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CONTENTS 3 Editorial 4-7 Mank Follows Herman J. Mankiewicz’s development of Orson Welles’s iconic masterpiece “Citizen Kane”.

8-11

Let Him Go A retired sheriff and his wife, grieving for the death of their son, set out to find their only grandson.

12-15

The Midnight Sky The post-apocalyptic tale follows Augustine, a lonely scientist in the Arctic as he races to stop Sully and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.

16-19

Free Guy A bank teller discovers that he’s actually an NPC inside a video game.

20-23

The Prom A troupe of self-obsessed theatre stars swarm into a conservative Indiana town in support of a High School girl who wants to go to The Prom.

24-27

Asia Asia’s motherhood has always been an ongoing struggle rather than an obvious instinct.

28-29

Lost At Christmas Two strangers stranded in the Scottish Highlands on Christmas Eve, team up to try and get home for Christmas.

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Poster

(The Midnight Sky)

PHOTO CREDITS: NETFLIX: 1, 6,7, 14,15, 22,23, 32 UNIVERSAL INTERNATIONAL PICTURES: 10,11 20TH CENTURY FOX: 18,19 GUM FILMS: 26,27 BLUE FINCH FILMS RELEASING: 30,31

We would like to acknowledge the following for their help in providing publicity material for this magazine: Marine Monnier and Katy at Organic Publicity, Jake Garriock at Curzon.com., Jon Rushton @ Vertigo Releasing, Emma Deakins @ Strike Media.

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Editioral HELLO FILM LOVERS, WELCOME TO THE LATEST ISSUE OF OUR MONTHLY MAGAZINE. Our cover feature is the highly critically acclaimed “Mank” with its titular star Gary Oldman gracing our cover. It is a film that will take up residence in cineaste’s collector’s libraries all over the world because it is about one of the greatest films ever made “Citizen Kane” and who really created it and how the film was made. Further reviews are a mixture of genres: romantic drama: ”Let Him Go”, starring Kevin Costner & Diane Lane. Science fiction: “Midnight Sky”, directed by and starring George Clooney and co-starring Felicity Jones. There is the long awaited musical: “The Prom” starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, James Corden…. Plus: there is a wonderful romantic/comedy for the Christmas Season that we so need. Set in Scotland, it is called “Lost At Christmas”, which viewers won’t be, and like its stars, Natalie Clark and Kenny Boyle you won’t be, but may, like them, find themselves.

By apropos, May we wish all our readers and supporters A Very Very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Brian Mills

Paul Ridler

Magazine Editor

Magazine Designer

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MANK Directed by David Fincher Starring: Lily Collins, Tuppence Middleton, Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman Are you familiar with the parable of the organ grinder’s monkey? - Mank The film follows screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz’s tumultuous development of Orson Welles’ iconic masterpiece “Citizen Kane” (1941). The biographical drama stars Gary Oldman as “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz who preferred to be called ‘Mank’. The publication of the shooting script for “Citizen Kane” provoked a controversy over the relative contributions of Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz. There were further problems relating to “Citizen Kane” which are touched on in “Mank” when Mank was warned about taking on the subject of William Randolph Hearst: You pick a fight with William. you are finished. Even Welles warned him: “I’ve eliminated every excuse: your family, your cronies, liquor. I gave you a second chance.” William Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance) was a powerful newspaper owner who ruled the media world and lived the life of wealth epitomised by his castle Xanadu. It’s 1940 and Mank is being quarantined out in the desert to write and finish the screenplay for what would ultimately be “Citizen Kane”. He staggers into the cottage at North Verde Ranch, broken-legged with a cane and a doctor in tow and a deadline of 60 days, “90,” pushes Mank. He’s gifted Rita Alexander (Lily Collins) to dictate the script as he rattles it off from bed. Collins is lovely here and evokes Audrey Hepburn in poise, presence, and speech. He has a lockbox of hooch to eke him through the process. Doc’s word of advice? “Tell the story you know,” Gary Oldman is oddly unconvincing as Mank when drunk, but is balanced by his performance when he is writing and convalescing. Back to the 30s and studio head Louis B. Mayer (Arliss Howard) gives a scene-stealing performance. He paints a face of simpering sadness as he collects his MGM family of players to ask them to take drastic pay cuts 4

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to keep the studio alive. “We have to get people in theaters”. This is 1933, when banks closed and the country was near the end of The Great Depression. The Oscars skipped a 1933 ceremony and a full 17 months of films moved to the 6th Academy Awards in 1934. The heated 1934 California governor’s race is given a surprising amount of real estate in the film and provides one of the clearest homages to “Citizen Kane”. As actress Marion Davies. Amanda Seyfried enters the picture. She is luminous as Davies and at the perfect place in her career for a role like this. She is loose, feisty, girlish and mature and it’s balanced and grounded performance opens up our understanding of Davies as so much more than William Randolph Hearst’s mistress and the butt of the joke in “Citizen Kane”. Her awards-worthy performance is likely to score her a well-earned Oscar nomination. Tom Pelphrey, as Herman’s brother Joe, is deeply effective as a sympathetic and more cogent representative of the Mankiewicz brand and, like Seyfried, feels perfect in this period. It’s Davies’ relationship to real estate and newspaper magnate Hearst idea that brings Mank into the fold, calling the writer the Shakespeare of his time. Little does he know what’s in store for the Golden Age of pictures and how he’ll be forever enshrined in it. As Hearst, Charles Danceisn’t quite the menacing figure you expect him to be. He’s far more reserved for a man who was such a kingmaker and monolith of the time. But his elaborate parties at the legendary San Simeon are on display here as he, Mank, Mayer and more debate the impending election, Upton Sinclair, socialism and Nazis in a way that feels as 2020 as it does 1934. David Fincher adopts numerous classic film style approaches to the film, from recording in mono sound, which bounces off the walls like an echo even in exterior scenes to film editing blips like Fincher employed in “Fight Club”. The commitment to immersing us into a 1930s/1940s mood is impressive. It is a gorgeously shot film, which is, at times, a delirious blend of “Citizen Kane” and “Touch of Evil”. Oscar, Grammy and Emmy winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross imbue their score with that same level of commitment to the period that’s unlike anything they’ve ever done. The script by Jack Fincher suggests that Mankiewicz largely created the screenplay for “Citizen Kane” on his own. Film purists may not agree. Welles undoubtedly contributed. Regarding Tom Burke who plays Welles in the film and provides the ghostly figure in phone calls and out of focus shots. The final shots of the film will give cineastes and film historians a lot to talk about as we witness the face-off we have been waiting for. All-in-all. This is a monochrome classic that one will want to see again and again.

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William Randolph Hearst (Charles Dance) in Mank

Marion Davies (Amanda Seyfried) in Mank

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Herman Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman), Louis B. Mayer (Arliss Howard, Joseph Mankiewicz (Tom Pelfrey) in Mank

Orson Welles (Tom Burke), Herman Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) in Mank

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LET HIM GO Directed by Thomas Bezucho Starring: Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Lesley Manville We’re trying to locate a Donnie Weboy. He married our son’s widow. - George Blackledge

A retired sheriff and his wife, grieving over the death of their son, set out to find their only grandson. The themes that run through the veins of this movie are regret and redemption and builds itself up into a grown-up drama that we rarely see nowadays.

George (Kevin Costner) and Margaret (Diane Lane) play a retired sheriff and his horsewoman wife living on a Montana ranch in the early 1960s. Working with Cinematographer Guy Godfree, director Thomas Bezucho lets the viewer luxuriate in the endless, blue skies enhanced with white fluffy clouds. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner share a strong and seamless connection as a long-married Midwestern couple. The comfort of their mundane, daily interactions provides the foundation for the way they’ll ultimately fight for each other for when the time comes. At the beginning of the film, the Blackledges share their modest home with their son James (Ryan Bruce), his wife, Lorna (Kayli Carter) and their infant son, Jimmy. But when James dies in a horseback riding accident, their insular, peaceful world is shattered. A few years later, Lorna remarries a Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain), but it’s obvious from their dour civil ceremony and the way she offers her cheek when he tries to kiss her lips that this is a union of necessity. A chance encounter in town soon afterward, when Margaret witnesses Donnie’s casual cruelty, makes it clear that her grandson is in danger. The scene is wordlessly staged from afar through the windshield of her wood-panelled station wagon giving the scene a moment of startling power. The movie is a family drama based on a novel by Larry Watson and adapted for the screen by Bezucho. Margaret is dominant while George has settled into a life of keeping his head down and from stopping his wife from stirring up a hornet’s nest. 8

