Jamie Dornan, Jemima Kirke, Ben Mendelsohn Drama ‘Untogether’ Lands At Freestyle Digital

EXCLUSIVE: Byron Allen’s Freestyle Digital Media has picked up the North American distribution rights to Untogether, the Emma Forrest directorial debut film starring Jamie Dornan (50 Shades Of Grey), Jemima Kirke (HBO’s Girls), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue On…

EXCLUSIVE: Byron Allen's Freestyle Digital Media has picked up the North American distribution rights to Untogether, the Emma Forrest directorial debut film starring Jamie Dornan (50 Shades Of Grey), Jemima Kirke (HBO's Girls), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One), Lola Kirke (Amazon's Mozart in the Jungle), and Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally). Premiering earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival, the dramatic comedy will have a day-and-date release on February 8. Written…

Taron Egerton’s ‘Robin Hood’ ‘Struts and Pouts’ Through ‘Dumb,’ ‘Goofy Train Wreck,’ Critics Say

“Forget history,” so says the new reboot of “Robin Hood” in the film’s opening narration. Although the critics reviewing “Robin Hood” weren’t so quick to forget previous installments of the legend, many hope to quickly erase this one.

The early reviews of “Robin Hood,” starring Taron Egerton (“Kingsman”) and Jamie Foxx in the action-adventure film opening Wednesday, have pegged Otto Bathurst’s (“Peaky Blinders”) film as a lazy retread of “Batman Begins” that borrows the worst traits from Guy Ritchie’s “King Arthur” flop and the over-stylized action sequences of “300.”

“Rife with stereotypes, a terrible script, and odd ‘300’-esque cinematography that just doesn’t fit, this is not only a film nobody asked for, but also one that nobody should be forced to endure,” TheWrap’s Yolanda Machado says in her review.

Also Read: Thanksgiving Box Office Preview: ‘Wreck-It Ralph,’ ‘Creed’ Sequels Expected to Top Originals

“Robin Hood” also stars Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan and Ben Mendelsohn in a modernized, “gritty” retelling of the legend of Robin of Loxley. But the film isn’t set in the Sherwood Forest; rather, it’s an origin story as he trains to become a thief and steal from the rich to give to the poor. Better yet: it’s how Robin Hood became Batman.

“The first thing you have to realize about this new riff on an age-old hero is that he’s basically just Batman, minus any of the compelling backstory,” Indiewire’s David Ehlrich writes.

At time of writing with 22 critics reporting, “Robin Hood” has an 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Read excerpts from some of the reviews below:

Also Read: ‘Robin Hood’ Taron Egerton Just Alleviated Any Concerns He Can’t Do Elton John Live (Video)

Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

“Taron Egerton’s Robin of Loxley struts and pouts through his manor before being sent to the Crusades, where he stands up for the Moor who will become this version’s Little John (Jamie Foxx, who must have lost a bet).”

Yolanda Machado, TheWrap

“Reboots and remakes are meant to introduce a new audience to a classic tale with fresh ideas and storylines that make the story relevant to modern audiences. ‘Robin Hood’ doesn’t even try. Instead, first-time feature writers Ben Chandler and David James Kelly deliver a woefully uninspired script, with words like ‘If not you, then who? If not now, then when?’ (That’s Marian, channeling Hannah Arendt, to Robin, even though she’s been in the front lines of their resistance for years while he’s a newbie.) This entire script could have come from a Cliff Notes summary of a novelization based on any of the previous films.”

David Ehrlich, Indiewire

“If nothing else, this accidentally hilarious, goofy train wreck of an origin story most definitely has the courage of its convictions. Alas, the film isn’t smart enough to recognize that its convictions are dumb, and it doesn’t have the goods to back them up in the first place.”

Also Read: ‘Once Upon a Time’: Robin Hood, Peter Pan Among Characters to Return for Series Finale

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“Guy Ritchie’s idiotic, leathered-up, fancy-weaponed take on King Arthur worked out so wonderfully for all involved last year ($149 million worldwide box office on a $175 million budget) that someone still evidently thought it would be a good idea to apply the same preposterous modernized armaments, trendy wardrobe and machine-gun style to perennial screen favorite Robin Hood.”

Andy Crump, Polygon

“Gone is the swashbuckling rogue, replaced by a familiar combination: Robin Hood makes a brooding attempt at grounding the story in the real world, while Robin’s superhuman feats of martial as well as athletic prowess undermine the gritty realism. This isn’t history, it’s hisstory — a literal line from the introductory monologue, assuring us that this take on Robin Hood is the genuine article and not the hokem we’ve been spoon fed in the past.”

William Bibbiani, IGN

“This new Robin Hood evokes a few modern storytelling styles, and has a charismatic new cast, but offers no interesting perspective on the character or his adventures. It may very well be the first Robin Hood movie without an actual point.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Will ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel Be Critic-Proof at the Box Office?

Bradley Cooper’s ‘A Star Is Born’ Dazzles Critics: ‘Extraordinary,’ ‘Terrific’

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Wows Critics: ‘Tour de Force of Lifestyle Pornography’

“Forget history,” so says the new reboot of “Robin Hood” in the film’s opening narration. Although the critics reviewing “Robin Hood” weren’t so quick to forget previous installments of the legend, many hope to quickly erase this one.

The early reviews of “Robin Hood,” starring Taron Egerton (“Kingsman”) and Jamie Foxx in the action-adventure film opening Wednesday, have pegged Otto Bathurst’s (“Peaky Blinders”) film as a lazy retread of “Batman Begins” that borrows the worst traits from Guy Ritchie’s “King Arthur” flop and the over-stylized action sequences of “300.”

“Rife with stereotypes, a terrible script, and odd ‘300’-esque cinematography that just doesn’t fit, this is not only a film nobody asked for, but also one that nobody should be forced to endure,” TheWrap’s Yolanda Machado says in her review.

“Robin Hood” also stars Eve Hewson, Jamie Dornan and Ben Mendelsohn in a modernized, “gritty” retelling of the legend of Robin of Loxley. But the film isn’t set in the Sherwood Forest; rather, it’s an origin story as he trains to become a thief and steal from the rich to give to the poor. Better yet: it’s how Robin Hood became Batman.

“The first thing you have to realize about this new riff on an age-old hero is that he’s basically just Batman, minus any of the compelling backstory,” Indiewire’s David Ehlrich writes.

