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Rachel Weisz

STAR TREK and MARVEL Took Over Day Three of Comic Con!

picardJeri Jacquin

It was to be expected right? Hundreds and hundreds of fans waiting in line over a two day periods and for what you ask? Because both STAR TREK and MARVEL were in Hall H and they weren’t about to disappoint with a flimsy few minutes on stage. Nope, there were surprises to be seen and heard and I’m about to tell you everything I know.

Beginning with Enter the Star Trek Universe, CBS All Access is continuing to expand that universe. Star Trek Discovery takes the story 1,000 years into the future says showrunner Alex Kurtzman. The series stars Sonequa Martin-Green, Michelle Paradise, Heather Kadin and David Ajala. Production is currently ongoing in Iceland so there might be a bit of a wait for Season Three.

Star Trek: Picard brought its thrilling trailer to Hall H as Sir Patrick Stewart returns in his iconic role of Jean-Luc Picard. This being Stewarts first time at Comic Con, he seemed to be relishing every moment and enjoying the panel time. The story revolves around Picard realizing that he never has quite felt at home with his feet on Earth but then again we all could have guess that. We want him at the helm and engage!

Not enough Star Trek? Well, how about Star Trek: Short Treks which is a miniseries to keep your imagination in space where it belongs. There are characters from the original series that you might all remember and I’m keeping that bit of information to myself. No spoilers here! The show is also brought by CBS All Access.

star trek discovery

The official HBO trailer for WESTWORLD 3 – The New World has dropped into Hall H and available for everyone. The world has changed and now Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, Tessa Thompson, Aaron Paul, Jeffrey Wright and Luke Hemsworth have to find their way through it. It seems like fans have been waiting forever but now these characters find themselves in Nazi Europe but you’ll have to wait a while longer to know more.

Project Blue Book from the History Channel brings characters Hynek and Quinn dealing with 1947 and Roswell, New Mexico. The show has just started production and will return later this year. If you haven’t seen season one, I have to ask you…why not? The Good Place brought a bit of a downer to attendees when executive producer Michael Schur announced that it would be the final season for the show. Telling everyone the final script was complete, the statement was met with a loud awwww-ing and man it was brutal to hear.

The Expanse is a show I have been watching from the very beginning. Throwing out props to Amazon for giving it a new home so we can see how the next chapter of this saga plays out. Due to return in December, it’s plenty of time to watch the first three seasons since I have a feeling things are going to get very intense.

eternals

TBS is about to take on one of my favorite films by putting it into a series with Snowpiercer. If you have an opportunity to see the film prior to the show beginning, do so. You will get a feel for the post-apocalyptic train ride that has a twisted structure that contains human beings trying to survive a caste system. What does everyone want? They want what is in first class!

Women Who Kick Ass comes to Hall H with ladies Shohreh Aghdashloo from The Expanse, Freema Agyeman from Doctor Who, Betty Gilpin from Glow, Ruby Rose from Batwoman and Cobie Smulders from the new series Slumptown.

 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! will air on The Travel Channel hosted by The Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell. This is a perfect outlet for the star we all love for being…well…different!

Finally, what a packed Hall H has been waiting for. The Russo Bros. mix it up with the audience to get things started and Jessica Chobot introduces Kevin Feige. He thanks fans for what the Marvel Universe has become (and we thank him as well). He quickly moves on to The Eternals and director Chloe Zao along with cast Richard Madden, Jumail Najiani, Lauren Ridloff, Bryan Henry, Salma Hayak, Liam McHugh, Don Lee and Angelina Jolie. Ms. Jolie seemed beside herself with smiles at being part of the panel.

Falcon

Falcon and the Winter Soldier brings Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie to panel. Baron Zemo aka Daniel Bruhl is back and purple once again making a promise with, “Gentlemen, I’ll be seeing you very soon”. It didn’t sound promising for either the Falcon or the Winter Soldier!

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings has a release date of 2-2021 with Tony Leung as The Mandarin. Feige announced that Simu Liu has been cast in the title role of Shang-Chi. Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a series that Feige also says “ties directly into the world of Dr. Strange” and that sends the audience into a happy place. Directed by Scott Derrickson, the series stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen.

Speaking of Olsen, WandaVision is an original series coming to the new streaming service Disney+. The show also stars Paul Bettany and Teyonah Parris and due out in the spring of 2021.

My dream has come true! Loki from Marvel Studios is also coming to Disney+ and Tom Hiddleston is reprising his role. Don’t ruin my day by trying to talk me out of the clouds, it isn’t possible. I am on a full lady-high right now and don’t expect to come down until the series airs, and maybe not even then.

Zemo

Taika Waititi returns to direct Thor: Love and Thunder with Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman and is due in theatres November of 2021. Be prepared when a lady Thor comes into the picture!

Black Widow is slated for May of 2020 with Cate Shortland as director and the return of Scarlett Johansson. The film also stars David Harbour, Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz. It will be nice to see the back story of this iconic Marvel character before things got dicey in the last two Avengers films.

