Each week here at indieWIRE, five recommendations for theatrical viewing pleasure are being offered up, tackling everything from new releases, to film festivals, to curated series and events around North America. This week, “The King’s Speech,” an international festivals, naked Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, Jean-Luc Godard, and none other than Cher make up an eclectic Thanksgiving top 5:
1. The King’s Speech (criticWIRE page)
Highly anticipated “The King’s Speech” finds director Tom Hooper (HBO’s “John Adams”) taking on King George VI, the current Queen Elizabeth’s father, who is plagued by a horrible stutter that makes him unfit to be king. Starring Colin Firth (as King George), Geoffrey Rush (as his eccentric speech therapist) and Helena Bonham Carter (as his wife), the film is widely considered one of the frontrunners in this year’s Oscar race, with Firth all-but-assured the best actor statuette, and both Rush and Bonham Carter serious threats in the supporting categories. If one wants in on the awards season conversation, this is the place to start.
Check out the film’s trailer below:
2. Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival
While America’s festival circuit might come to standstill for Thanksgiving, other parts of the world are still in full swing. The “undisputed highlight of Estonia’s film calendar,” the Black Nights Film Festival (or ‘Poff’ in Estonian), began November 19th and runs into December. Initially a showcase for Nordic film, the festival has grown substantially, and has quickly been noted as an international festival circuit must. Some of the films screening include Denis Villeneuve ‘s “Incendies,” Gregg Araki’s “Kaboom,” Alexey Uchitel’s “The Edge,” Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go,” and all the nominees for this year’s European Film Awards, which will take place at this year’s festival on December 4th. There’s also a focus on Finnish cinema, a Baltic film competition, a North American indie spotlight, a section on Fashion in Film, and a genre-heavy program called “Night Films.” Check out the festival’s website here.
Camp enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity of “Burlesque” to create a new classic since the “is-this-a-joke?” announcement of the film’s production. Starring Christina Aguilera as “a small-town girl with a big voice” who escapes to Los Angeles to follow her dreams, where none other than Cher – as the proprietor and headliner at a burlesque lounge – takes her under her wing, the film sounded more like a gay wet dream than a film that would actually get made. But now the film is days away from release, and has shockingly been getting decent reviews, which all of a sudden means it’s okay for your enthusiasm to be unironic.
Check out the trailer:
4. Thanksgiving With Jean-Luc Godard at the Film Forum
Celebrate Jean-Luc Godard a week after the Academy controversially did so with Film Forum’s retrospective engagement of the director’s 1980 “Every Man For Himself.” On a new 35mm print, Godard’s dark, challenging and surprisingly funny film – which stars Jacques Dutronc, Isabelle Huppert and Nathalie Baye – will screen through this Thursday. Check out Film Forum’s website for more information.
5. Love and Other Drugs (criticWIRE page)
Ed Zwick’s Jake Gyllenhaal-Anne Hathaway romance “Love and Other Drugs” is getting pretty mixed reviews, with folks coming down hard on the film’s made-for-TV tone and manipulative sentimentality. That said, Gyllenhaal and Hathaway are basically naked for the entire film, so if the presence of “manipulative sentimentality” is less important to you than some sexy distraction from Thanksgiving’s general unsexiness, “Drugs” might be for you.
Check out the redband (aka NSFW) trailer: