Welcome to WeeklyWilson.com, where author/film critic Connie (Corcoran) Wilson avoids totally losing her marbles in semi-retirement by writing about film (see the Chicago Film Festival reviews and SXSW), politics and books----her own books and those of other people. You'll also find her diverging frequently to share humorous (or not-so-humorous) anecdotes and concerns. Try it! You'll like it!

Tag: Jessica Chastain

Two Rentable New Films: “The Forgiven” & “Abandoned” (Rent or Pass?)


We checked out two new films recently, I’ll give you an idea about them to save you the time.

After checking out the trailers on my Guide movie-for rent list, I narrowed the choices to “The Forgiven” or “Abandoned.”

“The Forgiven” starred Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain, a big plus. It was on Amazon Prime and the price of each was $7.95 to rent. The rating by the audience on IMDB was only 5.8 out of 10, but these two are Oscar caliber actors. Plus, I liked another co-star, Christopher Abbott, who dallies with the married Jo Henninger in the film while her husband is away.

“Abandoned” is a horror thriller starring Emma Roberts, John Gallagher, Jr. (“Network News”) and one of my all-time favorites, Michael Shannon.

We watched “The Forgiven” first, and that ended up being the better choice. It is a well-crafted film with a plot set in Morocco and examining what happens when a couple on their way to a wedding accidentally hits and kills a young man on the dark highway who is selling fossils. (Apparently, selling fossils is a big industry for the locals. Who knew?) It also had an appearance by Christopher Abbott, who I knew from “James White,” where he played Cynthia Nixon’s son, and “It Comes At Night” in 2017—a horror movie that never quite delivered on the successful atmospheric brooding cinematography of Director Trey Edward Shults.

IMDB describes the plot this way: “The Forgiven takes place over a weekend in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and explores the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of both the local Muslims, and Western visitors to a house party in a grand villa.: Director James Michael McDonagh filmed on location; we get an inside look at the Arabic culture in what appears to be one of those countries that our former president described as “a s***ole country,” The folks flocking to the villa in the middle of nowhere appear to be either Euro-trash or, as one is identified, the style editor from a famous women’s magazine, which shall be nameless for the intention of this review.

Jessica (Chastain) and Ralph (Fiennes) are an unhappily married couple, Jo and David Henninger, on the verge of divorce. After David hits and kills the young native boy, the authorities are contacted. The boy’s father comes to the villa and demands that Ralph accompany him back to the desolate village from whence he came. We learn that the young man (Driss) might have been planning to rob some of the rich party-goers with another youth.

Should Ralph Fiennes’ character of David Henninger accompany the dead boy’s father back to Driss’ village? If he does, what will happen? Fiennes does accompany Driss’ dad, but what happens after that, while a satisfactory surprise ending, is still one that I am processing.

“Abandoned,” on the other hand, held the promise of a young woman (Emma Roberts) suffering from post-partum depression who has recently given birth and moves, with her husband (John Gallagher, Jr.) to a remote haunted house (which, the end-of-film credits tell us, was located in Smithfield, North Carolina.)

The house had a history, but the price was right. The previous family had a psychotic father who impregnated his underage daughter three times; it is hinted that he had a way with an axe. An old wardrobe in the house seems to be the entryway to a portion of the house where some of the offspring of the underage daughter of the house live on as ghosts, [as in “American Horror Story.”]

Most of the film consists of the vulnerable Emma (Roberts) trying to work through her depression and deal with her infant son, who has a bad case of colic. Michael Shannon enters for roughly 20 minutes of film time, which is a crime in and of itself. Shannon plays the brother of the poor underage sister and he shares the couch with Emma Roberts discussing his life in the house before its occupants met untimely ends.

The movie is a total waste of the talents of an actor as talented as Michael Shannon. For that matter, the script did no favors to the young couple, both of whom are good actors.

I am glad we began our viewing with “The Forgiven,” which at least had a structure that merited sticking with it to the end, but I cannot give a thumbs-up to “Abandoned.” The films rented for $7.95. In one case it was money well spent. In the other it was a waste of time and money.

