Friday, October 25, 2013

Pick O' the Week - October 25

The first award nominees were announced yesterday by the Gotham Awards. The awards are given to the best in independent film by New York's Independent Filmmaker Project. Steve McQueen's brilliant 12 Years a Slave earned three nominations, while Cate Blanchett was nominated for Best Actress for Blue Jasmine.

In other news, George Clooney's awkward-looking The Monuments Men has been pushed back to the spring. The film has an ecclectic cast, including John Goodman and Cate Blanchett.

This comes on the heels of Martin Scorsese's Leonardo DiCaprio reunion reemerging in 2013 for a Christmas release. The Wolf of Wall Street was earlier announced as another film pushed to 2014.

However, the best news of the week is the revelation of Wes Anderson's newest trailer. The Grand Budapest Hotel has a load of stars - Tilda Swinton! Bill Murray! Ralph Fiennes! Saoirse Ronan! Jude Law! Adrien Brody! - and it looks incredible. The trailer certainly gives the film more depth than some of Anderson's more recent fare. Hopefully its March 7 release date will give it some traction, considering the winter is usually a dead zone.

In Theatres: After seeing Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave at TIFF (reviews pending), I have nothing but good things to say about McQueen, his entire cast, and the incredible performance of Chiwetel Ejiofor. I can hardly believe he is the same man who starred alongside Audrey Tautou in Stephen Frears' 2002 thriller Dirty Pretty Things.

At Home: Steven Soderbergh may contemplate retirement after finishing every film, but he is a fairly interesting director. Some of his films are great (1998's Out of Sight), some are decent (2012's Haywire), some are downright terrible (2009's The Informant!) and some are just oddly praised (2013's Side Effects). One film that I quite enjoyed but failed to gain momentum is 2011's Contagion. The film tells the story of an outbreak with a pair of great performances from Kate Winslet and Marion Cotillard. Check it out on Netflix.

On TV: September and October are strenuous months for TV viewers. We are forced to choose between crazy amounts of new series that are just trying to gain favour. I tried The Michael J. Fox Show (overworked) and Mom, starring an over-matched Anna Faris in a convoluted and poorly conceived show that Allison Janney should have ditched after the pilot. One show that I have been enjoying is Malin Ackerman's Trophy Wife. She plays the third wife of Bradley Cooper, whose children cause him to be far too attached to his two ex-wives. Marcia Gay Harden is certainly the reason for my enjoyment.

Retro Re-watch: As I write this, I am catching up on episodes of White Collar. It makes me want to re-watch Stephen Frears' brilliant 1990 noir thriller The Grifters. The film stars John Cusack, but it is the battle between Anejlica Huston and Annette Bening that truly ignites the film. It is a phenomenal story about con artists that deserves repeated viewings.

Happy weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my god I totally watched Grifters the other day! Annette Bening is fantastic in this and it's nice to have something to wash the awful taste of Angelica Houston's participation in Smash out of my brain. Good call!