Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Nigel M Smith
September 18, 2012 10:01 AM
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Why 'Chico & Rita' Tops Indiewire's 5 DVD/Blu-ray Picks This Week

#4. "Hysteria"

Who knew the story of the birth of the vibrator could make for wholesome family entertainment? Granted it's rated R, but the period romp "Hysteria" is more concerned with telling a good-natured tale about the plight of the working woman in Victorian-era England. That it also happens to feature what likely amounts to the most female orgasms ever commited to celluloid is beyond the point -- "Hysteria" has more in common with anything from the James Ivory oeuvre than "Betty Blue." Hugh Dancy and Jonathan Pryce play doctors in London treating cases of hysteria in women. To treat their patients' conditions, Dancy's character enlists the help of his best friend (played by Rupert Everett) to come up with an electrical device to calm their nerves. Maggie Gyllenhaal steals the picture as the feisty daughter to Pryce, a proud and loud feminist with a mission to change society -- though first she has to work on her father.

Extras: A commentary with Director Tanya Wexler; featurettes ("An Evening with Tanya Wexler, Hugh Dancy and Jonathan Pryce", "Hysteria: Behind the Scenes", "Passion & Power: The Technology of Orgasm"); and deleted scenes.


#5. "The Woman in the Fifth"

In “The Woman in the Fifth,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s first film since 2004’s “My Summer of Love,” Ethan Hawke gives one of his strongest performances in recent memory as Tom Ricks, a divorced American writer who hides out in a hotel room in gloomy Paris to pen his latest work. In the City of Lights, Ricks meets Margit (Kristin Scott Thomas) a gorgeous widow with her own fair share of demons. Together the two embark on a series of sexually charged trysts, but their party soon comes to a halt when it's believed Margit is at the center of a gruesome murder mystery. The less we say about this thriller the better -- just don't expect the twists to fully reveal themselves to you. This is more a game of the mind, than a typical whodunnit.

Extras: A making-of featurette.

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