Little Drummer Girl Is a Brisk Spy Thriller That’s Worth Your Time

“Terrorism is theater,” wrote Brian Jenkins, an expert on the topic, in 1974. John le Carré’s novel The Little Drummer Girl takes this famous–and, in 21st century America, self-evident–observation to its logical extreme, following an actor recruited to infiltrate a terrorist cell that is planning its next lethal show.

In AMC’s adaptation of the book, a co-production with the BBC that will air on three consecutive nights starting Nov. 19, the year is 1979 and the actor is a young Londoner named Charlie (Florence Pugh). Despite her bewitching performances, she’s still awaiting her big break when she meets a mystery man (Alexander Skarsgard’s Becker) in Greece. He whisks her away, supposedly for a private getaway but really to recruit her for a renegade squad of Israeli spies scheming to take down a Palestinian terrorist leader. The group’s obsessive boss, Kurtz (Michael Shannon), fancies himself a director in the “theater of the real,” and he’s cast Charlie as his leading lady. She has a history of pro-Palestine politics, but the team is betting that her sympathies will only lend authenticity to her charade.

As in all le Carré stories, there’s a lot more going on here–enough to mire the first third of The Little Drummer Girl in exposition without providing much insight into the characters. Only after Charlie’s mission begins does thriller master Park Chan-wook (Oldboy), who directed the miniseries, pick up the pace.

But later episodes are worth the wait. Suspense builds against a backdrop of ’70s interiors so bright, they’re sinister. Charlie’s moral dilemma, fraught by her feelings for Becker, speaks volumes about British interference in the Middle East. There are nuanced characters on both sides. Yet it’s Pugh–an actor playing an actor improvising her way through the role of a lifetime–who makes the show work. By capturing Charlie’s ambivalence, she creates a truly unpredictable heroine.

This appears in the November 19, 2018 issue of TIME.
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Claire Foy Doesn’t Want ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ to Diminish #MeToo

Much has been said about both The Girl in the Spider’s Web and Claire Foy, the film’s star. The movie — Fede Alvarez’s adaptation of the first book in the Millennium series not written by Stieg Larsson — has seen its main protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, tagged ‘Lady Batman’ and labelled a poster girl for #MeToo. Meanwhile, Foy has been vocal about her dislike of the term ‘strong women’.

The Crown actress, it seems, doesn’t like labels – and though she’s reticent to attach the #MeToo tag to The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Foy does acknowledge the film’s relevance and importance to the cause. Lisbeth’s first #MeToo moment is addressed in the film – the abuse she endured at the hands of her father as a young girl. Lisbeth would also go on to suffer at the hands of her guardian – as seen in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – against whom she would eventually retaliate. Brutally. Salander, Foy admits, reacts to abuse like so many real-life women who’ve embraced #MeToo, only speaking out about their story, or taking action, some time after the event.

The Best Thing is to Not Fight

Claire Foy as Lisbeth Salander, complete with avenging hero make-up.

“I think that’s the point of why Lisbeth is moved to action,” says Foy of the impotence felt by women when it comes to speaking out. “I think she never felt when she was being abused by the guy that was supposed to be in charge of her — you know, he’s supposed to be a ward of the state, he was supposed to be taking care of her, was her caregiver, I suppose… she’s been so trained by the predator-victim dynamic that she knows there’s very little she can do and that there’s very little… she’s powerless. She knows that the best thing is to not fight, in a way.”

Foy explains that Salander chooses to act the way she does in order to take back control, to seize the power, to transcend victimhood – because she knows she’ll be let down if she goes the accepted route. A route established by a society that routinely shifts the blame or onus onto women when it comes to rape or sexual assault, and one that makes them feel ashamed and victimised. In the original film, Salander waits for the right moment to mete out her carefully plotted revenge on her abuser. In The Girl in the Spider’s Web, she is an avenging hero, taking revenge on abusive men on behalf of other women, but is only able to fully understand and confront the far-reaching effects of her father’s abuse in the film’s closing moments.

Women Are Made to Feel Shame

“But that’s the story of Lisbeth; that then she bides her time,” says Foy. “She waits, she’s like a spider, and she waits and then she will make him pay. And then she will make him feel more humiliated than he made her. Her moral compass is so strong, she knows that that is wrong and that shouldn’t be allowed, but she knows that the place where women seek protection is often the place where they’re most judged and most made to feel like a victim as opposed to a survivor.

