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February 03, 2023

WIFF’S WEEKEND WATCH LIST — 2/3

There’s a little something for everyone in this week’s film recommendations. Watched something you loved? Send us an email or chat with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you!


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IF YOU want an impressive action film

the woman king

Vincent Georgie: Director Gina Prince-Bythewood delivers her best film, an exciting, grand-scale film anchored by a strong cast lead by Viola Davis. The fact that Davis is cast so very much against type makes her performance all the more terrific. The film is epic in scope, with high-calibre production values, exciting action sequences and, notably, a sense of purpose. 

Synopsis: In the 1800s, a group of all-female warriors protects the African kingdom of Dahomey with skills and fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. Faced with a new threat, Gen. Nanisca trains the next generation of recruits to fight against a foreign enemy that’s determined to destroy their way of life.

Watch iTunes.

Watch on Amazon Prime.

Watch on YouTube.

if you want an under-the-radar gem

the pale blue eye

Vincent Georgie: For reasons I am unclear about, Christian Bale starred in a large-budgeted Netflix original over the holidays that few people saw or are talking about. Let’s correct that because the film, also starring Gillian Anderson and Robert Duvall, is quite a good mystery thriller. It won’t change your life (nor does it attempt to) but it’s more than successful in filling a cold Winter’s night. Bale, as always, is worth the price of admission. 

Synopsis: Veteran detective Augustus Landor investigates a series of grisly murders with the help of a young cadet who will eventually go on to become the world-famous author Edgar Allan Poe.

Watch on Netflix.

if YOU want a true-life thriller

navalny

Oscar Nominated for Best Documentary

Vincent Georgie: Directed by Canada’s Daniel Roher, this is one of the most interesting documentaries of the past year (or many years, for that matter). NAVALNY digs into the darkest shadows of the Russian government most fearlessly. Wisely, the film works equally as a thriller as it is a piece of investigative journalism. Frequently excited, and always engrossing, it’s no surprise that it’s up for an Oscar this year as Best Documentary. 

Synopsis: Detailing the 2020 assassination attempt of Russian opposition leader and former presidential candidate Alexei Navalny, in which he was poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent.

Watch on iTunes.

Watch on Crave.

DOUBLE FEATURE

the rise of paul mescal

After some popular work on tv for several years, Ireland’s Paul Mescal broke out in back-to-back impressive art house hits this past year (both of which were seen at WIFF 2022). In AFTERSUN, Mescal crafts most of his performance with his essence, body language and demeanour. It’s a performance with no “big moment” but one that washes over you over the course of the film. He received a Best Actor Oscar nom for this. In GOD’S CREATURES, he’s the co-lead with the excellent Emily Watson in this dark-as-mud Irish thriller. Leave the English subtitles on for this one – the gorgeous Irish accents will give you a workout. 

aftersun

Oscar Nominated for Best Actor

Twenty years after their last holiday at a fading vacation resort, Sophie reflects on the rare time spent with her loving and idealistic father Calum. At 11 years old, as the world of adolescence creeps into Sophie’s view, Calum struggles under the weight of life outside of fatherhood. Sophie’s recollections become a powerful and heartrending portrait of their relationship, as she tries to reconcile the father she knew with the man she didn’t.

Watch on iTunes.

Watch on Amazon Prime.

Watch on YouTube.

god’s creatures

A mother tells a lie for her beloved son that rips apart their family and close-knit Irish town — ultimately testing her own sense of right and wrong.

Watch on iTunes.

Watch on YouTube.

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