Browse Updates
Dec 04
2019

The American Film Institute on Wednesday unveiled its picks for the year’s 10 best films along with its choices for the year’s 10 best television programs. The 2019 AFI Awards for film, which focus on American movies that are deemed culturally significant, will go to 1917, The Farewell, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Knives Out, Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Richard Jewell. On the television side, this year’s AFI Awards will go to Chernobyl, The Crown, Fosse/Verdon, Game of Thrones, Pose, Succession, Unbelievable, Veep, Watchmen and When They See Us. The AFI also recognized South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag with special awards because they fall outside the group’s criteria for American film and TV. Selected by two juries, one for TV and one for film, the honorees will be recognized at the AFI Awards luncheon, set for Jan. 3 in Los Angeles. This year marks the 20th year for the AFI Awards.

Dec 04
2019

“Knives Out” has not only scored big with critics and audiences (as of December 3, 2019, it has grossed $43.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $29.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $72.6 million), Rian Johnson’s film also enters the 2020 awards season as a player in the ensemble categories and among the year’s top 10 lists (see following update). The National Board of Review has awarded the cast of the film – Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell and Christopher Plummer – with its 2019 award for Best Ensemble. “Knives Out” was also included in their list of the year’s 10 best films.

Nov 21
2019

Director Rian Johnson loves a good puzzle. Not even a five-month global shoot for Star Wars: The Last Jedi could keep him away from The New York Times crossword, which he printed out and kept near his monitor so he could scribble answers between takes. “It’s just a nice little ritual that helps keep you centered,” says Johnson, 45. So when he got to work on his latest film, the modern-day whodunit Knives Out, it was only natural that he tackled it much like he would a brainteaser. The first piece of any good mystery is a death: Mystery novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) assembles his family for his 85th birthday and winds up dead before the next morning. Next, the suspects: His family members, a sweeping ensemble cast that includes Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon and Toni Collette, each have a motive. To top it off: an eccentric private detective, Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc (sporting a thick Southern accent), and an outsider, Ana de Armas’ wide-eyed Marta, who gets swept up in the inquiry. “It is something of a jigsaw puzzle,” acknowledges Johnson, who tells much of the story through a series of flashbacks as each character recounts their version of the events that led to Harlan’s death. But Johnson didn’t want to make a conventional murder mystery, so the director added his own little twist, turning Knives Out into a commentary on wealth and privilege in Trump’s America all while winking at the audience about the tropes of a typical whodunit. “The goal was to take the weight off of the notion of there being a big surprise at the end, to give the audience the freedom to just relax and have a ride,” he says. “I want it to be a roller coaster.” The full article can be read over at The Hollywood Reporter.

Nov 17
2019

It’s a crisp, sunny autumn morning in Los Angeles, and Toni Collette is sitting in a dark corner of the Sunset Tower Hotel cafe, fretting over her croaky voice and fussing over a pot of camomile tea with lemon. She’s caught a cold on her whirlwind trip from Sydney to attend the Toronto Film Festival premiere of her new film, Knives Out, and she’s determined to recover in time for tonight’s 25th anniversary screening of Muriel’s Wedding, hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “It’s been a packed trip,” Toni acknowledges between sips. “I started in Sydney a week ago, flew to LA for a day to try and get over the jet lag and then I went to Toronto. After that, I flew to New York to do two days of press for [Netflix miniseries] Unbelievable, then had a day off to have a foot massage and do a bit of shopping before catching a cold and flying to LA. And now I’m here!” Cold or no cold, the 47-year-old Sydney native can’t be restrained from talking passionately about both Knives Out and the P.J. Hogan-directed Muriel’s Wedding. “If I’d known 25 years ago that the Academy – the most well-known organisation celebrating film and film achievement in the world – was going to screen Muriel’s Wedding and have a party celebrating it, well, that’s just amazing to me,” she says. “People often think famous people have been that way forever, but no, the contrast is huge and I’m still so grateful for Muriel’s Wedding. It gave me a life I could never have dreamed of.” At another anniversary screening in New York earlier this year, Toni says she watched the movie for the first time since its release and sobbed unabashedly from beginning to end. “It was incredibly overwhelming and joyous and I had the sense of something coming full circle,” she says, still sounding emotional. The former NIDA student was virtually unknown outside of the Sydney theatre scene when she shot to international fame at age 22 as an overweight, Abba-loving misfit who gets her revenge in the 1994 classic, also starring Rachel Griffiths. It was the beginning of a career full of physical and psychological transformations that constantly surprised audiences, who found it hard to believe she was the same actress. The complete article can be read over at The Sydney Morning Herald. This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale November 17.

Nov 01
2019

Toni Collette and Damian Lewis star in this tale of how a woman strives to make her dream a reality in a place where hope is thin on the ground. Jan Vokes (Collette), a cleaner and bartender, recruits her initially reluctant husband Brian and local accountant Howard Davies (Damian Lewis) to help her bring together a syndicate of local people to breed a foal – which they name Dream Alliance. On the racetrack, he proves himself to be more than a match for the multi-million pound racehorses he comes up against – a true working-class champion, taking on the establishment at their own game. But much more than this, Dream begins to alter the lives of everyone in the syndicate, not least Jan’s. He is everything to her: friend, confidant and an escape from a life of always putting other people’s needs first. Dream Horse also stars Owen Teale, Joanna Page, Karl Johnson, with Nicholas Farrell and Siân Phillips and will be released nationwide Spring 2020 by Warner Bros.

Sep 21
2019

I hope you’ve all had a chance to watch “Unbelievable” on Netflix since its release last Friday. It’s an outstanding series that does more than justice to its original source and true story – eight wonderfully directed episodes of serious investigation, relatable characters driven by empathy and good will – and inclduing a wonderful ensemble cast. Toni Collette and Merritt Wever are a dream team for a series like this. Kaitlyn Dever is the standout of the show – creating a thoughtful character and a face to portray the difficulties, mistrust and misconception in an investigation like this. Also, a nice surprise to see some of Toni’s former co-stars in key roles, such as Bridget Everett and Brooke Smith. I have my fingers crossed to see Collette, Wever and Dever at next year’s awards season. For those wondering, Toni didn’t appear in the first episode. We only get to know Detective Grace Rasmussen by the end of the second episode. I’ve added screencaptures from all Toni episodes to the photo gallery. If you haven’t seen the show I highly encourage you to do so. It’s streaming on Netflix.



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Photo Gallery – Career Photography – Unbelievable – Episode 2 screencatpures
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Photo Gallery – Career Photography – Unbelievable – Episode 5 screencatpures
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – Unbelievable – Episode 6 screencatpures
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – Unbelievable – Episode 7 screencatpures
Photo Gallery – Career Photography – Unbelievable – Episode 8 screencatpures