“And so her lack of trust in authority is something I think is probably what a lot of women feel. And a lot of women feel that there isn’t a safe space for it because the shame often… we’re so ashamed of things like that in our society. The shame often lies with the woman or the ‘victim’ — for want of a better word, because I don’t really like that phrase — being made to feel shame. We’re so ashamed. And that’s wrong. I think that’s why people are able to come out more now because there are more voices. As long as there are more voices saying: ‘This also happened to me, this is also what I’ve been through’, as long there are more representations of women like Lisbeth on screen [demonstrating that it’s] not something that people need to be ashamed of, and we can allow people to speak and express themselves in that way, [all] the better. I think #MeToo is very much a catchphrase for a lot of the media. I can’t tell you how many interviews I’ve done where people have said: “It’s #MeToo, this film” and I’m like, I don’t want this film to diminish the MeToo movement. By attaching it to a movie [that’s a danger].”

Weakness Is Also Part of What It Is to Be a Woman

Claire Foy rejects the idea that Lisbeth is merely ‘strong’.

A term that often gets attached to characters like Lisbeth Salander is “strong woman”. Foy recently spoke out against this overused pairing of words, and explains why she dislikes it so much.

“I think strength and power is something that’s very much deemed to be masculine,” she says. “I think they’re trying to make women being strong [seem like] a positive; it’s something that someone is like: ‘That’s what you want to see. You don’t want to see weak women. Why do you want to see a weak woman?’ And you sort of think weakness isn’t part of it, [the ‘strong woman’ character represented on screen].

“[In fact,] we all have weaknesses and that can make us ‘stronger’. We all have so many different facets to our character and I just find that the ‘strong’ thing makes it seem like a woman is more acceptable in what has always been… that as the protagonist of a film, it makes her seem allowed to be there because she’s ‘strong’. And I just find that really reductive and slightly embarrassing. And I think that a lot of the time, we haven’t been given the opportunity to explore female protagonists who have that depth. Who are as complicated as, you know, the guy in Breaking Bad, or The Weather Man, [in which] Nicolas Cage is playing an incredibly complex person. [Women] haven’t been given that range, we haven’t had that opportunity. And therefore to try and say that we have to be strong, it’s just: ‘Oh god, how boring — just to play strong women all the time.’”

Lady Batman She Ain’t

By extension, Foy also rejects comparisons to Batman and James Bond, prefixed by the word ‘lady’.

“I’m just, like, she doesn’t have a batcave, I know that she had an apartment that could be seen as that, and this could be seen as that, and blah blah blah. It’s always going to be recognisable, and it’s a genre film in the sense that it’s a thriller — there are elements of it that look like those sorts of films,” says Foy. “Of course, they do. Because you can’t get away from it, because that’s the way that Fede shot it. It is noir, kind of — even the tone that Pedro [Luque] the DOP uses, lots of greys and things like that — so that is how it’s going to look. But I’m like, just piss off.”

Why does Foy think we have an impulse to make those comparisons then?

“Because, like you say, you want to label something,” she says. “You want to make it understandable. And also you want to attract an audience to it, I guess. I completely get that. It’s not like I’m talking down about Batman or James Bond. I think they’re both amazing. But also, we’ve got to leave room for Lisbeth to find her own space in that. She deserves to. Yes, she’s going into a genre, into a realm, which no real female complex characters have been before, so obviously that [comparison] has to be drawn. But at the same time, I’m just like, I think we can just let her be for a minute. I don’t think we have to decide she’s Batman just yet.”

The Girl in the Spider’s Web is out now in the US and Australia, and hits UK screens on November 21.

Chris Pine Nude Scene: ‘Outlaw King’ Director Talks #BallsForBoobs

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Family of Baby Girl, Who Was Stabbed and Put in Heated Oven, Hold Funeral for the 20-Month-Old

Royalty Floyd, the 20-month-old Mississippi toddler who was allegedly stabbed and then placed in a heated oven by her own grandmother, was laid to rest on Saturday in Clarksdale.

The family of the slain baby girl came together to say their final goodbyes dressed in pink, per request of Royalty’s mother Veronica Jones, who said it was her daughter’s “favorite color” on Facebook.

“You are gone from this earth but you will forever be here in my heart. You were really truly one of the most beautiful creations that God had ever made and I would like to thank God for bringing you into my life,” Veronica wrote ahead of Royalty’s service.

At the funeral, Royalty’s grandfather delivered a tearful eulogy about his late granddaughter.

“She was ‘Big Girl.’ But from the day she was born, she was granddaddy’s baby girl. And she knew it,” Royalty’s grandfather James Harris said, WREG-TV reported.

“I miss her,” Harris continued. “But she’ll always be with me. Always.”

Royalty’s father John Floyd, who is still in shock over his daughter’s gruesome death, also managed to say a few words at the funeral.

“I still find it unbelievable to tell you the truth,” John said, WREG-TV reported.

“And to try and make heads or tails of what happened, it’s still something I can’t comprehend right now. It ain’t soaking in for some reason. I’m thinking one day this is all something that isn’t real,” John added.

On Oct. 15, authorities were called to a residence in the small city of Shaw after a family member discovered Royalty’s lifeless body burnt and stabbed inside a heated oven.

Royalty was alive when her grandmother, 48-year-old Carolyn Jones allegedly placed her inside the oven.

A deputy coroner at the Bolivar County Coroner’s office in Mississippi told The Bolivar Commercial that the young child died “from sharp stab wounds and inhaling the heated air in the oven.”

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

On the night of the little girl’s death, Carolyn was immediately taken into custody and has been charged with first-degree murder, the Bolivar County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to PEOPLE.

Carolyn is currently being represented by a public defender.  PEOPLE could not immediately reach the public defender.

When contacted by the Associated Press, a public defender declined to comment, saying he’s still learning about the case.

RELATED: Utah Dad Allegedly Stabbed Infant Son to Death on Homemade Altar, Then Stashed Body in Closet

The Bolivar County Sheriff’s Department also told PEOPLE, the child “was living at the residence with Jones at the time of the murder.”

“I’ve been in law enforcement a long time, 26 years almost. Some of the most horrific scenes I’ve seen in law enforcement involve children. Those are some of the— they have an effect on us. We don’t want it to happen, but unfortunately, things like this happen,” Bolivar County Sheriff Kevin Williams said in a press conference on Oct. 16, WREG reported.

When asked for a motive, Williams said, “We are trying to figure that out ourselves. We have no idea at this point.”

Royalty’s mother also created a GoFundMe and raised over $ 6,000 to cover Royalty’s funeral costs.

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Say What Now? Mom Steals $1,600 Worth of Cookies From Her Daughter’s Girl Scout Troop

31-year-old Noel Hines has been accused of of stealing over $ 1,600 worth of Girl Scout cookies from her daughter’s local troop.

The mother allegedly accepted a large cookie order to sell for the troop in March but when funds were due, the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio claim they never received a payment.

via NYDN:

Girl Scout officials and police then tried to contact Hines for six months but were never successful.

“That’s the way the cookie crumbles,” North College Hill police wrote in a Facebook post.

On Tuesday, Hines was arrested for unrelated charges and charged with theft at the North College Hill Mayor’s court, police said.

According to the Girl Scouts of America’s cookie manual, cookies are $ 4 dollars each — making Hines responsible for around 400 boxes of cookies.

The Girl Scouts of Western Ohio said situations regarding theft in their troop are “infrequent” and “unfortunate.”

“When we have evidence that an adult misuses troop funds, we pursue vigorously and, when appropriate, contact law enforcement to recover as much money for the troop as possible. This is not something we take lightly,” the company said in a statement.

Hines was arraigned and is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 28.

So — do we think she ate all $ 1,600 worth of cookies?

The post Say What Now? Mom Steals $ 1,600 Worth of Cookies From Her Daughter’s Girl Scout Troop appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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RHONJ Star Margaret Josephs Spills On New Girl Jennifer Aydin: ‘We Have a Different Value System’

The Real Housewives of New Jersey premieres Wednesday at 9PM ET on Bravo.

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Interview: ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’ Director Fede Alvarez on Casting New Lisbeth and Reinventing the Series

Interview: 'The Girl in the Spider's Web' Director Fede Alvarez on Casting New Lisbeth and Reinventing the Series

It’s been eight years since Lisbeth Salander last surfaced on the big screen as part of a big English-language adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Now she’s back in The Girl in the Spider’s Web (in theaters November 9; tickets now on sale) – this time portrayed by The Crown actress Claire Foy – in a more explosive story that centers on Salander and the complicated history she has with her own family. Spider’s…

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How the 2018 Latin American Music Awards Made History With More Girl Power Than Ever

2018 Latin American Music Awards HostsGirl power was the name of the game at the 2018 Latin American Music Awards.
In a historic move, the annual award show was hosted by not one, but five of Latin America’s favorite…

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‘The Debrief’: Saudi journalist, migrant caravan, search for missing Wisconsin girl | ABC News

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Next 3 Long-awaited Sequels: ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web,’ ‘Mary Poppins Returns,’ ‘Zombieland 2’

Next 3 Long-awaited Sequels: 'The Girl in the Spider's Web,' 'Mary Poppins Returns,' 'Zombieland 2'

Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode in David Gordon Green's Halloween (above), a sequel that arrives 40 years after John Carpenter's classic original. Defying modest expectations, the low-budget thriller earned the best opening weekend in the history of the horror franchise, taking in an estimated $ 77.5 million at the box office; critical reaction has been favorable as well.

Halloween picks up 40 years after the events in the original, ignoring everything that happened in all…

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Barbie Girl DIY Lamp Makeover

All Barbie girls eventually grow up so what to do with a client’s vintage but broken barbie closet. Nicholas Rosaci has a bright idea and refashions them as fashionable Barbie lamps.

What you will need:

  • An old ‘Barbie Wardrobe” or similar.
  • Wood plank cut into 4 lengths (Home Depot Cutting service)
  • No Nails wood glue and small 1 1/2 in. finishing nails
  • Lamp kit and threaded lamp rod
  • Lamp shade
  • 4 small lamp feet
  • Rustoleum paint – gloss – white / black / pink
  • Masking tape
  • Glitter ribbon banding
  • Glue gun and sticks
  • Barbie silhouette logo


Cut wood into 4 planks needed to create a tightly fitted box (open-sided) around the Barbie Wardrobe. Sand edges smooth. Use wood adhesive and small finishing nails at the edges to join the planks. Glue 4 small wooded squares “lamp feet” to underside of the bottom base plank.

Drill a small hole in the centre of the top / bottom sides of the wardrobe and open-sided box just large enough to accommodate the lamp rod kit.

Prime all areas of the box, let dry, and then paint all sides black.

Use silicone glue to affix the wardrobe inside the open side box. Feed the lamp rod through the box top and bottom hole and secure all lamp hardware according to lamp kit instructions.

Square lampshades were in the wrong color so they were painted with white gloss paint. When dry, masking tape was applied to create bold painted stripes in black gloss. The shades were finished with a pink Barbie silhouette, sourced online, printed to size, and cut with a craft knife to create a stencil used to trace (using a pencil) the image onto the lamp sides and shade. The outline images were painted Barbie Pink, and a glittery ribbon was glued on to band the shades for a glittering final Barbie touch!

The post Barbie Girl DIY Lamp Makeover appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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The Girl on the Train’s Haley Bennett and Director Joe Wright Expecting First Child Together

Baby on board!

Congratulations are in order for The Girl on the Train’s Haley Bennett and Darkest Hour director Joe Wright as they are expecting their first child together, a source confirms to PEOPLE.

Wright, 46, is already father to sons Mohan, 3, and Zubin, 7, with ex-wife Anoushka Shankar. It will be Bennett’s first child.

According to Page Six, the baby is due this winter. “They are very happy,” a source told the outlet after saying Bennett, 30, is about six months along.

Bennett and Wright first sparked romance rumors just days after news of his split with Shankar was reported in January.

View this post on Instagram

Cling to me, Joe, my bliss

A post shared by Haley Bennett (@halolorraine) on Sep 24, 2018 at 3:39pm PDT


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The actress and the director kept their relationship relatively under wraps until September when Bennett shared a photo of herself and her love.

“Cling to me, Joe, my bliss,” Bennett captioned a photo of herself and Wright passionately kissing.

The couple attended a New York Film Festival screening over the weekend for Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War.

Bennett shared a photo from their outing on Instagram, which shows the actress cuddling up to Wright, who can be seen kissing her forehead.

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Joe and I the chance to preview #PawelPawlikowski #ColdWar last night at #NYFF. With a backdrop of Poland during the Cold War, this complex and potent romance spanning over a decade kept me at the edge of my seat and finally tipped me over with unexpected grief. Powerful and Thrilling. I humbly suggest you see this little masterpiece when it arrives in select theaters in December.

A post shared by Haley Bennett (@halolorraine) on Oct 8, 2018 at 2:40am PDT


RELATED: 5 Things to Know About The Girl on the Train‘s Haley Bennett

The Atonement director was previously engaged to Rosamund Pike. The pair met on the set of the 2005 film Pride & Prejudice.

The couple got engaged in 2008 and were meant to marry that same year, however, the director suddenly called off the wedding.

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Review Roundup: Critics Weigh-In On GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY at the Public Theater

The Public Theaterpresents theNorth American premiere ofGirl from the North Country. Written and directed by Olivier Award winner and Tony Award nomineeConor McPhersonwith music and lyrics by music iconBob Dylan,Girl from the North Countryweaves the music of our greatest poet-singer-songwriter into a piercing drama about home, heart, and the searching determination of the American soul. This new musical has been extended three times and will now run through Sunday, December 23. Featured Content