Monday, September 30, 2013


Woody Allen's latest movie, BLUE JASMINE, isn't better than ANNIE HALL or MANHATTAN, as some over-sugared critics have claimed. But it is the best of his late films, featuring as it does a superlative performance by Cate Blanchett in the title role.  She plays the spoiled, self-deluding wife of a hugely rich financier (Alec Baldwin), who we discover was actually a Bernie Madoff character.  He swindled his clients, including Jasmine's earnest sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins), gets taken by the Feds, and leaves Jasmine crushed, shocked, a borderline alcoholic with severe mental problems.

This is how we meet Jasmine - talking to herself on a plane to San Francisco, fashioning a narrative of her life that is elegant and graceful - where she is the victim.  This seems to be her only way of coping.  By struggling through courses to become computer literate she can kid herself that she'll become an interior designer, and resume her place in society as something "substantial". When she lies to her wealthy diplomat suitor (Peter Sarsgaard, thankfully not in a sleazebag role), it isn't so much that she's wilfully lying to him, but that my projecting an image of elegant accomplishment, she can reclaim herself.  It's a survival strategy.

The darker side of this vulnerability manifests itself in how far Jasmine was complicit in her downfall - how much did she really know about her husband's affairs and criminality?  Her stepson certainly judges her harshly, and part of the journey of this film is to get to the root of that problem.  Jasmine also proves to be a hugely disruptive influence on her sister, who under Jasmine's criticism of her current squeeze Chilli (Bobby Cannavale) reaches for something apparently better in Louis C.K.'s romantic sound engineer.   Ginger plays, in a minor key, the same theme as Jasmine - with her issues of self-invention and self-delusion.

The movie is dominated by Blanchett, and rightly so. She alternates between serene confidence and broken vulnerability and everything in between.  But there are other, surprising, moments of brilliance. For instance, seeing Andrew Dice Clay - a figure of menacing fun in Entourage - play a wise, angry ex-husband.  Or Louis C.K. play a soft, romantic.  Or Bobby Cannavale as a loveable rogue.  But the real praise has to go to Woody Allen who, after years of being the most environmentally sustainable of screenwriters, has done something genuinely new and genuinely brilliant.  Many people have tried to put the story of the financial crisis on screen,  but this sideways look at the psychological and emotional fall-out is perhaps the best depiction of its real impact, away from Wall Street.  And one would be hard-pressed to find such a rounded, nuanced and sympathetic middle-aged female character in cinema. 

A podcast review of this film is available here:

BLUE JASMINE has a running time of 98 minutes and is rated PG-13 in the USA and 12A in the UK for infrequent strong language & moderate references to sex & suicide.

BLUE JASMINE opened in August in the USA, Slovakia, Canada, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Greece, Hungary, Finland and Romania. It is currently on release in Australia, Portugal, Estonia, Iceland, Lithuania, France, South Korea, Russia, Ireland, Turkey and the UK. It opens on October 10th in Argentina and Singapore; on October 17th in Hong Kong; on November 7th in Germany and on December 5th in Italy. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

THE ARMSTRONG LIE - LFF 2013 - Preview

In the run-up to this year's London Film Festival, I thought I'd give a shout out to some exceptional films for which you can still buy tickets, here, at the time of writing.

Perhaps one of my most anticipated films at this year's festival is Alex Gibney's Lance Armstrong documentary, THE ARMSTRONG LIE.  I had high hopes, not because I'm a massive cycling fan, or know so much about the now infamous doping scandal, but because I had become fascinated by Lance Armstrong as a symbol, and perhaps scapegoat, for all that's bent out of shape in popular culture. Here was a guy - a sportsman - who had provided a narrative that was so compelling that he had apparently been able to glamour the world into ignoring the mounting evidence of his corruption.  He bullied, litigated, threatened and dominated.  He stared down anyone who accused him of winning his seven Tour de France titles illegitimately.  And yet, which is worse? The man who saw cheating as just another plane on which to compete, in a sport already riddled with drugs? Or the sports' governing bodies, sponsor companies and media that were at best, won over by his charisma and money, or at worst, collusive in a narrative that brought them all great riches.  Today, Lance Armstrong has been rightly stripped of his titles. And because he was sponsored in his early days by a US Federal Agency, he is facing a lawsuit that could result in $100m of damages. In other words, he is morally and financially bankrupt.  But what about everyone else who knew, covered it up, tipped him off, got rich, and got away?

