A Very Strong Showing

Oscar weekend usually means a quiet week at the megaplex, as everyone rushes out to catch up to that one last nominated title. But this year, a host of really strong movies roll into theatres … including one terrific Documentary Feature nominee that’s finally opening in town.

Dying Laughing: Dozens of stand-up comics from the US and UK sit down to spill their worst moments in this fascinating process documentary. If you’re into it, you’re into it. 

Get Out: Jordan Peele’s fantastic feature debut is a cultural horror movie, and one of the very best of its kind in years. It’s also pretty damn satisfying as a straight-up horror movie, too. No spoilers in my review, but see it knowing as little as possible.

The Girl with All the Gifts: A young-adult horror novel [or maybe not, see comment below] becomes a very grown-up meditation on zombie movies, and one of the best surprises of last year’s Midnight Madness program. It’s also available on demand, but see it in a theater if you’re able.

I Am Not Your Negro: Raoul Peck’s Oscar contender spins a fragment of James Baldwin’s last work into a requiem for the author and for the lost potential of America. Susan liked it, with reservations; I liked it, period.

Shadows of Paradise: Sebastian Lange’s transcendental meditation documentary — screening three times over the weekend at the Hot Docs Cinema — is getting some traction because it features TM advocate David Lynch. So, okay.

A United Kingdom: Amma Asante follows Belle with another racially charged slice of British history — this time, about the romance of African noble Seretse Khama and English commoner Ruth Williams, whose marriage became a political issue in the years after World War II.

That’s everything! Keep an eye on my Twitter feed for details on any television appearances I might do in the coming days, and of course on Sunday night I’ll be covering the ceremony in real time. Whee.

4 thoughts on “A Very Strong Showing”

  1. Hate to nitpick, but The Girl With All the Gifts is a young-adult novel? Really? It has a young girl/zombie as one of several viewpoint characters, the rest of whom are adults. But it’s not remotely a young-adult novel in the way that Hunger Games, Divergent, or Twilight are. It’s one of the best novels I’ve read in the past few years, very well written, and my third-favorite zombie novel of all time (behind World War Z and Stupidest Angel).

    Glad it’s finally released. The trailer for the movie looked like they got a lot right in adapting it and I’ve been waiting for it to come out for months.

    1. I must admit haven’t read the book, but was going by what I’d heard at TIFF — from the distributor, I think? In any case, I didn’t mean it dismissively; there’s a lot of great material in the YA genre, the “Twilight” novels notwithstanding. (And the movie is absolutely not for a younger audience; it’s very bitey in the best possible way.)

      1. I didn’t think you meant it dismissively, but the YA tag can lead to different expectations in a potential audience.

        And grab the book if you get a chance. It’s well worth reading. The author did a great job distinguishing between the different voices of the different viewpoint characters (the girl, the teacher, the scientist, and two military personnel), something a lot of writers can’t do well. (I have high hopes for Glenn Close as the scientist. As soon as I heard she was cast, I thought she could nail it.)

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