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George might be the ex-lawman, whose demeanour suggests a lifetime of violent shootouts with outlaws, but it’s Margaret who steals herself for confrontation with the Weboys to reclaim Jimmy, the last connection they have with their dead son. Margaret sees their son as having been stolen from them, George, at least, recognizes that Lorna has some agency in all of this, and she decided, even if unwise, it was hers to make. That said, he’s not going to let Margaret wander into danger alone. Tough as she is, he is her loyal bulldog and will go wherever she does. The idea of things being ‘stolen’ is weaved throughout with a surprising amount of subtlety and grace. If you went in expecting a thriller, “Let Him Go” is not exactly that. There’s more on its mind, and setting the story in the turbulent 1960s, when America is in the midst of societal change, is no coincidence, George and Margaret are hardworking, salt of the Earth types, but they’re also isolated from the struggles of people different than them. And that ignorance comes to affect them in different ways. They learn a thing or two about loss when encountering Peter (Booboo Stewart), a Native American living alone on the outskirts of town. A runaway from the Native American Boarding School who has seen his entire life, family, and even his true name stolen from him, Peter represents what this country has taken in its failed attempts at assimilation. So, the Blackledge’s hit up in North Dakota looking to kick a few types, rustle up some info on the Weboys. What they find is that everybody knows the name, but nobody wants to talk about them. They’re confronted by people with entire legacies of poverty behind them and it’s made them hard, defensive around outsiders and protective of their own. The Weboys are, in a way, the inverse of what the Blackledges are. They believe in family, too, but in a way that’s ugly and conniving. If what is left of the American Dream is being stolen, it’s people like the Weboys who have been taking from it for years. And that is embodied in the character of Blanche (Lesley Manville). If the rest of the Weboy clan are a bunch of villainess thugs, Blanche is the mafia queen, feigning down home pleasantries to your face, but ready with a knife to stick in your back. While violence stays to a minimum, it is always meaningful and stark. It is a neo-Western and there’s an acknowledgement of the Blackledge’s age and physical inability to go on some bloody rampage of vengeance. They are in deep water long before that happens. They get in their car and make the long journey to North Dakota. That feeling of inevitable doom looms large because of how much we have come to care for George and Margaret’s love for one another. Costner and Lane are the backbone of this must-see movie. The former having built a reputation of starring in very successful movies in the western genre.

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George (Kevin Costner) in Let Him Go

Diane Lane on set with Director Thomas Bezucha. 10

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Margaret (Diane Lane) and Blanche (Lesley Manville) in Let Him Go

Kevin Costner on set with Director Thomas Bezucha.

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THE MIDNIGHT SKY Directed by George Clooney Starring: George Clooney, Felicity Jones Come in Ether. This is Barbo Observatory. Are you receiving this? Is anybody out there? - Augustine

A lone scientist in the Artic races to contact a crew of astronauts returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe. This post-apocalyptic tale follows Augustine (George Clooney), a lonely scientist in the Artic as he tries to stop Sully (Felicity Jones) and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a disaster. Actor/director George Clooney bills this project as “Gravity” (2013) meets “The Revenant” (2015), noting, “They’re not natural fits, so it was a constant balancing act.” The fact The “Midnight Sky” would resemble Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Oscar-winning adventure epic “”The Revenant is not by accident, as the project was written by The Revenant screenwriter Mark L. Smith. The Revenant part of the script kicks in during the film when Augustine and the girl Are forced to venture through the increasingly toxic air and melting landscape to reach an observatory that has a communications array powerful enough to reach the starship. The astronauts, meanwhile, set out on their own adventure while taking a shortcut on their journey to Earth. Working on Gravity prepared Clooney for the challenges of directing a space epic “One of the things that I learned from working with Alfonso about space is, once you’re in the anti-gravity kind of world, there is no north and south or east or west, because it doesn’t exist in space. Up isn’t up and down isn’t down. So the camera can be upside down, characters can be upside down, and it’s hard to do, because you’re constantly rotating the camera, and hoping you’re not doing it so much that you’re making everybody sick. Alfonso did it perfectly.

