It was announced today that footage from 2040 will be shown to world leaders at the official opening of the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23, 2019 and the film will also be screened in full to UN Climate Summit Youth delegates.
Award-winning filmmaker Damon Gameau, who wrote and directed 2040, said of the announcement, “The intention of 2040 was to plant a seed of what a cleaner, more sustainable future could look like. To have aspects of that vision now shown to world leaders at the United Nations is obviously the best possible outcome. I am thrilled for everyone who put so much care and effort into making the film.”
Convened by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, the UN Climate Action Summit runs from Saturday, 21st to Monday, 23rd of September in New York City and aims to boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. With its empowering, relatable and hopeful messages about the possibilities for the future of our environment, 2040 was selected by the UN and clips from the film will feature in a video to be projected 360 onto the walls of the hallowed UN General Assembly Hall. The video, like the film, aims to highlight what our world could look like if leaders mobilise in a global and unprecedented effort from all sectors of society to act on the issue of climate change.
Gameau will travel to New York to attend the summit and attend other Climate Week NYC events, including a screening of 2040 to Youth delegates. The screening will be introduced by Christiana Figueres (Lead Negotiator of the Paris Agreement) who has described 2040 as “A most compelling blend of futuristic vision and current reality.” A panel discussion with Gameau and prominent youth activists will follow the screening.
After sixteen weeks in cinemas and its recent release across physical and digital home entertainment channels, 2040 continues to perform at the box office with sessions at key cinema locations continuing to sell well. The film is now the fourth highest-grossing Australian feature documentary of all time at the domestic box office, with a cumulative box office total of $1,434,183.
2040 also continues to deliver against its ambitious impact goals with an initiative to bring the seaweed climate solution featured in the film to Australian waters. An initial fundraising target of $350,000 was met with the help of The Intrepid Foundation who contributed $175,000 in matched funding and recently committed a further $125,000 to the next phase of the project. The money raised will allow the Climate Foundation and the University of Tasmania to deploy Australia’s first regenerative marine permaculture test platform with the goal of restoring degraded giant kelp forests in Storm Bay, Tasmania. More information about the project can be found via The Intrepid Foundation website.
Studiocanal has just released the first poster and teaser trailer for Radioactive.
From the 1870s to the modern era, RADIOACTIVE is a journey through Marie Curie’s (Academy Award® nominee Rosamund Pike) enduring legacies – her passionate relationships, scientific breakthroughs and the consequences that followed for her and for the world. After meeting fellow scientist Pierre Curie (Sam Riley), the pair go on to marry and change the face of science forever by their discovery of radioactivity. The genius of the Curies’ world-changing discoveries and the ensuing Nobel Prize propels the devoted couple into the international limelight. From renowned producers, WORKING TITLE (Darkest Hour) and Shoebox Films (Atonement), and Academy Award® nominated director, MarjaneSatrapi (Persepolis), comes a bold, visionary depiction of the transformative effects and ensuing fallout of the Curies’ work and how this shaped the defining moments of the 20th Century.
Aneurin Barnard (Dunkirk), Simon Russell Beale (The Death of Stalin), Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd), Sian Brooke (Good Omens) and AnyaTaylor-Joy (Glass) will also star in this drama based on the book by LaurenRedniss.
With the upcoming Australian release of Good Boys, which revolves around three 6th grade boys, who ditch school and embark on an epic journey while carrying accidentally stolen drugs, being hunted by teenage girls, and try to make their way home in time for a long-awaited party – we take a look at the best child actors of the last couple of decades.
(We evaluated their performances and awards-buzz throughout their careers, up until the age of 16.)
10. Macaulay Culkin
“I don’t even get an allowance.” – Macaulay Culkin
Macaulay Carson Culkin is one of the most famous American child stars. Born on August 26, 1980, he made his debut on stage at the age of 4, appearing in an Off-Broadway show – The Nutcracker. The role he’s most known for is Kevin McCallister in HomeAlone – which made $476,684,675 worldwide. Other films he’s appeared in as a child were Uncle Buck; MyGirl; Home Alone 2: Lost in New York; The Good Son; The Pagemaster and Richie Rich. He also received a Golden Globe-nomination for his role in Home Alone at the age of 11.
Fun fact: He’s the godfather to Michael Jackson’s first child.
