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With Some Oscar Buzz and Few Technical Glitches, the 2020 Toronto Film Festival Makes It Work



Yes, I’d say that Nomadland is the best thing I’ve seen of the festival offerings so far. And it probably would have been last year, and could easily have been next year. So I’ve introduced the concept of the asterisk only to now swat it away. Is that a strawman?

Elsewhere, I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by films that once seemed poised to hit big. Ammonite, a period romance from the director of the new queer classic God’s Own Country, landed with a damp thud for me. Francis Lee’s film is too reserved, an effort in restraint that overdoes it and smothers the whole exercise. Which is a shame, because Kate Winslet really is quite good in the movie. I suspect her performance will endure as an awards hopeful all the way to next spring, but the film will probably have to rely on her as its sole standard-bearer.

One performance from TIFF that I absolutely adored was Winslet’s countrywoman Rosamund Pike in I Care a Lot, a nifty, nasty thriller from J Blakeson. While Pike has done good work in projects like Hostiles and A Private War, her post–Gone Girl career has been aching for a role like this one, an amoral operator who, through various legal chicaneries, bilks elderly people out of their money. It’s not a sympathetic part, but Pike makes you care (heh) about this sociopath’s survival. Pike is steely, commanding, and darkly funny; it’s such a genuinely cool performance that I got the same giddy feeling watching it as I used to get when a mean, popular kid in school would talk to me. This person’s a monster, sure, but what a dangerous lark to be in her company! The film has yet to land distribution. I hope a good company, with a smart strategy for campaigning Pike, snaps it up.

Which performances in this festival run, other than McDormand’s, have jumped out at you, Katey?

Katey Rich: Well, to loop it right back to Venice, I think we have to talk about Vanessa Kirby, who won the best-actress prize there for her role in Pieces of a Woman, which is playing TIFF as well. (She had a second film at Venice, The World to Come, which for some reason didn’t make it to Toronto, so we’ll have to be a little more patient for that one.) Pieces of a Woman was also picked up by Netflix, which means that audiences can soon decide for themselves if the movie is worth the emotional wallop of its bravura early sequence—or if, as I think we both suspect, they simply shut the whole thing off. It’s a lot to ask anyone to sit through an incredibly realistic childbirth that ends in tragedy, but I do think Kirby makes it worthwhile. Having broken out for most of us as the charismatic Princess Margaret on The Crown, she does real, lived-in work here, making the most of a character who’s shamefully underwritten on the page. Between her, Winslet, and McDormand, it really does feel like we have three strong best-actress Oscar contenders right now, with a mere seven months to go.

To get out of the awards zone a bit, it’s actually possible the best performance I’ve seen at TIFF comes from David Byrne. Like our colleague Jordan Hoffman, who reviewed it, I was completely bowled over by American Utopia, Spike Lee’s filmed version of the show Byrne had running on Broadway earlier this year. It’s kind of magical for all the obvious pandemic reasons—a crowded theater! Live music! People dancing together!—but the show also has power of its own, even though it’s basically a Talking Heads jukebox musical strung together with monologues from Byrne about neural connections in the brain and registering to vote. In kind of the way that you have to see Stop Making Sense to understand what it means to call it the best concert movie of all time, American Utopia really does just need to be experienced— and since it’s debuting on HBO next month, that will be relatively easy to do, unlike with a number of the titles we’re watching this week.


The Chicks Talk Charles Barkley, Working With Jack Antonoff on ‘Kimmel’




The Chicks made their most recent late-night appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Monday night, following Kimmel’s hosting stint at the 72nd Emmy Awards. He kicked off by asking the trio about one of their more unlikely fans: former NBA player and analyst Charles Barkley.

“He doesn’t go to shows, usually — he just stays in the casino the whole time,” Kimmel quipped. “This is big right off the bat.”

Natalie Maines recalled seeing Barkley in the audience when the Chicks opened for the Eagles on a stadium tour. “I’m watching this man in the front row, knowing every word, so into it,” she said, “and we got offstage, and I was like, ‘Emily, did you see who was right in front of you? Charles Barkley!’”

The Chicks also spoke fondly about working with producer Jack Antonoff on their latest album, Gaslighter, their first in over a decade. “He’s like a little brother — he just has this energy that you realize you need after 14 years,” Emily Strayer said. “We needed some of that energy. He also plays everything under the sun, and to have a musician like that in the studio, and to be able to try new things — we’re coming from a place of, ‘We don’t know what we wanna do right now, it’s been so long.’ We want to be us, but we also want to explore.”

