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Directed by:  Mike P. Nelson Starring:  Charlotte Vega, Adain Bradley, Matthew Modine, Bill Sage Runtime: 109 mins

*TW: Rape, section clearly marked below*

For a long time now I’ve had a fascination I couldn’t shake with the Wrong Turn franchise, and even though our relationship status has never shifted from ‘It’s Complicated’ because of their ableist portrayals of deformed cannibalistic hillpeople, multiple cast injuries and the unauthorised use of an image of a missing woman from Wexford which the family had to fight against in the Irish High Courts, when I saw the announcement that the series would be rebooted, I wanted to give it a chance. It seemed like they were going in a fresh and inoffensive direction. Baby, we’ve changed!

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Director: Francis Lee Starring: Kate Winslet, Saoirse Ronan Runtime: 120 mins
Francis Lee has a deep understanding of how to use harsh landscapes and natural sound in a beautiful way. Fans of Lee’s debut God’s Own Country will recognise his interest and talent in portraying working class queer stories in this new film. With Ammonite, Lee has created a relationship between palaeontologist Mary Anning (played by Kate Winslet) and Charlotte (played by Saoirse Ronan), a young woman whose husband has asked Mary to look after while he is travelling as they recently lost a baby and she is struggling. 

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Director: Clea DuVall Starring: Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis, Aubrey Plaza, Dan Levy Runtime: 102 minutes

It’s always nice to get fresh blood at the holidays. Before you finish dialling 999, what I mean by that is that because we tend to listen to the same Christmas songs and watch the same Christmas movies every year once the evenings get longer, it’s always special when something new comes along to join the rotation. So when I first heard about Happiest Season, I was really looking forward to seeing if it would be one of those worthy additions. I love Kristen Stewart. I really do, I think she’s a great talent and she picks interesting, challenging projects. Sadly K Stew let me down for the second time in 2020 (looking at you Underwater!)

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In the latest episode of the Breakout Role podcast, Luke and Jess watch Children of a Lesser God starring Marlee Matlin in her film debut for which she became the youngest winner of Best Actress at the Oscars! She is also one of only 2 performers with a disability to have won an Oscar since they began. Pretty damning considering how often the Oscars reward stars for playing roles where they imitate characters with disabilities.

Although Matlin was told by many that she may not work again, she has gone on to have a very successful career for herself and has also done a lot of work keeping the door open for up and coming performers from the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

We chat Marlee’s origins, her raw talent, her career journey and more in #MarleeMatlinBreakout

Listen in below or follow us on Spotify,  Soundcloud, or on Podbean.

Artwork by @jessdoesscribbles

Music by SLVS

The Breakout Role Podcast Episode Archive

Follow the Breakout Role Podcast on Twitter and on Instagram at @breakoutrolepod.

Director: Robert Zemeckis Starring: Octavia Spencer, Jahzir Bruno, Chris Rock, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci Running Time: 106 mins

When I first saw the trailer for Robert Zemeckis’ new adaptation of The Witches, I couldn’t contain my excitement and immediately sent it round to friends and family. This got reactions varying from lukewarm to stone faced because my loved ones all felt that no one could beat Anjelica Huston’s turn as the Grand High Witch from Nicolas Roeg’s version of The Witches released in 1990. I hadn’t seen that version and so I approached Zemeckis’ film unspoilt by the comparison. Unfortunately, I still didn’t love it!

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Are you getting a bit tired of your home cinema set-up and dying to get back to the silver screen? Obviously we are still a while off from returning to the shared cinema experience we all know and love, but why not return to the vintage comforts of the drive-in cinema? We have put together a list for you, but if you hear of any more let us know!

(Image by Markus Distelrath – Pixabay)

Retro Drive-In:

Leopardstown Racecourse

Kilkenny Castleinch

10 new locations soon to be announced!

