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August 04, 2023

WIFF’S WEEKEND WATCH LIST — 8/4

Check out our recommendations of what to watch this weekend.


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if you WANT A NEW GEM OF A FILM

ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET.

Vincent Georgie: Released earlier this year to terrific reviews but limited media attention, you would do well by catching up with this smart, funny and endearing new film. I haven’t met anyone that did not love it. 

Synopsis: Eleven-year-old Margaret moves to a new town and starts to contemplate everything about life, friendship and adolescence. She relies on her mother, Barbara, who offers loving support, and her grandmother, Sylvia, who’s coming to terms with finding happiness in the next phase of her life. Questions of identity, one’s place in the world, and what brings meaning to life soon brings them closer together than ever before.

Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and YouTube.

if you like your leather black

bound

Vincent Georgie: Thinking of it now, it’s wild that this film was released theatrically way back in 1996 considering it’s ambitiously sexual, edgy and darkly entertaining plot. Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon have likely never been better and the film certainly announced the arrival of the unusual and risk-embracing filmmaking sisters, The Wachowskis.  

Synopsis: Sparks fly when Violet sets eyes on Corky in an elevator. Violet is the girlfriend of a violent gangster, Caesar, while Corky is fresh out of prison and doing renovations on the apartment next door. As the two women launch into a passionate love affair, they assemble an intricate plan for Violet to escape from Caesar, with two million dollars of the mob’s money — but the important part is to make it out alive.

Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and YouTube.

if you want a humane drama

familia

Vincent Georgie: Canada’s Louise Archambault’s films are frequently recommended, and for good reason. She has carved out a space for humane, nuanced characterizations in delicate stories that is a space all to her own. Check out one of her earlier works, a beautiful study of a family. 

Synopsis: In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV,” Mike Waters is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find Mike’s estranged mother. Along the way they turn tricks for money and drugs, eventually attracting the attention of a wealthy benefactor and sexual deviant.

DOUBLE FEATURE

crime dramas

The first film is a very entertaining Friday night treat of a crime thriller, with a taut direction and a game cast (especially Ray Liotta). It’s the kind of mid-budget Studio film they don’t make anymore. The second film is a crime drama that deals with the repercussions of a crime, as experienced by several families and a detective (a terrific Anthony LaPaglia) stuck in the middle of all of it. The film swept the Australian Oscars upon its release. 

unlawful entry

Happily married Michael and Karen Carr call the police after a failed robbery. Officer Pete Davis arrives and helps arrange the installation of a new security system. The grateful Carrs have Pete to dinner and strike up a friendship. Pete invites Michael to ride with him during a night’s patrol and gives him the chance to beat up the burglar. Michael refuses and tells the disturbed cop to stay away, but Pete begins stalking the terrified couple.

lantana

Plagued with grief over the murder of her daughter, Valerie Somers suspects that her husband John is cheating on her. When Valerie disappears, Detective Leon Zat attempts to solve the mystery of her absence. A complex web of love, sex and deceit emerges — drawing in four related couples whose various partners are distrustful and suspicious about each other’s involvement.

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