Published Dec 03, 2010If you're planning a trip to the cinema in the midst of your Christmas shopping and holiday party shenanigans, make sure to drop by the Exclaim! Recently Reviewed section to check out this week's theatrical releases and look back at some movies you might have missed this year.
After doing the film festival circuit and garnering much-deserved buzz, Black Swan (pictured), Darren Aronofsky's follow-up to the critically acclaimed The Wrestler, swoops into theatres this week. Detailing the ritual and self-punishment of determined dancer Nina (Natalie Portman) as she ramps up for a production of Swan Lake, this psychological horror and ode to feminine transformation channels the subtle eeriness of Roman Polanski, according to our reviewer.
If this isn't your cup of tea, maybe it's time to take a trip to the second-run cinemas to catch up on some titles you might have missed this year.
On the documentary front, we have Marwencol, which explores the world of socially anxious photographer Mark Hogancamp from a life-altering brutal beating all the way up to his New York gallery show. For something lighter, read our review of Winnebago Man, the "sly, wry" documentary that focuses its energy on RV salesman Jack Rebney, whose propensity for invective-laden freak-outs made him a pre-YouTube video sensation.
For a little Christian-versus-pagan, sword-and-sandal madness, you might want to check out Agora. Starring Rachel Weisz as a teacher and astronomer in 4th century CE Egypt, this epic tale juxtaposes cosmos exploration with religious turmoil and strife, reflecting on progress derailed by ideological conflict. And it's not the only film featuring a strong female lead to be overlooked this year, since the Tilda Swinton-led I Am Love, about a Milanese housewife whose life is uprooted when a new house chef triggers dormant passions, was seen only by niche art-house viewers.
If visceral, propulsive cinema is your preference, you might want to look for the twisty British thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed, wherein rising star Gemma Arterton is kidnapped by two men for clandestine reasons, or Rodrigo Cortes's Buried, wherein Ryan Reynolds spends 90 minutes in a coffin.
Last, but not least, we recommend checking out the lauded Australian crime drama, Animal Kingdom, which boasts intense performances and a sharp, devastating story of survival in the exceedingly complicated, but similar, world of career criminals and law enforcers. Also noteworthy is award-season hopeful, Winter's Bone, where a tough-as-nails Jennifer Lawrence takes a dangerous journey through hillbilly Ozark country to find her missing, possibly murdered, father.
Read these film reviews and more over at the Exclaim.ca Recently Reviewed section.