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In a shocking turn of events, there are no new wide releases opening this week. War World I horseplay weepie War Horse and borderline offensive 9/11 exploiter Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close both opened on Christmas Day but this Friday will see no new movies at the multiplex. So instead of gorging on well and poorly made sentimental pap, might I suggest watching some independent releases that provide bittersweet recollections of old time movie stars, disturbing voyeuristic thrills and a vertiginous insight into the economic turmoil that current embroils us all?
For unabashed emotion wholly, you’ll want to check Simon Curtis’s My Week with Marilyn. The film follows a week in the life of doomed starlet Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) when she spent a week off from shooting The Prince and The Showgirl in company of a young production assistant (Eddie Redmayne). Williams is by all accounts as devastating as she was in Blue Valentine while also capturing that unique vulnerability that made Monroe an idol to millions. The film also features supporting work from Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench and Emma Watson.
For a dark ride, check out David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The film is an Americanized remake/reimaging of a film adapted from Steig Larrson’s international bestseller of the same name with Daniel Craig as disgraced journalist (Daniel Craig) who teams with a brilliant but damaged hacker (Rooney Mara) to unravel a decades old mystery. Fincher’s remake has received positive notices even in comparison to the well regarded Swedish original, with special acclaim going to a credit sequence that recalls the director’s early video work with Dragon Tattoo’s co-composer Trent Reznor. Black coffee, this one. Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård and Robin Wright also star.
Lastly, we have Margin Call, the dazzling first film from J.C. Chandor. The film tells the story of the 2008 market collapse through the lens of one investment firm on the eve of the meltdown. While there’s no global hunt for a vaguely described McGuffin or a high wire dives off of a skyscraper, but this film is easily on of the most exciting, tense releases of the year with standout performances from Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons. Also pay close attention to Chandor’s “Two Cathedrals” level monologues, you’re going to hear them edited into all of this year’s big award shows writing montages.
All of the above listed films can be seen at Cleveland’s finest venue, The Cedar Lee Theatre.
Mario recently wrote up his top five songs of the year at A Polemic Killer Room.