Kristen Stewart continues to win accolades as Princess Diana Biopic, SPENCER.
The marriage of Princess Diana and Prince Charles has long since grown cold. Though rumors of affairs and a divorce abound, peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. There’s eating and drinking, shooting and hunting. Diana knows the game. But this year, things will be a whole lot different. SPENCER is an imagining of what might have happened during those few fateful days.
Elevation Pictures release SPENCER November 5, 2021 in theatres.
Kristen Stewart and Director Pablo Larraín do Princess Diana justice with Spencer.
It follows Diana over her final Christmas with the royal family. She arrives at the mansion willing to comply with the strenuous rules the family demand over the holidays. But as the long days and night tread on, Diana begins suffocating in the life she lives. Over the three days of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, Diana decides to break free. The Filmmakers have stated this Film is a mix of history and speculation. This is further clarified with the opening title cards that read the film is “A Fable of a True Tragedy.”
Screenwriter Steven Knight refreshingly puts the focus on Diana instead of the royal family and gives a rounded look at the Princess of Wales. There are difficult to watch scenes of Diana binge eating, purging, and self-harming. These are matched with heartfelt intimate moments of Diana with her sons, showing the immense love and bond they shared.
Ever the master of atmosphere, Larraín covers the mansion in a thick, dense fog that envelopes the grounds like dread. Like his previous film Jackie, long tracking shots follow Diana walking or running. It’s here we see the depth of the physical change in stature and stride Stewart has made to embody Diana. One beautiful moment comes in a montage of tracks that pays homage to Diana’s love for dance. Additionally, his close-ups mirror the claustrophobia, horror and immense pressure Diana felt. Diana’s inner world is further highlighted by one of the best Scores of the year from Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.
Yet, none of this would work if it wasn’t for Stewart. She embodies Diana while refreshingly making her, her own. She fully encapsulates the suffocation Diana felt, and expertly expresses both desire and fear in leaving. It’s truly one of the best performances of the year. She’s joined by Timothy Spall, who gives a textured performance as staff hired to keep an eye on Diana. And the charming Sally Hawkins, who plays a personal attendant to Diana, is delightful to watch. Particularly, in a scene towards the end, she shares with Stewart.
Overall, Spencer is a perfect balancing act of history and speculation, is impeccably shot, and showcases a top-tier performance from Stewart. Even if you take away the fact that it’s about Diana, this Film works as a story of a woman reclaiming control and agency over her life.
Press has begun for many of the Films premiering at TIFF ’21 and since Red Carpets aren’t public this year, we have to use a bit more creativity getting that snap! No worries, we’re managing!
We spotted the Cast of DEAR EVAN HANSEN out and about today as they did the rounds and captured a few lovely moments among Ben Platt, Julianne Moore, Danny Pino, Nik Dodani and Director Stephe n Chbosky!
We also were thrilled to attend the Premiere of Clint Bentley‘s JOCKEY which had won much acclaim at Sundance, winning Clifton Collins Jr. the award for Best Actor. Collins and Bentley were at TIFF ’21 today to premiere the Film at Scotiabank Theatre, giving the audience to understand an authentic story about the world of Horse Racing and what it’s like to be an aging athlete. Bentley tells the audience he is actually from a family involved very much with the industry. Don’t forget to check our running TIFF ’21 link herefor the Review.
We also finally saw Pablo Larrain‘s SPENCER starring Kristen Stewart and were floored! So much detail and a super portrayal of Diana by Stewart. While our Review is coming shortly, here is a short thread on Twitter I Tweeted:
TIFF announced earlier today additional Special Events and In Conversations as part of the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. While virtual, fans globally can tune-in to chats with the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve Yeun, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Kristen Stewart this year.
Additional details below:
Special Events – Part 2
Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine
Before Drake and The Weeknd, there was a different set of Toronto musicians who ruled the roost. Known simply as Triumph, this rock trio dominated North American radio and mainstream charts in the late ’70s and early ’80s, and were the envy of the touring business — with even The Jacksons taking a page out of their live-show book. But despite being one of the world’s biggest rock bands, the trio split at the height of their fame and seemingly disappeared without explanation to their fans or media. Directed by Sam Dunn and Marc Ricciardelli, produced by the Emmy-winning Banger Films in association with Revolver Films and set to a mesmerizing visual backdrop of spandex, ’80s hair, and explosive pyro, Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine reveals a deeper story about fame and the human condition as the band reunites for what might be the very last time they play music together.
