Nine Perfect Strangers Episodes 1-3 Review
Could ten days at a wellness retreat really change you forever? These nine perfect strangers are about to find out. Welcome to Tranquillum House a place were these nine strangers have come to lose weight, reboot and some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all the luxury amenities and architecture lies ten days of hard work that ultimately will challenge them, though they have the faintest idea what lies ahead.
There are solutions they may see, but how far are they willing to trust someone who seems to have all the answers.
Nine perfect strangers is a new eight- part series based on the book of the same name by Liane Moriarty and after the success of Big Little Lies and The Undoing, writer/producer David E. Kelley is back with Emmy-winning star Nicole Kidman to adapt this best seller. Once more they have dived into the drama full of gossip and dark humour. The central Mystery is about a mysterious wellness entrepreneur, who is receiving anonymous death threats during a retreat that is unsteady.
Hulu on Wednesday debuted the first three episodes, but for UK viewers Nine Perfect Strangers debuted today and will be every Friday on Amazon Prime Video. Jonathan Levine directs all eight episodes, the first three of which will be covered in this review.
Staying at this Lavish wellness spa are the Crew of Nine Strangers that go through this 10 day retreat to rejuvenate themselves. Among them is romance novelist Frances( Melissa McCarthy) who’s successful writing career appears to be past its sell by date. At the start of episode one titled “Random Acts of Mayhem” her agent informs her that the publisher is passing on her latest novel and would prefer to buy out her contract.
Then there’s Instagram Influencer Jessica(Samara Weaving) who’s got insecurity issues. She’s with her husband Ben(Melvin Gregg) in an attempt to save their relationship.
The Marconi family, Napoleon(Michael Shannon), his wife Heather(Asher Keddie) and their daughter Zoe(Grace Van Patten) are all attending Tranquillum House together as they mourn the loss of a loved one which they also touch up on in episode two titled “The Critical Path”. Then there’s Tony(Bobby Cannavale) a grizzled gruff loudmouth who hides his substance abuse struggle whilst also having a strained relationship with his own daughter.
Excited and perky stay at home mum Carmel(Regina Hall) is also staying at the Tranquillum. She’s sweet but extremely nosy and perhaps a tad more Volatile that you might expect. Rounding up the group is Lars(Luke Evans) the only Tranquillum guest who seems to suspect that something is not quite right.
However the biggest mystery is Masha(Nicole Kidman), she’s the mastermind behind Tranquillum House’s unique and unusual form of therapy. Masha Controls every detail from protocols, special smoothies and is even personally involved in her staffs (Tiffany Boone and Manny Jacinto) lives. Nicole Kidman truly gives the character a mask to hide in and she’s able to shut away the inner demons at work.
Kidman’s performance is eccentric, flawless and otherworldly, she even does this alarming stare straight through the camera which drew me in. As the series progresses through it’s first three episodes we see Masha’s dark secrets star spiralling out of control. Each episode shows violations, failings and betrayals.
The first three episodes move at such a glacial pace and takes time getting to know the characters and to further the plot. much of the revelations are set up mostly during the first act amid shared meals, group activities and sessions. It’s truly the stories that bring these strangers together. Happily it’s the cast that get the story going, from Luke Evans’s smug smile whilst he stirs up the pot and causes unrest, Regina Hall who gets the laughs and the tension as she plays a high strung but earnest mother. Samara Weaving shakes things up by becoming an Instagram celeb and Manny Jacinto, who I’ve loved since he played goofy Jason Mendoza on The Good Place. At first i didn’t recognise him as his goofy personality has become serene.
Happily the most thrilling performances come from the established stars, this is definitely a bonus for making Strangers watchable. Firstly Napoleon feels like a character that’s ripped from real life, Shannon’s intense performance elevates through the first three episodes, whether he’s delivering an intoxicated speech or singing in the hot spa.
Melissa McCarthy is also another standout, plus she’s also an executive producer on the show. McCarthy brings the hilarious one-liners but her performance also wrestles with trauma and growth. She’s paired brilliantly with Bobby Cannavale. They take full advantage of the hilarious and chaotic chemistry they share onscreen.
Trauma is used throughout episodes 1-3 as an experience, it can also sometime motivate us. But Nine Perfect Strangers uses Trauma to explore these broken characters and ultimately reconstruct them which is a tough Journey to take and Masha will have their mental health readings go off the charts. By the end of episode 3 titled Earth Day, Nine Perfect Strangers became an intriguing worthwhile watch especially for the drama, thrills and somewhat humour.
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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