2022 Oscars Feature Meltdown by Will Smith As He Wins the Oscar for Best Actor

On the heels of the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony, during which Will Smith was given the Oscar for Best Actor only minutes after he bitch-slapped presenter Chris Rock for making a fairly innocuous joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved bald head (something about how he was “looking forward to G.I. Jane 2”), we got these teary comments from the “King Richard” actor after his win:

“I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis (his co-star in “King Richard) and the 2 actresses who played Venus and Serena in “King Richard.” I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do you gotta’ be able to talk about abuse, you gotta’ be able to have people talk crazy about you. You gotta’ be able to have people disrespect you, and you gotta’ smile and pretend like that’s okay.

He diverged at that point to tell the audience about Denzel Washington’s cautionary remark to him that, “At  your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”

Will Smith seemed to be mentally teetering on the edge of a melt-down.  I couldn’t help but think of his mid-life “bucket list” that had him bungee jumping off bridges, etc. He seemed to really be in precarious mental health. The network actually covered his weeping face for a few “live” moments. I had originally been glad that he was (finally) going to win, since his wife (Jada Pinkett Smith) made such a fuss about his failure to win for “Concussion” and “Happyness” and other films in the past. Apparently, whining does pay off.

Smith continued:  “It’s like I want to be a vessel for love. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena. I want to be an ambassador for love and care and concern. I want to apologize to the Academy, to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people associated with “King Richard.”

Smith then proceeded to list all those involved with the “King Richard” project.

Will Smith

Smith concluded:  “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father (in “King Richard”) just like they said. Love will make you do crazy things.”

Yes, Will, you looked crazy. Slapping Chris Rock for doing his job and telling a very mild joke was way out of line. I hope the apology (boldfaced, above) is good enough.  Better than nothing, I guess. I have watched every Academy Awards since 1955 and this was one of the things we’ll be talking about for years. What are some others? The streaker the year David Niven was handing out an award. The Sacheen LittleFeather year, when she turned down the Oscar for Brando. The Vanessa Redgrave year when she spoke up for Palestinians and was soundly denounced for “being too political.” I might add that someone said that, while David Niven defused the streaker situation with a witty remark, it took Sean “Puffy” Combs (he of the arrest with Jennifer Lopez many moons ago) to pour oil on these troubled waters, although I did think that Chris Rock held it together well. (Who would have thought that Puffy would be the calm one? Yikes!)

I hope that, in the future, audience members are made to go through metal detectors to make sure nobody is armed. I hope that Will Smith’s marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith really is sound, because there have always been rumors about an “open” marriage, (whether true or false), and your outburst at the Academy Awards didn’t help squelch any of those remarks.

I tried to summon “Coda” to watch on my Apple + TV set in the afternoon of the Oscars, when “Coda” seemed to be “peaking” in the hours before the awards. I must admit that I had not been able to see “Coda” or “Drive My Car.” There’s something about being diagnosed with cancer in the middle of the awards season that will cause you to pay more attention to surgery and doctor visits, rather than going to the movies. The two I missed were “Coda” and “Drive My Car.”

After hearing some extremely positive feedback from people whose opinions I respect, I made a valiant effort to see “Coda” in the early afternoon, but my tekkie skills were not up to the task, and so I stuck with “The Power of the Dog,” the early leader with 12 nominations. (As it turned out, it was a lot like the year “The Turning Point” didn’t win anything, despite being nominated for everything!)

As the awards wound down, my daughter and I were doing very well, with the same number of “correct” responses. We tied because I selected Kenneth Branagh for the Original Screenplay, while she took “Up in the Air.” And then we evened out again with the Adapted Screenplay, where she took “Coda” and I took “The Power of the Dog” (which was my undoing in total picks.)

Still, 16 and 17 right of those announced on the air seems pretty decent. There were very few “upsets.”


Kenneth Branagh in Chicago for “Belfast.”

The Big News of the night was the slap fest between Will Smith and Chris Rock. I couldn’t help but think of some of Ricky Gervais’ remarks when hosting shows of this kind, or of Don Rickles’ long career as an insult comic. I thought: “There’s something going on here on Will Smith’s part.” His kids seem—strange, and his marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith is…different. Her green dress was truly lovely, but there is something going on  that we will all need to figure out. (And that means Will Smith, himself.)

To me, telling the public that you want to spread “love” and  to “be an ambassador for love, care and concern” does not jibe with rushing to the stage and striking the comic doing his job, which was to make jokes. Chris Rock’s joke was not that harsh. So much for “being a river to my people.” [The memo apparently did not reach Chris Rock that he was “on the river” of good will for Will Smith’s people.]

