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Oscars: 13 Deserving Contenders From 2017 So Far

23 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

As we rapidly approach 2017’s midway point, there are already a number of films that deserve to be remembered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when Oscar ballots go out at the end of the year. Academy voters notoriously have short memories, though it’s hardly their fault alone; studios are so obsessed with back-loading the year with prestige product that in the rush, earlier gems are often forgotten.

So we’re here to help. Perhaps members will take a moment to bear these contenders in mind before the awards season glut finally hits.

Note: This list spotlights films theatrically released to the paying public. There have been festival standouts that won’t hit theaters until the coming months, and a number would bear mentioning. Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler are all fantastic in Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected),” for example. And David Lowery’s vision for “A Ghost Story” makes for one of the greatest motion pictures of the year. But we’ll stick to what will hit theaters as of June 30 for this piece’s purposes.


Oscars at the Halfway Mark: ‘Logan,’ ‘Get Out’ and Women Directors


Best Picture: “The Big Sick

Don’t dismiss it just because it’s the funniest movie of the year so far, it’s also the most heartfelt and intelligent. Willing to mix big issues with big laughs, the tone is held together perfectly by director Michael Showalter, the outstanding cast and an excellent script. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: “Baby Driver”; Get Out”; “Logan”; “Okja

Best Director: Bong Joon Ho (“Okja”)

Netflix’s Cannes entry is a whole lot of movie, and a whole lot of vision. Director Bong Joon Ho dazzles with his deft kinetic touch while also pulling an impressive performance out of young lead Seo-Hyun Ahn to anchor the zany satire. But as ever, Bong proves a master of balancing tonal shifts, ultimately crafting a moving piece of work. (KT)

– Other Standouts: Sofia Coppola (“The Beguiled”); Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”); Jordan Peele (“Get Out”); Trey Edward Shults (“It Comes At Night”)

Best Actor: Sam Elliott (“The Hero”)

The role of an aging star who never realized his greatness fits Elliott like a glove. It’s also a reminder of how underutilized he has been on the big screen. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: Richard Gere (“Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer”); Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”); James McAvoy (“Split”); Kumail Nanjiani (“The Big Sick”)

Best Actress: Sally Hawkins (“Maudie”)

Hawkins is always excellent and reliable, but she outdoes herself portraying Canadian painter Maud Lewis. Crippled by arthritis, married to a rough fisherman (a great Ethan Hawke), Hawkins allows Maud’s joy to shine through. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: Jessica Chastain (“The Zookeeper’s Wife”); Anne Hathaway (“Colossal”); Salma Hayek (“Beatriz at Dinner”); Rachel Weisz (“My Cousin Rachel”)

Best Supporting Actor: Patrick Stewart (“Logan”)

Let’s be honest; take away the superhero element and this would be an Oscar slam-dunk. Stewart’s portrayal of Charles Xavier in waning health with a broken mind will break your heart. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: Sharlto Copley (“Free Fire”); Ethan Hawke (“Maudie”); LilRel Howery (“Get Out”); Ray Romano (“The Big Sick”)

Best Supporting Actress: Betty Gabriel (“Get Out”)

Jordan Peele’s impressive directorial debut deserves a shout-out in virtually every category, but hopefully no one snoozes on Betty Gabriel’s unsettling work as a housekeeper trapped in “the sunken place.” She etches that inner turmoil across her face with such aplomb you simply cannot look away. (KT)

– Other Standouts: Laura Dern (“Wilson”); Holly Hunter (“The Big Sick”); Dafne Keen (“Logan”); Terry Pheto (“A United Kingdom”)


Playback: Sam Elliott on ‘The Hero’ and Living His Childhood Dream

Best Screenplay: “Shimmer Lake

Technically ineligible for Oscars as it didn’t receive a theatrical run, that doesn’t stop this twisty thriller from earning our consideration. What sounds like a gimmick — a crime drama told backwards — proves absolutely essential to telling a fascinating story. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: “The Big Sick”; “Get Out”; “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore”; Split

Best Cinematography: “Kong: Skull Island

Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ simian sequel was a bit of a tonal omelette, but one element that gave it an unexpected level of iconography was Larry Fong’s striking photography. Sunburnt vistas and heat-rippled frames sometimes call back to “Apocalypse Now,” but more often they give the film its own intriguing visual identity. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Alien: Covenant”; “The Beguiled”; “The Lost City of Z”; “Song to Song

Best Costume Design: “Wonder Woman

Speaking of iconography, one of the eye-popping elements of Patty Jenkins’ landmark superhero entry is the iconic image actress Gal Gadot strikes as the eponymous Amazon. But beyond Diana Prince’s well-known threads, there’s a whole array of dazzling outfits on the screen, from the battle gear of Themyscira to 1920s fashion and World War I attire. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Beauty and the Beast”; “The Beguiled”; “The Great Wall”; “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Best Film Editing: “LA92”

