Monday, December 17, 2018

January Pick: On the Basis of Sex

We'll start off 2019 with an inspiring film about the early career of one of the most inspirational women of our time: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: On the Basis of Sex.

The title refers to the legal battle for reproductive choice that culminated in the passage of Roe v. Wade on January 22,1973. It happened to be my 28th birthday and despite not being American, I celebrated joyously with my feminist friends. We profoundly believed that the centuries-long crusade had finally be won in the U.S. It never even crossed our minds that, decades later, the anti-choice faction would try hard to repeal the law. It did, which makes the issues explored in On the Basis of Sex very timely all over again.

DATE & TIME:  The movie opens on Christmas Day but Movie Club members will see it on Tuesday, January 8. It's too early at this writing to name the cinema and screen time, but I'll email you these details as soon as they're available.

SYNOPSIS:  The film tells an inspiring and spirited true story that follows young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg (played by Felicity Jones) as she teams with her husband Marty (played by Armie Hammer) to bring a groundbreaking case before the U.S. Court of Appeals and overturn centuries of gender discrimination. 



Tuesday, November 20, 2018

December pick: Green Book

As movie lovers, you likely know that many of the films chosen for the People's Choice Award at TIFF go on to win the Oscar for best picture. Our December choice, Green Book, took the prize at the 2018 Festival and judging by the trailer, it may well join the Oscar list, which includes: Chariots of Fire, The Big Chill, Places in the Heart, Shine, Life is Beautiful, Slumdog Millionaire, The King's Speech, Silver Linings Playbook, Room, La La Land, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and others.

Green Book arrives in Toronto on Nov. 20, but I believe it's the best choice for our December outing - which will be at the Yonge/Dundas Cineplex on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Screen time is 1:30 but those who wish to will gather near the box office about 20 minutes earlier.

SYNOPSIS: Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), a world-class African-American pianist is about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. Anticipating trouble from racists, he hires a combo driver and bodyguard, Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation.


TRUE STORY on which Green Book is based:


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

November Pick: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Our November pick will be Can You Ever Forgive Me? When I saw the trailer a few months ago, I thought the film would be ideal for us and hoped it would arrive in Toronto within our time frame. What's it about? In a dramatic departure from her usual comedic roles, Melissa McCarthy stars in the fact-based tale about a celebrity writer who takes desperate measures when her career wanes. 

If luck is with us, we'll be seeing it at the Varsity Cineplex on Sunday, November 4, for the first matinee. There's a chance that the timing will change between now and then, and I'll notify club members as soon as the details are announced.

SYNOPSIS: Celebrity biographer Lee Israel makes her living profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (played by Richard E. Grant).



Tuesday, September 25, 2018

October Pick: Colette

Our October film choice is Colette, a biopic about the famous 19th century French novelist, which had a sensational debut at TIFF last month. The trailer makes the film seem delicious. Keira Knightly in the starring role is a funny, defiant whirlwind, while Dominic West, playing the husband who masqueraded as the author of her books, comes off as a convincingly devious villain.

We'll be seeing Colette at the Varsity Cineplex (Manulife Centre, Bloor & Bay) on Sunday, October 7 for the first matinee, exact time TBA. Yes, Sunday, not our usual Tuesday. 

What gives? When I polled Movie Club members about whether Sunday would work for them when no other cinema is offering matinees of a movie that's ideal for us, the result was clearly Yes. But when we do have the option of seeing films on Tuesdays, that's what we'll do. And as soon as the Varsity resumes weekday matinees - currently suspended because of loud construction noise - we'll go back to Tuesdays-only.

SYNOPSISAfter marrying a successful Parisian writer known commonly as "Willy" (Dominic West), Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendour of Paris. Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghost-write for him. She pens a semi-autobiographical novel about a witty and brazen country girl named Claudine, sparking a bestseller and a cultural sensation. After its success, Colette and Willy become the talk of Paris and their adventures inspire additional Claudine novels. Colette's fight over creative ownership and gender roles drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionizing literature, fashion and sexual expression.



Wednesday, August 22, 2018

September Pick: The Bookshop on September 4

Judging by its trailer, The Bookshop is absolutely my personal cuppa: English, period (in this case, the late 50s), focussed on the zeitgeist at a certain time and place, and starring some of my favourite British actors. Gotta say: especially charming, quirky Bill Nighy, whose name is enough to put whichever film he's chosen to appear in on my Oh Yeah list. And after coordinating Life's Movie Club for about seven years, I have reason to believe that a lot of members feel the same way I do.

At this writing, it's still too early to tell you anything but the date, which is Tuesday, September 4th. As soon as the where and when details become available, I will email them pronto to all Movie Club members. Meanwhile, here's what we know about The Bookshop.

SYNOPSIS:  England, 1959. Free-spirited widow Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) risks everything to open a bookshop in a conservative East Anglian coastal town. While bringing about a surprising cultural awakening through works by Ray Bradbury and Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, she earns the polite but ruthless opposition of a local grand dame (Patricia Clarkson) and the support and affection of a reclusive book-loving widower (Bill Nighy). As Florence's obstacles amass and bear suspicious signs of a local power struggle, she is forced to ask: is there a place for a bookshop in a town that may not want one?



Friday, July 6, 2018

July Pick: A League of Their Own

Trust me, folks, I scoured every upcoming-movies source out there to find a new film we'd likely enjoy that hasn't been in town for so long that many of you will already have seen it. I found nothing suitable. Then I time-traveled back 26 years and found that A League of Their Own was coming to our town for a brief run. Fun fact: Given that our June pick was Cat on a Hot Tin Roof from 1958, this marks the first time we will have seen vintage movies back to back.

As you likely recall, the 1992 comedy/drama is a fictional depiction of the adventures of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League - which consisted of teams of all-female players that sprang up while men were overseas fighting World War II. Directed by the inimitable Penny Marshall, League stars Geena Davis, Madonna and Lori Petty as players and Tom Hanks as a hard-drinkin', tobacco-spittin' lout of a coach. Yup, he's the one who hollered, "There's no crying in baseball!"

The film historians among us will appreciate that this movie was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2012 for being "culturally, historically [and] aesthetically significant." 

When:    Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Where:   Yonge/Dundas Cineplex 
Time:      3:15 p.m. - gathering near the box office if you wish about 20 minutes earlier, or just going in and watching the film on your own.

Afterward, as usual these days, those who wish to nosh & natter afterwards will do so at Milestones, which is across the lobby from the Cineplex entrance. So if you plan to join us, don't take the escalator downward, just walk back by the box office and you'll spot the restaurant. Please notify me no later than 12 p.m. on Monday, July 9, if you plan to join the munchers, so I can make a reservation for the correct number of people.

Vintage Review in Rolling Stone

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Detesting Auto-Correct

For the record, folks, I actually do know the difference between "taught" and "taut." In my previous post, about Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, I chose the term "taut" to describe Tennessee Williams' crackling script. But then, while proofreading the post, I failed to notice that Auto-Correct had changed the spelling to "taught." 

No idea how many of you will even read this post, but the inveterate wordsmith in me just can't let a blooper like that stand under my byline.

Final word: Harumph!