I truly loved watching Amy Schumer throughout the night and highly recommend her new series “Love and Beth.” At the outset of the evening she pointed out that the movie entitled “King Richard” took years to make and focused on the FATHER of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, NOT on the talented daughters. She also was dangled above the stage in a Spiderman suit, shooting silly string, and when she came back—late in the ceremony—she asked, naively, if she had missed anything.  She also sat down opposite Jesse Plemons, pulling Jesse’s wife Kirsten Dunst out of her chair, and began chatting with Jesse, who told her that the woman she had just banished from the table was not a “seat filler” but his wife.

Amy Schumer

Amy’s response, “You’re married to that seat filler? How weird.”

Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall did a credible job. and Wanda’s tour of the Hollywood Movie Museum was cute, but Amy was her comic gem self.

If you want my unvarnished opinion on which movie represented the biggest accomplishment for the director, it would probably be “Dune,” which took home 6 Oscars. Besides that film, my three “favorites” for the year were “Dune,” “West Side Story” and “No Time to Die.” I also liked “Nightmare Alley” and “Last Night in Soho” and found Bradley Cooper’s bit in “Licorice Pizza” worth the price of admission.

Will Smith’s teary acceptance speech to the audience ended this way:

“To my mother, a lot of this moment is really complicated for me (he mentioned her knitting crew, with whom she was watching)…um…being able to love and care for my mother and my family and my wife. Thank you for this honor. Thank you on behalf of Richard and  thank you Academy for inviting me back.”

That last part remains to be seen.

Here were the Oscar winners:

Best Picture:  “Coda”

Best Director:  Jane Campion for “The Power of the Dog”

Best Lead Actor:  Will Smith for “King Richard”

Best Lead Actress:  Jessica Chastain for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”

Best Supporting Actor:  Troy Kotsur for “Coda”

Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose for “West Side Story”

Best Film Editing:  “Dune”

Best Adapted Screenplay:  “Coda”

Best Screenplay:  “Belfast”

Best Cinematography:  “Dune”

Best Animated Feature:  “Encanto”

Best MakeUp and Hairstyling:  “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”

Best Costume Design:  “Cruella”

Best International Film:  “Drive My Car”

Best Original Song:  “No Time to Die” (Billie Eilish)

Best Documentary:  “Summer of Soul”

Best Visual Effects:  “Dune”

Best Production Design:  “Dune”

Best Sound:  “Dune”

Documentary Short Subject:  “The Queen of Basketball”

Live Action Short: “The Long Goodbye”

Best Score:  Hans Zimmer for “Dune”




Some Oscar Predictions, 2022

Best Picture
Nightmare Alley
Bradley Cooper, Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale

Denis Villeneuve, Mary Parent, Cale Boyter

Kenneth Branagh, Tamar Thomas, Laura Berwick, …

The Power of the Dog
Jane Campion, Roger Frappier, Emile Sherman, …

King Richard
Will Smith, Trevor White, Tim White

Don’t Look Up
Adam McKay, Kevin J. Messick

Drive My Car
Teruhisa Yamamoto

Licorice Pizza
Paul Thomas Anderson, Adam Somner, Sara Murphy

West Side Story (2021)
Steven Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger

Philippe Rousselet, Patrick Wachsberger, Fabrice Gianfermi

Best Actor
Andrew Garfield
tick, tick…BOOM!

Javier Bardem
Being the Ricardos

Will Smith
King Richard

Benedict Cumberbatch
The Power of the Dog

Denzel Washington
The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain
The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Kristen Stewart

Penélope Cruz
Madres paralelas

Olivia Colman
The Lost Daughter

Nicole Kidman
Being the Ricardos

Best Original Song

No Time To Die
Billie Eilish, FINNEAS

Somehow You Do (From The Motion Picture “Four Good Days”)
Diane Warren

Down to Joy
Van Morrison

Dos Oruguitas
Lin-Manuel Miranda

Be Alive (From the Motion Picture “King Richard”)
Beyoncé, DIXSON

(Boldfaced entries are the potential winners. More to come.)

Best Actress Nominees: Who Will Win?

