You were never really here (2017)
McCleary said you were brutal.
I can be.
I want you to hurt them.
It’s not just the fact that defenseless young children are victims of unscrupulous people who use them in networks for pedophiles. The most disgusting aspect of this is that these circuits are visited by people who occupy important positions in daily life. Individuals who show a respectable and neat appearance to the outside world. But once they show up in this nauseating business, their fortune is their entrance ticket so they can abuse these innocent children. Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) is someone who wants to set things straight. Armed with a heavy hammer, he beats those perverts from their victims. But “You were never really here” is not just about the existence of children’s networks. The film also tries to paint a picture of the person Joe who is daily tormented by his own demons.
Joe isn’t a joyful person.
Every time Joe gets on screen, you just feel that heavy burden on his shoulders. He’s suicidal and exposes a murderous resentment. And this because of a youth full of violence, which is sporadically portrayed in haunting flashbacks. But also because of his war record. His scarred upper torso is probably caused by these events. And perhaps mentally there are even more profound wounds. Hence his fatalistic attitude. A “Je mon fou” posture which makes him walk into a lion’s den without hesitation. And as a result, he also carries out life-threatening or self-mutilating actions. Pulling a plastic bag over your head isn’t exactly something normal functioning people do on a regular basis. It’s clear that PTSD also has something to do with this.
It’s violent but not explicit.
Are you expecting to see explicit violence? You’ll be slightly disappointed. Violence is abundantly present but is always kept out of the picture in a strategic way. There are a modest number of bloody scenes, but predominantly the violent and repulsive images are kept out of sight. But don’t doubt it. Joe is an aggressive and insensitive (At least at that level) disposer of persons of poor moral character who’ll split the skull of these persons in two without hesitation. However, his last intervention sets an influential mechanism in motion where he himself threatens to become a victim.
For sure the acting is impressive.
Perhaps for some, it’s a tad too arty and the speed of the film a bit too slow. Yet Lynne Ramsay knows how to make a stylistic revenge film. The entire film is filled with dreamy (almost hallucinatory) fragments and perfectly framed snapshots. A child’s voice counting down softly. The sinking of a human body into the water. A close up of dripping wet hair. Joe staring into the distance. The biggest part of the film is also filmed in a dark and murky set-up. Probably as dark as the deformed and pained spirit of Joe. The interpretation by Joaquin Phoenix is breathtaking. Maybe rough around the edges, but deep inside a softy. A man without too many words, with a raw personality and with an impressive beard. As he strolls through New York, he looks like a homeless bum on his way to the soup kitchen at some community center. In reality, he’s a man with a well-defined mission.
A film that gets under your skin.
“You were never really here” certainly doesn’t belong in the list of boring uniformity that’s lately being produced in Hollywood. The film is more a character study than simply a revenge film. It’s the kind of film that gets under your skin. I was a fan of Joaquin Phoenix anyway, but because of his undeniably fantastic acting performance in this film, he rises a bit more into the leading group of actors who are unmatchable in terms of acting.
My rating 8/10
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.
‘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 Deadline. Bass 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.
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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