Lest we forget, National Geographic’s Emmy-contending L.A riots documentary is also eligible for Oscar consideration this year. Last year “O.J.: Made in America” garnered some attention for its handling of tons of material, and hopefully reminded voters that documentary editing ought to be recognized. Reams of footage were assembled from countless sources to drive this particular version of the story, which was also covered elegantly by director John Ridley in “Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992.” (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Baby Driver”; “Get Out”; “Logan”; “Okja


The Big Sick’: How Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon Brought Their Real-Life Love Story to Screen

Best Production Design: “Beauty and the Beast”

It’s a tall order to match the stunning animation of the original film, but the “Beauty and the Beast” team pulled it off. Every ornate touch, from the Beast’s castle to the world of Belle’s village, was a visual feast. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: “The Great Wall”; “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2”; “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”; “Wonder Woman

Best Sound Editing: “Baby Driver

Being something of a musical-slash-actioner, Edgar Wright’s latest owes everything to its soundtrack. But more than that, the precision with which sound is layered and cut to enhance the various tracks scattered throughout gives the film an innervating sense of propulsion. When there’s no sound, you’re desperate for it to scream back. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Free Fire”; “John Wick: Chapter Two”; “Okja”; “Transformers: The Last Knight

Best Visual Effects: “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2

It’s a pity we can’t throw “War for the Planet of the Apes” (July 14) in here, but more on that in due time. Marvel’s latest installment of the “Guardians” franchise doubles down on rendered environments. When you have a character who at times serves as the actual location (I guess you have to see the film to understand), the sky is the limit on VFX. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Beauty and the Beast”; “Ghost in the Shell”; The Great Wall”; “Okja

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- Kristopher Tapley and Jenelle Riley

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Oscars at the Halfway Mark: ‘Logan,’ ‘Get Out’ and Women Directors

23 hours ago | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The year is half over and Oscar voters need to catch up on their homework. There have been many worthwhile films in the first six months of 2017, including “Get Out” from writer-director Jordan Peele (Universal, Blumhouse); “Logan,” the dark, tender neo-Western from director James Mangold (Fox); and the sumptuous mega-hit “Beauty and the Beast” (director Bill Condon, Disney).

A few years ago, these would have been extreme longshots, at best. But there have been changes in Academy voters and their tastes. Recent winners including “Moonlight,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Ex Machina” prove that voters are redefining what is considered “Oscar bait.” The blurred definition is a challenge to awards strategists, but good news for hopefuls.


Oscars: 13 Deserving Contenders From 2017 So Far

The January-June period has seen many other films with Oscar potential in various categories; see the accompanying reminders by Variety colleagues Kris Tapley and Jenelle Riley. And, needless to say, other contenders will be covered a lot before the March 4, 2018, Oscar ceremony.

Diversity has been a key theme. This year, several films directed by women could be in the mix, including Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” (Focus Features), Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.), and Aisling Walsh’s “Maudie” (Sony Pictures Classics). Still to come are works from Kathryn Bigelow (Annapurna’s much-buzzed “Detroit”), Dee Rees (Netflix’s “Mudbound”); Margaret Betts (Sony Classics’ “Novitiate”) and Angelina Jolie (Netflix’s “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers”).

There are also upcoming works from international filmmakers like Sebastian Lelio, Alfonso Gomez-Rijon, Michael Gracey, Yorgos Lanthimos and Taika Waititi. They will join veterans including Guillermo del Toro, Alexander Payne, Stephen Frears, Richard Linklater, Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Darren Aronofsky and Paul Thomas Anderson.

Here are month-by-month opening dates, followed by a list of films that made a splash at the year’s film festivals so far. And the upcoming festivals will also add a few twists to the Oscar race.

The director and stars are listed for purpose of jogging readers’ memories; it’s not a matter of handicapping, since it’s pointless to make predictions about films that have not been widely seen.

July: “War for the Planet of the Apes” (directed by Matt Reeves; starring Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson; Fox)

August: “Detroit” (Kathryn Bigelow; John Boyega; Annapurna); “Logan Lucky” (Steven Soderbergh; Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig; Bleecker Street); “Patty Cake$” (Geremy Jasper; Danielle Macdonald; Searchlight); “Wind River” (Taylor Sheridan; Elizabeth Olsen; The Weinstein Co.).

September: “American Made” (Doug Liman; Tom Cruise; Universal); “Battle of the Sexes” (Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris; Emma Stone, Steve Carell; Fox Searchlight); “First They Killed My Father” (Angelina Jolie; Netflix); “Victoria and Abdul” (Stephen Frears; Judi Dench; Focus).


The Best Films of 2017 (So Far)

October: “Blade Runner 2049” (Denis Villeneuve; Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford; WB); “Breathe” (Andy Serkis; Andrew Garfield; Bleecker Street, Participant); “Goodbye Christopher Robin” (Simon Curtis; Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie; Searchlight); “Marshall” (Reginald Hudlin; with Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall; Open Road); “Mother!” (Darren Aronofsky; Jennifer Lawrence; Paramount); “The Mountain Between Us” (Hany Abu-Assad; Idris Elba, Kate Winslet; Fox); “Thank You for Your Service” (Jason Hall; Miles Teller; Universal)

November: “Darkest Hour” (Joe Wright; Gary Oldman; Focus); “Last Flag Flying” (Richard Linklater; Bryan Cranston; Amazon); “The Man Who Invented Christmas” (Bharat Nalluri; Dan Stevens; Bleecker Street); “Mary Magdalene” (Garth Davis; Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix; TWC); “Murder on the Orient Express” (Kenneth Branagh; Johnny Depp; Fox); “Suburbicon” (George Clooney; Matt Damon; Paramount); “Thor: Ragnarok” (Taika Waititi; Chris Hemsworth; Disney, Marvel Studios); “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Martin McDonagh; Frances McDormand; Searchlight).

December: “The Greatest Showman” (Michael Gracey; Hugh Jackman; Fox); “The Current War” (Alfonso Gomez-Rijon; Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon; TWC); “Downsizing” (Alexander Payne; Matt Damon, Laura Dern; Paramount); “The Papers” (Steven Spielberg; Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep; Fox, Amblin); “The Shape of Water” (Guillermo del Toro; Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer; Searchlight); “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Rian Johnson; Disney, Lucasfilm); “Phantom Thread” (Paul Thomas Anderson; Daniel Day-Lewis; Focus); “Wonder Wheel” (Woody Allen; James Belushi, Kate Winslet; Amazon).

And some of the festival hits so far this year:

Sundance: “The Big Sick,” (Michael Showalter; Kumail Nanjiani, Ray Romano, Holly Hunter; Amazon, Lionsgate); “Call Me By Your Name” (Luca Guadagnino; Armie Hammer (Sony Pictures Classics); “The Hero” (Brett Haley; Sam Elliott; The Orchard); Also: “Mudbound” and “Wind River.”

Berlin: “The Lost City of Z” (James Gray; Charlie Hunnam; Amazon, Bleecker Street); “Final Portrait” (Stanley Tucci; Geoffrey Rush; Sony Classics); “Maudie” (Aisling Walsh; Sally Hawkins; Sony Classics).

South by Southwest: “The Disaster Artist” (James Franco; A24).

Cannes: “Good Time” (Safdie brothers; Robert Pattinson; A24); “You Were Never Really Here” (Lynne Ramsay; Joaquin Phoenix; Amazon); “Okja” (Bong Joon Ho; Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal; Netflix); “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected),” (Noah Baumbach; Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller; Netflix); “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (Yorgos Lanthimos; Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell; A24); “The Florida Project” (Sean Baker; Willem Dafoe; A24); “Happy End” (Michael Haneke; Isabelle Huppert; Sony Classics); “Wonderstruck” (Todd Haynes; Julianne Moore; Amazon, Roadside Attractions).

There are also plenty of great documentaries, animated movies and foreign-language films, but those are for later columns.

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- Tim Gray

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‘Twin Peaks’: Diane’s Style Continues the Problematic Orientalism From the Original Series

21 June 2017 12:28 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Twin Peaks” finally introduced fans to Diane, the oft-named but never seen secretary whom FBI Agent Cooper addressed his recordings to in the original 1990s series: David Lynch saved the plum role for one of his favorite actresses, Laura Dern, and her performance has been nothing short of thrilling and moving. Apart from the performance though, the character’s striking style is Orientalist, using Eastern images and themes to evoke a sense of exoticism.

Not much was known about Diane to begin with, since Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) only ever left recordings for her. It was a one-way exchange that left viewers in the dark. In “The Autobiography of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes” written by series co-creator Mark Frost, Cooper offers the only real description of Diane:

“I have been assigned a secretary. Her name is Diane. Believe her experience will be a great help. She seems an interesting cross between a saint and a cabaret singer.”

Read More: ‘Twin Peaks’ and David Lynch’s Love of the Color Red

That summary of the off-screen, off-page character only added more to her air of mystery. Therefore, when we finally meet Dern as Diane, the impact is pronounced, with her striking and unusual appearance: The sleek, platinum blonde bob, the multicolored fingernails that coordinate with her ensemble, and those clothes. The glimpse of each of the three outfits that Diane has worn thus far are showstoppers. They also have a strong Eastern influence in their design.

Diane’s initial look can only be seen from the bust upwards, but its heavy and ornate gold embroidery is Eastern-inflected, and her haircut super-straight styling with heavy bangs is reminiscent of how Asians have been depicted in the past, such as with actress Anna May Wong. While this first glimpse at Diane in Episode 6 isn’t enough to tell her overall aesthetic, Episode 7 certainly gives a clearer idea of her taste.