At time of writing with 22 critics reporting, “Robin Hood” has an 18 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Read excerpts from some of the reviews below:

Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

“Taron Egerton’s Robin of Loxley struts and pouts through his manor before being sent to the Crusades, where he stands up for the Moor who will become this version’s Little John (Jamie Foxx, who must have lost a bet).”

Yolanda Machado, TheWrap

“Reboots and remakes are meant to introduce a new audience to a classic tale with fresh ideas and storylines that make the story relevant to modern audiences. ‘Robin Hood’ doesn’t even try. Instead, first-time feature writers Ben Chandler and David James Kelly deliver a woefully uninspired script, with words like ‘If not you, then who? If not now, then when?’ (That’s Marian, channeling Hannah Arendt, to Robin, even though she’s been in the front lines of their resistance for years while he’s a newbie.) This entire script could have come from a Cliff Notes summary of a novelization based on any of the previous films.”

David Ehrlich, Indiewire

“If nothing else, this accidentally hilarious, goofy train wreck of an origin story most definitely has the courage of its convictions. Alas, the film isn’t smart enough to recognize that its convictions are dumb, and it doesn’t have the goods to back them up in the first place.”

Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“Guy Ritchie’s idiotic, leathered-up, fancy-weaponed take on King Arthur worked out so wonderfully for all involved last year ($149 million worldwide box office on a $175 million budget) that someone still evidently thought it would be a good idea to apply the same preposterous modernized armaments, trendy wardrobe and machine-gun style to perennial screen favorite Robin Hood.”

Andy Crump, Polygon

“Gone is the swashbuckling rogue, replaced by a familiar combination: Robin Hood makes a brooding attempt at grounding the story in the real world, while Robin’s superhuman feats of martial as well as athletic prowess undermine the gritty realism. This isn’t history, it’s hisstory — a literal line from the introductory monologue, assuring us that this take on Robin Hood is the genuine article and not the hokem we’ve been spoon fed in the past.”

William Bibbiani, IGN

“This new Robin Hood evokes a few modern storytelling styles, and has a charismatic new cast, but offers no interesting perspective on the character or his adventures. It may very well be the first Robin Hood movie without an actual point.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Will 'Fantastic Beasts' Sequel Be Critic-Proof at the Box Office?

Bradley Cooper's 'A Star Is Born' Dazzles Critics: 'Extraordinary,' 'Terrific'

'Crazy Rich Asians' Wows Critics: 'Tour de Force of Lifestyle Pornography'

‘Robin Hood’ Film Review: Robs Clichés From Richer Films, Inflects Them on Poor Moviegoers

In the opening sequence of the latest big-screen “Robin Hood,” Lady Marian (Eve Hewson, “The Knick”) breaks into Robin’s barn to steal a horse. Carefully pacing her steps, Marian is covered in a hood, with a scarf covering half of her face and a dress that covers her up entirely — except for her chest, due to a very deep, low-cut front that has no purpose other than to show off some cleavage.

But objectifying the only woman in the cast with a speaking role isn’t the only crime “Robin Hood” commits. Rife with stereotypes, a terrible script, and odd “300”-esque cinematography that just doesn’t fit, this is not only a film nobody asked for, but also one that nobody should be forced to endure.

The story is not new; it’s essentially the same one most of us have grown up with, thanks either to the animated Disney film, the Kevin Costner “Everything I Do” version, or Ridley Scott’s revisionist prequel-like take on the classic tale. Robin (Taron Egerton, “Kingsmen: The Golden Circle”) is shipped off to war, where he meets Petit Jean (Jamie Foxx), who is captured and enslaved in chains on a boat. After Robin tries to save Jean’s son to no avail, Jean seeks his aid in getting revenge on the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) by robbing the lawman and the church to give back to the poor citizens.

Watch Video: ‘Robin Hood’: Taron Egerton Is the Iconic Outlaw in Gritty First Teaser Trailer

Reboots and remakes are meant to introduce a new audience to a classic tale with fresh ideas and storylines that make the story relevant to modern audiences. “Robin Hood” doesn’t even try. Instead, first-time feature writers Ben Chandler and David James Kelly deliver a woefully uninspired script, with words like “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?” (That’s Marian, channeling Hannah Arendt, to Robin, even though she’s been in the front lines of their resistance for years while he’s a newbie.) This entire script could have come from a Cliff Notes summary of a novelization based on any of the previous films.

I’m not sure how the likes of Egerton, Foxx, Hewson, Mendelsohn and Jamie Dornan (as Will Scarlet) got cajoled into making this film, or what these performers thought they could make of the material. Egerton’s charm is ripped away by a character so uninspired that it’s lacks any of his star-making “Eggsy” charm from the “Kingsmen” series, while Mendelsohn phones in a repeat performance of his roles from “The Last Jedi” and “Ready Player One” (with a long futuristic trenchcoat, to boot).

Watch Video: ‘Robin Hood’ Taron Egerton Just Alleviated Any Concerns He Can’t Do Elton John Live

Dornan — dismissable as Christian Grey (“50 Shades” franchise) but so fantastic as a brooding serial killer in the BBC series “The Fall” — brings nothing to Sherwood Forest. And poor Hewes finds herself relegated to a role that is a male fantasy version of an opinionated woman: smart but muted, with an occasional side of boobs.

Foxx gets the worst of it — not only is he shackled in chains, but he’s also forced to watch his son meet a gruesome death at the hands of an officer. Perhaps this is director Otto Bathurst’s attempt at making a statement about the many killings of black boys and men at the hands of law enforcement today, but the scene comes across as tone-deaf and completely unnecessary. The movies are full of slave narratives and violence inflicted upon black people, and “Robin Hood,” of all films, never earns the right to take on this topic, nor should it have tried.

Also Read: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jamie Foxx to Co-Star in Untitled Netflix Sci-Fi

The digital effects of the action sequences and the stylized cinematography might be appealing if either drove the story at all, but instead, it’s just an attempt to modernize the material without connecting the story to the visuals at all. We’re left to wonder where, in this medieval and impoverished city, does Robin get his leather bomber jacket? (The film’s coat game continues to distract throughout, particularly Mendelsohn’s futurist trench, which looks cool but is completely out of place and absurd, particularly when another character wears it in later scenes.)

