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Please stand by (2017)



Please stand byA young autistic woman runs away from her caregiver in an attempt to submit her manuscript to a “Star Trek” writing competition.

Genre : Drama
Country : USA

Cast :
Dakota Fanning : Wendy
Toni Collette : Scottie
Alice Eve : Audrey

Director :
Ben Lewin

My opinion on “Please stand by”

“Like Spock, for example.
He’s half-human, half-alien.
He has trouble dealing with his emotions.
Where did it say that?
That’s just how he is.”

Although “Stand by me” is a fairly predictable film and unrestrainedly endeavors to strike a sensitive nerve, I’m all for such a type of film. The number of films about individuals with a disability, who try to survive in our society where perfection is the standard nowadays, and who succeed in making great achievements, is endless. “I am Sam“, “Forrest Gump“, “Rain Man“, “The theory of everything“, “Still Alice“, “X + Y” and “Who’s driving doug“, to name but a few. These are all films where one feels sorry for the main character first. And after a while you realize that these persons surpass all expectations and amaze themselves about their own abilities. Just like Wendy (Dakota Fanning), who suffers from a severe form of autism so that communicating with her environment is a huge obstacle and her daily life is determined by a strict schedule. Handing in a self-written script for a “Star Trek” episode, however, ensures that this well-ordered and well-defined life is shaken up.

Great acting by Dakota Fanning.

All due respect to Dakota Fanning. The way she played this complex character deserves all praise. She distanced herself from all the possibilities available to portray Wendy with all possible tics and ridiculous rituals. Also the phenomenon of autism was not unnecessarily enlarged by her. Apart from the compulsive writing down of all kinds of facts in her notebook and the pattern of colorful sweaters she’s wearing on specific days, she seems to function reasonably normal. Not as Freddie Higmore who plays a similar character in “The Good Doctor” with a forced intonation making him sound  like a voice computer with incorrectly installed software from Lernout & Hauspie. And yes, I know the spectrum of autism is fairly broad. But I appreciated the modesty with which Dakota Fanning played the person Wendy.

Beam me up, Scottie.

Also ToniMiss you alreadyCollette played a not so bad part as Scottie who leads the home where Wendy lives. A patient and passionate person who guides each individual in this center and tries to point these individuals the right way towards a bearable personal life. It wasn’t immediately clear to me whether Scottie was her real name or a kind of joke because of Wendy’s passion for the television series “Star Trek“. Frankly, I felt that all other characters fulfilled their job in an orderly manner. The fact they came across as plain add-ons is entirely due to the beautiful acting of Dakota Fanning of course. The entire film shows how Wendy’s trust grows and she shifts her own boundaries (even if it’s just crossing a specific street).

An adventurous quest.

Please stand by” is not primarily about how autists handle themselves and how confusing their view on life is. The subject isn’t really thoroughly explored or explained in this area. I can’t even remember the word autism being pronounced once. Only a brief remark by a devout, old female about her grandson who displays an identical behavior. It’s actually a kind of adventurous quest with the ultimate goal of delivering the filmscript. And so Wendy needs to follow a path, completely normal for average people, where she meets a lot of people with bad intentions. And each time she’s saved by caring persons. Almost something like Frodo and that damn ring he had to throw in Mount Doom. Also a risky quest full of obstacles and devious creatures. But then without the autism phenomenon.

Someone get that script !

Finally, a big applaus for the dog Pete who accompanies Wendy the whole way. They looked like Dorothy and Toto heading for the Wizard of Oz. Fortunately, the duo wasn’t as annoying as Reese Witherspoon and her little pooch in a pink outfit in “Legally Blonde“. And the most surprising moment was when a policeman talked to Wendy in a very remarkable way. But you have to discover that yourself when you watch this engaging and charming film.

P.S. If the script “The many and the few” really exists, I hope it’ll become a real film. The fragments of text that were read, sounded intriguing!

My rating 7/10
Links : IMDB

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Jharrel Jerome and Jennifer Lopez to Headline ‘Unstoppable’ for Ben Affleck & Matt Damon’s Production Company



Hot off the great reviews for the upcoming Air Jordan flick, Air, it seems that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are already set for their next project, one that will star someone near and dear to the heart of the latter. News comes in from Deadline, that Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers, Out of Sight) will star in the upcoming wrestling drama Unstoppable which comes from the new Artists Equity banner from Affleck and Damon, as well as Amazon. Additionally, in a separate report, we know that Emmy-winning actor Jharrel Jerome (When They See Us, Moonlight) will star as the lead of the film, playing the son of JLo’s character.

