Kevin Spacey wins in court, but has regrets; The Al Yankovic Story won’t be overburdened with facts; The Crown tries to be less sensational. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
Out Today: The Banshees of Inisherin, the latest from writer-director Martin McDonagh, which reunites his In Bruges stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. In our latest Things I’ve Learned as a Moviemaker, McDonagh talks about his changing relationship with actors like Frances McDormand and Christopher Walken, not worrying about certain reviews, and trying to write a perfect script. But the most important thing he’s learned? “Be kind.”
This Is Refreshing: Eric Appel, director of Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, told Margeaux Sippell at the Newport Beach Film Festival that he did “absolutely no research on Al’s actual life.” We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Greetings From Shreveport! I’m writing this from the Louisiana Film Prize, an inspired and inspiring event in which 20 short films compete for a prize of up to $50,o00 to complete their next film. It’s one of our 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee for the incredible sense of camaraderie and excitement fired up by executive director Gregory Kallenberg, a warm and supportive staff, and a cavalcade of extremely cool volunteers. Here’s the trailer for last year’s winner, “Shreveport Son,” by Mark D. Bonner.
Escaping Ohio: We’re very excited for Escaping Ohio, the directorial debut of Jessica Michael Davis. The film, a semi-autobiographical story in which Davis stars as a young woman who wants to leave her hometown of Akron, and Collin Kelly-Sordelet plays a young man trying to convince her to stay, recently completely production with a cast that includes Adam Pascal (Rent) and Emily Bergl (Shameless). Escaping Ohio was supported by the Greater Cleveland Film Commission and the Sundance Institute’s Co//ab program, and we’re proud to support it as well through Moviemaker Production Services.
Kevin Spacey: The actor was found not liable yesterday in a $40 million civil lawsuit by Anthony Rapp, whose accusation in 2017 that Spacey sexually abused him in 1986, when Rapp was 14 and Spacey was 26, led to a flood of accusations that have all-but destroyed Spacey’s career. Jurors found that Rapp’s attorneys hadn’t proven his case. Despite the accusations against him, Spacey has not been convicted of any crime. But Variety notes that his legal problems aren’t over. He has been ordered to pay MRC, the producer of House of Cards, $31 million because the abuse allegations hurt the show. He also faces charges in the U.K., where he is accused of sexually assaulting three men while serving as artistic director of the Old Vic theater.
More Kevin Spacey: At the time of Rapp’s accusations, Spacey issued “the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.” But in court, Spacey said he did it under pressure from his publicist. “I was being encouraged to apologize and I’ve learned a lesson, which is never apologize for something that you didn’t do,” Spacey testified. “I regret my entire statement.”
The Crown Is Not a Documentary: After criticism from Dame Judi Dench and others, Netflix has added a disclaimer on YouTube to its Season 5 trailer of The Crown. The decision comes after Dench criticized the show for “crude sensationalism,” The Hollywood Reporter notes.
May I Editorialize? It’s heartening that so many are finally standing up for these poor souls burdened for generations by inherited wealth and titles. But I’m not sure how it’s possible to “sensationalize” the story of a princess dying with her lover in a high-speed chase with paparazzi. Isn’t that one innately sensationalized?
The Crown Season 5 Trailer: This looks fantastic.
Main image: Daniel Radcliffe as Weird Al in Weird.