‘Breaking News in Yuba County’ Review

In the middle of the closing credits for Tate Taylor’s new film, the director inserted a one-minute postscript scene. It’s an exchange between the main character played by Allison Janney and the talk show host played by Juliette Lewis. Their eyes are wild with a delicious madness, and that brief coda contains all the irony that 90 minutes earlier was sorely lacking.

The story of a woman escaping her false anonymity by filming a tabloid lie, Hot news in Yuba County there’s a perfect Janney at the center of a famous cast in the game. However, as it groped through its unwieldy mix of criminal farce, social commentary, and black comedy, the genre it nailed most firmly was the one that raised the burning question “Why? many successful actors signed this movie?”

Key point

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RELEASE DATE February 12, 2021


On the page, screenplay by Amanda Idoko (The Goldbergs) may have been intrigued with its slant towards our media-centric culture. But in the finished product, the punctures hardly feel fresh and not earthy enough. This is a story that revolves around self-promotion and a 15-minute search for fame, but social media isn’t even mentioned. That might not matter if the movie revolves around a truly captivating web of frenzy. But the madness of the story, while armed with a few streamlined zingers, feels mostly tense, twirling between the absurd, gritty, and half-hearted.

However, Janney’s nuanced performance never faltered. Her Sue Buttons, a middle-aged suburban, becomes the unlikely engine of a comedy about flaws whose consequences are horrendous. Everything about Sue is polite, from her beige nail polish to her tolerance for rude people she meets during her day. Like Hot news opening, affirmation is her soundtrack and she knows she needs to get out of her unwanted cloak of invisibility.

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The turning point was her birthday, a day that was noticed not only at the switchboard where she worked, but also at home. Energized by the power of “I Matter”, she encounters her husband, banker Karl (Matthew Modine), flirting with his mistress (Bridget Everett). The confrontation ended badly – and forever – for Karl, whose heart was already overflowing. In the first dose of the powerful “huh?,” Sue bury the evidence. Being widowed can bring a certain amount of attention, but Sue craves something bigger, the kind of focus a TV character (Lewis) is giving the case of a girl who has died. accumulate. And so she informed the world that her husband was missing.

What Sue doesn’t know is that Karl, thanks to his ex-brother, Petey (Jimmi Simpson), has been sucked into the money laundering scheme of bowling alley owner Kim (Keong Sim), and has yet to complete the breach. latest legislation. Transaction. That naturally puts some sadistic henchmen on the trail of unsendable money: Kim’s bully daughter, Mina (Awkwafina), and the brilliant Ray (Clifton Collins Jr. – who just received the Male title. Sundance’s Best Lead Actor Cho Jockey and it’s wise not to say much here).

Sue’s older sister, Nancy (Mila Kunis), is a local TV reporter, and when she says, “Let me help you,” she means “I need this news.” That they are actually half-sisters is revealed in a particularly sharp dialogue, a dialogue whose ferocity sets it apart in a film that primarily plays out across multiple lines. most drawing.

Even so, connecting with siblings, the newly savvy public Sue chooses to bring her story to a larger audience than Nancy can offer. She weaves her fabricated story with a sensational angle to capture the attention of Lewis’ Gloria Michaels – who proclaims compassion on screen (“I’m on your side” is her catchphrase). her) and vice versa, self-esteem and self-contempt.

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As the police detective who sees right through Sue’s story, Regina Hall rises above the rising wave of cartoons with some rhythmic double shots and pointless energy. The rest of the cast’s energy focuses more on deeply unedited gameplay – Wanda Sykes as Petey’s furniture store owner Ellen Barkin as her girlfriend, a return to the day The descending of gangster habits threatens Awkwafina. There are also brave attempts to make random and unconvincing characters come true (Samira Wiley as Petey’s twin pregnant mate). The combination of bad hair and funny scores signals that we shouldn’t take any of these things seriously. It’s distracting, however, as the costumes and interiors have more of a character-defining subtlety than the characters themselves have virtually no depth.

The Mississippi-shot feature maintains a distinctly southern feel even though it’s supposed to be set in a quiet corner of inland California, but Taylor (Help, Go up, Ghost) captures a small-town vibe in the story. As a spoof of crime clichés – elaborate plots that don’t add up except for plot-driven, violent elements – the film does its point. But the flat action gestures lead to a level of comical delirium that it never reaches (except for that ending credits sequence). The outburst of brutality, obvious and suggested, falls somewhere between Tarantino and Looney Tunes, and not in a good way – there’s a bitter idiocy to cruelty, and it quickly become tired.

Throughout the film, however, Janney is a marvel. She non-verbally conveys the striking calculations of Sue Buttons whenever someone questions the holes in her story. She shows us how a long overlooked woman comes to life by lying and manipulation, growing in the false warmth of all the media attention, and in the process, become a smug monster, obsessed with the idea of ​​having and telling stories – even a powerful mashup like this one.

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Distributor: American International Pictures / MGM
Production company: AGC Studios, Fibonacci Films, Sarma Films Ltd., Ingenious Media, Nine Stories, Wyola Entertainment, The Black List
Actors: Allison Janney, Mila Kunis, Awkwafina. Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes, Juliette Lewis, Samira Wiley, Jimmi Simpson, Clifton Collins Jr., Matthew Modine, Ellen Barkin, Bridget Everett, Dominic Burgess, Keong Sim, Chris Lowell, TC Matherne, Susan Schwan McPhail, Jock McKissic, Lucy Faust
Directed by: Tate Taylor
Screenwriter: Amanda Idoko
Producers: Franklin Leonard, Jake Gyllenhall, Riva Marker, John Norris, Tate Taylor
Executive Producers: Stuart Ford, Greg Shapiro, Miguel Palos Jr., Grek Clark, Victoria Hill, Amit Pandya, Stephen Spence, Allison Janney, Amanda Idoko, Robin Mulcahy Fisichella
Director of Photography: Christina Voros
Production Designer: Bruce Curtis
Costume designer: Olga Mill
Editor: Lucy Donaldson
Music: Jeff Beal
Starring: Kerry Barden, Paul Schnee

96 minutes

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