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2018-01-21T00:49:00.940Z
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{"feed":"the-wrap","feedTitle":"The Wrap","feedLink":"/feed/the-wrap","catTitle":"Entertainment","catLink":"/cat/entertainment"}

Elsie Fisher had enough talent to star in the comedy film “Eighth Grade” as a teenager grappling with high school on the horizon but, apparently, she didn’t have what it takes to be in her school play. And that irks “Eighth Grade” director Bo Burnham to no end.

After the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, the 27-year-old director called out Fisher’s teacher in an interview with TheWrap.

“Right after we wrapped, [Fisher] went to high school, and she didn’t get a part in her high school play,” said an incredulous Burnham. He then joked “Mr. Donia is a hack and should lose his job.”

Check out the clip below.

You’re on notice, Donia.

TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven also asked Burnham about making a movie focused on middle schoolers, rather than the traditional high school movie.

“There’s a lot of stories about kids in high school, and I felt like, now, the pressures on kids are being put [on them] much younger, so by the time they get to high school, they’re blasé and over it,” said Burnham.

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Natalie Portman shared a harrowing story with the crowd at the Woman’s March in Los Angeles on Saturday, remembering that her first ever fan letter at 13 years-old was a “rape fantasy.”

The Oscar winner spoke about the “great discomfort” she’s struggled with as a woman in Hollywood, dating back to when she was a teenager. After wrapping her first film role in “The Professional,” she soon realized the pitfalls of being a young woman in the spotlight.

“I excitedly opened my first fan mail to read a rape fantasy that a man had written me,” said Portman. She added a local radio station set up a countdown to her 18th birthday, and that movie reviewers were compelled to talk about her “budding breasts.”

“I understood very quickly, even as a 13-year-old, that if I were to express myself sexually, I would feel unsafe,” said Portman. “And that men would feel entitled to discuss and objectify my body, to my great discomfort.”

You can watch a two-minute clip of her speech below.

Portman’s Instagram posted another clip, with her addressing critics of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. “To these people, I want to say the current system is puritanical,” she said.

Ethan Hawke deserved to kick back after making the rounds for two films at Sundance Friday night, “Blaze,” which he wrote and directed, and “Juliet, Naked,” which he stars in. But Lena Waithe and Issa Rae did anything but that at Showtime’s party at the IMDb Studio for Waithe’s new series “The Chi.”

How is Nic Cage so cool? Remember, he is a Coppola. Before a midnight screening of “Mandy,” on Friday night (Jan. 19), Cage and Kevin Smith held the early lead for one of the top shots of the festival so far.

What are the Black Eyed Peas doing in Park City? They have an animated series to promote. The Peas started the week in NYC on MTV’s aimless “TRL” reboot and ended it in the mountains partying with this crew….

Ted Danson, Kiersey Clemons, Blythe Danner, Sasha Lane, Nick Offerman and Brett Haley. The “Hearts Beat Loud” after-party at the Grey Goose Blue Door on Thursday night (Jan. 19) was the first bash back at this space after a two year hiatus. The crowd was ready.  A throng clogged Main Street before the doors opened.

Taking director Gus Van Sant (left) out of the mix, it looks like photographer Michael Kovac asked these guys to line up in descending order of Sundance spirit: Jack Black, Jonah Hill and Joaquin Pheonix.

You’ve got to give it to the stable-genius-in-chief on this one: he can be the ultimate troll.

As hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across the country on Saturday for the second annual Women’s March, President Donald Trump was doing what he does best — tweeting. And he wanted to let everyone know it’s a “perfect day” for the ladies to march… thanks to him.

“Get out there now to celebrate the historic milestones and unprecedented economic success and wealth creation that has taken place over the last 12 months,” tweeted the president. “Lowest female unemployment in 18 years!”

The economy doesn’t look to be a front-and-center issue for the the march, which is focusing on voter registration and electing more women, but you heard him, ladies, get out there and celebrate the POTUS’ success!

Meanwhile, Trump’s tweet is, naturally, causing a stir. Palmer Report added it to a healthy list of Trump headlines by the early afternoon.

