Monday, August 20, 2018
Tags Posts tagged with "tully"


If the Oscars were held tomorrow, which films would be nominated? 

Though we’re still three months out from the fall festivals positioning the major pieces of the upcoming awards puzzle, 2018 has already placed a fine assortment of goodies into the Oscar oven. From tremendous performances in prestige pictures — like Toni Collette (Hereditary) and Joaquin Phoenix (You Were Never Really Here) — to Ryan Coogler’s monolithic achievement in the blockbuster arena (Black Panther), here are early contenders on the Oscars radar that have already hit theaters and/or screened at international film festivals in recent months.


With four Oscar nods already under his belt — two for acting and a pair for co-writing two films in Richard Linklater’s Before series — Ethan Hawke is already an Academy-verified staple of prestige cinema. He’s looking to continue that stretch with First Reformed, Paul Schrader’s searing drama about a priest whose personal convictions are tested after a harrowing encounter with an environmental activist. Though he had a dry spell with the Academy between 2005 and 2014, Hawke has built up considerable good will with his peers in recent years, namely for his performances in Boyhood and as jazz legend Chet Baker in Born to Be Blue. Schrader’s latest has unconventional, buzzy appeal, sturdy critical reviews, and an offbeat narrative hook to catch the Academy’s eye, as well as the perfect distributor, A24, to pull off a successful campaign as the film continues to expand to theaters around the country. — Joey Nolfi

David Lee/Focus Features

If the story of a black police officer infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan isn’t surreal enough, the fact that Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is based on a true story is what enables it to pack a punch as a timely reminder of fractured race relations in America back in the 1970s and now. Grounded by strong performances from an ensemble cast led by John David Washington (son of Oscar-winning Denzel Washington) as police officer Ron Stallworth, BlacKkKlansman earned rave reviews at its Cannes debut this year, winning the coveted Grand Prix and cementing it as an early awards contender. — Piya Sinha-Roy

Behind a great man is a greater woman with a baffling Oscar losing streak to her name. At least that’s the case with director Björn Runge’s The Wife starring Glenn Close, the queen of unfinished Academy Awards business. Having amassed an astonishing six nominations over the last 35 years, Close has yet to win a single trophy, but that could change as she starts into the crowded race ahead. She plays a woman whose repressed talents manifest in mysterious ways as her husband collects the Nobel Prize for literature in Stockholm. This literary adaptation enjoyed an enthusiastic reception at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival last September, and Sony Pictures Classics — which launched Call Me by Your Name and A Fantastic Woman into the awards fray last year — picked up the distribution rights. Given that the Academy’s typically all aboard an “overdue” narrative (Julianne Moore and Kate Winslet reaped similar benefits in recent years) and the fact that Close is enjoying some of the best reviews of her career, there may be a lot at play here. — Joey Nolfi©Marvel Studios 2018

Filmmaker Ryan Coogler not only delivered Marvel’s first black superhero standalone film to critical praise and stellar box office success, but demonstrated how to ground a fantastical world with timely social messages. Amid the lavish world of Wakanda and a spotlight on black excellence, Ryan Coogler explores what it means to be black today through Chadwick Boseman’s King T’Challa and Michael B. Jordan’s powerful performance as empathetic villain Erik Killmonger. Given Black Panther‘s groundbreaking role in cinematic history, it’s likely to earn a place in the best picture race. — Piya Sinha-RoyA24

If the Oscars handed out accolades for scaring the living hell out of people, the cast and crew behind one of the best films of the year would easily triumph in one fell, bone-chilling swoop. As terrifying as Hereditary is, thanks to first-time director Ari Aster’s assured direction, Toni Collette gives the film its heart and soul thanks to a brilliantly committed performance as a grieving mother battling a supernatural force threatening her family. The film kicked off 2018 with overwhelmingly positive critical reaction from Sundance, and Collette has since steamrolled a mountain of praise through the project’s summer release. Digital buzz among the film set has swarmed in her favor, too, meaning Collette could be the critical darling who winds up garnering Oscar gold at the end of the season. — Joey Nolfi

