I speak to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week we have a look at the feel-good “Fisherman’s Friends: One and All,” the Christmas musical “Spirited” and the ripped-from-the-headlines drama “She Said.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the restaurant revenge movie “The Menu,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “She Said,” the Christmas musical “Spirited” and the feel-good “Fisherman’s Friends: One and All.”
I sit in with CKTB morning show host Tim Denis to discuss the weekend’s flickers including the restaurant revenge movie “The Menu,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “She Said” and the Christmas musical “Spirited.”
I sit in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the restaurant revenge movie “The Menu,” the ripped-from-the-headlines “She Said,” the Christmas musical “Spirited” and the feel-good “Fisherman’s Friends: One and All.”
“She Said,” a new film about the New York Times reporters Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and their Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of the sexual misconduct perpetrated by Harvey Weinstein, breathes the same air as other newsroom procedurals like “The Post” and “Spotlight.”
Based on the 2019 book by Twohey and Kantor, the movie begins with Twohey’s investigations into sexual assault allegations against presidential candidate Donald Trump and FOX TV commentator Bill O’Reilly. The success of those stories, which cost O’Reilly his lucrative television gig, led to a further investigation of abuse and institutional misogyny in the film business, specifically involving film producer Weinstein.
Working in tandem with Kantor, Twohey begins sorting through sexual abuse claims from Hollywood actresses like Rose McGowan (voice of Kelly McQuail) and Ashley Judd (as herself).
“If that can happen to Hollywood actresses,” Twohey says, “who else is it happening to?”
“She Said” follows their month’s long investigation, from the unwillingness of victims to go on the record for fear of repercussions and legal maneuvering to death threats and harassment.
“You have to imagine that every call you make is being recorded and you’re being followed,” warns New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet (Andre Braugher).
The story behind the story that rocked Hollywood is a boots-on-the-ground journalism movie. Director Maria Schrader and screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz walk us through the uncovering of information, the dead-ends, the back-and-forth with reluctant sources in a slow-and-steady fashion. It’s a detailed portrait of the daily grind journalists go through to ensure accuracy and fairness.
Unfortunately, because this #MeToo story lived at the very center of popular discourse at the time and beyond, “She Said’s” efforts to document the making of the story contain very few surprises.
On an emotional level, however, the recollections of Weinstein’s victims, former assistant Zelda Perkins (Samantha Morton) and Rowena Chiu (Angela Yeoh), are as devastating as former Weinstein Co. Board Member Lance Maerov’s (Sean Cullen) comment—”Are you sure that this isn’t just young women who want to sleep with a movie producer to get ahead?” is maddening.
Schrader never sensationalizes “She Said,” but her retelling of the victimization of the powerless and Weinstein’s criminal behaviour is buoyed by some interesting choices, including using real audio of model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez and Weinstein as he tries to coerce her into joining him in his hotel suite. As the camera floats down a fancy hotel hallway, Schrader allows the tape to play to skin crawling effect. It is that level of detail and raw storytelling that captures the true horror of the case against Weinstein.
What to watch when you’ve already watched everything Part Two! Binge worthy, not cringe worthy recommendations from Isolation Studios in the eerily quiet downtown Toronto. Three movie choices to stream, rent or buy that will help fill the minutes until we can comfortably cough in public once again. And no, “Electric Boogaloo” is not one of the selections.
Paul Dano needs no introduction as an actor. In front of the camera the Golden Globe nominee has impressed with powerful performances in films like “There Will Be Blood,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Love & Mercy.” He brings a similar quiet intensity to his directorial debut, “Wildlife,” a dysfunctional family drama adapted from Richard Ford’s disquieting 1990 novel of the same name.
Set in 1960s Montana, the story focuses on the frustrated Jeanette Brinson (Carey Mulligan), alcoholic husband, Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal), and 14-year-old son Joe (Ed Oxenbould). When Jerry gets fired from his golf pro country club gig he’s forced to take a job fighting wildfires, a dangerous occupation that only pays $1 an hour. With her husband gone most of the time Jeanette wanders, beginning an affair with car dealership owner Warren Miller (Bill Camp). “You’re mother is a very passionate dancer,” says Miller. “Did you know that Joe?” With his parents occupied Joe becomes a de facto parent to them both, struggling to keep them together as their relationship hits the rocks.
Dano, who co-wrote “Wildlife” with actress and significant other Zoe Kazan, provides an elegant showcase for Mulligan’s soul-searching performance. The story of this quickly unraveling family is meted out slowly, deliberately low key, in an effort to allow the audience to get under the skin of the three main characters. Bonded by blood and marriage they struggle with unity in an era of change.
At the heart of it is Mulligan. As an Eisenhower Era wife and mother she projects an aura of calm but is actually a churning vessel of emotions; a person clamouring for more. The cracks in her Norman Rockwell façade are beginning to show. “Do you like Mr. Miller?” asks Joe. “Not very much,” she replies. “Things do happen around him though. He has that feel about him.” Mulligan breathes life into Jeanette, subtly and believably portraying a woman coming of age.
Oxenbould as Joe, the son forced to become both protector and confidant to his mother—“This is my desperation dress,” she says to him, modelling a revealing frock—is also very good, effectively showing us the dissolution of his parent’s bond through his eyes. His character doesn’t grow, he is an observer, a conduit for the audience’s sympathy.
Despite the title “Wildlife” doesn’t exactly kick up its heels. It’s a chilly tale with a few unnecessary detours—like Joe’s after school job and his friendship with a female classmate—but its story of survival hits home.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Nicole Kidman times two – in the gritty cop drama “Destroyer” and the dramedy “The Upside,” where she co-stars with Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart – Carey Mulligan in “Wildlife” and the psychological thriller “Escape Room.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the Nicole Kidman cop drama “Destroyer,” the Bryan Cranston-Kevin Hart dramedy “The Upside” and “Wildlife” with Carey Mulligan.