Thanks for coming back. Today, in addition to 4 films and one late night party, I managed to have a window of time that allowed me to have a nice dinner and small shopping spree – so I have now contributed nicely to the Canadian economy.
First thing this morning, I saw THE DRESSMAKER, directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and starring Kate Winslet. Moorhouse, known for her weepie HOW TO MAKE AN AMERICAN QUILT, wasn’t quite sure which tone to give to this most recent novel adaptation…so she went with several. What starts out as a “Screwball Western” changes genres and mood so many times, it’s difficult to explain. Winslet, returning home after a long absence, appears as a curvaceous outlaw – her nontraditional weapons are her Singer sewing machine, a great gold swing and her feminine wiles. Accused of killing a classmate while in grade school, she hasn’t been back to town for years. Now she’s back to take care of her mother and set things straight. This Australian film is completely bonkers! It also stars the awesome Judy Davis and the terribly sexy Liam Hemsworth, and was penned by P.J. Hogan (MURIEL’S WEDDING). Though I found this film to be an overall disaster, I couldn’t stop watching – the performances are fun and some of the material is quite hysterical.
Next up was a film that many have been quite excited about. WHERE TO INVADE NEXT, directed by Michael Moore isn’t quite what it seems. There is no trailer yet for this film that critics are dubbing “Michael Moore’s Happy Film,” and if you watch the clip below, even the press was speculating about the subject of the film before it premiered (the young woman in the clip mentions what the film is about…and she’s completely wrong). In what might seem to be Michael Moore’s most optimistic film, he visits various countries and gives us ideas as to how we could do things better. From Italy’s vacation policies to school lunches in France to Slovenia’s no tuition for college system, Moore explains that these practices lead to better living conditions, a more productive work force and overall better state of affairs. This film is a crowd-pleaser.
I then scurried across town for the under-attended MA MA, directed by Julio Medem. Medem, known for his film LOVERS OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE and SEX AND LUCIA, was in attendance along with the stunning lead actress Penelope Cruz. This is the story of woman who finds out she has breast Cancer but continues to be a most compassionate, giving/forgiving woman. Critics have not been terribly kind to this beautifully executed melodrama (but they rarely are with this genre). Though not without its flaws, I really liked this film. (Unfortunately, I can’t find a trailer with subtitles, but you should watch this one regardless.)
ANOMALISA, directed by Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, was my final film for the day. This stop-motion puppet film, written by the much beloved Kaufman (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, ADAPTATION, ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), is 100% made for adults. It’s a relatively simple story about a motivational speaker staying overnight at a hotel trying to escape his monotonous life. There is no trailer for this film – only the Kickstarter campaign below. The film won the Grand Jury Prize in Venice, and word has it that it is being picked up for distribution.
Thanks for reading! Only a few days left.