Everything Everywhere All at Once

What made the film an Oscar favorite in 2023?

Reading time 10 minutes

Everything Everywhere All at Once – an American science fiction action comedy that will be released in the summer of 2022. The film is about a Chinese-American immigrant named Evelyn who discovers that she can connect with versions of herself from parallel worlds. With the help of this new ability, Evelyn must now prevent the destruction of the multiverse.

The Daniels directorial duo: Daniel Scheinert (right) and Daniel Kwan (left)
The Daniels directorial duo: Daniel Scheinert (right) and Daniel Kwan (left)

The film, directed by the “Daniels” duo, paid off several times at the box office, grossing over $130 million on a budget of about $20 million. The love of the audience and the positive reviews of film critics eventually contributed to the fact that “Everything Everywhere and at Once” was shortlisted as a nominee for the Academy Award. As a result, out of 11 nominations, the film won 7 at once and received the golden statuettes in the categories of “Best Film”, “Best Director”, “Best Actress”, “Best Supporting Actor”, “Best Supporting Actress”, “Best Original Screenplay” and “Best Editing”.

Let us find out together what made “Everything Everywhere and All at Once” a box office hit and an Oscar 2023 record holder.

1. Best actress: a celebration of inclusion
Shot from the film "Everything is everywhere and at once." Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wong
Shot from the film “Everything is everywhere and at once.” Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wong

Michelle Yeoh, who plays the title role in Anywhere, is a Malaysian actress of Chinese descent who has been active in both Asian and Western cinema. Michelle became world famous for the project Crazy Rich Asians, a film adaptation of the novel of the same name, in which the actress played the smart and charismatic mother of the protagonist. In the film “Everywhere and at once” Michelle showed the full range of her acting abilities, as the plot is set in parallel universes. From world to world she slipped into the most diverse roles – from a contract killer to a cook to a lesbian with sausages instead of fingers.

One version of Evelyn Wong in a parallel universe
One version of Evelyn Wong in a parallel universe

Critics note that besides the factor of Michelle’s acting talent, her origin allowed her to win. After all, Michelle Yeoh became the first woman of Asian descent to be awarded the title of “Best Actress”. In response to the criticism they had been receiving, the Academy strategically chose to award a statuette to a member of a national minority in order to maintain the film award’s rating. However, it is difficult to name such a factor as an unambiguous reason for presenting the Michelle Yeoh award. After all, the actress could really surprise the audience with acting, showing the full range of her skills on the screen.

2. Best Supporting Actor: The triumphant return of Jonathan Ké Kwan
Jonathan Ke Kwan in "Everything Everywhere" 2022 (left) and in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" 1984 (right)
Jonathan Ke Kwan in “Everything Everywhere” 2022 (left) and in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” 1984 (right)

Jonathan Ké Kwan rose to prominence in the film industry as a child as Harrison Ford’s boy assistant in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984. However, like many successful child actors, his career declined with age. Jonathan continued to work in film production, but as an assistant action choreographer and assistant director. The last film in which he took part as an actor before filming in Everything Everywhere and At Once was The Second Attempt, a 2002 fantasy drama that failed at the box office.

After the release of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, film critics predicted a glorious future for the little charismatic boy, and some fans of the franchise called him their favorite character. That is why the return of Ké Kwan to the big screens after 20 years has become a long-awaited and joyful event for many viewers. For the first time after a long break, Jonathan not only played an interesting and diverse role but also immediately received an Oscar for it. Given that the actor’s awards culminated in a touching hug with Harrison Ford, this story seems like a good plot for a movie.

3. Best Supporting Actress: Jamie Lee Curtis as Tax Clerk
The image of Jamie Lee Curtis in the movie "Everything is everywhere and at once"
The image of Jamie Lee Curtis in the movie “Everything is everywhere and at once”

Awarding Jamie Lee Curtis at the Oscars came as a surprise with many film critics. In one category, actresses such as Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) competed with her, Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Hong Chau (“The Whale”) and Stephanie Xu, her colleague in the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, which played the role of the daughter of the main character.

Actress Angela Bassett
Actress Angela Bassett

After the ceremony, a flurry of criticism fell upon the film academy, as many predicted the victory of African-American actress Angela Bassett for the role of the Queen of Wakanda. In the film, she played a strong woman who, even after losing her son, could support her country and her people in difficult times.

The victory of Lee Curtis is justified by two factors at once. People overlooked Jamie Lee Curtis in previous award seasons. Jamie Lee Curtis began actively acting in films back in the 1970s, was a favorite of viewers and critics. But someone has not even nominated her for an Oscar. She could receive an award for “Everything Everywhere at Once” based on merit in the US cinema, as a tribute to her experience and talent, which had gone unnoticed for so long.

Second, the image of Jamie Lee Curtis in the film is really very different from the more familiar roles of the actress. We are talking about both the appearance and the scale of the role. At 64, the actress herself performed her own stunts in action scenes and, like Michelle Yeoh, skillfully changed images during the jumps between parallel universes during the film’s plot. However, it would be incorrect to deny the ambiguity of the film academy’s decision. Many viewers and critics have the impression that it gave the award to the actress “for long service”, which does not correspond to the principle of the award. After all, it is in such a case that there are special nominations in the film academy.