Read More: ’Twin Peaks’ to ‘Wings’: The 9 Shows That Defined 1990

When Agents Rosenfield and Cole (Miguel Ferrer, David Lynch) visit Diane’s home, she enters the room in a red, silky, kimono-style robe. At that point, the Asian influences cannot be ignored, especially once you add in her home’s decor. A glance around Diane’s house confirms a mix of mid-century modern and Asian pieces ranging from multi-panel screens/room dividers, vases, decorative cranes and black lacquer objects accented with mother of pearl. Even her third outfit, a red and black leather number shows samurai inspirations that gives the illusion of criss-cross styling and a gathered waist.

Diane’s tastes and styling aren’t the most racist or even overt example of Orientalism on the show, but the series does assign its characters quirks that are often the marks of marginalized people. For example, many characters have some sort of physical disability like an eye patch or hearing loss. Making that the most identifiable mark of their characters creates a vicious cycle of reinforcing the perception of their marginalized status: Nadine Hurley (Wendy Robie) isn’t described as the woman whose husband is in love with another woman, but as the kook with the eyepatch. Meanwhile, in the current season, the only Asian character is Naido (Nae Yuuki), the woman without eyes who doesn’t speak in the Purple Room.

Read More: ‘Twin Peaks’ Review: Part 7 Leaves More Clues Than We Can Count as David Lynch Digs Deep Into the Past

Diane’s bold style is used to emphasize her strong personality (“Fuck you, Tammy”) but also her mysterious, exotic qualities that Cooper had tried to encapsulate in his description. Therefore, the Asian trappings are used as costuming and Otherizing to show how interesting and unusual she is. While this practice of using Eastern clothes as costumes was far more prevalent in the past, it still shows up in properties such as “Star Wars” (Princess Amidala’s costumes are very ceremonial Asian, down to the makeup) or critical favorite “Pushing Daisies.”

The Orientalism on “Twin Peaks” was far more pronounced when the show first aired in the 1990s. Although Agent Cooper was a white man teaching Eastern philosophy to solve crimes and Josie Packard (Joan Chen) fulfilled the stereotype of the Asian seductress, the worst affront came in Season 2. Josie’s sister-in-law Catherine Martell for some reason appeared in yellowface for several episodes as a businessman named Mr. Tojamura who sported a samurai hairstyle, spoke in a stereotypical accent and even invoked the bombing of Nagasaki in a conversation. Take a look at that trainwreck below:

Twin Peaks” has come a long way when it comes to its depiction of Eastern cultures as merely costume or lesser-than. Sadly, it seems to have doubled-down on its brutality towards and objectification of women. But more on that later.

Twin Peaks” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

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- Hanh Nguyen

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Why Ben Stiller Put His Comedy Career On Hold After ‘Zoolander 2’

21 June 2017 9:19 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

A year ago, most people would have assumed that Ben Stiller was in director’s jail, suffering from the critical and commercial failure of “Zoolander 2,” in which he also starred. Instead, he went to television. Holed up in his Red Hour Films studio in Los Angeles, Stiller’s currently developing the Showtime miniseries “Escape From Dannemora,” with the intention of directing all eight episodes. And when he takes a break, it’s not for another “Night at the Museum” movie. He’s heading to a film festival.

For over 20 years, the Nantucket Film Festival has benefited from the support of Stiller and his famous family, including his parents Jerry Stiller and late mother Anne Meara, emphasizing two areas that Ben Stiller knows well: Comedy and screenwriting. At Nantucket, he regularly hosts the All-Star Comedy Roundtable — but this year, perhaps signaling his shift in focus, he’s hosting the Screenwriter Tribute, which will honor “Spotlight” director Tom McCarthy.

See More Storytelling, Of All Kinds, Showcased at the Nantucket Film Festival

Tom McCarthy for me epitomizes the kind of smart and emotional character-oriented storyteller that movie industry needs today,” he said in an interview ahead of the festival. “I think it’s important — in this day of huge, effects-driven franchises — to support and celebrate human stories that don’t center on aliens or robots.”

Much of Stiller’s recent work reflects that ethos. In May, he appeared in Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Collected”), a well-received dramedy that marked his first collaboration with the filmmaker since “While We Were Young.” It was a welcome return to one of the best actor-director relationships in Stiller’s filmography, one that taps into his penchant for affable klutzes without devolving into cheap jokes.

“I’m happy someone is making the edgy, character-oriented dramas and comedies that are the kinds of movies I grew up watching,” Stiller said. “I hope the studios will get with that program.”

In the meantime, he has embraced the changing landscape: His next starring role comes with “Brad’s Status,” writer-director Mike White’s new Amazon-produced feature, and “The Meyerowitz Stories” will premiere on Netflix later this year.

Like a lot of people, he’s not thrilled with Netflix’s day-and-date model, which minimizes the theatrical life of its movies in favor of appealing home viewers. “I love movies and want to see those kinds of movies in the theater,” he said, but acknowledged the realities of a marketplace that has increasingly allowed for more sophisticated storytelling with the new digital platforms — and, again, television. “Most of our projects are smaller budget and independent-oriented,” he said, addressing the productions currently being developed at Red Hour. “It’s harder to get those movies made now. Thankfully, television is a place for that now.”