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The Da Vinki Twins Are The Pro-Wrestler TikTok Himbos Of Nightmares, So Please Watch Them




Chris and Patrick Vörös are twin brothers from Canada. They’re pro wrestlers, but when they’re not in the ring, they busy making complete and utter dinguses of themselves online.

Quizzing themselves using a TikTok filter, the twins have been spending their days broadcasting to the entire app instances of their own endearing ignorance. None more endearing, than when they were asked to name the artist who painted the Mona Lisa.

For those of you playing at home, the answer is of course Leonardo da Vinci. However when the twins read that, all they could muster was a dazed and confused “DA VINKI?!”

@vorostwinsDA VINKI ##twins ##fyp ##foryoupage♬ original sound – vorostwins

But wait, there’s more! The above clip is just a snippet from an earlier video where they answer even more questions with even more foolishness. Peep it below:

@vorostwinsseeing who the smarter twin is pt 2 ##foryoupage ##fyp ##twins♬ original sound – vorostwins

I, for one, like to imagine these two rascals as being the older brothers of the “yuhhhh, get in to it” girl. One can dream.

Now the internet’s infatuated with the Da Vinki himbos, to say the least.

And now, for the closing chapter of the Da Vinki chronicle.

The good news is that the twins actially released some pretty fun-looking merch off the back of their sudden virality

The bad news, of course, is that this means the meme is now dead.

Rest in peace, Da Vinki. We hardly knew ya.

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Denise Richards reveals ex Charlie Sheen gets along with her new husband Aaron Phypers: ‘Much better to take the high road’




Denise Richards had a year full of rumours and scandals play out on TV on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but behind the scenes, her life is not as chaotic.

In fact, the actress said her home life couldn’t be better and her husband of two years, Aaron Phypers, even gets along with her famous ex, Charlie Sheen

“I always want to maintain a really positive, healthy relationship,” 49-year Richards said on the September 21 episode of US daytime show The Talk.

“We are in a great place right now. We have been for a while. It’s been wonderful. Much better than it has been in the past, so I’m grateful for that.”

Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen arrive for the Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California January 20, 2002.
Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen were married between 2002 and 2006. (Getty)

The latest development is a move in the right direction for the former couple, who welcomed daughters Sam, 16, and Lola, 15, during their three-year marriage. Richard filed for divorce from 55-year-old Sheen in 2005, while pregnant with Lola.

But while all is good between the exes now, just earlier this year as Season 10 of RHOBH premiered on screens, Richards revealed to her castmates that Sheen had not paid “child support in over a year”. 

“He’s very lucky because I never took him to court,” she said on one episode of the show. “It is such a toxic road. It brings up so much, like, anxiety.”

Denise Richards and Aaron Phypers.
Denise Richards and Aaron Phypers married in 2018. (Instagram)

Her co-stars then told her it wasn’t too late to take the Two And A Half Men star to court, but Richards said she would handle Sheen her way. 

“I appreciate the f—ing advice, but if anyone knows Charlie, it’s me and I know how to handle it,” she said. “It’s not your family, it’s mine.” 

Her instincts were spot on and now Richards says everyone is happy and getting along. 

“It’s so much better to just take the high road and try to get along with each other and whatever discord we have had, whatever,” she said on The Talk. “That’s something that I never wanted to do.”

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Season 10, Garcelle Beauvais, Denise Richards, Lisa Rinna, Kyle Richards, Erika Jayne, Dorit Kemsley and Teddi Mellencamp.
From left to right: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast Garcelle Beauvais, Denise Richards, Lisa Rinna, Kyle Richards, Erika Jayne, Dorit Kemsley and Teddi Mellencamp. (Supplied)

In the episode, Richards acknowledged the news she was leaving RHOBH for the first time. After two seasons on the hit reality show, she has chosen to call it quits and focus on her career.

It comes after a challenging season for the star, who was accused of having an affair with reality TV star Brandi Glanville, 47 — allegations Richards vehemently denies. 

“I had a great first season. The second season was challenging,” Richards said. “I just thought it was the right time for me to go and to just keep focusing on the other projects that I have. I had a great time. I will always be a fan and I will continue to support the show.”

Stars who remain friendly exes

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