Alex Gibney's documentary is remarkably even-handed in covering a case that is extremely polarising.  He admits to when he is glamoured by Armstrong - he admits to when he doesn't know if, even now, Armstrong, even now, is telling the truth - most strikingly about his supposedly clean 2009 attempt at the Tour de France.  What Gibney does is just lay out the facts and the footage - the witnesses, the enablers.  He has amazing access and great organisational and editorial skills.  The result is a movie that takes us back to Lance's days as an angry cocky young man, refusing to be outplayed by doped up European teams, who hires the best doctors and competes before and after his cancer.  He shows a guy who is a better narrative artist than he ever was a cyclist, who even now is probably fashioning a narrative to explain his fall from grace in mythic terms.

I came out of the documentary with greater insight, greater nuance to my take on Lance Armstrong, which is what this story so desparately needs.  I finished watching the infamous confession on Oprah Winfrey with a certain harsh judgment but now I feel I have the context for something more equivocal. Anyone who believed in Lance, or thinks they hate him, or know the truth in this case, should check this film out.  And even if you aren't interested in cycling, there's something tragic and truthful in a tale of organisations made corrupt by money and a popular culture so desperate for heroes it will wilfully collude in a story that is literally too good to be true.

THE ARMSTRONG LIE has a running time of 122 minutes. It played Venice and Toronto 2013 and will play London 2013. It opens in the USA on November 8th.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

AS I LAY DYING - LFF 2013 - Preview

As the anticipation builds for the London Film Festival, you may find that a lot of the obvious hot tickets are already sold out. So I thought I'd give a shout out to some of the more under the radar movies that you can still buy tickets for, here, at the time of writing.

James Franco's directorial début AS I LAY DYING is just such a film.  The actor, artist and writer has made his own adaptation of William Faulkner's novel, and brought it to screen with a starry cast and an earnest fidelity to the source material.  It's the tale of a family of poor farmers in the American South of the early twentieth century.  This may be a country of motor cars, but their existence remains one of poverty, ignorance and superstition.  The dying mother's last wish is to be buried in the town of Jefferson, and much of the movie chronicles the physical and emotional toll that the journey to Jefferson, decaying body in tow, has on her husband and children.  

Anse, her husband, is staunch and strict, burdened with rotting teeth and selfish needs. His portrayal by Tim Blake Nelson begins comic - a spoof of Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel, complete with rotting teeth - but becomes more sinister as the movie progresses.  The three grown sons - Darl, Jewel and Cash - are plagued by doubts, conflicted desires and take the physical and mental toll worst.  I'm not sure if James Franco ever really convinces as the mentally fragile Darl, but Logan Marshall-Green is devastatingly moving as Jewel  - the son who doesn't agree with the journey but can't quit it either.  And Jim Parrick, as Cash, is as close as we get to a sympathetic everyman in this story.  Meanwhile, kid brother Vardaman, seems the most slippery, and sister Dewey Dell (Alma O'Reilly) is hiding a secret that contributes to Darl's ultimate fall. 

When the movie works, it works because it faithfully transcribes Faulkner's haunting, slippery style.  There's a heavy use of voiceover and different, sometimes misleading, points of view.  This is not a movie you should watch if you don't like hearing peasants speak in vaguely pretentious terms of life and death.  I suppose one could argue that there are things that work on the page that seem absurd on the screen, I'm not sure how one could try to translate Faulkner, and his style, without this device.  Where I think the movie is in more troubling territory is when Franco makes a stylistic choice that has nothing to do with Faulkner. Most notably, he uses a split screen, showing two characters from different angles, sometimes engaged in conversation with each other, at other times with a separate conversation overlaid on the audio track. Maybe Franco's trying to make a point about how disconnected the family is? Either way, it's an alienating device for the audience, that undermines the intimacy that the voiceover is trying to create. 

Overall, AS I LAY DYING is still perhaps the most faithful adaptation of Faulkner's novel as you're likely to see, and has moments of visual beauty - and in Logan Marshall-Green's performance - great strength.  It's not always successful, but at least Franco's taking chances. 

AS I LAY DYING has a running time of 110 minutes and is rated R in the USA.   The movie played Cannes 2013 and will play London 2013.  It will be released in Portugal on October 10th 2013. It will be available as VOD in the USA on October 22nd and on DVD on November 5th. It will open in the Netherlands on November 21st. 

Friday, September 20, 2013


You can listen to a podcast review of DIANA below, or subscribe to Bina007 Movie Reviews in iTunes.

Oh dear. I really wanted to like the Prince Diana movie, imaginatively titled DIANA, if only to put two fingers up to the mainstream elitist critical opinion. But the film flops heavily onto our screens with little wit and less understanding - a soppy, weepy love story that hasn't got the balls to tackle the fascinating issues that the Princess embodied. The film never takes on the Royal Family apart from a few shy hints that Diana would have liked to have seen her children more. Charles and Camilla emerge unscathed. The fascination that Diana seems to have had for spiritualists and quacks is unquestioned and unexplored. The influence of her butler, Paul Burrell, uninvestigated. And her capricious relationship with the media - hunted but also manipulating - only very gently hinted at. This movie lets everyone - including the late Princess - off the hook.

So what DO we get? We meet Diana as a lonely woman, fascinated with healing, who falls for a leading heart surgeon, Hasnat Khan.  They begin a shy courtship - an odd couple romance.  She's the Princess who loves classical music and exercise. He's the Pakistani surgeon who likes junk food and jazz.  When push comes to shove, he isn't willing to upset his traditional Muslim family or indeed to have his work compromised by her fame.  She reacts rather childishly by trying to make Hasnat jealous by publicly being photographed with Dodi Fayed, leading to their fateful crash in Paris.  Yes, it's tragic that the mother of young sons died, and even more tragic that her celebrity prevented her from enjoying a fulfilling relationship (if true).  But there is no emotional truth in this movie.  No nuance, empathy or insight.  It's as vacuous as Hello! magazine, but at least THAT has the benefit of the real Princess, rather than poor Naomi Watts, in a career-embarrassing performance, tilting her head to the side and fluttering her eyelids in a succession of bad wigs. 

The mind boggles. How could director Oliver Hirschbiegel, who directed the incredibly powerful, intelligent and affecting Hitler's bunker film, DOWNFALL, have produced something so insipid?  I suspect the blame lies partly with the timid producers, but also with screenwriter Stephen Jeffreys, who wrote a movie so risible it earned the shortest review this blog has ever published, for THE LIBERTINE.  One can only wonder what kind of sympathy Sofia Coppola might have brought to this story, after her luminescent depiction of Marie-Antoinette.  At the very least, her product placement would have been less crass than the long lingering handbag close-up that opens this film.

Eheu o me miserum.

DIANA has a running time of 113 minutes and is rated 12A in the UK for strong language, brief land mine injury and surgical detail. 

DIANA is on release in the UK, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland and Poland. It opens on September 26th in Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and Serbia; on October 3rd in France, Italy, Russia and Sweden; on October 10th in Australia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the UAE, Estonia and Norway; on October 17th in Hong Kong and Japan; on October 25th in Brazil; on November 1st in the USA; on November 7th in Argentina and Finland; on November 14th in the Netherlands; on November 28th in Greece and Singapore; on December 13th in Spain; on January 9th in Germnany; and on February 6th in Chile.  

Saturday, September 14, 2013


The short version:  There's nothing wrong with RUSH as two hours of good quality entertainment.  It's well filmed, well acted, takes you into the racing circuit with exhilarating speed, and delivers some nicely timed laughs.  But, ultimately, RUSH is a movie made by two people who don't really care about or know about Formula One. It's a movie about two drivers who weren't really rivals, weren't really as important as the movie claims they are, and who were probably more complex than this movie allows them to be.  Save yourself the worry: watch SENNA instead. 

