Friday, November 30, 2007

Away From Her (****)

Written for the screen and Directed by Sarah Polley


It starts off very small for Fiona and Grant. She mistakenly places pots and pans into the refrigerator or has trouble remembering the name of wine. Grant doesn't think she's afflicted--he feels that she's too young. Then while traveling on skis, she becomes lost; she doesn't remember where she is, and perhaps even who she is. Grant finds her miles away on a bridge looking over into the city lights. It is a fact, Fiona has become afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease.

Away From Her, the feature film directorial debut from B-movie actress Sarah Polley, is a devastating film about the unexpected things we encounter in life, and the tragic elements of Alzheimer's. Based on the short story "The Bear Came Over The Mountain" by Alice Munro, the film addresses how no matter how radiant someone can be, eventually, the erosion begins.

The film is the story of Grant (Gordan Pinsent), a shaggy haired and bearded fellow who has been married to Fiona (Julie Christie) for forty-five years, and has been madly in love with her for all of those years. Fiona is still beautiful and glowing after all this time, but now she must be forced to label the kitchen cabinets to make sure she knows the correct places to put the dishes. Finally, the moment comes when Fiona herself realizes that she should be placed somewhere where she might get better, at the chagrin of Grant's need for her.

Grant researches Meadowlake, a resting home near their winter cottage. He sees all the social interactions between all of the troubled elderly people who have already been there quite a while. When on his tour, he is shown the second floor, where people are placed when they have "progressed further", but what Grant sees is not progression, but many lying in an almost comatose fashion. "My wife will not be progressing to this floor," he tells his tour guide.

Grant distrusts the place, and there is something else he dislikes, he must be withheld from any kind of contact with Fiona for thirty days of her coming in. Grant tries desperately to change Fiona's mind, but she sees it as the best for her. With the aid of a helpful nurse named Kristy (Kristen Thompson), Grant is able to check on Fiona, and when he is finally able to see Fiona, she can barely comprehend him. Instead, she has become immersed with a wheelchair bound mute named Aubrey (Michael Murphey). "What are you doing with this man, Aubrey?" Grant asks the bewildered Fiona. "He doesn't confuse me," she responds.

The movie can simply said to be about the disintegration of the human soul. Grant wants so badly for Fiona to get better, but she has become diagnosed with something where she can only get worse. Slowly, she is disappearing from him, but Grant refuses to accept it. He thinks maybe she is punishing him for a number of affairs he'd had when he was a university professor. Perhaps it's a charade, he ponders, that she's putting on. The most tragic thing Grant learns is that it isn't a charade, it's life.

The film is intertwined with scenes in which Grant visits Aubrey's wife Marian (Olympia Dukakis). They both share the same pain, and even through Marian's stubborn anguish, they are able to find a connection. What they share is not love or even passion, but they share torment. In a world where no one is guaranteed eternal life, why must people be taken away even before the die? "It's bad luck," Gordon confesses to Marian. "No," Marian states, "it's just life."

I fear through my description that the film is coming off sounding very bleak. One of the most magical things about the movie is that through all the tragedy we see, it is all underlined with a message that is very life-affirming. Grant has never experienced anything more painful than having to watch Fiona forget he exists, but it does not stop him from visiting every day, equipped with books and flowers, or anything that might bring back the slightest memory. Before Fiona has become controlled by Alzheimer's, she reflects to Grant her gratefulness that Grant had never left her like all the other university professors who found younger women.
It can be said easily that Grant is motivated by that guilt, but either way, we see his incredible dedication.

The performances by Pinsent and Christie are some of incredible feeling. Pinsent's paunched belly and heavy eyes reflect Grant's undeniable helplessness. The folding wrinkles on his face are so large they almost cover his eyes completely. He gives his wife the space she needs to be comfortable, but still comes everyday just to be able to see her. The performance by Christie, though, is something to ultimately cherish. Her descent is something beyond sad, it is uncanny. Every time Grant comes to visit her, she gives him the same polite smile. She is bothered by his insistence that she remember, but she knows that he will come back the next day. She senses that he is around for a reason.

