heath ledger the queen's gambit

In today’s Movie News Rundown: Johnny Depp loses a lawsuit over a headline that called him a “wife beater”; how beloved New York City theaters are scraping by; and a tour of the Buffalo Bill house from Silence of the Lambs. Plus: Our favorite Sean Connery movie, and the backstory of The Queen’s Gambit.

You Should Obviously Vote: But we’re gonna leave election coverage this week to The Associated Press, The New York Times, and others who do it best. Getting your news from the AP app instead of Twitter will save you a lot of anxiety in the coming hours.

Not Playing: The PG-13 horror film Come Play is the top film in the country with a paltry $3.15 million, due to our weird times, Variety says.

NYC Theaters: The Times has a fantastic look at how closed NYC theaters are struggling to survive with “a patchwork of government payroll protection and bank loans, emergency grants, deferred mortgage payments, forgiving landlords, loyal members, donations and the hope that movie theaters will be included in a Covid-19 relief bill.”

His House: If you watched Remi Weekes excellent horror debut on Netflix, check out our Q&A with Weekes here and our discussion about the film here.

Speaking of Houses: Here’s a tour of the real one where Buffalo Bill lived in Silence of the Lambs, which can be yours for less than $300,000.

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a binge-watch to take your mind off all… this [gestures absently across barren landscape], may I recommend Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit, with Anya Taylor-Joy as a troubled 1960s chess prodigy? I’m two episodes in and love it. Here’s the backstory of how Heath Ledger almost made it into a film before his death in 2008.

queens gambit anya taylor-joy

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen’s Gambit.

‘Substantially True’: A British judge has dismissed a defamation trial in which Johnny Depp sued over a headline in the Sun newspaper that asked: “How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife-beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?” Depp sued News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, over the story involving his relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard. The judge said the defendants “have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Is everyone in the UK really wordy, or just judges and headline writers?

Congratulations: To all the winning films at this year’s Evolution Mallorca International Film Festival. The best feature went to Toprak, Sevgi Hirschhäuser’s story of Turkish boy who dreams of leaving his uncle’s farm to study in the city. But illness and illicit organ harvesting come into play. I was honored to be a judge in the competition.

Sean Connery: Rather than add to the many great appraisals and tributes to the best Bond, who died over the weekend at 90, let’s leave you with scene from The Untouchables, the film that won Connery an Oscar, written by the great David Mamet.





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