9. Millie Bobby Brown
“I live on a plane.” – Millie Bobby Brown
Millie Bobby Brown was born on February 19, 2004. She became world famous for her role as Eleven in the Netflix science fiction drama series StrangerThings, for which she earned a Primetime EmmyAward nomination, at age 13. She is also the youngest person ever to feature on TIME 100 list. She’s also appeared in tv-series Intruders and Godzilla II: King of the Monsters, and has just finished filming its sequel Godzilla vs. Kong.
Interesting fact: She is deaf in one ear.
8. Chloë Grace Moretz
“My mom has always said that if I get a big head, she’ll take me out of this business as quickly as I got into it.” – Chloë Grace Moretz
Chloë Grace Moretz was born February 10, 1997 and is known for her versatility in film roles despite her young age. She first appeared on the big screen in the remake of horror film, The Amityville Horror (2005), in which she played the on-screen-daughter of Ryan Gosling‘s character. Her biggest success as a child was Tim Burtons‘ adaptation of DarkShadows, which grossed $245,527,149. You might also know her from The Eye; 500 Days of Summer; Kick-Ass and the sequel Kick-Ass 2; Let Me In and Hugo; or tv-series Dirty Sexy Money.
Fun fact: Voiced the entire character of Penny in Bolt (2008) before Disney hired Miley Cyrus to do the role.
7. Jodie Foster
“When people are there to simply do a job they don’t have any passion for, those are nearly always bad films.” – Jodie Foster
Jodie Foster was born in Los Angeles on November 19, 1962. Before she started acting in numerous tv-series, she started off as an extra in commercials from the age of two. As a child she worked on television programs such as, The Doris Day Show; The Partridge Family; Bonanza and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father. It’s when she played a prostitute at the age of 12, in Martin Scorsese‘s Taxi Driver, when she received her first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress. She later appeared in films such as Freaky Friday.
Crazy fact: As a child, she was attacked by a lion and carried briefly in its mouth while filming Disney‘s Napoleon and Samantha (1972).
6. Jacob Tremblay
Jacob Tremblay was born in Canada on October 5, 2006. His breakout performance was in the drama Room, for which he received critical acclaim. He has since appeared in multiple films, such as, Before I Wake; The Book of Henry; Wonder; The Predator and his most recent film, Good Boys. Jacob has a few big projects lined up with Doctor Sleep, being released later this year and he’ll also be voicing Flounder in Disney’s upcoming live action remake of The Little Mermaid.
5. Dakota Fanning
“I have no problem shooting emotional scenes.” – Dakota Fanning
Hannah Dakota Fanning was born on February 23, 1994, and had her big breakthrough in the film I AmSam, at the age of seven years old. She then starred in numerous big Hollywood productions, alongside Charlize Theron, Mike Myers, Brittany Murphy, DenzelWashington and many others. Her biggest film was Steven Spielberg‘s War of the Worlds, in which she got to play the daughter of Tom Cruise, and made her one of the most popular child actors of the 00’s. Other work she’s known for as a child: Trapped; Uptown Girls; The Cat in the Hat; Man on Fire; Hideand Seek; Charlotte’s Web; The Twilight Saga and TheRunaways.
Impressive fact: She was the youngest member of the “Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences“, which admitted her in 2006.
4. Olsen Twins
“I am the cute one! She’s just my sister.” – Mary-KateOlsen
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were born on June 13, 1986. They are identical twins and have always acted together in films and tv-shows, until 2012 – when they decided to retire from acting and focus on their careers in fashion. The twins were cast at the age of nine months to share the role of Michelle Tanner in the immensely popular sitcom Full House, which they played for eight years. In the early 90s, they established company Dualstar, to produce Mary-Kate and Ashley-branded products. Fun fact: During the earlier seasons of Full House (1987), the producers did not want this known that Michelle was played by twins, so Mary-Kate and Ashley were credited as Mary Kate Ashley Olsen.
3. Haley Joel Osment
“It’s hard to act terrified when you have 200 crew members around you.” – Haley Joel Osment
Haley Joel Osment is the first millennial male to have received an Academy Award nomination for acting, at age 11, for playing Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense. Before his breakthrough role, he had appeared in Forrest Gump. Later on he’d play memorable parts in Pay It Forward; Artificial Intelligence: AI and Secondhand Lions. Hollywood fact: Auditioned for Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), but didn’t get a callback.