“Robin Hood” won’t steal any hearts, nor should it rob you of your valuable time when there are so many better versions to choose from.



Related stories from TheWrap:

How Peter Dinklage Helped Jamie Dornan Prep for ‘Fifty Shades’ (Video)

Jamie Dornan Is All-Aboard in James Corden’s Nerdy, Sexy ‘Fifty Shades’ Parody (Video)

DJ Khaled, Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Karen Gillan, Masi Oka Join Fox Animations’ ‘Spies in Disguise’

Taron Egerton Takes to the Piano as Elton John in ‘Rocketman’ First Trailer (Video)

In the opening sequence of the latest big-screen “Robin Hood,” Lady Marian (Eve Hewson, “The Knick”) breaks into Robin’s barn to steal a horse. Carefully pacing her steps, Marian is covered in a hood, with a scarf covering half of her face and a dress that covers her up entirely — except for her chest, due to a very deep, low-cut front that has no purpose other than to show off some cleavage.

But objectifying the only woman in the cast with a speaking role isn’t the only crime “Robin Hood” commits. Rife with stereotypes, a terrible script, and odd “300”-esque cinematography that just doesn’t fit, this is not only a film nobody asked for, but also one that nobody should be forced to endure.

The story is not new; it’s essentially the same one most of us have grown up with, thanks either to the animated Disney film, the Kevin Costner “Everything I Do” version, or Ridley Scott’s revisionist prequel-like take on the classic tale. Robin (Taron Egerton, “Kingsmen: The Golden Circle”) is shipped off to war, where he meets Petit Jean (Jamie Foxx), who is captured and enslaved in chains on a boat. After Robin tries to save Jean’s son to no avail, Jean seeks his aid in getting revenge on the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Mendelsohn) by robbing the lawman and the church to give back to the poor citizens.

Reboots and remakes are meant to introduce a new audience to a classic tale with fresh ideas and storylines that make the story relevant to modern audiences. “Robin Hood” doesn’t even try. Instead, first-time feature writers Ben Chandler and David James Kelly deliver a woefully uninspired script, with words like “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?” (That’s Marian, channeling Hannah Arendt, to Robin, even though she’s been in the front lines of their resistance for years while he’s a newbie.) This entire script could have come from a Cliff Notes summary of a novelization based on any of the previous films.

I’m not sure how the likes of Egerton, Foxx, Hewson, Mendelsohn and Jamie Dornan (as Will Scarlet) got cajoled into making this film, or what these performers thought they could make of the material. Egerton’s charm is ripped away by a character so uninspired that it’s lacks any of his star-making “Eggsy” charm from the “Kingsmen” series, while Mendelsohn phones in a repeat performance of his roles from “The Last Jedi” and “Ready Player One” (with a long futuristic trenchcoat, to boot).

Dornan — dismissable as Christian Grey (“50 Shades” franchise) but so fantastic as a brooding serial killer in the BBC series “The Fall” — brings nothing to Sherwood Forest. And poor Hewes finds herself relegated to a role that is a male fantasy version of an opinionated woman: smart but muted, with an occasional side of boobs.

Foxx gets the worst of it — not only is he shackled in chains, but he’s also forced to watch his son meet a gruesome death at the hands of an officer. Perhaps this is director Otto Bathurst’s attempt at making a statement about the many killings of black boys and men at the hands of law enforcement today, but the scene comes across as tone-deaf and completely unnecessary. The movies are full of slave narratives and violence inflicted upon black people, and “Robin Hood,” of all films, never earns the right to take on this topic, nor should it have tried.

The digital effects of the action sequences and the stylized cinematography might be appealing if either drove the story at all, but instead, it’s just an attempt to modernize the material without connecting the story to the visuals at all. We’re left to wonder where, in this medieval and impoverished city, does Robin get his leather bomber jacket? (The film’s coat game continues to distract throughout, particularly Mendelsohn’s futurist trench, which looks cool but is completely out of place and absurd, particularly when another character wears it in later scenes.)

“Robin Hood” won’t steal any hearts, nor should it rob you of your valuable time when there are so many better versions to choose from.

Related stories from TheWrap:

How Peter Dinklage Helped Jamie Dornan Prep for 'Fifty Shades' (Video)

Jamie Dornan Is All-Aboard in James Corden's Nerdy, Sexy 'Fifty Shades' Parody (Video)

DJ Khaled, Rashida Jones, Ben Mendelsohn, Karen Gillan, Masi Oka Join Fox Animations' 'Spies in Disguise'

Taron Egerton Takes to the Piano as Elton John in 'Rocketman' First Trailer (Video)

With Narrative Debut ‘A Private War,’ Matthew Heineman Honors Courageous, Selfless Journalism — The Contenders LA

Growing up with a journalist for a mother and making his name as an Oscar-nominated documentarian—behind the likes of Cartel Land and City of Ghosts—Matthew Heineman makes his narrative feature debut with Aviron Pictures’ A Private War. As …

Growing up with a journalist for a mother and making his name as an Oscar-nominated documentarian—behind the likes of Cartel Land and City of GhostsMatthew Heineman makes his narrative feature debut with Aviron Pictures' A Private War. As an artist with a journalist's eye for meaningful real-world stories and a great deal of personal bravery, it's no wonder Heineman delved into this new filmmaking arena with the story of Marie Colvin, a journalist whose values mirrored…

‘A Private War’ Lands UK Distribution Deal With Altitude

Altitude Film Distribution has acquired UK and Irish distribution rights to A Private War, the Matthew Heineman film about American-born war correspondent Marie Colvin who was killed on assignment in Syria while working for the Sunday Times. The film w…

Altitude Film Distribution has acquired UK and Irish distribution rights to A Private War, the Matthew Heineman film about American-born war correspondent Marie Colvin who was killed on assignment in Syria while working for the Sunday Times. The film will be released in the territories in February 2019, which follows a U.S. release that begins today in New York and Los Angeles via Aviron Pictures before going nationwide. Rosamund Pike stars as Colvin along with Jamie Dorna…

‘A Private War’ Film Review: Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan Give Searing Performances as Real-Life War Correspondents

Applauded for his intrepid commitment to attaining and sharing firsthand versions of the truth, filmmaker Matthew Heineman came into the foreground of the documentary community upon the release of his third feature, 2015’s “Cartel Land.” Voluntarily putting himself in harm’s way, he used his privilege as a white American man to chronicle the Mexican Drug War, often with bullets raining down on him and his camera.

