This Friday the 13th, fans of horror films and hobbits, science fiction and fantasy are descending upon the San Diego Convention Center. They're gathering for the annual explosion of pop culture fandom that is Comic-Con. One of the biggest phenomena in pop culture at the moment will be making an appearance, and it's not a man of steel or a boy slinging webs.
It's a 40-something woman who writes... wait for it... steamy romance.
In Political Animals, Sigourney Weaver plays Elaine Barrish, a secretary of state and former first lady whom Weaver says is based on many former residents of the White House — not just on Hillary Clinton.
There's no culture more distinct than the political circles of Washington, D.C., and Sigourney Weaver is taking it on in Political Animals, a new television series where she plays a former first lady and current secretary of state.
Over the course of a distinguished acting career, Weaver has battled intergalactic aliens and befriended gorillas in the mist. In Political Animals, Weaver's character, Elaine Barrish, finds her biggest adversary in a hyperambitious political reporter by the name of Susan Berg.
Trishna (Freida Pinto) is the titular character in Michael Winterbottom's adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, which lends the novel's deteriorating romance a feeling of inevitability.
Credit Marcel Zyskind / IFC Films
Jay (Riz Ahmed) meets Trishna while sightseeing in her village and persuades her to move with him to Mumbai. A composite character created by Winterbottom, he's drawn from the two opposing love interests in Thomas Hardy's novel.
"Do you think you'll have to pay a high price for your mistakes?"
That line is spoken on an Indian game show watched by Trishna, the title character of Michael Winterbottom's subcontinental rethink of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
The penalties for mistakes on the game show are only monetary in nature, of course. For Trishna, the costs of her errors in judgment are measured on an entirely different scale. This being a Hardy story, you can count on this: They'll be high, and they'll be unpleasant.
Mont Blanc (Aris Servetalis) leads a group of people who offer a peculiar service: the replacement of departed loved ones. Imitating hairstyle and favorite quotes is normal, though some in his group go so far as to re-enact more private events.
Credit Kino Lorber
Monte Rosa (Aggeliki Papoulia) begins doing substitute work outside of the group, using her job to search for her own authentic relationship.
Alps, the tightly controlled burn from Dogtooth director Giorgos Lanthimos, begins with a simple image: a girl twirling a ribbon. Practicing her routine in a large gym, the rhythmic gymnast (Ariane Labed) moves powerfully, spinning and tumbling across the mats in choreography set to "O Fortuna." She finishes, but as she complains to her coach, a middle-aged track-suit-wearing type (Johnny Vekris), the routine just isn't working — she'd rather be doing a pop song. She's ready for pop, she insists.