2. Abigail Breslin
Abigail Kathleen Breslin was born in 1996 and is mostly known for role in Little Miss Sunshine (2006), for which she received multiple awards and an Academy Award-nomination. Other films she was in: Signs; Raising Helen; No Reservations; Definitely, Maybe; Nim’s Island; My Sister’s Keeper; Zombieland and she voiced a character in the animated film Rango. Abigail will reprise the role of Little Rock in this year’s sequel to Zombieland – exactly 10 years after the release of the the first film. Personal fact: Her favorite movie is Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).
1. Shirley Temple
“When I was 14, I was the oldest I ever was. I’ve been getting younger ever since.” – Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple is most certainly the most famous child star of all time. She skyrocketed into stardom from the age of three and never looked back down. She was not just an actress, she was a singer and dancer too, that’s why every studio in Hollywood wanted her to be a part of their films or even star in the lead role. She won an Oscar at the age of 6, in grateful recognition of her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment during the year 1934, and starred in 28 feature length films, before the age of sixteen. Cute fact: Her mother, Gertrude Temple, did her hair in pin curls for each movie. Every hairstyle had exactly 56 curls.
Antenna, Australia’s international documentary film festival, unveiled its full program for 2019. Featuring 50 of the most cutting-edge, thought-provoking documentaries from around the globe, Antenna is set to turn Sydney into a doc-lovers paradise from 17-27 October 2019.
Traversing a range of themes and topics, the Antenna 2019 program is jam-packed with explorations into issues across the globe. From a captivating look at the cost of the social media gold rush to an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war, Antenna allows audiences to connect with the wider world through some of the most talked about documentaries.
“One consistent comment from our audience over the last decade has been that the festival is over too quickly,” said Antenna’s Festival Director, David Rokach. “So we are excited to double the length of Antenna in 2019, growing it to 11 days and giving Sydney audiences even more opportunities to join us in a celebration of the creativity of non-fiction cinema today.
Opening the festival is the Australian Premiere of Nomad: In The Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, legendary director Werner Herzog’s moving new tribute to charismatic English writer and adventurer Bruce Chatwin. Told in Herzog’s inimitable style, and full of memorable characters and encounters, Nomad captures the filmmaker’s epic cross-continental journey carrying the rucksack his good friend Chatwin bequeathed to him on his deathbed.
Antenna is thrilled to unveil the latest works of two other respected masters – celebrated Chilean director Patricio Guzmán and acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Guzmán’s The Cordillera of Dreams is a haunting exploration of the cultural and political impact of the Chile’s most spectacular geological feature: its snowcapped mountain spine; and Ai Weiwei‘s The Rest is a moving, yet unsentimental film about refugees who fled war and persecution and arrived in Europe only to live in limbo within a disintegrating humanitarian aid system.
Other International Highlights Include:
Los Reyes, a charming film set in a skatepark in Santiago, where, through the eyes of two street dogs named Football and Chola, audiences get to know something of the humans who skate there. The result is a cinema experience that will melt the heart and pique the senses.
Hi, AI, an often-funny science fiction style documentary exploring the implications of intimate relationships between robots and humans.
Jawline, a compelling story of aspiring social media star Austyn Tester. The film documents Austyn as he tries to escape a dead-end life in Tennessee. Be prepared for an amusing and tender exploration of teenage social media stardom and the live-broadcasting influencer economy.
Bellingcat – Truth in a Post-Truth World, afirst-hand look into the revolutionary rise of a citizen investigative journalist collective. This highly skilled and controversial group are now exposing the truth behind some of the biggest global news stories. In this film, we learn how.
Suede – The Insatiable Ones, a brutally honest and deeply moving film from award-winning director Mike Christie who thrillingly brings to life the UK band’s dizzying ride, from Britpop megastars to breakup and back.
A record number of Australian productions screen at Antenna in 2019 with seven Australian features and 11 Australian shorts, including; the World Premieres of Homeland Story about a remote indigenous community’s journey from a traditional nomadic lifestyle to the digital age; Amanda King’s The Great Strike 1917, which revisits a pivotal moment in our history and how it shaped today’s labour movement; and Juan Salazar’s beautifully shot The Bamboo Bridge, about the dismantlement of the longest bamboo bridge in the world and the effect it has on the local way of life.
