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December 22, 2023

WIFF’S WEEKEND WATCH LIST — 12/22

Check out our recommendations of what to watch this weekend.


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if you want to stop saying “i’ve never actually seen it before”

white christmas

Vincent Georgie: This beloved film is a classic for a reason. Like many films of such reputation, it can sometimes put the film on a “watch list” down the road that never happens. Change that this year – this is a joyous, enchanting vintage Christmas experience. 

Synopsis: Singers Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) join sister act Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy Haynes (Vera-Ellen) to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont. There, they run into Gen. Waverly (Dean Jagger), the boys’ commander in World War II, who, they learn, is having financial difficulties; his quaint country inn is failing. So what’s the foursome to do but plan a yuletide miracle: a fun-filled musical extravaganza that’s sure to put Waverly and his business in the black!

Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and YouTube.

if you love a Christmas romance

two days before Christmas

Vincent Georgie: Crowned as an enormous hit in Quebec last Christmas, the film joined us at WIFF 2023 to big crowds and much joy. The various intertwined families, friends and lovers make this lighthearted and bright Christmas romance an easy watch. 

Synopsis: On December 23, the holiday season is in full force and the destinies of strangers intertwine: a hardened bachelor wants to find love; a couple expects their first child; a singer returns to the stage after a break; a mother tries to organize the perfect Christmas; a teen carries a big secret; a man struggles with the modern world; and the new manager of a large hotel must prove her worth.

Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Crave and YouTube.

if you like your drink stiff

eyes wide shut

Vincent Georgie: Stanley Kubrick’s haunting, dark rumination on a marriage is an odd Christmas film, but a Christmas film nonetheless. Anchored by frankly courageous performances by then-married Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, this film certainly strikes a tone. Jocelyn Pook’s menacing score is a real standout. 

Synopsis: After Dr. Bill Hartford’s (Tom Cruise) wife, Alice (Nicole Kidman), admits to having sexual fantasies about a man she met, Bill becomes obsessed with having a sexual encounter. He discovers an underground sexual group and attends one of their meetings — and quickly discovers that he is in over his head.

Available on iTunes, Crave and YouTube.

DOUBLE FEATURE

all hail, michael mann

Celebrating Michael’s latest film FERRARI, which we had the pleasure of bringing to our lucky audience earlier this week ahead of its major Christmas release, take a look at two of his epic films from the 90s. Both films are outstanding in their craftsmanship and storytelling. 

heat

Master criminal Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) is trying to control the rogue actions of one of his men, while also planning one last big heist before retiring. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Hanna (Al Pacino) attempts to track down McCauley as he deals with the chaos in his own life, including the infidelity of his wife (Diane Venora) and the mental health of his stepdaughter (Natalie Portman). McCauley and Hanna discover a mutual respect, even as they try to thwart each other’s plans.

Available on iTunes, Netflix, Crave and Amazon Prime.

the insider

After seeking the expertise of former “Big Tobacco” executive Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe), seasoned TV producer Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino) suspects a story lies behind Wigand’s reluctance to speak. As Bergman persuades Wigand to share his knowledge of industry secrets, the two must contend with the courts and the corporations that stand between them and exposing the truth. All the while, Wigand must struggle to maintain his family life amidst lawsuits and death threats.

Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and YouTube.

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