Unstoppable will star Jerome as three-time All-American wrestler Anthony Robles, an athlete born with one leg who persevered through his inspiring story to win a National Championship at Arizona State University. Lopez is set to play his supportive mother, Judy Robles. Robles, himself, is expected to be heavily involved in the production process of the film, which again, is set to stream on Amazon and produced by Amazon Studios. The latter news makes a lot of sense, following the early success of Air and the partnership forged between Amazon and Artists Equity on that particular project. Production on Unstoppable is expected to start sometime this Summer.

Lopez appeared on screen in two romance films last year with Amazon’s Shotgun Wedding and Marry Me which got a same day release in theaters and on Peacock. She’ll next appear in The Mother on Netflix which is directed by Mulan director Niki Caro. 

Jerome is best known for his Emmy-winning role as Korey Wise in the limited Netflix series When They See Us based on the Central Park Five which was directed by Ava DuVernay. He’ll soon be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s HBO Max series Full Circle before leading Amazon’s I’m a Virgo from Sorry to Bother You filmmaker Boots Riley.

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‘1883’ Spinoff Series ‘Bass Reeves’ Adds Dennis Quaid to Cast



Dennis Quaid (Far from Heaven, The Day After Tomorrow) is the latest star to join the cast of Bass Reeves, a new drama series coming from Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone, Tulsa King) and Paramount+, according to DeadlineBass Reeves was announced as a spinoff to the Yellowstone prequel, 1883 back in May 2022 with David Oyelowo (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time) attached to star as the legendary lawman.

Bass Reeves will follow Oyelowo as someone who is known to many as “the greatest frontier hero” in American history in his own series on Paramount+. The streamer already houses so many Sheridan-fronted programs, most recently, Mayor of Kingstown starring Jeremy Renner returned for its second season while CIA drama, Lioness added to its cast with Nicole Kidman and Morgan Freeman. Some believe that Reeves served inspiration to “The Lone Ranger” having worked as a peace officer for Indian territory capturing over 3,000 criminals on that land. Quaid will play Sherrill Lynn, a Deputy U.S. Marshall within the show.

Quaid most recently voiced the character Jaeger Clade in Disney’s animated feature Strange World which is currently available to stream on Disney+. He’ll also star in Steven Soderbergh’s upcoming HBO Max series Full Circle alongside Zazie Beetz, Claire Danes and Emmy-winner Jharrel Jerome. 

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Amy Winehouse Biopic ‘Back to Black’ Adds to Cast with Jack O’Connell, Eddie Marsan and Lesley Manville



Let the casting of music biopics commence! As we’ve been hammered with news of superstar musician biopics each and every week, we have more news of one that is filming currently with Back to Black about the late, great Amy Winehouse. While it was reported back in January that Industry star, Marisa Abela will be leading as Winehouse, we now have details courtesy of Deadline on who will be joining the British pop star’s life story on screen. 

The report indicates that Jack O’Connell (Unbroken, ’71), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, Another Year) and Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, The World’s End) will all appear alongside Abela in Back to Black. O’Connell is set to play Blake Fielder-Civil, the love of Winehouse’s life who she was married to from 2007 until 2009, just a few years prior to her death as their love was unfortunately addled by prescription drug abuse and alcohol as well as multiple stints in rehab for both of them. Marsan will play Winehouse’s father while Manville will play Winehouse’s maternal grandmother in the film.

Back to Black will follow the life of one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all-time in Amy Winehouse. Her sophomore album (which the film is named after) won her 5 Grammy Awards all at the young age of 25 just before her untimely death in 2011 at age 27. The film will focus on Amy’s creativity, genius and upbringing at Camden High School in the UK before she propelled into stardom.

The film will be written by Matt Greenhalgh and directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson reuniting the two of them after their 2009 film Nowhere Boy, which chronicled John Lennon’s formative years and adolescence. Taylor-Johnson is coming off directing episodes of Hunters and Solos for Amazon but is best known for helming Fifty Shades of Grey

O’Connell had a big 2022 starring in Netflix’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover and MGM+’s new original series, SAS Rogue Heroes. He’ll next star as professional race car driver Peter Collins in Ferrari. Manville most recently starred as Princess Margaret in the recent season of The Crown for Netflix and in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. Marsan is best known for playing Ray Donovan‘s brother, Terry in the hit Showtime series but will next appear in the film, Fair Play with Alden Ehrenreich and Phoebe Dynevor.

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