If you couldn’t make the Sundance Film Festival this year — or were too tied up at one of the several Women’s Marches popping up around the country — we’ve got you covered. Check out the pictures from the “Respect Rally” in Park City, Utah, which included several actors and activists from Sundance.

“Thor: Ragnarok” star Tessa Thompson spoke early at the rally, and didn’t hold back against President Trump. “Until we see legislation and policy and a president who respects our humanity…we must continue to gather and tell each other’s stories,” said Thompson.

Jane Fonda told the crowd it’s not just about rallying — it’s about organizing. “This kind of change doesn’t just come about through protest,” said the actress and activist. “It comes through organizing.”

Signs at the Respect Rally.

Actor Nick Offerman takes the stage — saying men are now realizing they have “perfectly working ears.”

Rally-goers in the snow.

“Master of None” star Lena Waithe talking to the crowd.

President Trump was a common theme at the rally.

Common performed a verse from a new song titled “The Day the Women Took Over,” as snow came down. One line that stood out: “Toilet seats down, that’s a no-brainer.”

More signs.

Gloria Allred takes the mic.

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Starring in “American Animals,” the upcoming crime drama, wasn’t enough for Evan Peters — he wishes he had a credit for makeup special effects, too.

Speaking to TheWrap’s Beatrice Verhoeven at Sundance Film Festival, where the film premiered on Friday, “X-Men” star said his “love” for special effects and prosthetics.

Director Bart Layton said Peters was a natural and that everyone was impressed, “including the makeup artists, who are suddenly thinking ‘well, I’m kind of out of a job.'”

Check out the clip below.

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After a fiery storming of Park City’s Main Street in 2017, the Women’s March returned to Sundance on Saturday with a new mission: Get organized.

Jane Fonda, Marvel star Tessa Thompson, victims advocate and attorney Gloria Allred, rapper Common and more spoke at the event, held adjacent to Park City’s public library.

Last year’s march was a star-studded affair that came one day after Donald Trump’s inauguration and mourning and advocated for women’s reproductive and LGBT rights as well as lamenting Hillary Clinton’s presidential election loss.

This year was a wise leveraging of star power to focus on numerous issues in the era of President Donald Trump, as well as the concerns raised by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.

“This kind of change doesn’t just come about through protest,” Fonda cried out to a packed public park. “It comes through organizing.”

Fonda spoke of Rosa Parks, who wasn’t just a civilian who refused to give up her bus seat — but rather a trained organizer with the NAACP who was ready to mobilize her community after her historic act of defiance.

Fonda also spoke at length about equal pay and representation, citing lower reports of sexual abuse in industries where women’s compensation is equal to men. She also emphasized the importance of women winning elected office at the state level, particularly governorships, since that office often determines congressional district lines.

Ever the rebel, Fonda sent a message to her industry...

Free association has rarely been freer than in the mind of Robin Williams, whose gift for improvisation made him one of the most respected comedians and dramatic actors of his generation. And in “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind,” director Marina Zenovich (“Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired”) pops the hood and shows us some of what made this artist tick.

It’s a film that, early on, feels like a standard catch-a-rising-star celebrity hagiography, but as the story continues — and the impressive line-up of interviewees get deeper into their memories of Williams — the film achieves a balance between celebration and unfiltered recollection. His addictions to cocaine, alcohol and even the very act of getting a laugh are explored by friends and family as well as, in voice-over, by Williams himself in frank archival interviews.

Most fans know the general outline: Marin County kid goes to Juilliard, where John Houseman picks Williams and his roommate Christopher Reeve as his most promising students. Classically-trained improv actor becomes stand-up comedian who jumps from subject to subject to impersonation to outrageous physicality with lightning speed. A one-episode stint as Mork from Ork on the hit sitcom “Happy Days” leads to his own show. The movies, the nanny, the heart surgery, the Parkinson’s diagnosis, and the tragic suicide in 2014 at the age of 63.

Zenovich fills in some of the blanks: Williams grew up spending a lot of time alone, entertaining himself...

“Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff’s accusation that President Trump is having an affair set off of online speculation Saturday about who the other party might be. Based on Wolff’s clues, it appears he’s making insinuations about Secretary of State Nikki Haley.

A quick aside before we go further: This is gross on every level. We don’t have any evidence whatsoever to suggest that what Wolff is hinting at is true, so please consider this a story about an author making an accusation he admits he can’t prove.

That said, Wolff went on “Real Time” Friday to provide some encouragement to readers who may have given up halfway through “Fire and Fury:” when he said a passage near the end of his book hints at the affair.

“Now that I’ve told you, when you hit that paragraph you’re going to say bingo,” Wolff told Maher.

We’ve read the book. While there are icky descriptions about Trump’s behavior with his spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, they come before the book’s midway point. (“You’re the best piece of tail he’ll ever have!” Trump is quoted as telling Hicks about an ex, which Wolff says sent  Hicks “running from the room.”)

The only passage we’ve found near the end of the book that references a Trump relationship with a woman who isn’t his wife or daughter is this one:

By October, however, many on the president’s staff took particular notice of one of the few...

The ladies are back in full force.

The second annual Women’s March is kicking off across the country, with the #Resist movement pushing back against President Trump — and pushing for female empowerment.

And you know what that means? Signs. Lots of signs. Twitter is flooded with some powerful and entertaining examples, so we wanted to share a few that have stood out so far on this Saturday morning.

These New York City rabble-rousers had an equestrian twist on President Trump’s “very stable genius” comment.

These young ladies in Houston reminded everyone how desperately Harry Potter needed Hermione.

In D.C., these marchers made use of both sides of their construction paper. Very environmental-friendly.

This sign below speaks for itself…

This Orange County marcher updated the Statue of Liberty’s immigrant...

With year two of the Women’s March kicking off across the U.S., Utah’s “Respect Rally” will be taking place on Saturday with a host of celebs and activists.

Jane Fonda, Common, Tessa Thompson and Common, among others, will be in attendance at the rally in Park City, calling it “an opportunity to celebrate countless community victories in 2017 and encourage activism throughout the coming year.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Gloria Allred, and GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis will also be on hand. The Event just started at 10:00 a.m local time, running until 11:30 a.m. Five thousand are expected to attend despite the 23 degree weather and more than a foot of snow that continues to fall.

You can catch the live stream on Senator Jim Dabakis’ Facebook feed below.

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A lesbian spin on the legendary Lizzie Borden murder case is nothing new — Ed McBain posited the notion in a 1984 novel — but the stylish and haunting “Lizzie” paints a provocative portrait of a woman driven by passions and left with few options in a society that gave her little agency.

We come to know Borden’s inner turmoil, not only by her periodic “spells” but also in the way that the camera captures a bewitching Chloë Sevigny. She’s often off-center in the frame, or reflected in mirrors, or out of focus in the foreground as she imagines what’s happening far behind her.

Screenwriter Bryce Kass (“Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs”) and director Craig William Macneill (2015’s “The Boy”), like everyone else who has tackled this story, are left to their own conjectures and theories as to the how and the why behind the murder of Borden’s father and stepmother, but they’ve turned the puzzle pieces into a haunting, horrifying romance.

Six months before Andrew Borden (Jamey Sheridan) and his wife Abby (Fiona Shaw) faced that fatal ax — and despite the famous rhyme, each received far fewer than 40 blows — housemaid Bridget Sullivan (Kristen Stewart) reports for duty. While most of the household refers to her as “Maggie” (the generic name given to all Irish servants, much as all Pullman porters once answered to “George”), Lizzie (Sevigny) immediately calls her by...

“Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle” will be the No. 1 film at the box office for the third straight weekend, as it is estimated to make $19.9 million from 3,704 locations in its fifth weekend in theaters. That amount would push its domestic total to $316 million, passing “Thor: Ragnarok” as the seventh highest grossing film released in 2017.