Now that the nominees are ‘set’ for the March 27th Oscars, let’s take a closer look at who is up for what, (and who should have been up for what):

In the Best Actress category, the nominees are Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”); Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”); Penelope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”); Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”);  and Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”).

I recently published an entire piece on this blog about Jessica Chastain having a banner year, and mentioned her appearance opposite Michael Shannon in “Take Shelter,” back in 2011. (Shannon told me it was his “favorite film” in Chicago at the premiere of “The Shape of Water.”) Jessica was also the guiding light behind the disappointing female action thriller “355,” one of 16 producing credits; she has not been previously nominated for her body of acting work. I  met Ms. Chastain at the Press Red Carpet for Liv Ullman’s directorial debut, directing Jessica and Colin Farrell in “Miss Julie” in 2014.

Considering that her body of work includes such films as “The Tree of Life” (2011), “Zero Dark Thirty” (2012), “Molly’s Game” (2017) and this year’s “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” she is certainly an accomplished actress who has gone somewhat unrecognized for her previous appearances. “Take Shelter,” where she played the unhinged Michael Shannon’s long-suffering wife, was eleven years ago, so we are talking about a body of good work that has existed for over 10 years, without previous nominations. She has 57 acting credits, but has moved into producing, with 16 credits, including this year’s “355” foray into the area of female empowerment action films, (which quickly has become a genre of its own with films like Charlize Theron’s “Atomic Blonde” and 2019’s “The Kitchen” with Melissa McCarthy and Tiffany Haddish). So, the relatively slight recognition given to Jessica Chastain over the years mitigates for her to win in this category, over the much-more heralded Nicole Kidman, who has been nominated 5 times in the past 20 years and won in 2003 for “The Hours.”

On the other hand, anticipating that the Academy will want to give it to the most-heralded film gives the nod to “Being the Ricardos,” which has more overall nominations, including Javier Bardem for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons. If the Academy really wanted to reward the least-recognized of the lot after years of good work, probably Penelope Cruz for “Parallel Mothers” would merit that distinction, but it will be the least-seen of the films. Those that have seen “The Lost Daughter” with Olivia Colman are pretty well split about the film, itself, while recognizing that Olivia, as always, was good in it. And let’s not forget that Ms. Colman came out of nowhere to win the Best Actress award in 2018 for “The Favourite.”

So, if I were a betting woman, I’d put my money on Jessica Chastain or Nicole Kidman to win the Best Actress award this year. The “Spencer” film may have had an acceptable performance from Kristen Stewart, but, overall, it was a dreadfully dull film, and one without many facts on which to base the drama (such as it is). Kristen Stewart is the female equivalent of Keanu Reeves. She looked great in the Diana wear, and she held up her end of the action in a film where the Most Exciting Thing that Happens is Diana retrieving her sons from a fox hunt that they were about to participate in and getting weighed in a chair. (No explanation for that latter bit; you’ll have to suffer through the film if you want to know more.) MANY shots of food being prepared in the mansion kitchen (Yawn). I  don’t think that Olivia Colman, Penelope Cruz or Kristen Stewart have a real shot this year, but, if I’m wrong, I’d point to Penelope Cruz in a year when ethnicity matters.

If you want to know who should have been nominated, you can check out the gripers on IMDB.com, but the list could start with Ana Taylor-Joy in “Last Night in Soho,” move on to Lady Gaga in “House of Gucci,” and continue through “Cruella’s” Emmas (Stone and Thompson).

“Take Shelter:” Jeff Nichols-written-and-directed 2011 Drama (Another Jessica Chastain Film)

Jessica Chastain, with co-star (“Nick) on latest film “355.”

Last night, browsing through late-night offerings on television, Michael Shannon’s performance as a mentally-ill husband in “Take Shelter” (2011) caught my eye. If you’re a Michael Shannon fan, as I am, you’ll want to see it.

We turned over to watch it, and I was reminded that Shannon’s co-star in this intense psychological study was (drum roll, please): Jessica Chastain. It seemed only fitting that I re-watch this film, which I thoroughly enjoyed when it was new eleven years ago (when Jessica was 33).

In fact, when I had the opportunity to speak with Michael Shannon in Chicago at the premiere of Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” I asked Michael Shannon what his favorite film role had been. Rather than dodging the question (a question which is a little like asking, “Which of your children is your favorite?”) he immediately said “Take Shelter.”