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GEORGE CLOONEY:”The Midnight Sky” is his 7th film as a director. George’s first was “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (2002) followed by “Good Night, and Good Luck” (2005) “Leatherheads” (2008) “The Ides of March” (2011) “The Monuments Men” (2014) “Surbican” (2017) FELICITY JONES: Felicity started her professional acting career as a child, appearing at age 12 in “The Treasure Seekers” (1996). She has appeared in numerous films: Flashbacks of a Fool (2008) as Young Ruth Brideshead Revisited (2008) as Cordelia Flyte Cheri (2009) as Esmee Cemetery Junction (2010) as Julie SoulBoy (2010) as Mandy Hodgson The Tempest (2010) as Miranda Like Crazy (2011) as Anna Chalet Girl (2011) as Kim Matthews Albatross (2011) as Beth Mysteria ((2011) as Emily Dalrymple Cheerful Weather for the Wedding (2012) as Dolly Breathe In (2013) as Sophie The Invisible Woman (2013) as Nelly The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) as Felicia The Theory of Everything (2014) as Jane Hawking True Story (2015) as Jill Barker Collide (2016) as Juliette Marne A Monster Calla (2016) as Mum Inferno (2016) Sienna Brooks Rogue One: A Star Wars Story ((2016) as Jyn On the Basis of Sex (2018) as Ruth Bader Ginsburg The Aeronauts (2019) as Amelia Wren Dragon Rider (2020) as Sorrell(voice) The Midnight Sky (2020) as Sully Last Letter from Your Lover (2020) as Ellie Borderland (2021) Pre-production.

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Child (Caoilinn Springall) and Augustine (George Clooney) in The Midnight Sky

Kyle Chandler & George Clooney on set of The Midnight Sky 14

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Sanchez (Demian Bochie) and Maya ( Tiffany Boone) on set of The Midnight Sky.

Sanchez (Demian Bochie and Mitchell (Kyle Chandler in The Midnight Sky.

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FREE GUY Directed by Shawn Levy Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jodie Comer, Lil Rel Howery, Taika Waititi Buddy, if we’re not real, doesn’t that mean that nothing you do matters? - Guy A bank teller who discovers he is actually a background player in an open-world video game, decides to become the hero of his own story…one he rewrites himself. Now in a world where there are no limits, he is determined to be the guy who saves his world his way…before it is too late. The movie is set in a fictional, intra-video-game locale called Free City. Its teaser trailer opens with an establishing shot of what is visibly Pittsburgh, however, and its remainder appears to have been filmed in the Boston area. Local landmarks such as Faneuil Hall and the State Street complex are clearly visible. According the Hollywood Reporter, famous You Tube gamer celebrities made cameo roles in the film. Gamer stars like Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys, and Lannan ‘LazerBeam’Eacott appear as themselves while Sean ‘Septiceye’ McLoughlin voices the video game character Q*bert in a scene where Guy and Molotov get him from a download. Alex Trebeck’s final cameo in a movie. Once released, the film will be dedicated in loving memory of him. The film was originally scheduled to be released on July 3rd 2020 but was delayed to December 11th 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On November 5th, 2020, the film was postponed indefinitely. YouTuber and acclaimed actor Charlie White Jr. was offered a cameo for this movie, but declined the offer. NPC is short for non-playing character, in computer games. Alternatively known as Non-Player Character, signifying that the character is computer code, rather than being controlled by a human. Director Shawn Levy’s first movie to be filmed in Panavision (anamorphic). Originality s the film’s strongest point.

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Ryan Reynolds: Award Wins & Accolades: Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Best Actor in a Comedy — DEADPOOL 2012 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS WON – Favourite Movie Superhero & Action Movie Star in GREEN LANTERN 2016 ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY WON — Entertainer of the Year 2017 Ryan was inducted on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 2017 SATURN AWARDS WON — Best Actor DEADPOOL

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Milly/Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer) in Free Guy

Guy (Ryan Reynolds) in Free Guy. 18

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Milly/Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer) & Guy (Ryan Reynolds) in Free Guy

Ryan Reynolds & Group of Players in Free Guy.

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THE PROM Directed by Ryan Murphy Starring: Nicole Kidman, Keagan-Michael Key, Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, James I just want to go to The Prom, just like any other kid. - Alyssa.