He won’t directly acknowledge it, but the response to “Zoolander 2,” with its sophomoric humor and at least one broad joke that offended the Lgbtq community, seems to have driven him back to the more substantial side of his career. Stiller’s been through career crises — cult hit “The Cable Guy” and “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” weren’t exactly blockbuster successes — but this time, he has a range of work in the pipeline that taps into his penchant for more dramatic fare. “Escape from Dannemora,” which focuses on the real-life prison break by inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat in upstate New York, suggests an underlying desire to exercise his filmmaking chops with serious, engaging material.

As a director, Stiller is more auteur than meets the eye. Starting with “Reality Bites” in 1994, he has continually focused on desperate, self-involved Americans driven to neurotic extremes by the boundaries that society places on them. That theme took on cartoonish extremes in the undervalued “Cable Guy” and an ambitious lyrical depth in “Walter Mitty,” while the first “Zoolander” turned the absurd competitive agendas of the fashion industry inside out. The sequel simply took that joke too far, but it may have been necessary to draw Stiller back to the kind of projects that suit him best. “I think I’m more interested in movies I can relate to on a personal level,” he said.

That has extended to his interest in new talent. Asked to single some of the rising filmmakers he admires, he started by citing young screenwriters — Michael Mitnik, whose Alfonso Gomez-Rejon-directed “The Current War” comes out later this year, and Isaac Adamson, whose Blacklist screenplay “Bubbles” (about Michael Jackson’s famous chimp) is currently being produced by Netflix. He’s also keen on the writing contributions to “Dannemora” by Brett Johnson, whose previous credits are primarily in television.

So where does that leave Stiller’s career in comedy? “Right now, we are in couples therapy,” he said. “But I am optimistic.”

The Nantucket Film Festival runs June 21 – 26.

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- Eric Kohn

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Noah Hawley on the ‘Fargo’ Finale and Why the Fate of Gloria Burgle Matters More Than You Think

20 June 2017 3:11 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

“Reality is fractured” — think about those words for a second. Reality is supposed to be the one thing that’s absolute. It’s a state of existence we all must face, whether we’re waking up to a cold reality or embracing the reality of now. For it to be fractured, to be broken, is an impossibility. Reality simply is, and what is cannot be undone.

Unless, of course, you’ve been watching the third season of “Fargo.”

Throughout its television saga, Noah Hawley’s period drama about unexpected violence in small town America has been framed as a “true story.” It’s not, of course — that’s merely an appropriation from the Coen brothers’ film. Specifically, like the 1996 movie each episode begins with the statement: “This is a true story,” even though, like the film, it’s not.

Read More: ‘Fargo’: Noah Hawley Explains the Season 3 Connections to Past Seasons, ‘The Leftovers,’ and ‘The Big Lebowski

But Season 3 has doubled down on its tricky typeface: Hawley, through characters like former police chief Gloria Burgle (Carrie Coon) and a mysterious crime lord named V.M. Varga (David Thewlis), has broken down the meaning of truth in modern America.

“At a basic level, I have to be aware that I’m saying it’s a true story and that reality rarely ties itself up neatly; that reality is subject to randomness and coincidence and all of those things,” Hawley said in an interview with IndieWire. “I felt like our first season, the story basically played itself out until the very last scene. […] The second year, the ninth hour was really the big hour, […] and yet, in the end, it was a tragedy with a happy ending — just like the movie and just like the first season.”

“You’ll see how it turns out this year, but I’ll say I don’t want to take anything for granted like ‘Oh, it’s okay, it always wraps up neatly,'” he said. “There is a sense to which this year’s ‘Fargo’ is really a mirror reflecting our reality back to us at this moment in time, but we don’t know how it’s gonna end or how it’s gonna play out.”

Speaking the day after James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Hawley was quick to point to relevant parallels between “Fargo” and our current cultural status.

Read More: ‘Fargo’ Creator Noah Hawley On Whether There Will Be a Season 4

“At the end of the day, everyone said, ‘Well James Comey testified and said a lot of damning things for the President of the United States.’ Then this morning the President of the United States tweets that he’s totally vindicated by the testimony yesterday and you go, ‘These two things are completely opposite — only one of them can be true.'”

And yet they’re both true. Objectivity has been tossed aside and much of the news, much of the world, is interpreted solely through the eye of the beholder. In 2017, alternate facts form alternate realities, and the same can be said of “Fargo’s” 2011 world.

“I think that the most jarring impact of this last year — on storytelling in general but certainly on this season of ‘Fargo’ — is the sense that our sense of reality is fractured and that what you think is real and true can be completely opposite from what someone next to you thinks is real and true,” Hawley said.

As an example, Hawley brought up a key scene from Season 3: After a particularly jarring experience, Sy Feltz (Michael Stuhlbarg) returns home to his wife, hugs her, and says, “The world is wrong. It looks like my world but everything is different.”

