Peter (Hugh Jackman) has it all. He is a big shot attorney being courted by D.C. for a Senator’s election bid and his new wife Beth (Vanessa Kirby) has just given birth to a beautiful baby boy. Peter’s older son Nicholas (Zen McGrath) is not doing great though – he is not getting along with his Mom, Peter’s ex Kate (Laura Dern), is not going to school and is suffering from severe depression and anxiety. Hearing this, Peter agrees to let Nicholas live with him and his new family in the hopes that his mental health will improve. Except it does not, it just gets worse.
THE SON is easily the most divisive movie I have seen at TIFF ’22. The discourse, anger and debate this Movie has already sparked is not quite at the level of The Whale, but it is going to get so much more heated after its theatrical release this Fall. Your “enjoyment” (I used the term loosely because THE SON is not very fun to watch) will entirely hinge on your feelings around Mental Health, specifically when it involves a child. I do not want to spoil where the Film goes – the foreshadowing motifs sprinkled throughout are about as subtle as a fire alarm – rather, I want to note that it careens into bleak and unsettling territory.
What also works against the Film is the inevitable comparisons to The Father. That film, like THE SON, was adapted by Zeller and Christopher Hampton from Zeller’s play and both feature tremendously intricate Production Design and a tortured character at its centre. Whereas that film focused on Anthony Hopkins’ towering, extraordinary performance, this Film spends more time with Jackman than it does McGrath’s titular character. And when McGrath does show up, he is whiny, annoying, cold, distant, melodramatic and unrefined. Some have punched down and have suggested it as being laughably bad. While I myself did not think it is a great performance, I would caution before saying it was bad. McGrath plays Nicholas as a scared, anxious and confused teenager who does not understand the feelings he is experiencing nor the ability to process them, so it makes perfect sense why he is so melodramatic and all over the place.
Elsewhere, both Dern and Kirby are sidelined through far too much of the Film (though the latter still slays every time she appears) and an explosive two-scene cameo from Hopkins is so incendiary that the Film is never able to match its energy afterwards. Which is all to say, Jackman has a lot of heavy lifting to do. He is up to the task and delivers a very good, albeit aggravating performance. You will just want to reach out and shake him violently for his character’s arrogance and callousness towards his son’s precarious situation. Worse, his spectacular “Oscar” scene comes in the form of a 10-minute epilogue that does not really need to be there. Which is a hell of a shame.
In eighteenth-century upstate New York, Abigail (Katherine Waterston) is grieving the loss of her daughter. She begins keeping track of her mundane rural life and interactions with her husband, Dyer (Casey Affleck), by journaling. Her grief slowly begins to alleviate when Tallie (Vanessa Kirby) and her husband Finney (Christopher Abbott) move into a neighbouring cabin.
Director Mona Fastvold creates a beautiful film that depicts grief and love. She works from the Script, written by Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard, that shows life as a settler in the eighteenth-century. Through these four characters, the Film is filled with the knowledge of the oppression and expectations of women during the time. Fastvold perfectly captures this life with stunning shots of candlelit cabins and breathtaking landscapes.
A lot of the speech in The World to Come is from the narration of Abigail. As she keeps her journal, the audience hears her hidden emotions and desires. It’s difficult to execute heavy narration on-screen but Fastvold, Hansen, Shepard and the powerful voice work from Waterston make it an asset. It’s used as a way to get exposition across swiftly and it’s delivered emotionally by Waterston.
This sweeping romance is a captivating watch due to the stellar performances from its ensemble. Waterston is brilliant as the restrained Abigail. She has the ability to show both Abigail’s sorrow alleviating and her love blossoming for Tallie through each interaction. Kirby gives a commanding performance as the confident and direct Tallie. The use of her stature and voice is captivating. Waterston and Kirby work perfectly together and have powerful chemistry.
Additionally, The World to Come takes a look male fragility during the eighteenth-century. They do this primarily through the character of Finney. His anger is targeted towards Tallie due to her not doing household ‘duties’ and producing a child. As this was expected of women at the time, Finney becomes enraged by Tallie. And furthermore, when Tallie desires to spend more time with Abigail than him. Abbott is brilliant in this dislikable role.
The World to Come screens at Sundance:
Live Premiere: February 2 at 3 PM (EST)
On-Demand (available for 24 hours): February 3 at 10 AM (EST)
We had nothing but raves for Martin Scorcese-produced PIECES OF A WOMAN coming out of TIFF ’20 and we’re so excited to share with you this Trailer! Witness Vanessa Kirby’s Best Actress-winning performance from the Venice Film Festival.
Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean (Shia LaBeouf) are a Boston couple on the verge of parenthood whose lives change irrevocably when a home birth ends in unimaginable tragedy. Thus begins a yearlong odyssey for Martha, who must navigate her grief while working through fractious relationships with Sean and her domineering mother (Ellen Burstyn), along with the publicly vilified midwife (Molly Parker), whom she must face in court. Directed by Kornél Mundruczó (WHITE GOD, winner of the 2014 Prix Un Certain Regard Award), written by Kata Wéber, and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, PIECES OF A WOMAN is a deeply personal, searing, and ultimately transcendent story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss.
