WIFF’s Weekend Watch List — 05/27

THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES

(If you want a star-powered crime drama)

Vincent Georgie: Deeply underseen, this absorbing story deals with lives haunted by crime, corruption and consequences. Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper both star, and are tremendous in weighty, darker-than-usual roles (though their star-power still shines through). An aces supporting cast including Mahershala Ali, Eva Mendes and Rose Byrne round-out a terrific ensemble in writer-director Derek Cianfrance’s epic-like film.

Synopsis: A stunt rider turns into a robber in order to lead a happy life with his child and lover and grabs the attention of a police officer. They both get on a collision course that affects their families.

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MA

(If you want a fun night of horror)

Vincent Georgie: Evenly balanced between horror, comedy and social commentary, the success of this surprising and highly quotable film is that it gives star Octavia Spencer full permission to chew the scenery. She makes the film into the instant cult-classic that it is, bad wig and all. A great guilty pleasure.

Synopsis: Sue Ann, a middle-aged woman, allows a group of teenagers to party in her basement but on some conditions. Though the friends are elated with the idea, they soon discover her true character.

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ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST

(If you want to revisit a classic)

Vincent Georgie: Friends recently reminded me how terrifically this film holds up today. One of only 3 films ever to win the top 5 Oscars (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Adapted Screenplay), Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher are magnificent in their iconic performances, working from outstanding sources material in Ken Kesey’s incredible novel. Frequently funny, moving, disturbing and, in the end, hopeful.

Synopsis: In order to escape the prison labour, McMurphy, a prisoner, fakes insanity and is shifted to the special ward for the mentally unstable. In this ward, he must rise up against a cruel nurse, Ratched.

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DOUBLE FEATURE

CELEBRATING CHER

In honour of the Oscar-winning actress’ recent 75th birthday, here is Cher at her most charismatic. In 1987, Cher cemented herself as a true film-star with her career-defining work opposite Nicolas Cage and Olympia Dukakis in MOONSTRUCK. At WIFF 2014, filmmaker Norman Jewison was honoured by us and regaled us with the joy he had directing Cher in that film. A few years later, Cher delivered another entertaining performance in MERMAIDS and was especially well-matched by then-emerging new star Winona Ryder as her daughter. Both films are very entertaining, warm hearted and funny.

MOONSTRUCK

Synopsis: Widowed Loretta wants to remarry and decides to settle with Johnny, a nice and secure man. But when later she meets his brother Ronny who is passionate and moody, she finds herself in a dilemma.

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MERMAIDS

Synopsis: Going through troubled times, a single mother, along with her two daughters, relocates to a small town. Here, a number of events challenge and strengthen their familial bonds.

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