Friday, December 21, 2012

Pick O' the Week - December 21

If you are reading this, the Mayan Armageddon did not happen!

Here we are, the weekend before Christmas! And as always, you will find little Christmas cheer in my picks for this week. It is not that I dislike Christmas, I just dislike holiday movies! Feel-good stories tend to make me want to rip out my eyeballs. As I write this, I have just returned from seeing Laura Linney and Bill Murray in Hyde Park on Hudson - the most forgettable film I have seen in a long time (a total waste of money).

The Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes announced their nominees last week. The SAG Award for Best Actor seems to be a three-way fight between Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln) and John Hawkes (The Sessions), while Best Actress has pitted Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) against Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone) and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook). SAG did offer a few surprises, with Alan Arkin (Argo) and Javier Bardem (Skyfall) sneaking into the Best Supporting Actor slot, while Nicole Kidman (The Paperboy) earned a Best Supporting Actress nomination. The Golden Globes offered a few more surprises, with Richard Gere (Arbitrage) gaining a Best Actor - Drama nomination, and Rachel Weisz sneaking in for The Deep Blue Sea (which, if we remember, I did not care for). The Musical or Comedy categories are laughable, with the likes of Emily Blunt (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and Meryl Streep (Hope Springs) earning bids.

And now for my picks!

In Theatres: Opening in limited release this week is Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os). It has been reported that Cotillard (SAG and Golden Globe nominated), under contract to Warner Bros. for The Dark Knight Rises, lied to the blockbuster's producers about her involvement in the film. The film's trailer is especially vague, but it completely lures me in. It is a must-see for me.

At Home: When I think about Christmastime, I think about watching Rob Marshall's Oscar-winning 2002 film Chicago. With an absolutely astonishing performance from Catherine Zeta-Jones, the stage musical adaptation tells the story of Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) and Velma Kelly (Zeta-Jones), two murderers who aspire to fame. The film also features great performances from Richard Gere and Queen Latifah - and a scene-stealing performance from Christine Baranski.

On TV: Speaking of Baranski, I am once again offering The Good Wife as my television pick. Not your run of the mill procedural, the series focuses on Alicia Florrick (Juliana Margulies) as she goes back to work at a law firm following her husband's arrest for a sex and corruption scandal. Baranski plays one of the firm's partners. While both women are fantastic, the entire series, now in its fourth season, is completely owned by Archie Panjabi! The show is (was?) currently network television's best bet to find your favourite actors from The Wire! The AV Club has an interesting take on The Good Wife's role in relation to The Wire.

Retro Re-watch; What classic film reminds me of Christmas? Billy Wilder's classic 1958 film Some Like It Hot. The film stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as struggling musicians who witness the Saint Valentine's Day massacre and masquerade as women and join an female band headed to Miami. Both men become completely enamored with Sugar (Marilyn Monroe), a member of the band. It is an absolutely hilarious film, and currently ranks first on AFI's list of 100 Laughs.

Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël!

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