Friday, January 4, 2013

Pick O' the Week - January 4

Welcome to 2013! Happy New Year!

This week brings more controversy surrounding Quentin Tarantino's newest film (well it is the same controversy, just being overplayed), and more interestingly Ann Down (Best Supporting Actress contender for Compliance) has paid $13 000 for a screeners of the film to be sent out to voters. The studio, Magnolia Pictures, chose not to support Dowd's campaign because the film did poorly at the box office when it was released this summer (the film only screened at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto). Oscar campaigning seems to be getting out of hand, monetarily.

I am currently working on my Top Picks of the Year, and I should hopefully have that for you next week. One more film on my list before I can feel confident making some tough choices!

Without further ado, here are my picks!

In Theatres: I am still telling everyone I know about Rust and Bone (review), but if it is not available in your market, go ahead and see Django Unchained (review). This so-called N-word controversy (which I think was more outrageous in Jackie Brown) is bound to help Tarantino's latest venture (rated 18A in Ontario) become his highest-grossing film. Great story, great visuals, and superior acting, Django Unchained is a thrill that will make you want to talk about it for hours after seeing it.

At Home: Recently released on Netflix, The Hunger Games (mini review) may not be the most faithful adaptation of a young adult novel, but it has allowed Jennifer Lawrence's star to shine much brighter (she is also quite fantastic in her bound-to-be-nominated performance in Silver Linings Playbook (review)). And if you are too impatient to wait for the November release date of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, check out this this hilarious mash-up of Jennifer Lawrence quotes.

On TV: I have just recently started watching The Walking Dead (available on Netflix), which has taken quite a while considering my roommate's obsession. The AMC series has had some trouble with keeping its showrunners, and news has come forward that the cult favourite will be getting another new showrunner for season 4. The show centres around a group of survivors after a zombie apocalypse. Like AMC's other landmark show, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead is the kind of show that gets your pulse racing!

Retro Re-watch: On a cold January weekend, I need to curl up with one of my favourite films. Mike Leigh's brilliant Secrets & Lies is a near-perfect film, with a heartbreaking central performance from Brenda Blethyn. It tells the story of a working class woman in London whose biological daughter tracks her down and the resulting complications with both their lives. This scene always brings me to tears.

Have a great weekend!

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