Read More: ‘Fargo’ and ‘The Leftovers’ Collide as Damon Lindelof Interviews Noah Hawley, Ewan McGregor and Carrie Coon

“I think there are a lot of people who feel that way [right now],” Hawley said. “Like, ‘Wait what? I went to bed in one America and I woke up in a different America.’ And there’s something violent to that.”

Fighting back against the violence is Gloria Burgle, embodying the world’s general symbol of truth, as well as “Fargo’s”: a police officer. Gloria’s journey in Season 3 has filled her with tremendous doubt, and there are many, many scenes of a flustered, frustrated, but resolute Gloria fighting for truth in a world ready to accept a lie. Whether she was rejecting her new chief’s theory that there was a serial killer targeting people with the last name “Stussey” or resisting the transition to technology over one-on-one human interaction, Gloria is both a dying breed and a beacon of hope.

“The war Gloria is really fighting is for the truth itself, that a case can be solved, that we can look objectively back into the past and say, ‘This happened,'” Hawley said. “This idea that you would be presented with a reality that you fundamentally don’t believe in is something that I think a lot of people who live in other countries are more familiar with, but as Americans we’re really not.”

Who wins the war between facts and alternative facts will be revealed in the “Fargo” finale, but the casualties have been clear throughout the season. For now, we wait to see who else will join the list and pray, for the sake of our country, that Gloria is not among the fallen.

The “Fargo” Season 3 finale airs Wednesday, June 21 at 10 p.m. on FX. 

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- Ben Travers

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‘Twin Peaks’ Hints at Both Diane’s Traumatic Past and Audrey Horne’s Fate

19 June 2017 12:45 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “Twin Peaks” Episode 7, “Part 7.”]

On Sunday’s episode of “Twin Peaks,” Laura Dern returned to give a heartbreakingly brittle performance as Diane, whom it seems is another victim of Evil Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan) sadistic ways.

Diane’s initial reluctance and antagonism to even discuss Cooper gave a hint that something was not right between the two of them, but when she finally confronts Evil Cooper in prison, it’s clear that she is filled with outright fear and revulsion.

Read More: ‘Twin Peaks’ Review: Part 7 Leaves More Clues Than We Can Count as David Lynch Digs Into the Deep Past

When he acknowledges that the last time they met was at her house, he says, “I’ll always remember that night,” feigning fondness and civility. Apparently, voicing any sort of affection for that night is not the appropriate answer, and Diane immediately understands that something is wrong, that this is not the Cooper she once knew. “Who are you? Look at me! Look at me!” she demands before abruptly ending the interview.

Given Evil Cooper’s history, it’s an easy assumption that he most likely assaulted her in some way, probably sexually. In every scene we’ve seen her in, Diane is a deeply troubled woman, putting on an air of struggling to hold onto control, but she’s is still obviously dealing with trauma and is a raging alcoholic as well.

She breaks down completely when she tells Gordon Cole (David Lynch) that the man in prison she talked to was not Cooper, not with the basic humanity that is clearly missing. “You and I will have a talk sometime,” she promises after Cole asks about what had happened that fateful night between her and Cooper. But it’s not really necessary to know the details, and we hope the show doesn’t pursue any of the lurid details. We’d rather see Diane get some sort of closure when the real Cooper returns than to dredge up the horrific past.

Read More: ‘Twin Peaks’: When David Lynch Killed Showtime’s Marketing Campaign, Here’s How the Network Improvised

Evil Cooper has been acting suspect from the start of his escape from the Black Lodge. Sheriff Frank Truman (Robert Forster) learns from Dr. Hayward (Warren Frost) that 25 years ago he saw Evil Cooper sneaking out of intensive care, where Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) was in a coma after the explosion at the bank.

Although we had considered that Evil Cooper had once tricked Audrey into thinking he was Good Cooper and possibly had a child with her, we never considered the he may have raped her while she was comatose. We’re hoping that this is incorrect.

This is also our first clue as to Audrey’s fate — since we know that Sherilyn Fenn is on the cast list to return but we have yet to see her. It sounds like Dr. Hayward says, “She was in a coma,” and not “She is in a coma,” which would be far more convenient if she were pregnant and had to give birth (although we did reluctantly Google, “Can a woman give birth in a coma?”). While we wait to see if she did indeed have an Evil Cooper hatechild, we hope that Audrey has had a less traumatic last 25 years than Diane has.

