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‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ hits just enough of the right notes | CNN

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Placing Daisy Edgar-Jones under the spotlight, “Where the Crawdads Sing” serves up a virtual symphony of chords – adapting a bestselling book that’s part wild-child tale, part romance, part mystery and part courtroom drama. The result effectively overcomes its Lifetime-movie vibe, without feeling like something anyone needs to rush to a theater to consume.

A grim tale of bad men (mostly) and one very resilient and resourceful young girl, the film features a sweeping roster of female auspices, including director Olivia Newman, screenwriter Lucy Alibar, novelist Delia Owens, producer Reese Witherspoon, and an original song from Taylor Swift.

Still, the enterprise might be best remembered as a showcase for Edgar-Jones (“Normal People”), an English actor whose busy year conquering America already includes the limited series “Under the Banner of Heaven.”

Beginning in 1969, the narrative flashes back to gradually unspool the story of Kya (Edgar-Jones), who is abandoned by her family at a young age and left alone with her violently abusive father (Garret Dillahunt). After an uncomfortable stretch learning to coexist, he too vanishes, forcing the child to fend for herself.

Growing upon the outskirts of her small North Carolina town, she’s known as the “Marsh Girl,” and treated kindly by only a precious few, including the local store owners (Michael Hyatt, Sterling Macer Jr.), while being shunned and mocked by others.

The kindness column also includes her neighbor Tate (Taylor John Smith), which is where the romance comes in, at least, until he heads off to college. Alone again, naturally, Kya eventually begins seeing the churlish Chase (“The King’s Man’s” Harris Dickinson), a one-time football star, whose mysterious death lands her behind bars, forcing her to rely on the assistance of a soft-spoken lawyer (David Strathairn, excellent as always).

Awash as it is in steamy melodrama, “Where the Crawdads Sing” (a reference to where Kya is told to retreat in pursuit of safety) has an obvious throwback feel. Indeed, it’s the sort of fare that might have been a popular theatrical item in the ’50s, near the time when Kya’s story begins, and like the tonally similar “Deep Water,” today would normally go directly to Hulu – or just as often, become six stretched-out episodes for it.

Still, Edgar-Jones brings an old-fashioned movie-star appeal to Kya’s plight and her understandable leeriness in terms of trusting those around her. When she says, “People don’t stay,” she has the receipts and emotional scars to back that up.

Newman’s direction maintains the mystery through the gasps and sneers from the gallery during the trial sequences, leading to the eventual determination of Kya’s fate. It’s a satisfying conclusion that doesn’t overplay its hand.

The net effect doesn’t qualify as a showstopper, and frankly even with the book’s popularity, at this point launching such a film theatrically feels like a considerable leap of faith. Then again, that dynamic offers a reason to root for “Where the Crawdads Sing,” a smallish movie that hits just enough of the right notes.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” premieres in US theaters on July 15. It’s rated PG-13.

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Jennifer Lopez Rocks Rainbow Tie-Dye Sweats In 1st Pic Back In LA After Italy Getaway

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Jennifer Lopez doesn’t waste time getting back to what she best — looking amazing while getting from one place to the next! Fresh off her Italian getaway, the Marry Me star and brand-new bride stepped out in Los Angeles on August 8, rocking an unexpected tie-dye rainbow look! In photos, Jennifer stunned in the eye-catching ensemble, which consisted of bright sweats and a hoodie, bright-pink statement sunglasses, and oversized hoop earrings. She also carried a green Birkin bag and a cell phone. The “Jenny from The Block” icon finished off the look with a perfect pink manicure and classic Nike sneakers with neon details.

JLo’s loud look comes after she was seen wearing a breezy blue outfit for a gorgeous photoshoot on a yacht in Capri, Italy. But she’s also been throwing out bridal vibes with stunning white looks, among other fashion statements, ever since her surprise July 16th nuptials to Ben Affleck in Las Vegas.

She surprised and delighted fans by rocking a wedding dress from an “old movie” for the ceremony, and later revealing that she legally took Ben’s last name — she’s now Jennifer Lynne Affleck. Bennifer 2.0 spent a little time apart after their leisurely European family-style honeymoon, with Jennifer staying in Europe for work, and Ben returning to Los Angeles.

A source close to Jen told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY last week that the time apart certainly hasn’t undermined their new union and has in fact made their love “stronger.” Furthermore, before JLo returned to Los Angeles, the source tells HL she spent a lot of time connecting with her new hubby via phone. “They are always talking, texting, FaceTiming, and even camming when they are apart working,” they said in the exclusive comments. “And the time that they spend away from each other makes reuniting again that much better. JLo loves the fact that she knows her husband will be there for her no matter what.”

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Britney Spears Accuses Mom Lynne of Planning to Have Her Committed Weeks Before Conservatorship

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Britney Spears Accuses Mom Lynne of Planning to Have Her Committed Weeks Before Conservatorship

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Taika Waititi: 5 Things To Know About Rita Ora’s Husband After Reported Secret Wedding

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Taika Waititi, 46, is known for often making groundbreaking movies behind the camera, but a year ago, he stepped into a big spotlight when he started dating Rita Ora, 31. The filmmaker is now reportedly married to the singer after they recently gave each other almost “simultaneous” proposals, and then had a super-intimate secret ceremony in London, according to a source for The Sun. “It was a really intimate ceremony and super special for everyone there,” the source reportedly told the outlet. “Their nearest and dearest can see how madly in love they are.”

A previous source told the UK Sun that it would be low-key. “This isn’t about them doing a big showy thing and crowing about it beforehand,” the source said in separate comments. “It’s just about them being in love and deciding the time is right to formalize their relationship. They couldn’t be happier.”

Find out more about Taika and his highly successful career in the entertainment industry below.

He’s a director, actor, and comedian.

Taika, who is originally from New Zealand, started his career in the late 1990s and went on to develop and star in various films, television series, and short films. Some of his most popular directed-films include Boy, Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit, and Thor: Love and Thunder. His popular directed-television shows include Flight of the Conchords, The Inbetweeners, and What We Do in the Shadows. As an actor, he’s appeared in many of his own films and others like The Suicide Squad and Free Guy.

Taika’s red carpet debut with Rita was at ‘The Suicide Squad’ premiere.

The talented star had a small role in the film and showed up to the star-studded event with Rita as they donned impressive outfits. They were all smiles while posing and holding onto each other in front of the cameras. Rita wore a white blazer-style mini dress and heels and he wore a gray suit without a tie and black shoes.

Taika has won many prestigious awards for his work.

Taika Waititi, Rita Ora

Some of the awards include an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and even a Grammy Award for a film’s soundtrack. He’s also been nominated for many other awards over the years, including Primetime Emmy Awards.

He has two children.

Taika was married to film producer Chelsea Winstanley from 2011 until 2018 and they share two daughters together. They are Te Hinekahu, 10, and Matewa Kiritapu, 6, and he sometimes posts adorable snapshots of them along with loving captions to Instagram on special days, like their birthdays. “Happy Birthday, Matewa, my love and baby doppelganger. Now you are six. Wowee. May your rampage through life continue and god help anyone who stands in your way. #leoseason 🔥❤️🦁,” one of his posts for his youngest child read.



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