Ariel Nava/Lionsgate

Hamilton alum Daveed Diggs takes center stage alongside co-star and co-writer Rafael Casal in a tale of two friends navigating their friendship against the backdrop of a fast-gentrifying Oakland. While Blindspotting is a poetic ode to their native Bay Area hometown, it is Diggs’ portrayal as Collin — a man concluding probation who happens to witness a white police officer shoot an unarmed black man — that could garner him recognition. — Piya Sinha-Roy


Yes, the film box office hasn’t been exactly lacking in superheroes, but it has been missing Pixar’s first superhero family for the past 14 years. The return of the super-powered Parr family — Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and their three children Violet, Dash and scene-stealing Jack-Jack — has been welcomed warmly by critics and audiences, with Incredibles 2 smashing opening weekend box office records and serving up a reminder of the importance of inclusion in society. Given the love usually bestowed on Pixar films, this is the title to beat in the animated race. — Piya Sinha-Roy

Paramount Pictures

Natalie Portman’s breathtakingly gorgeous voyage into the otherworldy horrors of the Shimmer didn’t strike a chord with audiences at the box office, pulling in a so-so $32.7 million earlier this year. Critics, on the other hand, lapped up Alex Garland’s directorial follow-up to the 2015 sci-fi hit Ex Machina, which  scored a surprise Oscar for Best Visual Effects the following year. Expect critical bodies to throw Portman’s lead performance some well-deserved love at their year-end awards, but it’s the filmmaker’s returning visual effects team members Andrew Whitehurst and Sara Bennett who will likely reap the most Academy affection at the top of 2019. — Joey NolfiFOX Searchlight

The whimsical world of Wes Anderson often strikes a chord with awards voters — for instance, The Grand Budapest Hotel won four of its eight Oscar nominations in 2014. Isle of Dogs sees the idiosyncratic filmmaker return to the world of stop-motion animation to tell a tale of an alternate reality near-future Japan where dogs are banished to an island. The film faces challenges after some critics panned the film for not hiring a more diverse voice cast and kicking off a larger conversation around cultural appropriation. Billed as an homage to his Japanese cinematic heroes, Anderson and his scrappy pups may be the underdogs in the animated feature race. — Piya Sinha-RoyMagnolia Pictures

The $10 million domestic box office success of documentary RBG, about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may reflect audiences’ desire to see real-life superheroes. Or it may just reflect the power that Ginsburg holds as a beacon of justice in a fractured political sphere. Directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West trace the life and legacy of Ginsburg in their documentary, and offer a snapshot into the fiercely sharp mind of a trailblazing legal warrior. In the Time’s Up era in Hollywood, RBG has garnered praise from critics for spotlighting how one woman broke the rules and helped pave the way for a new generation of female empowerment. — Piya Sinha-RoyRichard Foreman, Jr. SMPSP/Sony Pictures

The second chapter of writer Taylor Sheridan’s Sicario world features Benicio Del Toro reprising his role as the deadly hitman Alejandro in a film that takes him on a violent journey when he’s contracted to kidnap a drug kingpin’s daughter. While Sicario: Day of the Soldado plays into timely themes of immigration and drug cartels, it is Alejandro’s unexpected arc and tragic backstory that could also earn Del Toro — who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 2001 for Traffic — some long-overdue awards love. — Piya Sinha-Roy


Kimberly French/Focus Features

Charlize Theron, Jason Reitman, and Diablo Cody re-teamed for another round of dramedy magic on the 2018 Sundance breakout Tully, a powerful examination of the woes of motherhood, another winning entry in the trio’s powerful working relationship. With a pair of Oscars and another five nominations between the actress, director, and screenwriter, Tully‘s got the pedigree (and universal critical praise) behind it to make it one to watch out for in the acting and screenwriting categories. — Joey Nolfi


