WONKA – Review by Susan Kamyab

Wonka tells the colorful tale of how the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolate-maker became the beloved Willy Wonka we know today. In the film a young and poor Willy dreams of opening a shop in a city renowned for its chocolate, but soon discovers that the industry is run by a cartel of greedy chocolatiers. The film features an all-star cast including Timothee Chalamet, Olivia Coleman, Hugh Grant, and Keegan-Michael Key.

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WONKA – Review by Cortland Jacoby

The moment I knew Warner Bros.’ Wonka was in good hands was during the rousing opening number. As Timothée Chalamet sings of all the chocolate and opportunity he will create when he settles in this new city, there is a moment where the music slows down. Donned in Wonka’s iconic top hat, he starts walking down the stairs before taking two quick steps back up. It’s an early nod to the beloved and brilliant Gene Wilder performance of the original. Wonka is full of these small little references meant to reassure you as you venture further into this new story.

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WONKA – Review by T.J. Callahan

If you can’t wait until Christmas to open your gifts, Wonka is a big box of sweet dreams. It’s the origin story of the creative confectioner who was concocted from the mind of iconic children’s author, Roald Dahl and now brought back to life by writer/director Paul King (Paddington). The ever-charming Timothee Chalamet dons the magical top hat to tell the tale of how a poor young man with a love of chocolate and a dream became the beloved candyman, Willy Wonka. He sings. He dances. And he does it well. He’s the Mary Poppins of cocoa beans.

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Casting Director Nina Gold on Intuition and Happy Accidents – Emma Badame interviews

British Casting Director Nina Gold, a veteran of more than three decades in the industry, began her impressive career casting extras in rock music videos and before long found herself working alongside her countryman, auteur Mike Leigh. From there she’s gone on to collaborate with award-winning filmmakers like Jane Campion (Bright Star and The Power of the Dog), Steven Spielberg (The BFG), and Sam Mendes (1917 and Empire of Light). Her full filmography reads like a “best of”, with the casts of audience and critical favourites like Bad Sisters, Game of Thrones and Chernobyl down to her. Her most recent project, Firebrand, just premiered in competition at Cannes 2023.

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THE LOST KING – Review by Liz Braun

Stephen Frears’ The Lost King is a tale of obsession and pursuit. It’s about one woman’s relentless quest to find the remains of a monarch dead and missing for 500 years, but there’s no whiff of dusty archives about it. Sally Hawkins, extraordinary as always, stars as the tenacious Phillipa Langley. who undertakes research based on her reading about Richard III, who got a bad rap (Shakespeare didn’t help) that has long been disputed. The movie includes much talk about how lies eventually begin to look like the truth, so it’s not as if The Lost King is removed from current political discourse.

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THE LOST KING (TIFF 2022) – Review by Cate Marquis

Stephen Frears’ true story-inspired comedy-drama The Lost King is a charmer with a thoughtful underdog theme, starring the wonderful Sally Hawkins as an amateur historian who locates the long-lost grave of King Richard III, the last Plantagenet king. The grave’s location had eluded professionals for centuries. The discovery made headlines around the world, but even better, was that the person who pulled off this discovery, Philippa Langley (Sally Hawkins), was an ordinary middle-aged woman who turned amateur historian – or maybe history detective is more apt – after seeing a production of Shakespeare’s play.

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PHANTOM OF THE OPEN – Review by Martha K Baker

Two words: Mark Rylance. Two more words: Sally Hawkins. They co-star in The Phantom of the Open, based on the real life story of the Maurice Flitcroft, a golf legend for getting the British Open’s lowest score ever. In lesser hands the film would have been a wisp of tissue paper, but with Rylance and Hawkins, the film utterly delights as it tells of a sweetly silly moment in sports.

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SPENCER – Review by Diane Carson

As Princess Diana, Kristen Stewart gives a magnetic performance. Most impressive was her ability to capture Diana’s nonverbal subtleties and her verbal rhythms, to communicate her entrapment and then the release of dancing spontaneously, exuberantly. Stewart was asked to dance at the conclusion of many production days, and the editing together of this extemporaneous, free expression conveys what Diana has been suppressing.

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ETERNAL BEAUTY – Review by Sarah Ward

Sally Hawkins is one of the finest and most compelling talents currently gracing our screens. And, as demonstrated in Maudie and now Eternal Beauty as well, she’s one of the most quietly, touchingly expressive performers that audiences presently have the pleasure of watching — especially when it comes to characters who aren’t being afforded a voice, a path or their own sense of agency by the world around them.

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