Friday 22 November 2019
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What She Said! with Christine Bentley & Kate Wheeler

The Best Week at the Movies in Ages! Thor! Deer! Ape Men! Nuns! and Tonnes More!

Thor: Ragnarok People are pretty divided on this but I thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks mostly to the warm, funny and engaging Chris Hemsworth as Thor. I can’t tell you how incredibly fabulous the celebrity cameos are, but just know those alone are worth it. Hollywood has a great sense of humour amidst all the chaos in the world and Thor delivers fun, fraternity and female warriors. The women are the male’s equals in every sense and Cate Blanchett is one of the most disturbing supervillains you’ll see this year.  A new character Valkyrie played by Tessa Thompson takes no prisoners. Tom Hiddleston is Loki, Anthony Hopkins Loki and Thor’s father, and Mark Ruffalo keep the fire burning. Here is the storyline:  ”In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is translated as “Twilight of the Gods”. The myth tells of the eventual destruction of the universe and mankind, as well as the deaths of several key figures in Norse Mythology, such as the gods Odin, Thor, Loki, Heimdall, Freyr, Sol, and Tyr, and the monsters, a.k.a. jotun, Fenrir and Jörmungandr. A new generation of gods, the children of Odin, Thor, and Sol specifically, will take the place of the old ones, as the cycle of the world starts anew.’ Also when you open a film with Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song, you know you’re going to get a whole lotta love.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ psychological horror film The Killing of A Scared Deer dwells in absurdity, paranoia and depravity and boy is it fun! Stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell with a phenomenal performance by young Barry Keoghan. Set in a gleaming and deeply infected suburbia, mom and dad play General Anesthetic as a prequel to sex while the children develop a paralysing disorder that mimics them.  It’s funny, black at its heart and wildly of the charts you’ll love or hate it. It was booed at Cannes but I’m cheering loud and long.

Superior performances by Melissa Leo and newcomer Margaret Qualley bring Margaret Betts’ convent drama Novitiate into sharp, aching focus. Repression and abuse of aspiring nuns by Leo’s Mother Superior is the convent’s dirty secret; she is an outrage and completely unchecked. Her incomprehensible cruelty towards vulnerable young girls takes place behind cloistered walls and in the shadow of the all-powerful priests who may or may not have known what was happening. Qualley’s Sister Cathleen escaped an abusive home life for this, the pit of hell, where she is trapped and in the sites of Reverend Mother’s tyrannical rage. Tyranny is a familiar concept these days but within a religious order it seems indecent, wicked, even evil. We feel unsafe. However, the strong and graceful Sister Cathleen has encountered something she may be uniquely qualified to withstand. In the context of pre-Vatican 2 zeitgeist, this is a tale of two women engaged psychological warfare, as Mother Superior terrorizes her young charges. Ignore low marks on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. This is undoubtedly a niche film and it is a powerful experience.

The Palme D’Or winner The Square is one of the most daring and challenging films of the year. Claes Bang plays an art museum curator facing a major losing streak around a less-than-tasteful installation and promotional video. He says he’s a good guy, that he helps the needy and then aids a screaming woman on the street only to be robbed. He’d thrown off and makes a big mistake and goes after a child in a fit of rage. Elizabeth Moss is an American journalist who sleeps with him then attempts to nail him to the wall and just when things can’t get much worse, they do.  He presides over a major fundraising dinner that gets wildly out of hand. This is sheer balls on film, we don’t like the lead character, we search for something to redeem him and then we’re let down but it’s all so riveting. Writer director Ruben Östlund made the darkly funny gem Force Majeure a couple of years back and with The Square he takes his excellent game even higher.

Get a load of this scene featuring Terry Notary, a celebrated ape movement actor undoing an arts fundraising gala at the behest of our lead.

Read our interview with ‘The Square’ star Claes Bangwith here.

It’s incredible to think that women’s right to vote is a relatively recent phenomenon. Tucked away in a tiny Swiss mountain village, just four decades ago, lies a town blessed with freedom-loving, pro-active women willing to change the culture, to rip it from its medieval roots and into the modern age. They want the right to vote! Petra Biondina Volpe’s The Divine Order is a salute to women who dared stand up to their men undergoes a major tonal shift once the men realise they can’t turn back time once the women have their minds set on freedom. They have ideas and considerable might, more than they expected, and the men react with anger, violence and despair, knowing the culture they were born into and promulgated has gone. Marie Leuenberger plays the young wife and mother who dreams of getting a job and an end to sock washing. Her gentle, open-hearted intelligence and reason win the day; she gets the ball rolling and keeps spirits up in the face of resistance from both sexes, and learns a valuable lesson in sexual expression along the way. Women’s rights can be exciting! Leuenberger hits the nail on the head in balance, authenticity and the ways of human nature and easily carries the film. The scenery is gorgeous, lessons are learned and we’re highly entertained.

God’s Own Country written and directed by Francis Lee stars Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu Exclusive engagement at the TIFF Bell Lightbox It follows Johnny who works long hours on his family’s isolated farm in the northern England where’s there’s nothing to do evenings but drink and engage in sex. A handsome Romania migrant worker shows up and stirs something sleeping inside him and he faces emotional realities he’s never known.  Rural Yorkshire is often filmed as an idyllic wild place but here is stark and harsh. Filmmaker Lee “I have long been obsessed with this barren landscape of my ancestry,” comments Lee. “As well as by the people who cling to it, extracting a livelihood from a few unyielding acres.  Throughout my childhood what I didn’t realize was the unique emotional pull land has on the people who live and work it.  This only became apparent when I left”. He wanted to explore a rural world where family and duty come first and no one cares who you’re sleeping with as long as the beasts are fed and the land tended.”  Stars Josh O’Connor and Alec Secareanu. The film was a hit on the festival circuit this year.

Dina an award winning documentary about a middle aged couple coming together and directed by Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini and features songs written and performed by Michael Cera!!  We follow Dina and her fiancée Scott as they go one dates, move in together, and ultimately get married. They have Asperger’s so life can be challenging for them and, as we see from Dina’s devoted mother, for others.  Navigating a day can be an uphill battle but their sunny outlook and naïveté overcomes the strains of it all. Dina questions Scott’s dedication to her and he figures out how to reduce her stress – and his own, caused by her worry. Life isn’t easy but these two are an inspiring couple. The film refuses to resort to saccharin or pity, but gives us a brief but authentic portrait of how they cope and thrive.

Frankie Drake on Nov 6 CBC Well this ins interesting. Set 16 years after Murdoch Mysteries, in Toronto of the 1920s, a pioneering young Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith) opens her own business, a detective agency. She knows a lot of tricks of the trade as her father was an infamous Toronto con artist. She wonderfully independent and smart and forward thinking for her time, she drinks green tea, and practises Eastern medicine.  She has a female business partner and a police women insider who helps with her investigations. The series has promise and familiarity as two characters from Murdoch show up – you’ll have to watch to find out which two!

Check out our profile of Smith coming soon to

And finally the entire Harry Potter Series is now available from Warners Nov 7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack on November 7th. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 were released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack earlier this year. The eight films will also be available for the first time in 4K HDR as a set, in the Harry Potter 8-Film Collection on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack. Additionally, the Wizarding World 9-Film Collection, which includes all eight Harry Potter films as well as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be available on Blu-ray and DVD.

Young Harry

Old Harry

by @annebrodie

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