|The Spotlight team wins Best Picture|
|The Retrosettes perform "You Got the Love" in Youth|
|Anne Baxter, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, and George Sanders in 1950 Best Picture winner All About Eve.|
2 Nights Till Morning
(Finland/Lithuania. 84 min.)
Written and directed by Mikko Kuparinen
Starring: Marie-Josée Croze, Mikko Nousianinen
Canada’s Marie-Josée Croze gives a captivating performance in 2 Nights Till Morning. As Caroline, the complicated workaholic who has a layover with destiny in this seductive Finnish-Lithuanian co-pro, the actress delivers her best work since her Genie Award and Cannes prize-winning performance in Oscar winner The Barbarian Invasions. Croze finds a strong screen partner in Mikko Nousianinen as Caroline flirts with the idea of making a connection with his Finnish DJ Jaakko when they meet at a hotel bar in Vilnius, Lithuania. In the vein of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Danièle Thompson’s Jet Lag, this talky and mature two-hander offers a whirlwind romance for mature audiences. It’s a wonderful, refreshing film driven by a pair of excellent performances.
Touched with Fire
(USA, 107 min.)
Written and directed by Paul Dalio
Starring: Katie Holmes, Luke Kirby, Christine Lahti, Griffin Dunne, Bruce Altman
“That’s what I call illuminating,” says Marco (Canadian actor Luke Kirby) as he displays a portrait of a bipolar brain to Carla (Katie Holmes), his partner-in-crime at the hospital. Marco and Carla are both bipolar and this picture of a brain that shares their illness pops off the page with its vibrant colours: blue, pink, violet, and red. The picture, an image from a ho-hum medical book, speaks directly to the experience that Marco and Carla seek to validate while escaping the treatment put open them by the doctors and orderlies at the hospital. Marco, a rapper, and Carla, a poet, both have strong artistic talents that hit their creative heights with the manic strokes of their bipolar roller coasters. Art and madness is a long-reigning love affair, but Touched with Fire shows that the connection runs much deeper and is far more politically correct.
Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente)
(Colombia/Venezuela/Argentina, 125 min.)
Dir. Ciro Guerra, Writ. Ciro Guerra, Jacques Toulemonde Vidal
Starring: Nilbio Torres, Jan Bijvoet, Anontio Bolivar, Brionne Davis, Yauenkü Migue
A snake is one slippery, spectacular creature. Embrace of the Serpent is equally elusive. This Colombian odyssey and nominee for Best Foreign Language Film in this year’s Oscar race refuses to take a straight line. It’s as windy and slithery as a serpent and it speaks with a forked tongue.
End of Days, Inc.
(Canada, 83 min.)
Dir. Jennifer Liao, Writ. Christina Ray
Starring: Carolyne Maraghi, Mark O’Brien, Paulino Nunes, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Janet Porter, Anna Ferguson, Yulia Petrauskas
What’s worse: living a boring 9 to 5 existence or going down in the apocalypse? The end is nigh in the Canuck comedy End of Days, Inc., which puts a quartet of worker drones in the hellish flames of a workplace that just might be run by Satan. The minions of Godfrey Global close up shop on their last day of work, but they receive an odd proposal from the boss Mr. Godfrey (Paulino Nunes) who insists they all attend a farewell party to receive their final paychecks. Sometimes it’s best to punch out and take a loss.
Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words (Jag är Ingrid)
(Sweden, 114 min.)
Dir. Stig Björkman, Writ. Stig Björkman, Dominika Daubenbüchel, Stina Gardell
Featuring: Alicia Vikander, Isabella Rossellini, Pia Lindström
Meatballs, make-it-yourself furniture, dragon tattoos, and Ace of Base are some of Sweden’s greatest cultural exports, but nothing from the great Scandinavian country rivals the legacy of actress Ingrid Bergman. The iconic star of films such as Casablanca, Anastasia, and Autumn Sonata is best remembered as a classically composed actor with a magnetic aura and an adaptable charm. Her charisma and grace resonate strongly in romances like Casablanca, thrillers like Notorious, and poetic neo-realist dramas like Voyage to Italy. She loved movies, and the movies loved her, as Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words recalls with a loving and candid portrait of the late star.
|Cate Blanchett in Carol|
Pacific Northwest Pictures, and lucky readers can win run of engagement passes to see the film on the big screen! Answer the trivia below for your chance to win passes!