Dwayne Johnson’s long-running action comedy kept its top spot despite a challenge from this week’s new releases, WB/Alcon’s “12 Strong” and STX’s “Den of Thieves,” which are finishing second and third, respectively. “12 Strong” is hitting its projection target with an estimated $15.2 million opening from 3,002 locations. Critics have been mixed on the film, giving it a 56 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. But opening night audiences embrace the film’s salute to the soldiers who were part of the opening stages of the War in Afghanistan, giving it an A on CinemaScore.

“Den of Thieves,” meanwhile, was expected to make around $9 million this weekend but is beating expectations with a $15 million opening from 2.432 screens. The film’s story about a heist on Los Angeles’ Federal Reserve building was met negatively by critics with a 38 percent RT score, while audiences gave it a B+ on CinemaScore.

In fourth place is “The Greatest Showman,” which refuses to bow out of the top five after five weekends in theaters, adding another estimated $11.8 million. That...

Fredo Santana, the Chicago rapper who emerged with his cousin Chief Keef, has died at the age of 27, according to media reports.

The cause of death was not immediately disclosed, but the rapper (born Derrick Coleman) posted on Instagram last October that he had been hospitalized with kidney and liver failure.

“I’m getting back to normal sorry to all my fans turbo bandana will not be dropping tomorrow due to my health issues,” Santana wrote. “Thanks for everyone who prayed for a n— I wouldn’t wish this on my worse enemy.”

He was also hospitalized last March after suffering a seizure.

Fredo released nearly a dozen mixtapes and albums since signing a record deal in 2012, and collaborated with such hip-hop stars as Drake, Maxo Kream, Lil Durk and Lil B.

Early Saturday, many in the hip-hop community paid tribute to the artist on social media.

The last time a Gus Van Sant movie premiered at a major film festival, the film was “The Sea of Trees” and the festival was Cannes, where the movie was booed unmercifully at its first screening.

So it’s with a degree of relief that we can report that Van Sant’s new film, “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” was met with nothing but applause when it premiered on Friday night at the Sundance Film Festival.

And to be sure, “Don’t Worry” is a far better movie than the inert “Sea of Trees.” Originally in the works not long after Van Sant made “Good Will Hunting” in 1997, the film stars Joaquin Phoenix as John Callahan, the Portland cartoonist who began his career after an auto accident rendered him a quadriplegic at the age of 21.

The accident that injured Callahan came after a full day of heavy drinking, and Van Sant structures the film like the 12-step program Callahan went through to combat his alcoholism. But it’s hardly as linear as that sounds; the director uses a fragmentary style that jumps around in time and keeps an audience off balance.

The first half of the film is essentially a string of disjointed degradations, many of which Callahan brings upon himself. Then he hits rock bottom and has a hallucination that his mother (who put him up for adoption when he was born) appears to...

Like many films adapted from biographies of lesser known figures, the story of Boston Red Sox catcher Morris Berg demands the reaction: “That wasn’t already a movie?”

But there we were in Sundance on Friday night, lining up for the premiere Paul Rudd’s buzzy drama “The Catcher Was a Spy,” directed by Ben Lewin from a book by Nicholas Dawidoff. Rudd plays Berg, who in this telling is a Jewish closeted homosexual athlete recruited to stop the Nazis from developing an atom bomb.

That’s pretty heavy lifting for the most versatile of our male leading men, let alone America’s Favorite Nice Guy Paul Rudd. It’s also staggering that such a story might be true and thus far untold, not just in our political climate but in independent film’s deep tradition of amplifying outsiders.

We meet Rudd’s Berg at the twilight of his baseball career, resisting a switch from playing to coaching. He’s already an odd man out because of his age, but also his superior intellect. Berg held three degrees in various fields, spoke several languages and was a frequent guest star on a popular radio quiz show before he was recruited to help his country during World War II.

“Catcher” was a hot property for many of the specialty labels housed at bigger studios before Hollywood arrived to Park City, TheWrap previously reported. Distributors were drawn by the script, which has CAA handling its worldwide sales.

We heard from...

The Senate failed to get the votes Friday night needed to keep the government funded, causing it to shutdown at midnight and #TrumpShutdown to become top trend worldwide.

