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.

TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYKjhaAkNbo

TRUE STORY on which Green Book is based: http://time.com/5453443/true-story-behind-green-book-movie/


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).

TRAILER: https://www.google.ca/search?rlz=1C1KMZB_enCA549CA549&ei=7gzGW6PUO6XI5gKG6K2QBw&q=trailer+without+ads+can+you+ever+forgive+me&oq=trailer+without+ads+can+you+ever+forgive+me&gs_l=psy-ab.3..33i22i29i30k1.8203.11475.0.12035.

REVIEW: www.rogerebert.com/reviews/can-you-ever-forgive-me-2018

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.


REVIEWShttps://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-reviews/keira-knightley-collette-movie-review-726911/ and http://collider.com/colette-movie-review/

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?

TRAILER:  https://www.cinemaclock.com/movies/the-bookshop-2017/videos/211972

REVIEWS:  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/reviews/article-review-the-bookshop-subverts-expectations-of-a-small-town-underdog/?cmpid=rss


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 Stonehttps://www.rollingstone.com/movies/movie-reviews/a-league-of-their-own-113330/

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!

Friday, June 1, 2018

June Pick: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

After brisk voting on whether to choose Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or Oceans 8 as our June flick, the winner was Cat by a whisker. 

We'll be seeing it next Tuesday, June 5, at the Yonge-Dundas Cineplex for the 1:30 screening. As always, we'll try to gather near the box office about 20 minutes earlier. Stragglers should just go in and watch the movie on their own. Afterwards, those who wish to nosh & natter will do so at Milestones (across from the box office).

Cat is an unforgettable film that's remained popular since it debuted back in 1958. Like many other MC members, I love it and have seen it on TV through the years, but am looking forward to watching it on the big screen. The tension between the main and even the secondary characters never ends in Tennessee Williams' taught script. After seeing it we can discuss a crucial point in the original version that was too much for the censors of the day. Hint: It involves the character named Skipper.

Now, because wonderful Paul Newman doesn't appear on the poster above, I'm treating us to a photo of him here:

SYNOPSIS: Set in the "plantation home in the Mississippi Delta"[2] of Big Daddy Pollitt, a wealthy cotton tycoon, the film examines the relationships among members of Big Daddy's family, primarily between his son Brick and Maggie the "Cat", Brick's wife.It is the story of a Southern family in crisis, especially the husband Brick and wife Margaret (usually called Maggie or "Maggie the Cat"), and their interaction with Brick's family over the course of one evening's gathering at the family estate in Mississippi. The party is to celebrate the birthday of patriarch Big Daddy, "the Delta's biggest cotton-planter",[2]and his return from the Ochsner Clinic with what he has been told is a clean bill of health. 
Maggie, determined and beautiful, has escaped a childhood of poverty to marry into the wealthy Pollitts, but finds herself unfulfilled. The family is aware that Brick has not slept with Maggie for a long time, which has strained their marriage. Brick, an aging football hero, infuriates her by ignoring his brother Gooper's attempts to gain control of the family fortune. Brick's indifference and his drinking have escalated with the suicide of his friend Skipper. Maggie fears that Brick's malaise will ensure that Gooper and his wife Mae inherit Big Daddy's estate.

Through the evening, Brick, Big Daddy and Maggie—and the entire family—separately must face the issues which they have bottled up inside.Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a play by Tennessee Williams. One of Williams's more famous works and his personal favorite,[1] the play won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. 

TRAILER: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5485dc

REVIEW: https://www.nytimes.com/1958/09/19/archives/the-fur-flies-in-cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof-talent-galore-found-in-music.html