The movie is one of the most majestic of the year. Few films do as good of a job of portraying such bare emotion. Away From Her had many chances to fall back into tear-jerking melodrama, but it doesn't settle for that. The film knows that what is more effective is how people actually feel.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Enchanted (***)

Directed by Kevin Lima


When Enchanted opens, we see Princess Giselle; she is a cartoon and is summoning all her animal friends and expresses her wanting for "true love's first kiss". This is a statement that is repeated (frequently sung) throughout the movie, and is a good statement to start this wonderful film. In Princess Giselle's world, true love's first kiss is always a success, and there is always a happily ever after. When she's thrust into reality, she encounters it the only way she knows how, with a twinkle in her eyes and a beautiful smile.

Princess Giselle (Amy Adams) sees her possibility of happily ever after in Prince Edward (James Marsden), but issues lie with Edward's evil stepmother, Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon). Not willing to give up her throne to the giddy, lovable Giselle, Narissa banishes her to a place where "there are no happy endings". Where is that place? New York City.

Giselle emerges out of a dirty pothole and is immediately confronted by the angry, narcissistic aspects that live throughout the city that never sleeps (including an angry little person she charmingly calls "Grumpy"). When she sees a castle door on a billboard she climbs up to investigate. She slips and falls, landing in the arms of divorce lawyer Robert Philip (Patrick Dempsey). After being increasingly chided by his young daughter Morgan (youngster Rachel Covey), Robert conflictingly agrees to allow Giselle to stay in their home until Prince Edward can come to rescue her.

As she adjusts to life with an additional dimension, Giselle manages to turn Robert's life topsy-turvy. She calls all the animals of New York City (squirrels, rats, and even cockroaches) to help clean up the apartment. She sparks suspicion with Robert's serious girlfriend Nancy (Wicked star Idina Menzel). She also manages to conflict with Robert's job, which she can never understand because he seems to work toward taking apart the thing she truly believes in: true love. All this while being chased by Prince Edward, who also manages to reach New York; as well as being tracked by the evil Narissa.

All you have to do is see the preview to know that all the desirability of this movie comes from the intoxicating loveliness of Amy Adams. By now, most people should have seen Adams in the strange indie Junebug. Her sweet performance in that film brings a light to an otherwise dull, odd movie. In Enchanted, Adams is another showcase of her incredible talent and likability. Adams, for sure, is a rising star, if not a growing talent. Her wonderful smile and bright, big eyes goes hand-in-hand with the romantic idealism of Giselle. And again, her incredible likability sparks what would have otherwise been a hackneyed meeting of fairy tales and cynicism.

Giselle is able to direct cockroaches to clean, she's able to conduct an entire stage musical performance within Central Park, but most of all, she is able to move the heart of Robert, a man jilted and chilled by the disappearance of Morgan's mother, and the consistent conflict he sees at his job. She's able to let Robert believe that sometimes in life, there are fairy tale endings.

Of course, there is nothing that happens in this movie that is not predictable. It is a film for children, and will be enjoyed by many little girls (if hated by many little boys). But I'd be damned if the parents forced to join them are not touched by the powerful force of happiness Giselle exudes. It seems that there are many scenes where Giselle is supposed to be a nuisance to Robert and the rest of the real world (she likes making dresses out of his curtains), but there is nothing that she does in the film that makes her a nuisance to the audience.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

GREAT FILMS: Before Sunset (2004)

Directed by Richard Linklater

When we first saw Jesse and Celine, they'd met on a train, and spontaneously decided to spend the night together in Vienna. This is the plot of the 1995 film Before Sunrise, which is the story of two lovely, fleeting young adults who create their own idea of romance. Throughout the film they talked and talked, but underlying all the talking was a constant yearning to hold each other, to be with each other. So they promise to meet each other at the same train station in six months, where their wondrous relationship will continue and flourish.

Before Sunset
takes place ten years after. They both have gotten older, grittier, and thinner. They've both become embittered by the way their lives have actually turned out, as apposed to their young optimism in the first film. Most important though, we find out that they had never reunited those six months later. Instead, they went on to live their lives--Jesse wrote a book about the romantic night and Celine got a job in the Peace Corps.