PIECES OF A WOMAN arrives in theatres December 30, 2020 and on Netflix January 7, 2021.
Pieces of a Woman is an intimate portrait of a couple who experience the greatest loss. Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Shawn (Shia LaBeouf) are passionately in love and eagerly expecting the birth of their daughter. When the night arrives, they learn their Midwife is busy with another client and a different one is sent. Unfortunately, complications arise with their home birth and the couple is sent spiralling into heart-wrenching tragedy.
Director Kornél Mundruczó shoots this outstanding Film with unflinching honesty. He is known for putting his characters under immense pressure. His use of long, continuous takes in pivotal scenes creates a real authenticity, us watching as scenes unfold in real-time and the result is both agonizing and gut-wrenching for the viewer.
The Film’s opening sequence lasts for 30 minutes. It consists of long takes following Martha, Shawn and their Midwife (Molly Parker) around their house — spanning from her first contractions to her delivery. This scene perfectly shows the love which Martha and Shawn share, and their desire to welcome their baby girl. We are immersed into the pressure cooker that becomes their house and in witnessing Martha‘s extreme difficulty, we get the unsettling sense that something isn’t right. Under Mundruczó’s masterful direction, this scene becomes a sweeping emotional journey and the sets the stage for what are some truly powerful performances.
Kirby is magnificent as a woman grappling with grief, while her body and family constantly remind her of what she lost. She commands each scene with powerful actions and controlled expressions. Most impressive, she finds that delicate balance in Martha’s newly hardened heart and her vulnerability. LaBeouf gives one of the greatest performances of his career. He is at his best drowning in Shawn’s grief and is desperate for Martha‘s love and affection again. While often we see this from a woman’s perspective, the Film gives us a genuine snapshot of what it might be like for a man.
Kirby and LaBeouf even though their characters are so different, have a palpable chemistry that makes us fall in love with them. They’re portraying a couple who are facing the biggest challenge in their relationship. Thanks to their strong chemistry we are invested in their love and are devastated when we see it crumbling. They are joined by a talented Supporting Cast. Parker is great portraying the anxiety of a Mmidwife during the home birth and expresses her unspoken guilt so well in the Third Act, within the courtroom. Ellen Burstyn is superb as Martha’s overbearing mother, always making her presence felt but especially in a confrontation between her and Kirby.
Pieces of a Woman is difficult watch, but it’s one that will change you after seeing it. Screenwriter Kata Wéber has written a beautiful, heartbreaking Script that’s about surviving after the most horrifying loss. She does this by allowing us to check-in with her characters once a month, fall to spring. This shows us the changes happening within and outside them as we watch them grow in their own ways. Time heals the pain and the Film captures this process so beautifully. And Wéber reminds us that a woman is comprised of infinite pieces which only she is able to break and rebuild again.
Pieces of a Woman screens at TIFF ’20:
Sat, Sep 12 12:00pm
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Wed, Sep 16 6:00pm
Online at Bell Digital Cinema
Wed, Sep 16 9:00pm
Visa Skyline Drive-In at CityView
Universal Pictures Canada x Mr. Will want to give readers a chance to win Advance Screening Passes to see FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW!
Screenings take place Wednesday, July 31 @ 7:00PM TORONTO // Scotiabank Theatre Toronto MONTREAL // Scotiabank Theatre Montreal VANCOUVER // Cineplex International Village EDMONTON // Scotiabank Theatre Edmonton CALGARY // Cineplex Eau Claire Market Cinemas
After eight films that have amassed almost $5 billion worldwide, the FAST & FURIOUS franchise now features its first stand-alone vehicle as Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their roles as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw in FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW.
Ever since hulking lawman Hobbs (Johnson), a loyal agent of America’s Diplomatic Security Service, and lawless outcast Shaw (Statham), a former British military elite operative, first faced off in 2015’s FURIOUS 7, the duo have swapped smack talk and body blows as they’ve tried to take each other down.
But when cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton (Idris Elba) gains control of an insidious bio-threat that could alter humanity forever — and bests a brilliant and fearless rogue MI6 agent (The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby), who just happens to be Shaw’s sister — these two sworn enemies will have to partner up to bring down the only guy who might be badder than themselves.
HOBBS & SHAW blasts open a new door in the FAST universe as it hurtles action across the globe, from Los Angeles to London and from the toxic wasteland of Chernobyl to the lush beauty of Samoa.
Directed by David Leitch (DEADPOOL 2) from a story by longtime FAST & FURIOUS narrative architect Chris Morgan and a screenplay by Morgan and Drew Pearce (MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE-ROGUE NATION, IRON MAN 3), the film is produced by Johnson, Statham, Morgan and Hiram Garcia. The executive producers are Kelly McCormick, Dany Garcia, Steven Chasman and Ethan Smith.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and indicate there your City. Click “share” on this Post from there for an extra chance. You also may Re-Tweet this Contest Tweet from @mrwillwfor another shot!
Universal Pictures Canada release FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAWFriday, August 2, 2019.