Also screening in the Australian Competition are Sam Zubrycki’s feature about a mysterious young salsa star called Miguelito; Sam Dinning‘s girl-empowering rock-camp chronicle No Time for Quiet; and Fiona Cochrane‘s Ska’d For Life which also finds the film’s stars – ska legends Strange Tenants – performing live for Antenna’s first open-air concert and screening event, Doc In The Park.
This year Antenna celebrates the 100th Anniversary of maverick filmmaker Shirley Clarke, presenting a retrospective of her most compelling documentaries, including three feature films: Clarke’s unsettling masterpiece about a New York hustler, Portrait of Jason (1967); the rarely screened – and originally banned – classic The Connection (1961); and Ornette: Made in America (1985), free-jazz architect and music giant Ornette Coleman.
Antenna will also hold special programs such as DocTalk, a curated program of master classes and panels from a range of leading international and Australian filmmakers and industry figures and the new DocWest, showcasing highlights from the program at Parramatta’s Riverside Theatres.
The 9th edition of the Antenna Documentary Film Festival opens Thursday October 20 in Sydney and runs until Sunday October 27. For complete program information and to purchase tickets and festival passes, go to www.antennafestival.org
What: Antenna Documentary Film Festival When: 17-27 October Where: Palace Chauvel Cinema – 249 Oxford St, Paddington NSW Palace Verona – 17 Oxford St, Paddington NSW Riverside Theatre – Corner Market &, Church St, Parramatta Tickets: General Admission $21, Concession $18.50 Multi Passes – 5 films $95, 10 Films $175, 20 Films $300 – Opening Night + Party: Adult $50, Concession $40
It’s been almost four years, since the final episode of Downton Abbey aired on television and we had to say goodbye to the Crawley family. Who would’ve thought, there was more to explore and another story to tell? As things usually turn out after a successful series, the creators decided to bring back the entire cast (excluding LilyJames, for no particular reason) and give the fans what they’ve been hoping for – a full length feature on the silver screen.
During the final episode of Downton Abbey, we witnessed Lady Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) take over the estate. We jump 18 months in time and everything seems to be running smoothly, although Lady Crawley doubts the family legacy will live on. When a letter arrives to announce a visit from King George V (SimonJones) and Queen Mary (Geraldine James), everyone gets excited, until the royal butler and company arrive. They are here to make sure everything goes according to plan, while the estate’s crew gets pushed aside as if they don’t know how to handle things. What follows is a class war, behind the scenes of Downton Abbey.
Of course this doesn’t go unnoticed and tensions in the house rise, when Lady Mary invites retired former butler of the house, Carson (Jim Carter) to help in preparing for the royal visit, and thus pushing aside Thomas Barrow (Robert James-Collier) who had taken over his duties. Several subplots, including a snatching maid and a big secret surrounding Violet Crawley’s (a scene stealing Maggie Smith) cousin, Lady Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton) keep you entertained throughout the film.
Director Michael Engler and writer Julian Fellowes, who both also originally directed and wrote the series, are back and bigger than ever – even the well-known tune of the series sounds grander and more majestic. They introduce new characters, to bring happy endings to beloved favourites who never got one in the first place, and leave the door ajar for another story to be told. The film doesn’t explain every character’s background to viewers who aren’t familiar with the series. This is clearly made for the fans, who’ll love every single minute of it. You’ll laugh, you’ll cheer and you’ll shed a tear. Visiting Downton Abbey and the Crawley family is something we should do more often. It feels good to come home again.
Review – Downton Abbey
Reviewed at Event Cinemas Sydney, Sept. 12, 2019. ACB Rating: PG. Running time: 122 min.
PRODUCTION: A Universal Pictures release and presentation, in association with Focus Features, of a Carnival Film & Festival, Perfect World Pictures production. Producers: Julian Fellowes, Gareth Neame, Liz Trubridge. Executive producers: Nigel Marchant, Brian Percival.
CREW: Director: Michael Engler. Screenplay: Julian Fellowes. Camera (color): Ben Smithard. Editor: Mark Day. Music: John Lunn.
