Your Weekend Preview: What To See (And What To Skip) In The Theatres This Week

By Original-Cin Staff

Our Original-Cin team returns from the fetid trenches of the Toronto International Film Festival to the genteel world of high tea and starched collars in Downton Abbey. This movie spinoff of the six-season television show about the aristocratic Crawley clan, picks up in 1927 when Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) has to organize everything as king and queen pop in for an overnight visit. So relatable! Our reviewer Karen Gordon says that while the movie (Rating: B+) works fine as a standalone story, this one is really for the show’s fans.

A scene from the Sundance-approved Before You Know It.

A scene from the Sundance-approved Before You Know It.

As a bonus for those fans, Bonnie Laufer Krebs chats with a couple of the downstairs folk, Phyllis Logan who plays housekeeper Mrs. Hughes, and Lesley Nicol who plays Mrs. Patmore the cook.

Karen also reviews the new movie about Brad Pitt in the space epic called … Brad Astra? Abs Astra?.... no, that’s Ad Astra (Rating: B-), This ambitious film from director James Gray stars Pitt as “the archetypal hero on a quest for wholeness” on a mission to Neptune to solve a solar system crisis which involves his father (Tommy Lee Jones). Karen praises Pitt’s performance but found the movie’s stately pace tends to drift into listlessness.

This week also marks the theatrical release of TIFF’s opening film, the Canadian rockumentary, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band (Rating: B+), narrated by genial racounteur Robertson with celebrity friends like Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, and Van Morrison helping him carry the weight.

Otherwise, there’s Zeroville (Rating: B-) directed and starring James Franco, about Hollywood in the late-sixties and early seventies, which lives up to its billing as a “weird movie” says reviewer Thom Ernst, but is just not that original. The Sundance-hatched dramedy Before You Know It (Rating: B-), which follows two adult sisters in a dysfunctional theatrical family, struggles to be both madcap and poignant. Finally, there’s the over-familiar teen sex-trafficking drama, Honey Bee (Rating: C), with rising Canadian star, Julia Sarah Stone.

Enjoy your tea and crumpets and have a great weekend.