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What's On, February 2024

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January 26, 2024

WIFF’S WEEKEND WATCH LIST — 1/26

Check out our recommendations of what to watch this weekend.

if you want to honour a legend

in the heat of the night

Vincent Georgie: At the illustrious age of 97 years, we lost the iconic Norman Jewison earlier this week. WIFF had the good fortune to pay tribute to him with WIFF’s first Lifetime Achievement Award and on-stage tribute in 2014. This film was a very important one to Norman and he specifically asked that it be screened at WIFF for our audience as the pursuit of a just society was at the heart of his entire career. Catch (or re-watch) this Best Picture Oscar Winner, just a sample of Norman’s vast film career. 

Synopsis: African-American Philadelphia police detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is arrested on suspicion of murder by Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger), the racist police chief of tiny Sparta, Mississippi. After Tibbs proves not only his own innocence but that of another man, he joins forces with Gillespie to track down the real killer. Their investigation takes them through every social level of the town, with Tibbs making enemies as well as unlikely friends as he hunts for the truth.

Available on iTunes, YouTube and Amazon Prime.

if you want to see what all the buzz is about

anatomy of a fall

Vincent Georgie: A huge hit at WIFF 2023, this “Did she do it?” mystery just received major Oscar nominations and rightfully so. This is a puzzling trial procedural about the secrets inside a marriage. The use of three languages and judicious editing is brilliant in conveying the confusion and inability to communicate that is central to the film. 

Synopsis: In this award-winning psychological thriller, a celebrated writer is put on trial when her husband falls to his death from their secluded chalet. What starts as a murder investigation soon becomes a gripping journey into the depths of a destructive marriage.

Available on iTunes, YouTube and Amazon Prime.

if you want a fascinating doc

beyond utopia

Vincent Georgie: This is a probing, high-access account of what is actually happening in North Korea, via the lens of families trying to flee. The footage is impressive and eye-opening, beyond what you can even imagine. A hidden gem from WIFF 2023. 

Synopsis: Combining interviews with secretly shot footage, the filmmaker focuses on the difficulties facing North Korean defectors, revealing a way of life unknown to most of the world.

Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and YouTube.

DOUBLE FEATURE

paul giamatti

Oscar-nominated for Best Actor for his most recent film The Holdovers, Giamatti is one of our most reliably excellent character actors though he is certainly capable of being a leading man. Take a look also at his lead performance in the adaptation of Mordecai Richler’s famed novel Barney’s Version. Both films are terrific showcases of Giamatti’s appeal. 

barney’s version

Toward the end of his life, Barney Panofsky (Paul Giamatti) looks back on his triumphs and tragedies, beginning with an ill-fated relationship with Clara (Rachelle Lefevre), whom he marries when she becomes pregnant. When that falls apart, he moves back home to Montreal and gets married twice more, finally finding contentment with Miriam (Rosamund Pike), his third wife. Through it all, Barney is sustained by his work in television, raising children and the advice of his father (Dustin Hoffman).

Available on iTunes, Crave, YouTube and Amazon Prime.

the holdovers

A curmudgeonly instructor at a New England prep school remains on campus during Christmas break to babysit a handful of students with nowhere to go. He soon forms an unlikely bond with a brainy but damaged troublemaker, and with the school’s head cook, a woman who just lost a son in the Vietnam War.

Available on iTunes, YouTube and Amazon Prime.

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