Finally, fans were so surprised to learn that Blade is being brought back to life. The announcement was made that Mahershala Ali would be taking over the role and is now part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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That is a lot to take in isn’t it? I can tell you that everyone in Hall H was exhausted by the end of the panel. It is another phase for Marvel and it is going to keep fans happy for many, many years to come.

It is hard to believe but we are one day away from putting San Diego Comic Con International 2019 into the books. Outside the Convention Center is a very fun atmosphere as everyone is finding their favorite places to visit only to discover that every place is a favorite place.

Tomorrow gets here quick so rest up and let’s make a final run on the last day!

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THE FAVOURITE Stars Three Dazzling Women

the Fav

Jeri Jacquin

I absolutely love period pieces so I have been anxiously waiting for director Yorgos Lanthimos and Fox Searchlight Pictures offering of THE FAVOURITE.

Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) sits on the throne in 18th Century England and Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) is her constant companion. Their relationship is one of straight forwardness and longing. England is also at war with France and Lady Sarah is keeping an eye on it while taking care of the Queen’s frailties and occasional childlike temper tantrums.

Enter Abigail (Emma Stone) a fall aristocrat turned servant girl who isn’t well received in the kitchen of the Queen. Sarah sees how her cousin is treated and becomes a mentor to the young girl. Abigail wants nothing more than to return to the life she once knew and realizes this just might be the way for that to happen.

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During one of the Queens outbursts, Abigail takes pity on her and starts a friendship over the royals “children” (rabbits). The Queen is delighted as they spend the afternoon sharing and laughing together. Sarah catches wind of what is happening with the Queen and lets it be known in her own way that trying to weasel in to the Queen’s favor might not be such a good idea.

Now that the gauntlet is thrown down – Abigail and Sarah go toe to toe for the Queen’s attentions and who truly cares for the monarch is at stake.

I must start with Colman as Queen Anne because she is absolutely stellar, absolutely. From her tantrums to her insecurities to her loyalties, Colman portrays the woman as most would never see a monarch – vulnerable. Knowing that parliament is consistently against her, she attempts to turn to those she should be able to trust. I love Colman’s performance with ever emotion lay plainly before us, I do so hope her performance is recognized and that accolades are given. She most definitely deserves them for this role.

Weisz as Lady Sarah is the smart, politically savvy and is the no-nonsense taking companion to the Queen. She works hard at keeping the crown on her royal head and makes it her business to know what everyone is doing at all times. Weisz can pull off sassy and sarcastic in the same breath better than other actress I know. Of course she does have her hands full with Ms. Stone.

Stone as Abigail is a fallen aristocrat who doesn’t want to stay that way. Getting into the Queen’s kitchen is the first step and getting into her heart may just get Abigail off her knees and high in the rankings. Stone begins as a fawn-eyed girl who is thrilled to have Lady Sarah show an interest in her, but of course we all know that Stone can pull off fawn-eyed girl with the best of them. I loved her antics from start to finish and kept thinking about Abigail, ‘just because you can play the game doesn’t mean you should!’

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Other cast include Jennifer White as Mrs. Meg, LillyRose Stevens as Sally, James Smith as Godolphin, Mark Gatiss as Lord Marlborough, Edward Aczel as Earl of Stratford, Carolyn Saint-Pe as Madame Tournee, Joe Alwyn as Masham and Nicholas Hoult as Harley.

THE FAVOURITE is a gloriously fascinating film about three women who are filled with so much want that goes in so many different directions. That being said, Abigail and Sarah have much different relationships with Queen Anne although you’d have a tough time convincing Abigail of that.

Sarah and the Queen understand one another clearly and it is also clear that Sarah runs the part of the kingdom that the Queen is to busy being petulant to deal with. That’s the crux of their relationship – one is clearly and adult, the other is drowning from the weight of the crown. Yet in that is a relationship of hilarity and sadness mixed together.

Abigail being the new girl to all of this is a distraction for the Queen when Sarah is gone. The Queen believes she has a new and understanding friend when it is clear Abigail has decided to get what Sarah has and take a lot of short cuts to get there. She doesn’t have the understanding of the other two and that’s where she makes mistakes.

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This is a film that spans every human emotion possible in that you don’t know at times whether to laugh, cry or be outright shocked. In an era of excess and political gain, this cast revels in that history with marvelous results. The surroundings only adds to the story telling with its opulence and grandeur along with stunning clothing and jewelry.

THE FAVOURITE has already been recognized by the British Independent Film Awards, Camerimage, and Ghent International Film Festival Gotham Awards. The Hollywood Film Awards gave a win for Rachel Weisz and Costume Designer Sandy Powell. The Venice Film Festival win came for Director Yorgos Lanthimos and Best Actress for Olivia Colman (well done!).

This is one of my favorite films of the year so when deciding what regurgitation to see in theatres, chose something new and amazing with THE FAVOURITE!

In the end – some wounds do not close!

 

MY COUSIN RACHEL Twists on Bluray

My cousin Rachel
Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital HD this week from writer/director Roger Michell and Fox Searchlight Pictures is a story of love and mystery surrounding MY COUSIN RACHEL.

Philip (Sam Claflin) loses his parents at a very young age but it blessed when Cousin Ambrose raises him. When Philip becomes a young man, Ambrose travels and becomes involved with a woman named Rachel (Rachel Weisz). As strange letters begin to arrive, Philip has no choice but to find his Uncle.