Heineman then professionally transformed himself into a cross between a war correspondent and a lyrical storyteller, an amalgamation that can just as well apply to Marie Colvin, the award-winning journalist for London’s Sunday Times tasked with covering some of the most gruesome international conflicts of the last 30 years. She did so with unshakable resolve, bearing the personal cost of trauma most of us will never know.

Playing out as more of a formally daring conversation between two kindred spirits (director and subject) than a reverential biopic with all the Oscar-bait fixings, Heineman’s fiction debut “A Private War” is an episodic account of Colvin’s greatest (and most dangerous) hits since she lost sight in her left eye while on duty during the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2001.

Also Read: Rosamund Pike: I Was Told to Strip Down for ‘Die Another Day’ Audition

Her mythical persona has been deftly transposed to the screen from a Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner titled “Marie Colvin’s Private War.” Adapted by eclectic screenwriter Arash Amel (“Grace of Monaco”), the result is a stunningly moving, yet never mawkish, dissection of Colvin’s self-aware motivations, irrevocable positions, flawed interpersonal skills, and narrative ability to make people stop and care about whatever story was compelling her to risk her life.

“In covering war, can we really make a difference?” asks Colvin (played by Rosamund Pike) late in the film. It’s a question so heavy with responsibility that it would be unjust to demand a clear answer from her, but Colvin operated as if her coverage was in fact the only concrete action she could take to enact change. Pike, giving the kind of transformative performance that puts her squarely in the awards-season conversation, manifests Colvin’s brazen outspokenness with candor, and her irreparable brokenness via a cocktail of rage and subdued anxiety.

Watch Video: How Peter Dinklage Helped Jamie Dornan Prep for ‘Fifty Shades’

Wearing an eye patch with outward confidence while vulnerably chasing the desire to feel attractive behind closed doors, the actress embodies the internal battle of a woman tormented by what she’s witnessed and the impotence of being unable to prevent it. Pike is doing much more than regulating her voice to replicate Colvin’s tone; she takes hammer and chisel to her emotional armor, forged from the accumulated experiences Colvin must suppress in order to remain functional. A scene recreating the reporter’s call with Anderson Cooper live from a hideout in Homs, Syria, ranks amongst the most punch-in-the-gut moments of her portrayal.

For all its brilliance, Pike’s work here is not unprecedented in her career; it’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Jamie Dornan who amazes with his take on photographer Paul Conroy, who would become one of Colvin’s closest collaborators beginning in the early 2000s. It’s not his handsomely rugged looks he’s selling this time, but an unassuming turn as a sidekick and as an artist working through fear to match Colvin’s words with his images reflecting human suffering. For audiences who missed the actor’s chilling turn as a serial killer on “The Fall,” Dorman’s powerful moments of raw pain will be a real revelation.

Watch Video: Jamie Dornan Is All-Aboard in James Corden’s Nerdy, Sexy ‘Fifty Shades’ Parody

The cast’s unseen co-star is three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson’s camera, which acts as Heineman’s proxy thanks to the immediate and dynamic visual language used to maneuver it. At times we appear to be witnessing another individual’s point view, when the device moves as if it were a journalist hiding inside a car or behind buildings, also risking life and limb to record these moments of tension.

Fittingly, this is a piece of immersive cinema edited (by Nick Fenton, “American Animals”) for psychological impact as opposed to keeping to a precise timeline. However, the plot does work in a linear manner, leading up to a fateful event that would serve as revelatory proof of Bashar al-Assad’s attacks on civilians.

Colvin’s inner state is assembled from brief flashbacks, which are effective if not inventive, culminating in a nightmarish sequence that sees her walking through a labyrinth of horrors engraved in her psyche from a lifetime of being confronted with the worst of humanity. Heineman is not playing it safe here, and that’s not only commendable but also necessary to offer a different type of tribute to such a fascinating and conflicted character.

It’s a testament to Heineman’s penchant for reality that his first foray outside the non-fiction world is based on the true life of a figure who shares his concern for the loss of human life in the geopolitical games that nations play daily. Perhaps it was only by using a controlled fictional setting that the audacious director could confront his own understanding of what compels a person to do what he and Colvin do.

Colvin constantly acknowledged her privilege and was conscious of her potential to be perceived as a white savior with self-aggrandizing ideas. Heineman seems to be undergoing the same ruthless self-examination vicariously with this affecting project.



Related stories from TheWrap:

Amy Winehouse Biopic in the Works

‘Dear White People’ Creator Justin Simien Takes on Biopic for Sugar Hill Records Founder Sylvia Robinson

George Carlin Biopic Is in Works at The Jackal Group

‘This is Us’ Star Susan Kelechi Watson Joins Mister Rogers Biopic ‘You Are My Friend’

Applauded for his intrepid commitment to attaining and sharing firsthand versions of the truth, filmmaker Matthew Heineman came into the foreground of the documentary community upon the release of his third feature, 2015’s “Cartel Land.” Voluntarily putting himself in harm’s way, he used his privilege as a white American man to chronicle the Mexican Drug War, often with bullets raining down on him and his camera.

Heineman then professionally transformed himself into a cross between a war correspondent and a lyrical storyteller, an amalgamation that can just as well apply to Marie Colvin, the award-winning journalist for London’s Sunday Times tasked with covering some of the most gruesome international conflicts of the last 30 years. She did so with unshakable resolve, bearing the personal cost of trauma most of us will never know.

Playing out as more of a formally daring conversation between two kindred spirits (director and subject) than a reverential biopic with all the Oscar-bait fixings, Heineman’s fiction debut “A Private War” is an episodic account of Colvin’s greatest (and most dangerous) hits since she lost sight in her left eye while on duty during the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2001.

Her mythical persona has been deftly transposed to the screen from a Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner titled “Marie Colvin’s Private War.” Adapted by eclectic screenwriter Arash Amel (“Grace of Monaco”), the result is a stunningly moving, yet never mawkish, dissection of Colvin’s self-aware motivations, irrevocable positions, flawed interpersonal skills, and narrative ability to make people stop and care about whatever story was compelling her to risk her life.