Reflecting on 9/11: A day of recollection, 20 years later.
The horrific news from New York City on that bright, late-summer morning 20 years ago tore open the bubble of the Toronto International Film Festival. Everyone was shaken, but, for the hundreds of Americans and New Yorkers in Toronto for the Festival that day, the shock went deeper. TIFF staff, led by then CEO Piers Handling and Executive Director Michèle Maheux, decided immediately to pause screenings, to shut down red carpets altogether, and to help people get home to their families.
Two decades on, memory becomes more important. This year, we remember the filmmakers who have sought to tell the stories of 9/11 with insight and empathy. We remember the still-present threat of Islamophobia, including in film and television. This year, we mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a day of recollection for our Festival community, including a special screening from Yard 44 and NBC News Studios, the new documentary Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11, by Bjørn Johnson and David Belton. This film explores the months following the worst terrorist attacks on the US, via recordings made in a simple video booth that captured the thoughts, feelings, and fears of more than five hundred Americans. Now, 20 years later, as the country and the world faces renewed uncertainty, Memory Box brings to the screen a collective, untold, and relevant story, presented by NBC News Studios, MSNBC Films and Peacock.
Platform Prize Jury
TIFF is also thrilled to announce the full international 2021 Platform Prize Jury. Led by Academy Award–nominated actor Riz Ahmed, the jurors include: Clio Barnard, Valerie Complex, Kazik Radwanski, and Anthony Chen.
In Conversation With…
This year’s In Conversation With… series connects audiences and film lovers around the world with some of the most talented artists working in film and television. The 2021 lineup includes award-winning actors and creators who have helped shape the discourse in the entertainment industry and who are presenting their highly-anticipated new films at the Festival. All In Conversation With… events are taking place digitally and will be accessible worldwide on the TIFF Bell Digital Talks platform.
Kenneth Branagh The Academy Award–nominated writer, director, and actor joins us to discuss his wide-ranging career in film, television, and theatre; the challenges and joys of adapting Shakespeare’s plays for the big screen; and the journey of making Belfast (2021), a Gala Presentation at this year’s Festival and his most personal film to date. Monday, September 13, 12pm EDT
Benedict Cumberbatch The TIFF Tribute Actor Award recipient and Academy Award nominee joins us to discuss his career in film, theatre, and television, and his two films at this year’s Festival: Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog and Will Sharpe’s The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. Sunday, September 12, 3:30pm EDT
Kristen Stewart To celebrate the fifth anniversary of TIFF’s ongoing Share Her Journey initiative in support of women in the film industry, we proudly present a conversation with the award-winning actor about her collaborations with the likes of Olivier Assayas and Kelly Reichardt, and her portrayal of Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín’s Spencer, a Special Event at this year’s Festival. Note: This live digital event is accessible to audiences worldwide on TIFF Bell Digital Talks for free as part of TIFF’s Share Her Journey initiative, empowering and celebrating women behind and in front of the camera. Audiences can pre-register for this exclusive event here. Wednesday, September 15, 12:30pm EDT
Steven Yeun The Academy Award–nominated actor joins us to retrace his extraordinary journey from collaborations with Bong Joon-ho, Lee Chang-dong, and Lee Isaac Chung to his upcoming film, Stephen Karam’s The Humans, a Special Presentation at this year’s Festival. Sunday, September 12, 6pm EDT
Additional Visionaries speaker added to the 2021 TIFF Industry Conference lineup:
VISIONARIES Apichatpong Weerasethakul Generously supported by Anne-Marie Canning
Born in Bangkok, director Apichatpong Weerasethakul is one of the most influential and revered visual artists of this time. His incisive, visceral relationship with the moving image often draws on the ancestral myths of his country to reflect on his surroundings, from global social issues to the political concerns of modern Thailand. Join us for a conversation with the filmmaker, whose latest feature, Memoria, was one of two Jury Prize winners at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival moderated by TIFF Artistic Director & Co-Head Cameron Bailey.
