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Litigante review - bracing portrait of a Colombian woman on the verge

https://www.theguardian.com/film/dramaplay episode download
12 juillet, par Wendy Ide[ —]

A single-parent lawyer and her vitriolic mother fight almost to the death in this superbly acted domestic drama

There’s an abrasively realist candour to this Colombian portrait of a woman pushed to the brink by the incremental stresses of her daily life. Silvia (Carolina Sanín) is a single parent, a public-sector lawyer tainted by a brewing scandal, and the daughter of Leticia (Leticia Gómez), an explosively ill-tempered widow who responds to her cancer diagnosis with chain-smoking and vitriol.

It’s this latter element that brings the film, directed by Franco Lolli, its arcing, unpredictable energy. The relationship between Silvia and Leticia is like a magnifying mirror, bouncing and building their matching antagonism. Both performances are superb, but Gómez, as the razor-tongued matriarch, is particularly bracing. Even as she sinks towards death, the sharp edge of her perennial displeasure cuts through her weakness.

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KiKi Layne: 'It hasn’t hit me yet – I’m going to be Eddie Murphy’s daughter!’

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12 juillet, par Tim Lewis[ —]

The If Beale Street Could Talk actor on the joy of learning to do stunts and her forthcoming role in Coming 2 America

KiKi Layne, 28, made her film debut as the female lead, Tish, in Barry Jenkins’s acclaimed 2018 drama If Beale Street Could Talk, a story of young love and institutional racism in 1970s New York. The actor’s new film, The Old Guard, is adapted from a comic-book series, and sees her star alongside Charlize Theron as part of an elite squad of mercenaries. Layne lives in Los Angeles.

The Old Guard is a very different film from If Beale Street Could Talk. Was that part of the appeal?
Oh, absolutely. I’ve always wanted to do a big, kick-ass action film, and I was excited for the opportunity to do something obviously so different from Beale Street. A sense of: “Whoa, I didn’t know Tish could do all that!” And I definitely never trained like this before. We seriously would spend hours a day training, learning all types of new stuff. Getting my ass whupped! But I’m like: “I’ll come back for more!”

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Elizabeth Debicki: ‘I’m not interested in being comfortable’

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/the-night-managerplay episode download
12 juillet, par Sophie Heawood[ —]

Elizabeth Debicki had us all enthralled in The Night Manager (including Le Carré himself). Now she’s back in a new spy thriller. And, despite her 6ft 3in height and A-list pals, she’s still the down-to-earth girl from Melbourne…

To have everybody on the planet in their own homes, not able to see their friends, and collectively yearning for something – I think it’s very interesting for our species,” says the Australian actor Elizabeth Debicki, who is speaking to me in a slow, low voice over the phone from her house in Los Angeles. She has something of an other-worldly manner, part of what makes her so compelling on screen, and says she is in the garden, where she has “never spent so much time staring at lavender plants before. Brain restructuring itself.”

It is the early part of lockdown, before America’s cases of coronavirus start making it the worst-hit country in the world, and we were supposed to be meeting in the flesh to discuss her new film, Tenet, the much-hyped thriller from Christopher Nolan, who made Dunkirk, Interstellar and various Batmans, and which also stars Robert Pattinson, Michael Caine and Kenneth Branagh. But it has been held back until August, when we might be able to watch the 3D World War Three spy thriller in cinemas.

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The future of film: can cinema survive Covid-19?

12 juillet, par Wendy Ide[ —]

Film fans flocked online during lockdown. As restrictions ease, what’s happening to revive cinema-going and restart shoots? Our critic heads to the cinema to find out

It’s Saturday lunchtime and I am watching Sonic the Hedgehog in a cinema. It’s fair to say that it wouldn’t have been my first choice of film to break my four-month cinema fast (titles also showing at the Genesis in London’s Mile End included Moonlight, Parasite, Memento, Do the Right Thing and previews of a forthcoming new release, Black Water: Abyss). But the nine-year-old got to pick and he reasoned that, since I missed it when it was first released, I absolutely must want to catch up with it now.

What’s remarkable is how reassuringly ordinary the whole experience is. Online booking automatically enforces social distancing around your chosen seats. Not that that’s an issue with our screening – there are only six other people here. There’s a plexiglass screen between the box office and the punters, a roped-off one-way system, staggered start times and wall-mounted hand-sanitisers. Some staff are wearing masks. We are the only customers who choose to do so.

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Saint Frances review – wry, tender, taboo-busting drama

https://www.theguardian.com/film/dramaplay episode download
12 juillet, par Mark Kermode[ —]

Writer Kelly O’Sullivan stars in her bittersweet tale of a child-phobic waitress turned nanny, an exhilarating examination of female lives on screen

Reviewing Eliza Hittman’s powerfully understated drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always in this paper recently, I noted that by approaching the urgent subject of reproductive rights through the prism of a coming-of-age story with road-movie inflections, Hittman’s film avoided ever seeming polemical.

