The 2018 release of the Netflix teen rom-com "To All the Boys I've Loved Before," changed the lives of its stars, Lana Condor and Noah Centineo, by putting them on Hollywood's radar.
"People are taking me more seriously," said Condor, a 22-year-old Vietnamese American. "I feel like I can take up way more space, and I really, really appreciate being part of the conversation of representation. That's something that I feel so passionate about."
And Centineo, 23, has become a leading man. He will star as He-Man in "Masters of the Universe," due out in 2021.
A sequel, "To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You," is now playing on Netflix. In it, Condor and Centineo reprise their roles as Lara Jean and Peter, who are embarking on a real romance after falling in love in the first film.
The first movie introduced Lara Jean, a Korean American teen whose younger sister mails out a stash of hidden love letters to former crushes that were never intended to be read. To mask her embarrassment, Lara Jean fakes a romance with one of those recipients, Peter, who is looking to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. Things grow complicated when the pair falls in love. In the sequel, another love letter recipient (Jordan Fisher) surfaces. "To All the Boys" is adapted from a young adult book trilogy by Jenny Han.
"When we made the first movie, we didn't even know if anyone would see it,'' Condor said. "Netflix hadn't bought it yet and it was just kind of like, 'Oh, I love the movie. I love the story, but I hope people will even see this.'"
Centineo is quick to admit that he's learned it's not all smooth-sailing when you become famous.
"It's hard to not be grateful when you've done something that's given you so much access to so many amazing creators and professionals," he said.
"There are days where I think I'm a fraud and I suck and I'm (expletive) shallow and I get anxiety attacks,'' Centineo said. "But, I like to think that ... bravery is despite being afraid to do something, you still have the courage to do it anyway."
The cast has already completed filming the third chapter in the franchise.
Condor says she was "in denial" on her last day of filming, and choked up speaking about what the Lara Jean role has meant to her.
"Lara Jean has been such a huge part of my life and it's only been like two years, but I've spent so much time with her," said Condor, her voice cracking. "She's given me so many opportunities that I'm so grateful for and so kind of closing that chapter was very hard for me."
Centineo says it wasn't sad for him to walk away because his goodbye was only to the character, not his co-stars.
"I poured everything I could into this character and this film and this whole project — all three films — and we made a family out of it and I think we were successful on a personal level in creating a lot of connection. So when it was over it was OK. I didn't have any regrets. I didn't feel like I didn't do something. I didn't feel like I could've done something better."
Han says the experience of bringing her books to life has been so exciting that she's now doing screenwriting and wants to introduce more diverse characters.
"People often think of stories about non-white characters as niche or that people will not be able to relate to them for whatever reason and there's so many different ways to be an all American girl, to be a teenage girl."
"To All the Boys" is opposite of what's going on now, Condor said. The world is rigid and scary, but "this movie is soft and sweet and gentle and kind."
President Donald Trump is apparently not a fan of "Parasite," his biggest complaint being that the movie was made in South Korea.
Trump started talking about the Academy Awards during a campaign rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Thursday. Parasite was named best picture, becoming the first non-English-language film to get the top honor.
"What the hell was that all about?" Trump said. "We've got enough problems with South Korea with trade. On top of that, they give them best movie of the year. Was it good? I don't know."
Neon, the U.S. distributor for the subtitled film, shot back on Twitter: "Understandable. He can't read."
The audience booed when Trump mentioned the Academy Awards and then cheered when he said: "Can we get like ''Gone with the Wind' back please? 'Sunset Boulevard,' so many great movies."
"Parasite" tells the story of how a family of four poor, unemployed people living in a slum basement apartment comically infiltrates a wealthy family residing at a luxurious mansion before things unravel violently and tragically.
The redesigned "Sonic the Hedgehog" showed plenty of teeth at the box office, speeding to a $57 million debut, according to studio estimates Sunday, while "Parasite" saw one of the largest post-Oscars bumps in years following its best picture win.
Paramount Pictures' "Sonic the Hedgehog" came in well above expectations, especially for a movie that just months ago was a laughing stock. After its first trailer was greeted with ridicule on social media last year, "Sonic" was postponed three months to give its title character a design overhaul — including fixing Sonic's eerily human teeth.
