June 30th, 2011
As Canada Day approaches, we’d like to thank our country for delivering so much artistic talent. Here are some of our fave.
We loved the quiet drama of Late Nights on Air, so we’re looking forward to cracking the spine of Elizabeth Hay’s newest offering, Alone in the Classroom, a multi-generational tale exploring the origins of love and hate. At www.indigo-chapters.ca
From the Sound of Music to his latest role as a gay man who comes out of the closet in his seventies in Beginners, Christopher Plummer is a class Canadian act. It doesn’t hurt that Ewan McGregor co-stars in this film about love and discovery. Now playing at the AMC Forum.
No matter what we think of her kooky outfits, Shania Twain has always stood out as a strong, sexy female artist, who has emerged from heartache only to sing again. We’re picking up her autobiography, From This Moment On, taking us on her journey from Eilleen Twain in Timmons, to country legend Shania. $14.99 at Amazon.ca
Happy Canada Day! —JN
May 11th, 2011
We were thrilled to have had the privilege of seeing Leonard Cohen perform live when he came out of retirement a few years ago. Since we might not get that opportunity again, we’re grateful to watch him in any context.
Filmed in 1972 by British filmmaker, Tony Palmer, Bird on a Wire follows Leonard Cohen on his European tour, with glimpses of the singer-songwriter-poet in the studio, on stage, and off-duty. Released in 1974, the original film was lost for decades, only to be found in 2009 in rusted old cans in a Hollywood warehouse. Recently restored and re-edited by Palmer the film will be screened at the Corona Theatre at 7 p.m. tonight, with Palmer on hand to tell us what it was like to make, lose, find and re-make this cinematic tribute to a Montreal legend. —JN
Purchase tickets (starting at $18.50) online or at the Corona Theatre, 2490, Notre-Dame St. W., Montreal, 514-931-2088.
April 14th, 2011
We’ve visited rescued elephants in Thailand and spotted an orangutan or two in Africa, but it’s pretty difficult to get up close and personal with these marvellous creatures in Montreal.
From April 8, 2011 the Montreal Science Centre is showing the 3D IMAX experience, Born to be Wild. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this 40-minute film starts in the rainforests of Borneo, where Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas rescues orphaned orangutans, and then brings you to Kenya to watch Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick fostering infant elephants. You’ll coo and ooh and ahh over the adorable bottle-fed babies, but you’ll also hear the movie’s important message about conservation.
Extremely loud. And incredibly close.
Buy tickets ($11.50 for adults) online or at the Montreal Science Centre, Quais du Vieux-Port, Montreal, 514-496-4724.
March 23rd, 2011
We’ve never found babysitting to be much of a good time, but somehow Charlotte Brontë’s famous novel, Jane Eyre, made the life of a governess sound awfully romantic.
In the latest film version of the quintessential childhood reading-list tome, Alice in Wonderland’s Mia Wasikowska plays the famously plain Jane while Michael Fassbender offers a crush-worthy performance as the damaged Mr. Rochester (Dylan McKay’s got nothing on him).
However, the real star of the film may be the breathtaking cinematography directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, whose vision of the stunningly somber British moors is as haunting as Rochester’s first bride.
Reader, imagine how messed up we were after watching The Sound of Music.
In theatres March 25, http://focusfeatures.com/jane_eyre
December 29th, 2010
Lights, camera, couch! Herewith, four DVD picks for a night of home entertainment.
If you’re feeling frumpy after too many holiday treats, pick up Kick-Ass to get yourself feeling more like a superhero. Aaron Johnson and Nicolas Cage do a pretty good job of defending the world from villains, but it’s Chloë Moretz’s portrayal of Hit Girl that will get you practicing your knife skills and high kicks.
Jennifer Nachshen, Montreal editor (English edition)
What’s better than a rom-com? A French rom-com complete with a tribute to Dirty Dancings and some Wham thrown into the mix. Starring the ultra cool Vanessa Paradis and handsome Parisian Romain Duris, Heartbreaker is the story of Alex, a professional Lothario who loses his cool when his latest assignment gets a tad too personal.
