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March 03, 2023

WIFF’S WEEKEND WATCH LIST — 3/3

With some rain and snow ahead of us today, it gives us all the perfect opportunity to cozy up with a good film. Check out our recommendations of what to watch this weekend.


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IF YOU think the brits do it best

the duke

Vincent Georgie: The late filmmaker Roger Michell’s final film is a terrific one, though it got lost in the shuffle during the pandemic. It’s time to find this film as it’s a frequently entertaining dramatization of a crime caper lead by no less than Oscar-winners Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent. Put this one on your list.  

Synopsis: In 1961, a 60-year-old taxi driver steals Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. He sends ransom notes saying that he will return the painting if the government invests more in care for the elderly.

Watch on Amazon Prime.

if you love a good courtroom drama

a civil action

Vincent Georgie: 

The 1990s were ripe with great quality courtroom procedurals thanks to a love affair with John Grisham’s novels and subsequent film adaptations. In this film, writer-director Steven Zaillian adapts Jonathan Harr’s book of the same name into an absorbing and polished picture, the kind of film studios simply won’t spend on anymore. 

Come for John Travolta’s very good lead performance, but stay for Robert Duvall’s excellent Oscar-nominated role as well as Conrad L. Hall’s also-nominated cinematography. 

Synopsis: In this legal thriller based on a true story, John Travolta stars as Jan Schlichtmann, a tenacious personal injury attorney whose fierce determination entangles him in a case that threatens to destroy him. The case — which appears straightforward — instead evolves into a labyrinthine lawsuit of vast dimensions.

Watch on iTunes.

Watch on Disney+.

Watch on YouTube.

if you love some high-energy horror

you’re next

Entertaining, frightening and novel. This one hit the cultural horror zeitgeist upon its release in 2011. Come and experience even half the fun that the film is having. 

Synopsis: The Davisons, an upper-class family, are extremely wealthy — but also estranged. In an attempt to mend their broken family ties, Aubrey and Paul Davison decide to celebrate their wedding anniversary by inviting their four children and their children’s significant others to their weekend estate. The celebration gets off to a rocky start, but when crossbow-wielding assailants in animal masks suddenly attack, the Davisons must pull together or die.

Watch on iTunes.

Watch on Amazon Prime.

Watch on Crave.

Watch on YouTube.

DOUBLE FEATURE

exquisite European escapes

Both of these films won back-to-back Best International Feature Oscars in 1992 and 1993. They are each beautiful period pieces that allow us to escape to times and places long in the past and a long way from home. The legendary Catherine Deneuve anchors the first French film, while a very appealing Spanish ensemble (including Penelope Cruz) makes the second film such a delight. 

indochine

In colonial-era Vietnam, Jean-Baptiste, a dashing French naval captain; Eliane, a wealthy plantation owner of French parentage; and her adopted Vietnamese daughter, Camille, are the three points of a cross-cultural romantic triangle. As the struggle against European imperialism sweeps Indochina, Jean-Baptiste and Camille have to choose sides and Eliane faces the emotionally difficult challenge of raising the child of her daughter and ex-lover.

Watch on iTunes.

belle epoque

As Spain sits on the precipice of civil war in 1930, Fernando opts to go AWOL from the army. He soon happens upon the country home of the rich Manolo, who invites Fernando to stay with him. Fernando is then introduced to Manolo’s daughters — Clara, Violeta, Rocio and Luz — and has close encounters with each of them, but a problem arises when he cannot decide which beauty to marry.

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