The makeover worked and audiences responded by making "Sonic the Hedgehog" the weekend's top film and the highest-grossing opening for a video game adaptation, not accounting for inflation. For Paramount, it's a welcome success following misfires such as "Gemini Man" and "Terminator: Dark Fate." The studio estimates "Sonic" will gross $68 million over the four-day Presidents Day holiday weekend.
"If you don't listen to your customer, and this goes for any business, then you're going to fail," said Chris Aronson, distribution chief for Paramount. "We retooled Sonic in a way that was obviously very satisfying for the fans and they were very forgiving. Now that they've seen the movie, they love the movie. It all worked out."
The Sega video game adaptation, directed by Jeff Fowler, drew decent reviews (63% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and an A CinemaScore from moviegoers. The $87 million production co-stars Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik with Ben Schwartz supplying Sonic's voice.
Bong Joon Ho's "Parasite" had its biggest weekend in its 19th week of release. Neon put "Parasite" into its widest release yet (2,001 theaters) following its historic win at the Oscars. ("Parasite" was the first non-English-language film to win best picture in the 92-year history of the Academy Awards.) And despite the film already being available for weeks on digital platforms and on DVD, its $5.5 million weekend is the largest Oscars bump for a best-picture winner since "Gladiator" in 2001.
Last week's opening of "Birds of Prey" followed up its limp debut by sliding to second with $17.1 million. Following its disappointing opening, some theaters retitled the movie "Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey," instead of "Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)."
It was a busy weekend in theaters, with a handful of other new releases — "The Photograph," "Fantasy Island," "Downhill" — seeking to capitalize on both Valentine's Day on Friday and Presidents Day on Monday.
"Fantasy Island," the Blumhouse horror remake of the '70s TV show, fared the best, collecting $12.4 million in ticket sales despite terrible reviews. Sony Pictures handled the release of the low-budget, PG-13 film, which earned just a 9% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Universal Pictures "The Photograph," a romance starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield and produced by Will Packer ("Girls Trip," "Ride Along"), opened with $12.2 million. The film, written and directed by Stella Meghie, cost $15 million to make.
"Downhill," from Disney's Fox Searchlight Pictures, debuted with $4.7 million, a modest start for a film starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell. A remake of the acclaimed Swedish film "Force Majeure" by Ruben Östlund, "Downhill" didn't do great with critics but fared even worse with audiences. They gave it a D CinemaScore.
Neon followed up its "Parasite" Oscar win with the Valentine's Day release of "Portrait of a Lady on Fire," one of 2019's most acclaimed films. Following a one-week qualifying run in December, Celine Sciamma's French period romance opened in 22 theaters with a strong per-theater average of about $20,000.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included.
1. "Sonic the Hedgehog," $57 million ($44.3 million international).
2. "Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey," $17.1 million ($23 million international).
3. "Fantasy Island," $12.4 million ($7.6 million international).
4. "The Photograph," $12.3 million.
5. "Bad Boys for Life," $11.3 million ($11.1 million international).
6. "1917," $8.1 million ($6.4 million international).
7. "Jumanji: The Next Level," $5.7 million ($1.9 million international).
8. "Parasite," $5.5 million.
9. "Dolittle," $5.1 million ($8.8 million international).
10. "Downhill," $4.7 million.
The four-day grand event ‘3rd Art Festival 2020, Nilphamari’ will begin on February 26.
A press conference was held at the graphic design department of Fine Arts Faculty of Dhaka University to present details of the event.
Eminent artist Professor Mohammad Eunus is the convener of the festival organising committee while award winning artist Md Harun-Ar-Rashid Tutul, an assistant professor of the Department of Graphic Design, Faculty of Fine Arts, is the curator of the festival.
Tutul said the theme for this year’s festival is ‘Nature is Life, Art for Brighter Life’. Artists will paint as they like, while the organisers will provide them with art supplies, food and accommodation.
The festival will feature an international art camp by eminent artists from Bangladesh and beyond, art exhibitions, curated art projects, artist's talk, seminar, cultural programmes, a traditional folk art and craft-fair, Installation, camp fire and sightseeing tours.
The opening ceremony of the festival will be held on February 27. State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid will be present as the chief guest.
Eminent artist professor Rafqun Nabi will inaugurate the festival while cultural personality Asaduzzaman Noor will preside over the programme.
An exhibition will be held on February 29 while another exhibition of the same paintings will be arranged from April 24 to April 30.
The organisers said the main goal is to introduce a healthy culture against the backdrop of poor taste, from cities to the remote countryside of Bangladesh, travelling beyond the realms of time.
The art festival aims to inspire artists to create innovative artworks, in a quiet place beyond the chaotic city life. Renowned artists from home and abroad will share their experiences and views on art with school students during the event, they said.
Eminent foreign participant artists will also attend along with the local participant artists.
Oscar-winning "Parasite" director Bong Joon-ho said Wednesday the film's "biggest pleasure and the most significant meaning" to him is that it succeeded even though the audiences might feel uncomfortable with his explicit description of bitter wealth disparity in modern society.
Bong's dark comic thriller about two families on the opposite ends of South Korea's social spectrum is a history-making film. It won best picture at this month's 92nd Academy Awards ceremony, becoming the first non-English-language film to get the top honor. Bong and his film clinched three other Oscars.
Bong told reporters that the movie's story has not only "funny, comic" elements but also "bitter, painful natures" of the disparity between the haves and have-nots in modern society.
"I didn't want to avoid such a part even a little bit," Bong told a nationally televised news conference. "Audiences might hate that or feel uncomfortable to watch it ... but I thought the only option I can have for this movie is depicting the world we live as frankly as possible, though that might be risky commercially."
Noting that "Parasite" was already commercially successful in North America, France, Vietnam, Japan, the United Kingdom and his native South Korea even before his Oscar triumph, Bong said, "Regardless of the (Oscar) wins, the biggest pleasure and the most significant meaning was the fact that many audiences around the world of our times respond to the movie."
The class satire tells the story of how a family of four poor, unemployed people living in a slum basement apartment comically infiltrates a wealthy family residing at a luxurious mansion before things unravel violently and tragically.
Bong already had commercial and critical success with his 2013 sci-fi film "Snowpiercer," which starred Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton along with South Korean "Parasite" actor Song Kang-ho. But nothing that's come before has been remotely as successful as "Parasite," a profoundly South Korean film shot in the Korean language.
Along with the best picture award, Bong was also named best director and co-shared another Oscar title, best original screenplay, with "Parasite" co-writer Han Jin Won. The film won best international feature film as well.
The movie, which is also the first South Korean film to win an Oscar, has made Bong a national hero. Ahead of April's parliamentary elections in South Korea, some politicians even proposed setting up a Bong statue, establishing a street named after him and rebuilding the house where he was born.
Asked about such proposals, Bong joked, "I hope people will talk about such things after I die."
Bong said that he will leave it to critics, journalists and fans to analyze the movie's commercial appeal, and that he'd fully focus on working on this next film.
At the same news conference, actress Lee Jeong-eun, who plays a live-in housekeeper for the wealthy family in "Parasite," said the movie portrayed universal problems such as unemployment "in a very interesting yet an in-depth manner." Han said he believes many audiences sympathized with the movie's 10 main characters, who "have their own dramas and have their own reasons to live."
Bong said he was ready for a break after a successful yet exhausting Oscars campaign. But he said prominent American director Martin Scorsese pleaded that he get back to work quickly.
"I just read his letter a few hours ago and it was an honor," Bong said. "He said I did a good job and should rest, but only a little because he and everyone else was eagerly waiting for my next film."
Bong had mentioned his admiration of Scorsese while receiving the directing Oscar, inspiring an impromptu standing ovation from the crowd.
Bong said he was discussing with HBO making a TV adaptation of "Parasite," with American director and screenwriter Adam McKay agreeing to be a writer on the series, which could run five or six episodes.
"We have smoothly taken the first step with HBO," said Bong, while denying reports that Mark Ruffalo and Swinton have been finalized as cast members.
"The TV adaptation of 'Snowpiercer' is planned to air in May, but since we started talking about it in 2014 or 2015, it took about five years. (The TV version of) 'Parasite' might take quite a while too," he said.