Your Weekend Preview: What To Watch (And What To Skip) In Theatres This Weekend
On screens this week, we have not one but two strikingly original films about women on journeys of discovery, finding their voices. Mouthpiece (Rating: A) is Patricia Rozema's collaborative adaptation - with writer-performers Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava - of the hit two-woman play, in which Nostbakken and Sadava play divided parts of the same person. That person: a young Toronto journalist struggling with grief and anger at the death of her mother and her struggle to fight against internalized feminine stereotypes. Reviewer Liam Lacey says the film is funny, insightful and beautifully performed.
The Souvenir (B-plus) from British filmmaker Joanna Hogg, is almost a reconstruction of the filmmaker's youthful affair, accurate down to a recreation of her apartment and the use of diaries and letters. The star is Honor Swinton Byrne, daughter of Tilda Swinton (who plays the Joanne's mother) as a young filmmaker, with Tom Burke as the troubled academic with whom she is involved. Our reviewer, Thom Ernst found the film simultaneously mesmerizing and alienating. A Souvenir 2 sequel is already in the works.
For the more mature demographic, there's the romance The Tomorrow Man (C plus), starring Blythe Danner as an eccentric widow and Lithgow as an apocalypse-obsessed conspiracy nut with whom she becomes entangled. Reviewer Jim Slotek applauds the "grade A' performances of Danner and Lithgow, but says they're forced to act above the level of the material.
Also,The X-Men are back, sort of, in the lackadaisical Dark Phoenix (C-minus) which features the usual stars (Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy) in a battle against telekinetic turncoat Jean Grey (Game of Throne's Sophie Turner) in what reviewer Thom Ernst ranks as the worst of a dozen X-Men films to date.
Three good documentaries hit the theatres this week: Pavarotti (B-plus), is director Ron Howard's well-researched biography of the gregarious opera star and showman. In Echoes in the Canyon (B), Jakob Dylan serves as onscreen host for a look at the mid-sixties' Laurel Canyon music scene. And, Framing John DeLorean (B-plus) looks at the bizarre trajectory of famed General Motors exec and auto entrepreneur John DeLorean from golden boy to accused cocaine trafficker, and includes dramatized re-enactments withe Alec Baldwin as DeLorean, taking breaks to comment on his subject.
Also this week, we have a full sushi platter of reviews from the contemporary Japanese films running this month at the Toronto Japanese Film Festival, one of the more audience-friendly film events on the summer calendar.
The Original-Cin podcast returns next week
Have a great weekend.