Seeking wise advice from family friend Kendall (Iain Glen) who regards Philip highly and daughter Louise (Holliday Grainger), a plan is made to find Ambrose. When the young man arrives it is to sad news that Ambrose has died. His anger wells up against his new cousin Rachel believing she is responsible.

Returning home, he receives word that Rachel is coming for a visit and Louise helps Philip prepare. What Philip is not prepared for is a mysterious cousin who tells a story of sickness and anguish. Feeling emotions he had never felt before, Philip is faced with the duality of love and suspicion.

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Coming closer and closer is either a life filled with love or the brink of insanity!

Weisz as Rachel has the uncanny and fantastic ability to add so many dimensions to a character and playing Cousin Rachel is no exception. She is endearing, kind, secretive, altruistic with a history of pain yet it is up to the viewer to understand if any of it is real. I have always enjoyed this actress’s performance but especially those where she gives a turned eye as if she knows something we all don’t.

Claflin as Philip is a young man possessed by every emotion that swings his way. Fueled by anger at first he learns that one can be fueled by the craziness of love with equal fervor. Wanting to experience life, he looks to his cousin to make that happen and isn’t quite sure how to deal with suspicion. Claflin also brings every range of emotion to his Philip.

Glen as Kendall is clearly a man who Philip as respected but even he can not talk to the young man. Being a Game of Thrones watcher, it is truly awesome to see Glen take on a role that once again is filled with sincere feelings. Grainger as Louise is a young woman with her own heart that is aching but goodness is she good at getting things done. Whether finding out the truth or make a house a home, her agenda is patience.

Other cast include Andrew Knott as Joshua, Andrew Havill as Parson Pascoe, Tristam Davies as Wellington, Louis Suc as 12-year-old Philip, Poppy Lee Friar as Mary Pascoe and Katherine Pearce as Belinda Pascoe.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings award-winning global product and new entertainment to DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. There amazing collection offers fans an opportunity to expand their own home libraries with the best films. To discover what other titles they have please visit www.fox.com.

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The Bluray/DVD and Digital HD Special Features includes Deleted Scenes, Promotional Featurettes, VFX Progressions, Scoring Session, Gallery and Audio Commentary by  Director Roger Michell and Kevin Loader.

MY COUSIN RACHEL is based on the 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier. In 1952 Olivia de Havilland and a very young Richard Burton starred in the first telling of the novel in theatres. Geraldine Chaplin and Christopher Guard reprise the story with a BBC television mini-series in 1983.

Now director Michell brings his version of the novel My Cousin Rachel adding his own sense of the complications of life. The cast brings these characters from stage to screen along with amazing costuming, locations and an atmosphere ripe for a thriller that still leaves us all asking the question – did she or didn’t she?

He says of the film, “It’s a book that was written before the word feminism and feminists was even current and yet you can’t help but think that Daphne du Maurier saw this current just being around the corner when she wrote this at the bottom of her garden in the very cold 1950’s. I suppose I have teased out and exaggerated some of those elements I detected or felt in her writing in my film so that the leading character is more conscious about being an independent woman and a woman who is not frightened by her sexuality or apologetic about enjoying sex. She also doesn’t want to be in a world that is owned by men.”

It’s not secret that I am an avid fan of period pieces with all the pomp, pageantry, darkness and intrigue that are not hidden behind cgi and the like. Instead, this film breaks everything (and everyone) down to its rawest form leaving the viewer to decide for themselves. That is an amazing part of storytelling and MY COUSIN RACHEL will have people still asking questions long after the film has ended.

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Michell tells us, “It is a roller coaster of did-she-or-didn’t-she and I think that’s very exciting. I think that’s one part of it and I think it’s also without doubt it is a love story whether you like it or not. It is a desperate love story and a love story that goes wrong and still beguiling as a love story. It is also a beautiful mystery and I think people leaving the theatre will be arguing with each other about who did what. People going to have a drink after the movie with ‘come on she did it’ and someone else saying ‘come on she didn’t do it’.”

Which means watching MY COUSIN RACHEL becomes an experience that will keep us all following the mystery!

In the end – love and madness sometimes go hand in hand.

MY COUSIN RACHEL Brings Twists and Questions

My cousin
Jeri Jacquin

Coming to theatres this Friday from writer/director Roger Michell and Fox Searchlight Pictures is a story of love and mystery surrounding MY COUSIN RACHEL.

Philip (Sam Claflin) loses his parents at a very young age but it blessed when Cousin Ambrose raises him. When Philip becomes a young man, Ambrose travels and becomes involved with a woman named Rachel (Rachel Weisz). As strange letters begin to arrive, Philip has no choice but to find his Uncle.

cousin 1

Seeking wise advice from family friend Kendall (Iain Glen) who regards Philip highly and daughter Louise (Holliday Grainger), a plan is made to find Ambrose. When the young man arrives it is to sad news that Ambrose has died. His anger wells up against his new cousin Rachel believing she is responsible.