A troupe of hilariously selfobsessed theatre stars swarm into a small conservative Indiana town in support of a High School girl who wants to take her girlfriend to the Prom. Netflix, The Actors Fund, Broadway Cares and American Film Institute gave “The Prom” a virtual world premiere screening that looked a lot like the way millions of people will experience this very special film after it debuts on Netflix Dec 11 this festive season. With a group, “The Prom” is that kind of movie that will be watched by lots of chums and family members together, who won’t be able to resist hanging around afterward to laugh, cheer, talk about their favourite moments and celebrate its joyous spirit of inclusion and love delivered in a hugely entertaining film of Oscarworthy perfection. But the premiere screening group wasn’t just any gang. The webcam roundup included director Ryan Murphy and the his stars Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, James Corden, Kerry Washington, Keegan-Michael Key,Andrew Rennells, Jo Ellen Pellman, Ariana DeBose, and Kevin Chamberlain in a serious discussion and hilarious laugh-athon moderated by Broadway journalist Frank DiLella. Lots of other “Prom” co-stars told amusing stories. Meryl Streep was downright naughty and hilariously self-effacing. On screen she portrays an outrageously ego-mad Broadway diva whose first musical number is titled “It’s All About Me!”I loved playing someone who, you know, walks in and thinks she owns the room, which, of course she doesn’t, she said. “But I love that kind of fun and everybody takes the piss out of her.” Nicole Kidman tattled on her terror over having to perform a Bob Fosse dance. “I thought I’m never going to be able to climb this mountain because everything is, you know, every little detail, every hand gesture, every finger that moves. But suddenly being educated in that (by a team of professional dancers) made me believe I could do it and it was just wonderful.” Kerry Washington wasn’t at all shy about dancing. In fact, she insisted upon it. Regardless of the fact that she wasn’t scripted to be included in the film’s big finale. “I wormed my way into the dance number at the end because I grew up in musical theatre and I love musicals.” 20

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Ryan Murphy ended up stealing his own show when he talked about why he chose to make the movie. “I wish when I was young, I had a film like this to see. I wish when I was growing up I did not feel so alone in my life. Just like Emma, I’m also from Indiana and I was searching for a community and looking for a place to belong. “And I just knew that the musical was actually about something. It was about the fight to be seen and to be included in the conversation. And I deeply related to that.

Nicole Kidman: Known as one of Hollywood’s top Australian imports, was actually born Honolulu, Hawaii, while her Australian parents were there on educational visas. Nicole Kidman is the daughter of Janelle Ann (Glenny). A nursing instructor, and Anthony David Kidman, a biochemist and clinical psychologist. She is of English, Irish, and Scottish descent. Shortly after her birth, the family moved to Washington D. C; Where Nicole’s father pursued his research on breast cancer. Three years later, he made the pilgrimage back to her parents’ home native Sydney home. In Australia, where Nicole was raised. Young Nicole’s first love was ballet, but eventually took up mime and drama as well as her first stage role. In her adolescence, acting edged out the other arts and became a kind of refuge, while her classmates sought out fun in the sun, the fair-skinned Nicole retreated to dark rehearsal halls to practice her craft. She worked at the Philip Street Theatre, where she received a personal letter of praise and encouragement from audience member Jane Campion (then a film student). Nicole eventually dropped out as well to pursue acting full time. Nicole has had a varied career as an actress as her filmography shows: BUSH CHRISTMAS as Helen BMX BANDITS as Judy WILLS & BURKE as Julia Matthews WINDRIDER as Jade THE BIT PART as Mary McAllister EMERALD CITY as Helen McCord DEAD CALM as Rae Ingram DAYS OF THUNDER as Dr. Clare Lewicki FLRTING as Nicola BILLY BATHGATE as Drew Preston FAR AND AWAY as Shannon Christie MALICE as Tracy MY LIFE as Gail Jones TO DIE FOR as Suzanne Stone BATMAN FOREVER as Dr Chase Neridian THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY as Isabel Archer THE LEADING MAN as Academy Awards Presenter THE PEAQCEMAKER as Dr. Julia Kelly PRACTICAL MAGIC as Gillian Owens EYES WIDE SHUT as Alice Harford MOULIN ROUGE! as Satine THE OTHERS as Grace BIRTHDAY GIRL as Sophia, alias Nadia THE HOURS as Virginia Wolf DOGVILLE as Grace Margaret Mulligan THE HUMAN STAIN as Faunia Farley COLD MOUNTAIN as Ada Monroe THE STEPFORD WIVES as Joanna Eberhart BIRTH as Anna THE INTERPRETER as Silvia Boome BEWITCHED as Isabel Bigelow/Samantha FUR:An IMAGINARY PORTRAIT OF DIANE ARBUS as Diane Arbus

