Back in July, Jenna Ortega was incongruously dressed for fall, filming scenes for Beetlejuice 2 before the SAG-AFTRA strike went into effect. Now that the strike is over, she is back on set—which has relocated from Vermont to Massachusetts—and this time, thanks (“thanks”) to the nearly four-month delay, her sweater dress and badass boots are actually seasonally appropriate. Despite the delay, Beetlejuice 2 is clinging to its September 2024 release date.
Jenna stayed busy during the strike, though. She made Death of a Unicorn co-starring a Paul Rudd, a film produced by A24, which obtained a production waiver since they’re not part of AMPTP and they agreed to SAG’s compensation demands without being diaper babies about it. The film is described as a dark comedy about a father-daughter duo who run over a unicorn. I mean, yeah, I’ll watch that. There’s also a trailer for her upcoming film Finestkind, co-starring Ben Foster and Tommy Lee Jones.
I saw it at TIFF and have been putting off reviewing it ever since. I just cannot muster up the enthusiasm for it. It’s the worst kind of not good—it’s mediocre. And Jenna is miscast, playing a working-class girl in Boston. To be fair, so is Toby Wallace, the protagonist of the film. It’s like he and Jenna are in one (bad) movie, and Ben Foster and Tommy Lee Jones are in a different (slightly better, but still bad) movie. And then Clayne Crawford shows up and he is in a third (also bad, but in a fun way) movie. Finestkind is a movie about a fish heist that is somehow three different types of bad at once. It would be impressive, if it wasn’t so boring. Anyway, consider that my review of Finestkind.