The Vanishing: The Acting Is Phenomenally Beautiful
Okay, as far as I can see it, this…
this is payback!
For having to live the rest of my life with his face etched into my brain.
Every now and then I come across a completely unknown film I don’t really expect much from, despite the presence of a well-known sounding name, but which nevertheless pleasantly surprises me. “The Vanishing” is a thriller pur sang. A fictional story about a true event, namely the disappearance of three lighthouse keepers in 1900 who stayed on one of the Flannan islands on the west coast of Scotland. The three men James Ducat (Gerard Butler), Thomas Marshall (Peter Mullan), and Donald MacArthur (Connor Swindells) have never been found. Nobody had a real explanation and soon several speculations circulated. From a giant sea snake to giant seagulls. Or maybe they went up in smoke to start a new life. Kidnapping by spies was also an option. Even an alien kidnapping. This film aims to give a more plausible explanation. But it nevertheless remains an unproven and therefore fictional story.
Not exciting until the event.
Don’t expect any supernatural apparition. First of all, “The Vanishing” is a realistic look at the life of a lighthouse keeper at the beginning of the 20th century. The rugged sailor life in which these seasoned sea dogs brave the briny deep unflinchingly as they make their way to that boulder in the middle of the ocean. Something rookie Donald clearly isn’t used to, so he experiences the trip while hanging over the railing. Largest part of the film you see how these men dutifully perform their tasks on the island. Not that there’s really a lot to do. The main task is to ensure that the beacon of the lighthouse is working properly and that the glass surrounding it looks optima forma. They spend the rest of their time singing, cooking, sleeping, and strolling around the island. Not really madly exciting.
A shipwreck with a wooden box.
Until newcomer Donald finds a splintered boat, a lifeless drowned man, and a locked wooden box between the rocks. And when the content of the mysterious box is being revealed, the time has come for tensions to rise. From that moment on, mistrust and greed play a major role. There is such an ominous mood in the air. You get the feeling that every moment the situation will explode and one of the three keepers will erupt into violent anger. But ultimately the three don’t pose a threat to each other, but third parties play a greater role. I won’t reveal too much, but expect a serious escalation of the situation at some point.
Admiration for Gerard Butler’s acting.
“The Vanishing” was a relief after seeing so many mediocre and forgettable nonsensical feature films. Not only the footage turns this film into a gem. The acting is also phenomenally beautiful. Not only the oppressive, claustrophobic atmosphere is impressive. There are also some melodramatic moments in which hidden distress comes to the surface, resulting in conversations full of meaningful silences and heavy words. You’ll also witness some lurid scenes such as the cleaning up of dead gulls after a heavy storm (“You may have to break the wings to get ’em in.”). But for me, Gerard Butler was a real eye-opener. He usually appears in one of those a dime a dozen action films (with the exception of a single film like “A family man”). But here he also shows that he knows how to act. Never thought a movie about lighthouse keepers would be worth watching. Well, apparently it is. And that’s also a reason to finally check out “The Lighthouse”! Lights out, lighthouse spotlight on.
My rating 7/10
Ruth Negga Set to Co-Star with Jake Gyllenhaal in AppleTV+ Series, ‘Presumed Innocent’
After the holiday season, we finally have some news to report in the world of film and television! According to an exclusive from Deadline, Oscar-nominated actress Ruth Negga (Loving, Passing) is set to co-star in the AppleTV+ series, Presumed Innocent along with Jake Gyllenhaal.
Negga will join the ranks of many other stars recently attaching themselves to Apple streaming series including Brie Larson, Meryl Streep, Edward Norton and Harrison Ford. Interestingly enough, Presumed Innocent is a television adaptation of the 1990 film starring the latter Ford, whose part will be played by Gyllenhaal in the series for the streamer. The series follows a horrifying murder that takes place in Chicago when the Chicago’s Prosecutor’s Office gets turned upside down when one of its own becomes the prime suspect. Negga will play Barbara Sabich, an artist, gallerist, mother and wife who is married to Gyllenhaal’s character. The role of Barbara was played by Bonnie Bedelia in the original movie.