TIFF 2021 Industry Selects
“These titles, hand-selected by TIFF’s Festival Programming team presented on our TIFF Digital Cinema Pro platform, are sure to garner interest from buyers,’’ said Diana Sanchez, Senior Director, Film. “They reflect the Festival’s global spirit and showcase a host of new voices and international talent.”
“We’re delighted to present these director-driven and audience-engaging sales titles from around the world to international buyers who rely on our festival to help discover the best cinema from across the globe,” added Geoff Macnaughton, Senior Director, Industry and Theatrical. “TIFF is thrilled to support buyers, sales agents, producers, and of course filmmakers this year with the TIFF Industry Selects distinction.”
107 Mothers Peter Kerekes | Slovakia America Latina Damiano D’Innocenzo & Fabio D’Innocenzo | Italy, France Cadejo Blanco Justin Lerner | Guatemala, USA, Mexico Carmen Valerie Buhagiar | Malta, Canada Cool Abdoul Jonas Backeland | Belgium Domingo Raúl López Echeverría | Mexico, Austria, France The Hole in the Fence Joaquín del Paso | Mexico, Poland The King of All the World Carlos Saura | Mexico, Spain La Civil Teodora Ana Mihai | Belgium, Romania, Mexico The Last Mark Reem Morsi | Canada My Night Antoinette Boulat | France Night Blooms Stephanie Joline | Canada Nightride Stephen Fingleton | UK Nr. 10 Alex van Warmerdam | Netherlands, Belgium Old Henry Potsy Ponciroli | USA Onoda – 10,000 Nights in the Jungle Arthur Harari | France, Japan, Germany, Belgium, Italy The Pink Cloud luli Gerbase | Brazil Quake Tinna Hrafnsdóttir | Iceland Reflection Valentyn Vasyanovych | Ukraine The Score Malachi Smythe | UK Shankar’s Fairies Irfana Majumdar | India A Tale of Love and Desire Leyla Bouzid | France
The 2021 Toronto International Festival takes place September 9 – 19, 2021.
With both the Holidays and Awards Season approaching, December can be a joyous time indeed for us with a big slate of new releases to surface. Here’s some of our recommendations across various screening platforms, including some theatrical releases!
HAPPIEST SEASON (EONE FILMS/AMAZON PRIME VIDEO)
Clea Duvall co-writes and directs this Holiday Rom-Com with a fresh take on expanding the idea the type of relationships the genre includes. Kristen Stewart stars as Abby, who is ready to propose to her live-in girlfriend Harper (Mackenzie Davis) as they get ready to spend the Holidays at the latter’s home for the first time. There is one hitch, Harper still hasn’t officially come out to them yet despite telling Abby she did, and that it went well. The daughter of a politician, image is everything for her family and this keeps holding her back from being her true self and matters get confused as former flames resurface in the visit which make the couple question their commitment to one another.
While ultimately meant to be heartwarming, tonally Duvall goes to heavier places as the couple gets pulled apart and its message is something the world needs a bit more of, hence its release is timely. Stewart has a knack for bringing her characters a ton of history and her Abby feels truly lived-in, while Davis spends much of the Film embattled in Harper‘s fears and in the shadow of her rival sister Sloane (Alison Brie). Canada’s Dan Levy delivers some much-needed comedic relief as Abby‘s confidante John and we wish the Film had even more of that. That being said, this is a Holiday story which many will identify with and feel seen by. And who knows, Stewart just might win over even more new fans here!
eOne Films release HAPPIEST SEASON Digitally and On-Demand Friday, November 26, 2020. It arrives on Amazon Prime VideoThursday, December 10, 2020.
We knew very little until only recently about this latest effort from Sharon Maguire (Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget Jones’s Baby) and now we can’t imagine life before it. Right in time for the Holidays comes this whimsical and fantastical Comedy which centers on Eleanor (Jillian Bell) who is out to prove to the world that Fairy Godmothers are needed. She finds a letter written by Mackenzie (Isla Fisher) when she was 10-years-old, only to realize now that she has grown into a widowed, 40-year-old single mother of two, stuck in a job at a newsroom with a miserable boss. Needless to say, she’s given-up a little on the “happily ever after” she dreamed of as a girl. Eleanor, whether Mackenzie wants it or not, is here to grant her wish but we wonder if Eleanor ever be more than just a Tooth Fairy with this challenging task ahead!