4. “Best Editing”: an undisputed technical victory
Shot from the film "Everything is everywhere and at once"
Кадр из фильма «Всё везде и сразу»

One of the main storylines of the film is the constant movement of characters between parallel universes. Each of these universes is special, with its own color and lighting solutions and scenery. The combination of these different universes and the creation of a coherent story from the most dissimilar expositions is the merit of skillful editing. The film is called “a triumph of surrealism and abstraction”: graphic inserts and sharp jumps create the illusion of immersion in a near-comic story, and the constantly changing visual range does not let you get bored behind static scenes. Editing enhances the impact of the story on the audience, as the effects inside the film no longer work at the expense of camera work or playwrights. Intra-frame movement, breaking the boundaries of the screen – all this made the installation of “Everything Everywhere and At Once” bright and memorable.

All the above together allowed the film to pick up the last three nominations – “Best Film”, “Best Director” and “Best Original Screenplay”. “Everything Everywhere and At Once” became an example of a commercially successful picture that conquered the film academy. An absolute win for a film of this nature clearly broadens the horizon of opportunity for future Oscar-winning filmmakers. And also, it clearly points to the shift towards new bold cinema that is happening in the film academy and in the world of cinema.


5 Foodie Films to Binge on This Weekend

A selection of films which inspire your inner chef

Reading time 5 minutes

Going beyond life-skills, cooking could be perceived as a source of pleasure and well-being. However, it can be complicated to master such a craft. We’ve put together a selection of movies for those who are still Googling how to cook pasta, but are desperate to develop their culinary skills.

1. Julie and Julia: Cooking Happiness by Recipe (2009)
Frame from the film "Julie and Julia: Cooking Happiness by Recipe"
Frame from the film “Julie and Julia: Cooking Happiness by Recipe”

The film revolves around an aspiring writer, Julie Powell, who works as a call center operator, and Julia Child, author of the cult book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. At the same time, the viewer can watch how the career of Mrs. Child herself begins in the 1940s and 1950s. It becomes obvious that the stories of the two women are similar not only in their love of cooking, but also in their attitude to difficulties and even to their own marriage.

2. Spices and Passions (2014)
Frame from the film "Spices and Passions"
Frame from the film “Spices and Passions”

A family of Indian immigrants, who live on wheels, decides to open a small oriental restaurant in the French province. However, the building where the restaurant is planned to be located is directly opposite the Weeping Willow restaurant, a Michelin-starred restaurant that regularly hosts the President of France himself for dinner. A cold but exciting war breaks out between the owners of the two restaurants. For guests, food and, to some extent, even for love.

3. Toast (2010)
Frame from the film "Toast"
Frame from the film “Toast”

A family of Indian immigrants, who live on wheels, decides to open a small oriental restaurant in the French province. However, the building where the restaurant is planned to be located is directly opposite the Weeping Willow restaurant, a Michelin-starred restaurant that regularly hosts the President of France himself for dinner. A cold but exciting war breaks out between the owners of the two restaurants. For guests, food and, to some extent, even for love.

4. Chief Adam Jones (2015)
Frame from the film "Chief Adam Jones"
Frame from the film “Chief Adam Jones”

A few years ago, Adams Jones worked as a chef in a first-rate restaurant in Paris, but drug abuse forced him to resign. Now he works in a small bar in the U.S., where his main duty is to pull oysters out of the sink. Tired of the meaninglessness of life, Adam decides to return to Europe and conquer the culinary world of London. From there he gets his 3 Michelin stars all at once.

5. Chocolat (2000)
Frame from the film "Chocolat"
Frame from the film “Chocolat”

This is an adaptation of the novel by British writer Joanne Haris. A young woman named Vianne Rocher arrives in a provincial French town. The appearance of new people in the city already excites the inhabitants, and when Vianne opens his own chocolate shop, they are completely lost in guessing what kind of strange guest has come to their city. Together with his daughter Anouk, the pastry chef is trying to establish a life in a new place, and at the same time introduce the locals to the exquisite taste of chocolate.

Uncommon New Year’s Eve Movies

A collection of pictures with the spirit of the New Year and Christmas that you might have missed

Reading time 6 minutes

We have always watched the same New Year’s films every year. However, sometimes it is necessary to put DVCs of “Irony of Fate” and “Home Alone” on the shelf and find something new. Here is a list of films in the New Year’s Eve and Christmas mood, which you might not notice when scrolling through the thematic collections.

1. “Trapped in Paradise”, 1994. Director: George Gallo
A scene from the film "Trapped in Paradise"
A scene from the film “Trapped in Paradise”

Bill Firpo arrives in the provincial town of Paradise on Christmas Eve. He’s an honest restaurant manager, but the brothers whom Bill picks up from prison on Christmas Eve morning aren’t. Convicts Dave and Alvin Firpo tricks Bill into robbing a bank. In the absence of an alarm and the ever-sleeping guard doing their job the crime can be committed successfully. But a problem immediately arises: how to leave a small town with a huge amount of money, if a snowstorm is raging on the street, and the police are already seeking after robbers?