London Has Fallen! London Has Fallen, the sequel to the 2013 hit Olympus Has Fallen, brings Gerard Butler back in action to protect international leaders from terror. London Has Fallen opens in theatres March 4th from VVS Films, but readers across Canada may attend a sneak peek to see the film before it hits theatres. Answer the trivia below for your chance to win tickets to London Has Fallen!
Portrait of a Serial Monogamist
(Canada, 84 min.)
Written and directed by John Mitchell and Christina Zeidler
Starring: Diane Flacks, Carolyn Taylor, Vanessa Dunn, Gavin Crawford, Caroline Gillis, Karen Robinson
We’ve all seen that guy, right? The one who won’t commit? The dude who goes through girls as if they’re cold beers on a Saturday night? Drink ’em, love ’em, dump ’em, and move on the next one. But what if this guy, the one we’ve all been taught to distrust in romantic comedies, is a girl? Is going through glasses of chardonnay any different from ploughing through beers?
|Marie-Josée Croze and Mikko Nousianinen star in 2 Nights Till Morning. |
Photo courtesy of the Canadian Film Institute.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
(USA, 108 min.)
Written and directed by Burr Steers
Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Bella Heathcote, Ellie Bamber, Douglas Booth, Jack Huston, Charles Dance, Lena Headley
|Bella Heathcote (left) and Lily James (right) in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an Entertainment One release.|
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single film in possession of a good zombie, must be in want of some gore.
Race, the incredible true story of runner Jesse Owens who defied Hitler and became an icon by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. Race opens in theatres February 19 from eOne Films, but lucky readers across Canada may win tickets to sneak peeks! Answer the trivia below to win!
Your Money or Your Wife
(Canada, 75 min.)
Written and directed by Ian Macleod
Starring: Craig Brown, Meredith MacNeill, Annie Valentina, Brian McWarren, Josh Macdonald
Lionel: “We’re like Canadian gentlemen robbers. Have you ever seen the movie Foolproof?”Annie: “I Love that movie.”Mike: “That movie’s crap. Canadian movies are garbage.”
(USA, 106 min.)
Written and directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Alison Pill, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill.
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen are a curious pair. Two Hollywood outsiders and kids from the indie crowd, they’ve built a canon of singular films while rising in the ranks of critical esteem, festival circuit pedigree, and Oscar-worthy laurels. They might have four Academy Awards to their names, but they haven’t sold out or buckled to Hollywood. (Yes, they’ve done re-writes for films like Unbroken and Bridge of Spies, but everyone needs to eat.) The Coens, if anything, flip the bird to Hollywood the more it embraces them: their comedy gets blacker, their violence gets bloodier, and their philosophy gets denser. Filmmakers achieve a rare level of freedom and anonymity when they’re as consistently good as the Coens are, and their latest film Hail, Caesar! is one wacky comedy that throws pie all over Tinseltown’s face.
|Jean-Marc Vallée and Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of Demolition. |
one of 2015’s best performances when Michael Shannon’s intense turn in 99 Homes comes to home vid. After earning Best Supporting Actor nominations from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics Choice Awards, plus a win from the LA Film Critics, readers have another chance to catch this powerhouse performance. (With great work by co-stars Andrew Garfield and Laura Dern as the cherry on top.) 99 Homes comes to Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on Tuesday, February 9 from VVS Films, and lucky readers have a chance to win a copy of the film on Blu-ray. Answer the trivia below for your chance to win 99 Homes!
Race, the incredible true story of runner Jesse Owens who defied Hitler and became an icon by winning four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics. Race opens in theatres February 19 from eOne Films, but lucky readers in Toronto may win tickets to the Canadian Premiere with stars Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, and other special guests in attendance! Answer the trivia below to win!