The recent release The Theory of Everything is a successful, audience-friendly biopic of both Mr. And Mrs. Genius. If you want a stark and grim look at the Old West, there’s Tommy Lee Jones’ feminist Western The Homesman.
I really don’t want anyone to miss the brilliant comedy about personal identity, Dear White People.
- The cinematically important and very funny Birdman; and
- The best Hollywood movie of 2014, the thriller Gone Girl, with a career-topping performance by Rosamund Pike.
- I liked the droll Swedish dramedy Force Majeure, which won an award at Cannes and is Sweden’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.
- J.K. Simmons is brilliant in the intense indie drama Whiplash, a study of motivation and abuse, ambition and obsession.
- Bill Murray’s funny and not too sentimental St. Vincent.
- I liked the meditatively paced nature documentary Pelican Dreams.
- If you’re in the mood for a brutal, brutal World War II tank movie, there’s Fury.
My DVD/Stream of the Week is the Dutch thriller Borgman, technically a horror film, but it’s horror for adults, without the gore and with lots of wit. I don’t often recommend a horror movie, but I’m all in on Borgman. Take it from me – you haven’t seen this movie before, and it’s endlessly entertaining. Borgman is available on DVD from Netflix and streaming from Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play and Xbox Video.
You really haven’t sampled film noir if you haven’t seen Out of the Past (1947), and it’s coming up on Turner Classic Movies on December 2. Perhaps the model of a film noir hero, Robert Mitchum plays a guy who is cynical, strong, smart and resourceful – but still a sap for the femme fatale…played by the irresistible Jane Greer.
And on December 3, TCM brings us another delightfully trashy gem from Sam Fuller, my favorite tabloid reporter turned Hollywood auteur, The Naked Kiss.