This Week in Film: Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Mildred Pierce, EU Film Festival, Chris Alexander's Film School Confidential, TIFF's Burton Blitz, & Burlesque.
Toronto film picks for MONDAY NOVEMBER 22 through SATURDAY NOVEMBER 27, 2010.
MONDAY NOVEMBER 22 / CLIENT 9: THE RISE AND FALL OF ELIOT SPITZER / SHEPPARD GRANDE-YONGE / VARIOUS SHOWTIMES
Start your week off with corporate corruption and call girls! Oscar winner Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) offers up a skillful and fairly even-handed documentary about disgraced former New York governor (and current CNN personality) Eliot Spitzer. Gibney charts the politician's life in public office, moving through his crusades against white collar crime as State Attorney General to his eventual disgrace at the discovery of his involvement with high-class call girls - all the while interviewing a collection of colourful characters, many of whom were likely responsible for the seedier aspects of the politician's life coming to light in the first place. Worth a look. Consult your local listings for showtimes and ticket prices.
TUESDAY NOVEMBER 23 / THE BOOK REVUE PRESENTS MILDRED PIERCE / THE REVUE CINEMA / 6:45PM
The Revue's monthly series about book-to-screen adaptations returns with a night dedicated to James M. Cain's crime novel Mildred Pierce. Discussion of the source text is followed by a screening of the 1945 film noir classic, featuring Joan Crawford in an Oscar-winning performance as a mother who dotes endlessly on her spoiled and ungrateful daughter and becomes entangled in a mysterious murder. In an inspired bit of cross promotion, local restaurant Mildred's Temple Kitchen (named after the film's protagonist) will be offering complimentary refreshments between discussion of the book and the screening. Tickets are $7 in advance, $8 for seniors and members at the door, and $10 for non-members.
WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 24 / EUROPEAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL / THE ROYAL / 6:00 & 8:30PM
The European Union Film Festival continues to chug along at the Royal with free first-come, first-serve screenings of films from all over the EU, often well in advance of commercial openings. Wednesday's films include Princess, a rare fiction film from Finnish documentarian Arto Halonen based on the real-life story of a mental patient who considered herself to be royalty, preceded by a screening of Yiannis Ioannou's historical epic Hi! I'm Erica!. Tickets are free, distributed one per person, and are available at the box office an hour before each screening.
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 25 / FILM SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL PRESENTS BLOW OUT / BLOOR CINEMA / 9:30PM
The newest installment of Bloor Cinema's bi-monthly series led by film critic and radio personality Chris Alexander kicks off with a screening of Brian De Palma's 1981 psychological thriller Blow Out, a film that wears its many influences (including Alfred Hitchcock, Michelangelo Antonioni and Dario Argento) on its skeezy sleeve. The film stars John Travolta as a sound technician who inadvertently records the assassination of a governor, drawing him into a vast and rather lurid conspiracy. Prizes will be provided by Eyesore Cinema. $8 Members/$10 Non-Members.
FRIDAY NOVEMBER 26 / TIFF BURTON BLITZ / BELL LIGHTBOX / ALL WEEKEND
To celebrate the opening of the Tim Burton exhibition in their space, the Lightbox will be screening the filmmaker's entire body of work back-to-back in a 36-hour block that the official press release describes as "the ultimate endurance test of unadulterated Burton love." So now is your chance to see timeless classics like Beetlejuice, A Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands alongside the vacant-eyed CGI nonsense that is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and last year's abysmal Alice in Wonderland. But you take the good with the bad, right? Like watching Batman Returns for Michelle Pfeiffer's turn as the delightfully damaged Catwoman while skipping through Rhea Perlman's excruciating take on the Penguin. That was Rhea Perlman, right? Tickets for the Burton Blitz are $30. For less ambitious Burton fans, double bills will be also be available. Information is available at TIFF's site.
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 27 / BURLESQUE / SCOTIABANK & OTHERS / VARIOUS SHOWTIMES
This column is typically dedicated to indie cinema and art-house fare, but I couldn't help but throw in a mention to a big budget extravaganza that will be exploding onto screens this week like a glitter gun going off in Stanley Tucci's face. That's right, folks! Immortal recording artist/actress Cher and former Mouseketeer Christina Aguilera come together in film project so campy and over-the-top, it looks as if it were conceived on the back of a bar napkin at Woody's. The plot appears to be about a small-town performer (Aguilera) trying to make it in the big city by working as a waitress at a burlesque bar run by a sassy headliner (Cher), but is any of that really important? Get to the singing and dancing, ladies. The film also stars Alan Cumming, Eric "McSteamy" Dane, and Kristen Bell. Check the link below for showtimes and ticket prices.
Find more films to watch on the big screen in our Movie Listings section. There you'll find complete showtimes by movie and theatre as well as trailers and other info.
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