “The Favourite”
Documentary Feature: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Animation: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Debut Director: Bo Burnham, “Eighth Grade”
Best Use of Music: “If Beale Street Could Talk”

NORTH TEXAS FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “Green Book”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Best Lead Actress: Toni Collette, “Hereditary”
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Best Supporting Actress: Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Isle of Dogs”

Also Read: Inside ‘Green Book’: Read Tony Lip’s Real Letters From the Road Tour With Donald Shirley

ONLINE ASSOCIATION OF FEMALE FILM CRITICS
Best Film: “Roma”
Best Director: (TIE) Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma” and Lynne Ramsay, “You Were Never Really Here”
Best Female Lead: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Male Lead: Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Best Supporting Female: Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”
Best Supporting Male: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Acting Ensemble: “Widows”
Best Original Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara: “The Favourite”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Breakthrough Filmmaker: Ari Aster, “Hereditary”
Breakthrough Performance: Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Isle of Dogs”
The Rosie Award: “RBG”

PHILADELPHIA FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best Movie: “Roma”
Best Director: Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Actor: Christian Bale, “Vice”
Best Actress: Viola Davis, “Widows”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Breakthrough Performance: Kiki Layne, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Directorial Debut: Boots Riley, “Sorry To Bother You”
Best Script: Audrey Wells, “The Hate U Give”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Score/Soundtrack: Thom Yorke, “Suspiria”
Best Foreign Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Film: “The Incredibles 2”
Elaine May Award: “RBG”
Steve Friedman Award: “Black Panther”

PHOENIX FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best Picture: “The Favourite”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Screenplay: Deborah Davis & Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Also Read: ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ Film Review: Melissa McCarthy Forges Strong Performance

PHOENIX FILM CRITICS SOCIETY
Best Picture: “Green Book”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
Best Lead Actress: Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Best Supporting Actress: Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Best Original Screenplay: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie & Peter Farrelly, “Green Book”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Editing: Alfonso Cuarón and Adam Gough, “Roma”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Isle of Dogs”

SAN DIEGO FILM CRITICS SOCIETY
Best Picture: “Leave No Trace”
Best Director: Debra Granik, “Leave No Trace”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Best Supporting Actor: (TIE) Timothee Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy” and Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Nicole Kidman, “Boy Erased”
Best Original Screenplay: Bo Burnham, “Eighth Grade”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, Peter Fellows and Fabien Nury, “The Death of Stalin”
Best Cinematography: (TIE) Bruno Delbonnel, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” and Joshua James Richards, “The Rider”
Best Editing: Jamie Gross and David Egan, “Game Night”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Shoplifters”
Best Documentary: “Three Identical Strangers”
Best Animated Feature: “Isle of Dogs”

SAN FRANCISCO FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best Picture: “Roma”
Best Director: Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actor: Michael B. Jordan, “Black Panther”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Schrader, “First Reformed”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Wilmott & Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Editing: Bob Murawski and Orson Welles, “The Other Side of the Wind”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Also Read: Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney Biopic ‘Vice’ Polarizes Critics, From ‘Clunky’ to ‘Zeitgeist Event’

SEATTLE FILM CRITICS SOCIETY
Best Picture: “Roma”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Toni Collette, “Hereditary”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Ensemble: “Widows”
Best Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Editing: Eddie Hamilton, “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Free Solo”
Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

SOUTHEASTERN FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “Roma”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Original Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Isle of Dogs”

ST. LOUIS FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “A Star Is Born”
Best Director: Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Toni Collette, “Hereditary”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Original Screenplay: Adam McKay, “Vice”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Wilmott & Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Editing: Hank Corwin, “Vice”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Also Read: Spike Lee on the New Wave of Hit-Making Black Filmmakers: ‘I Hope This Is Not a Trend’

TORONTO FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “Roma”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Supporting Actor: Steven Yeun, “Burning”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Screenplay: (TIE) Paul Schrader, “First Reformed” and Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Best First Feature: “Sorry to Bother You”
Foreign Language Film: “Burning”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Film: “Isle of Dogs”

