Life of Pi Winner of the most awards at this year’s Oscar, Ang Lee’s adaptation of the best-selling novel was one of the most beautiful films from last year. Whilst travelling on a cargo ship to America, the son of an India zookeeper is cast away on a life raft with a deadly Bengal tiger. It’s an epic story of survival that features some of the most vivid visual effects ever. If you didn’t manage to catch it in the cinema, now’s your chance!
Naomi Watts puts in one of the finest performances of her career in this real-life tale of tragedy and triumph. Set in Thailand during that fateful December in 2004, it tells the story of a British family split apart when the tsunami hits the beachfront resort where they’re staying. Films about true disasters are a bit of a hard sell, I would imagine, but this is an incredibly strong film that you should really consider checking out. Ewan McGregor co-stars as Wait’s husband and in one central scene, he’ll remind you how he became a film star in the first place. Check this movie out, we implore you.
The Oranges A post-House Hugh Laurie stars as a suburban father who makes things weird when he starts sleeping with his best friend’s daughter. Don’t worry, though: she’s over 18 so everything is above board. Everyone around him is not cool with it though: his wife Catherine Keener takes the infidelity as a sign that their marriage is not going so well. It’s a sweet comedy-of -sorts that isn’t really as sordid as the synopsis makes it sound. Watch out for a great supporting cast of TV exiles that includes The West Wing’s Allison Janney, Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat and Adam Brody from The OC (“don’t call it that”).
Scott Speedman plays Edwin Boyd, a real-life figure Canadian criminal-turned-folk hero. Driven to robbing banks after the war, Boyd soon picks up fame and notoriety while slowly drifting away from his loving family. This being a Canadian crime movie, it’s a lot more polite than your average gangster flick. Watch out for British actress Kelly Reilly, who we last saw as the female lead in Flight. and as Watson’s wife in Sherlock Holmes.
It’s like a goofy, direct to video version of American Gangster! Ving Rhames stars as a mob boss reminiscing on his career in organised crime. There are lines like “It’s 1975, baby!” to help the audience understand that they’re watching a flashback. There’s also some retro-sex appeal from Jackie Brown star Pam Grier. Pedants may dispute film’s title as inaccurate (Mafia should only refer to Italian mobsters) but you can’t deny Rhames’ star power!
Listless 20-something Paul Dano is an aspiring writer who, by chance reunites with his long-absent father (Robert De Niro), a man who considers himself one of the greatest writers in American history. De Niro puts in one of his most acclaimed performances in over a decade, echoing his turn in Silver Linings Playbooks as a father whose relationship with his son is strained by mental illness and years of neglect. It’s good to see him at the top of his game again.
My Awkward Sexual Adventure
When the girlfriend of a conservative accountant tells him that he’s terrible in bed, he seeks out the help of a stripper (with a heart of gold) to help him improve in the bedroom department. This being a raunchy Canadian sex comedy, it’s a lot more polite than its American counterparts. It’s actually a pretty sweet romantic comedy with only the slightest tinge of smut.
12 in a Box
According the blurb, it’s ‘the laugh-out-loud story of 12 former school friends’ unforgettable reunion’. And according to the artwork, it stars TV’s Miranda Hart, which is a little misleading. Presumably made before she made it big, Hart only plays a small part in this comedy that sees a group of people brought to a remote country house. They are promised a million pounds each… if they can only stay together for 90 hours! Hilarity ensues!
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