2. “Klaus”, 2019. Director: Sergio Pablos
A scene from the film "Klaus"
A scene from the film “Klaus”

To educate a lazy and spoiled son, the owner of the postal empire sends him to Smirensburg, located in the far north. Jesper is instructed to set up a postal service in the city and process at least 6,000 letters a year to prove his independence to his father and return home. However, the city does not accept the new postman very cordially, and it seems that no one has heard of sending letters there. But everything changes when Jesper meets a mysterious lone lumberjack named Klaus. Who, as it turns out, keeps a lot of old toys at home and is willing to handing them out to the bored children of Smeerensburg.

3. “The Apartment”, 1960. Director: Billy Wilder
A scene from the film "The Apartment"
A scene from the film “The Apartment”

Baxter is a humble employee of an insurance company. To speed up his career progression, he lends the keys of his apartment to colleagues and even his boss to retire with their mistresses. Baxter’s plan works until he meets Fran, his boss’s secret lover. A new feeling is born between the characters, and Christmas night puts everything in its place.

4. A Very Murray Christmas, 2015. Director: Sofia Coppola
A scene from the film "A Very Murray Christmas"
A scene from the film “A Very Murray Christmas”

Bill Murray is planning a brilliant TV show for Christmas, with celebrity guests and a packed program. But the plans are thwarted by an unexpected snowstorm which led to the absence of the eminent guests. However, in the snow-covered New York hotel where the show is scheduled and where Bill is so unsuccessfully stuck, there are a lot of random people. And Bill still manages to throw a party, just for a different audience and with new entertainment.

5. “8 Women”, 2001. Director: Francois Ozon

A scene from the film "8 Women"
A scene from the film “8 Women”

The family gathers at an estate in the French outback to celebrate Christmas. But upon arrival, the guests find the owner of the house murdered in his bedroom. 8 women, each of whom is somehow connected with a dead man, begin their investigation. At the same time, they are all under suspicion, because each had the motive to commit a brutal murder. The darkest family secrets begin to unfold in the house, and the identity of the killer becomes the main Christmas entertainment.




From a black-and-white series to the Netflix’s hit

How has the image of Wednesday Addams changed over time?

Reading time 9 minutes

Wednesday premiered on Netflix on October 23, 2022. In the first week, he broke the English-language viewing hours record. Took away the championship from Stranger Things (season 4), Wednesday became the absolute leader of the platform. Many viewers and critics noted that Jenna Ortega (main role) played a key role in such a bright start. Her Wednesday Addams turned out to be a deep and atmospheric character, the personification of a mixture between canonical and modern image.

But what is this “canonical image”? And how much has it changed since the first appearance of the Gothic Addams family? Let’s figure it out.

First appearance


Fragment of the original comic by Charles Addams
Fragment of the original comic by Charles Addams

The Addams are a fictional family conceived and drawn in 1938 by American artist Charles Addams for The New Yorker magazine, which is still popular to this day. Addams’s idea was to portray a “perfect” American family through the lens of satire and black humor, which resonated with the magazine’s readers. Wednesday, who is the daughter of Morticia and Gomez Addams, is obsessed with causing pain to others and surprisingly serious for her age.

In the original version of Charles Addams, Wednesday has not acquire her pigtails for a modern audience, and her famous school dress is completely pink. However, such an atypically “bright” image for a member of the Addams family began to crumble very quickly. The catalyst was the emergence of a television series.

First film adaptation: “The Addams Family”
Wednesday in the series "The Addams Family" 60s
Wednesday in the series “The Addams Family” 60s

The comic about Addams family was first adapted for television in 1964, then began airing regularly on ABC. Here Wednesday already acquired characteristic and recognizable features – two pigtails in the middle, a strict black school dress, and a heavy look from underneath. We heard the name “Wednesday” for the first time – Charles Addams picked up the name of his little heroine only when he received an offer to make a family TV show. As it turned out, the name was derived from an old English nursery rhyme “Monday’s Child”:

Monday’s child is fair of face

Tuesday’s child is full of grace

Wednesday’s child is full of woe

Thursday’s child has far to go

Friday’s child is loving and giving

Saturday’s child works hard for his living

And the child that is born on the Sabbath day

Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

Since grief and misfortune are exactly what pleases the artsy American family, it was decided to name the girl Wednesday.

Cultural Phenomenon: The 1991 Addams Family Movie
Wednesday performed by Christina Ricci
Wednesday performed by Christina Ricci

The film “The Addams Family”, which released in 1991, gave the world the most famous image of Wednesday Addams performed by Christina Ricci. It’s an image about the girl look from a strange family, making two black pigtails and a black school dress with a high white collar one of the most popular Halloween costumes of the 90s. In the New Yorker comic and the 1960s sitcom, although Tuesday dressed in dark colors and had strange and characteristic Addams hobbies, she was essentially an adorable child, the standard image of a little girl in a family television series. Whereas 1991’s Wednesday is a heroine with a high intellect followed by a serious and sometimes stern demeanor, and all lines are delivered in a monotonous voice with a deadpan expression on her face. In the film, the character of Wednesday was revealed the most, she ceased to be “one of the two children” of the Addams couple and became an independent and bright character – with a memorable gloominess and cruelty.