The same is true of this terrific (and very different) feature from writer and star Kelly O’Sullivan, a vibrant and emotionally engaging tale that dresses its subversive self-determination manifesto in the clothes of a ditzy, bittersweet comedy about midlife disappointment.

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Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan tests positive for coronavirus

https://www.theguardian.com/world/south-and-central-asiaplay episode download
11 juillet, par Associated Press[ —]

Bachchan’s son Abhishek has also tested positive for the virus, and both are in hospital

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is hospitalised in Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital.

In a tweet on Saturday, Bachchan, 77, said his family and staff have also undergone tests and are awaiting results. He appealed to those who were in close proximity to him in the past 10 days to get themselves tested.

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Jealous Johnny Depp ‘tried to stop Amber Heard sex scenes’, court told

11 juillet, par Vanessa Thorpe[ —]

Actor denies his behaviour was controlling as he sues paper for abuse allegations

Details of sex scenes Amber Heard was to play on screen were kept from her husband, Johnny Depp, court documents have revealed. The Pirates of the Caribbean star, who admits to having jealous feelings, told the judge hearing his London libel case against the Sun that he “was uncomfortable with the idea of her doing nudity”.

Evidence put together by lawyers working for Heard suggests that, during the last stages of their two-year marriage, trust had broken down to the extent that Depp wanted to prevent his wife wearing revealing outfits on the red carpet and from taking parts in films involving nude scenes.

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The Old Guard review – Charlize Theron has an axe to grind

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11 juillet, par Wendy Ide[ —]

Theron lets rip as immortal warrior Andy in Gina Prince Bythewood’s fast-paced but patchy comic-book adaptation

Who wants to live for ever? Not Charlize Theron, evidently. Playing immortal warrior Andy, leader of a covert band of unkillable mercenaries, Theron spends almost as much time battling many centuries worth of accumulated angst as she does slicing and dicing entire battalions of attackers. Armed with ennui and an ancient axe, Theron brings layers of complexity to a role that is otherwise largely defined through exemplary fight choreography.

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s crisp, efficient direction of this adaptation of an action-fantasy comic-book series by Greg Rucka serves the physical element of the performances well. A fight on a rattling cargo plane between Theron and KiKi Layne (playing Nile, a reluctant new recruit to the immortal club) is a blast. Even Andy cracks a smile at one point. “She stabbed me,” Theron’s character later tells her right-hand man, Booker (Matthias Schoenaerts). “I think she has potential.”

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Charlie Kaufman: 'Making people laugh makes me feel validated as a human'

11 juillet, par Sam Leith[ —]

The screenwriter behind Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has written a novel - about a film critic who hates Charlie Kaufman

When Charlie Kaufman was seven years old, he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. He knows because he went as far as to write it down. “Actor, doctor or fireman,” he says, and laughs. He ended up being, at least briefly, one of those things – but he’s best known as the screenwriter and/or director of some of the trippiest and most metafictional films in recent history: Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synecdoche, New York.

Now, with the publication of his first novel, Antkind, he’s also the author of a trippy and metafictional book. This isn’t some sort of Hollywood big-name vanity project of the sort on which Sean Penn lately came unstuck: Kaufman wrote the book, he says, because he couldn’t get work in the movies. “I got the contract to write it in 2012,” he says. “The movie and TV business wasn’t really working out for me at the time.”

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Streaming: great basketball films to watch after The Last Dance

11 juillet, par Guy Lodge[ —]

Ben Affleck’s Finding the Way Back is the latest in US cinema’s rich tradition of basketball films, from Hoop Dreams to He Got Game

Having skidded far off the rails, a former star basketball player finds renewed purpose in life by coaching a team of bright-eyed young talents: some films start with a script, but Finding the Way Back practically starts with a template. That’s not a criticism of Gavin O’Connor’s satisfying meat-and-potatoes sports drama, which was supposed to come out in UK cinemas in late March, and instead was digitally released last Friday. Finding the Way Back uses the familiarity of its premise to highlight ways in which sporting triumph and personal pride don’t always line up.

As an alcoholic Los Angeles construction worker somehow tasked with coaching his former high school’s ailing basketball team, Ben Affleck introduces a note of wounded anxiety to proceedings that is never shed, even as the plot climbs its inevitable upward arc. Rescued from the purgatory of crummy Batman spinoffs, the embattled actor has clearly taken the film as his own metatextual comeback story, and sure enough, he’s the best he’s ever been in it. O’Connor knows his way around a worn, grainy study of everyday athletes – he previously made the excellent (and Netflixable) Warrior (2011) with Tom Hardy – and he brings similar integrity to this one.

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