Tatiana Maslany will be Sister Alice, leader of the Radiant Assembly of God, in HBO’s PERRY MASON reboot, which will be set in 1932 Los Angeles when Mason (played by Matthew Rhys) was a struggling private investigator traumatized by his wartime experiences in France and recovering from a broken marriage. Sister Alice gives three sermons every day to a national radio audience. Her mother and closest advisor is Birdy McKeegan (Lili Taylor), a pious and deeply devout woman who keeps things running smoothly at the Pentecostal church.
Chris Chalk has been cast as Paul Drake, a beat cop with a flair for detective work. (The character who corresponds most closely to the Paul Drake in the novels is Pete Strickland, played by Shea Whigham). Mason takes on “the case of the decade” which has something to do with the kidnapping of the one-year-old child of grocery store owner Matthew Dodson (Nate Corddry). Dodson’s wife Emily (Gayle Rankin) is described as a very religious person, and might be a follower of Sister Alice. It is not known if Mason’s secretary Della Street will appear in the new series. (Street did appear in the first Perry Mason novel, “The Case of the Velvet Claws“, which was published in 1933.) HBO has not yet announced a release date.
Evelyne Brochu is Éloïse in A BROTHER’S LOVE (La femme de mon frère), a film about Sophia (Anne-Élisabeth Bossé), who has a PhD in political philosophy and a close, co-dependent relationship with her psychologist brother Karim (Patrick Hivon). When Karim begins dating Éloïse, Sophia is forced to figure out how to get a life of her own. (Éloïse is Sophia’s doctor and first meets Karim when Sophia has an abortion.) Chris Knight wrote in the National Post: “A Brother’s Love is also a love letter to Montreal – its music, its multiculturalism, even its bagels; Sophia at one point wears a T-shirt from St-Viateur…” Written and directed by Monia Chokri, the film won the Un Certain Regard Heart Throb Jury Prize at Cannes, and was released in France on 26 June.
Brochu is also Juliette in CASH NEXUS, a tale of two brothers: Jimmy (Alexandre Castonguay), a homeless junkie, and Nathan (François Papineau), a heart surgeon. A chance encounter between the two brings their lives together again after years of estrangement. (Juliette is Nathan’s girlfriend.) Alex Rose reviewed the film for Cult Montreal, and here’s part of what he wrote: “‘Cash nexus’ is a Marxist term referring to the idea that, under capitalism, all human relationships can be boiled down to money…That’s true to some extent with [director François] Delisle’s film, though it has so much going on that boiling it down to a Marxist critique of familial relationships is short-shrifting it a bit. Both Nathan and Jimmy’s lives have been permanently shaped by their privilege: on one hand, Nathan feels he must work and live to preserve it, while Jimmy rejects it outright even if the thing that he does ‘dedicate’ his life to requires capital to obtain.” CASH NEXUS is available from iTunes Canada, and illico. YouTube has a trailer.
Humberly Gonzalez (Ana in “Manacled Slim Wrists“) is Bree in WITCHES IN THE WOODS (aka “Stranded”), which stars Hannah Kasulka as Jill, a University of Massachusetts freshman who goes on an off-the-grid snowboarding trip with several friends. On the way, Jill reads a pamphlet that suggests that the place they’re heading for might contain supernatural forces leftover from the Salem witch hunts. They get lost, and after their car breaks down in a brutal snowstorm, some of the group begin to exhibit signs of possession. Sasha Clements (Sarah in the LOST GIRL episode “School’s Out“) is also in the cast, as is Kyle Mac (Chase in the DARK MATTER episode “Built Not Born“). WITCHES IN THE WOODS will have its world premiere in London at Frightfest UK on 25 August.
Gonzalez is also Vanessa, Jess Damon’s bisexual girlfriend, in the TV series IN THE DARK, which stars Perry Mattfeld as a young blind woman trying to solve a friend’s murder. All 13 first season episodes can be streamed on Netflix (US), and the show has been renewed by the CW for a second season.