Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including “Misbehaviour” starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Kiera Knightley, Ethan Hawke as the legendary inventor in “Tesla” and the activist doc “We Are Many.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Cristina Tenaglia have a look at the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the oddball comedy “Kajillionaire” starring Richard Jenkins and Evan Rachel Wood, the poignant Brticom “Misbehaviour” with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley and the second Richard Jenkins movie of the week, “The Last Shift.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the oddball comedy “Kajillionaire” starring Richard Jenkins and Evan Rachel Wood, the poignant Brticom “Misbehaviour” with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Keira Knightley and Jessie Buckley and the second Richard Jenkins movie of the week, “The Last Shift.”
Fifty years after the 1970 Miss World pageant erupted into chaos a new film documents the events that sent host Bob Hope scurrying from the stage, bombarded by flour bombs and heckles. “Misbehaviour,” a new British film starring Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and now on VOD, sees members of the nascent British women’s liberation movement rebel against the show’s objectification of its contestants and Hope’s terrible jokes. “I consider the feelings of women,” he says, “I consider feeling women all the time.”
Knightley is Sally Alexander, a single mother and academic who believes the women’s liberation movement must address systemic sexism if there is to be meaningful change. Jo Robinson (Jessie Buckley) takes a more hands-on approach, defacing statues and sexist billboards. Despite differing approaches, they focus their efforts on the Miss World pageant, an annual event with a world-wide television audience of over 100 million people.
In a parallel story Gugu Mbatha-Raw is Jennifer Hosten, Grenada’s first competitor in Miss World. Intelligent, elegant and composed, she’s willing to endure the contest’s objectification for the chance to make history as the first woman of colour to win the pageant crown. “You are a very lucky person if you think this is being treated badly,” she tells Miss Sweden, Maj Johansson (Clara Rosager).
“Misbehaviour” is an ambitious movie disguised as a feel good Britcom. Issues are raised and the era is vividly portrayed trough fashion and the attitude of the pageant’s organizers, but the story’s main point, that feminism comes in many styles and can mean different things to different people, is broached in a superficially earnest way, but never explored. Alexander and Robinson see the absurdity of the beauty contest is liken to a “cattle market.” The farcicality of it all, the bathing suit competition, the numbers on the wrists, is not lost on Hosten but for her it is an opportunity to make a statement to other woman and girls who look like her that this, and anything else in life, is possible. That doors can be opened.
Knightley and Buckley are reliably good but it is Mbatha-Raw who brings the heart and soul to “Misbehaviour.” More than just a retelling of the flour-bombing of Bob Hope or a history lesson on the roots of the women’s liberation movement (at the end we actually meet the real-life counterparts of the film’s characters), it’s character study of Hosten. She may not be the focus of the story, that’s Alexander and Robinson, but Mbatha-Raw’s warmth tempered by inner unease makes her the movie’s most layered and interesting character.
Richard and CP24 anchor Stephanie Smythe have a look at the weekend’s new movies, the redonkulous new “Fast & Furious” entry from Vin Diesel and Company, “The Fate of the Furious,” the family drama “Gifted,” the romantic biopic “Maudie” starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke and the bizzaro “My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea”!
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the big weekend movies, the latest bombastic entry from Vin Diesel and Company, “The Fate of the Furious,” the family drama “Gifted” and the romantic biopic “Maudie” starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke.
On film war heroes are usually seen dodging bullets or rescuing wounded comrades from the field of battle. Rarer are the stories of those who stayed behind, never touched a gun or saw the front lines. “Their Finest” is one of those tales, a World War II drama about people who pitched in by raising morale.
It’s 1940, bombs are falling, decimating London and confidence is at an all time low. In an effort to boost the public’s confidence The British Ministry of Information, Film Division commissions a propaganda film that will be both “authentic and optimistic.” To this end they recruit Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) to provide “a woman’s touch,” or as they less politely call it, “the slop.”
Working alongside the cynical lead scriptwriter Buckley (Sam Claflin) she comes up with the mostly true story about two sisters who stole their father’s boat to help rescue soldiers from the siege at Dunkirk. Their story isn’t quite as exciting as promised but it does provide two details they can use. The sisters remember a French GI who tried to kiss them and an English soldier with a dog in a tote bag. It’s perfect they say, it has, “authenticity, optimism… and a dog.”
As they toil to craft a script that will please both the Ministry of Information and the movie’s star, aging matinee idol Ambrose Hilliard (Bill Nighy), Mrs. Cole and Buckley’s relationship turns from testy to tender.
“Their Finest” is a feel good movie almost as melodramatic as the film within the film. Luckily the melodrama—unexpected romantic twists and deaths—is wedged between Arterton’s steely-but-sweet performance, a showy turn from Nighy—“The war has slipped off the cream and we’re left with the rancid curds,” he says, complaining there are no good waiters left in Soho—and a vivid portrait of the casual condescension heaped on women, even as they took on an expanded role in the work place.
The melodrama also helps sidestep the obvious inspirational landmines this kind of story usually offers up. The rousing ”when life is precarious it’s a shame to waste it,” message is none too subtle but is gently pushed aside by Mrs. Cole’s character development as she learns to trust herself and accept that heroes aren’t always only on the battlefield.
“Their Finest” is a love letter to film—the source novel’s title was “Their Finest Hour and a Half”—with grand statements about the magic of movies. “Film,” says Buckley, “is real life with the boring bits taking out.” But more than that, it’s a tribute to the women who kept the home fires burning… and the movies playing.