Denzel Washington has an amazing ability to disappear into whatever role he’s playing. Whether he’s playing a romantic lead, a villain, or a hero, he makes the character completely believable, and he’s been rewarded with three Academy Awards because of that talent. It would be one thing if he played a lot of similar characters, but Washington thrives on diversity, and it seems like he goes out of the way to find challenging roles. Washington’s new movie, Roman J. Israel, Esq., finds him playing an idealistic lawyer who’s also on the autism spectrum, so we asked if he sought out the role because it was something new for him to play.
Roman J. Israel, Esq. is now playing in theaters nationwide.
No, Adam Levine has never been a contestant on The Bachelor or any other dating show, but that hasn’t stopped him from finding a soulmate on television. Over his 13 seasons on The Voice, Levine tells us he’s established a deep emotional connection — and a lifelong relationship — with the other judge who’s been along for the ride the entire time: Blake Shelton. (Click on the media bar below to hear Adam Levine)
Watch the happy couple in action as The Voice airs Monday and Tuesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.
Coco was the #1 movie during the Thanksgiving Day weekend (November 24-26) with a $49 million take. Justice League, which has suffered from bad reviews and poor word of mouth, was close behind with $40.7 million. Wonder had a second solid weekend with $22.3 million. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:
1. Coco – Sure to be nominated for an Oscar, this highly praised animated flick makes $49 million.
2. Justice League – $40.7 million
3. Wonder – Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson headlined flick collects $22.3 million
4. Thor: Ragnarok – $16.7 million
5. Daddy’s Home 2 – $13.2 million
6. Murder on the Orient Express – Considering it cost $55 million, the picture has done well with a $175 million gross. This weekend it takes in $13 million.
7. The Star – $6.8 million
8. A Bad Moms Christmas – $5 million
9. Roman J. Israel, Esq. – Denzel Washington flick bombs with just $4.5 million
10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Fox Searchlight drama which will be remembered come awards season makes $4.4 million.
It may sound like overpraise due to all the cinematic narratives that have come before it, but Call Me By Your Name is a transcendent tale that, along with receiving its share of Oscar nominations, will be remembered for years to come. Based on André Aciman’s novel, the feature hits on all creative cylinders and offers a fitting ending to director Luca Guadagnino’s “Desire” trilogy (I Am Love and A Bigger Splash were the previous installments).
It’s 1983 somewhere in an Italian countryside, and Elio (Timothée Chalamet) is a 17-year-old who spends his days transcribing and playing music at his parent’s (Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar) villa. When Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives at the domicile to spend the summer interning for Elio’s father (who’s a professor), the connection is instant. What begins as an innocent handshake gradually develops into something deeper, as the pair hover each other like satellites, waiting and wondering if they will ever make that highly anticipated love connection.
Credit goes to Guadagnino for letting his story breathe (the narrative runs for 132 minutes), and whatever romance ensues comes about in an organic (and thus seductive) fashion. Both Elio and Oliver are confident in their own respective charms (both actually carry on flings with neighborhood girls), but initially their attempts to connect with one another has its share of underlying tension.
The chemistry between Chalamet and Hammer is electric, but that’s not the only selling point behind the story. Stuhlbarg delivers a monologue that, although it seems a bit out of place amidst the film’s relative lack of wordy exposition, will possibly leave a healthy share of moviegoers teary-eyed.
Call Me By Your Name’s thematic heart and soul lies in its encouragement for both these lovers to push forth and explore their romance rather than regress in complacency. An excellent choice of music (Maurice Ravel, Surfjan Stevens, Psychedelic Furs and John Adams) weave in and out of the sensually languorous and beautifully shot compositions (Sayombhu Mukdeeprom is the DP) to support the performances, with Guadagnino successfully blending all of these elements into an ultimately unforgettable experience.
The film was shot in Crema, where Guadagnino calls home, and this intimate connection gives it a loving personal touch. It’s also great to hear that a sequel for Call Me By Your Name is in the works, with Esther Garrel, who also delivers a nuanced performance as Elio’s heartbroken girlfriend, possibly having a deeper role in the sequel.
For now, let us at least enjoy Call Me By Your Name (the sequel won’t be out until 2020) and considering the true to life beauty within this tale, that’s more than enough.
For Amy Adams, getting to play Lois Lane — as she’s doing for the third time in Justice League — is a dream come true. While the majority of little girls her age weren’t big comic book fans growing up, Adams told us she was a huge Superman fan, thanks to her brothers. (Click on the media bar below to hear Amy Adams)
Justice League is now playing in theaters everywhere.