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'Alias Grace': How a True-Crime Drama Became the Most Relevant Show on TV

'Alias Grace': How a True-Crime Drama Became the Most Relevant Show on TV
For two decades, Sarah Polley has been desperately trying to adapt Margaret Atwood's book about a young woman who was abused, mistreated and silenced in the mid-1800s. By the time the 38-year-old actor-turned-writer/director brought the author's 1996 historical novel Alias Grace to the small screen – the six-hour miniseries began streaming on Netflix in early November – she had no idea she'd end up discussing the very same issues taking place in the 21st century. "I was imagining when I did press for [this], I would be introducing this as a conversation,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Alias Grace’ Review: Margaret Atwood’s Novel Once Again Gets Beautiful, Brutal, and Feminist Treatment in Netflix Miniseries

‘Alias Grace’ Review: Margaret Atwood’s Novel Once Again Gets Beautiful, Brutal, and Feminist Treatment in Netflix Miniseries
Brace yourself: You’re going to want to binge “Alias Grace.” The six-episode limited series — streaming now on Netflix following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and subsequent broadcasting in Canada on the CBC — is downright hypnotic, rapturous, and engrossing.

Watching evokes the sense of sinking into a great novel, which seems only fitting, given that it’s based on the 1996 book by Margaret Atwood, one of our greatest living novelists. But everything in the execution is owed to the detail-rich writing of Sarah Polley and direction of Mary Harron, who take this real-life tale of murder and give it rich depths, digging into the harm done to a human soul by a lifetime of oppression.

At the center of “Grace” is Grace Marks (played by Sarah Gadon in a star-making turn), a 19th-century Irish immigrant convicted of a notorious double murder, whose mental state comes
See full article at Indiewire Television »

‘Alias Grace’ Review: Margaret Atwood’s Novel Once Again Gets Beautiful, Brutal, and Feminist Treatment in Netflix Miniseries

  • Indiewire
‘Alias Grace’ Review: Margaret Atwood’s Novel Once Again Gets Beautiful, Brutal, and Feminist Treatment in Netflix Miniseries
Brace yourself: You’re going to want to binge “Alias Grace.” The six-episode limited series — streaming now on Netflix following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and subsequent broadcasting in Canada on the CBC — is downright hypnotic, rapturous, and engrossing.

Watching evokes the sense of sinking into a great novel, which seems only fitting, given that it’s based on the 1996 book by Margaret Atwood, one of our greatest living novelists. But everything in the execution is owed to the detail-rich writing of Sarah Polley and direction of Mary Harron, who take this real-life tale of murder and give it rich depths, digging into the harm done to a human soul by a lifetime of oppression.

At the center of “Grace” is Grace Marks (played by Sarah Gadon in a star-making turn), a 19th-century Irish immigrant convicted of a notorious double murder, whose mental state comes
See full article at Indiewire »

Sarah Gadon on How Margaret Atwood's Work Resonates in Hollywood’s Truth-Telling Climate (Exclusive)

Sarah Gadon on How Margaret Atwood's Work Resonates in Hollywood’s Truth-Telling Climate (Exclusive)
In light of the recently amplified conversation surrounding sexual harassment and sexual assault in Hollywood, Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel, Alias Grace, feels at once timely and timeless. The new six-part Netflix miniseries, set in 19th-century Canada, tussles with a lot of the same themes that are making headlines today: female agency, abortion, immigrant rights and class tensions.