Christina Ricci’s performance did not change much but finalized the canonical image of Wednesday Addams. Subsequently, the authors of all subsequent adaptations began to rely on it. This is because Wednesday of 1991 has become not just a minor character, but the main character in the eyes of the audience. Her feminist statements and honesty added depth to the heroine, and the external image became more in line with modern cinema than the version of the girl from the 60s.

Conquest of the world of animation
The image of Wednesday from the cartoon
The image of Wednesday from the cartoon

In 2019, the feature-length cartoon The Addams Family was released on the big screens. The animation exaggerated the image of Wednesday, adding to her pale, the ability to move silently (thus frightening unprepared characters), and the lack of a smile throughout the cartoon. Wednesday was voiced by American actress Chloe Grace Moretz, who did not look like her heroine in appearance, but talentedly conveyed the girl’s lack of emotions and gloominess verbally.

Wednesday from the animated film is naturally based on the image that the audience loves, embodied by Christina Ricci, so there were no significant changes in it.

The hit of autumn-winter 2022: A series on Netflix
Wednesday performed by Jenna Ortega
Wednesday performed by Jenna Ortega

The final stage of character development to date is Wednesday Addams, played by Jenna Ortega, in the Netflix series. What immediately catches your eye is the appearance of bangs on the heroine. In an interview, Jenna admitted that she and the director of the project, Tim Burton, wanted to add something new to the famous image that could distinguish it from previous versions. The outfits for Wednesday have also changed. The classic school uniform was replaced by a black zip-hoodie, striped long sleeves, and rough black platform boots. But most of all, the attention of the audience was attracted by the dress that Wednesday wears to the school prom – yes, everything is just as frilly but elegant and not typical of previous generations of Wednesday.

Dress Wednesday in one of the episodes of the series
Dress Wednesday in one of the episodes of the series

In addition, the series also changes the age of the heroine. In the Netflix hit, she becomes a teenager, which, although done rather develop the plot, nevertheless gives a look at the heroine from a new, previously unknown side.

One thing is for sure – a heavy look and love for black remain the eternal companions of the heroine. For more than 80 years, Wednesday has changed significantly on the outside, but inside she always remains a gloomy and mysterious girl, as Charles Addams intended.




Films are therapeutic

What is film therapy and can it replace psychotherapy?

Reading time 7 minutes

With the onset of autumn often comes a slight sadness and apathy. According to statistics, in the autumn season, one in two people may be in a  depression, or otherwise moping. In this period of grey workaday life and distancing can lift your spirits with the help of films. But is it possible to cure yourself with them?

A movie will brighten up a dull autumn evening (source: Istockphoto.com)
A movie will brighten up a dull autumn evening (source: Istockphoto.com)


When watching a film, the viewer often associates him- or herself with the main character and notices the similarities between the situations in his or her life and the character’s difficulties. Because of this, there is empathy for the characters. Thus, the behavioral tactics pursued by the film’s protagonist can inspire the viewer and encourage them to solve their own problems. This is called film therapy.

Film therapy is a branch of psychotherapy in which films are used as medicine. Movies reduce anxiety levels and help people find answers to their worries.


Throughout history, filmmakers have searched for ways to hold an audience’s attention. Hence the interest in the study of the human psyche and methods of influencing it through color correction, sound, editing, and other creative mechanisms of cinema.

The audience’s reaction to the movies they watched was actively studied from the early 50s. Both individual and group perceptions of films have been studied, in conjunction with the psychological processes that can arise during viewing.

The first publication on film therapy came out in 1951. It was an article by M. Prados’ article «The use of films in psychotherapy».

So how does our mind react to films? (Source: Vuzopedia.ru)
So how does our mind react to films? (Source: Vuzopedia.ru)


«Cinematology» by Antonio Meneghetti: films can be used to analyze people

The first book on film therapy was written by Antonio Meneghetti. One day during a collective discussion of a film, the psychologist noticed a consistent link between the complexes of the participants and the opinions they held. This was the starting point for the discovery of a therapeutic method, which the author called cinematology.

The author believes that from the patient’s reaction to the film he watched, one can draw significant conclusions not only about the person himself but also about his psychological traits.

«The purpose of cinematology is not to teach or critique the director’s work, but to use the film to analyze the people experiencing these images: the viewer is emotionally complicit in exactly that which identifies him,» Meneghetti wrote in his book «Cinema. Theatre. The Unconscious».

Films often make viewers feel strong emotions (source: Bigstockphoto.com)
Films often make viewers feel strong emotions (source: Bigstockphoto.com)

Harry Solomon’s film therapy: films make our problems obvious

American neurologist Harry Solomon tested the effectiveness of film therapy through his own experience. As an adult he became bankrupt, addicted to alcohol and drugs, but he got himself out of this state thanks to films.

But he started to use films as therapy after a particular situation that happened to him at work. A patient’s life story reminded Solomon of a film, so he recommended her to see a film. The practice made a lasting impression on the woman and helped her to cope with the problem.

