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Movies, TV & Music

Empire December 2019

NEWS! Empire brings you world-exclusive movie news and first-look pictures of the films you want to watch and care about. REVIEWS! Empire delivers the most independent and authoritative movie reviews in the world - period. ACCESS! Empire's incredible insider-access brings you the interviews with A-list Hollywood stars that no-one else can get. All served with an irreverent sense of humour and unparalleled movie knowledge...

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United Kingdom
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
this month

HOW CAN IT almost be 2020? How? You know, it’s always been — at least in my mind — the year of hovercrafts and holograms and vacations to the moon, bucket and spade in hand. And here we are, closing out the second decade of this century, with a world that yes, is unrecognisable but possibly not in the ways that we imagined. What hasn’t changed, though: movies mean something. I’d argue that they mean more than ever. Little in our phone-buzzing, always-on world allows us the peace, immersion and the indulgence of cinema. The collective two and a half hours spent laughing and screaming with a room full of other people in the dark. It’s an experience that I treasure now more than I ever have done. And as…

2 min.
comment if the month

JENNYS FROM THE BLOCKS It’s time to re-evaluate J.Lo you say. And you’ve given us two chances in this month’s Empire. There she is appropriately in the J.Lo article on page 13 — but who’s that I see in the Eddie Murphy piece on page 23? Yep, it’s J.Lo. I can’t be the only one to notice. I now have a strong urge to watch Gigli for some reason. NATHAN EAMES, VIA EMAIL Thanks to the many, many readers who pointed out this little editing snafu, which remains a mystery even to us. We can only hope that she doesn’t sneak into the mag this month (say, on page 4). It seems we used to have a little J.Lo, now we have a lot. Picture house Empire’s star letter wins a Picturehouse Membership, plus one…

3 min.
no./1 the story inspired by sam mendes’ grandad

IF YOU KNOW anything about Sam Mendes’ 1917, you’ll know that it’s a World War I drama told in real time in a one-take deal. What you might not realise is that after seven films as a director, 1917 marks the very first time Mendes has written a screenplay. “Being in the writers’ room for so long with two Bond movies [Skyfall and Spectre] made me more confident about my ability to write something from scratch,” he begins. “At a certain point, I felt, ‘Why am I sitting around waiting to find something I want to direct. Why don’t I just make the thing myself from scratch?” There were other reasons that forced Mendes to boot up his laptop. The seeds of the screenplay came from his listening to the stories of…

2 min.
no./2 telling a love story in looks

PORTRAIT OF A Lady On Fire, director Céline Sciamma’s 18th century-set queer romance, which stunned critics at Cannes this year and won both the Queer Palm and Best Screenplay awards, is not a film of many words. Instead, it’s a forbidden love story between two women that lives and dies by stolen glances. “The women’s characters in the film are oppressed by the borders that society closes in on them,” says Noémie Merlant, who plays Marianne. “But with our eyes, with the looks that we have in secret, there is life, and desire.” Set on a desolate island in Brittany, the film charts the lesbian affair between Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), a wealthy young woman headed into an arranged marriage, and Marianne, an artist hired to paint her portrait in secret while posing…

1 min.
no./3 bloodshot

AFTER A SOLID decade working in visual effects on Star Wars video games and the Avengers films, Dave Wilson marks his directorial debut with Bloodshot. Vin Diesel plays Ray Garrison, a Marine who is murdered and resurrected and subsequently transformed into a living, breathing killing machine by a team of scientists who inject some nano-bots into his bloodstream. It’s a rare non-Fast & Furious entry for Diesel, who returns to that franchise later next year. But as our exclusive image shows, there will still be cars here. Phew. BLOODSHOT IS IN CINEMAS FROM 21 FEBRUARY 2020…

1 min.
no./4 meet star wars’ new hope

DEBORAH CHOW IS suddenly a huge deal. The first female director to take on Star Wars, she’s helming the upcoming Disney+ Obi-Wan live-action series, plus an episode of The Mandalorian. But the filmmaker has been working steadily for over a decade. THE HIGH COST OF LIVING (2010) Chow’s breakout indie melodrama film doesn’t necessarily mark an obvious trajectory towards a Star Wars TV show, but it does show her latent and versatile talent as a director. Starring Zach Braff, it won Best Canadian First Feature at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival. MR. ROBOT (2015) ‘EPS1.5_BR4VE-TRAVE1ER.ASF’ Chow’s direction on the Rami Malekstarring thriller series compounds a dark twist with the decision to simply let the camera linger with an agonising long take. It’s the kind of keen visual sensibility that would make for a fascinating fit…