Bell is an absolute joy, hitting what is a sweet spot in her career after last year’s acclaimed Brittany Runs a Marathon. She brings a Will Ferrell-Elf-esque enthusiasm and curiosity to the world which is infectious. Fisher also is a pleasure to watch as she channels Mackenzie‘s cynicism in a way many of us see the world right now. Maguire manages to craft a magical experience which lifts the spirits, yet balancing what it means to expand our definition of what happily ever after means and who it involves in our lives and we’re here for this.
GODMOTHERED arrives on Disney+ Friday, December 4, 2020.
Prior to his passing, Screenwriter and father of David, Jack Fincher, had completed a Script for MANK, based the life of Herman J. Mankiewicz, also a Screenwriter.After many years in incubation as a passion project, the Film finally got made by the younger Fincher. The Film recounts its titular character’s well-documented fight to get credit for co-writing what would go on to be one of the greatest films ever made, CITIZEN KANE.Mank (Gary Oldman), who prior had been brought aboard to help as a Script Doctor on The Wizard of Oz – without credit – isn’t particularly a likable type. He’s an alcoholic, a gambling addict and in fact, others call his wife “Poor Sarah” (Tuppence Middleton). Mank’s outspoken in his political beliefs and his support of Democrat Upton Sinclair, who is viewed by powerful Hollywood types as a Socialist. This puts him at odds with the powers that be. He’s tasked with helping co-write CITIZEN KANE, which Orson Welles (Tom Burke) produced, starred, directed and co-wrote. From here, we see a heated battle between Welles and the unpopular Mank as the latter fights to secure himself a credit on the eventual masterpiece. More so, we see how the battles within his own life found their place in CITIZEN KANE – his alcoholism, going against the machine and career sabotage. Mank had nothing to left to lose, refusing to go down without a fight. And we’re here for it.
While the Film might not be for everyone, it is a must-watch for true Cinephiles and those obsessed with the history of Cinema. Fincher‘s direction and some of the performances are meticulously-faithful to the period. Carrying almost all of the weight is Oldman who transforms completely and he mesmerizes in the manner of passersby staring at a car crash on a highway. We are concerned for and empathetic of the driver in the wreckage. Amanda Seyfried plays actress Marion Davies, whom Mank befriends. She is the mistress of William Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance), a media mogul and backer of MGM who inspires the character Susan Alexander, albeit an untalented entertainer and second wife of the titular character in CITIZEN KANE. Seyfried is so committed, poised and sweet that what Mank does feels like a huge betrayal.
This certainly is a Film which Awards Season was made for and just may replicate the Oscars success which CITIZEN KANE achieved. MANK arrives on Netflix Friday, December 4, 2020.
SHAWN MENDES: IN WONDER (NETFLIX)
Fan of Pickering’s Shawn Mendes will revel in delight at this Documentary by veteran Music Video Director Grant Singer. The Singer-Songwriter rapidly has shot to stardom and makes his first foray into the world of Film with recent collaborations with TIFF and now this companion to his upcoming fourth Disc, WONDER coming early December. The Film gives us an intimate (literally we go right into the shower with him) look at his daily life, which really presents him as someone who is level-headed and taking his fame into stride. In one scene he is driving around downtown and a man asks him roll-down his window to give his daughter a video shoutout. We learn about Mendes‘ creative process writing material for the new Album and he goes back to older, soulful influences this time around and one thing I found particularly interesting is to protect his voice from the rigours of touring, he takes vocal rests finding alternate ways to communicate on rest days. While nothing earth-shattering is revealed here really, it is an essential watch for fans or those who appreciate his Music and believe me, there are many! SHAWN MENDES: IN WONDER arrives on Netflix Tuesday, November 24, 2020.
SOUND OF METAL (PACIFIC NORTHWEST PICTURES/AMAZON PRIME)
Riz Ahmed delivers a career-best performance in Darius Marder‘s SOUND OF METAL,which after a run on the Festival circuit, including TIFF ’19 gets its debut at long last. Ahmed plays Drummer Ruben Stone whose hearing rapidly is deteriorating and after battling heroine addiction for years, he now is sober. While resisting help from the Deaf Community, the Film centers itself on his humbling journey accepting help, with the urging of his bandmate girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke). Ruben is his own enemy in many regards and at the core of SOUND OF METAL which while being set in the chaotic world of screamy Death Growls, is something heartfelt and a meaningful coming-of-age.