Solomon found that film therapy was more effective if films were chosen in which patients could recognize themselves. This helps people to recognize problems that they did not want to hear about.

You empathise more with someone who is similar (source: Kinorium.com)
You empathise more with someone who is similar (source: Kinorium.com)

Tav Sparks’ Movie Therapy: Movies as a GPS navigator for self-discovery

Psychologist Tav Sparks also believes in the healing power of film. In his book «Cinema Yoga», the author explained how cinema therapy works. Each person has an inner power, which is expressed in their reactions to the world around them. The task of the patient, therefore, is to learn to control his or her emotions and to stop being a victim of what is going on around him or her.

The author sees watching films as a process of self-knowledge, in which, as in a psychotherapist’s appointment, one works on oneself. However, the advantage of film therapy as a method of healing is that film allows you to learn about yourself in an entertaining and playful way. Interesting fact: In his book, Sparks describes in detail how film therapy takes place using an example of how a navigation system works.

Sergey Krasin’s Directed Film Therapy: The Importance of Film Therapists

Sergey Krasin, PhD and psychologist, has long developed film therapy training programmes for teachers, parents and school students. In the course of his work, the author became convinced that treatment with films can be more effective if patients are psychologically prepared beforehand to watch a film and discuss it afterwards. Thus began the story of Sergei Krasin’s method. The author divided film therapy into three equally important stages: work with the film therapist before, during and after watching the film. The task of the therapist is to help the patient mentally adjust to consciously watching the film in order to gain new information about themselves and their difficulties.

Film therapy can help people cope with their difficulties on their own, without the intervention of psychologists or psychotherapists. It is worth remembering, however, that in serious cases this method is best used strictly under the supervision of a specialist.


«Stick it»: it’s all our own fault

The new «W-M» crew begins their flight and looks into why sport is simply absurd

Reading time 11 minutes

With autumn moping sweeping the country, it’s high time we turned to energizing and driving films. On this occasion, today we decided to delve into the world of artistic gymnastics and review «Stick it», starring the feisty Missy Peregrym!

Мисси Перегрим с коллегами по фильму (источник: Кинориум)
Missy Peregrym with her film colleagues (source: Kinorium)

A woman’s eye

«Stick it» is based on the story of a strong girl with «sports in her blood». But her parents’ divorce and the disgrace of a previous competition discourage her from aspiring to anything, much less a gymnastics career. The new Haley Graham chooses individuality and freedom to be in control of herself and her life rather than «six hours of daily exercise that kills you». Fun friends, BMX freestyle and a fresh breeze in her head. Soon, however, Haley has to face up to the gritty world of gymnastics and her carefully forgotten past again, because otherwise, she’ll face jail time. It’s up to the heroine to rein in her rebellious spirit and learn some important life lessons. What’s really wrong with the world of artistic gymnastics? What does winning depend on, and what is its true value?

Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham in the gymnasium, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)
Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham in the gymnasium, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)

But «Stick it» isn’t really about sport. It’s a film about life, about growing up, about finding your values. The main characters of the film are, first of all, ordinary people, with their personal problems, and only then – strong-willed athletes. Haley tries to cope with the resentment of her mother leaving the family, Joanne dreams of going to the prom, and Burt Vickerman struggles with his greed for victories.

A man’s perspective

The plot is interesting in that, if reversed, you get another stand-alone statement. In the exposition, we see a girl (Haley) completely disillusioned with the sport and finding her place in the skateboarding subculture. She sees sport – in this case, gymnastics – through. And it is extremely difficult to argue with her views: sport is indeed traumatic, both physically and mentally. A bizarre set of circumstances, or rather a choice without a choice (in which she is willing to choose prison and the military academy over returning to gymnastics, but her opinion is ignored) forces her to return to sport and take revenge (on herself or on life?). Throughout the film, her beliefs don’t really change. Rather, Hayley acts as a messiah and opens the eyes of other girl athletes, and therein lies her rebelliousness.
Turning the plot around in reverse order, we get a character who is disillusioned with the sport and has found herself in a different occupation and a different society. I don’t claim to know which is better, the original or the reverse, but the second is at least closer to the truth.

What's behind the cheeky shell? (source: Irecommend)
What’s behind the cheeky shell? (source: Irecommend)


A woman’s eye

«Stick it» is directed by Jessica Bendinger, who is known for writing scripts for films such as, «Bring it on» and «Aquamarine». Jessica is also the scriptwriter of some episodes of the popular TV series «Sex and the City».