The film opens on Jesse in a bookstore in Paris. His book has been published, and this is one of the many stops on a promotional tour. He is feverishly trying to explain the ending to a handful of members in the audience (he leaves out that they never reunite in the book) and as he looks slightly to his right, Celine is there, watching him with a gentle smirk. Flabbergasted, Jesse concludes. They've not seen each other in a decade, but the moment they have seen each other it is like no time has passed. It is like they simply continue the conversation that they'd never finished.

They walk around Paris, ride tourists boats, sit in cafes, Jesse continuously dropping faint flirtations, even though they are both now involved in serious relationships. Ten years before, they were excited kids who couldn't wait to take on life. By this time, they've seen life, and they didn't care for it too much. The two have been haunted by the fact that their greatest romantic relationship was less than ten hours in Vienna. "When you're young, you just believe that there will be many people with whom you connect with," Celine says, "Later in life, you realize that it only happens a few times."

The film builds on conversations like these. They speak endlessly about the disappointing elements in their lives, but they do most of it with a smile, because now they're around each other. Jesse explains that he'd been thinking about Celine the whole ten years. Even driving toward his wedding, he saw a vision of her walking the streets. He has dreams where he sees her, and she's just out of reach.

More than anything, what this film presents is the second chance that most of us don't get an oppurtunity to have. We come in contact with people daily, but there are a few that actually mean something to you. Sometimes you don't realize it until it is far too late. There is such an underlying theme of regret that surrounds the story. Jesse's bad marriage is caving in, and Celine is patronized by dozens of ex-boyfriends getting married. The idea of what would have been is so tantalizing to them, and now they have that chance.

Jesse and Celine are played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. Both seem to embody the characters so fully. Neither take the apparent melodrama too far. A breakdown scene in the backseat of a car could have gone terribly wrong if in the hands of the wrong actors. Instead, we get an incredible balance between pain and overall impatience to be around someone you have longed after for so long. Hawke's scruffiness and Delpy's sad eyes only add to the magnificence of the performances.

Of coarse, it helps that they co-wrote the screenplay with director Richard Linklater. Linklater, mostly known for his light-hearted comedies such as Dazed and Confused and School of Rock, creates something that is very hard: a film both heartbreaking and hopeful. It is by far Linklater's most emotionally jarring film. So many times, the characters are saying things without saying anything. Many times, they say things while trying to express the exact opposite.

The movie is quaint in it's 80 minutes. It is bold to make a film that hinders mostly on dialogue, and fortunately the dialogue in the film is tremendous if not sharp and cutting. The sexual tension between Jesse and Celine continues to build more and more throughout the film, culminates in a breathtaking scene within Celine's apartment in which she performs a "waltz" for him on her acoustic guitar.

The film ends ambiguously, much like the first film. Unlike the first film, though, it does not end with them saying goodbye. We do not know the fate of Jesse and Celine, what they will do in the future. What we do know, is that at the moment of the films denouement, they have successfully succeeded in reuniting the relationship. If it is never able to work out, they at least have this moment in time, in Celine's apartment, where they know that they feel complete happiness.

No Country For Old Men (****)

Written for the screen and Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen


The setting for the new Coen Bros. movie, No Country For Old Men, is the vast empty space that inhabits the lonely areas within Texas. The movie opens on numerous shots of emptiness, with the voice of Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) speaking over the images. He explains the story of a 15-year old he sentenced to death after he killed a 14-year old girl. "The newspapers called it a 'crime of passion'," Bell explains, "But he told me, 'There ain't nothing passionate about it. Way I see it, I've been fixin' on killin' as long as I can remember. I'm goin' to Hell, reckon I'll be there in about 15 minutes'."

Thus, the stage is set for the most spectacular film I've seen so far this year. A film so tense and brutal, yet made with such skill, that it will stick with you long after you leave the theater. Based on the novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy, the Coens have made a masterpiece centering on the disintegrating morality of humanity, and absolute evil.

The absolute evil is epitomized by the character of Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem). Chigurh is a killing machine (with emphasis on machine) with less mercy than the Terminator. He doesn't seem to be motivated by what motivates the other characters in the film: money, drugs, sex; he's just motivated by the chance to execute extreme violence. His calculated menace makes one of the most sadistic movie villains that I have seen in years. He walks hard, with his shoulders broad, continuously wearing the same combination of dark clothes and coat, and sporting a cutesy bob hairdo. These details combine to make him look like a cross between Charles Manson and John Lennon on the cover of "Rubber Soul". His weapon of choice: a cattle stun gun.