Twin Peaks” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

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Related storiesWhy Ben Stiller Put His Comedy Career On Hold After 'Zoolander 2''Twin Peaks' Review: Part 7 Leaves More Clues Than We Can Count as David Lynch Digs Deep Into the PastTV Rewind: The 9 Shows That Defined 1990, From 'Twin Peaks' to 'Wings' »

- Hanh Nguyen

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Lol: ‘Dodgeball’ Stars Ben Stiller & Vince Vaughn Reunite for Charity

16 June 2017 5:00 AM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

It’s a little hard to believe that it’s been 13 years since Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story hit theaters. The goofy comedy had Vince Vaughn attempting to raise $50,000 to pay the mortgage for his gym, all while a blowhard gym owner played by Ben Stiller is trying to take it over in order to […]

The post Lol: ‘Dodgeball’ Stars Ben Stiller & Vince Vaughn Reunite for Charity appeared first on /Film. »

- Ethan Anderton

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Cast Of ‘Dodgeball’ Reunites For Charity Drive On Omaze

15 June 2017 4:28 PM, PDT | | See recent Tubefilter News news »

In 2004, the movie Dodgeball instructed viewers how to dodge a wrench and dodge a ball, introduced them to ESPN8 (The Ocho), and delivered “A True Underdog Story.” 13 years later (where does the time go?) the cast of that comedy has reunited to raise funding for a good cause. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and the rest of the Dodgeball principals have joined forces with Omaze for a charity drive that will deliver a boost to the Stiller Foundation.

As with other Omaze drives, backers can donate to the Dodgeball campaign in exchange for digital raffle tickets that represent chances to win incredible rewards. In this case, the grand prize is a trip to the gym, where a select group of winners will meet the Dodgeball actors and join them for a game between Average Joe’s and the formidable Globo Gym Purple Cobras. All money raised through the Omaze initiative will head to the Stiller Foundation, »

- Sam Gutelle

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Dodge, duck, dip, dive – Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn Reunite for Omaze Dodgeball fundraiser

15 June 2017 3:46 AM, PDT | | See recent HeyUGuys news »

Author: Scott Davis

Ever fancied playing a game of Dodgeball with Globo Gym and Average Joe’s Gym? Well, now you can thanks to the amazing guys over at Omaze who have reunited the cast of the hit comedy for a one-off event that could see you join them all for the toughest game in sport!

Ben Stiller (White Goodman), Vince Vaughn (Peter La Fleur), Christine Taylor (Kate Veatch), Justin Long (Justin), Missi Pyle (Fran) and more have been brought back together for the event, for which a hilarious reunion video has been produced which you can view below.

Released 13 years ago this month, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story was written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (Central Intelligence) and grossed over $167million worldwide, and was one of the top 20 highest-grossing movies of 2004 in the Us. Its legacy has continued through the years and a sequel has been long mooted »

- Scott Davis

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Today in Movie Culture: 'Dodgeball' Follow-Up for Charity, 'Cars' is the Kid's Version of 'Talladega Nights' and More

14 June 2017 11:00 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:   Charity Campaign of the Day: Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Justin Long, Christine Taylor and others reunite for a Dodgeball follow-up for a good cause in this funny video for Omaze:   Movie Comparison of the Day: Everyone knows how Cars is like a remake of Doc Hollywood, but Couch Tomato shows it's also the same movie as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby:   Franchise Recap of the Day: It's been a while since the Harry Potter movies were released and you might be hazy about what happens in them, so here's  a rapped recap of the whole series:   Cosplay of the Day: Among the movies represented...

Read More


- Christopher Campbell

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Ben Stiller and Ex-Wife Christine Taylor Share a Fiery Onscreen Reunion in Dodgeball Charity Video

14 June 2017 4:41 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor are reuniting onscreen for the first time since their surprise split earlier this year.

The friendly exes, who announced their breakup in May after 17 years of marriage, aren’t letting the separation get in the way of a good cause. Stiller and Taylor reignited some of their fiery dialogue from 2004’s Dodgeball: An Underdog Story for a new charity reunion video sponsored by Omaze.

The short video sees Stiller back in character as megalomaniac gym manager White Goodman, while Taylor reprises her role as Kate Veatch, a lawyer who is constantly fighting off Goodman’s unwanted advances. »

- Mike Miller

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Rival Teams from the Movie “Dodgeball” Reunite for Charity Video

14 June 2017 3:00 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chalk another one up for Omaze for doing a fantastic job at getting celebrities to do ridiculous (but awesome) stuff for a great cause.  In their latest video the organization rounded up the two rival teams from cult classic movie Dodgeball to compete once more.   For those that haven’t actually seen Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, it tells the story of the scrappy dodgeball team at Average Joe’s gym, led by Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn), going against Ben Stiller’s White Goodman and the formidable Purple Cobras from his Globo Gym. The film features everyone from Rip Torn to Missi

Rival Teams from the Movie “Dodgeball” Reunite for Charity Video »

- Nat Berman

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Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn Team Up For a Hilarious Dodgeball Reunion

14 June 2017 2:15 PM, PDT | POPSUGAR | See recent BuzzSugar news »

"It's on Af" when Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn reunite as their Dodgeball characters in this hilarious video. The actors are teaming up with former castmates Christine Taylor and Justin Long for a dodgeball game. Fans can enter online for the chance to join the Purple Cobras team or the Average Joe's, and funds raised from the campaign will go to charity. As White Goodman put it, "One of you lucky losers and probably your only friend can come test your dodgeball mettle against the best baller in the biz." Important question, though: can you dodge a wrench? »

- Laura Marie Meyers

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Ben Stiller & Vince Vaughn reunite to stage a Dodgeball reunion for charity

14 June 2017 1:47 PM, PDT | | See recent JoBlo news »

It's not everyday that you get the opportunity to compete with some of the greatest athletes of our age, but thanks to Omaze, some of you may very well get the chance to do just that. In celebration of the thirteenth anniversary of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Justin Long and Christine Taylor, plus a few other cast-members, are inviting you to join them on... Read More »

- Kevin Fraser

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Dodgeball is back for a charity game short film

14 June 2017 1:17 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

David Crow Jun 15, 2017

Grab life by the ball by watching a Dodgeball reunion video with Ben Stiller...