Adapted by Sarah Polley for the screen, Alias Grace weaves in and out of the life of Grace Marks, an Irish immigrant and servant girl who finds herself thrust into the public spotlight as a “celebrated murderess” after her master and his mistress are brutally killed at their farm. Grace and stableman James McDermott are both convicted of the crime. But while McDermott (Kerr Logan) is hanged, Grace is sentenced to life imprisonment. A church committee sets out to prove her innocence, citing hysteria or psychological issues (Grace cannot recall committing the murders), enlisting the help of Dr. Simon Jordan (Edward Holcroft), a physician
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Quote of the Day: Sarah Polley on How Directing Made Her More Aware of Hollywood’s Sexism

Polley on the set of “Take This Waltz”: Magnolia Pictures/IMDb

Actress, writer, and director Sarah Polley is sharing her story about Harvey Weinstein. The producer propositioned Polley, the “Stories We Tell” helmer writes in an opinion piece for the New York Times. Weinstein suggested that a “very close relationship” with him would mean more acting work for her. “I indicated that he was wasting his time,” Polley recalls. “I just didn’t care that much about an acting career. I loved acting, still do, but I knew, after 14 years of working professionally, that it wasn’t worth it to me, and the reasons were not unconnected to the tone of that meeting.”

As she hints, that encounter with Weinstein was not the first time Polley came up against Hollywood’s misogyny. But she didn’t realize how much show business normalizes predatory behavior until she started directing her own projects.

“Shortly afterward, I started writing and directing short films. I had no idea, until then, how little respect I had been shown as an actor. Now there were no assistant directors trying to cajole me into sitting on their laps, no groups of men standing around to assess how I looked in a particular piece of clothing,” Polley details. “I could decide what I felt was important to say, how to film a woman, without her sexuality being a central focus without context.”

After having a positive, collaborative experience with Julie Christie on the set of her directorial debut, “Away From Her,” Polley decided to return to acting. But while she was more confident in her abilities and voice, Hollywood’s treatment of women was the same as ever. “This industry doesn’t tend to attract the most gentle and principled among us,” Polley says of the alpha male directors and producers she’s worked with. “I had two experiences in the same year in which I went into a film as an actor with an open heart and was humiliated, violated, dismissed and then, in one instance, called overly sensitive when I complained.”

“For a long time, I felt that it wasn’t worth it to me to open my heart and make myself so vulnerable in an industry that makes its disdain for women evident everywhere I turn,” Polley emphasizes. Her ambivalence about the craft is understandable: female actors endure an unbelievable amount of shitty treatment and face a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation when they consider speaking out.

Hopefully, as Polley mentions in her piece, the Weinstein case will mark a turning point. “I hope that the ways in which women are degraded, both obvious and subtle, begin to seem like a thing of the past,” she writes. Amen.

Polley received an Oscar nomination in 2008 for writing “Away From Her,” which stars Christie as a woman living with Alzheimer’s. Polley’s other directorial credits include the infidelity drama “Take This Waltz” and “Stories We Tell,” a documentary about her own family and parentage. She also penned the upcoming Netflix miniseries “Alias Grace,” an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel.

Quote of the Day: Sarah Polley on How Directing Made Her More Aware of Hollywood’s Sexism was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Sarah Polley Calls Weinstein "One Festering Pustule in a Diseased Industry"

Sarah Polley Calls Weinstein
Sarah Polley — known for directing such films Away From Her and Take This Waltz — has added her name to the growing list of women who've accused Harvey Weinstein of predatory behavior.

In an op-ed posted via The New York Times, Polley details an encounter she says she had with the mogul during a meeting. During a photo shoot, Polley, who has also appeared in films such as Dawn of the Dead and Splice, explained she was pulled out of the session abruptly. "The publicist said that we needed to be in Harvey Weinstein’s office in 20 minutes,"...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Netflix releases trailer for Margaret Atwood adaptation Alias Grace

Netflix has debuted a new trailer for the upcoming adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel Alias Grace. The historical drama series features a cast that includes Sarah Gadon, Kerr Logan, Paul Gross, Anna Paquin, Edward Holcroft, Rebecca Liddiard, Kerr Logan, Zachary Levi, and David Cronenberg; take a look below…

Based on the award-winning novel by Margaret Atwood and inspired by true events, Alias Grace is written and produced by Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz, Away from Her) and directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol). The six-hour miniseries tells the story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a young, poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who – along with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan) – finds herself accused and convicted of the infamous 1843 murders of her employer, wealthy farmer Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross), and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin).