Malwina Gudowska, Calgary editor
Justin Bieber isn’t the only teen phenom headlining a film these days. Actress Jennifer Lawrence was 18 when she starred in this book adaptation about twisted family ties in the Ozarks. Her performance already has a Golden Globe nom and the same is sure to come from Oscar.
Joy Pecknold, Vancouver editor
Smash His Camera
Artist, stalker, scumbag—photographer Ron Gallela has been called all of the above, and more. The documentary, spanning decades in the career of the man who was sued by Jackie Kennedy, socked in the jaw by Marlon Brando and adored by Andy Warhol, is a nostalgic and insightful look into the life of a celebrity paparazzo.
Maria Tallarico, Managing editor
December 1st, 2010
Our most anticipated movie of the year is Black Swan. In part because the media has been referring to it as an “erotic ballet thriller,” and we’d like to find out what that means.
Beautiful and unsettling, Black Swan stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis as competing ballerinas who wind up entangling lithe limbs off-stage as well as on. Winning rave reviews at the Venice International Film Festival and TIFF, Black Swan finds Tchaikovsky meeting director Aronofsky with stunning results.
Did we mention Winona Ryder stars as the aging Prima Ballerina replaced by the younger starlets? Reality bites.
In select theatres on December 1, www.foxsearchlight.com/blackswan
November 17th, 2010
We may watch Mad Men obsessively, but we haven’t seen a real commercial in years, thanks to the magic of our PVR.
Now we’re buying a ticket to go see hours of ads. Starting November 19 the Cinema du Parc will be presenting the 2010 Cannes Lions, awarding the best ads of the world. This multicultural romp through consumer culture will leave you laughing and crying, but most of all, wondering why ad men aren’t always this creative.
And why more of them don’t look like Jon Hamm.
Until November 25, tickets from $8 at Cinema du Parc, 3575, Park Ave., Montreal, 514-218-1900 and online.
October 20th, 2010
We were just kids when Danny and Sandy taught us everything we knew about romance. It took years before we figured out that dating didn’t often involve duets.
No matter! We’ll join our fellow Pink Ladies to belt out tunes, like Beauty School Dropout and Hopelessly Devoted, at the Grease Sing-A-Long at the Cinema du Parc from October 22 to 28. Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll find our own rebellious T-Bird to join us for a hand jive or two.
We’ll bring the rama-lama-lama as long as he’s got the ka-dinga-da-dinga-dong.
Grease Sing-A-Long, October 22-28, Cinema du Parc, tickets $11, 3575, Park Ave., 514 281-1900 .
September 15th, 2010
Audrey Hepburn launched subtle-sexy and LBD chic but it might never have happened were it not for a little film called Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
It heralded the career of Givenchy and the rise of the new '60s dame, one who didn’t live in the kitchen and spoke her mind. Sam Wasson’s Fifth Avenue, 5 a.m. is a page-turning look at the making of Blake Edward’s film filled with juicy details about Truman Capote’s narcissism (he hated the script and wanted Marilyn Monroe for the lead) and how Hepburn nearly refused to eat Danish in the film’s iconic opening scene (she lobbied for an ice cream cone).
It’s the perfect cure for the mean reds.
$16.05 at Amazon.ca
August 25th, 2010
TIFF might have the star power of Matt Damon and Nicole Kidman, but we’ve got auteurs au but.
The 36th edition of the Montreal World Film Festival will screen 430 films from 80 countries, including Louis Bélanger’s much-anticipated fest opener Route 132. Our picks include the world premiere of Pete Smalls is Dead by indie director Alexandre Rockwell (9:30 p.m., August 28), Christine Cristina, the directing début of Italian diva (and Bernardo Bertolucci muse) Stefania Sandrelli, and a master film class taught by French actor Gérard Depardieu (September 6).
See, Montreal Cannes too!
August 26 to September 6, tickets from $10, 514-848-3883, www.ffm-montreal.org