The Week in Film: Dickens of a Time edition

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Just two new ones this week, which means you can catch up with last week’s goodies.

In Theaters

Great Expectations (Main Street Films)

Great Expectations
(Main Street Films)

Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations gets a fresh look in this traditional telling from Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireFour Weddings and a Funeral).  For those like me who are familiar with Dickens but haven’t exactly read that much of his work, it’s the story of Pip (War Horse‘s Jeremy Irvine), an apprentice blacksmith who rises to London gentleman status thanks to an unnamed benefactor.  Turning to his HP friends for support, Newell has assembled an impressive supporting cast, including Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch, and Robbie Coltrane as Jaggers, plus Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky), David Walliams (Little Britain), Ewan Bremner (Match Point), and Jason Flemyng (Snatch).  Not just for classic literature aficionados, it’s eye-catching, well-acted film and far from dry.  Recommended!

Blue is the Warmest Color (IFC Films)

Blue is the Warmest Color
(IFC Films)

Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Blue is the Warmest Color makes its way to town.   Abdellatif Kechiche’s three hour (?!?!!) film centers on the relationship between Adéle (Adéle Exarchopolous) and Emma (Léa Seydoux), whose doings include multiple graphic sex scenes, enough to warrant an NC-17 rating (WNC’s first since Killer Joe!).  For every accolade the film has received, it’s seemingly taken an equal number of off-screen hits, ranging from accusations that Kechiche mistreated his cast and broke union regulations to slams by his cast and the source material’s author that his presentation of the sex scenes as a straight man is exploitative.  I’ll do my best to block out those side issues while watching the film, during which I’ll have enough going on in the bladder control department.

Fleeing the Scene

When Saoirse Ronan (it’s OK to let out a collective “Who?”) and “from the director of The Last King of Scotland” are your biggest draws, it’s no wonder How I Live Now lasted a sole week.  It’s the only goner, though Enough Said is likely on its last legs at the Carolina.


David Gordon Green frees himself from his Apatowian bonds with Prince Avalanche, an artsy, interesting film of two men (Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch) doing road work after a late ’80s Texas fire.  Also of the artsy persuasion is Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, which gets the Criterion treatment and which I wanted to like more (though I’ll give it another try).

Elsewhere, once was enough for Man of Steel and now that Free Birds is out, Turbo may no longer claim the title of Year’s Worst Animated Film, but winning the silver medal in that competition is nothing to brag about, either.

On Netflix Instant

Two good ones from last year (Skyfall; Robot & Frank) and both one good (What Maisie Knew) and bad (Dead Man Down) from this year top the bill along with this week’s dependable title (Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl).

Other 2013 possibilities include a tournament between machines (Computer Chess); an ad man who starts speaking in slogans (And Now a Word from Our Sponsor); Kristen Bell having a pre-30something crisis (Lifeguard), astronauts visiting one of Jupter’s moons (Europa Report); and Adrien Brody, Lindsay Lohan, Michelle Rodriguez, and Rob Schneider expressing their displeasure with being omitted from Movie 43 with their own unfortunate sketch film (InAPPropriate Comedy).

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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