Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Bain about movies on VOD and in theatres to watch this weekend including the loud and proud Milla Jovovich actioner “Monster Hunter,” the Andy Samberg time loop rom com “Palm Springs” and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round.”
Richard joins CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Chadwick Boseman drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix), the time loop rom com “Palm Springs” (Amazon Prime Video), the loud and proud “Monster Hunter” (in theatres) and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round” (in select theatres and the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms).
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Angie Seth to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Chadwick Boseman drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix), the time loop rom com “Palm Springs” (Amazon Prime Video), the loud and proud “Monster Hunter” (in theatres) and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round” (in select theatres and the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms).
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 Chadwick Boseman drama “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix), the time loop rom com “Palm Springs” (Amazon Prime Video), the loud and proud “Monster Hunter” (in theatres) and the recent winner of the Best European Film Award, “Another Round” (in select theatres and the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms).
In Denmark the new Mads Mikkelsen mid-life crisis tragicomedy “Another Round,” now in select theatres and the Apple TV app and other VOD platforms, was released under the title “Druk,” which, according to Google translates means binge drinking. It’s an apt title for a film that essays the intoxicating idea of day drinking as a remedy for disillusionment.
Mikkelsen is Martin, a school teacher in a rut. He’s distracted in the classroom and also at home, where he goes through the motions of playing a happily married man. After a drunken night with three teachers from school, he finds he is not alone. His colleagues, Nikolaj (Magnus Millang), Peter (Lars Ranthe), and Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), struggle to remember why they get out of bed every day. Their get up and go, it seems, got up and went.
To combat the shroud of ennui that envelopes all their lives, Nikolaj convinces them to take part in an impromptu experiment based on the work of Norwegian psychiatrist Finn Skårderud. The idea is to keep their blood alcohol levels at a minimum of .05% at all times. The theory being that humans are generally more sociable, confident and agreeable with a low-level buzz. That means drinking wine for breakfast and guzzling “medicinal” shots during the day, but, like legendary daquiri downer Hemmingway, stopping intake at 8 pm so avoid hangovers at work.
At first their social experiment in antisocial drinking yields results. Armed with portable breathalyzers, flasks and brand-new attitudes, the four men see almost immediate changes. Martin comes alive in the classroom, lecturing like his life depends on it. Phys Ed teacher Tommy inspires his team to a winning streak. The choir Peter conducts suddenly start singing with the voices of angles and Nikolaj takes control of his home life.
But when they decide to increase their daily dosage of drams, it turns out that too much of a good thing is just that, too much.
“Another Round,” in Danish with English subtitles, rides the line between glorifying the boozy legacies of Churchill, Hemingway, and Tchaikovsky, men whose genius was linked to their drinking, and wagging a finger at over indulgence. It lives somewhere in the middle, leaving it up to the viewer to judge the characters and their behavior.
Strong lead performances with a minimum of Foster Brooks’ style “drunk” acting help shed some light on the dark story, even if no questions are answered. Predictable moments are mixed-and-matched with unexpected twists, leading up to an open-ended final scene that showcases Mikkelsen physical prowess. Once again, the movie leaves it to the viewer to decide what, exactly, is happening.
Director Thomas Vinterberg shapes “Another Round’s” absurd story into a portrait of middle age, not simply drunk middle agers. It’s an entertaining story of melancholy Danes and their hopes, dreams and letdowns. It is sometimes celebratory, often cautionary and even surreal.
“Far From the Madding Crowd” isn’t a Masterpiece Theatre style remounting of the 1874 Thomas Hardy novel. Instead it’s vibrant soap opera, complete with love triangles, pregnancy, suicide, love sick neighbours, crimes of passion, more marriage proposals than you can shake a chaff fork at, missed opportunities, bad decisions, broken hearts and petticoats.
Carey Mulligan is Bathsheba Everdene, the headstrong and beautiful mistress of a sprawling farm inherited from her uncle. She’s independent—“I have no need for a husband,” she says.—but also an irresistible man magnet, beating off marriage proposals like Neo in a roomful of Agent Smiths. Suitors include manly sheep farmer (and aptly named) Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), high-strung middle-aged landowner William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) and a dandy in a Scarlet uniform, Sergeant Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge) who uses swordplay as foreplay.
Through reversals of fortune and chance encounters Bathsheba perseveres, making her way through the world, the very embodiment of resilience and grace.
Director Thomas Vinterberg breathes new life into the story by preserving the classic themes of the novel on marriage, class and gender while not being precious about it. The film’s pacing is as bucolic as the rural English countryside setting, but the movie feels very contemporary in its approach. It’s a rom com, without much com. There’s even the 19th century equivalent of the romantic movie staple, the Run to the Airport to Declare Undying Love.
Vinterberg takes advantage of the setting, using nature to guide the lives of the farmers—each changing season brings new developments in Bathsheba’s life—and human nature to explore the relationships that make up the tale’s love triangle. It’s mannered but clever, lively direction that values the location—it was shot on location in Dorset, the novel’s setting—and text while focussing on the themes that make a one-hundred-and-forty year old story seem fresh and universal in appeal.
Mulligan and Schoenaerts generate heat in their chaste scenes, slowly building their relationship through mutual respect. He is stoic, she is grounded but wistful.
“It is my intention to astonish you all,” Bathsheba says to her collected staff, and once again Mulligan does impress with a performance that digs deep to deliver a nuanced but soulful take on the shrewd character.
“Far From the Madding Crowd” is an abbreviated retelling of the story. The last version, from director John Schlesinger and star Julie Christie, was one hour longer but Vinterberg brings a luminous energy and modern feel to an old tale.