Ahmed and Cooke disappear completely into Ruben and Lou and their transformations are sympathetic and affecting. A bit of a slow-burn but a rewarding watch.
Pacific Northwest Pictures release SOUND OF METAL in theatres Friday, November 20, 2020 and it arrives on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. and it is available digitally and on-demand in Canada Friday, December 4, 2020.
Anna Sewell’s BLACK BEAUTY is a love story that captures the bond between human and animal so beautifully that it should come as no surprise that it still stands the test of time some 143 years after it was written. Ashley Avis, formerly a competitive Equestrian, takes the reins on Disney+‘s adaptation of the story for a new audience. Along with this heartfelt timeless tale, we get updated messaging and more inclusion in casting.
This version centers on Jo Green (Mackenzie Foy), who is sent to live with her Uncle John (Iain Glen). While she is reluctant to warm-up to him, she does strike a bond with his filly (narrated by Kate Winslet) a wild Mustang who is acquired to be broken-in and sold. The horse changes Jo‘s life forever, helping her find herself but circumstances separate the two and we wonder if they ever will reunite again as she is treated like a commodity, changing hands multiple times.
Foy as always is great and she is fascinating to see develop into a dramatic actress and while we appreciate how the Film treats animal rights with the right delicateness and sympathy it deserves, ultimately it is paced in a way where things happen a couple beats too quickly, without fleshing-out key characters and their involvement with the Plot. And at times, the dialogue feels perhaps too simplistic even though we appreciate that the Film caters to a young audience. That being said, Winslet’s narration tugs on all the right heartstrings and you do feel something for her and her beloved friend, Jo.
BLACK BEAUTY arrives on Disney+ Friday, November 27, 2020.
THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES: PART TWO (NETFLIX)
If there’s anyone who knows the spirit of nostalgia, it’s Director Chris Columbus who has brought us classics like Adventures in Babysitting, Home Alone (1 and 2), Mrs. Doubtfire and a litany of others. He directs and co-writes the sequel to 2018’s popular The Christmas Chronicles and while the first Film was very enjoyable, this installment has a wondrous, fantastical element to it that truly captures the joy of the Holidays.
Back again are Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy (Judah Lewis) as they find themselves spending Christmas on a resort with their mom Claire (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), her new boyfriend Bob (Tyrese) and his son Jack (Jahzir Bruno).Kate is faced with the fear of her deceased father being forgotten and wishes to escape and together with Jack, they find themselves transported off to the North Pole with Santa (Kurt Russell) and Mrs. Claus (Goldie Hawn), where the elves have gone out of control. One elf gone rogue, Belsnickel (Julian Dennison) threatens to ruin Christmas forever with the potential of a world without a Santa Claus. It is up to Kate and Jack to help save Christmas and also, will Kate get her long-awaited wish of finally getting to see her father?
THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES: PART TWO is none short of the boisterous, sparkly fun we’re totally here for. The Film belongs entirely to Camp and Russell who both are fantastic and Hawn is a welcome addition to the Franchise, a perfect warm and nurturing Mrs. Claus. Hijinx aside, the Film hits all the right notes emotionally, feeling exactly like a Holiday film should! We wouldn’t be surprised if this got several viewings this Holiday season. Streaming now on Netflix.
SMALL AXE (AMAZON PRIME VIDEO)
It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Academy Award-winning Director Steven McQueen (12 Years a Slave, Shame, Widows), but he’s back with an innovating new Mini-Series of five Films centering on the West Indian-immigrant experience in London in the ’60s and ’70s. While the subject matter is timely, with #BlackLivesMatter being at the forefront of discussion this past year, McQueen’s storytelling is timeless as we are transported right into the era.
