Doucouré is crafting a morality tale here, just not an obvious one — she prefers to observe her characters rather than outright judge them. And given that she has such a keen antenna for capturing how actual adolescents behave, the César-winning director turns Cuties into something closer at times to a nature documentary than a handwringing melodrama. Even the group’s outré routines, clearly age-inappropriate yet all too familiar to anyone who’s suffered through a tween dance recital, are uncomfortable but clearly aren’t run-of-the mill male-gaze lechery. Everything from peer pressure to post-makeover victory laps to the vamping for phone cameras, Instagram, viral videos etc. is seen through Amy’s wide eyes, which — thanks to Youssouf’s extraordinary, no-filter performance — fools us into thinking we’re watching someone hard-knock their way to maturity in real time. Amy thinks a second-hand pantomime of sexualized … [Read more...] about ‘Cuties’ Review: A Coming-of-Age Movie Caught in the Culture Wars
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The Times exposé, headlined “Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches from His Father,” was posted on Oct. 2, 2018. While it got plenty of attention at the time, and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize, there was plenty else going on that week, including the pending confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Even much of the coverage of the Supreme Court decision last week on Trump’s taxes seemed to ignore that a lot of information about the finances of the empire already have been reported. … [Read more...] about Mary Trump Book Review: In The Chaos Of Donald Trump’s Presidency, Will His Niece’s Tell-All Matter?
Butters hit stardom last year following her breakout performance in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood. Tarantino actually spotted Butters on American Housewife and went to cast her as the precocious child actor Trudi Fraser. Butters earned acclaim and landed a slew of nominations for her role in the movie, which opened a lot of doors for her. The young actress and her team wanted to pursue them and the studio behind American Housewife, ABC Signature, granted her request to leave the series. … [Read more...] about ‘American Housewife’ Recasts Anna-Kat Role With Giselle Eisenberg As Julia Butters Exits ABC Comedy
Rosamund Pike stars as a legal conservator running a lucrative guardianship grift who strikes trouble when she messes with a gangster played by Peter Dinklage in this acidic thriller. Seldom has a film's title been more thoroughly doused in darkest irony than J. Blakeson's breathtakingly vicious thriller I Care a Lot. In a role that makes riveting use of her chilly poise, Rosamund Pike brings crisp efficiency and dead-eyed amorality to a legal conservator scamming defenseless seniors out of their assets as she and her co-conspirators take control of their lives, shutting out pesky family members whenever necessary. At a time when governments in many countries seem to be abandoning traditional watchdog responsibilities and turning a blind eye to corporate malfeasance, the phrase "ward of the state" here takes on an alarming new meaning. … [Read more...] about ‘I Care a Lot’: Film Review | TIFF 2020
Under a wintry sky that seems almost a permanent shade of gray, Mary combs the windswept shores at the foot of her Dorset village for fossils and shells to sell in the shopfront of a modest family home she shares with her elderly widowed mother Molly (Gemma Jones, wonderful). She inherited her sharp eye for interesting rock formations from her father, making her most notable find at age 11, with a magnificent ichthyosaurus fossil. Sold to provide food and clothing for the family, that specimen now sits in the British Museum in London, with the name of a male scientist on its display cabinet. … [Read more...] about ‘Ammonite’: Film Review | TIFF 2020