In the film, Shannon’s character had a mother who was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic at about the same age that he is, in the film. His character is obsessed with the thought that a tornado is going to devastate the town, his house, and his family, and he is taking steps to put in a below-ground storm shelter. There is a climactic scene at a school cafeteria when Shannon mesmerizes as he erupts with emotion, warning the townsfolk that they are totally unprepared for what he sees as a coming apocalypse.

Of course, by then, he has been fired from his job for having taken equipment from the construction sites he worked on to build his underground tornado shelter. His wife’s patience, what with coping with her husband’s obsession and with their young deaf daughter, seems  about to collapse.

The film has a somewhat ambiguous ending, but Shannon’s performance was dynamite, and it is safe to say that Jessica Chastain’s performance as his long-suffering but devoted wife helped. (I met Chastain at the premiere of Liv Ullman’s directorial debut of the film “Miss Julie.” Her co-star in that film was Colin Farrell.)

Jessica Chastain is now 44 years old. She seems to be moving towards directing, as articles suggest that it was her idea to put together the concept for her latest film “355.” Unfortunately, the female buddy genre, which seemed fresh, creative and new when suggested in 2018, had been co-opted by 2022. “355” is currently playing theaters, only.


Jessica Chastain Having Banner Year in Two New Movies

We journeyed out to the theater to see Jessica Chastain’s newest movie, “355,”directed by Simon Kinberg.

The log-line says: “When a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, a wild card CIA agent joins forces with three international agents on a lethal mission to retrieve it, while staying a step ahead of a mysterious woman who’s tracking their every move.”

The star power for the film, aside from Chastain who plays Mace, is provided by stars Penelope Cruz (Graciela Rivera), Diane Kruger (Marie Schmidt), Lupita N’yongo (Khadijah Adiyemi) and Chinese star Bingbing Fan (Lin Mi Cheng). The male lead of Nick Fowler is portrayed by Sebastian Stan and Edgar Ramirez has a small role as Luis Rojas.

The settings for the outing are glamorous. The film opens at a location described as 150 miles south of Bogota, Columbia. Before the tale about the totally untraceable master key cyber disrupter, which will allow the nation that possesses it to wreak havoc, winds down, we will have visited Berlin, Langley (Va) CIA headquarters, London, Marrakesh (Morocco), Shanghai, and many other exotic ports of call.

There is lots of fighting, with slight girls always besting the guys every time.  What is the significance of the title?

“So the woman I played in Zero Dark Thirty talked to me a lot about espionage and I think when I was preparing for that she started talking about 355 and I asked her what it meant. And 355 was the secret code name for the first female spy during the American Revolution. And her name still remains a mystery to this day,”Jessica said  at the virtual New York Comic-Con in 2020.

Lines like “When you live a life of lies, it’s hard to know what is true and what isn’t” made me think of Donald J. Trump, but it didn’t make me marvel at the screenplay, (courtesy of Theresa Rebeck).

I can’t recommend “355,” but “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” available on HBO Max, is pretty good.

Portraying Tammy Faye Bakker has garnered some talk of an Oscar nomination for Jessica, who plays airhead Tammy Fay Bakker, the partner of Jim Bakker in the PTL Club they founded in 1974. Tammy Faye is portrayed quite sympathetically in this film. The film is based on a documentary of the same name that was narrated by Ru Paul, a consequence of the gay community’s embrace of Tammy Faye, just as she had embraced the homosexual community during the AIDS crises of the 70s and 80s. Everything came crashing down in 1989.

In reading about the film, I learned that the scene involving Tammy Faye and a Nashville music producer, who was supposedly interested in her when she was 9 months pregnant, was not accurate. In fact, the producer in question was quite incensed at the suggestion. He did not give Tammy Faye a ride to the hospital to deliver baby number two, as the film depicts.

The way in which the couple met Jerry Falwell (portrayed by Vincent D’Onofrio) was also incorrect. It is portrayed as a chance meeting occurring when the couple’s car is stolen outside a motel, but the truth is that the couple had actually crashed their car and trailer earlier.