The Fred Rogers Company

Amid the recent wave of unsettling news from politics to Hollywood, Morgan Neville’s earnest, refreshing biographical documentary about the good-natured TV legend Fred Rogers is a meaningful reminder of the simple ties of kindness that bind humanity. Sweet but never twee, Neville’s essential meditation on the Pittsburgh-based host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (and the generations he influenced) taps into a nostalgic emotional vein. At the same time, he finds new context for Rogers’ enduring message of compassion and understanding to flourish in the age of contemporary chaos.  — Joey NolfiParamount Pictures

The long-anticipated on-screen pairing of Hollywood darlings Emily Blunt and John Krasinski did not fail to deliver at the box office and otherwise in this tense thriller about a family living in silence as they hide from monsters that are summoned by noise. Blunt’s powerful performance as a pregnant matriarch and co-lead Krasinski’s skillful directing and innovative take on the horror genre may put the couple together into the awards race. — Piya Sinha-Roy

Alison Cohen Rosa/Amazon Studios

Though it’s been more than a year since Lynne Ramsay debuted her brutal psychological drama at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival (to much acclaim plus awards for best screenplay and best actor), critical enthusiasm for Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as a PTSD-ravaged mercenary tasked with rescuing sex-trafficked girls hasn’t subsided. The esteemed actor has yet to notch an Oscar nomination since leading 2012’s The Master, which upped his overall count of nods to three. In other words, he may be due for more Academy recognition, and he just might get it for playing a role in which he’s more present than ever. Since 2008, four of 10 of Cannes’ best actor winners have gone on to win or be nominated for the corresponding Oscar, so there’s a slight precedent bolstering his bid, too. — Joey Nolfi

Peter Mountain/Paramount Pictures

In hindsight, writer-director Alex Garland’s previous outing, 2015’s brilliant, chilly Ex Machina, feels like a grayscale precursor to the Technicolor wonder of his latest sci-fi epic — a story so sneakily clever and visually surreal that it’s still haunting our dreams (and our Halloween costume ideas) months later. 


Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios

Superhero movies have always given us supersize experiences: the scope, the scale, the CG shock and awe. Ryan Coogler’s inaugural entry into the Marvel Universe offered all that, but also so much more — an electric, action-saturated joyride, a marvelous sense of place, and a deeply personal celebration of black excellence. Wakanda forever. 


Cohen Media Group

French provocateur François Ozon (Swimming Pool) dips his toes into the deep end of Hitchcockian perversity with this twisty, kinky erotic thriller about a woman (Marine Vacth) drawn to a pair of identical-twin doctors (Jérémie Renier). Jacqueline Bisset swings by to lend this utterly preposterous mindscrambler some class. Not that it needs any. 



We’re only six months into the year, but right now, Ari Aster’s Hereditary is the horror movie to beat. Toni Collette gives a gutwrenching performance as a mother grappling with a family tragedy and the terrifying outer limits of the supernatural. Nineteen years after The Sixth Sense, Collette gets a more-than-worthy companion piece. 


Scott Patrick Green/A24

A boy. A horse. A wide-open Western landscape. If the outlines of Andrew Haigh’s lyrical drama — anchored by the quiet, luminous presence of his young lead, Charlie Plummer — sound familiar, the reality is both infinitely harsher and more original: a film that captures with searing immediacy what it is to be young, broke, and lost in America. 

Warner Bros. Pictures

Think of this magical, whimsical sequel as the best Wes Anderson movie that Wes Anderson never made. Our marmalade-loving hero, who brightens the lives of everyone he meets, has to retrieve a pop-up book stolen by Hugh Grant’s thief of a thousand disguises. Absolute perfection, regardless of your age. 


CNN Films/Sundance

Arguably the year’s most impressive onscreen superhero, the small-but-mighty Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gets an intimate, moving, and unexpectedly funny documentary about her one-of-a-kind career. While her fiery dissents behind the D.C. bench are inspiring, the film’s biggest revelation is her years as a trailblazing feminist lawyer on an unwavering crusade for equal rights, arguing in front of the very court she would later join. 


Oscilloscope Laboratories

A little girl (the remarkable Laia Artigas) loses her mother to AIDS and is sent to live with her uncle in the Spanish countryside in Carla Simón’s lush autobiographical drama, a story that captures the truth of childhood with such luminous dreamlike intensity, it feels like a small death just to let it go. 