The podcast version: You can listen to a podcast review of the movie below or subscribe to Bina007 Movie Reviews in iTunes

The long version:  Ron Howard, a director of indifferent and inconsistent quality and no discernible style, returns to our screens with his take on the 1976 Formula One racing season, as defined by the intense competition between Maclaren's James Hunt and Ferrari's Niki Lauda. The blunt-talking Austrian, Lauda, had the better car and better technical ability, but British James Hunt has the superstar lifestyle and the raw aggression that made him a fierce competitor, if not for the long haul.  According to Peter Morgan's script, Lauda was jealous of Hunt's playboy charisma, and Hunt was envious of Lauda's respect and settled family life.  This spilled over into such vehemence that Lauda took points from Hunt on a technicality and Hunt goaded Lauda's colleagues into racing a dangerously slippery Nurburgring.  All F1 fans know that this resulted in Lauda being engulfed in flame for a full minute, as his face and lungs burned, and how he forced himself back into the racing car within three F1 races, placing fourth - arguably the ballsiest race run in F1 history.  So much is revealed in the movie's trailers.  But if you really don't know how the 1976 season ended, I'm not going to spoil it here.

There are four problems with RUSH.  The first is that Peter Morgan creates a script that is chock-full of sporting clichés and one-dimensional characters that barely register any kind of character development. James Hunt is the handsome playboy with a heart of gold (witness his beating up of the mean journo who taunts a burned up Lauda).  Lauda is a clichéd rational Kraut.  (And all this while Morgan does the interview circuit complaining about the cultural pigeonholing HE experiences as an Anglo-Austrian.)  It gets worse with the minor characters:  poor Alexandra Maria Lara's sole contribution as Mrs Lauda is to stand around looking concerned at crucial moments, while Olivia Wilde as Mrs Hunt has to look hurt. The only moment of character evolution comes with Lauda in his pivotal Fuji race but that's shown through some pretty cheesy flashback inter-cutting.

The second problem is that the movie is deeply patronising.  And I don't mean it stops every five minutes to give us a Basil Exposition guide to Formula One racing. In fact, US audiences less familiar with this majestic sport might find themselves short-changed on the sport and drowning in melodrama.   Rather, screenwriter Peter Morgan sees fit to give us a final scene between Hunt and Lauda in which they basically summarise all that has just occurred in the last two hours and what it all means for them and, thus, for us.  In a story that is basically very simple* and features very simply drawn characters, this is hardly necessary and underscores the fact that the movie has no real natural end because it doesn't really deal with a real-life proper rivalry.

The third problem with the film is director Ron Howard's inability to focus on the majesty of F1. And yes, I know, the races are well-filmed, and cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle does a great job with his grass level shots of whirring tires and mist soaked visors, but this movie still plays in the register of cheesy daytime drama.  Just look at the excruciating and unnecessary soft-focus under-water love scene between Mr and Mrs Lauda - pure schmaltz - and inserted, no doubt, too soften the edges of King Rat.

The fourth problem is clearly nobody's fault but bad luck: this movie will, whether it wants to or not, stand in the shadow of Asif Kapadia's peerless documentary SENNA.  And it fails miserably by comparison.  Why?  Here's why.  For a start, Aryton Senna would be in many people's top three of all time great drivers and Prost in the top five.  Lauda maybe makes the top ten, partly because of his miraculous comeback.  It's harsh, but Lauda and Hunt just aren't names to quicken the heart in the way that Prost-Senna do.  And then, to make it even worse, the complexity of the characters portrayed in RUSH don't come close to SENNA.  Aryton is shown to be a conflicted, contradictory, fascinating enigma - deeply spiritual, biblical, but also a playboy.  The ladies man that Hunt was, but also the rationalist, arguing not to race in bad conditions, that Lauda was.  He is more interesting on his own than Peter Morgan's Lauda and Hunt put together, and that's before we get to the amazingly complete driver Prost with his dark relationship to the really sinister FIA chief Balestre.  

But even if RUSH had been a fictionalised account of Prost-Senna, it would have still failed because it cannot compete with the real live race footage, the real life exhilaration and ecstasy of Interlagos 1991; the real life sobbing tragedy of Imola 1994.  

The conclusion:  RUSH is a movie made by two people who don't really care about or know about Formula One. It's a movie about two drivers who weren't really rivals, weren't really as important as the movie claims they are, and who were probably more complex than this movie allows them to be.  Save yourself the worry: watch SENNA instead. 

