Friday, March 9, 2012

Pick O' the Week - March 9

We are in the midst of a post-Oscar lull. New releases this week include Disney's John Carter - which looks so terribly thrilling - and Jennifer Westfeldt's (Mrs. Jon Hamm) Friends with Kids. The only appetizing title out this week is Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - only because it stars the delectable Kristin Scott Thomas - but the March release and terrible title probably mean it is not very good!

It has also been a relatively slow news week. Today is the last day before March Break and I am in desperate need of a week away from school and children. Air Canada almost had a strike and Apple announced the iPad 3 to very little fanfare.

In Theatres: Last night the 32nd Annual Genie Awards were handed out in Toronto, with Philippe Falardeau's Monsieur Lazhar winning the top prize along with four other awards (Best Director, Best Supporting Actress for Sophie NĂ©lisse, Best Actor for Mohamed Fellag, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Editing). The Quebec-made Canadian film is a pleasure to watch and the story of an Algerian refugee taking over teaching duties in a grade 6 class after a teacher commits suicide is as heart-wrenching as it is subtle. Check out my review here.

At Home: In 2010 I was thrilled and amazed by Black Swan, but it only managed to be my co-favourite film of the year. The other was Mike Leigh's Another Year, which stars Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen and Lesley Manville. Leigh's Secrets & Lies is my number two film of all time! Another Year tells the story of a couple (Broadbent and Sheen) over the course of a year, including their friendship with the imbalanced Gerri (Manville). The film is surprising available on Netflix!

On TV: In 2009 ABC premiered Better Off Ted, a satirical black comedy about Veridian Dynamics, a company which makes just about everything. It starred Jay Harrington, but the real gem of the show was Portia de Rossi, as Ted's boss Veronica. Portia de Rossi has very little luck with series lately, as both Ted and Arrested Development were canceled. If you have not seen Better off Ted, I urge you to do so. It is hilariously funny and worth watching multiple times, and you can do so on Netflix.

Retro Re-watch: I am going to skirt the rules with my pick this week. Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom was just named the opening film for the Cannes Film Festival in May (the article also states May 25 as the American release date for the film!). Barely ten years ago, Anderson released his third feature film, The Royal Tenenbaums, to much critical acclaim. It was the first film I ever saw in theatres multiple times (only bested by Kill Bill, Vol. 1). In my eyes, The Royal Tenenbaums is a near perfect film.

Have a great weekend everyone. I will hopefully be hibernating most of the next week in preparation for March Madness, which begins Thursday!

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