UTAH FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade”
Best Supporting Actor: Hugh Grant, “Paddington 2”
Best Supporting Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Original Screenplay: Bo Burnham, “Eighth Grade”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Phil Lord & Rodney Rothman, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

VANCOUVER FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best Picture: “Roma”
Best Director: Paul Schrader, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Lead Actress: (TIE) Olivia Colman, “The Favourite,” Regina Hall, “Support the Girls” and Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”
Best Screenplay: Paul Scrader, “First Reformed”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Minding the Gap”

Also Read: 11 Best Documentaries of 2018, From ‘Minding the Gap’ to ‘Monrovia, Indiana’ (Photos)

WASHINGTON, D.C. AREA FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION
Best Picture: “Roma”
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Lead Actor: Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Best Lead Actress: Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Ensemble: “The Favourite”
Best Original Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Best Adapted Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Editing: Tom Cross, “First Man”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Roma”
Best Documentary: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Animated Feature: “Isle of Dogs”

WOMEN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE
Best Movie About Women: “The Favourite”
Best Movie by a Woman: “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Best Woman Storyteller: Audrey Wells, “The Hate U Give”
Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Best Comedic Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Best Young Actress: Elsie Fisher, “Eighth Grade”
Best Foreign Film by or About Women: “Roma”
Best Documentary by or About Women: “RBG”
Best Ensemble: “Widows”
Courage in Filmmaking: Jennifer Fox, “The Tale”
Courage in Acting: Nicole Kidman, “Destroyer”
Adrienne Shelly Award: “Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland”
Josephine Baker Award: “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Karen Morley Award: “Roma”
The Invisible Woman Award: Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Acting and Activism: Viola Davis
Lifetime Achievement: Ellen Burstyn
Best Screen Couple: “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Female Action Heroes: “Black Panther”
Worst Screen Mom of the Year: Jacki Weaver, “Widows”
Best Equality of the Sexes: “Black Panther”
Best Animated Females: “Incredibles 2”
Best Family Film: “Eighth Grade”

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Thanksgiving 2019: Lionsgate To Release MRC’s Rian Johnson Murder Mystery ‘Knives Out’ With Daniel Craig & Killer Cast

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate is set to partner with MRC and distribute worldwide Knives Out, the contemporary murder mystery that Looper and Star Wars: The Last Jedi helmer Rian Johnson wrote and is directing. Daniel Craig stars as a detective trying to solve …

‘A Star Is Born,’ ‘Vice’ Lead 2019 Australian Academy Award Nominees

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“A Star Is Born” and “Vice” lead the nominations for the 2019 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, AACTA announced Tuesday.

“A Star Is Born” received five nominations, including Best Film and Best Direction, while “Vice” scored four nominations, including Best Film and Best Lead Actor for Christian Bale.

“BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Roma” also scored nominations for Best Film.

Also Read: Why Do the Golden Globes Think ‘A Star Is Born’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Are Dramas, Not Musicals?

Nicole Kidman is the first actor to be nominated in both the Best Lead and Best Supporting Actor categories in the history of the AACTA Awards. She is nominated for her roles in “Destroyer” and “Boy Erased,” respectively.

“The Favourite,” “A Quiet Place,” “Hereditary,” “The Front Runner,” “Green Book,” “Mary Queen of Scots” and “Beautiful Boy” also received nominations.

“The AACTA International Awards give Australian filmmakers the opportunity to participate in and add their uniquely Australian perspective to the global conversation of screen excellence,” AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella said. “This year’s nominees truly represent international filmmaking excellence, and we are very proud to see many of our talented Australian practitioners and performers among these nominees. I congratulate all our nominees and wish them every success during the upcoming awards season.”

Also Read: Golden Globes 2019: The Complete List of Nominees

Winners of the 8th AACTA Awards will be announced in Los Angeles on Jan. 4, 2019 at The Mondrian Hotel.

See all the nominees below.

