WIFF’s Weekend Watch List — 07/30

DEATH BECOMES HER

(If you want a summer romp)

Vincent Georgie: First released in Summer of 1992, this black comedy is a wonderful showcase for both Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, who are both clearly having a ball, as well as an against-type casting of Bruce Willis. The visual effects won an Oscar, and add to the mystical quality of the film. A very entertaining and stylish film by future FORREST GUMP director Robert Zemeckis. Isabella Rossellini is great fun in a wild supporting role.

Synopsis: A writer and an actress hate each other for years as they have a crush on the same man. They secretly drink a miracle cure that prevents ageing and also turns them immortal.

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EASTERN PROMISES

(If you want a crime drama)

Vincent Georgie: In an Oscar-nominated performance, Viggo Mortensen is memorably intense as a Russian mobster in Canadian director David Cronenberg’s violent, exciting and absorbing drama. Look for the terrific German actor Armin Mueller-Stahl in a pivotal supporting role, and the great Australian actress Naomi Watts (doing the best she can in an under-written role). A solid, dark underworld story.

Synopsis: A Russian teen passes away in a London hospital while giving birth. Her midwife accesses a journal, in which the teen accuses a brute Russian mob family of perpetrating sexual assaults on her.

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PERSONAL SHOPPER

(If you are interested in the supernatural)

Vincent Georgie: French director Olivier Assayas is Kristen Stewart’s best director. He has a way of making Stewart a more absorbing performer than in her other films. The two previously worked together on the intelligent drama CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA. Here, they team up again in an elegant, chilly drama that progressively reveals its interests in the other worldly. Small sounds, an elevator door, a back-garden window… It’s one of the few films I have ever seen that is evocative of the supernatural, as opposed to observant of it.

Synopsis: Maureen, personal shopper to a supermodel, is determined to stay in Paris, three months after the death of her twin brother from a genetic heart abnormality. Lewis was a medium and had promised to give her a sign of the afterlife. Herself a medium, Maureen is asked to search for his presence in the house his girlfriend is now trying to sell. Unable to determine his presence, Maureen starts to get text messages from an unknown source.

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DOUBLE FEATURE

OH BABY, YEAH!

WIFF Managing Director Hayden Freker recently reminded me of how fun the first two entries in this series are. I recently re-watched them and was reminded of how energetic and frequently funny these films are. From the use of the “Soul Bossa Nova” track all the way to the fake teeth and wigs, this series is in good shape. A weekend delight, to be sure.

AUSTIN POWERS: INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY

Austin Powers, a cryogenically frozen British spy from 1960s, is thawed and reinstated when his arch nemesis Dr. Evil returns from space and terrorizes earth with his evil schemes.

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AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SNAGGED ME

Criminal Dr Evil goes back to the 1960s after stealing Austin Powers’ magical charm, from which he derives his sexual prowess. Austin, along with Felicity, a CIA agent, follows him to retrieve it.

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