Hero Worship

So that new Bond movie (about which you may have heard a thing or two) is set to obliterate all competition this weekend. But other than Spielberg’s Lincoln, there’s really nothing to challenge it. Doubt me? Read on and see.

Chasing Ice: Rad finds Jeff Orlowski’s documentary about National Geographic photographer James Balog visually striking … but not often enough. Also, did you know that the glaciers are melting?

Dangerous Liaisons: Hur Jin-ho transposes Choderlos de Laclos’ classic to 1930s Shanghai, allowing Jang Don-gun and Cecilia Cheung to work their cruel intentions upon Zhang Ziyi (and against some extravagant production design). Jose admires it without endorsing it.

Lincoln: Or, “the one without the vampire hunting”. Steven Spielberg’s long-in-the-works historical drama features what may be the year’s finest cast, a wily star turn from Daniel Day-Lewis and Tommy Lee Jones’ best performance in a very long time. Also, some political content.

The Oranges: Suburbia is shaken when the father of one household (Hugh Laurie) takes up with the daughter of another (Leighton Meester). The buzz around Julian Farino’s dark comedy dried up about halfway through its first TIFF screening last year; Susan explains why.

Pusher: How closely can Richard Coyle be styled to look like Andy Serkis? That’s the only question worth pondering in Luis Prieto’s efficient but unnecessary remake of Nicolas Winding Refn’s breakout crime thriller, which updates the original without really adding anything.

Skyfall: Bond 23 is the best one in a very long while, completing the informal reboot that started with Casino Royale. I may quibble with certain continuity issues and Javier Bardem’s incessant mincing, I can’t say I didn’t walk away happy.

We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists: Brian Knappenberger’s well-articulated documentary — one of my favourite films at Hot Docs this year — examines the rise of online protest organizations like Anonymous and LulzSec, for good and ill.

The World Before Her: Nisha Pahuja’s documentary about women’s lives in modern India has been hailed at Tribeca and Hot Docs; Susan calls it one of the year’s best. I’m looking forward to catching it as soon as I can dig myself out from under these festival screeners.

And that is everything. Oh, except for three different series at the Lightbox, which I’ve saved for my NOW Daily column. Come back and check that out later this afternoon!

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