We also meet Llwelyn Moss (a tremendous Josh Brolin), a welder who lives in a trailer with his sweet, child-like wife Carla Jean (Kelly MacDonald). The plot of the film begins to unfold when Moss goes hunting in the vast desert, and stumbles across a drug deal gone terribly wrong. Many people have been killed (and a dog as well), and Moss finds an incredible amount of Heroin, and about $2 million in cash in a bag--he takes no time in taking the money for himself. He sees one Mexican man who is still alive (barely) who begs endlessly for water. When Llwelyn decides to go back to get this man water, it ends up being the biggest mistake of his life.

When he's nearly killed by some Mexican drug dealers, Moss hits the road. Anton is on his trail, following him closely from motel to motel. We're not sure who puts Anton up to this trek (everyone he talks to is either killed, or threatened with the idea of being killed), but he seems to be motivated by principles. It's not Moss' money, so he shouldn't have it, and he will die for this theft.

Trailing all the destruction is Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Jones), who worries over the state of the world. He seems to get to the scene of every crime two minutes too late. He's never able to prevent crime; but he's always there to see the aftermath. He longs for the days when young people still said "ma'am" and "sir", and wonders if he's even cut out for his role in law-enforcement the way his father and grandfather were. He looks at the looming evil that has swept his society, and ponders if its worth fighting for. All the while, he is trying to find Moss and Chigurh before more blood is shed.

I will walk away from explaining elements of the plot for now, and move onto my praise for this tremendous film. It is bold, it takes it's time, and it is not afraid to use silence. Silence may be the best performer in this film. It hovers over essentially every scene, like a death cloud predicting doom for everyone--particularly those who come in contact with Chigurh. It is the Coen Bros. most exhilarating film since Fargo. It is violent, brooding, but sparkling with humor familiar in Coen films.

The movie attempts to exemplify the morality of a world filled with evil. In fact, it questions whether there is any morality to begin with, and offers nothing in the way of life-affirming themes. The film takes it's time with it's story. It could have easily been 30-40 minutes shorter, but then the overall effect would be lost. It takes the personality of it's vast landscape, and with the cinematography of Roger Deakins (a frequent collaborator with the Coens) it may just be the "best looking" film the Coens ever made.

The engine that makes this film run is it's first-rate performances. Josh Brolin's turn as Llewlyn is a career-defining performance. Moss is simply not as smart and equipped as he wants to be, but Brolin allows you to believe in this man's money-hungry, life-threatening journey. Tommy Lee Jones' performance as the world-weary sheriff is another in a line of performances that Jones has participated in the last few years affirming his substantial career (this year's In The Valley of Elah may very well be the best of his career). Kelly MacDonald is tender and heartbreaking as Carla Jean, in a roll that makes you completely forget MacDonald's Scottish background. Carla Jean is the one, small star in this bleak film.

And then, of coarse, we have Javier Bardem. His performance as Chigurh will make your blood curd. He does not seem to be part of the human race. He kills people based on his own delusional moral code, but is very conscious to not get blood on his shiny boots. When he comes into contact with a bounty hunter hired to catch him, Carson Wells (a delightful Woody Harrelson), he knows what he has to do. He even has the decency to sit him down in his hotel room and explain to him why. When a man asks Wells how dangerous Chigurh actually is, Wells responds, "Compared to what? The Bubonic Plague?".

When the Coen Bros. released Fargo, they'd made a perfect film. A film made with such astonishing skill, it is the kind of movie that seems like a miracle. This kind of thing rarely happens twice with filmmakers, but with No Country For Old Men, the Coens have established themselves as iconic members of movie society. No Country is not a conventional film (do the Coens ever settle for convention?), and it is brave enough to be what it is: an uncompromising story of the rising evil that is encasing the world.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Before The Devil Knows You're Dead (**)

Directed by Sidney Lumet


Sidney Lumet has already established himself as a masterful filmmaker. Few people in the movie business can boast credits that include 12 Angry Men, Network, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Verdict. It seems strange, then, a couple of years removed from winning an Honorary Academy Award, he proceeds to cap off his career with a film that is incredibly average, flat, and overwhelmingly melodramatic.