Returning home, he receives word that Rachel is coming for a visit and Louise helps Philip prepare. What Philip is not prepared for is a mysterious cousin who tells a story of sickness and anguish. Feeling emotions he had never felt before, Philip is faced with the duality of love and suspicion.

Coming closer and closer is either a life filled with love or the brink of insanity!

Weisz as Rachel has the uncanny and fantastic ability to add so many dimensions to a character and playing Cousin Rachel is no exception. She is endearing, kind, secretive, altruistic with a history of pain yet it is up to the viewer to understand if any of it is real. I have always enjoyed this actress’s performance but especially those where she gives a turned eye as if she knows something we all don’t.

cousin 2

Claflin as Philip is a young man possessed by every emotion that swings his way. Fueled by anger at first he learns that one can be fueled by the craziness of love with equal fervor. Wanting to experience life, he looks to his cousin to make that happen and isn’t quite sure how to deal with suspicion. Claflin also brings every range of emotion to his Philip.

Glen as Kendall is clearly a man who Philip as respected but even he can not talk to the young man. Being a Game of Thrones watcher, it is truly awesome to see Glen take on a role that once again is filled with sincere feelings. Grainger as Louise is a young woman with her own heart that is aching but goodness is she good at getting things done. Whether finding out the truth or make a house a home, her agenda is patience.

Other cast include Andrew Knott as Joshua, Andrew Havill as Parson Pascoe, Tristam Davies as Wellington, Louis Suc as 12-year-old Philip, Poppy Lee Friar as Mary Pascoe and Katherine Pearce as Belinda Pascoe.

MY COUSIN RACHEL is based on the 1951 novel by Daphne du Maurier. In 1952 Olivia de Havilland and a very young Richard Burton starred in the first telling of the novel in theatres. Geraldine Chaplin and Christopher Guard reprise the story with a BBC television mini-series in 1983.

cousin 3

Now director Michell brings his version of the novel My Cousin Rachel adding his own sense of the complications of life. The cast brings these characters from stage to screen along with amazing costuming, locations and an atmosphere ripe for a thriller that still leaves us all asking the question – did she or didn’t she?

It’s not secret that I am an avid fan of period pieces with all the pomp, pageantry, darkness and intrigue that are not hidden behind cgi and the like. Instead, this film breaks everything (and everyone) down to its rawest form leaving the viewer to decide for themselves. That is an amazing part of storytelling and MY COUSIN RACHEL will have people still asking questions long after the film has ended.

In the end – love and madness sometimes go hand in hand.

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS Stuns on Bluray and a Talk with Director Derek Cianfrance

light-between-bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray from DreamWorks Pictures is one of my favorite films of 2016. THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS is a film that is captures everything about being a flawed and frail human being. Surrounded by only the ocean, a lighthouse and miles of nothingness, THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS doesn’t confound with special effects but instead dares us to feel – everything!

Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) is a man looking for isolation after experiencing war. Taking a job as a lighthouse keeper he finds exactly what he needs. In the middle of the ocean stands a lighthouse on an island where he beings the process of inner healing. What he doesn’t expect is to fall in love with the beautiful Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander) who shares his love of isolation.

The two begin their lives at the lighthouse with the hope of having a family. When it becomes clear that Isabel only suffers from trying to have a child, a drifting row boat brings them a miracle baby.

Their life becomes even happier as the years roll like the waves they are surrounded by. While visiting family, Tom sees a mysterious woman named Hannah (Rachel Weisz) who has the potential to change all of their lives.

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I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with writer/director Derek Cianfrance about what drew him to the film, the process to find the perfect place to film and his hopes for what the audience will take away from the film.

Jeri Jacquin: Thank you for talking the time to talk with me today about the film

Derek Cianfrance: You’re very welcome

JJ: I wanted to first say that THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS is absolutely brilliant on so many levels. It’s beautiful, moving, original and cinematically stunning.

DC: Well thank you I do so appreciate that, my mother-in-law agrees with you.

JJ: That’s because she’s got amazing taste. Can you tell me how you became involved with the film?

DC: Coming off my film A PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (2012) I was looking for an experience doing an adaptation and was reading scripts that I wasn’t making a connection to. I had a meeting with DreamWorks because Steven Spielberg was a big fan of BLUE VALENTINE (2010) so they asked me to come in and talk about what was next for me. There was this pile of books they gave me when I left and the book on top was A Light Between Oceans and I was intrigued. I thought about it cinematically, about a lighthouse keeper and thought it mirrored the experience of being in a movie. A light shining out projecting through the darkness and so I started reading the book.

JJ: What about the book touched you?

DC: I just felt it strongly had the themes of family, forgiveness, legacy, paternity and relationships that I have been exploring in my own movies. I felt like it had this rock solid narrative that I was really interested in exploring. It took me about a year to get it and I had the book memorized by that point. It was just a total privilege to be working on the film.

JJ: That is a big part of what I so love about the film. First of all I love the isolation idea of lighthouses and I’m sure many have wondered about that life at one time or another. Even more so is that there isn’t an emotion in this film that doesn’t illicit strong responses. When there is sadness you feel it strongly, when there is moral conflict it is so intense, when there are moments of joy you embrace it and I have to say I was emotionally exhausted by the films end.

