Friday, January 6, 2012

Pick O' the Week - January 6

It is almost the end of winter vacation for some of us at CineCritical - though Siobhan did have to return to work on Tuesday - and we are soon approaching the point of the year (six days in!) where studios are finally releasing some long-awaited Oscar bait. Unfortunately, those titles (The Iron Lady, included) do not start arriving in theatres until next week. This is a weekend where we can catch up on some releases that may have escaped our eye during the holidays. I will probably be catching Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, which Siobhan rated 3 stars earlier in the week.

I am also zeroing in on my year end rankings. It seems unlikely that I will be able to even see all the films listed on my wait list in September, considering Coriolanus has not been given a Canadian release date - fingers crossed for January 20!

In Theatres: Last week I saw Alexander Payne's The Descendants for a second time. The film, which CineCritical saw at TIFF, has won raves - especially for George Clooney's performance. The second viewing was the charm as I loved it even more and would certainly place Clooney at the top of my Oscar list for Best Actor.

At Home: Even since starring in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009), I have been in love with French actress Mélanie Laurent. That same year she starred in Le Concert, a French film directed by Radu Mihaileanu. I am excited for the high-jinks and the music!

On TV: In the late 1980s Candice Bergen began starring in Murphy Brown, a classic 80s CBS sitcom about a shrewd investigative journalist for the fictional newsmagazine FYI. I recently rediscovered season 1 on DVD and while the series is definitely dated, it is still incredibly funny.

Retro Re-watch: I had a mind for another pick, but it is not considered retro (yet). I was first introduced to Luc Besson in 2000 with his 1998 film Taxi, the first in a franchise of successful French action-comedies. His 1994 film Léon, which introduced us to Natalie Portman, is one of my favourite films. I am opting for the classic Nikita (also known as La Femme Nikita in North America). The film centres around a young woman (Anne Parillaud) recruited to work for French intelligence. Nikita is available for streaming on Netflix.

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