HAPPY FEET as Norma Jean (voice) THE INVASION as Carol Bennell MARGOT AT THE WEDDING as Margot THE GOLDEN COMPASS as Mrs Coulter AUSTRALIA as Lady Sarah Ashley NINE as Claudia RABBIT HOLE as Becca JUST GO WITH IT as Devlin Adams TRESPASS as Sarah Miller THE PAPERBOY as Charlotte Bless STOKER as Evelyn Stoker THE RAILWAY MAN as Patti GRACE OF MONACO ss Grace BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP as Christine PADDINGTON as Millicent STRANGERLAND as Catherine QUEEN OF THE DESERT as Gertrude Bell THE FAMILY FANG as Annie Fang SECRET IN THEIR EYES as Claire Sloane GENIUS as Aline Bernstein LION as Sue Brierly HOW to TALK to GIRLS at PARTIES as Boadicea THE KILLING of a SACRED DEER as Anna Murphy THE BEGUILED as Miss Martha THE UPSIDE as Yvonne Pendleton DESTROYER as Erin Bell BOY ERASED as Nancy Eamons AQUAMAN as Adianna THE GOLDFINCH as Mrs Barbour BOMBSHELL as Gretchen Carlson THE PROM as Angie Dickinson THE NORTHMAN (FILMING) as Queen Gudrun

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James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannels and Meryl Streep on the set of The Prom

Dee Dee Allen (Meryl Streep) and Barry Glickman (James Corden) in The Prom 22

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Dee Dee (Meryl Streep) in The Prom

Mrs. Greene (Kerry Washington) & Alyssa Greene (Arianna Debose) in The Prom.

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ASIA Directed By Ruthy Pribar Starring: Alana Yiv, Shira Haas, Tamir Mula “When you were a baby, we used to lie like this, together in bed. The only thing that put you to sleep was my singing” Asia Asia’s motherhood has always been an ongoing struggle rather than an obvious instinct. Becoming a mother at a very early age has shaped Asia’ relationship with her daughter Vika. It is not easy to tell who is who: who is the mum and who is the daughter when we first meet Asia and Vika, they seem more like sisters.

Asia appears slightly desperate. Presumably down the years she imagined everything others were doing with her clubbing flirtations and sexual assignations in a car with a married colleague (Gera Sandler). While seventeen-year-old Vika was maybe hanging out with her pals and experimenting with drink and drugs, but she is more hesitant in her approach than her mother. First-time feature director Ruthy Pribar takes a loose and intimate approach to the relationship, allowing it to unfold in moments – a shared cup of soup here, a sudden foray into conversation there – as she gradually reveals that Vika is suffering from a degenerative disease. Where other directors might have leaned into this aspect for its sentiment, Pribar takes a much more subtle tack, allowing the sense of uncertainty about the progression of the illness to permeate the film as it also begins to make its presence in the mother/daughter relationship. Physically, Vika begins to need increasing amounts of help but it is the emotional connection between her and her mum come to the fore as Pribar studies both characters with equal scrutiny. The women are allowed to be complex and difficult, with Asia initial attempts at a ceasefire with Vika too self-centred for success. Vika, meanwhile, is never shown as a victim, as Pribar explores how difficult it can be to sustain your own personal rebellion when your body is undertaking a mutiny of its own. This may be a sort of coming-of-age for Vika but its also as much a coming-of-maturity for Asia and a reconciliation with loss for both women. 24

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Shira Hass won the acting gong at Tribeca and it could just as easily have gone to Yiv, as both bring intensity and nuance to the relationship. They’re given space to do that with Pribar’s spare script that places as much importance on physical acts such as the application of make-up or nail varnish as it does dialogue. Even the inclusion of a potential love interest (Tamir Mula) matching the female stars, step by step. is handled in a multi-faceted and pared back way, that allows it to take on significance in the wider scheme of things beyond a simple will they/won’t they equation. By the end, there’s no place for melodrama – only acts of love.

