Olivia Cooke

 Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy play a kind of chess in Thoroughbreds, Cory Finley’s new film.

Cory Finley’s debut feature, Thoroughbreds, has many signs that point to a promising career in film. His dialogue is often whip-smart, crackling along at a fast pace. He has scenes of incredible tension realized in interestingly new yet classic style. He’s got a knack for casting, and clearly has a way with actors, as his small ensemble performs the heck out of the material. There’s so much to like about this movie, yet it left me with so many questions about its history and its themes. Lucky for me, director Cory Finley and star Anya Taylor-Joy were in town to talk about the film, and I was able to sit down with them to discuss this fun and tense film.

SP: When I saw this film, I had no idea it was based on a play, and then I watched it and talked to my friend, and I said, “I think that was based on a play.” I think there were two things that stood out. One is sort of just the conservation of characters. I was really surprised that we met the moms at all. I thought that we were going to get through the whole film without the moms. Were the moms in the play? [read the whole post]


Spinning Platters film critics present their top 10 films of 2015

Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chad Liffmann each share their ten favorite films of 2015. Here is Carrie’s list, presented in alphabetical order. (And you can find Chad’s here.)

1.) Brooklyn

Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) shares a tender moment with boyfriend Tony (Emory Cohen).

The immigrant experience in America is exquisitely captured in director John Crowley’s finely crafted film about love, loss, and longing in 1950s Brooklyn. Based on the novel by Colm Tóibín, Nick Hornby’s screenplay presents us with the intrepid young Irish woman Eilis, who leaves her family in the Irish countryside for adventure and opportunity in New York. Saoirse Ronan suberbly conveys Eilis’s gradual shift from shy newcomer to confident cosmopolitan. Called back home for a family emergency, Eilis must choose between familiar comforts and new possibilities, and Ronan depicts Eilis’s struggle with heartrending openness and aching honesty. Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson, as competing suitors on opposite sides of the Atlantic, also deliver strong, sharply drawn performances.

[read the whole post]


We’re midway through the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), and we’ve got more spotlights for you! There’s still a week of films and events left to go, so it’s not too late to get in on the fun; the Festival closes May 7th. Tickets and more information can be found here, and keep checking Spinning Platters for more coverage. In the meantime, here are four more Festival titles to check out:

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
(USA, 2015, 104 min, Added Programs)

Greg (Thomas Mann) and Rachel (Olivia Cooke) prepare to face the chaos of their high school cafeteria.

Mostly known for his TV work (Glee, American Horror Story), director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon was the darling of Sundance this January, deservedly winning both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for this outstanding, off-beat picture based on the popular novel of the same name. Funny, sweet, and sad without being maudlin, Gomez’s film has all the classic quirky charm of a Sundance hit, combined with the refreshing honesty of the best recent coming of age films like The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Way Way Back. When awkward Greg (Thomas Mann) is forced by his Mom (Connie Britton) to befriend Rachel (Olivia Cooke), a classmate with leukemia, he and his best friend Earl (RJ Cyler) embark on a project to make a film for her (their movies are short, altered, and hilarious versions of classics; A Clockwork Orange become A Sockwork Orange, for example, filmed with sock puppets). With terrific supporting turns by Nick Offerman as Greg’s dad and Molly Shannon as Rachel’s mom, the entire cast is first-rate. Gomez has made 2015’s first absolute-must-see film. Don’t miss it.


  • Will open widely on June 12th; check your local theater listings.

[read the whole post]