Paramount Pictures Canada x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to see MISSION IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT! Screenings take place in Toronto and Ottawa as follows:
Toronto Screening is Monday, July 23rd, Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre, Time: 7:00pm
Ottawa Screening is Monday, July 23rd, Cineplex Scotiabank Ottawa, Time: 7:00pm
The best intentions often come back to haunt you. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returning to the helm.
See the Trailer:
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Paramount Pictures Canada release MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUTFriday, July 27, 2018.
We’re so close to the release of this summer’s biggest Blockbusters! The new Trailer for MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT, everyone!
The best intentions often come back to haunt you. “MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT” finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise – “Top Gun,” “American Made,” “The Mummy”) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin – “Saturday Night Live,” “The Boss Baby,” “Beetlejuice,” Simon Pegg – “Star Trek,” “Ready Player One,” Ving Rhames – “Pulp Fiction,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson – “The Greatest Showman,” ”The Girl on the Train,” Michelle Monaghan – “The Bourne Supremacy,” “The Heartbreak Kid”) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. Henry Cavill (“Justice League,” “Man of Steel”), Angela Bassett (“Black Panther,” “American Horror Story”), and Vanessa Kirby (“Me Before You,” “The Crown”) also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie (“Jack Reacher”) returning to the helm.
Premiering during tonight’s Super Bowl was the thrilling new Trailer for MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT! So exciting seeing Vanessa Kirby and Henry Cavill join the Franchise!
The best intentions often come back to haunt you. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (AlecBaldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker ChristopherMcQuarrie returning to the helm.
See the Trailer:
Paramount Pictures Canada release MISSIONIMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUTFriday, July 28, 2018.
Netflix‘s most expensive endeavour yet, The Crown, focuses on Queen Elizabeth‘s rise to the throne beginning from her marriage to King Philip. Set to take place over six seasons at ten episodes each, you can bet the Internet Television purveyor is confident in its investment. The ambitious drama series takes us within the walls of Buckingham Palace, peeling-off the Royal Family mask and giving us fly-on-the-wall access with a few scandalous surprises along the way. Stephen Frears returns to direct here after finding Oscar success on familiar territory with 2006’s The Queen.
We had the pleasure of previewing the first few episodes of The Crown and right away found ourselves swept away into Queen Elizabeth‘s (Claire Foy) world after suddenly she is thrust into the spotlight with the sudden passing of her father, King George (Jared Harris). We had little clue who Foy was before setting her eyes upon her here, but we quickly have become a huge fan of her already. Possessing physically one-part the relatability of Reese Witherspoon and one-part the commanding elegance of a Felicity Jones, something feels familiar about her. She captivates at every turn and we want very much to see her transformation as a young wife, mother, daughter and sister into a powerful world ruler. We want also to witness and understand the change in family dynamics that come with her new role.
Aside from the Queen‘s journey, we get insight on some of the power struggles both the Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Jon Lithgow) and Royal Family in the wake of King George‘s (Jared Harris) death,the former venerable and vulnerable as his standing in the political world is threatened as others chomp at the bit to succeed him. The Crown reads at times as a political drama and other times like a juicy soap opera.
We see Princess Margaret also as an arresting young beauty involved in an illicit romance with married Group Captain Peter Townsend (Ben Miles), Vanessa Kirby playing the much criticized public figure with great empathy. Her carefree nature juxtaposes well with her sister’s great focus when matters become serious after her father’s passing.
Matt Smith balances a young King Philip with a perfect aloofness and at once an awareness that keeps us invested with him as an outsider looking into a world rooted deeply in tradition and history, in which he along with we, are just getting immersed.
Performances aside, the cinematography is simply breathtaking and clearly we see where that well-publicized budget of $7.5 million per episode was spent in all the detail.
The Crown looks to be an adored staple for seasons to come. We’re thrilled for the world to discover the Royal Family as you’ve never seen them before. Netflix Canada stream the first 10 episodes of THE CROWNFriday, November 4, 2016.
See this brand-new Featurette from the Series:
We had the pleasure of meeting both Vanessa Kirby and Jared Harris, just recently in Toronto for the Series. More here.
We’re about two weeks away from the release of Netflix‘s most expensive Series made ever with a budget of $7.5 million per episode. THE CROWN recalls Queen Elizabeth II’s (Claire Foy) reign from her marriage to Prince Philip (Matt Smith) to present day. Starring in the titular role at this point is Foy, with the buzzed and controversial Series which strips away the Royal Family mask, expected to span across six seasons.
In town to ring-in the release of THE CROWN are stars Jared Harris (Mad Men, The Mortal Instruments) who plays King George VI, and Vanessa Kirby in the role of Princess Margaret. While rushed, the duo met and greeted fans quickly, although Kirby was kind to come out of her vehicle for a quick second to snap a Selfie with Billy and I after doing a limited number of photo ops.
The pair began their day at CITY‘s Breakfast Television before splitting up for a bit to do press. An intimate Premiere and Reception will be held in celebration of what looks like a staple for the groundbreaking streaming service.