I want to stay away from the statement that the film has too much emotion, because that can never be an issue for a film. What this film suffers to do is comprehend that emotion in any other way than having their characters explode and yell, while giant veins burst out of their tomato-red foreheads. It's hard to get in touch with a character when the faces always look so strained.

The movie centers on the Hanson family, and all the dysfunction that comes with it. Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the oldest son, is a hot shot business man, who's encountered big time debt. He needs money--he needs it to pay his debts, to support his drug habit, and a pipe dream in which he plans to move with his wife Gina (Marisa Tomei) to Brazil. His younger, weaker brother Hank (Ethan Hawke) is dealing with child support payments, trying desperately to seem like something more than a loser in front of his daughter.

What is Andy's grand plan to pull him and his little brother out of their financial woes? Knocking off a "mom & pop" jewelry store. No guns, no violence, no victims. Insurance would take care of the owners of the store, so everybody walks away from the incident happy. There is one twist though, that mom & pop store is owned by their actual mother and father. And when the job goes horribly wrong, Andy and Hank both unravel emotionally, as they watch their neglectful father (Albert Finney) ponder who committed the crime.

I should take the time to say that I have a lot of respect for all the actors within the main cast, I'm just a bit confused about why Lumet felt the need to have them strain their faces to the point where the audience finds themselves uncomfortable. Albert Finney in particular, spends essentially all of his screen time with his mouth hanging open. The result is we have a character looking like he's staring down T-bone steak, rather than mourning. Hoffman and Hawke do so much eye-squinting and face-clenching, you wonder how badly their jaws cramped during filming.

Credit must be given to the screenplay by newcomer Kelly Masterson. She's invented a seedy world with desperate characters, and an ending that is true tragedy. Unfortunately, Lumet decides to turn the story into pure melodrama, and in the process makes the characters charmless and annoying.

Take the character of Gina. She meets Andy in rehab, but she is frustrated at the fact that he can't seem to be pleasured by her physically, and starts having an affair with Hank. It's a very dynamic, complex character. What is converted to the screen is an adulterous bimbo who spends half the time naked, and the other half sporting incredible cleavage. She's one-note, and it's hard to sympathize with that.

The film is buoyed by a virtuoso performance by Hoffman. His dependability as an actor comes through once again, cause he seems the only actor who's able to make sense out of his facial contortions. Hawke is sincere in his portrayal of Hank, but he falls back into the over-the-top tempo the rest of the film possesses. Albert Finney walks around the entire film looking like a zombie. His implausibility as a inept father may be the deciding factor to what goes wrong in this movie.

If there is some kind of award for trying, this film would win it. You can tell that the actors and filmmakers working on this film earnestly want to do their best, and it is that which stops this film from being unwatchable. After all, it's not the film itself that is unwatchable, it's the characters. When you make a film about the unexpected consequences when things go horribly wrong (a subject in a lot of movies lately), you have to have create people who you actually care what happens to.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

American Gangster (**1/2)

Directed by Ridley Scott


In American Gangster we see the story of Frank Lucas and Richie Roberts. Frank Lucas is the most powerful man in Harlem, with the most powerful heroin empire of it's time. Richie Roberts is the good-natured cop on his tale. What follows is enthralling film of cat and mouse that stretches over 157 minutes, and provides us with as much violence and nudity needed to hold us over for that long. The film speaks with the power of a message film, but the message seems so misguided we leave scratching our heads about what we've spent the last two and a half hours learning. Drugs are bad? Organized crime is more profitable when headed by someone who's more of an entrepreneur than a criminal?

The story of Frank Lucas is impressive in itself. As an accomplice for "Bumpy" Johnson who ruled Harlem, Lucas learned the ins and outs of how to be ruthless, and when Bumpy dies, he takes over where he left off, and then some. Lucas goes on to buy 100% pure heroin right from the source in Southeast Asia, and by cutting out the middle man, he is able to sell better heroin for half the price. It's capitalism at it's best.

The story of Richie Roberts is less glamorous; he's a narcotics officer fighting a custody battle with his ex-wife and studying for an upcoming bar exam. He is exiled from his job at the local New Jersey police station when he turns in a million dollars worth of unmarked drug money. How can you trust a guy who's willing to turn in that kind of money, instead of sharing it with the boys? His peers don't attempt to find out because they've already lost the ability to trust him.