Kimberly French/Focus Features

She’s the harried, overworked mother of two, with a third on the way. But when Charlize Theron’s Marlo is gifted a fantastically capable night nurse (Mackenzie Davis), the fogbank lifts. Is it all too good to be true? The answer is a revelation in this whip-smart missive on marriage, identity, and modern parenthood.

Jim Judkis/Focus Features

If you want to see the world through the eyes of a child again — and, frankly, who doesn’t with all that’s going on in Washington? — Morgan Neville’s delightful, heartfelt documentary about PBS’ cardigan-clad Mr. Rogers is just the balm of kindness we could all use more of. Our answer: Yes, we’d love to be your neighbor.

With all due respect to Melissa McCarthy and Gabrielle Union: It’s Thanos’ world, we just live in it.

In its third weekend, Disney and Marvel’s superhero blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War continues to dominate the box office, earning an estimated $61.8 million from 4,474 theaters in the U.S. and Canada while trouncing McCarthy’s new comedy Life of the Party and Union’s new thriller Breaking In.

On Saturday, Infinity War cracked the $500 million mark at the domestic box office, becoming the second-fastest film to do so, and through Sunday it will have grossed about $547.8 million. The movie also bowed in China this weekend, powering a massive $281.3 million international haul. Its worldwide total now stands at about $1.6 billion and ranks fifth all time, behind Avatar, Titanic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Jurassic World.

Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and made for close to $300 million, Infinity War marks the third Avengers film and the 19th installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It features heroes from across the MCU franchise — including Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, and the Chris Pratt-led Guardians of the Galaxy — and pits them against Thanos (Josh Brolin), an interplanetary warlord trying to wipe out half the life in the universe.

An untitled sequel is already on the calendar for May 3, 2019.

Warner Bros. Pictures

In second place, Warner Bros’. Life of the Party will take in about $18.5 million at 3,656 domestic theaters. That figure is in line with industry projections but falls short of recent McCarthy films Tammy ($21.6 million), The Boss ($23.6 million), and Spy ($29.1 million)

Written by McCarthy and her husband, Ben Falcone, who also directed, Life of the Party centers on a middle-aged divorcée (McCarthy) who returns to college to finish her degree and winds up in class with her daughter (Molly Gordon). The film received lackluster reviews from critics, and audiences gave it a tepid B CinemaScore.

The weekend’s other new wide release, Universal’s Breaking In, is on pace to gross about $16.5 million at 2,537 theaters, good for third place. That’s a solid start for a film that cost a modest $6 million to make.

Directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta), the film stars Union as a mother forced to protect her kids when the mansion of her recently deceased dad is invaded by burglars. Reviews have been poor, and moviegoers gave it a B CinemaScore.

Paul Sarkis/Universal

Rounding out the top five this weekend are Lionsgate’s rom-com remake Overboard, with about $10.1 million, and Paramount’s silently spooky horror hit A Quiet Place, with about $6.4 million.

According to ComScore, overall box office is up 4.8 percent year-to-date. Check out the May 11-13 figures below.

1. Avengers: Infinity War — $61.8 million
2. Life of the Party — $18.5 million
3. Breaking In — $16.5 million
4. Overboard — $10.1 million
5. A Quiet Place — $6.4 million
6. I Feel Pretty — $3.7 million
7. Rampage — $3.4 million
8. Tully — $2.2 million
9. Black Panther — $1.9 million
10. Blockers — $1.1 million

Kimberly French/Focus Features

Tully (2018)

Type: Movie; Genre: Comedy, Drama; Release date: 05/04/18; Runtime: 96 minutes; Performer: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass; Director: Jason Reitman; MPAA: R

Sometimes a little pinch of the unexpected can make all the difference. Take the new Charlize Theron movie Tully, which was written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman, the creative team behind 2007’s Juno and 2011’s Young Adult. Based on the trailers, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the film was an acerbically fizzy comedy about the thankless, stretched-thin hardships of motherhood and the sunny nanny who swoops in to save the day — Mary Poppins meets a sarcastic eye-roll emoji. Tully is that … kind of. But it’s also something far richer and weirder, and ultimately more interesting.