AACTA International Award for Best Film

  • A STAR IS BORN
  • BLACKKKLANSMAN
  • BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
  • ROMA
  • VICE

AACTA International Award for Best Direction

  • A STAR IS BORN – Bradley Cooper
  • BLACKKKLANSMAN – Spike Lee
  • THE FAVOURITE – Yorgos Lanthimos
  • ROMA – Alfonso Cuarón
  • SWEET COUNTRY – Warwick Thornton

AACTA International Award for Best Screenplay

  • A QUIET PLACE – John Krasinski, Scott Beck, Bryan Woods
  • BLACKKKLANSMAN – Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
  • BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY – Anthony McCarten
  • THE FAVOURITE – Tony McNamara, Deborah Davis
  • ROMA – Alfonso Cuarón

AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actress

  • Glenn Close – THE WIFE
  • Olivia Colman – THE FAVOURITE
  • Toni Collette – HEREDITARY
  • Lady Gaga – A STAR IS BORN
  • Nicole Kidman – DESTROYER

 AACTA International Award for Best Lead Actor

  • Christian Bale – VICE
  • Bradley Cooper – A STAR IS BORN
  • Hugh Jackman – THE FRONT RUNNER
  • Rami Malek – BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
  • Viggo Mortensen – GREEN BOOK

AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams – VICE
  • Emily Blunt – A QUIET PLACE
  • Claire Foy – FIRST MAN
  • Nicole Kidman – BOY ERASED
  • Margot Robbie – MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS

AACTA International Award for Best Supporting Actor

  • Mahershala Ali – GREEN BOOK
  • Timothée Chalamet – BEAUTIFUL BOY
  • Joel Edgerton – BOY ERASED
  • Sam Elliott – A STAR IS BORN
  • Sam Rockwell – VICE
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A24’s ‘Hereditary’ & ‘Eighth Grade’: Tales of Madness & Middle School – The Contenders LA

Read on: Deadline.

The two A24 films presented today during The Contenders LA program were wildly different projects — Hereditary is a harrowing psychological tale that slides into supernatural horror while Eighth Grade is a coming-of-age tale that tugs at the hear…

Paul Dano Recalls That Time Greg Kinnear Ran a Red Light Filming ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

As far as dysfunctional movie families go, it doesn’t get too much worse than the Hoovers of the 2006 film “Little Miss Sunshine.” But Paul Dano, one of the film’s stars, recalled an on-set story about how they worked to build that peculiar family dynamic.

Dano shared a story with Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” how directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris suggested that the cast go on a family outing — in particular bowling and to grab food — in character. As they pulled their old VW van out of the driveway, however, things started to unravel.

“The second we pulled out of the lot to go on our excursion, Alan Arkin, playing the grandpa, said, ‘I have to pee,’” Dano said.

Also Read: How Paul Dano and Carey Mulligan Adapted the Challenging Source Material of ‘Wildlife’ (Video)

He then describes an argument between Arkin and Greg Kinnear, who plays the father in the film, insisting that Arkin’s character would have to wait until they arrived to use the bathroom.

“Arkin was like at the next red light, I’m getting out to pee. And Greg Kinnear ran the next red light, just because he did not want to give into grandpa, who clearly needed to pee just to piss him off,” Dano said.

Dano, who was 20 at the time of filming, played a teen who chooses to take a vow of silence. But he was in stunned silence anyway at what he just saw from his fictional family members.

Also Read: Paul Dano on Daniel Radcliffe’s ‘Swiss Army Man’ Farts: ‘It Was Glorious’

“Greg, I’m sure, did it safely, as safe as you can run a red light,” Dano added.

“Little Miss Sunshine” also starred Abigail Breslin, Toni Collette and Steve Carell and was an indie comedy darling about a middle-American family traveling across country to compete in a children’s beauty pageant.

Watch Dano reminisce about the moment above.

