Michelle Williams

All the money can’t buy happiness in Scott’s tense new thriller

Gail (Michelle Williams) waits to speak with her ex-father-in-law.

There’s no such thing as bad publicity, the saying goes, and so director Ridley Scott’s new film All the Money in the World had already captivated the public interest months before its release today. As most readers are probably aware, the bad publicity here was the revelation back in October that the film’s original lead, Kevin Spacey, had sexually harassed actor Anthony Rapp when he was 14. Spacey controversially apologized, but the damage was done; in early November, Scott and the film’s production team made the extraordinary decision to reshoot all Spacey’s scenes with a new actor, just three weeks before the film’s scheduled opening.
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Spinning Platters film critics present their top 10 films of 2016

Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann each share their ten favorite films of 2016. Here is Carrie’s list, presented, unlike last year’s alphabetized list, in descending rank order. And you can check out Chad’s list here to see which one of us you agree with more!

10.) Nocturnal Animals

Tony (Jake Gyllenhaal, middle) arrives at a possible crime scene with lawman Bobby Andes (Michael Shannon, r.).

Sometimes the story-within-the-story convention can be confusing or feel gimmicky, but in this visually stunning picture from fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford, the technique works to terrific effect. Amy Adams, as a woman haunted by a decision she made years ago, reads a manuscript sent to her by her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal), and that story comes alive on screen in the form of family man Tony (Gyllenhaal again) and his confrontation with some dangerous, deranged miscreants. Ford’s keen aesthetic vision and sharp performances by Adams, Gyllenhaal, and Michael Shannon as a tenacious lawman combine to make this brutally poetic but utterly captivating film one of the year’s most definitively unusual. (You can also read my full-length review here.)

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Sundance Photo 3

With this third and final post, Spinning Platters completes its coverage of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, which ended on Jan. 30th.  All the winners can be found here (and our other two posts about this year’s Festival can be found here and here).

Our coverage concludes with a look at four more feature films and two more documentaries. As a reminder, we are using our patented Viewing Priority Level (VPL) Guide to advise you accordingly: [read the whole post]

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2016-Sundance

Marking its closing with its annual awards ceremony, the 2016 Sundance Film Festival ended this past Saturday evening; you can see all the winners here.

For the second year in a row, I braved the Park City cold, snow, and the ubiquitous Los Angeles UGG-wearing throngs to bring you spotlights of a fraction of the films that played the Fest. With nearly 200 offerings, the Fest featured way more than this reviewer could see. While I sadly missed the big winner and much lauded The Birth of a Nation (you’ll have to stay tuned to Spinning Platters later in the year for a full review upon its wide release), I nevertheless managed to knock out a respectable 18 films in five days. Many of these may receive distribution deals (if they haven’t already), so you can study up now with these capsule reviews, which use our trademark Sundance Viewing Priority Level (VPL) Guide:

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Michelle Williams in MY WEEK WITH MARILYN

starring: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Emma Watson, Julia Ormond, Dominic Cooper, Toby Jones, Dougray Scott, Zoe Wanamaker

written by: Adrian Hodges

directed by: Simon Curtis

MPAA: Rated R for some language

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Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, which is having its Bay Area premiere during the Mill Valley Film Festival.

The Mill Valley Film Festival, one of the Bay Area’s most esteemed and prestigious film events, is returning for its 34th installment October 6-16. The MVFF has come to represent the first opportunity for Bay Area film buffs to check out festival favorites from the likes of Toronto, Venice, and Telluride before their theatrical releases, not to mention a chance to mingle with the talent; expected guests this year include Glenn Close, Martin Donovan, Luc Besson, Michelle Yeoh, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, and Ezra Miller. Last year’s festival featured the likes of 127 Hours, Blue Valentine, and eventual Best Picture winner The King’s Speech. Look after the jump for the top 12 films to check out this year.

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Film Review: “Meek’s Cutoff”

May 6, 2011

starring: Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Zoe Kazan, Shirley Henderson, Paul Dano, Neal Huff, Tommy Nelson, Rod Rondeaux written by: Jonathan Raymond directed by: Kelly Reichardt MPAA: Rated PG for some mild violent content, brief language and smoking.

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