Tribune News Service

Entertainment Budget for Monday, September 14, 2020

Updated at 4 p.m. EDT (2000 UTC).



^'Nomadland' and 'Ammonite' are early standouts at the first Toronto Film Festival of the pandemic era<

^MOVIE-TIFF:LA—<Cinematic trend-spotting is a fond and familiar practice for journalists covering international film festivals — the more weirdly specific the trend, the better.

For instance: Isn't it strange that we saw two movies on the same day featuring extreme acts of animal cruelty? And three the day before that revolved around a zombie apocalypse? Whoa, why is Tilda Swinton in everything this year? (That one isn't a complaint, mind you, just a question.) Forgive us, but we just can't help ourselves: It's a convenient way of organizing our thoughts on deadline and placing different films in conversation with one another. It also imposes an arbitrary, potentially misleading narrative on an experience that, even at its most carefully programmed, is destined and perhaps even designed to frustrate your sense of order.

That would seem especially true of the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, one of the first major film events of the COVID-19 pandemic era. Making sense of this year's significantly overhauled edition promises to be a challenge for any journalist who, like me, is covering the festival from afar, specifically from the confines of their living room.

1700 by Justin Chang. MOVED


^Geraldine Viswanathan never expected rom-com stardom. Then came 'Broken Hearts Gallery'<

^MOVIE-BROKEN-HEARTS-GALLERY-VISWANATHAN:LA—<Some romantics keep old photos in a shoebox. Others collect trinkets from the past. For Geraldine Viswanathan, words are what she holds dear.

"Everything handwritten, I've kept," said the Australian actress, who made a major leap from "Blockers" breakout to rom-com heroine in Sony's "The Broken Hearts Gallery." "Every single birthday card. I'll even write down what people say sometimes because I'm a psycho. But any words that I want to remember, I hold on to forever."

As a teenager she knew that memories can be ephemeral. So Viswanathan, now 25 and living in the States, had a ritual: She'd inscribe happy moments on sticky notes and keep them in a jar, and read them again at the end of the year. "Those little things that made your day, it's easy to forget them," she mused. "I should start doing that again. It was a good tradition."

Happiness jars: Not a bad idea for times like these.

1700 by Jen Yamato. MOVED


^Kelly Clarkson wants to 'light up America's life,' even on the days she feels dark<

^TV-CLARKSON:LA—<For nearly two decades, Kelly Clarkson has connected with fans through the power and prowess of her singing voice — swaddling them through heartbreak, empowering them beyond that heartbreak, and beaming with them through new love. So it's little wonder how much Clarkson has been able to build on that connection lately. With help from Wi-Fi.

As work on most television shows was suspended in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 38-year-old entertainer was part of two series that pressed on remotely. From a ranch (with poor plumbing) in Montana, where Clarkson took refuge with her family early on in the health crisis, she powered up her tech and offered her y'all-peppered critiques as a coach on "The Voice." At the same time, just months into her debut as a daytime talk show host with "The Kelly Clarkson Show," she and her team found themselves scrambling to produce at-home editions of the show.

As she explains it: "I am that kid that adapts to whatever environment."

2000 (with trims) by Yvonne Villarreal. MOVED


^Puerto Rican teen Madison Reyes is about to be a Netflix star. Yes, she's 'scared'<

^VID-JULIE-PHANTOMS-REYES:LA—<Madison Reyes was only 18 months old when "High School Musical" first debuted, and her love for the franchise grew as she did. She's seen the movies countless times; she collected all of the Barbie Dolls and stickers.

"I loved watching these kids sing and dance around their school," recalled Reyes, now 16. "I was like, 'I want to do that! What school I gotta go to to do that?!'"

Fast forward to last year, when the Puerto Rican teen started a dance circle in a locker-lined hallway and crowd surfed inside a confetti-covered cafeteria. She did so as the star of Netflix's "Julie and the Phantoms," which premiered Thursday — the latest project from "High School Musical" mastermind Kenny Ortega and the first of his overall deal with the streaming service.

800 by Ashley Lee. MOVED


^Cynthia Nixon says J.K. Rowling's anti-trans remarks were 'painful' for her son<

^NIXON-ROWLING:LA—<J.K. Rowling's anti-transgender remarks did not sit well with actress Cynthia Nixon's "'Harry Potter' family."

In a new interview, Nixon opened up about the harmful effect the author's views have had on her 23-year-old son, Samuel, who is trans and a "Harry Potter" fan.

"It was really painful for him because so much of his childhood was tied up with Harry Potter," Nixon told the Independent in a story published Monday.

500 by Christi Carras. MOVED



^Movie review: 'Devil All the Time' a messy journey into heart of humanity's darkness<

^DEVIL-ALL-TIME-MOVIE-REVIEW:MCT—<It's the sonorous narration that grabs you at first, a voice lush and resonant with time and place, warm, yet almost ominous, recounting a tale set in Knockemstiff, Ohio, and Coal Creek, West Virginia, back in 1957. This is the voice of author Donald Ray Pollock, of Knockemstiff, who worked at the local paper mill until age 50, when he decided to enroll at Ohio University to earn a degree in English. He sold his first short story collection, "Knockemstiff," in 2008, before his debut novel, "The Devil All the Time," came along in 2011. This is his yarn, and he recounts the bone-chilling events within it beautifully.