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DC: For me too!

JJ: Exactly for you! Was it difficult to find this amazing location? How long did it take you to find it?

DC: It took me about six months to find the location because it is fictitious in the book. I wanted to find a place where I would be isolated with my actors and I started out going to Australia going to every island lighthouse I could find. We were almost ready to shoot off the coast of Tasmania when another film came in. New Zealand was close by and they had an offer for us to bring the film there and the first thing I did was go to every lighthouse island I could find and there were great locations. So one by one it was either the lighthouse was too short or there was an indigenous population of endangered lizards were on the island so no human beings could go there. Finally, the very last place I looked was this place called Cape Campbell and initially I was resistant to go there because it is all about process for my actors wanting them to feel and have an emotional experience. The problem was it was literally hour’s long drive down a dirt road to get to the lighthouse location.

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JJ: Seems as if the location spoke to you in an important way.

DC: Absolutely, I wanted to keep the film very true to the location so when it came time to present it there were questions about how to get a large crew there. That’s when I said I would rather have 10 crew people living at the location than 30 hauling back and forth. We talked it over in great detail how to make it work.

JJ: Did you have to talk with the actors about that decision as well?

DC: Yes, I actually called Michael Fassbender and told him my idea. I explained that living at the shooting location would bring the actors an amazing experience. Being surrounded by the wind, waves, and the isolation that his character is feeling is a major part of telling this story. He told me he’d give me a day to show him how it would all come together and seven weeks later we filmed an amazing story.

JJ: What do you want people who see THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS to take away from the film?

DC: When putting a book like The Light Between Oceans on the screen it is important to make sure every aspect of the story is there. There are of course very strong themes in this film of love and family and those ties that keep us together. I think that the one thing I hope audiences take from the film is that of forgiveness.

JJ: Congratulations and thank you Derek for bringing such a beautiful film to us all.

I have read the novel by M.L. Stedman and believe director Cianfrance took what I saw in my mind and transformed it straight to screen. Fassbender, Vikander and Weisz bring such depth of emotion laying everything out bare from these broken characters that, at times, it is heartbreaking to watch. In other words, it is everything I want from a story.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to see THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS then pick up your own copy on Bluray and Digital HD. This is a film to be experienced at such a deep level that I highly recommend tissue.

In the end – love demands everything!

"Blue Valentine" New York Premiere - Outside Arrivals

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS Is Beautiful and Moving on Bluray!

light-between-bluray

 

Jeri Jacquin

Coming to Bluray from writer/director Derek Cianfrance, DreamWorks and Touchstone Pictures comes a tale of loss, something found and love based on the M.L. Stedman best seller THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.

Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) has returned from war and he is looking for solitude. Off the coast of Western Australia is a light house that needs a keeper. Believing this is the perfect place to be, Tom takes the position believing it to be temporary.

Out in the middle of the ocean is a beautiful island with a tall lighthouse that he gives his attention to. On the mainland lives Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander), a young woman full of life who begins writing to Tom making him feel alive once again. When the position at the lighthouse is offered to him on a permanent basis, Tom happily accepts.

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They are soon married and living happily on the lighthouse island. Trying to have a family brings sadness to their lives but at the same time a raging storm delivers life to their shores.

Isabel begs Tom to let them have the joy of the little girl who needs them. Reluctantly he agrees and Lucy (Florence Clery) grows into a happy little girl. During a mainland visit to Isabel’s family, the town comes together to celebrate the lighthouse and Tom’s contribution as its keeper.

They meet Hannah Roenneldt (Rachel Weisz) who is still in mourning over the loss of her husband and daughter at sea. Her father Septimus Potts (Bryan Brown) never approved of Hannah’s marriage to Frank (Leon Ford) and is a constant reminder.

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Hannah sees Lucy and is immediately moved but it is Tom who understands most of all. Wanting to do the right thing becomes an impossible life as he is torn between the love of his wife and daughter and keeping a secret that is tearing them all apart.

The effects are like ripples on the ocean.

Fassbender as Tom is stoic yet introspective with the presence of a man wanting solace after fighting a war. The island lighthouse is the answer to a prayer but what he didn’t expect is to share it with such a free spirit. Fassbender is one of my favorite actors and it is because he takes such risks in every role he does. This character was absolutely meant for him to play and play it he does.

Vikander as Isabel is a spirited young woman who knows what she wants immediately with Tom. Escaping the bonds of her family, the island holds fascination and love with a life that is what ever the couple makes of it. The pain of wanting a child is hard for her, yet her life become a happy one again the moment the boat hits the shores. I enjoyed Vikander’s performance.

Weisz as Hannah doesn’t come in until much farther into the film but her characters pain can be felt throughout. As her story is revealed, it is just as true at heart as Tom and Isabel’s and therein lies the drowning of these hearts with love for one child. Ford as Frank is in flashbacks but enough to be such an important part of the story being told.

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Brown as Potts brings in his sternness but, as with us all, age has a tendency to mellow and when in the presence of a child – there is nothing but love. Let us not forget Florence Clery as Lucy as her cherub face and innocence keep us all smiling one minute and horrified at her own pain the next.