WITH: Maggie Smith, Matthew Goode, Michelle Dockery, Tuppence Middleton, Elizabeth McGovern, Allen Leech, Joanne Froggatt, Laura Carmichael, Kate Phillips, Imelda Staunton.
This year, Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” took audiences on a hilarious and heartwarming road trip with Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the whole gang, earning a 98 percent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and more than $1 billion at the global box office. Packed with old friends and new faces, the fourth film in the beloved Toy Story series, which leads Woody to an unexpected fork in the road, arrives home on Digital in 4K Ultra HD™, HD and SD October 1, and on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD October 9.
Fans who bring home “Toy Story 4” will be treated to over an hour of bonus features celebrating the film’s iconic characters, Pixar’s filmmaking team and the legacy of “Toy Story,” which began as the world’s first fully computer-animated feature film released nearly 25 years ago. Extensive extras includes deleted scenes such as an alternate ending, an all-new featurette with an endearing look back on Woody and Buzz’s legendary friendship throughout the years; entertaining studio stories shared by members of the Pixar team; a nostalgic look back at the creation and first storyboard screening of “Toy Story” with filmmakers; and the pioneering efforts of Pixar artists who created the sets, characters, look and feel of the original film and much more.
BONUS FEATURES Blu-ray & Digital: • ‘Toy Stories – The Toy Story 4 cast and crew share their love of toys! • Woody & Buzz – Take a look at the relationship between these two legendary characters. • Toy Box – Enjoy a collection of mini-docs on the film’s memorable new characters, featuring the voice actors, director Josh Cooley and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that make these characters fun and loveable • Let’s Ride With Ally Maki – Ally Maki, voice of Giggle McDimples, learns all about Pixar’s dialogue recording process from director Josh Cooley and his team. • Deleted Scenes introduced by director Josh Cooley including: o Scamming Playtime o Bo Knows Hippos o Desperate Toys o Knock-Offs o Recruit Duke o She’s The One • Audio Commentary, Trailers and more! iTunes Digital Exclusive: • Toy Story 4 0 Toy Views The Antique Mall
“Toy Story 4” Cast and Crew
“Toy Story 4” welcomes both veteran and new voices, including Tom Hanks as Woody, Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear, Annie Potts as Bo Peep, Tony Hale as Forky, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele as Ducky and Bunny, Madeleine McGraw as Bonnie, Christina Hendricks as Gabby Gabby, Keanu Reeves as Duke Caboom, Ally Maki as Giggle McDimples and Joan Cusack as Jessie. The voice cast also includes Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, Bonnie Hunt, Kristen Schaal, Emily Davis, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, the late Don Rickles and Estelle Harris. “Toy Story 4” is directed by Josh Cooley, and produced by Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera. Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich and Pete Docter are executive producers, and Stanton and Stephany Folsom wrote the screenplay. Longtime “Toy Story” collaborator Randy Newman composed the score and wrote two new original songs, “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” performed by Newman, and “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy,” which is performed by Chris Stapleton for the end credits.
The Jewish International Film Festival (23 October – 21 November) announces a special Australian preview of Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Jojo Rabbit, the highly-anticipated World War II satire by Oscar-nominated director Taika Waititi, as the Festival’s Closing Night film.
Jojo Rabbit will have its first Australian screenings on Wednesday 20 November at Classic Cinemas, Elsternwick in Melbourne, and on Thursday 21 November at Ritz Cinemas, Randwick in Sydney, ahead of its national release on 26 December. The film will also close the Festival in Brisbane, Canberra and Perth on Sunday 17 November. Tickets are available now from www.jiff.com.au.
Drawing on his own Jewish heritage and his experiences growing up surrounded by prejudice, writer-director Taika Waititi (whose mother is Jewish, while his father is Maori) makes a powerful statement against hate in his latest film. This World War II satire follows Jojo, a lonely German boy whose world view is turned upside down when he discovers his single mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a young Jewish girl in their attic. Aided only by his idiotic imaginary friend, Adolf Hitler (Taika Waititi), Jojo must confront his blind nationalism.
“Fresh from its premiere as a Special Presentation at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, we are very excited to present Australian audiences’ very first chance to catch this incredible film from the storyteller behind Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok,” said Jewish International Film Festival Artistic Director Eddie Tamir.“Based on the novel, the film boldly manages the delicate balance of tackling hate through satire. It’s one of the strongest films we have ever presented.”