RUSH has a running time of 123 minutes and has been rated R in the USA and 15 in the UK for strong language, sex and scenes of bloody injury.

RUSH played Toronto 2013 and is on release in the UK, Canada, Israel, Denmark, Hungary, Brazil, Finland and Ireland. It opens on limited release next weekend in the USA, as well as on wide release in the Philippines, Taiwan, Belarus, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, Slovenia and Turkey. It opens on September 26th wide in the USA, in France, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Macedonia, Singapore, the UAE, Canada and Venezuela. It opens on October 3rd in Belgium, Australia, Germany, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Serbia, Norway and Sweden. It opens on October 10th in Hong Kong; on October 17th in Peru; on October 18th on Mexico and in February in Japan.

*Two formula one racers compete - one hot-headed one rational.  The rational one has a severe accident partly because of the goading of the hot-headed one but their rivalry helps him overcome his injury to race again. 

+I'm thinking something like Fangio, Clark, Senna, Schumacher, Alonso in the first rank.  Prost, Moss, Stewart, Vettel, Ascari in the second rank.  Then maybe Lauda, Villeneuve, Mansell, Piquet, Brabham, oh dear, maybe Lewis? in the third rank.  Hunt not even close. 

Monday, September 09, 2013


Roland Emmerich is not a director whose movies win the hearts and minds of critics. 2012, 10,000 BC, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW are pretty mindless, boorish, loud, overlong action movies that combine heavy CGI effects with a squidgy slurpy schmaltzy underbelly.  It's fair to say that WHITE HOUSE DOWN combines all the worst elements of these previous movies and adds a few more. Every line of dialogue is cheesy.  Every character is a caricature.  Every situation implausible.  And yet, and yet.... I enjoyed every single minute of WHITE HOUSE DOWN. I laughed at it and with it.  I cared about its main characters.  I was genuinely surprised by one of its plot twists.  And when the geeky tour guide finally manned up with a gun I was cheering on the inside.  For me, WHITE HOUSE DOWN is the DIE HARD of this decade - good-hearted wholesome, cheesy action fun.  I can't recommend it highly enough!

The plot is, of course, worryingly similar to this summer's earlier White House Under Attack movie, OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN.  Channing Tatum plays a security guard called John Cale with dreams of protecting the President, partly because he's just a gosh-darn patriot, and partly because he wants to impress his plucky little super-patriotic daughter Emily (Joey King).  On the morning that he's rejected from the Secret Service by old flame Finnerty (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Cale and his daughter find themselves in the White House when a disgruntled employee decides to take the President hostage.  This allows Cale (and his daughter) to prove just what a hero he is.  

Of course, Channing Tatum is perfect for this role, looking good in a wife-beater but also pulling off the wholesome charm of a loving father.  I also really liked Joey King as his daughter, very much styled in the Alyssa Milano- COMMANDO role.  But the real hilarity comes from Jamie Foxx who geeks up as peace-loving President Sawyer - a liberal fantasy President who wants to bring peace to the Middle East and earns the wrath of the military-industrial complex.  There are endless scenes where Foxx plays it for laughs, struggling to turn action hero, earning Cale's mockery. 

In fact, it's worth saying that this movie is really funny.  There are hilariously stupid lines: 

Bad guy number one: Cake? 
Bad guy number two: No, I don't want cake! I'm diabetic! 

Or this one from President Sawyer: Get your hands off my Jordans! 

As well as the visual brilliance of seeing the Leader of the Free World racing round the White House lawn in a pimped out hummer shooting a rocket launcher.  The word for this film is Ridonkulous.  But all that hilarity and the slurpy schmaltzy patriotism shouldn't blind you to the fact that it's actually very well made. The CGI effects are spectacular but don't overwhelm the story.  There are just enough great character actors (Richard Jenkins, Jason Clarke) to keep it this side of spoof. And I like the way that little plot details come back to be of significance, and even minor characters, such as the tour guide, have complete narrative arcs.

So, don't be put off by Emmerich's back catalogue. If you loved early 80s action flicks, and go with the intention of having a good time, WHITE HOUSE DOWN is the movie for you!