 

Drive-in Movies @ RDS

 

Pop-Up Drive-In:

Balbriggan

Castleknock

Kells

Navan

Director: Philippa Lowthorpe Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessie Buckley, Keira Knightly, Greg Kinnear, Lesley Manville, Rhys Ifans Running time: 106 mins

Misbehaviour benefits from the pedigree of a strong cast, a compelling story and a seasoned director at the helm; Philippa Lowthorpe was the first woman to win Best Director at the Baftas, and she’s won twice. The costuming, make up, hair and set design all evoke the new era being born and really ground the story in a time and place which feels fully realised. Misbehaviour has all the ingredients to make it a hit but unfortunately it falls down on building layered and sympathetic characters and it’s difficult to stay on board, especially when the plot holds no surprises (which isn’t the film’s fault necessarily because you can’t have spoilers for history!)

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Later this month the experienced writer/producer Stephen Cleary will be in the fair city of film to provide two intriguing workshops on interest to budding storytellers on screen. Running next week with Film Network Ireland, the workshops will provide an opportunity to advance their knowledge of story structure, genre writing and more.

We decided to chat to Stephen on Power & Gender in Storytelling ahead of his upcoming workshop on the 23rd and 24th.

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Directed by: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett Starring: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien, Henry Czerny, Andie McDowell Runtime: 95 mins


Ready Or Not manages to balance fun with suspense, its fast pace keeps the viewer onboard throughout the simple but bonkers premise. The film opens with Grace, who is marrying into the Le Domas board game dynasty (or dominion as they prefer), practicing her vows ahead of a garden wedding in the grounds of the Le Domas’ estate. We soon meet her fiance Alex who in a bout of flirty banter suggests they ditch the wedding and run away together. Turns out this isn’t a bad idea.

While Grace and Alex are making out in his room, they’re interrupted by his elderly Aunt Helene who announces that it’s time they come and join the family for a game. Alex goes on to explain that this is a quirky family tradition; each married couple must take part in a game starting at midnight to initiate the new family member. Grace agrees to humour her new in-laws and joins the fam in a room hidden in the middle of the house by big antique doors which wouldn’t look out of place in Cluedo. Here, Alex’ father Tony goes on to explain that the Le Domas’ attribute their wealth and success to a deal to a wager his great-grandfather made during a sea voyage with Mr. Le Bail. The wager involved a mysterious box which Tony explains randomly selects the game to be played by the incoming family member. Grace draws Hide and Seek, the family play an old-timey Hide and Seek song on a gramophone and she goes off to hide. What she doesn’t know is that if they catch her, they’ll kill her.

Ready Or Not borrows from the story lines of cult horror, the aesthetics of adventure stories, mingles it together with fabulous acting from Samara Weaving and the fast pace carries us through what is quite a bare premise. The Le Domas house is stunning and the directors take the time to give us sweeping views of the chandeliers, gorgeous staircase and massive grounds in a way that’s reminiscent of Spanish horror. The characters are quite broadstrokes; all we know about Grace is she was a foster child and that she’s been with Alex for 18 months, we get a sense of her personality but we don’t really get a feel for the others. The film has a You’re Next vibe but it actually gives Grace more credit than Erin gets in You’re Next; Grace hasn’t been trained by her father to be a survivalist, her ability to adapt and react to this situation and come out on top is entirely down to her own competence. She knows when to hide and when to fight and it’s refreshing to see a woman in a horror film who isn’t just screaming and falling over.

At times it feels like the film is dipping its toe into social commentary territory, like when the maids get killed and the family barely react or when Grace exclaims ‘Fucking rich people’ when she’s running for her life but it’s all very surface-level stuff, particularly because the film is moving at breakneck speed through its plot. Still, we’re in a safe pair of hands with duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett who have collaborated previously on horror titles VHS, Southbound and Devil’s Due. They’re well versed in the genre and it allows them to turn horror conventions on their head. Ready Or Not is slick and it blends in humour in a way many horror films of the moment are trying and failing to accomplish. This film should have been released earlier in the summer, it definitely had the mileage.

(4 / 5)

Director: Ari Aster Starring: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Will Poulter, Ellora Torchia, Archie Madekwe Runtime: 147 minutes

Watching Midsommar feels like watching someone boil a frog. And no matter how much pretty lighting and composition you use in the process, you can’t help thinking “Why are we boiling this frog?”

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