The first Film in the Series, Mangrove, is about nine black activists arrest for inciting a riot after police had targeted a restaurant of the same name in Notting Hill. In a fight for their rights and the rights of the future generation, the group choose to represent themselves in court. What plays out is an intense court battle featuring some truly compelling performances from Shaun Parkes (Doctor Who), Malachi Kirby (Black Mirror) and Letitia Wright (Black Panther). McQueen masterfully examines racial hatred from both sides of the argument and this is a fantastic start to the Series.
The second Film, Lovers Rock is a sensual Romance set within a party where we meet Martha (Amarah-Jae St. Aubyn) who sneaks out of her bedroom at night, and Franklyn (Michael Ward). The lighting is gorgeous and we are swept away into their looming love affair. McQueen has a masterful way of transporting us into the moment through music and the scenes just breathe beautifully as the songs play. While most of the story is set within the party itself, he paints a picture of the world these characters are living in at the time when we get brief glimpses of how unsafe things can get just stepping away from that safety net.
The remainder of the films arrive December 4, 2020 on Amazon Prime Video.
SELENA: THE SERIES (NETFLIX)
Throughout the late ’80s and early ’90s, Selena became the queen of Tejano music. Managed by her father and supported by her siblings in her band, this tight-knit family went from performing at weddings, while living on the road to Selena becoming one of the most successful Latin artists of all time. That is, before she was murdered in 1995 at the age of 23, by the manager of her boutiques. This happened tragically, just as she was set to launch internationally with her debut English album.
The detail-obsessed Series is crafted heavily with the input of the Quintanilla family so what we get here are ten quick-moving episodes that recount the family’s struggles from having very little, but were ignited by an undying commitment and belief in themselves. Rather than being entirely focused on Selena, we get the story from all sides of the family and we truly feel the tension between them in how tightly-knit they were. Fantastic performances from our lead Christian Serratos (The Walking Dead) and Ricardo Chavira (Desperate Housewives). Even at the end of the ten episodes the complete story isn’t told, cleverly leaving room for a second season. A must-watch for fans and intriguing enough to win over new fans who aren’t familiar with Selena‘s legacy.
SELENA: THE SERIES streams Friday, December 4, 2020 on Netflix.
ALL MY LIFE (UNIVERSAL PICTURES CANADA)
Based on a true story that happened right here in Toronto, ALL MY LIFE recounts the tale of a young couple, Solomon (Harry Shum Jr.) and Jennifer (Jessica Rothe). The couple whom after receiving tragic news, still forge ahead with plans to have a fairy tale wedding with the help of their friends who help them raise the funds to make it happen.
Marc Meyers (My Friend Dahmer) directs this tale which at times tugs on the heartstrings, but in moving along rapidly, misses the opportunity to delve deep into the couple’s love and their struggles during Solomon’s health battles which could’ve made this a bit more impactful, giving us more to root for. A solid performance from Rothe (Happy Death Day) in the lead role, though we wish a bit more room was given for the talented Supporting Cast which includes Jay Pharaoh (Saturday Night Live), Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman) and Mario Cantone (Sex and the City). There is definitely an audience for a Film like this.
ALL MY LIFE opens in theatres Friday, December 4, 2020. Please ensure you observe COVID-19 protocols if seeing this in theatres.
MARIAH CAREY’S MAGICAL CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (APPLE TV+)
Based on the premise that 2020 has been… not so great, the Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey is here to help save Christmas. Joining her on this 45-minute adventure is an understandably starstruck Billy Eichner as Santa‘s Assistant, with a story narrated by Tiffany Haddish. Several famous friends join Carey including Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson on a new rendition of Oh Santa!, which stands a chance at being a successor to modern classic All I Want for Christmas is You! The Peanuts Gang also make an appearance as do the likes of Snoop Dogg and long-time collaborator Jermaine Dupri. While festive and well-being including a touching rendition of Silent Night, the Special’s emotional high note is its Encore, where Carey delivers an extra festive Aspen-set performance of her biggest Holiday smash and her twins Moroccan and Monroe even come on out to support their Mom! We live for this and even if another Carey Holiday Special doesn’t come for a while, this one will do on-rotation! Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special streams now on Apple TV+.