WHITE HOUSE DOWN has a running time of 131 minutes and is rated PG-13.

WHITE HOUSE DOWN was released earlier this year pretty much everywhere.  It opens on September 11th in Belgium; on September 12th in the Netherlands; on September 13th in the UK and Ireland; on September 19th in Denmark and Greece; on September 20th in Norway, Sweden and Venezuela; on September 26th in Italy and on November 1st in Bulgaria. 

Sunday, September 08, 2013


AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS is a handsome but derivative drama from first-time feature director David Lowery. It owes all its award-winning cinematographical style and thematic concern to Terrence Mallick - at best a homage and at worst a pastiche.  It's all dappled sunlight across flowing wheatfields and a moody melancholic folk violin score.  There's the omnipresent voice-over and young lovers pitted against impersonal forces.  That the movie is for the most part well-cast is just a waste of talent.

The movie stars Casey Affleck as Rooney Mara as young couple Bob and Ruth living in the rural South.  Early on, they carry out a heist that goes bad and Bob takes the jail-time to allow the pregnant Ruth to raise their daughter in safety - their only communication doleful letters. Four years later, Bob escapes and makes the journey home pursued by bounty hunters, while Ruth is courted by the local sheriff (Ben Foster) and sheltered by Bob's father (Keith Carradine.)

The resulting film is slow-paced to the point of tedium. There are shoot-outs but this isn't a heist film. The emotional chords are stretched so far they snap and while nicely done, the film just feels sub-Mallick. To be honest, you'd more profitably spend your time re-watching BADLANDS.

AIN'T THEM BODIES SAINTS has a running time of 96 minutes and is rated R.   The film played Sundance, where Bradford Young won the cinematography award, and Cannes 2013 and was released earlier this year in the USA. It is currently on release in the UK, Ireland and Israel. It opens later in September in France, in October in Greece and Singapore, in November in Belgium, in December in Sweden and Turkey, in March 2014 in the Netherlands and Japan, in May in Spain and in July in Brazil. 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


You can listen a podcast review of THE WAY WAY BACK here, or subscribe to Bina007 Movie Reviews in iTunes.

THE WAY WAY BACK is a curious film - often lacking in pace, often obvious in its plot choices, with a style of humour that barely breaks in to laugh-out-loud comedy.  And yet... and yet... there's something about its loveable quirky homespun style that is memorable and enjoyable.

The movie is a classic teenage coming-of-age story set in a contemporary east coast holiday resort that has a ramshackle nostalgic early 80s air.  The teenager in question is a kid called Duncan (Liam James) whose vulnerable and easily led mother Pam (Toni Colette) is dating a passive-aggressive philandering slick-talker called Trent (Steve Carell). Hang-dog, ignored or insulted, he escapes the rather reckless and juvenile adults who are supposed to be supervising him, and wends his way to a ageing, crusty, old school waterpark, where he finds a new kind of family - the kind that boosts your confidence, brings you new opportunities and broadens your horizons.  The employees are led by the frustratingly youthful cool boss Owen (Sam Rockwell).  

There's a lot to love in this tale and it's usually in the unspoken margins of the film.  The on-off romance between Owen and Caitlin (Maya Rudolph) that becomes apparent, in all its nuances, in the spaces between the script.  The joy of seeing Steve Carell playing a properly nasty character.  The nostalgic feel of the production design.  And there's just enough dark backing to the mirror to keep the film sharp.  The holiday escapism of the adults really does have damaging consequences - both for them and their kids.  And there's a real truth to the desperation and vulnerability of the divorced women - played for laughs by a deliciously blowsy drunk Allison Janney, and dramatically by Toni Colette.  So, for all its predictability, kudos to directors Nat Axon and Jim Rash (who wrote THE DESCENDENTS) for pulling it together. 

THE WAY WAY BACK has a running time of 103 minutes and is rated PG-13.

THE WAY WAY BACK played Sundance 2013 and was released earlier this year in the USA, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Israel, New Zealand, Finland, the UK and Ireland. It opens on September 12th in Singapore, on October 2nd in Belgium, on October 3rd in the Netherlands, on October 24th in Germany, on November 15th in Spain, on November 21st in Argentina, on November 27th in France and on December 5th in Italy.