Following JIFF sessions, Jojo Rabbit releases in Australian cinemas Boxing Day 2019.
The Jewish International Film Festival full program will be launched with a screening of The Other Story on Sunday 22 September at 2PM at the Ritz Cinemas, Randwick and Classic Cinemas, Elsternwick, before being officially unveiled on Monday 23 September.
JIFF 2019 Closing Nights:
MELBOURNE Wednesday 20 November – Classic Cinemas, Elsternwick 7:30PM Drinks and live music 8:30PM Jojo Rabbit screening SYDNEY Thursday 21 November, 8:30PM – Ritz Cinema, Randwick 7:30PM Drinks and live music 8:30PM Jojo Rabbit screening
BRISBANE Sunday 17 November, 7PM – New Farm Cinemas, New Farm
Facebook‘s free streaming service Facebook Watch released a first trailer of their crime-series ‘Limetown‘. In ‘Limetown’ we follow Lia Haddock (Jessica Biel), a journalist for American Public Radio (APR), as she unravels the mystery behind the disappearance of over 300 people at a neuroscience research facility in Tennessee.
The series is based on a podcast of the same name and executive produced by Golden Globe-nominee Jessica Biel (The Sinner) and stars StanleyTucci (The Hunger Games), Omar Elba (A Hologram for the King), Sherri Saum (The Fosters) and Alessandro Juliani (The Chilling Adventures ofSabrina).
All 10 episodes of Limetown will be available on Facebook Watch from October 16, 2019.
“If the truth is inconvenient, they don’t believe it. Even if they really care about you…“
You can say what you want about Netflix, but you can’t deny they have the best slate of series out there. The platform drops new high profile shows on a weekly basis, it seems like they’ve figured out what consumers like to watch – true crime thrillers. When I read up on Unbelievable‘s striking true story and noticed the stellar cast, I knew it was something I should jump into straight away.
Unbelievable tells the true story of Marie (KaitlynDever), a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped. The opening scene of the first episode (which comes with a trigger warning!) is as gut wrenching as its subject matter – rape. No exploitative imagery for shock value, just tiny glimpses of what really happened. It’s the aftermath and raw emotions of Marie that make you feel with her.. Everything goes pretty much by the book when it comes to police investigation and further examination at the hospital, but it’s the coldness and distant behaviour of these policemen and nurses that makes it all even worse. As if it’s a normal business day, instead of actually helping a traumatised young woman. These following hours are critical for law enforcement in terms of gathering details to reenact the crime, but most of all, someone should be there to make Marie feel safe.
Mentally tired of being questioned by officials and friends, over and over again, Marie heads home to get some rest. What follows after is in some way even more unthinkable and inhumane – when the detectives start to question her truth and the reality of the situation. Confused and misunderstood, her mind starts playing tricks on her and we witness Marie getting bullied into changing her statement – as if nothing ever happened.
The following episodes we meet multiple victims of rape, and detective Duvall (Merritt Wever). Karen Duvall deals with these unspeakable crimes in a way it should be dealt with – gentle, understanding and caring. This show is important and sets a standard in how we as humans can deal with sexual assault in our communities. Soon, she’ll understand there’s a bigger truth to these rapes, when more and more women speak their truth. Accusations should be taken seriously and whenever someone cries for help, we should ring the alarm, instead of ridiculing a victim.
Based on The Propublica & The Marshall Project article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” and ThisAmerican Life radio episode “Anatomy of Doubt“, Unbelievable is one of the most powerful series I’ve seen all year. The amount of research that went into bringing a seriously powerful yet awful story to millions of viewers at home, is a rare situation these days.
To have these incredible actors give such heartbreaking performances, is a true feat for anyone who’s had to deal with rape in their life. Dever and Wever have never given stronger and more striking performances in their careers. Dever, coming fresh from her comedic success Booksmart, delves so deep into her character, she’s barely recognisable. Multiple times the despair and fear in her eyes, brought me to tears. Wever gives a very serene and calm performance, before coming out of her shell next to Toni Collette‘s (Hereditary) more “out-there” partner, on the force. Every actor who portrays a victim, delivers a unique perspective in their performance – truly overwhelming and astonishing.