Jessica Bendinger with the cast (source: kinomania)
Jessica Bendinger with the cast (source: kinomania)

Bendinger spent several years researching and selecting material on the sport of gymnastics before starting work on the film. She subsequently created a documentary presentation based on them, after which several studios were interested in the project. However, Disney got the rights for the project and so Bendinger made her directorial debut. Jessica thus completed her project for Touchstone Pictures in association with Spyglass Entertainment.
Despite the fact that «Stick it» pretends to be a sports story genre, many critics gave the film low marks precisely because of its poor conveyance of the atmosphere of sports. However, if you look at the film as a whole, you can’t help but enjoy it in terms of music, styling and color correction.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The costumes of the gymnasts reflect the inner world and character of each heroine. Haley Graham’s fiery leotard, in which the rebel gymnast performed freestyle exercises at the US championships to driving music, deserves special attention.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The musical component of the film is also admirable. The lead song was sung by six-time «Grammy» winner (Missy Elliott), and Mike Simpson, who has written music for such critically acclaimed hits as «Fight Club», «Road Trip» and «Freaky Friday», worked on most of the soundtrack.
It is also worth noting the presence of interesting technical tricks in the film, thanks to which «Stick it» looks with interest and does not lose its dynamism. The school championship scene which is mounted in kaleidoscope style stands out in this regard. All the gymnasts in brightly colored leotards and fast music perform their routines at the same time.

School championships, still from film (source: l2db)
School championships, still from film (source: l2db)

Also very evocative was the introduction scene of the two significant characters in the film, Burt Wickerman and Joanne. The figures of both characters scrolled 360 degrees while information about them appeared on the screen nearby.

A man’s perspective

The film offers aggressive editing in the comedy and action scenes, and conversely, long, even slow-motion shots in the drama scenes, further enhancing the emotional edge of the action. The overall aesthetic, coupled with soundtracks and sound effects, is reminiscent of MTV music videos. Flip phones, BMX bikes, snapbacks all evoke a sense of nostalgia for the early to mid-2000s, the time when the film was released.

Overall impression

A woman’s perspective.

The story may be sagging in terms of sports atmospherics, but «Stick it» is definitely a colorful, stylistic film that’s a pleasure to watch. At the same time, the film is not devoid of meaning; each protagonist has his own drama and questions about himself and his life.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The film is really not about sport but about people. Haley Graham tries to understand who is guilty of her failures throughout the whole film. Eventually, the girl realizes that there is no point in looking for those responsible – she has to act because everything depends only on herself. This allows the protagonist to curb her rebellious spirit and gain the courage to take complete control of her life.

Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)
Still from the film, 2006 (source: Kinopoisk)

The film leaves a pleasant aftertaste, brimming with inspiration and hope. The story brings out the universal rule of life: it’s never too late to take matters into your own hands. And it doesn’t matter at all whether the issue is sports, decency or winning. In this respect, it’s a good thing that the subject matter is not limited to sports because this makes «Stick it» more interesting to a wider audience.

Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham at the US Championships, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)
Burt Vickerman and Hayley Graham at the US Championships, still from the film (source: MoviePlay)

The male perspective

The film, which is announced as a sports drama, maintains a relaxed atmosphere. And though the humor is sometimes based on toilet jokes and stereotypical behavior of the stereotypical characters, you don’t have a desire to switch it off – all the same it is a light film for an evening viewing, preferably in the company of your friends. As for the overall message, it’s clear: if the sport is brutal and meaningless and – since you happen to be there – stay in solidarity with your partners and rivals, and be prepared to take responsibility for your actions. A similar philosophy should be transferred to life. For Haley, it does, as the sport becomes just the backdrop to a central message voiced by the heroine herself: «We are the only ones responsible for everything. That’s the real reality».




Марвел покоряет мир телесериалов

Кинокомпания взяла курс на многосерийные проекты

Reading time 4 minutes

Марвел покоряет мир телесериалов
Кинокомпания взяла курс на многосерийные проекты

Marvel Studios известна по экранизации супергеройских комиксов и по таким блокбастерам, как «Железный человек», «Мстители» и «Тор». В 2021 году кинокомпания выпустила три многосерийных проекта на Disney+ с уже знакомыми зрителям героями: «ВандаВижн», «Сокол и Зимний солдат», «Локи». Эти сериалы положили начало Четвертой фазе кинематографической вселенной Марвел.
Минисериал рассказывает о событиях после «Мстители: Финал» – фильма, который заканчивает повествование о первой команде супергероев. В центре сюжета два бывших мстителя – Алая Ведьма, девушка со способностями к колдовству, и Вижн, робот-андроид в теле человека. В отличие от фильмов Marvel, сериал снят в жанрах ситкома и драмы: Ванда, не смирившись со смертью любимого, создает отдельный мир, где они оба счастливы. Со временем герои начинают подозревать, что их реальность ненастоящая.
Роль Ванды Максимофф исполнила Элизабет Олсен, а роль Вижна – Том Беттани. Режиссером выступил Мэтт Шекманн, известный по работе над «Игрой престолов» и «Доктором Хаусом». Ситком оценили критики: на IMDB рейтинг составил 8,1. Прямым продолжением сериала станет фильм «Доктор Стрэндж: В мультивселенной безумия», который выйдет в 2022 году.

Сокол и Зимний солдат
Сериал о Соколе и Зимнем солдате хронологически располагается после заключительного фильма «Мстители: Финал». Сэм по настоянию Капитана Америки должен стать следующим символом надежды и принять щит. На фоне личной драмы героя разворачиваются другие события: появляется анархистская международная организация, Зимний солдат учится жить в современном мире, а государство создает нового Капитана Америку.
Съемки начались еще в 2019 в Америке и Чехии, но были приостановлены из-за пандемии коронавируса. Премьера минисериала состоялась 23 марта, эпизоды выходили в течение месяца. К ролям Баки Барнса и Сэма Уилсона вернулись Себастиан Стэн и Энтони Маки. Продолжением телешоу станет четвертый фильм из цикла картин про Капитана Америку.