650 by Katie Walsh. MOVED


^Carrie Coon discusses building a quarantine life, upcoming film 'The Nest'<

^MOVIE-NEST-COON:TB—<To become an actor is to become a risk management specialist without really trying. To remain an actor in the middle of a pandemic, one that has left all but a few fortunate actors employed, means graduating to crisis director of your own life.

"Certainly November's going to be a big decider, as they say in politics, about what the future of our country looks like," says Carrie Coon, one of the fortune ones. The 39-year-Chicago stage veteran is a Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member, Tony Award nominee and frequent film and television presence thanks to "The Leftovers," "Fargo" and "The Sinner." For some, "Gone Girl" (2014) put her on the map. For others, she was on the map long before that.

Coon co-stars with Jude Law in "The Nest," the second feature by the Canadian writer-director Sean Durkin, opening in (very) limited release Friday before going online Nov. 17.

1000 by Michael Phillips. MOVED


^Review: Justine Triet's 'Sibyl' is a sly, sexy and beautifully acted comic thriller<

^SIBYL-MOVIE-REVIEW:LA—<Sibyl is a shrink, a writer, a singer, an acting coach, a sister, a mother, a dreamer and a drunk — though not, for the most part, all at the same time. She contains multitudes, not unlike the ancient Greek oracles from whom she is nominally descended, and perhaps (a big perhaps) like Sybil Dorset, the pseudonym assigned to one of the world's most famous dissociative identity disorder cases. Neither point of reference seems entirely lost on "Sibyl," a smart and absorbing new French comedy that initially unfolds like a series of psychotherapy sessions and eventually brings its story to a suitably mythic climax not far from a sputtering volcano.

950 by Justin Chang. MOVED



^Alex Trebek's health is 'priority No. 1' on new 'Jeopardy!' set<

^TV-JEOPARDY:LA—<"Jeopardy!" is protecting Alex Trebek at all costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Appearing Monday on "Good Morning America," recently crowned "Jeopardy!" GOAT Ken Jennings discussed his new role as a consulting producer on the game show, which has adapted its set to meet updated health and safety standards ahead of Monday night's season premiere.

"The set's been a little bit spruced up this season," Jennings told "GMA." "The thing you'll notice for COVID is that the individual contestant podiums — the lecterns — are now socially distanced.

450 by Christi Carras. MOVED


^'Avatar: The Last Airbender' just got more accessible to blind audiences<

^VID-AVATAR-LAST-AIRBENDER:LA—<Everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.

Then, everything changed again when Netflix added audio descriptions to "Avatar: The Last Airbender."

Filmmaker James Rath, who was born legally blind, tweeted on Friday that blind audiences and fans can now enjoy the popular animated TV series.

The streaming service acquired the rights to all three seasons of the series in May, and since then many have turned to its fantastic plot in quarantine.

400 by Laura Zornosa. MOVED


^Fall TV 2020: 5 things to know about a very different kind of season<

^TV-FALL:SJ—<Rumors of television's COVID-related demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Yes, there will be a fall TV season this year. It will just look a lot different. (Example: For the first time in nearly 20 years, "Survivor" isn't part of the CBS fall lineup).

With that in mind, we present a cursory overview of the current state of the television industry and how it impacts what you can watch in the coming months. Here are five important things to know about fall TV programming.

450 by Chuck Barney. MOVED


^After 'Cobra Kai': 10 hit shows based on movies<

^TV-ROUNDUP-BASED-ON-MOVIES:OS—<What would Mr. Miyagi think?

"Cobra Kai," a sitcom based on "The Karate Kid" franchise, made the jump from YouTube's pay streaming service (YouTube Premium) to Netflix on Aug. 28. Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprise their respective roles as titular karate kid Daniel LaRusso and bully Johnny Lawrence. As adults, the roles have reversed, with Johnny reopening the old dojo to give a new group of outcasts self-confidence, while Daniel has become something of an arrogant success.

With a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes for the first two seasons, it's likely there will be more to come. (Netflix has announced a third season set to debut next year but has not given a specific date.) After getting a karate fix, here are 10 other hit shows based on movies to check out.

1050 by Trevor Fraser. MOVED



^TV-TINSEL:MCT—<Rachelle Lefevre revels in acting challenge of 'The Sounds'

1700 by Luaine Lee. MOVED



^Patti LaBelle #Verzuz Gladys Knight: Music and love for the win<

^MUS-VERZUZ-LABELLE-KNIGHT:PH—<The mutual admiration between Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight owned the night Sunday in the latest installment of the #Verzuz series. Knight proved she still has the vocal chops of earlier years, and LaBelle proved she's still one of the best performers in the business.

The two reminisced, danced, belted, and bantered their way through a 2 1/2-hour show before at least 500,000 Instagram viewers. The show was livestreamed from the Fillmore Philadelphia on the Verzuz Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Apple Music accounts.

600 by Brandon T. Harden in Philadelphia. MOVED


MUS-ALBUMS:PH — Album reviews: Bettye LaVette, Bill Callahan, Dan Penn

750 by Dan DeLuca. MOVED



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