Theron stars as Marlo, a former Brooklyn free spirit who once upon a time got married and moved to the suburbs and now somehow finds herself as a put-upon, stressed-out mother of two, with a third on the way in a matter of days. Her husband, played (or rather, nicely underplayed) by Ron Livingston, is the kind of guy who means well but who’s also largely absent at work all day while she teeters precariously on the edge of losing it, from either her son kicking the back of her car seat, or his principal suggesting a tutor she can’t afford, or the judgey comments from people who look at her sideways when she orders a decaf coffee because as a pregnant woman she should know that decaf has trace amounts of caffeine and therefore she’s a terrible person who doesn’t care about the health of her unborn child. Something’s gotta give — and it’s going to real soon.

Then Marlo’s rich-jerk brother (Mark Duplass, nailing it with his Mercedes G-wagon and smug, Polynesian-themed man cave) gives her the gift of a night nurse after she gives birth. It’s an extravagant, un-jerky gesture even if, to her, it reeks of condescension — his way of implying she can’t handle being a mom. But after too many sleepless nights filled with spilled breast milk and toes stubbed on Legos, she gives in. And after dinner one night, salvation arrives in the form of Tully (Halt and Catch Fire’s Mackenzie Davis), a smiling, funky, New Agey 20-something panacea in a belly shirt. That evening, Marlo not only gets her first decent night’s sleep in years, she wakes up to find the house spotless.

Tully quickly becomes more than just an after-hours nanny. She becomes a confidant as she and Marlo stay up late talking and drinking sangria. She’s like a younger, less jaded version of the person Marlo once was. She even manages to help jump-start Marlo’s stalled relationship with her husband, whose only real interest in the bedroom is putting on a headset and playing videogames.

As Marlo, Theron reaches deep and sells every scene she’s in (which is pretty much all of them) with conviction, desperation, yearning exhaustion, and, yes, even humor. In our society, there’s something almost transgressive in speaking up and admitting that motherhood is hard and occasionally unrewarding when everyone is quick to point out what a “blessing” it is. Being honest about that — especially in a product of the Hollywood dream factory — feels almost taboo. But it shouldn’t be. Maybe that’s why Theron’s performance feels as jumpy and dangerous as a downed power line.

Cody, who until now has been a writer more comfortable trafficking in hipster quips and toying with easy archetypes, has written a story with real characters grappling with real issues in a way that doesn’t feel like a pose or in airquotes here. Tully feels like the work of a writer who’s matured and lived and become less superficial without giving up any of her natural gift for finding humor in the absurd. She’s also become bolder and more experimental. Without going into the second half of the film, all I’ll say is that Tully takes some daring detours that I didn’t see coming. And it’s a better, less predictable movie for it. It may not end up being the quirky slice of comic misanthropy the trailers are hawking to get you into the theater. Not by a longshot. But it doesn’t matter. Because Tully is better than that movie.

Avengers: Infinity War rages on.

After delivering the biggest box office opening in history last week, Disney and Marvel’s superhero epic is on track to earn an estimated $112.5 million from 4,474 theaters in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, crushing its competitors while scoring the second-best second weekend ever, not adjusted for inflation. Only Star Wars: The Force Awakens has grossed more in its sophomore frame ($149.2 million), and Infinity War will bump Black Panther ($111.7 million) down to third on that list.

That said, Infinity War’s $112.5 million represents a decline of 56 percent from its opening weekend, which is notably steeper than either The Force Awakens (40 percent) or Black Panther (45 percent), and on par with Warner Bros’. ill-fated Justice League, though better than predecessor Avengers: Age of Ultron (59 percent).

After 10 days in theaters, Infinity War’s domestic tally sits at an estimated $450.8 million. This weekend the movie will add about $162.6 million overseas, for an international total of $713.3 million. Infinity War broke the $1 billion barrier at the worldwide box office Saturday, becoming the fastest film ever to do so, and along the way it has passed fellow superhero hits like Thor: Ragnarok ($854 million), 2002’s Spider-Man ($822 million), and Wonder Woman ($822 million).

Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and made for close to $300 million, Infinity War marks the third Avengers film and the 19th installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It features heroes from across the MCU franchise — including Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, and the Chris Pratt-led Guardians of the Galaxy — and pits them against Thanos (Josh Brolin), an interplanetary warlord trying to erase half the life in the universe.

Infinity War has received generally positive reviews from critics, and moviegoers gave it an A CinemaScore. An untitled sequel is already on the calendar for May 3, 2019.

MetroGoldwyn Mayer Pictures/Pantelion Films

Unlike last week, when no new major releases went up against against Infinity War, this weekend brought a trio of newcomers: Overboard, a gender-flipped remake of the 1987 rom-com; Tully, a dramedy about motherhood hailing from director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody; and Bad Samaritan, a thriller starring David Tennant.

Buoyed by Eugenio Derbez and Anna Faris, Overboard fared best of the three, grossing an estimated $14.8 million from 1,623 theaters, good for second place. Tully, which stars Charlize Theron, took in about $3.2 million from 1,353, landing in the No. 6 spot, and Bad Samaritan just cracked the top 10 with about $1.8 million from 2,007 theaters.

According to ComScore, overall box office is up 5.1 percent year-to-date. Check out the May 4-6 figures below.

1. Avengers: Infinity War — $112.5 million
2. Overboard — $14.8 million
3. A Quiet Place — $7.6 million
4. I Feel Pretty — $4.9 million
5. Rampage — $4.6 million
6. Tully — $3.2 million
7. Black Panther — $3.2 million
8. Truth or Dare — $1.9 million
9. Super Troopers 2 — $1.82 million
10. Bad Samaritan — $1.76 million

Tully (2018) Movie Trailer
Watch the Trailer of this Movie:

US Release Date: April 20, 2018 Starring: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, and Ron Livingston Directed By: Jason Reitman Synopsis: A comedy about motherhood.

Sophiya Haque 1Former Coronation Street actress Sophiya Haque has died following a short battle with cancer.

The stage and screen star, who played Rovers Return assistant manager Poppy Morales from 2008-2009, passed away in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Sophiya died in her sleep in a London hospital, just a few weeks after she was diagnosed with cancer before Christmas.

She had been suffering from pneumonia and had developed a blood clot on her lungs.

Up until falling ill, she had been starring in Michael Grandage’s West End production Privates On Parade.

The director led the tributes: ‘She was a true force of nature and her glorious performance as Sylvia in Privates on Parade is one that will be remembered with great joy.

‘A spirited lady, she lived life to the full, and her presence in the theatre will be sorely missed. The company would like to dedicate the remaining performances to her memory.’

Sophiya Haque 2

Also paying tributes were ITV and some of Sophiya’s former co-stars at Coronation Street.

An ITV statement read: ‘We are saddened to hear the terrible news of Sophiya’s death.

‘She was a vibrant and beautiful actress who was a pleasure to have around during her time on Coronation Street. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this very sad time.’

Corrie star Antony Cotton (Sean Tully) tweeted: ‘Just on set and heard the news about Sophiya Haque. So effing sad. Night night kiddo x.’
Sophiya Haque 3Co-star Michael Le Vell also wrote on Twitter: ‘No way just heard about sophiya haque so sad. My heart goes out to the family.’

Sophiya played Poppy in Corrie from December 2008 and June 2009.

Originally hired as the Rovers’ 51st barmaid, she was soon promoted to assistant manager.

Poppy irked locals when she fired Betty Williams from her hotpot making, but later was fired herself by Steve McDonald.

Sophiya Haque 4

West End star Sophiya started her career as a dancer in her hometown of Portsmouth, before moving to London.

She then spent time in a band and got a record deal with Warner Brothers and was also a presenter for MTV Asia and Channel V.

In 1997, she moved to India and starred in many Bollywood films, before returning to the UK to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams in 2002 and West End production of The Far Pavilions in 2005.

Sophiya Haque 5

Sophiya Haque 6

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