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Good Friday good flicks

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For those of you who find the gift of some downtime in your Easter Basket or your Easter Egg or even with your Chocolate Bilby, we thought we’d recommend a few movies you can watch.

Netflix tip from maeshelle:

The Longest Week

Director: Peter Glanz

Writers: Peter Glanz (screenplay),  Peter Glanz (story) | Juan Iglesias (story)

Stars: Jason Bateman,  Olivia Wilde,  Billy Crudup | See full cast & crew

I really liked Jason Bateman in this. I had never seen him play a character like this. Frankly, there are few characters like this one anyway. Arthur springs to mind, but it’s not really that kind of movie at all. It also harkens to Rock Hudson (whom I adore) in Pillow Talk. Still, it’s not really like that either. These are just allusions that endear the movie to me. But it’s more than his character – I absolutely love the sets, wardrobe and make-up! But on a deeper level, I love the commentary on spoiled little rich kids and their role in the cultural elite…and boys who never grow up.

DVD tip from Christijan:

The East

Director: Zal Batmanglij | Writers: Zal Batmanglij,  Brit Marling

Stars: Brit Marling,  Alexander Skarsgård,  Ellen Page | See full cast & crew

To those contemplating the world in its present woe and trembling, all the recent terrorism in Brussels and the ongoing stupidity of American politics, I recommend watching The East.It is a little-known film but a refreshing one. It follows Sarah Moss, a former FBI agent who has been recently hired by a private intelligence company to infiltrate a group of Eco-terrorists called – I’m sure you guessed it – The East.Beyond the wonderful cast (Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Patricia Clarkson), what I like most about that film and the reason I keep returning to it, time and time again is that the so-called terrorists are not really terrorists nor are all the business people and corporations they target truly evil. Since we are so saturated by the media–manipulated checkerboard vision of good and evil, this film allows you to dwell in a modulated grey sphere to experience all the characters and their agendas. Some aspects may make you feel uncomfortable, but the film still comes highly, highly recommend. Wait for the silver lining of hope in the end.

Cinema tip from Ana:

Spotlight

Director: Tom McCarthy

Writers: Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams | See full cast & crew

Michael Keaton has had the privilege of playing in two Best Picture Oscar winners in a row while contributing significantly to both. In the first one, Birdman (2014), he was the clear protagonist, lending his washed-up superhero a depth Batman in his tight Hollywood armor could only dream of. In the second one, Spotlight (2015), there was no clear protagonist. On the contrary, Keaton was part of a team of actors that worked as a unit and in which – in my opinion – nobody strived to outshine one another, although both Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams were nominated for an Oscar for their supporting roles. Both their parts in Spotlight – as investigative reporters – were a far (and refreshing) cry from their continued stints in romantic flicks, and I’m hoping this will pave the way for more multifaceted roles for them in Hollywood. In fact, there is no romance in Spotlight, a movie based on the real story of a team of journalists from The Boston Globe who finally had the courage to investigate Catholic priests’ abuses of children in their native parishes and made a huge impact with it, claiming victory beyond the Pulitzer. The movie shows us that these journalists have families, partners and their own personal dramas without dwelling on the topics; it is more rather facilitated to contextualize how difficult it is for them to dig into the issue at a time when their lives (and important people in them) are so intertwined with and controlled by the Catholic Church. I was expecting there to be more action, intrigue and threat, but what actually makes the movie special is its restraint. With most of the “action” taking place in a newsroom and archives, with a few interviews with victims and persistent pursuit of lawyers and church figures thrown in, the movie lets the topic at hand speak for itself. And with this, it honors just what excellent journalism is supposed to be.

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