The series, which has been a hot package since Gyllenhaal has been in discussions to star, is also set to have creative forces such as David E. Kelley and J.J. Abrams behind it. Kelley will act as showrunner, writer and executive producer for the show while Abrams will also act as an executive producer. Anne Sewitsky (A Very British Scandal, Black Mirror) will direct the first two episodes.
Negga most recently earned a Tony nomination for her role in Macbeth on Broadway alongside Daniel Craig. She also has an Oscar-nomination for her starring role in Loving. Negga last starred in Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut, Passing, in 2021 and will also star in Dan Levy’s directorial debut, Good Grief which is currently filming.
Matt Damon and Casey Affleck to Reunite for Heist Film, ‘The Instigators’ at Apple
After previously collaborating in the Ocean’s trilogy and Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon (The Martian, The Departed) and Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea, Gone Baby Gone) are set to lead another heist film for Apple titled The Instigators. According to an exclusive from Deadline, the two actors will star in the film as two thieves who must go on the run with one of their therapists after a bank robbery gone wrong. It truly sounds like a mixture of the heist elements of the Ocean’s films with some therapeutic elements reminiscent of Good Will Hunting along the way whilst on the run.
While there are no casting details on who will be the therapist this time around, we can confirm that Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity) will direct the film. The package was highly coveted by multiple streamers with Apple putting up the cash to make the deal happen and bring in even more star power to their Apple Original Films banner. It’s a good relationship to get started as Damon and Casey’s big brother, Ben Affleck recently announced their new production banner, Artists Equity with The Instigators being announced as one of their first projects in development. Chuck MacLean, who created the recently cancelled Boston-set cop drama, City on a Hill, will write the script.
Damon has always been very active in the film industry, but his upcoming slate is one that would excite almost any movie fan. First, Damon will appear in the Christopher Nolan atomic bomber biopic, Oppenheimer, where Peaky Blinders star, Cillian Murphy plays the titular J. Robert Oppenheimer. Damon is just one of the stars of the remarkable ensemble that has been assembled by Nolan which also includes Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, Gary Oldman, Casey Affleck and Rami Malek, just to name a few. Additionally, the first project announced for the Artists Equity production company, is Air Jordan, a film in which Ben Affleck and Damon play the shoe salesmen who helped lure Michael Jordan to Nike. The latter will be the first feature directed by Affleck since his gangster flick, Live by Night back in 2016.
On the other hand, Casey Affleck, who won the Academy Award for Lead Actor for his performance in Manchester by the Sea has mostly floated under the radar since then. The younger Affleck does have a two-hander music biopic, Dreamin’ Wild in the can co-starring with Zooey Deschanel that is awaiting wide release. He’s also set to lead the next Joe Wright film, Stoner and star alongside Laurence Fishburne in the sci-fi film, Slingshot.
Taron Egerton to Re-Team with ‘Black Bird’ Collaborators for AppleTV+ Series, ‘Firebug’ based on Famous Arsonist
Big day for news at Apple as it appears that Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Rocketman) will re-team with his Black Bird team returning to AppleTV+ for a new crime series, Firebug according to an exclusive from Deadline.
Firebug will bring Egerton back into the fold as Dennis Lehane (Black Bird, The Outsider) will reunite to create this series in which the actor will star as John Leonard Orr. Orr was an infamous investigator of arson and former firefighter, and the series will see Egerton following two serial arsonists trying to take down the fiery culprits. Lehane has written many novels based on some of the more famous and well-renowned drama features of modern times such as Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island. Egerton will be joined by another detective who has yet to be cast in the chase for the two arsonists committing the crimes.
Black Bird just garnered two Critics Choice Awards nominations for Paul Walter Hauser and the late Ray Liotta, who portrayed Egerton’s father in the series. Within the series also based on true events, Egerton plays Jimmy Keene who goes to jail for drug possession before cutting a deal with the FBI to befriend a suspected serial killer (played by Hauser). Additionally, Egerton will also star in the upcoming feature film, Tetris: The Movie for Apple and appear in the Netflix film, Carry On alongside Jason Bateman in 2023.
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