Alias Grace is set to premiere
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

31 underrated movies well worth a look

Simon Brew Aug 18, 2017

Looking for a film to watch, that you might not have considered before? Try some of these...

Sometimes, we figure, you come to a site like this just to find out about a film you didn’t know about. That you want recommendations of movies that you might not otherwise have uncovered. This list, then, has no theme, save that the films on it are really good, and didn’t get much of an audience first time around. That, or they seem to have been forgotten. It’s a real mix, but hopefully, there’s something on here that appeals..

The Brady Bunch Movie

The Brady Bunch films never really seemed to do much business in the UK, and that’s a real pity. No foreknowledge of the series is required, and the first movie takes the Brady film and transplants them into 1990s America, with no
See full article at Den of Geek »

Beef up for Canada's 150th birthday with these movies set north of the border!

  • Cineplex
Beef up for Canada's 150th birthday with these movies set north of the border!Beef up for Canada's 150th birthday with these movies set north of the border!Zachary Dent6/30/2017 10:01:00 Am

Canada Day only comes once a year and what better way to appreciate this northern paradise than with a movie that takes place within our borders. After all the eating, drinking, barbecuing, and partying, it's nice to kick back, relax, and take in a Canadian classic. We've got a list of some pretty great ones! So take a gander below and check out a few movies that take place close to home.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Based on Canadian Bryan Lee O'Malley's popular graphic novel series, director Edgar Wright condensed a seven-part saga into one epic, Toronto-set film. From notable places like Casa Loma, concert venues like Lee's Palace, and famous intersections like Bloor and
See full article at Cineplex »

First trailer and images for Margaret Atwood adaptation Alias Grace

Following the recent adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, another of the author’s novels Alias Grace is heading to the small screen with a six-part miniseries, and we’ve got a batch of first look images for the upcoming historical drama along with a trailer. Directed by Mary Harron and produced by Sarah Polley, the series stars Sarah Gadon, Kerr Logan, Paul Gross, Anna Paquin, Edward Holcroft, Rebecca Liddiard, Kerr Logan, Zachary Levi, and David Cronenberg; take a look below…

Based on the award-winning novel by Margaret Atwood and inspired by true events, Alias Grace is written and produced by Sarah Polley (Take This Waltz, Away from Her) and directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho, I Shot Andy Warhol). The six-hour miniseries tells the story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a young, poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who – along with stable hand
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

‘Alias Grace’ First Look: Sarah Polley Brings Another Powerful Margaret Atwood Story to the Small Screen

  • Indiewire
‘Alias Grace’ First Look: Sarah Polley Brings Another Powerful Margaret Atwood Story to the Small Screen
Margaret Atwood fans are getting another adaptation of the legendary author’s novels this year, and if you thought “The Handmaid’s Tale” was super-Canadian, “Alias Grace” will blow you away.

Read More: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Cast Reveals What It Feels Like to Destroy America and Become Gilead’s Power Couple (Spoilers)

Written and produced by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron, “Alias Grace,” according to the official Netflix synopsis, “tells the story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a young, poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who — along with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan) — finds herself accused and convicted of the infamous 1843 murders of her employer, wealthy farmer Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross), and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin).”

Polley’s transition from in front of the camera to behind it has given us lovely works like “Take This Waltz,” and Harron was of
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Alias Grace’ First Look: Sarah Polley Brings Another Powerful Margaret Atwood Story to the Small Screen

‘Alias Grace’ First Look: Sarah Polley Brings Another Powerful Margaret Atwood Story to the Small Screen
Margaret Atwood fans are getting another adaptation of the legendary author’s novels this year, and if you thought “The Handmaid’s Tale” was super-Canadian, “Alias Grace” will blow you away.

Read More: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Cast Reveals What It Feels Like to Destroy America and Become Gilead’s Power Couple (Spoilers)

Written and produced by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron, “Alias Grace,” according to the official Netflix synopsis, “tells the story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a young, poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who — along with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan) — finds herself accused and convicted of the infamous 1843 murders of her employer, wealthy farmer Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross), and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin).”

Polley’s transition from in front of the camera to behind it has given us lovely works like “Take This Waltz,” and Harron was of
See full article at Indiewire Television »

First Look: Netflix’s Margaret Atwood Adaptation ‘Alias Grace,’ Written By Sarah Polley & Directed By Mary Harron

  • The Playlist
This spring, Hulu‘s stunning adaptation of Margaret Atwood‘s “The Handmaid’s Tale” has become one of the major television talking points among critics and audiences, and the good news for both is that another one of the author’s works is coming to the small screen, and it also looks like it’ll pack a wallop.

Penned by Sarah Polley (“Away From Her,” “Take This Waltz“) and directed by Mary Harron (“American Psycho“), Netflix‘s “Alias Grace” is inspired by the true story of Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), a young, poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who — along with stable hand James McDermott (Kerr Logan) — finds herself accused and convicted of the infamous 1843 murders of her employer, wealthy farmer Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross), and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin).

Continue reading First Look: Netflix’s Margaret Atwood Adaptation ‘Alias Grace,’ Written By Sarah Polley
See full article at The Playlist »

Toronto: The Cinematic City

The most populous city in Canada has appeared on-screen in many different ways over the years.Enemy (2013)

There are many ways in which cities are portrayed in cinema. Sometimes cities are anonymous and nameless, and sometimes cities become characters in the films they are portrayed in. Cities can be merely incidental settings, or the specific locations within a city can be incredibly important both narratively and visually. The people within a city tend to represent the place itself: how they act, how they dress, where they work, how they speak, and what they eat. All of these things can be related to the place they live. Cities are home to an infinite multitude of experiences — people from different places, with different families, different wants and desires and identities.

There are cities that are frequently remembered as being iconic within the world of cinema. Paris, Rome, New York, Venice, Chicago, and London have all received loving portraits in
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Sarah Polley To Direct ‘The Best Kind Of People’

  • The Playlist
Sarah Polley has hit an enviable creative groove. After the director caught everyone’s attention with 2006’s “Away From Her,” she pivoted to the messy but emotionally affecting “Take This Waltz,” and then delivered the terrific, genre-pushing documentary “Stories We Tell.” She’s currently at work on delivering her TV series adaptation of Margaret Atwood‘s “Alias Grace” for Netflix, and now has a new feature cooking which sounds right in her wheelhouse.

Continue reading Sarah Polley To Direct ‘The Best Kind Of People’ at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Sarah Silverman to Host Political Comedy Talk Show for Hulu

Sarah Silverman in “The Good Wife”: Jeffrey Neira/ CBS

Sarah Silverman is branching out into political commentary. The stand-up comedian and actress will host a weekly half-hour talk show — in the vein of “Full Frontal” or “Last Week Tonight”— from Funny Or Die, tentatively called “I Love You, America.” Deadline reports that there was quite a bidding war over the series, featuring “production offers from both ad-supported and pay services.” Hulu eventually nabbed the project, giving it a 10-episode straight-to-series order.

In addition to headlining the show, Silverman will exec produce with Amy Zvi and Funny Or Die’s Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.

“From inciting treason to telling poop jokes, Sarah Silverman often has been a lightning rod for heated online debate,” the source summarizes. “While she has been open about her political convictions and, like many of her colleagues, has spoken out against President Donald Trump and his policies, the new program is designed to be balanced, with her looking to connect with people who may not agree with her personal opinions through honesty, humor, genuine interest in others, and not taking herself too seriously.”

No word on when exactly we can expect “I Love You, America,” but given the current political climate, we’re betting Funny Or Die and Hulu will want to debut it sooner rather than later. (Let’s all pause for a moment and imagine the comedy gold Silverman could’ve mined from the Trumpcare shitshow.)

For now, however, you can catch Silverman in a bunch of other projects. Her next stand-up special — also produced by Zvi — will be released on Netflix May 30. She will also portray World Tennis magazine founder Gladys Heldman in Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s “Battle of the Sexes.” The comedy based on the historical tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) hits theaters September 22.

Silverman’s last comedy special, HBO’s “Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles,” earned her an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special. She received a 2016 SAG nomination for her dramatic turn in “I Smile Back,” a portrait of a woman struggling with mental health issues, addiction, and motherhood.

Silverman’s other credits include “The Sarah Silverman Program,” Sarah Polley’s “Take This Waltz,” “Masters of Sex,” “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” and “Bob’s Burgers.”

Sarah Silverman to Host Political Comedy Talk Show for Hulu was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Michelle Williams' Oscar Moment might be in Manchester

by Murtada

Williams this week at Nyff

There was a time - say early 2012 - when Michelle Williams could do no wrong with Oscar. Basking in her third overall nomination for My Week with Marilyn (2011), the second in as many years as she was nominated the year before for Blue Valentine (2010), she had the heat, she had the momentum. She also had the critical and cinephile love with acclaimed performances behind her in Take this Waltz (2011), Meek’s Cutoff (2010) and Wendy and Lucy (2008).

The win was definitely coming and soon. How times change.
See full article at FilmExperience »

David Cronenberg Joins Cast of Sarah Polley’s ‘Alias Grace’ Series

David Cronenberg Joins Cast of Sarah Polley’s ‘Alias Grace’ Series
It was announced earlier this year that writer, director and actress Sarah Polley (“Stories We Tell,” “Take This Waltz”) would be adapting and producing the beloved Margaret Atwood novel “Alias Grace” as a six part mini-series for Netflix, starring Sarah Gadon, Anna Paquin, Paul Gross, and now, David Cronenberg.

Read More: ‘Alias Grace’: Sarah Polley Helming Margaret Atwood Miniseries for Netflix

Alias Grace” is based on the real-life 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Canada, and the controversial convictions of two household servants, Grace Marks and James McDermott. It is told from the point of view of a fictional narrator, Dr. Simon Jordan, who is researching the case. While McDermott was faced with the death sentence, Grace Marks was sentenced to life in prison, despite her undetermined involvement in the crime. She was absolved of the crime 30 years later.

Read More: David Cronenberg: Why
See full article at Indiewire Television »

David Cronenberg Joins Cast of Sarah Polley’s ‘Alias Grace’ Series

  • Indiewire
David Cronenberg Joins Cast of Sarah Polley’s ‘Alias Grace’ Series
It was announced earlier this year that writer, director and actress Sarah Polley (“Stories We Tell,” “Take This Waltz”) would be adapting and producing the beloved Margaret Atwood novel “Alias Grace” as a six part mini-series for Netflix, starring Sarah Gadon, Anna Paquin, Paul Gross, and now, David Cronenberg.

Read More: ‘Alias Grace’: Sarah Polley Helming Margaret Atwood Miniseries for Netflix

Alias Grace” is based on the real-life 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Canada, and the controversial convictions of two household servants, Grace Marks and James McDermott. It is told from the point of view of a fictional narrator, Dr. Simon Jordan, who is researching the case. While McDermott was faced with the death sentence, Grace Marks was sentenced to life in prison, despite her undetermined involvement in the crime. She was absolved of the crime 30 years later.

Read More: David Cronenberg: Why
See full article at Indiewire »

"Take This Waltz" Then Move On?: Breakups in the Age of Selfish

  • MUBI
Illustration by Leah BravoFive years ago, a film came and went with little fanfare, except a spattering of positive reviews, making around $4 million worldwide on a budget of about $10 million: Take This Waltz. More people know it as a Leonard Cohen song, from which its title comes. More people know Leonard Cohen than the director Sarah Polley, but as of this cultural moment, more people might know the star, Michelle Williams, than Leonard Cohen, due to her other movies and a popular TV show. These jejune concerns amplify less than we know and more than we'll admit. Name recognition: these go into the common denominators decision people look for when they decide to fund a film, a book, a play. How will it sell? How will it fit? What can it capitalize on? How can we make something that will not make people think too much or depress them? We
See full article at MUBI »
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