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‘Hereditary’ Star Toni Collette on Why Her ‘Complicated’ Role Was So ‘Deeply Draining’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

You’ve read the reviews, scrolled Twitter for spoilers, watched the box office net a personal best for distributor A24 — but two weeks after terrorizing North America, the takeaway of “Hereditary’ is still Toni Collette’s blazing lead performance.

As a repressed and often unlikable woman paralyzed by grief, Collette grounds writer-director Ari Aster’s debut genre film in the world of a masterful indie film before giving way to abject horror.

“I wanted to do comedies,” said Collette, a career-long veteran of microbudget drama and festival darlings, during a recent chat with TheWrap from New York.

Also Read: ‘Hereditary’: How Ari Aster Disrupted Hollywood’s ‘Cynical,’ Cash-Driven Horror Genre

“But when I read this, I had this feeling of, ‘Oh f—. I’m gonna have to do this.’ It was an undeniable compulsion. It was like I had no choice in the matter,” she said.

Now nearing $28 million in wide release, “Hereditary” was a Sundance entry that looked like a moody character study about a family mitigating death. Despite a fluke D+ Cinemascore from first-run moviegoers, it has defied expectations to become a dreadful masterpiece.

“I found it so amazing that it was seamless — none of the horror feels gratuitous. I’m not a fan of horror films, and I probably wouldn’t have done it if it had been gratuitous. It’s really based in something so pure and those horrific elements are an extension of something so natural and that really blew me away,” Collette said.

The actress plays Annie, a sculptress who makes sterile recreations of scenes from her life in miniature form. Before we see a single frame in Aster’s film, we read the newspaper obituary for her mother. It’s an obvious signal that we’re meeting a woman in distress, but also some clever misdirection. That obit will wind up the least of her problems as violent grief and dark paranormal forces are about to crash down on her.

“She’s really attempting a hero’s journey and tackling what’s wrong, but in the waking hours she’s so repressed. Her career is based on exploring her own life, she makes those intricate miniatures of her very own existence. I think its a way to control something that feels overwhelming and a way to explore why she’s had this ongoing feeling of ominous dread her entire life,” Collette said.

Also Read: ‘Hereditary’ Star Alex Wolff Has a Support Message for Moviegoers (Exclusive Video)

Annie’s nuclear family consists of husband Steve (Gabriel Byrne), eldest son Peter (Alex Wolff) and troubled daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro). They tiptoe around her vacillating moods and Annie’s overall inherited trauma from her dead mother — a controlling, secretive and oppressive force. Only a few scenes after setting the table, another unspeakable loss hits her and hell quite literally breaks loose.

[Warning: Spoilers ahead from “Hereditary”]

A terrible car accident decapitates young Charlie while under her brother’s care as the pair leave a high school party. In total shock, Peter drives the family car home with Charlie’s body (minus her head) still inside, which Annie discovers the next morning.

The discovery scene plays out exclusively across Peter’s face, as we hear Annie leave the house to run an errand and piece together what has happened. The sound of her wailing is heard over Peter’s blank expression, which kicks off a grief montage so unsettling that the viewer never quite recovers. “Hereditary” becomes a different movie, as Annie starts to see mounting evidence of evil at work (though she never quite has the audience’s trust until the film’s final moments).

“I love the ambiguity of not quite knowing where she’s at, of not knowing whether she is really losing it — because she does have a history of psychotic episodes and she’s experienced some very dark times — or, if she’s finding the truth,” Collette said.

Even as the film succumbs to its true genre, Collette and Aster stay committed to the family drama. It’s a noble creative decision, and one that was criticized by Hollywood when the writer-director first circulated his script. Producers and studios did not want an unhappy family, Aster previously told TheWrap.

The “cynical” conventions of the genre say you need a squeaky clean tribe to terrorize, Aster said. “Hereditary” plays more like “Ordinary People” for most of its two-hour runtime before the big bad shows up.

Annie’s internalized rage and victimhood are emboldened by the loss of her daughter. She passive-aggressively taunts her husband in his weary attempts to nurse her grief. She admits her regrets about motherhood to her son — which, poor Alex Wolff, has to take in stride as he blames himself for the death of his sister.

