The first full week of 2015 ends with a combination of awards bait, indies and studio pulp — so, basically, it’s exactly the January Friday we deserve. Go see a movie, get warm.
I Put a Hit on You: Aaron Ashmore and Sara Canning star in a modest but well-realized Toronto rom-com about a gal who takes a contract out on her ex. You know, like you do.
Monk with a Camera: The Life and Journey of Nicholas Vreeland: The grandson of Vogue grande dame Diana, Nicky Vreeland segued from privileged scion to spiritual wanderer in the 1970s, becoming a Buddhist monk a decade later. Rad is skeptical about the whole white-privilege thing, but likes the movie a little more than I do.
Selma: I wasn’t a huge fan of Ava DuVernay’s first feature, Middle of Nowhere, but holy crap does she level up with this powerfully felt docudrama about Martin Luther King, Jr’s trial by fire in 1965 Alabama. David Oyelewo, who co-starred in Middle of Nowhere, plays King as a human rather than a demigod, and a harrowing re-creation of the confrontation on the Edmund Pettus Bridge smashes American history into the present day with a sickening thud.
Taken 3: After he punched his way through Paris and Istanbul, Bryan Mills’ latest battleground is … Los Angeles. Olivier Megaton, who made Taken 2, directs; it is very bad.
Winter Sleep: Glenn was thoroughly captivated by Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Palme d’Or-winner about an Anatolian hotelier (Haluk Bilginer) whose worldview is sorely challenged over the course of a few conversations. This is the appropriate response.
Also opening today: The World Made Straight, which was not provided to us for inclusion in this week’s package. I write about the larger problem that represents in this afternoon’s web column.