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What's On, June 2024

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May 12, 2023

WIFF’S WEEKEND WATCH LIST — 5/12

Check out our recommendations of what to watch this weekend.


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the love between mothers & Daughters

steel magnolias

Vincent Georgie: It’s the dramatic, funny, fractious and emotional mother-daughter relationship between Sally Field and a breakout Julia Roberts that anchors this Southern-fried tearjerker. The murderer’s row of actresses surrounding the two stars includes Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, Olympia Dukakis and Daryl Hannah. 

Synopsis: M’Lynn (Sally Field) is the mother of bride-to-be Shelby Eatenton (Julia Roberts), and as friend Truvy Jones (Dolly Parton) fixes the women’s hair for the ceremony, they welcome a helping hand from aspiring beautician Annelle Dupuy Desoto (Daryl Hannah). Diabetic Shelby has a health scare, which is averted but doesn’t bode well for her hopes of having children. Time passes, and the women and their friends encounter tragedy and good fortune, growing stronger and closer in the process.

Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Netflix and YouTube.

the love between mothers & sons

boyhood

Vincent Georgie: Remarkably shot over a 12-year period, writer-director Richard Linklater’s choices pay off handsomely, especially in the deep bonds that this real-time aging allows between Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane. Both actors age by 12 years in real-time on-screen as a mother and son who, more than anything, are evolving and growing as mothers and sons do. The depth of sensitivity, nuance and relatability is incredibly authentic and meaningful to witness. Nominated for 6 Oscars.  

Synopsis: The joys and pitfalls of growing up are seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), his parents (Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke) and his sister (Lorelei Linklater). Vignettes, filmed with the same cast over the course of 12 years, capture family meals, road trips, birthday parties, graduations and other important milestones.

Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and YouTube.

the ultimate motherly dilemma

sophie’s choice

Vincent Georgie: Still widely regarded as the best female performance in film history, Meryl Streep coined the phrase “having to make a Sophie’s Choice” with her harrowing performance as a mother in an impossible situation. Get the hankies. No surprise, Streep took home the Best Actress Oscar in an unimpeachable performance. 

Synopsis: Stingo (Peter MacNicol), a young writer, moves to Brooklyn in 1947 to begin work on his first novel. As he becomes friendly with Sophie (Meryl Streep) and her lover Nathan (Kevin Kline), he learns that Sophie is a Holocaust survivor. Flashbacks reveal her harrowing story, from pre-war prosperity to Auschwitz. In the present, Sophie and Nathan’s relationship increasingly unravels as Stingo grows closer to Sophie and Nathan’s fragile mental state becomes ever more apparent.

Available on iTunes

DOUBLE FEATURE

the horrors of motherhood

For anyone with more subversive sensibilities, here is a classic and a newly-minted contemporary classic on the hells of motherhood. No flowers are necessary.  

rosemary’s baby

A young wife comes to believe that her offspring is not of this world. Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband Guy (John Cassavetes) move to a New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and odd neighbours Roman and Minnie Castevet (Sidney Blackmer, Ruth Gordon). When Rosemary becomes pregnant she becomes increasingly isolated, and the diabolical truth is revealed only after Rosemary gives birth.

Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and YouTube.

the babadook

A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.

Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and YouTube

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