Also Read: ‘Hereditary’ Film Review: Family’s a Horror in Brilliant Indie Debut

This culminates in an incredible dinner scene where Annie confronts her son, furious that Charlie’s death hasn’t even brought the family closer. And, yes, she says, it is his fault.

“Even though it’s extreme, most people can feel how familiar that is on some level. I think at that point my character may seem despicable, but she’s living with such a huge mount of pain. When people are so consumed … it’s very difficult to see beyond yourself because you’re trying to survive. There is a very real and very large amount of rage within her. He just pushed the button and the wrong moment,” Collette said.

“But I do like that she’s very unlikable at times. She’s a really complicated woman. The ground is shifting in her world,” she said.

The only silver lining to a character like Annie was the self-preservation measures Collette took to survive her.

“It was deeply draining. I think that is when I really started hitting the gym. It’s the first time in my life, I just knew that I had to literally move energy out of my body. This is the film where I learned how to take care of myself as an actor. In the past I would just fling myself in with no concern for my health,” she said.

Still, she sees the part as “such a delicious challenge and such a great opportunity. It’s very rare for me, but in my career I’ve always sought out and found characters that feel somewhat real and reflect what it is to be human.”



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After taking the Sundance Film Festival by storm and instantly inserting Toni Collette into this year’s Oscar conversation, “Hereditary” has finally been handed down to theaters by A24.

Director Ari Aster marks a debut that has earned nearly universal praise for its wrenching emotional drama on top of bleak and relentless terror — and infused excitement into a genre that pumps out titles on a factory line.

From his own script, Aster gives us a tense and stifled American family who falls apart after the death of its matriarch, Collette’s on-screen mom. Thing is, there are more sinister forces at work than old-fashioned resentment and skeletons in the closet.

So, how’d he do it?

Also Read: Just Watched ‘Hereditary?’ Star Alex Wolff Has a Support Message for You (Exclusive Video)

“It’s all been such a crazy surprise and such a welcome one,” Aster told TheWrap of the movie, which is tracking above projections and should land around $12 million this opening weekend.

“I grew up obsessed with horror films, and I would exhaust the horror section of every video store I could find, [but] a lot of them are produced very cynically these days. There is a built-in audience and the expectations are very clear. The risk-reward algorithm is very much in the studio’s favor,” he said.

Aster isn’t wrong. Much of the horror fare we see in theaters comes from long-standing franchises like “The Conjuring” series or titles from Jason Blum’s low-budget cash machine, Blumhouse. They exist in a model based on perpetuation, not unlike the reigning superhero tentpoles.

“A lot of these movies are put out in droves, and I feel like horror movies are typically perceived as guilty until proven innocent.  There are always exceptions, especially lately, like ‘The Witch’ or ‘Let the Right One In,’” said Aster, whose favorite is a South Korean film called “The Whaling,” currently streaming on Netflix.

Writing “Hereditary” was a “strategic” move, according to the director.

Also Read: ‘Hereditary’ Film Review: Family’s a Horror in Brilliant Indie Debut

“I figured it would be easier to get a film financed that way. But I asked, ‘What do I want from the genre? What do I wish I was getting more of?’” he said.

What he wanted, the director said, “was to make a film that first functions as a vivid family drama and that takes it seriously. To really look at the family’s suffering before I thought about how to attend to the horror elements. In that sense, the film owes a greater debt to the domestic melodrama than it does to the horror movie.”

Collette plays a long-suffering daughter and irritable mother of two kids, trying to process the death of her controlling and secretive mom before she’s hit with another unspeakable tragedy. Despite the weary supervision of her husband (Gabriel Byrne), devastating secrets and boiling rage take over. Oh, and some unwelcome and evil supernatural tenants move in, too.

“When I first sent out the script, a lot of people would criticize it saying, ‘The family is already complicated in the beginning, so when things fall apart, it’s not affecting. We don’t care because they’re already not doing well,’” Aster said.

