Five films you didn’t see in 2011

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If you play them, the sophisticated moviegoers will come

Jonathan Petrychyn
A&C Editor

2011 was a banner year for sequels and easily consumable 3D releases. And, in all honesty, that’s where most people went to for their filmic pleasure this year, and indeed, where most of Regina’s movie theatres went to. But what about those other films that the rest of the world raves about, but we don’t get to see in Regina until they either make their way to the RPL or until we can order the DVD from Amazon. Consider this a call to action for Regina’s theatre owners: bring us the films that everyone else gets to see; we’re tired of being offered Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked at three separate theatres.

The Artist

This film has been burning up the critics’ charts since it quietly made its release in December. Why all the fuss? Mostly because it’s the first silent film to be given wide release (hah, not in Regina) since the 1930s, and probably the first silent film to have a shot at winning an Oscar since Wings took home the trophy at the first Academy Awards in 1929. Based on the trailer, I’m not sure if this film is actually a silent film, or just a film without dialogue, as there seemed to be some nicely synchronized sound effects in the trailer. Could be a trick of the trailer, or could be an overblown love letter to Silent Hollywood. I remain skeptical about it, but it would be nice if I would have had a chance to see it.

Shame

Michael Fassbender was brought to American audiences by Zak Snyder in 2006’s 300, but it wouldn’t be until 2009’s Inglourious Basterds that he would really catch the eye of Hollywood, which led him to stellar performances in X-Men: First Class, Jane Eyre, A Dangerous Method (below), and Shame. Directed by Steve McQueen (no, not that Steve McQueen), Shame is unabashedly sexual, a film critics are comparing to Bertolucci’s Last Tango in Paris, and Midnight Cowboy, two of the most well-known “mainstream” adult films, the latter the only X-rated film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Shame will probably make its way to Regina eventually despite its NC-17 rating, but probably only after Fassbender receives considerable Oscar buzz.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Can we all just take a moment to consider how much of a bad ass Gary Oldman is? Not only is he Sirius Black in Harry Potter, Lt. Gordon in The Dark Knight, Sid Vicious, and Dracula, he’s now getting the chance to play a Cold War spy tasked with finding a mole in MI6. This may be the closest we’ll ever get to seeing Oldman as James Bond.

My Week With Marilyn

She started as just a small-town girl on Dawson’s Creek, and now Michelle Williams is an awards-caliber actress, churning out what critics are hailing as a powerhouse performance as Marilyn Monroe. This is just the first of two Marilyn Monroe films we won’t be exposed to within the next 12 months, with Naomi Watts slated to play Monroe in Blonde, which is based on Joyce Carol Oates’ imaginary Monroe memoir. The film is getting middling reviews, but any chance to see even a glimmer of Monroe on the screen again is worth our time.

A Dangerous Method

Considering how important David Cronenberg is to Canadian cinema, it’s surprising how small a release his films get while shit like Score: A Hockey Musical and every goddamn film by Paul Gross gets advertisements plastered all over our screens. Sure, no one outside of the university is going to know who Carl Jung is, but that doesn’t mean Regina should be deprived of Cronenberg’s drama about a love triangle Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley). Still not sold? It’s a love triangle involving Freud and Jung. Imagine the penis envy joke possibilities.

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