Other cast include: Thomas Unger as Bluey Smart, Jane Menelaus as Violet Graysmark, Garry Macdonald as Bill Graysmark, Emily Barclay as Gwen Potts, Stephen Ure as Neville Whittnish, Jonathan Wagstaff as Constable Lynch, Gerald Bryan as Captain Hasluck and Jack Thompson as Ralph Addicott.

DreamWorks Pictures has brought amazing films to film goers with such titles as THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY and LINCOLN. For a list of amazing offerings as well as other entertainment by DreamWorks please visit https://dreamworkspictures.com.

The Bluray includes Digital HD and the Bonus Extras of Bringing The Light To Life – Experience Cape Campbell, New Zealand, with the cast and crew, and discover how Director Derek Cianfrance’s directing style influenced the actors’ performance and accentuated the movie’s themes, The Lighthouse Keeper – Learn the history of the Cape Campbell Lighthouse and what a lighthouse keeper’s life was life during those early days and Audio Commentary.

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THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS is not an action packed or cgi laden story but instead a visually beautiful and ensemble cast acting piece done gracefully. If you need any other reason to be drawn into this piece, the soundtrack is stellar!

The slow pace is a draw with cinematography that entices the viewer to wonder what it might be like to live on an island responsible for only one thing – keeping the light shining. From the flow of the grass in the wind to a wet violence that only the sea can provide, there isn’t a frame of this film not worthy of praise.

Seeing this film again on stunning Bluray instills my original belief that this story is heartbreaking, endearing, stunning and filled with every range of human emotion.

In the end – love demands everything.

 

SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2016 Begins!

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Jeri Jacquin

San Diego International Film Festival 2016 has come once again to our fair city and this year there will be more amazing films to be shared.

Beginning Wednesday, September 28th, the Opening Night Premiere begins with the film LION as a young Indian man who was adopted by an Australian couple is determined to fine the family he barely remembers. The film stars Dev Patel from SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman. After the film is the Opening Night Party held at The Westgate Hotel.

That isn’t the only highly anticipated film that will be showing at the SDIFF. Other films include TRESSPASS AGAINST US with Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson, DENIAL with Rachel Weisz and Andrew Scott, JULIETA with Emma Suarez and Adriana Ugarte, NO PAY NUDITY with Gabriel Byrne and Nathan Lane and finally AND PUNCHING THE CLOWN with Henry Phillips and Oscar Winner J.K. Simmons.

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More features include AMERICAN FABLE, BLOOD STRIPE, CHRONICALLY METROPOLITAN, DEAD RAW, FEAR, INC., JOHNNY FRANK GARRET’S LAST WORDS, LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED?, NEITHER WOLD NOR DOG, OPENING NIGHT, PO and so many more.

From around the world, films have been submitted from the UK with CHASING ROBERT BARKER, from Ghana CHILDREN OF THE MOUNTAIN, and from Hungary DEMIMONDE. Also, from Norway HOUSE OF NORWAY, from Spain MA MA and THE CLIFF.

The documentaries are filled with amazing storytelling that are filled with complex human and global issues. They include After Spring, Bodyguards: Secrets Lives from the Watchtower, Citizen Soldier, Crossing Bhutan, Epiphany, In Utero, Inn Saei: The Power of Intuition, Maya Angelou and Still I Rise, The Incomparable Rose Hartman and Underfire: The Untold Story of PFC. Tony Vaccaro.

The Shorts Showcase is an opportunity for up and coming filmmakers to present their work. There are categories ranging from Independent Animation with Alike, Borrowed Time, Illegal Move, Linden Tar, Moom and Los Gatos. The category of Crossroads including A Forest, Red, Turnings, and Youth. Curious Voyage looks at Love is a Sting, Loveology, Tiny’s New Home and Wannabe.

 Global Consciousness looks at Bon Voyage, Madaran, Mine, Out of the Village and Zaar. Illusion brings Alien Hunter, Everything Will Be Okay, Perchance, The Voice in the Head and You Can Go. Unexpected Endings offers Black Swell, Breakfast with Tiffany, One Good Pitch, Search History, Snake Bite and So Good to See You.

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 When Worlds Collide gives Cupid, Hush, Partners, Prisoners and The Firefly Girls. Twisted Humor is one of my favorite categories with An Arms Length, Barry, Mine, The Bathtub and Wifey Redux.

There is also a Military category Heart of a Soldier that offers a look into the stories of those affected by their military experience. Shorts include American Girl, Places Like This, The Flying Greek and The Sand Box.

 The Social Justice Film Track and Social Impact Panel bring a big spotlight to issues that filmmakers have the opportunity to bring to viewers. Partnering with Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon, filmmaker Thomas Morgan and Kweku Mandela, these panels bring insight from the filmmakers with in depth conversation. Also the Industry Panels include Actors Panel moderated by Ben Lyons, Meet the Critics hosted by Film Critics Jeffrey Lyons and Access Hollywood’s Scott Mantz.