“In covering war, can we really make a difference?” asks Colvin (played by Rosamund Pike) late in the film. It’s a question so heavy with responsibility that it would be unjust to demand a clear answer from her, but Colvin operated as if her coverage was in fact the only concrete action she could take to enact change. Pike, giving the kind of transformative performance that puts her squarely in the awards-season conversation, manifests Colvin’s brazen outspokenness with candor, and her irreparable brokenness via a cocktail of rage and subdued anxiety.

Wearing an eye patch with outward confidence while vulnerably chasing the desire to feel attractive behind closed doors, the actress embodies the internal battle of a woman tormented by what she’s witnessed and the impotence of being unable to prevent it. Pike is doing much more than regulating her voice to replicate Colvin’s tone; she takes hammer and chisel to her emotional armor, forged from the accumulated experiences Colvin must suppress in order to remain functional. A scene recreating the reporter’s call with Anderson Cooper live from a hideout in Homs, Syria, ranks amongst the most punch-in-the-gut moments of her portrayal.

For all its brilliance, Pike’s work here is not unprecedented in her career; it’s “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Jamie Dornan who amazes with his take on photographer Paul Conroy, who would become one of Colvin’s closest collaborators beginning in the early 2000s. It’s not his handsomely rugged looks he’s selling this time, but an unassuming turn as a sidekick and as an artist working through fear to match Colvin’s words with his images reflecting human suffering. For audiences who missed the actor’s chilling turn as a serial killer on “The Fall,” Dorman’s powerful moments of raw pain will be a real revelation.

The cast’s unseen co-star is three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson’s camera, which acts as Heineman’s proxy thanks to the immediate and dynamic visual language used to maneuver it. At times we appear to be witnessing another individual’s point view, when the device moves as if it were a journalist hiding inside a car or behind buildings, also risking life and limb to record these moments of tension.

Fittingly, this is a piece of immersive cinema edited (by Nick Fenton, “American Animals”) for psychological impact as opposed to keeping to a precise timeline. However, the plot does work in a linear manner, leading up to a fateful event that would serve as revelatory proof of Bashar al-Assad’s attacks on civilians.

Colvin’s inner state is assembled from brief flashbacks, which are effective if not inventive, culminating in a nightmarish sequence that sees her walking through a labyrinth of horrors engraved in her psyche from a lifetime of being confronted with the worst of humanity. Heineman is not playing it safe here, and that’s not only commendable but also necessary to offer a different type of tribute to such a fascinating and conflicted character.

It’s a testament to Heineman’s penchant for reality that his first foray outside the non-fiction world is based on the true life of a figure who shares his concern for the loss of human life in the geopolitical games that nations play daily. Perhaps it was only by using a controlled fictional setting that the audacious director could confront his own understanding of what compels a person to do what he and Colvin do.

Colvin constantly acknowledged her privilege and was conscious of her potential to be perceived as a white savior with self-aggrandizing ideas. Heineman seems to be undergoing the same ruthless self-examination vicariously with this affecting project.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Amy Winehouse Biopic in the Works

'Dear White People' Creator Justin Simien Takes on Biopic for Sugar Hill Records Founder Sylvia Robinson

George Carlin Biopic Is in Works at The Jackal Group

'This is Us' Star Susan Kelechi Watson Joins Mister Rogers Biopic 'You Are My Friend'

Peter Dinklage Has Nothing in Common with Hervé Villechaize – The ‘Fantasy Island’ Star Was His Greatest Acting Challenge

Is this the first time the “Game of Thrones” star plays someone other than “a version of himself”? His director thinks so.

“Game of Thrones” aside, Peter Dinklage is not one for epics — in his last two films, he largely starred opposite only one other person. “Obviously, it depends on who you’re working with,” he said. “But if you’re lucky to work with [Jamie Dornan] or Elle Fanning, it’s a joy. That’s all I want to do for the rest of my career, just two people,” he said.

Thus, he’s prioritizing working with a director like Reed Morano on the post-apocalyptic indie film “I Think We’re Alone Now,” or bringing to life the eccentric and fascinating Hervé Villechaize for passion project “My Dinner With Hervé,” the upcoming HBO original film about the days leading up to the death of the “Fantasy Island” star.

Jamie Dornan co-stars in the role of a fictional London journalist who serves as an analog for director Sacha Gervasi (“Anvil: The Story of Anvil”), who was the last to interview Villechaize in 1993 before his death at age 50.

Hervé Villechaize and Sacha Gervais in 1993.

Hervé Villechaize and Sacha Gervais in 1993.

Sloane Pringle/HBO

“Anything that is basically a two-hander is always a bit of a risk,” said Dornan. “There’s a bit of a, ‘If I don’t get on with this person, it’s gonna be a tricky couple months.’ And often the work will suffer as a result of that.”

“I don’t think I’m good enough to fake any chemistry,” Dinklage added. “Really, I don’t think I’m a good enough actor to do that. To me sometimes, as I get older, what’s more important? The finished product, or 40 days on set with somebody? I’ll take the 40 days over the finished product. If the finished product is really good? It’s a perfect storm of greatness. But I’ll take the 40 days. I mean, I’ve had some great experiences on films, and the films were all right — but I’ll still always have those experiences.”

Gervasi first sought out Dinklage for the project in 2004, after he saw Dinklage star in “Richard III” at the Public Theater. “He was mind-blowing,” he said. “He just owned the place. It was like the ‘boom’ of his power as an actor, his voice… the whole thing. It was enthralling. Then we went to dinner. I said, ‘Listen. You’ve gotta take this fucking movie. That was amazing!’ I knew he had more than he’d had a chance even to show.”

Peter Dinklage and Jamie Dornan in “My Dinner With Hervé.”

HBO

The two began working then to develop the project, which represents the first time Dinklage portrays a real person. “He had said to me, all of his roles, including ‘Game of Thrones,’ or ‘The Station Agent’ — they’re all sort of versions of him,” said Gervasi. “This is the first character who’s someone real, but also totally different to him. There are certain obvious sort of superficial similarities, but Hervé and Peter, having known them both, are profoundly different characters in the way that they handle the same situation.”

This included the process of being interviewed. “Unlike myself, Hervé brought a theatricality to the whole event of his interview with Sacha,” Dinklage said. “He had set it up in such a way that made Sacha very curious, as to who he was. It was an ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ down-the-rabbit-hole experience for Sacha — the way Hervé presented himself.”

Meanwhile, Dinklage laughed, “I don’t even remember if I took a shower this morning.” (He looked fine.)

