WIFF’s Weekend Watch List — 12/11

THE PROM

(If you want a feel-good movie)

Vincent Georgie: Netflix’s latest hot title premieres today, and it stars Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington, and James Corden. Based upon the hit broadway musical, this film adaptation is candy-coloured, energetic, hopeful, and frequently just good fun. Streep, in particular, gets lots of opportunities to sing and she’s clearly having a ball doing it. Entertaining and smile-inducing.

Synopsis: Down-on-their-luck Broadway stars shake up a small Indiana town as they rally behind a teen who wants to go to the prom with her girlfriend.

Watch on Netflix

BATTLE OF THE SEXES

(If you want great performances)

Vincent Georgie: I saw this film up on a Colorado mountain at the Telluride Film Festival. Emma Stone was there with us for the film at a bright and early 9 a.m. screening.

I wish that she had not won her Oscar for LA LA LAND, because I think her work the very next year in this film is even stronger. Here she plays famed tennis player Billie Jean King, opposite a terrific Steve Carrell as ex-tennis pro/scammer Bobby Riggs. Both leads are well-served by a story that shows much nuance and believable personal struggles. As directed by the pair that brough us the beloved indie comedy LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, this film deserves a much larger audience. You’ll be impressed.

Synopsis: In 1973, the world witnesses one of the greatest tennis matches when the renowned player Billie Jean King competes with the former champion Bobby Riggs, while they deal with personal issues.

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RUST & BONE

(If you want an unusual love story)

Vincent Georgie: Premiering in Cannes in 2012, and joining us at WIFF later that year, the film stars the extraordinary Marion Cotillard. She plays a woman who experiences a freak accident that forever changes her life, and her burgeoning relationship with a brooding beast of a man played by the memorable Matthias Schoenaerts. He would have made a great Stanley Kowalsky on-stage.

Synopsis: Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), a former boxer and single father, meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard) when he saves her from a brawl at the nightclub where he works as a bouncer. Their casual acquaintance develops into something much more after Stephanie, who trains killer whales at a marine park, suffers a horrible accident and loses both her legs above the knee. As Stephanie draws on Ali’s physical strength, an unexpected courtship slowly comes to life.

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DOUBLE FEATURE

AMAZING SPORTS DOCUMENTARIES

HOOP DREAMS

Vincent Georgie: The most unforgettable basketball story that you will ever see. It’s also one of the most emotional and powerful real stories you will ever encounter. I have rarely cared so much for any on-screen persons as much as I did for these two young athletes. The film is considered the gold-standard for sports docs, and rightfully so.

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FREE SOLO

Vincent Georgie: From WIFF 2018, this one is a unanimous crowd-pleaser. The unimaginable risk undertaken by athlete Alex Honnold is heart-stopping. A must-see. Oscar winner for Best Documentary Feature.

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