“I don’t agree with that. I know that’s the way that these genre films often operate, is that you set up a happy family so that you can then destroy it. I don’t know this mythical happy family that is totally idealized and there are no issues, no history, no unspoken stuff that hasn’t been worked through,” he said.

His conviction brings a dazzling but soul-crushing result. Be thankful he didn’t pander to the rules of the genre. Be more thankful you’re not related to the people on screen.

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Based on purely anecdotal evidence, I’m predicting that one of the more recurrent arguments among film enthusiasts for summer 2018 will be, “Does the ending of ‘Hereditary’ work?” (With “And what exactly does the end of ‘Hereditary’ mean, anyway?” coming in close second.)

Less likely to cause disagreement will be the idea that “Hereditary” marks a jaw-droppingly impressive feature debut for writer-director Ari Aster. He’s clearly learned from the greats while still making a film that doesn’t entirely look, feel or sound like anyone else’s. With nary a jump scare in sight, Aster has created a moody piece with a delicate but devastating sense of dread.

This is the kind of film best enjoyed with as little foreknowledge as possible, so I’ll keep to the outskirts of the plot: Annie (Toni Collette) has had a longstanding messy relationship with her mother, who has just died. This quotidian tragedy gives way to a deeper one involving her children, high-schooler Peter (Alex Wolff) and tween Charlie (Milly Shapiro, Broadway’s “Matilda”).

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At a grief support group, Annie meets Joan (Ann Dowd) — and let’s face it, any movie where someone’s port in a storm is played by Ann Dowd is a movie that’s about to get very dark, which “Hereditary” certainly does. And then it arrives at that ending, which I have had and no doubt will continue to have discussions about. For right now, I’m torn between taking it literally (which means the script winds up in an all-too-familiar place) or not (which seems like an overly fussy way to deal with a powerful drama about a troubled family).

By the end of the summer, I may be joining the chorus that has been unabashedly praising this film ever since its Sundance debut. But even if the climax continues to leave me cold, I’m thrilled that “Hereditary” exists, and I’m heartily endorsing that audiences experience this film in the theater, the better to appreciate that skilled work of its crew.

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There’s something about the way that cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski (“Tragedy Girls”) shoots the film’s Utah locations that make it seem like the story is set anywhere and nowhere all at once, and he uses the red lighting of an indoor heat lamp to very effective ends. The unsettling score by Colin Stetson becomes all the more effective as sound mixer Steven C. Laneri mixes it down, down, down, until it sounds like the music is being played in an apartment beneath the movie theater.

Grace Yun’s production design — from the bleakly cheery dollhouse miniatures that Annie crafts of her own life to one of the cinema’s greatest treehouses ever — creates this world and allows us to get lost in it (and, eventually, want very much to get out).

And while director Aster certainly has his technical ducks in a row, he’s also gifted at working with actors, collaborating with a talented cast as they give some of their finest performances. Collette, always an unpredictable and multifaceted leading lady, has perhaps never been better; Annie wants very much to be a better parent than her own mother was, but finds herself unable to break that particular chain. The actress’ ultimate portrayal of her own family’s dissolution is heartbreaking and intense.

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Wolff has specialized in troubled teens who are haunted in one way or another, and he nakedly expresses grief and fear here in a way that’s so un-actorly that it’s almost shocking at first. It’s a level of emotional accessibility that makes you rethink what other actors do in similar situations. Remember what a revelation it was the first time you saw Claire Danes cry like a real person and not like a leading lady? Wolff’s performance here delivers that same kind of jolt.

You could strip away the plot elements that technically make “Hereditary” a horror film, and you’d have an incredibly intense tale of familial implosion, and that’s not to denigrate the idea of horror or to classify this in the ridiculously unnecessary “elevated horror” category. I can’t wait to see what Ari Aster does next, having taken such big chances to such great results in his first movie. And as for that ending, well — I’m sure I’ll be talking about it.



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