SHIRA HAAS: Shira is a Hebrew feminine name meaning “poetry” or” singing”. Her first feature film was “Princess” as Adar/ Daughter

Other feature films:        

A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS as Kira THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE as Urszula FOXTROT as Alma MARY MAGDALENE as Leah PERE ATZIL as Anna/Elis/Schoolmate/Girlfriend BROKEN MIRRORS as Ariela ESAU as Leah ASIA as Vika

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Vika (Shira Haas) & Asia (Alena Yiv) in Asia

Asia (Alena Yiv) Alena & Vika (Shira Haas) in Asia 26

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Asia (Alena Yiv) & Vika (Shira Haas) in Asia.

Asia (Alena Yiv) in Asia

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LOST AT CHRISTMAS Directed by Ryan Hendrick Starring: Natalie Clark, Kenny Boyle, Sanjeen Kohli, Fraser Hines, Caitlin Blackwood, Sylvester McCoy, Clare Grogan Why are you alone out here on Christmas Eve? - Jen Well, just let’s say that today didn’t go as planned - Rob You and me both - Jen Two strangers stranded in the Scottish Highlands on Christmas eve team up to try and get back home in time for Christmas. Based on the acclaimed Short film “Perfect Strangers” (2015). If you are looking for a festive film this year, then look no further than this delightful feature that offers the joy and comfort and laughter that one generally expects from such a film. Here is an authentically Scottish Christmas film. Everything there is to love about Christmas is featured in this heart warming romantic comedy which will get you reaching for the tissues. Set in the remote Scottish town of Fort William on Christmas eve, both Jen and Rob feature major heartbreak from cheating to a rejected wedding proposal. All is not well for the pair, and things only get worse when they realise the last train to Glasgow is no longer running, the snow is blocking the roads and all they want to do is get home to their family . Jen and Rob are each other’s last hope at saving Christmas as they team up to travel back home. All cannot go easy: we follow their journey through saving Christmas and maybe love? Natalie Clark seemed to be the film’s beating heart as she nailed every joke and was a completely albeit crazy character. In the first 15 minutes , we see her punch a cheater in the face and scream that all men are “illegimate children”. In comparison Kenny Boyle seemed to miss the mark on some of the jokes. But probablly they both made a good team. We see Jen go back to her cheating ex’s house and steal his luxurious car in hope to travel back to Glasgow. What follows is an outstanding moment when Rob realises Jen has just stolen a car. Rob 28

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accuses Jen of stealing. She replies “Stolen? Such an ugly word”, it is a laugh-out-loud scene. Rob and Jen are two strangers who spend Christmas together and as we are living in these strange times, a little sprinkle of togetherness provides some much-needed relief.

NATALIE CLARK: First Feature Film: MINDS OF GLASS as Sophie Ducasse Other feature films: LOVE BITE: as Young Woman DOCTOR WHO: BESIEGED as Ade TIMELOCK as Fiona Kerr LOST AT CHRISTMAS as Jen THE LAST BUS (Post production) as Nurse

KENNY BOYLE: An award-winning actor of stage and screen having become a well-known name in Scottish theatre from a young age. Boyle has progressed into the world of film to critical acclaim and quickly developed a loyal fan base. A graduate of the prestigious Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has appeared in theatres all over the world. His first feature film was: THE TENEMENT GHOST as Barfly Other feature films: NIGHT IS DAY: THE MOVIE as PC Douglas DOCTOR WHO: BESIEGED as Sweeney Todd LOST AT CHRISTMAS as Rob

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Jen (Natalie Clark) & Rob (Kenny Boyle) in Lost at Christmas.

Jen (Natalie Clark & Rob (Kenny Boyle) in Lost at Christmas.

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Jen (Natalie Clark) & Rob (Kenny Boyle) In Lost at Christmas.

Jen (Natalie Clark) & Rob (Kenny Boyle) in Lost at Christmas.

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Movies by Mills (December 2020)  

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