There’s nothing quite as dangerous as a teen girl scorned, whether the infraction is real or built up in the mind of the beholder. In the new film Thorougbreds, Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy take viewers on an unsettling journey as the rekindling of their friendship becomes almost a chess game of dark intentions.
We’re first introduced to Amanda, a wise-beyond-her-years, sullen and emotionless (literally, as she reveals her inability to feel certain human emotions) teen who has become an outcast over an incident that involved her horse from her youth. Amanda arrives at Lily’s (Taylor-Joy] spacious yet antiseptic mansion for an arranged tutoring session-hangout, quickly surveying the surroundings while awaiting for her estranged friend from youth to arrive. Amanda sizes up Lily rather quick, as the teen portrays the picture of privilege and a picture perfect life, but Amanda’s blunt nature catches Lily off guard and intrigues her, forcing Lily to give up the ruse of her life and be brutally honest for the first time in a long time.
The introduction of Lily’s stepfather Mark (Paul Sparks) marks the first real crack in Lily’s veneer, with Amanda astutely assessing Lily’s below-the-surface hatred of the controlling parental figure. The obsessive-compulsive Mark has little time or compassion for his stepdaughter, often seen treating her as an annoyance while Lily’s mother Karen (Kalli Vernoff) seems content being the trophy wife who never challenges her husband. But Finley’s writing of the character leaves room for who’s perspective is correct.
Writer/director Cory Finley does a masterful job in revealing the depths of the two girls. Amanda’s able to unravel Lily with ease, with her bluntness calling out Lily’s darkest desires. When Amanda suggests the possible killing of Lily’s stepfather as a solution to her new friend’s problems, Lily is initially horrified, but the more Amanda addresses the simplicity, the harder it is for Lily to deny those feelings. But Amanda has unleashed a monster. While Amanda’s dark side is up front and present, Lily proves to be every bit as dark, almost matter-of-factly embracing a focused psychosis.
The pair initially hatch a plan to off Mark engaging the local small-time drug dealer Tim (Anton Yelchin in his final role) to do the deed, but things don’t go as expected. While a smaller role, Yelchin’s Tim provides some perspective on the girls’ plans and some much needed comic relief with his hapless nature.
It’s when things go awry that the film really goes to its darkest places, with Lily’s masking of her real persona fading away and Amanda’s realizations about her own motivations in life coming to a head. Both Cooke and Taylor-Joy shine in their respective roles, leaving viewers truly unnerved at many points in the film while also providing some nervous levity as well.
Thoroughbreds is a well-written, superbly acted thriller which ranks among the best in this genre of film.
Earlier this month, NBC extended the run of its Will & Grace revival by signing a deal for a third new season, which will be the show’s 11th overall. Fans of the show have been thrilled with its return, and the cast and crew have loved being back on set. Even though he’s been back at work for a while, and he knows the show will be continuing its run, Eric McCormack is still shocked that Will & Grace was given new life. (Click on the media below Eric McCormack)
Zach Braff may not be a father himself, but he’s recognized there isn’t a lot of television geared toward families with kids. With his new ABC series, Alex, Inc., Braff decided he wanted to do something about that. As the show’s executive producer, as well as its star, he made sure they put an emphasis on it being a family-friendly show. (Click on the media bar below to hear Zach Braff)
Alex, Inc. airs Wednesday nights at 8:30/7:30c on ABC.
Just the fact that Jason Sudeikis, Ed Harris, and Elizabeth Olsen are in the same movie is a good enough reason to check out Kodachrome, a new film directed by Copenhagen filmmaker Mark Raso. The narrative centers on Matt Ryder (Sudeikis), a guy who hits the road with his estranged and dying father (Harris) to deliver four old rolls of Kodachrome film.
Since we’re living in a digital age, developing film has gone the way of the dodo bird, and now the pair must go to the last lab in the world to develop these rolls before it closes down. Olsen co-stars as Ben’s (Harris) nurse.The trip, which takes the trio from New York to Kansas, should be an eye opening one, and hopefully the picture will hit all the right notes without being a sentimental slog. Check out the trailer and tell us what you think!
Tyler Perry is one of cinema’s most successful filmmakers, so placing his latest film Acrimony at the highest level is a big deal. The project reunites him withTaraji P. Henson, as he previously worked with the actress on I Can Do All Bad By Myselfand The Family That Preys.
“This story burned in me for a long time,” said Perry. “This is my favorite movie that I’ve ever done. This is my favorite, hands down, favorite (film) of all time. I wanted to explore what happens when people can’t let go – when they feel betrayed even if they weren’t betrayed. I wanted to explore that because I’ve seen people live that and not be able to let it go.”
Henson, who plays a woman who goes on a vengeful streak after she believes she has been wronged by her husband (Lyriq Bent), balanced making the movie with her work on Empire. Click on the media bar to hear Perry elaborate on why Henson is such a special actress.