Friday, November 9, 2012

Pick O' the Week - November 9

Ahh... November, my favourite month! It was my birthday just the other day - Wednesday to be precise - and for fun I looked up what films had opened in theatres on November 7. It turned out to be quite the dismal list.

Robert Altman's impeccable Gosford Park premiered at the London Film Festival in 2001 before opening Boxing Day.

Steven Soderbergh's better-than-expected Haywire screened at the AFI Film Festival in 2011 before opening on January 20.

Others include Bette Midler's Oscar-nominated turn in The Rose in 1979, the 1974 adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince and the wonderfully terrible The Phanton Tollbooth in 1970.

November 7 has not been a great Friday. The last time? 2008: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, Madagascar 2, Role Models and Soul Men. Before that? 2001: The MusketeerRock Star, Soul Survivors and Two Can Play That Game. What happened to November being part of the exquisiteness that is fall?

At least this year I can look forward to Skyfall.

In Theatres: Bond 23 finally opens in North American markets after opening in the UK on October 26. With a beautifully haunting theme song from Adele, Skyfall is already being hailed as one of the best Bond films ever. Daniel Craig is a fantastic James Bond (regardless of Quantum of Solace - whose plot I failed to remember the other day, even after seeing it twice). I think I most excited to see how delicious Javier Bardem is going to be as Bond's nemesis.

At Home: The best birthday I ever was my 21st birthday spent in France. I lived in Saint Etienne for a year, and one film - which I watched while abroad - epitomizes my adventure: Cédric Klapisch's 2002 French film L'auberge espagnole. It is the story of Xavier (Romain Duris) and the year he spent as an Erasmus student living in Barcelona, Spain. Audrey Tautou has a small role in the film. It was nominated for six César Awards, including Best Film, and won for Most Promising Actress (Cécile de France).

On TV: It is much harder to find a television show to fit my November 7 theme, and I have been unsuccessful. I will just have to go with what I have started watching: USA Network's White Collar. Starring Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey, a con man and art thief, and Tim DeKay as Peter Burke, the FBI agent who arrested him and now works alongside him at the agency, it is sometimes too cliched and cheasy, but nonetheless enjoyable.

Retro Re-watch: Woody Allen has released over 40 films, but only two have ever been released in November! There is 1998's Celebrity, but I am opting for the much more Allen-esque (and all-around brilliant) Another Woman (released on November 18, 1988). It stars Gena Rowlands as Marion, a writer who rents a downtown apartment to write in peace and then finds herself eavesdropping on Hope (Mia Farrow), whose therapy sessions she can hear through the grate. As is Allen's 1980s style, Marion is wealthy and intellectual, and the film works on many levels.

Have a great weekend, and have a drink on me!

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