Director Ted Melfi returns to the San Diego Film Festival to talk about his upcoming film HIDDEN FIGURES with a panel discussion of how the film came to life. HIDDEN FIGURES is the untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) – three African-American women working at NASA as the brains behind the launching of astronauts into space.

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More of the Special Events include theHub that will have live music, art, entertainment, food trucks, complimentary beverages and games in the beer garden. It is a fun night of festivities and the Festival’s cultural addition at Horton Plaza Park.

The NIGHT OF STARS is Thursday at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego that honors those who imagination, passion and vision that influence cinematic excellence. This year Annette Bening is receiving the Gregory Peck Centennial Award, Kate Beckinsale will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award and Simon Helberg receives the Auteur Award.  Jason Mitchell will receive the Rising Star Award and the Chris Brinker Award Honoree is announced the night of the Tribute.

On Saturday, October 1st, at The Westin Gaslamp Quarter, filmmakers will come together to discover who will receive the Jury Awards for the competition films with the Filmmaker Awards.

Also, at ArcLight La Jolla on Sunday, October 2, Culinary Cinema Film & Fork brings food and film together. Esteemed San Diego Chef create food and wine tastings inspired by the film being shown. ANTS ON A SHRIMP is one of the films to be tasted along with the culinary film CHEFS.

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It is important to know as well that the SDIFF brings education through storytelling with FOCUS. This is a year-round education initiative working to enhance academic engagement with dynamic film screenings, collaborative workshops, in-school artist residencies and teacher training. FOCUS takes a holistic approach to learning emphasizing creativity, critical thinking and social interaction in the four core programs of Career, Creation, Artistry and Teaching. FOCUS brings the power of storytelling through film to San Diego Students!

It is amazing that the San Diego International Film Festival brings so much in the way of film and with so many categories. That means there is something for everyone! Between Downtown San Diego and ArcLight La Jolla, film lovers will have so many choices and can’t go wrong with any of them.

To see a complete list of films, features, documentaries, shorts and panels please visit www.sdfilmfest.com. While there, check out the schedule and ticket availability for each show. The site also gives you the opportunity to purchase and print your tickets!

Come join me as I moderate panels and the amazing filmmakers for what will be a thrilling and informative five day film adventure at the San Diego International Film Festival in Downtown San Diego!

 

THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS is Stunning

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Jeri Jacquin

In theatres this week from writer/director Derek Clanfrance and DreamWorks comes a tale of loss, something found and love based on the M.L. Stedman best seller THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.

Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) has returned from war and he is looking for solitude. Off the coast of Western Australia is a light house that needs a keeper. Believing this is the perfect place to be, Tom takes the position believing it to be temporary.

Out in the middle of the ocean is a beautiful island with a tall lighthouse that he gives his attention to. On the mainland lives Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander), a young woman full of life who begins writing to Tom making him feel alive once again. When the position at the lighthouse is offered to him on a permanent basis, Tom happily accepts.

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They are soon married and living happily on the lighthouse island. Trying to have a family brings sadness to their lives but at the same time a raging storm delivers life to their shores.

Isabel begs Tom to let them have the joy of the little girl who needs them. Reluctantly he agrees and Lucy (Florence Clery) grows into a happy little girl. During a mainland visit to Isabel’s family, the town comes together to celebrate the lighthouse and Tom’s contribution as its keeper.

They meet Hannah Roenneldt (Rachel Weisz) who is still in mourning over the loss of her husband and daughter at sea. Her father Septimus Potts (Bryan Brown) never approved of Hannah’s marriage to Frank (Leon Ford) and is a constant reminder.

Hannah sees Lucy and is immediately moved but it is Tom who understands most of all. Wanting to do the right thing becomes an impossible life as he is torn between the love of his wife and daughter and keeping a secret that is tearing them all apart.

The effects are like ripples on the ocean.

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Fassbender as Tom is stoic yet introspective with the presence of a man wanting solace after fighting a war. The island lighthouse is the answer to a prayer but what he didn’t expect is to share it with such a free spirit. Fassbender is one of my favorite actors and it is because he takes such risks in every role he does. This character was absolutely meant for him to play and play it he does.

Vikander as Isabel is a spirited young woman who knows what she wants immediately with Tom. Escaping the bonds of her family, the island holds fascination and love with a life that is what ever the couple makes of it. The pain of wanting a child is hard for her, yet her life become a happy one again the moment the boat hits the shores. I enjoyed Vikander’s performance.

Weisz as Hannah doesn’t come in until much farther into the film but her characters pain can be felt throughout. As her story is revealed, it is just as true at heart as Tom and Isabel’s and therein lies the drowning of these hearts with love for one child. Ford as Frank is in flashbacks but enough to be such an important part of the story being told.

Brown as Potts brings in his sternness but, as with us all, age has a tendency to mellow and when in the presence of a child – there is nothing but love. Let us not forget Florence Clery as Lucy as her cherub face and innocence keep us all smiling one minute and horrified at her own pain the next.

