Damian Lewis is Exceptional as Ford
by Hannah Hoolihan | Screen Rant | March 2, 2020
In May of 2013, a video surfaced that appeared to show Toronto’s former mayor, Rob Ford, smoking crack. It was hardly the first time his name had come up in relation to controversy, but it was the rock big enough to cause a ripple effect throughout his administration. But, rather than focusing on Ford’s bombastic personality and fall from grace, writer-director Ricky Tollman’s debut feature centers on those in smaller positions working in a variety of industries around him. Whether they’re eager to break this monumental story or to try and keep it contained, the effort exuded by each party far outweighs Ford’s cataclysmic nature, even if his presence looms heavily over the narrative. Run This Town falls short of its storytelling aspirations but finds success in Ben Platt and Mena Massoud, who lead with lively, enthralling energy.
Run This Town‘s narrative is mainly focused on Kamal (Massoud), a political aide to Ford, and Bram (Platt), a recently-graduated journalism major with a hunger to break his first big story. The two live entirely different lives, but share one common goal of climbing the respective ladders at their institutions. When the video of Ford becomes known to Bram, he jumps at the opportunity to use this as his ticket to leave his current position as a listicle writer. Kamal, on the other hand, is struggling to contain the story while still maintaining his legitimacy in his field. In the end, the true focus of Tollman’s story is how tirelessly these two characters worked to prove themselves, which Massoud and Platt play up in equally electric performances.
Continue reading Run This Town Review – March 2, 2020
From the Dialogue to the Plot Twists
by Philip Etemesi | Screen Rant | March 1, 2020
A case can be made for Don Cheadle’s new Wall Street comedy Black Monday but the two TV shows that currently bring out the best of the world of cutthroat business dealings and wealth are HBO’s Succession and Showtime’s Billions. The two TV shows share plenty of similar themes but a couple of things set them apart.
In Succession, family drama blends with corporate setbacks. Media tycoon Logan Roy’s health declines and his four children all try to win his favor in order to take over the empire when daddy is no longer around. In Billions, billionaire hedge fund manager Bobby “Axe” Axelrod is hunted down by US Attorney Chuck Rhoades for insider training before the two team up to fight common enemies. Here’s an argument for both shows as the better one.
Continue reading Filthy Rich: 5 Reasons Billions is Better Than Succession (and vise versa) – March 2, 2020
The O Gap and S&M Dalliances
by Ileane Rudolph | TV Insider | February 28, 2020
The age-old feud between New York Attorney General Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and finance mogul Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) has reignited in Season 5 of the Showtime drama Billions, but it’s Chuck’s personal life that piques our interest: While a guest lecturer at Yale, he crosses paths with sociology professor Catherine “Cat” Brant, played by recurring guest Julianna Margulies.
She fills us in.
How do the pair meet?
Julianna Margulies: She wrote a bestseller called The O Gap, about women’s orgasms. She’s lecturing on the speech Chuck gave [last season] when he was blackmailed about his S&M dalliances, and asks if he’ll come to her class and let her and her students ask him questions.
Does Cat have a hidden dark side?
Continue reading Julianna Margulies Previews Her Brilliant New Billions Character ‘Cat’ – Feb 29, 2020
Dream Horse Screening at UNCSA
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | February 29, 2020
This year’s RiverRun International Film Festival will close with comedy-drama Dream Horse starring Damian Lewis and Toni Collette.
The RiverRun International Film Festival is a regional event based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and is one of the premiere film festivals in the southeastern United States. The 22nd annual RiverRun will be held March 26 – April 5, 2020.
The closing night film Dream Horse will be screened at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts on Sunday, April 5, 2020 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
RiverRun’s 11-day Festival programming regularly includes a selection of family-friendly, independent, international and celebrity driven films, attracting diverse audiences – which include local film aficionados, young families, niche audiences and cultural tourists.
In all, audiences will be able to choose among 77 feature films and 96 shorts from 42 countries, Most movies in the festival will be screened in Winston-Salem, including some screenings at a new location for the festival, Marketplace Cinema. Some movies will also be shown at RED Cinemas in Greensboro.
Tickets go on sale at 11 a.m. March 4, 2020 at the Stevens Center box office. All regular screenings for the festival are $12 for adults and $10 for students, with $6 matinees Monday through Friday before 5 p.m. Ticket packages are also available.
For more information on films and tickets, go to riverrunfilm.com/ or call 336-721-1945.
Damian Lewis as Rob Ford Generated Worldwide Chatter
by Susan Minuk | The Canadian Jewish News | February 28, 2020
The wildly anticipated movie Run This Town follows three millennials struggling to find their place in the world against the backdrop of the Rob Ford scandal that engulfed Toronto in 2013.
This is the directorial debut for writer/director Ricky Tollman, and is produced by Randy Manis and Jonathan Bronfman. The three-year project was filmed in Toronto in 20 days, shooting at landmarks such as Nathan Phillips Square, city chambers and the Thompson Hotel. Tollman says viewers, Toronto ones especially, may be surprised to see the iconic United Bakers Dairy Restaurant on screen.
In the film, Tollman examines the relationship between news, politics and entertainment.
“With the surge in clickbait headlines and 140-character reporting, politics has shifted. What can get the most likes? It’s entertainment,” Tollman said. “I wanted to tell a story about people that took place in the walls of news, which has shifted over the last 10 or 12 years from binding fact check news to opinion and the most eyeballs.”
Bringing actor Damian Lewis to play Ford generated worldwide chatter. “We needed a specific actor that could be that politician. And Damian is charming and funny – but can also play shades of darkness in one moment and then in the next moment you can be laughing with him,” Tollman said. “And you’re not sure you should be laughing!”
Although the film is set during the Ford scandal, it isn’t specifically “The Rob Ford story.”
“He appears in just a handful of scenes – it’s really a jumping off point,” Manis said. “I think that the portrait of Rob is sympathetic in that we definitely see multiple sides of him.”
Continue reading A Millennial Adventure Set During Rob Ford Scandal – Feb 29, 2020