Unbelievable is an important storytelling masterpiece, about women going through trauma, being told by a strong crew. Showrunner SusannahGrant (writer of Erin Brockovich) was the right choice to bring this article to life in the most careful and respectful way. Unbelievable is a must watch!
Review – Unbelievable
Reviewed on Netflix, Sydney, Sept. 10, 2019. ACB Rating: MA15. Running time: 8 episodes of approx. 45min.
PRODUCTION: A Netflix release and feature, in association with CBS Television Studios and Timberman-Beverly Productions. Showrunner: Susannah Grant. Executive Producers: Michael Chabon, Lisa Cholodenko, Katie Couric, Ira Glass, Susannah Grant, Robyn Semien, Sarah Timberman, Ayelet Waldman, Carl Beverly. Co-Producer: Anne M. Uemura.
CREW: Directors: Lisa Cholodenko, Michael Dinner, Susannah Grant. Screenplay: Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman, Becky Mode, Jennifer Schuur, based on the article by Ken Armstrong, T. Christian Miller. Camera (color): Quyen Tran. Editor: Jeffrey M. Werner, Keith Henderson. Music: Will Bates.
WITH: Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, Kaitlyn Dever, Vanessa Belle Calloway, Dale Dickey, John Hartmann, Liza Lapira, Elizabeth Marvel, Danielle Macdonald.
Lulu Wang‘s story of an independent Chinese-American woman returning to China when her beloved grandmother is diagnosed with terminal cancer, is nothing less but captivating. From the very first shot inside a hospital, the director invites you to tag along with this Chinese family, while they struggle to keep the truth from grandma and decide to stage a wedding, just to see her one last time.
Billi (Awkwafina), a twenty-something millennial, lives her life like most New Yorkers do – barely able to pay rent and on the lookout for a new job, she still goes home to mom and dad to do her laundry, knowing well enough she’ll have to endure the parental comments while under the same roof. When her mother (Diana Lin) announces the imminent wedding of Billi’s cousin, she realises something isn’t right. Pressured by Billi’s suspicion, her parents quickly confess to the terminal state her grandma Nai Nai (Zhao Shuzhen) is in. Shocked by the news, it doesn’t take long before they all end up around the dinner table at Nai Nai back in China, faking their true feelings around the clock.
Wang knows how to direct this tragically heartfelt story in a way not only Chinese families can relate. I, for one, could definitely look back at how my family used to keep secrets from certain relatives, just to “protect” them. Billi’s family has problems of their own, with underlying tensions waiting to rise to the surface, and no one is holding back.
Anna Franquesa Solano‘s cinematography is a beauty. Most of the time, it’s as if you’re walking through an art gallery – strolling past one lifelike portrait after another. Truly exquisite is the way she captures the feelings of each individual. The vulnerability and sadness in their eyes, conflict with the constant “joie-de-vivre” the old Nai Nai still has going for her.
Everyone knows how good Awkwafina is at comedy, but who knew she’d be able to peel off every layer of that mask, to get to the core of her vulnerable emotions? She and Shuzhen are two peas in a pod, when it comes to giving groundbreaking performances. Shuzhen touches you in a way you can’t imagine. An old lady with a big heart and a big mouth, keeping traditions alive while holding her own family together. The gloominess of her diagnosis lingers like a storm, which transcends into a mostly ominous score by Alex Weston.
With The Farewell, A24 can add another classic to their collection, which will go down in the history books as a turning point for Awkwafina and Lulu Wang’s careers. A tragically beautiful story that makes you homesick and wants you to hold on to what we sometimes take for granted. Coming home has never been more therapeutic.
Review – The Farewell
Reviewed at Event George Street, Sept. 9, 2019. ACB-Rating: PG. Running time: 100 min.
PRODUCTION: A Roadshow Entertainment release of a A24, Big Beach Films, Depth of Field, Kindred Spirit production. Producers: Anita Gou, Daniele Tate Melia, Andrew Miano, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, Chris Weitz, Jane Zheng. Executive producer: Eddie Rubin.
CREW: Director, screenplay: Lulu Wang. Camera (color, widescreen): Ana Franquesa Solano. Editor: Matt Friedman, Michael Taylor. Music: Alex Weston.
WITH: Zhao Shuzhen, Awkwafina, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Li Xiang, Lu Hong, Yang Xuejian, Aoi Mizuhara