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Other cast include: Thomas Unger as Bluey Smart, Jane Menelaus as Violet Graysmark, Garry Macdonald as Bill Graysmark, Emily Barclay as Gwen Potts, Stephen Ure as Neville Whittnish, Jonathan Wagstaff as Constable Lynch, Gerald Bryan as Captain Hasluck and Jack Thompson as Ralph Addicott.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS four tubs of popcorn out of five. This is not an action packed or cgi laden story but instead a visually beautiful and ensemble cast acting piece done gracefully. If you need any other reason to be drawn into this piece, the soundtrack is stellar!

The slow pace is a draw with cinematography that entices the viewer to wonder what it might be like to live on an island responsible for only one thing – keeping the light shining. From the flow of the grass in the wind to a wet violence that only the sea can provide, there isn’t a frame of this film not worthy of praise.

In the end – love demands everything.

YOUTH Brings Honesty to This Life!

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Jeri Jacquin

On Bluray this week from director/writer Paolo Sorrentino and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment comes the beauty of YOUTH.

Best friends Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine) and Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel) are on vacation in the Swiss Alps. Staying at a resort Fred is a composer who is now retired and Mick is a filmmaker trying to create a visual masterpiece.

Daughter Lena Ballinger (Rachel Weisz) joins her father to drop news that her husband Julian has left her for a pop star. That doesn’t surprise Fred, nor does it surprise Mick who is Julian’s father! Being her father’s assistant keeps Lena busy but not busy enough to tell her father exactly how she is feeling about her upbringing and her life in general.

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Fred has also been asked to perform for the Queen and to write a book for the French. Both of these he turns down demanding to be left alone hanging on to the feeling that he is retired. When cornered on why, Fred finally let’s loose his reasons which move his daughter greatly.

Actor Jimmy Tree (Paul Dano) is also there taking in the characters all around him. Jimmy is frustrated that people only remember his film playing a robot and wants to be known for more. He befriends Fred and tries to get him to share about himself.

Each person at the spa come to terms with their life, whether good or bad, trying to remember that there is always a future when you wake up every day.

Caine as Fred is absolutely stunning in this role. All the pain and sadness reside not only in what he says, but in those moments where he is alone remembering. Watching his personal story unfold was a combination of heartbreaking and heartwarming. Talk about the difficulties of emotional duality! Caine continues, even now, to surprise and delight me with every role he takes. There is nothing common or repetitive in his performances and in YOUTH he is breathtaking.

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Keitel as Mick is a man working with a crew of writers to come up with a script that will show his ability to bring a great film to screen. It isn’t until he comes face to face with who he thinks will star in his film, Brenda Morel that he gets a punch in the verbal face with the reality of how he is seen in Hollywood. The scenes with Caine and their conversations are just a pure joy to watch.

Weisz as daughter Lena is going through her own life crisis when husband Julian seems to prefer the company of a young pop star. Dedicating her life to being her father’s assistant makes it difficult to deal with him about how this is all affecting her life. Weisz is still stunning in both performance and beauty.

Dano as Tree once again reaffirms that this actor brings so much to film that has yet to be noticed. The first performance I saw Dano in was LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE in 2006 and I not only have made sure to see his previous work but continue to follow everything he has done since. From THERE WILL BE BLOOD to PRISONERS to 12 YEARS A SLAVE, Dano delivers solid performances that, in my opinion, need much more recognition. I loved watching his performance of Jimmy Tree and although stunned during one scene I shouldn’t have been – he is a treasure.

Two characters of note: Jane Fonda as Brenda Morel has a scene with Harvey Keitel that just rattled my brain. She has the verbal strength of ten men when she takes on Mick Boyle straightening him out about who owes who. The other performance is that of Luna Mijovic as the Young Masseuse. I can’t even explain what drew me to be fascinated by her but then again perhaps that was the point. She is amazing.

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Other cast include: Ian Attard as the 1st Queens Emissary, Adam Smith as the 2nd Queens Emissary, Madalina Diana Ghenea as Miss Universe, Nate Dern as Funny Screenwriter, Alex Beckett as Bearded Screenwriter, Mark Gessner as Shy Screenwriter, Tom Lipinski as Screenwriter in Love, Chloe Pirrie as Girl Screenwriter, Luna Zimic Mijovic as the Masseuse and Jane Fonda as Brenda Morel.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is amazing to once again bring just what fans want for their home library. Continually bringing new entertainment content for everyone’s media library, their format includes DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. To discover more of what they have to offer please visit www.foxconnect.com.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give YOUTH four and a half tubs of popcorn out of five. Not only are these performances that awards are made of but stunningly portrayed. Receiving an Academy Award Nomination is not a surprise to me what so ever.

The cinematography is ethereal, stunning, and absolutely beautiful and has a day dream quality to it that completely melds with the storyline. It is the performances of Caine, Keitel, Weisz and Dano who are not only a joy to watch but are captivating in the characters they portray.

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YOUTH garnered Jane Fonda a Golden Globe nomination. David Lang’s music composition of “Simple Song” also received a Golden Globe nomination as well as a nomination for an Academy Award.

The Bluray includes the Special Features of: Featurette of Michael Caine, Featurette of Paolo Sorrentino, Featurette of the cast, Featurette of the cast, music and sound, The Essence of Youth, 24-image gallery and Theatrical trailer.

In the end – youth isn’t wasted on anyone!

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