It is hard to believe that it’s been 13 years since Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story grabbed life by the ball. But now your favourite sports movie cliché characters are back, including Ben Stiller as the gloriously stupid White Goodman. And they’re doing it for a good cause!

In the new video, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Christine Taylor, Justin Long, and more return to the spandex and outspoken intensity that comes with staring each other down and evading the stray wrench. Back in shape and ready to go, Stiller’s White offers audiences the chance to play dodgeball with a real winner like his Globo Gym team. Or you can be a loser and join Average Joe, with Vaughn, Stiller, and the rest.

You can watch the video to enjoy all the comedic tête-à-tête banter. »

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Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge for Charity with the ‘Dodgeball’ Cast

14 June 2017 11:26 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

The greatest sports drama in history was told in 2004's Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. Now, the heroes of that dramatic retelling--the Purple Cobras of Globo Gym--are stepping up to a challenge by the upstarts from Average Joe's Gymnasium for an all-out, no-holds-barred, winner-donates-all-to-charity game of dodgeball. And because it's an Omaze campaign, generous donors have a chance at winning a spot on the roster! Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Justin Long and Christine Taylor star in this new campaign video announcing the event. Here's what Omaze is … »

- Dave Trumbore

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Great Job, Internet!: The rival teams from Dodgeball reunite for charity in new video

14 June 2017 10:01 AM, PDT | | See recent The AV Club news »

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story has become a sports cult film of sorts—one of the best of the Frat Pack movies—telling the story of the scrappy dodgeball team at Average Joe’s gym, led by Peter La Fleur (Vince Vaughn), going against Ben Stiller’s White Goodman and the formidable Purple Cobras from his Globo Gym. The film features everyone from Rip Torn to Missi Pyle to Stephen Root in noteworthy roles, as well as sayings like, “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball,” fitness-obsessed White’s ineffective insults, and unhinged color commentary by Jason Bateman’s Pepper Brooks—all contributing to the 2004 movie’s considerable decade-plus legacy.

Now those memorable championship teams are facing off again, this time for charity. A new video by Dodgeball auteur Rawson Marshall Thurber shows Stiller as White Goodman offering viewers the chance to play on the ...


- Gwen Ihnat

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Dodgeball Cast Reunites for Charity Game in Epic Video

14 June 2017 9:04 AM, PDT | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge! Omaze does some great things for the world and raises million of dollars a year for charity. But, in the process, they also do some great thing for fandom. For their latest campaign, they've managed to reunite the cast of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story after 13 years and, they are giving you the chance to play a game of dodgeball with them in New York City.

Ben Stiller is back as White Goodman, head of Globo Gym, in this latest Omaze campaign, which comes complete with a fantastic reunion video. It looks like White Goodman has once again found himself in peak physical shape, after losing to Average Joes at the end of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story and turning into a fat blob. "F****** Chuck Norris." Ben Still spoke a bit with Entertainment Weekly about what it was like stepping back into the role after so long. »

- MovieWeb

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Dodgeball's Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn Reunite for a Cause--and They Want You to Join Their Teams

14 June 2017 7:19 AM, PDT | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

"Hello, losers. Miss me?" After 13 years, White Goodman is back—and recruiting you. In honor of Omaze's latest charity campaign, Ben Stiller's signature Dodgeball character and the Globo Gym Purple Cobras are preparing to face off against the Average Joes, led by Peter Lafleur (Vince Vaughn).  "Sorry to interrupt your Internet life, but for the last 13 years while I 've been living a sugar-free, protein-forward lifestyle, I've watched as all of you have gotten fatter and dumber with your hashtags and your BAEs and your Kanyes," Stiller said in character. "Everyone is so PC now. Even good old-fashioned bullying is out. Well, White Goodman has decided to »

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The Cast Of ‘Dodgeball’ Reunites And You Can Play With Them!

14 June 2017 7:17 AM, PDT | ET Canada | See recent ET Canada news »

Why watch a “Dodgeball” sequel when you can be the “Dodgeball” sequel? The posse over at Omaze are launching an exciting new charity campaign that reunites characters of the fan-favourite comedy flick “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”. Related: Ben Stiller And Christine Taylor Split After 17 Years Ben Stiller, 51, reprises his role as the macho […] »

- Shakiel Mahjouri

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