Peter Dinklage My Dinner With Herve

Peter Dinklage in “My Dinner With Hervé.”

HBO

Dornan noted that Villechaize and Gervasi’s experience reflects those celebrity profiles in which the journalist and subject go out to do something than posing and answering questions. “The very diluted, very safe version of that is, you know, I say, ‘Instead of sitting and having lunch, can we go to the bar or go play arcade games?'”

“That sort of forced familiarity,” Dinklage said.

“Which, you know people do. I’ve probably done,” Dornan said. “But I guess this is a way crazier, more manipulative version of that.”

Here’s Gervasi’s memory of how Villechaize escalated their interview: “Out of the corner of my eye, there was a sort of rapid movement. I turn around, and Hervé’s standing right there, and he has a knife. Hervé has a knife, and he’s like, ‘I’ve told you the bullshit. Now, do you wanna hear the real story?’ I was like … I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I’m about to be shivved to death by the dwarf from fucking ‘Fantasy Island.’ What in the fuck? But it wasn’t a threat. It was like, ‘Wake up, pay attention. I’m not just the story you wrote before you even got here. I’m a real fucking human being. Do you wanna know that story?'”

Thus, Gervasi spent three days with Villechaize in Los Angeles, and “he just poured his heart out to me. When I met him, I could see that the fame and the success had, in a strange way, devastated him. He’d been chewed up and literally spat out… it was very hard. It’s like suddenly you’re walking along in your life, and then you get like a triple dose of heroin and then suddenly it’s cut off.”

Ultimately, Gervasi said, “you had all of these different personalities within Hervé, which was so fascinating, because you realize that the fame thing really had taken him down. He felt, in a strange way, cheated. He wasn’t quite willing to look at his role in it, but he had a big role in his own downfall by the way that he conducted himself. I think, when I met him, he regretted it. He thought, ‘Shit. I kind of had it!’ As they say, ‘The one piece of advice in TV is never quit the hit.’ You know? He kind of forced that upon himself.”

Peter Dinklage My Dinner With Herve

Peter Dinklage in “My Dinner With Hervé.”

HBO

Both Dinklage and Dornan said the film’s exploration of “the fame thing” had a real impact on them. “There’s really no sort of right or wrong way to deal with that, with what happened to Hervé,” said Dornan. “Wealth, and fame, recognition and admiration and consideration. All the things that come with this job, if you do it to a point where there is recognition, you can’t fault someone for responding a certain way. We’re all very fragile as human beings. We all have different ways we can be destructive. Attention and scrutiny and pressure can be the catalyst to destruction. I think they were definitely for Hervé.”

Added Dinklage, “You have to prepare yourself, always be prepared for it not being what it is today. I think maybe Hervé — everything I say about him is said with love — I’m so afraid of talking about someone who is real. I don’t think he was prepared, he hadn’t prepared himself for it, for when the day would come when he just wanted to keep living on that wire. I think, maybe I’m lucky, the fame I had came a little later in life… It came later for me, which really, for me, helped me process it all. It’s weird, it’s abstract, and at the end of the day it has nothing to do with you — who you are. It’s something people see a version of you, they project on you.”

Jamie Dornan My Dinner With Herve

Jamie Dornan in “My Dinner With Hervé”

HBO

But for Gervasi, making “My Dinner with Hervé” went beyond the question of fame to a more basic place. “[The movie] starts with two characters who could not be more different visually and who seemingly have nothing in common, and the audience maybe has nothing in common with, and by the end of the second act, you realize that these two characters are the same person,” he said.

“By the end of the movie, if it’s successful — if you connect with it — you realize that person is you, that you can connect with a 3’10” French dwarf and you can connect with a stupidly beautiful former male model. But it’s not about that. It’s about the fact that we all struggle with the same shit, and we all have to look at ourselves in the mirror at the end of the day, look at the good and bad, and accept the imperfection of what it is to be a human being.”

“My Dinner with Hervé” premieres Saturday, October 20 on HBO.

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How Peter Dinklage Helped Jamie Dornan Prep for ‘Fifty Shades’ (Video)

Peter Dinklage and Jamie Dornan star opposite each other in TV movie “My Dinner with Hervé,” but they also worked together on another great film: “Fifty Shades Freed.”

“I read some of the screenplay… in our dressing room,” Dinklage told Stephen Colbert on Wednesday’s “Late Show.” “He had to do some reshoots for ‘Fifty Shades,’ and I helped him out, learning lines.”

Cue laughter from the audience.

Also Read: Peter Dinklage Teases Tyrion’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Series Finale Fate: ‘Death Can Be a Great Way Out’

“I would read the Dakota Johnson parts,” the “Game of Thrones” star said. “I was just helping a friend learn lines.”

“I nailed it,” Dinklage recalled. “I really did.”

Watch the video above, during which Dinklage also explains the difference between “Game of Thrones” fans and “Fifty Shades” fans.

“My Dinner with Hervé,” a biopic about “Fantasy Island” actor Hervé Villechaize, premieres Saturday night on HBO.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Maisie Williams Filmed Her Final ‘Game of Thrones’ Scene Solo: ‘Arya’s Always Bloody Alone’

Peter Dinklage Shoots Down ‘Whitewashing’ Outcry for Playing ‘Fantasy Island’ Actor Hervé Villechaize

Peter Dinklage Is ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ in Teaser Trailer for ‘My Dinner With Hervé’ (Video)

Peter Dinklage and Jamie Dornan star opposite each other in TV movie “My Dinner with Hervé,” but they also worked together on another great film: “Fifty Shades Freed.”

“I read some of the screenplay… in our dressing room,” Dinklage told Stephen Colbert on Wednesday’s “Late Show.” “He had to do some reshoots for ‘Fifty Shades,’ and I helped him out, learning lines.”

Cue laughter from the audience.

“I would read the Dakota Johnson parts,” the “Game of Thrones” star said. “I was just helping a friend learn lines.”

“I nailed it,” Dinklage recalled. “I really did.”

Watch the video above, during which Dinklage also explains the difference between “Game of Thrones” fans and “Fifty Shades” fans.

“My Dinner with Hervé,” a biopic about “Fantasy Island” actor Hervé Villechaize, premieres Saturday night on HBO.