«Локи» – американский сериал, созданный Майклом Уилдроном на основе комиксов Марвел. Несмотря на то, что вышло только три серии, проект получил высокую оценку на рейтинговом сервисе Rotten Tomatoes: критики дали шоу 93%, а аудитория – 88%. Кинокомпания также анонсировала выход второго сезона.

Локи не только бог обмана и лжи, но и знакомый зрителю персонаж в исполнении Тома Хиддлстона из «Тора». В первой части «Мстителей» (2012) он был главным антагонистом, который пытался разрушить Нью-Йорк. Действия шоу развиваются после сразу после нью-йоркского нападения: Локи сбегает от команды мстителей при помощи Камня бесконечности. Бог попадает в бюрократическую организацию «Управление временными изменениями», где ему предстоит ответить за совершенные преступления.

5 reasons to watch Patrick Melrose

Not recommended for the faint of heart, but still...

Reading time 6 minutes

In 2018, German filmmaker Edward Berger premiered the mini-series «Patrick Melrose», which tells the story of the eponymous hero’s attempts to deal with the traumas of his past and live a life of dignity. The project did not receive an unequivocally enthusiastic response from the audience but was nevertheless extraordinary. This article explains why it’s worth watching.

  1. An atypical role for Benedict Cumberbatch

One of the most in-demand actors, not only in the UK but worldwide, admitted in an interview:

«I think my strength is in my brain, not my muscles. But that doesn’t embarrass me. It is very easy to look clever. It is much harder to play smart. But, because I grew up in high society and went to one of the oldest schools in the world, I have to play asexual sociopathic intellectuals for the rest of my life…»

Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.

So Patrick’s eccentric role is an entirely different one. The protagonist claims to be a self-destructive leader in every possible way: alcohol, drugs, promiscuity – the list does not end there. Not every film gives you the opportunity to watch an almost completely demoralized Benedict dancing in a drunken stupor.

  1. Visuals.

«Patrick Melrose» is full of its own aesthetic: in places bright and juicy, like the fruit on the trees that grows outside the luxurious Melrose villa, in places depressing and gloomy, highlighting the spiritual poverty of the individual characters (no spoilers).

Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Melrose Jr.

The detailed interiors complement the style of the recreated time. The same applies to the choice of locations (the French countryside alone) and the costumes of the characters: together, they create a harmonious picture that is particularly pleasant to look at in natural, warm light.

sun was shining. What else was it supposed to do? - Patrick Melrose
The sun was shining. What else was it supposed to do? – Patrick Melrose
  1. The sound of music

The musical accompaniment to this story also leaves no one indifferent. The retro atmosphere here is not just in the picture, but also in the soundtracks. The pilot episode, for example, is accompanied by the Cat Stevens song «Wild world», as if preparing the viewer for a mental transport to a couple of decades ago. Except that as one gradually delves into Patrick’s childhood and learns details of his interactions with his parents, it becomes difficult to call the nostalgic mood evoked by the music a restful one.

A person can lose their mind because they are experiencing an emotion that they have to suppress. - Patrick Melrose
A person can lose their mind because they are experiencing an emotion that they have to suppress. – Patrick Melrose

The series also has a place for original soundtracks, with emotional responses ranging from anxious and disturbing to melancholy and alienating.

  1. A witty tragicomedy

Patrick’s story is a coherent narrative not only and not so much about the ways in which he destroys his ‘normal’ life, but about the reasons that have made the latter unbearable (primarily mentally). Melrose was born into a well-to-do aristocratic family, but his background and wealth did not make him happy. His mother’s indifference and his father’s unreasonable, perverted cruelty turned little Patrick’s life upside down for many years to come. The relationship within the family is a central theme of Berger’s mini-series, and one which all of us can feel particularly strongly about.

Forgiveness is an important thing, especially when you are forgiven. - Patrick Melrose
Forgiveness is an important thing, especially when you are forgiven. – Patrick Melrose

With each series, the life of the protagonist grows more and more hopelessly detailed.  Nevertheless, his story is presented in an interesting, even amusing and satirical way so that we want to watch it through to the end (even if it is psychologically difficult).

  1. A chance to compare the series’ experience with the books

The plot of the series is based on the series of novels by Edward St. Aubyn, whose work is highly regarded by the performer of the title role. The series of books is called a modern classic, noting the author’s distinctive style with its inherent sincerity, impartiality and irony. It is important to note that the works about Patrick Melrose are largely autobiographical: their idea was inspired by real events in the life of St. Aubyn.


How Estella became Cruella

Disney has filmed the story of the antagonist from «101 Dalmatians»

Reading time 5 minutes

«Cruella» premiered in Los Angeles on 18 May. At the same time, on 28 May, the film became available for viewing in cinemas and on the Disney+ platform. The screening in Russian cinemas started on 3 June. The director was Craig Gillespie, known for his work on the drama «I, Tonya».