Hollywood stars were among the first to react to the news and, for the most part, they were pretty harsh on President Donald Trump and his administration.

Josh Gad took it seriously, tweeting, “A Republican Senate. A Republican Congress. A Republican President. An American travesty,” while Michael Ian Black was characteristically funny with, “I honestly feel like I work harder than Trump and I barely do anything.”

Here are a handful of other tweets:

Pain is not only painful; it’s repetitious. At least that’s the case in director Babis Makridis’ “Pity,” a slow-burn drama about the relentless heartache loss tends to cause.

In the beginning we find Giannis (Yannis Drakopoulos) standing inside his home, in front of the door. He’s in a white button-up shirt and horn-rimmed glasses. There’s a knock at the door. A woman enters. She has a homemade Bundt cake. In “Pity,” there is an endless supply of these luscious pastries. It’s one of the few bright spots in Giannis’ otherwise morbid existence.

The film trudges through the trenches of his wife’s coma. Her sickness has spawned a despondency in Giannis, who can’t seem to move forward. Without her, how could he?

There are myriad of ways to tell this story. Where most films would verge toward a hospital-heavy long haul, “Pity” goes a different route. Efthimis Filippou (who co-wrote the project alongside Makridis) focuses on his Giannis’ interiors. Each day our protagonist awakes in panic. In his boxer briefs, he inches toward the edge of his bed, and begins to uncontrollably weep. Like clockwork, as the sun rises his tears fall. He can’t stop them. In fact, as the story proceeds, it feels as if Giannis is addicted to his own suffering.

All of this sounds more bleak than it is. Filippou comes from the Greek school of Yorgos Lanthimos, with whom he co-wrote “Dogtooth” and “The Lobster.” In these...

Everybody has been talking about Michael Wolff’s best seller “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” since it came out Jan. 5, but the author said there is one thing hinted at in its pages that he is surprised no has asked him about.

“Real Time With Bill Maher” kicked off its 16th season Friday night with Wolff, who hinted there was a tidbit near the end of his bombshell book that he thought would get tongues wagging, but hasn’t. At first cagey, he said it’s something he is “absolutely sure of but, was so incendiary that I just didn’t have the ultimate proof.”

Maher asked if it was about a woman, to which Wolff answered, “Yea. I didn’t have a blue dress.”

Of course, the “blue dress” he’s referring to is Monica Lewinsky’s infamous outfit that was said to be stained with President Bill Clinton’s semen and proof of his dalliance.

His curiosity piqued, Maher wondered if it was somebody Trump is “f—ing now?”

Without hesitation, Wolff said yes. “You just have to read between the lines,” adding that it’s toward the end of the book. “Now that I’ve told you,” he said, “when you hit that paragraph you’re going to say bingo.”

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'Fire...

“Juliet, Naked” didn’t cause a sensation or blow the roof off the Eccles Theater at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday night — but if it’s possible to charm the roof off the place, director Jesse Peretz’s adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel might just have turned the trick.

The film is a lovely low-key comedy with a rock ‘n’ roll heart, with Rose Byrne, Chris O’Dowd and Ethan Hawke giving us a trio of deftly and subtly drawn performances from Hornby’s deep trough of memorable characters.

The writer was clearly part of the reason for that buyers packed the Eccles and expectations were high for “Juliet, Naked.” Hornby’s books have been adapted into the commercial and critical successes “High Fidelity,” “Fever Pitch” and “About a Boy.” (He also works as a screenwriter, though he always adapts other people’s books: “An Education,” “Wild,” “Brooklyn.”)

Like “High Fidelity,” “Juliet, Naked” lives in one of Hornby’s real sweet spots. Few writers are as adept at conveying the ways music works in the lives of real people — casual listeners, devoted fans and crazed devotees obsessed with minutiae, Top 5 lists and frighteningly deep analysis.

(And if you want a terrific book about how music works in Hornby’s life, check out “Songbook,” one of the best books ever at capturing the various passions that can be aroused by the right sequence of notes.)

“Juliet, Naked” is the story...