The action of the film starts when Roberts is given the chance to start his own circle of investigation into drug-busting, including several other officers he knows are as honest as he is. When they follow many popular mafioso into an Ali-Frazier fight, who is the guy with the closest seat? Frank Lucas, accompanied by his Puerto Rican beauty-queen wife, and decked out in elaborate furs. Through a series of lengthy investigation, Roberts and his men discover what was thought to be impossible: Frank Lucas, a black man, was able to work above the mafia, and make millions in the drug racket on his own.

Frank Lucas is played by Denzel Washington in a performance that is very much inspired, if not hackneyed. He's ruthless (the movie opens with him lighting a live man on fire) but has moments of mercy (he shoots the same man to stop his agony). This tennis match between the two sides of Lucas' character never seem to be very balanced. He has moments where he explodes with extreme violence, but yet he still goes to church with his mother on Sunday, and he's the one who says grace in front of Christmas dinner. He can trust the people who work for him, because close to all of them are members of his own family. It's one of those Denzel performances that elicits extreme authority (he shoots a man in the head in the middle of the busy Harlem streets with no consequence).

Frankly, the most intriguing part of American Gangster has nothing to do with gangsters. Richie Roberts' (Russell Crowe) investigation is told with such grit and fire, it seems to be a much more interesting cornerstone to place a movie upon. His paunched belly, five o'clock shadow, and the heavy bags under his eyes are striking and telling. He's an honest cop, and is quite at odds in a force filled with corruption. Unfortunately, his honesty as a law officer seems to be about the only good quality in Richie's personal life. His wife plans to leave to Las Vegas, taking their son with her.

The film stumbles around when it comes to it's storytelling. This screenplay is very raw and uncompromising, but somewhere along the line between being written and being put on the screen, it picked up many blemishes that signal tidy Hollywood filmmaking. Subtlety is a word that nobody in this film seems to have heard of, and this movie wants so badly to one-up the gangster pictures of the past with edge, it instead seems remarkably polished.

We have the character of Frank Lucas who is not sure whether or not he wants to be Don Vito Chorleone or Tony Montana, and Richie Roberts doesn't know whether he wants to be Frank Serpico or Vincent Hanna. The movie wants too much, including the recognition that those films received, and what we have is a movie that's not sure if it wants to be Little Ceaser or The Untouchables. I make references to so many movies because this film borrows so many components from them, and in the process has a serious identity problem within it's genre.

The biggest issue within the film's ideology is in the end. When Roberts has finally cornered Lucas, Lucas agrees to rat out a plethora of corrupt cops, in exchange for getting reduced time in prison. We see Lucas smiling as the cops are put away, but what does his face look like when thirty members of his own family are arrested as well? It's good that Frank Lucas exposed corruption, but do we have to make him a hero for it? In Goodfellas, they had the decency to explain that Henry Hill was still a bastard after he ratted out his compatriots, because after a life of immorality, he used even more immorality to get himself off the hook. Frank Lucas, on the other hand, is made to look like a saint.

The director, Ridley Scott, seems to do what he does in a lot of his films: take big, exciting ideas, and water them down for the viewing public. There's excitement in this movie--a very powerful drug bust scene toward the end pulsates with energy--and the movie is not dull. You just get the sense that you're being cheated because the movie takes the formulaic way out, rather than dealing with raw reality. It tries to take the stage of an epic, but the film's 157 minutes is fattened by a lot of scenes that are unneeded: Roberts' custody hearings with the usual ex-wife who demands him to make the choice between work and his son, as well as many scenes involving a strung-out Cuba Gooding Jr. playing a stylish drug dealer named Nicky Barnes.

The film reminded me a lot of another film: Heat. They both are stories involving a distressed, but honest cop trying to take down the sharp, but ruthless criminal. But that film attempted to blur the lines between good and evil, explaining that there is no good without evil (and interestingly enough, while Heat is probably twenty minutes longer than Gangster, it is not too long). This film, though, just wants all the glory of all the films that it samples bits and pieces from without having any of it's own innovation. It's not that easy, Ridley.