EUPHORIA: TROUBLE DON’T LAST ALWAYS (HBO/CRAVE)
While it’ll be a while till we see Season Two of HBO‘s Euphoria, two special Holiday episodes of the acclaimed Series are amidst us, to tie us over. Director/Writer Sam Levinson goes deep as we ponder the Holidays with Rue (a recent Emmy-winning Zendaya) and her friend Ali (Colman Domingo) where they question their existence and what it means to cope with addiction, sobriety and some of the destructive things they had done in their lives to the ones who love them. Rue is coping with Jules (Hunter Schafer) leaving her, which leads her on a downward spiral again. Phenomenal, intimate performances in what feels like it could’ve been a stage production. A reminder that the Holidays aren’t a happy time for everyone. The first special episode is available to stream now on Crave with the HBO add-on, with the second arriving January 2021.
SUGAR RUSH CHRISTMAS SEASON 2 (NETFLIX)
You know how much we love our baking shows and we’re so delighted SUGAR RUSH is back for a second season with its Christmas edition. Lots of exciting and exhilarating baking challenges here in this second season where contestants are challenged with tasks like making creations inspired by Christmas Carols, the North Pole, Advent Calendars, Peanuts and more. The finished products as always look to-die-for and we wish we could taste everything too! Celebrity guests include Chris Bosh, Abigail Breslin, Jordin Sparks, among others! Adore this. Season 2 is streaming now.
FABULOUS LIVES OF BOLLYWOOD WIVES (NETFLIX)
We’re told Bollywood is different from Hollywood in that Bollywood stars maintain much more mystique than many of those stars those in Hollywood who have embraced oversharing on Social Media. This new Series comprised of eight episodes, takes us right inside the worlds of Neelam Kothari Soni, Maheep Kapoor, Seema Khan and Bhavana Pandey, whom are longtime best friends and among Bollywood’s elite. With a Kardashians-like view, we get a glimpse into their glamorous, although they consider it mundane, lives. All isn’t always rosy as passions too flare at times as these friends too have unresolved issues that get brought to the table. Don’t know much about the world of Bollywood? Don’t worry, they explain these relationships well and drama knows no cultural boundaries. Maheep is the loud, assertive one. Neelam is a former Actress pondering relaunching her career. Seema is all about protecting her family even though we understand her husband isn’t always around. Bhavna plays Devil’s Advocate which can be problematic when a friend wants her support. Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Lives is streaming now on Netflix.
THE UNDOING (HBO/CRAVE)
This six-part Mini-Series directed by Susanne Bier and and written by David E. Kelley, is adapted from the Novel You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz.The Undoing centers on a privileged family, Jonathan (Hugh Grant), Grace (Nicole Kidman) and their son Henry (Noah Jupe) who are impacted in the aftermath of a woman’s death. With Jonathan standing accused of murder, Grace is left to put together the pieces how her husband could have been done this. The story masterfully twists and turns as we no longer know what to believe and who is reliable right up to the gripping conclusion.
Phenomenal work as expected from Kidman who is forced to dig deep and find the truth, leaning on her father Franklin (a strong performance by Donald Sutherland) for guidance. Jupe is coming into his own as a fine Actor with a goodheartedness that makes it all the more unbelievable that such a grounded family could be dealing with something so awful. Grant is the biggest surprise here and while we’re used to seeing him in Holiday movies around this time of year. Looking back, it all makes perfect sense.
THE UNDOING streams now on Crave with the HBO add-on.
STYLISH WITH JENNA LYONS (HBO MAX/CRAVE)
Better known as “The Woman Who Dressed America” at the height of J.Crew‘s popularity, the retailer’s former President Jenna Lyons is a fashion icon in her own right. Since her time with J.Crew had ended, she’s been a bit more on the quiet side, but she’s back as she makes her foray into Home Design and Beauty. She’s looking to add to her Team and goes on a search for the next Associate as fresh new talent have a chance to prove they have what it takes to work with her on this eight-episode Series. What is interesting is that the finalists must work against unconventional conditions as the competition is halted amidst the Pandemic and picks-up again, forcing Lyons to alter her course. We love the assured way in which she speaks and mentors, which comes with a gentle grace and assuredness. The Series gets intimate as was also learn about her life and her own challenges. STYLISH WITH JENNA LYONS is available to stream now on Crave with the HBO add-on.
THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT (HBO MAX/CRAVE)
Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) is a flight attendant coping with Alcoholism, living her life recklessly between stop-offs. On a flight to Bangkok, she meets a handsome stranger in Alex (Michiel Huisman) and after an enchanting, alcohol-fueled night out, she wakes-up to find him dead in the bed beside her. As she runs away from the situation, trying to stay under the radar, she must confront her past, her addiction and relationships, and gets to know Alex better as he surfaces as an apparition to her. The Series has a chaotic energy to it which keeps things fun and lively, and Cuoco is a perfect casting choice. Also Girls’ Zosia Mamet surfaces as Cassie‘s delightfully-funny lawyer/best friend Annie. THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT streams on Crave with HBO add-on, new episodes weekly.
Kristen Stewart x Mackenzie Davis star in upcoming Holiday Rom-Com HAPPIEST SEASON!
Meeting your girlfriend’s family for the first time can be tough. Planning to propose at her family’s annual Christmas dinner — until you realize that they don’t even know she’s gay — is even harder. When Abby (Kristen Stewart) learns that Harper (Mackenzie Davis) has kept their relationship a secret from her family, she begins to question the girlfriend she thought she knew. Happiest Season is a holiday romantic comedy that hilariously captures the range of emotions tied to wanting your family’s acceptance, being true to yourself, and trying not to ruin Christmas.
See the Trailer:
eOne Films release HAPPIEST SEASON Friday, November 25, 2020.
This Biopic follows Jean Seberg (Kristen Stewart) in a particular time in her life: in the late 60s and early 70s as she has become a target of the FBI’s due to her support and contributions to the Black Panther Movement.
Usually Biopics tell a story of the entire life of their subjects, however, this screenplay focuses on a short moment and succeeds in displaying who she was. Within this is a story of a woman who stood up and aligned herself with what she knew was right: equality. Stewart is the heart of the Film and completely merges into Seberg. The audience sees Seberg as a fiery presence in the beginning, but slowly she unhinges due to the horrible things the FBI was targeting her with. And Stewart is there unraveling Jean’s inner psyche with empathetic vulnerability.
Seberg screens at TIFF on Sat, Sep 7 at Ryerson Theatre at 6 PM, Mon, Sep 9 at 11:45 PM, and Sat, Sep 14 at TIFF Bell Lightbox at 6:15 PM.
Also a joy chatting again with CP24‘s Kelly Linehan this morning! Thanks for tuning-in!
Informative and fun segment Will!! We’re on Festival Street tonight and off to a film tomorrow. Hope to see you around town Handsome! You’re always in the heart of all the media excitement. pic.twitter.com/SIZEnlLlxL
And in a blink of an eye, another TIFF has passed and this one had us working right to the finish line! It’s only after the fact that we have a moment to take it all in how much we went through. We estimate double our average in Celebrity Snaps this year. That’s how star-studded TIFF ’18 was. It was that kind of a year!
We had the pleasure of previewing several of this year’s Awards Season contenders and we are waiting with baited breath to see A STAR IS BORN and GREEN BOOK, both outstanding, duke it out for Oscars glory in coming months. We loved both, are thrilled the latter was honoured with the People’s Choice Award at the Festival, but something about the former makes our heart sing. We cannot stop thinking about it or its Soundtrack. It takes a magical Film to do that.
Let’s relive some of my favourite star-studded moments of the Festival, as lensed through the Nikon D3400. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without this amazing camera which worked amazingly-well with our Blackberry Key 2 in terms of file transmission to ensure we were able to get our photos uploaded and edited within moments for you all to enjoy! The clarity of these snaps speak for themselves.
A STAR IS BORN Press Conference
We will never stop taking our signature Celebrity Selfies and TIFF ’18 was unforgettable even if we saw many returning faces. We wouldn’t have been camera-ready without the right gear and depending on each scenario, sometimes the Blackberry Key 2 worked best for those Selfies, sometimes the Nikon D3400 worked better. What matters is that more often than not, we got the snap! And many we did.
Here’s some of our faves!
Jamie Lee Curtis
John David Washington
Kelly Marie Tran
In case you missed our Television appearances during TIFF ’18 this is our first year hitting-up the three big media giants: Global, CITY and CP24 (Bell Media). Thrilled! Our brand continues to thrive as a Festival go-to and we are so happy for the recognition.