I looked up some information on Jim Bakker’s sins and misdeeds. He got 45 years, originally, but it was reduced to 8 on appeal and he even has been appearing on the television air waves again, hawking a silver substance that supposedly  “cures” many diseases and various Covid cures, until he was told to knock it off by the authorities, One of the things that Bakker and his second wife were also selling on TV recently was survivalist food that would save the day in the event of the end of the world. During his days with Tammy Faye Jim kept a second set of ‘fake” books and also used church funds to underwrite a face lift for himself. The pay-off to Jessica Hahn for sexual services rendered, which Roe Messner mis-represented as charges for the building of Heritage USA, an evangelical theme park.

Tammy Faye, after her divorce from Jim Bakker in 1992, married Roe Messner, the character shown in the film as the developer of Heritage USA. A theme park that Jim Bakker was proposing. Tammy Faye made several appearances on Larry King’s TV show during her 11-year battle with colon cancer, which ultimately took her life at the age of 65 on July 20, 2007.

One-on-One with Liv Ullmann, Star of Ingmar Bergman’s Films

One day after her film adaptation of the 1888 Strindberg play “Miss Julie” opened the 50th Chicago Film Festival, actress Liv Ullmann was kind enough to speak with me one-on-one about the film, her future projects, and life, in general. We met at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Chicago and the beautiful Norwegian actress, muse to Ingmar Bergmann in so many of his films, was warm and welcoming.


Ullmann had much praise for her “Miss Julie” dream cast (Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton) saying, of Jessica Chastain, “She is both cool and cold. She’s a young woman grappling with non-existence. I just think she’s a genius. It’s very much the way I act.” She added, “I think the actors’ movie is the actors’ movie” and praised the trio universally. Liv remarked on Miss Julie’s feeling of not belonging, indicating that she thought Ms. Chastain was remarkable as the female lead.


The director was no less effusive in her praise of male lead Colin Farrell, saying, “No one else could do the movie as he did it.” Although selected partially because of his handsome good looks, Ullmann remarked that, during filming, Farrell awoke one night and wrote a poem as though he were John the valet, writing to Miss Julie. “I tried to find a way to use it in the film,” said Ullmann, “but ultimately we could not fit it in.”


Ullmann said, of Farrell’s selection as the male lead, “I saw a lot of Colin’s movies and I could see that he is also a theater actor. For me, I like to work with theater actors because I like to make films that are film theater.”


I mentioned Farrell’s appearances in both “Tigerland” and “In Bruges,” both early films of his, and also repeated the quote that Al Pacino once called Farrell “the greatest actor of his generation.” Liv Ullmann said, “He was fantastic in “In Bruges.’ What first sold me on him for ‘Miss Julie” was what he said during a phone conversation.  It floored me.  I thought, ‘This is a soul mate.’ He’s an incredible actor and he’s going to bring what I think no one really will expect from him to television’s ‘True Detective,’ (with Vince Vaughan) because he has dimensions which you seldom see in a film actor. He shows you the good and, at the same time, he shows you the bad.”


I had brought along a Chicago Tribune clipping about an Atlantic Monthly article quoting Mayor Emanuel’s older brother, a noted oncologist and bio-ethicist, saying that 75 was the optimal life span. After that, suggested the Mayor’s older brother, you were not viewed the same way and might even be seen as pathetic.


Upon entering the room, I gave the article to Ms. Ullmann and said, “The Mayor of Chicago’s older brother says we all should die at 75.” This was a bit of a simplification, but the thought was definitely there in Ezekial Emanuel’s words. [Ezekial Emanuel is an oncologist and bio-ethicist at the University of Pennsylvania and has been singled out by his brother, the Mayor, as “the smartest one” of the three brothers].


Unfortunately, Liv Ullmann thought I had used the word “diet.” When she realized that the word was actually “die” she seemed as upset by Ezekial Emanuel’s remarks as I was. She is also deeply concerned about the class system and the unequal distribution of wealth that is occurring, world-wide, saying, “I believe more in its (the class system’s) existence now than ever!” She was praised for her humanitarian works from the stage on Premiere night by Colin Farrell.


New projects? “I will be doing an adaptation of ‘Private Confessions.’ Ingmar (Bergman) gave it to me years ago saying, “I don’t believe in God, but you do.” The National Theater in Norway will adapt it for the stage.” Ullmann said, “It is about connecting. How damaging is it to lie to one another? How damaging is it to be truthful?”

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén