Marielle Heller's "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" is a favourite among the ITOL team, I mean it landed at number 6 on our Top 50 Films of the Decade list for no reason. And, while Heller made her debut with "The Diary of a Teenage Girl", it is "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" where we see Heller shine as well as prove her capability as a director. It's also worth mentioning that Heller latest film "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" is proof that she's not just a one-hit-wonder. It's clear that this is a filmmaker that is here to stay. Despite garnering positive views and also picking up Oscar nominations for Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant and best-adapted screenplay for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Heller was completely ignored by the Academy for Best Director.
It’s almost a cliché to write a thinkpiece about the lack of diversity in the latest set of Oscar nominations. Every year, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences congratulates the best films that English-speaking cis-het white men produced in the preceding year, and also some of the bad ones too. Oh, and they’ll also throw in a meagre handful of films made by women, people of color, etc. The slate of nominees for the upcoming 2020 Academy Awards is exceptionally representative of this feet-dragging approach to representation and inclusivity.
To celebrate the last decade 2010-2019 we are counting down the best actresses and discussing some of their most notable and memorable performances of the last decade. With the help of Film Twitter, the ITOL team have selected 30 actresses. Entry No. 24 is Melissa McCarthy, and guest writer Billie Melissa discusses McCarthy's career over the last decade
Heller’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood” encapsulates everything which made Fred Rogers such an inspiration to children over the years, and the film carries its message of goodness and love so sincerely that even in this increasingly cynical world.
With awards season in full swing and director Marielle Heller’s newest film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” being a big name in all the awards buzz, it’s the perfect time to look back to last year when she brought the story of author Lee Israel to life with “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”. There wasn’t a film that I backed as hard last year to win any and every award possible as much as this film because I truly think it’s perfect. It tells the fascinating and true story of Israel (Melissa McCarthy) falling out of touch with the modern world of literature and turning her talent for being factual into a forgery.
Mr. Rogers. A figure who defined the childhoods of many individuals. He was the subject of 2018’s documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Now, with “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (2019), Mr. Rogers is once again teaching us the importance of having faith in each other. The film does not follow Mr. Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) solely. It explores the world of make believe and Mr. Rogers through the eyes of journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys). Lloyd works for Esquire and is assigned to cover Mr. Rogers for the magazine’s issue on heroes. Lloyd is skeptical of the wonderous man with his puppets. As an audience, we learn to understand what makes Lloyd so skeptical. He is a new father and the fears he already has about being a new father are compounded by the re-emergence of his estranged father (Chris Cooper).
Last year, audiences were asked a simple question from a documentary about an iconic symbol of goodness – Won't you be my neighbor? Ah, yes, I’m talking about the heartfelt documentary about Fred Rogers from director Morgan Neville that won the hearts of critics and audiences, but oddly didn’t enough love to earn, or even be nominated for, many major awards. It was actually one of the most talked about and head scratching snubs of last year, however, it seems like Mr. Rogers will find another chance for award recognition this year as director Marielle Heller crafts a heart-warming and heartfelt film that displays the raw power of good that comes from the iconic figure with “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”.
This upcoming Wednesday, (2nd October), is when this year's LFF (London Film Festival) will be starting. Yours truly will be attending for a few days and doing her best to cram as many films as possible. This year's festival is quite remarkable in the fact that 60% of films which have been selected for the competition have been directed or co-directed by a female. This is a great achievement for female representation in the industry, especially when we recall how this year's Venice Film Festival only two films in competition were from a female filmmaker.