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Maisie Williams Filmed Her Final 'Game of Thrones' Scene Solo: 'Arya's Always Bloody Alone'

Peter Dinklage Shoots Down 'Whitewashing' Outcry for Playing 'Fantasy Island' Actor Hervé Villechaize

Peter Dinklage Is 'The Man With the Golden Gun' in Teaser Trailer for 'My Dinner With Hervé' (Video)

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‘My Dinner With Hervé’ Trailer: Peter Dinklage Plays the Pioneering Actor Alongside Jamie Dornan — Watch

Sacha Gervasi’s film premieres on HBO on October 20.

Fresh off his most recent Emmy win, “Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage returns to HBO next month in “My Dinner With Hervé.” About the final days of Hervé Villechaize, a pioneering actor known for “Fantasy Island” and “The Man With the Golden Gun,” the film co-stars Jamie Dornan as the journalist sent to interview him about his status as “the most famous dwarf in the world.” Watch the trailer below.

“An unlikely friendship evolves over one wild night in LA between a struggling journalist (Jamie Dornan) and actor Hervé Villechaize (Peter Dinklage), resulting in life-changing consequences for both.” The film has received backlash for supposedly whitewashing Villechaize’s story due to the fact that many believe he was half-Filipino, a claim Dinklage addressed in a recent interview.

“The funny thing about the backlash is it addresses what we address in the film about not judging a book by its cover,” the actor said. “Hervé was judged by how he looked, and cast and perceived to be who he is accordingly. … There’s this term ‘whitewashing.’ I completely understand that. But Hervé wasn’t Filipino. … I’ve met his brother and other members of his family. He was French, and of German and English descent. So it’s strange these people are saying he’s Filipino. They kind of don’t have any information.”

“My Dinner with Hervé,” which was directed by Sacha Gervasi, premieres on HBO on Saturday, October 20.

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The pair will play two New Orleans paramedi…

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‘A Private War’ Trailer: Rosamund Pike As War Correspondent Marie Colvin & Jamie Dornan As Photographer

She traveled to the most dangerous places on Earth to risk her life for the truth. “Once you go crazy,” the grizzled war correspondent tells her exasperated new photographer, “it’s not something you get used to.”
Here&#821…

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Peter Dinklage Is ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’ in Teaser Trailer for ‘My Dinner With Hervé’ (Video)

Peter Dinklage is “the man with the golden gun” in the new HBO film “My Dinner with Hervé.”
The movie stars Emmy-nominated “Game of Thrones” regular Peter Dinklage as Hervé Villechaize, the French dwarf actor who app…

Peter Dinklage is “the man with the golden gun” in the new HBO film “My Dinner with Hervé.”

The movie stars Emmy-nominated “Game of Thrones” regular Peter Dinklage as Hervé Villechaize, the French dwarf actor who appeared as the evil Nick Nack in the James Bond film “The Man with the Golden Gun” and as Tattoo in the series “Fantasy Island” in the late ’70s- early ’80s. “50 Shades of Gray” star Jamie Dornan plays the struggling journalist Danny Tate, who is assigned to write a profile of Villechaize.

The film is inspired by the true story of the unlikely friends, who spent one wild night in Los Angeles that had life-changing consequences for both of them.

“I have a real story for you, junior,” Hervé tells Danny in the teaser trailer, above.

Alongside Dinklage and Dornan, Mireille Enos stars as Hervé’s longtime girlfriend, Kathy Self; Harriet Walter as Danny’s newspaper editor, Fiona Baskin; Oona Chaplin as Danny’s girlfriend, Katie Nielson; with David Strathairn as Villechaize’s longtime agent, Marty Rothstein; and Andy García as Ricardo Montalbán.

Sacha Gervasi directs the movie, with a screenplay by Gervasi and story by Gervasi and Sean Macaulay. Dinklage executive produces with Gervasi, Steven Zaillian, Richard Middleton, Ross Katz and Jessica de Rothschild. Garrett Basch and David Ginsberg serve as co-executive producers.

The movie will premiere on HBO on Saturday, October 20 at 8 p.m.

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‘My Dinner With Hervé’ Trailer: Peter Dinklage Channels Hervé Villechaize (Accent and All) in HBO Movie — Watch

Jamie Dornan (“50 Shades of Grey”) co-stars in the Sacha Gervasi film.

Now retired as Christian Grey, Jamie Dornan needs something else to do — so why not co-star with Peter Dinklage in “My Dinner With Hervé,” a new biopic set to debut this October on HBO?

In the 30-second teaser trailer below, the premise of HBO’s latest biopic gets laid out pretty cleanly: Danny Tate (Dornan) is a journalist assigned to speak with Villechaize (Dinklage), “the most famous dwarf in the world.” Villechaize promises he has a story to tell about his life as the star of projects including “The Man With the Golden Gun” and “Fantasy Island.”

While Dinklage does not share Villechaize’s French/Filipino heritage, he is a two-time Emmy winner for his work on “Game of Thrones” and seems committed to mastering the accent work involved. Per HBO, the cast also includes:

Mireille Enos as Hervé’s longtime girlfriend, Kathy Self; Harriet Walter as Danny’s newspaper editor, Fiona Baskin; Oona Chaplin as Danny’s girlfriend, Katie Nielson; with David Strathairn as Villechaize’s longtime agent, Marty Rothstein; and Andy García as Ricardo Montalbán, Villechaize’s “Fantasy Island” co-star.

“My Dinner With Hervé” is directed by Sacha Gervasi, whose previous credits include the films “Anvil: The Story of Anvil” and “Hitchcock.” The screenplay was also written by Gervasi, with story by Gervasi & Sean Macaulay, and executive producers include Steven Zaillian, Richard Middleton, Ross Katz, Jessica de Rothschild, Peter Dinklage, Garrett Basch, and David Ginsberg.

The film premieres October 20 at 8 p.m. ET on HBO. Check out the first teaser below.

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‘Fifty Shades Freed’ Has a Surprising Humanitarian Message and Doesn’t Realize It

(Major spoilers ahead for “Fifty Shades Freed”)

As a sort of connoisseur of cinematic guilty pleasures, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy is among my favorite movie franchises. It’s basically the romantic drama equivalent of a B-level action flick — all about the visceral pleasures without any real attempt at satisfying traditional standards of coherence, orienting its decidedly self-aware storytelling entirely around both physical and emotional titillation. In other words, it’s just the best.