«Cruella» is a prequel to the Disney animated films «101 Dalmatians» and «102 Dalmatians». Work on the adaptation began back in 2011, when the studio saw the first script for the project, and after another five years the cast was joined by the lead actors. In 2019, Disney unveiled the «Cruella» announcement at D23Expo.

Half a century after the release of the cartoon series, Disney presents the personal story of the villain. In the film adaptation, the action takes place in ’70s London – a time of punk rock and flashy clothes. The plot tells the story of the antagonist’s childhood and her traumas, which turned young Estella into the villainous Cruella. The heroine is not just an evil and bloodthirsty millionaire who tortures dogs. She dreams of becoming a famous designer. To achieve this, Estella takes a job with Baroness von Hellman, the owner of a fashion house. A rivalry between the young fashion designer and her boss leads to unexpected consequences.

Still from the film, 2021 (source: YouTube)
Still from the film, 2021 (source: YouTube)

An important part of the film is the world of fashion. In the original, Cruella prefers a voluminous, red-lined coat and a black tailored dress. The color palette is retained in the film adaptation, but the outfits themselves have changed. «Cruella» follows the current trends of veganism and eco-consumerism: fur is replaced by artificial leather. Estella’s images are inspired by the punk aesthetic: rough boots, bright prints and army jackets. Cruella’s wardrobe is more feminine and extravagant. Costume designer and Oscar winner Jenny Bevan created the clothes for the film. A total of 47 full-length looks, inspired by the style of Vivienne Westwood, the punk grandmother, were made for the main character.

A still from the film, 2021 (source: Vogue)
A still from the film, 2021 (source: Vogue)

An Oscar-winning cast has been recruited to work on the film. Emma Stone, known for her roles in  «La La Land», «Spider-Man: No way home» and «The Favourite», plays the title role. The cast also includes Emma Thompson («Harry Potter» film series) and Mark Strong («Kingsman»). Little Estella was played by Tipper Seifert-Cleveland.

The audience met the fresh take on the children’s cartoon approvingly. The worldwide box office reached $84 million and «Cruella» was rated 7.4 on IMDB. Rotten Tomatoes editor-in-chief Joel Mears shared the positive sentiment on his Twitter: «If you’re wondering what a mix of «The Devil Wears Prada», «The Witcher» and «Death Becomes Her» would look like, then watch the film.».

Emma Stone with the makers of «Cruella» at the premiere, 2021 (source: Disney)
Emma Stone with the makers of «Cruella» at the premiere, 2021 (source: Disney)


«Winx» is saving the world again

Netflix has released a movie adaptation of the animated series about fairies

Reading time 4 minutes

The 6 episodes of the first season of «Fate: the Winx Saga» was released on the streaming platform Netflix on January 22. Directed by Brian Young, known for his work on «The Vampire Diaries», and Iginio Straffi, the creator of the original cartoon. Production was handled by Italy and the United Kingdom, and filming took place in Ireland.

The Netflix project is based on the Italian animated series «Winx Club». The fantastic series has been released since 2004 and from that time has won the love of viewers. At the moment, 8 seasons, 3 feature films and several spin–offs have been released. In addition, the manufacturer produces merch: comics, clothing, stationery, toys and computer games. Straffi conceived the film adaptation back in 2011, but Netflix only started shooting in 2019.

Despite its popularity among children and teenagers, the animated series has been repeatedly criticized. The creators of «Winx» were accused of sexual objectification of the heroines — sixteen-year-old fairies have a perfect body and wear too open clothes.

A shot from the first season of «Winx» (source: Amino Apps)
A shot from the first season of «Winx» (source: Amino Apps)

The plot of the film series differs from the original one. Sixteen-year-old Bloom (Abigail Cowen) gets into «Alphea». «Alphea» is a school for fairies and specialists from the magical world. The girl lives in a hostel with other fairies, communicates only with Aisha (Precious Mustapha), and with Stella (Hannah van der Westhuysen) is at enmity. The heroine has a bad relationship with her parents. Headmistress Miss Dowling (Eve Best) knows the truth about Bloom, but keeps it a secret. The young fairy has yet to learn about herself and her origins.

The series received an age limit of «18+». According to Straffi’s idea, the show is designed for adult fans of the animated series: in the Netflix adaptation, there are a large number of bed scenes and obscene language.

From left to right: Muse, Terra, Bloom, Stella, Aisha (source: Twitter)
From left to right: Muse, Terra, Bloom, Stella, Aisha (source: Twitter)

The public met the news of the film adaptation with conflicting reviews. Even at the stage of creation, the project was discussed because of the cast: the Asian Muse was made a white American, Techna was removed from the number of Winx fairies, and instead of Flora, another character appeared — her cousin Terra. Another heroine — Beatrix-became a collective image of the evil trinity Trix. There is no Muse and Riven couple that is loved by many: Riven is an open bisexual who is in love with another person.

The first season received many positive reviews. On IMDB, users rated the series 7 points on a ten-point scale. On Kinopoisk slightly below-6,4. After the premiere, the network received information that Netflix has extended «Fate: The Winx Saga». There was no official confirmation of the second season.