#SXSW: “HERE BEFORE”
Review by Amanda Gilmore
Writer-Director Stacey Gregg is making her Feature debut with this unsettling Psychological Thriller. It follows Laura (Andrea Riseborough) who, along with her husband and son, is grieving the loss of her young daughter, Josie. When a new family moves in next door, Laura becomes close with their daughter, Megan (Niamh Dornan), who would’ve been the same age as Josie. When Megan begins talking about intimate details involving Josie and the night she died, Laura begins to believe that Megan is the reincarnation of her daughter.
Here Before is a suspenseful journey that keeps its audience on the edge of their seats. The suspense is amplified through disquieting sound and music by Adam Janota Bzowski. This sound, along with Gregg’s strong direction, creates an ominous atmosphere that becomes increasingly unsettling with each scene. Gregg’s layered Script uses Laura’s and her family’s grief to create ample amounts of mystery surrounding what is and isn’t real. This is aided by the precision editing from Brian Philip Davis. Impressively, the mystery is kept until the climax when the shocking truth is finally revealed.
At the core of Here Before is the ever-talented Riseborough, who delivers an outstanding performance and an impeccable Northern Irish accent. She roots Laura in her grief which creates audiences to relate and understand her. In doing so, audiences continue to be on Laura’s side even when her actions become questionable. Additionally, the very young Dornan turns in a powerful performance that shows talent beyond her years. She creates an equal balance of eeriness and childhood-charm in Megan which aides in the mystery of the narrative.
Here Before screens at SXSW Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 1 PM ET.
#SUNDANCE18: “BURDEN” REVIEW
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Burden is the true life story of Mike Burden (Garrett Hedlund) who opens a KKK Museum in South Carolina with fellow Klan members. When he falls in love with Judy (Andrea Riseborough) he makes the choice to leave the KKK and gets taken in by an African-American Reverend (Forest Whitaker).
What makes Burden a standout is that its told through the perspective of a previous Klan member. Writer-Director Andrew Heckler is unforgiving in his depiction of the horrifying acts which the Klan members practice. But also balances the KKK members’ ideals and the African-American ideals equally which entices the story.
Burden also sees Hedlund’s greatest performance to date. His performance is fearless and all-in. Hedlund physically changes his posture, walk and accent to become Burden. There’s also an incredible Ensemble consisting of Tom Wilkinson as the terrifying KKK leader, Riseborough as the passionate single mother and Whitaker as the conflicted Reverend.
Burden screens at Sundance Jan. 21 at 6:15PM at PC Library, Jan. 23 at 12PM at Eccles PC, Jan. 25 at 9:15PM at The MARC PC, Jan. 26 at 9PM at SLC Library, and Jan. 27 at 8:30AM at The Egyptian PC.
#TIFF17: “BATTLE OF THE SEXES”
Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, written by Academy Award-winning Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy and co-produced by Academy Award-winning Filmmaker Danny Boyle, the Sports Drama based around 1973’s high-profile tennis match pitting former World No. 1s Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) and Billie Jean King (Emma Stone), recreates the paths each player took to the highly-touted match.
The event would on a grander scale be a significant moment in women’s liberation with doubts being cast by its male organizers about women’s place and worth in society. The Film also looks at Billie Jean King‘s personal struggle with her identity, then married to husband Larry (Austin Stowell) and falling in love with hairdresser Marilyn (Andrea Riseborough).
While many of us know already the outcome of the match, Dayton and Faris do some phenomenal work helping us arrive at it.
If you think you’ve seen Oscar-winning Stone at her best, she throws us a tour-de-force here, stepping-up to the physicality of her role convincingly. Carell plays up Bobby‘s overconfidence and chauvinism, having fun with it and still makes us feel for him, which is no easy feat. Fantastic supporting turns from Riseborough, Sarah Silverman and Natalie Morales complete a strong Ensemble.
Battle of the Sexes screens TIFF ’17:
Sunday, September 10, 2017 6:00 PM Ryerson Theatre
Monday, September 11, 2017 2:30 PM Princess of Wales Theatre
Friday, September 15, 2017 3:00 PM Princess of Wales Theatre
Saturday, September 16, 2017 5:00 PM Ryerson Theatre
#GIVEAWAY: ENTER TO WIN ADVANCE PASSES TO SEE “BIRDMAN” IN TORONTO, CALGARY + VANCOUVER
Critics already are calling BIRDMAN a triumph and this is your chance to see it first! The amount of Awards buzz for this Alejandro González Iñárritu Film is alarming and we hope like us you are just as excited to see it! Screenings will take place in Toronto and Vancouver on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (Mr. Will‘s Birthday!), and the following week in Calgary! We hope those of you in Toronto will be there to celebrate that special day with this remarkable Film!
Washed-up actor Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), who became famous for playing an iconic superhero in the movies, decides to stage a comeback in a Broadway play.
Pressures mount leading up to the play’s opening night as Riggan battles his ego and tries to win back his family, at the same time re-establishing his career and finding himself in the process.
BIRDMAN stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, simply click “like” on this Post at Mr. Will on Facebook. State your City in the comments section also.
You may double your chances by Re-Tweeting the below or sharing this Post on Facebook with your Friends:
http://www.mwillwong.com/birdman @MRWILLW wants us to #win Passes to see #BIRDMANMOVIE. Out 10/24 in select cities.
Fox Searchlight release BIRDMAN in Toronto and Vancouver on Friday, October 24, 2014, with additional Cities to follow.
(Photo/video credit: Fox Searclight)