“Fifty Shades Freed” manages to take the series to all new heights. Full disclosure, I have not read these books — the movies are tinged with a sort of goofy irony that I worry the books are too earnest to match. So if you have read the books, what I’m about to discuss probably isn’t news to you.

But for me, as someone for whom the movies are my primary point of reference, the ending of “Fifty Shades Freed” blew my mind for how weirdly oblivious it appeared to be to the point it seemed to have spent its entire running time trying to make. It was one last inexplicable gag to make me question whether I was laughing at or with the movie.

Also Read: The 20 Best Guilty Pleasure Movies of 2017, From ‘Underworld’ to ‘Wolf Warrior 2’

This kind of thing is the real joy of “Fifty Shades” for me — not being able to tell if I’m getting out of it what the filmmakers want me to get out out of it is part of the fun. There are undeniable deadpan comedy elements in all three movies, but I can’t tell how hard they’re winking at me.

The conclusion of “Fifty Shades Freed” is the greatest of these moments. That it plays out roughly the same as it did in the book (I looked it up after I saw the movie). That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a joke in its movie form, but it’s tough to tell. Anyway, let’s get right into it.

The twist in “Freed” is that Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and villain Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) were both orphans who lived in the same foster home when they were young children. And the reason Hyde was so incredibly mad at Ana (Dakota Johnson) — and Christian both that he tried to kidnap Ana and did actually kidnap Christian’s sister Mia (Rita Ora) — is because Christian was adopted by rich people and Hyde was not. Christian, upon discovering all this, comes to the correct conclusion: Maybe he, too, would have been a terrible person had he and Hyde swapped places. (Ignore the fact that these movies have never really depicted Christian as a “good” person).

It’s true that environment and upbringing have a major impact on what kind of adult a kid will turn out to be, and Christian is absolutely correct to ponder what kind of person he would be if his and Hyde’s roles were reversed. And since Christian at that moment has also finally come around on having kids after being adamantly opposed to the prospect the entire movie, the message here seems pretty clear: Christian and Ana should adopt some kids! They could use their ridiculous billionaire means and the lessons learned from the whole Hyde situation to maybe help some other kids from taking that same turn, and just make their lives better in general. Use all the wealth to do something positive for the world! By all the normal ways stories work, that feels like the entire point of the Hyde arc.

Also Read: ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ Is Like a ‘Bad Tinder Date That Lasted Three Years’ and 6 Other Shady Reviews

But then they just have their own kids instead. Ana is already pregnant by the end of the movie, and in the epilogue scene set a couple years later she’s pregnant again. No lessons were actually learned, apparently.

I have no idea if the movie wants me to note the weird irony of the situation. Is this some kind of commentary about how awful rich people are? Or is it really that oblivious to the moral of its own story? I don’t know what author E.L. James intended, and I don’t know what director James Foley intended. And maybe I don’t care, because the mystery is the fun of it.

As a result, “Fifty Shades Freed” is a Schrodinger’s cat of a movie — both ironic and sincere, aware of itself and also having no clue what it’s doing. What’s the real answer? Is there one? We’ll probably never know, and I am more than OK with that.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Does ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ Have a Post-Credits Scene?

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(Major spoilers ahead for “Fifty Shades Freed”)

As a sort of connoisseur of cinematic guilty pleasures, the “Fifty Shades” trilogy is among my favorite movie franchises. It’s basically the romantic drama equivalent of a B-level action flick — all about the visceral pleasures without any real attempt at satisfying traditional standards of coherence, orienting its decidedly self-aware storytelling entirely around both physical and emotional titillation. In other words, it’s just the best.

“Fifty Shades Freed” manages to take the series to all new heights. Full disclosure, I have not read these books — the movies are tinged with a sort of goofy irony that I worry the books are too earnest to match. So if you have read the books, what I’m about to discuss probably isn’t news to you.

But for me, as someone for whom the movies are my primary point of reference, the ending of “Fifty Shades Freed” blew my mind for how weirdly oblivious it appeared to be to the point it seemed to have spent its entire running time trying to make. It was one last inexplicable gag to make me question whether I was laughing at or with the movie.

This kind of thing is the real joy of “Fifty Shades” for me — not being able to tell if I’m getting out of it what the filmmakers want me to get out out of it is part of the fun. There are undeniable deadpan comedy elements in all three movies, but I can’t tell how hard they’re winking at me.

The conclusion of “Fifty Shades Freed” is the greatest of these moments. That it plays out roughly the same as it did in the book (I looked it up after I saw the movie). That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not a joke in its movie form, but it’s tough to tell. Anyway, let’s get right into it.

The twist in “Freed” is that Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and villain Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) were both orphans who lived in the same foster home when they were young children. And the reason Hyde was so incredibly mad at Ana (Dakota Johnson) — and Christian both that he tried to kidnap Ana and did actually kidnap Christian’s sister Mia (Rita Ora) — is because Christian was adopted by rich people and Hyde was not. Christian, upon discovering all this, comes to the correct conclusion: Maybe he, too, would have been a terrible person had he and Hyde swapped places. (Ignore the fact that these movies have never really depicted Christian as a “good” person).

It’s true that environment and upbringing have a major impact on what kind of adult a kid will turn out to be, and Christian is absolutely correct to ponder what kind of person he would be if his and Hyde’s roles were reversed. And since Christian at that moment has also finally come around on having kids after being adamantly opposed to the prospect the entire movie, the message here seems pretty clear: Christian and Ana should adopt some kids! They could use their ridiculous billionaire means and the lessons learned from the whole Hyde situation to maybe help some other kids from taking that same turn, and just make their lives better in general. Use all the wealth to do something positive for the world! By all the normal ways stories work, that feels like the entire point of the Hyde arc.

But then they just have their own kids instead. Ana is already pregnant by the end of the movie, and in the epilogue scene set a couple years later she’s pregnant again. No lessons were actually learned, apparently.

I have no idea if the movie wants me to note the weird irony of the situation. Is this some kind of commentary about how awful rich people are? Or is it really that oblivious to the moral of its own story? I don’t know what author E.L. James intended, and I don’t know what director James Foley intended. And maybe I don’t care, because the mystery is the fun of it.

As a result, “Fifty Shades Freed” is a Schrodinger’s cat of a movie — both ironic and sincere, aware of itself and also having no clue what it’s doing. What’s the real answer? Is there one? We’ll probably never know, and I am more than OK with that.

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