Weekend Openings (December 2-4)

Hope y’all enjoyed your Turkey Day last week, folks.  Now that your hangover is hopefully recovered, let’s take a look at what’s opening this weekend:

Well…um, that’s interesting.  No wide releases this weekend.  Oh well, that’s not so bad; the limited circuit has had two very sexually daring movies making their theatrical foreplay.  The more anticipated of the two is Steve McQueen’s Shame, about a sex addict whose life spins out of control when his troubled sister moves in with him.  The film has been acclaimed by critics – including our own John and Clayton – as a powerful, beautifully-directed cinematic gem with a tour de force performance by Volpi Cup-winner Michael Fassbender.  Such widespread kudos would be a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination were it not for one little problem: NC-17.  Yep, that dreaded MPAA rating usually spells doom for films trying to reach an audience, as it not only bars the film from being shown in most theaters but the label is often perceived as “pornographic” to mainstream audiences and conservative organizations like the Academy.  Then again, it appears as though this film could single-handedly bring back legitimacy to the sexually explicit drama, and AMPAS could reward that with a Best Actor nomination for the ubiquitous thespian.  Keep an eye out also for a Supporting Actress nod for Carey Mulligan if that happens.

Also in limited release is Sleeping Beauty, Julia Leigh’s directorial debut starring Emily Browning as a college student who enters into a, shall we say, “special” type of work.  Critics are more divided on this one.  Some describe it as an ethereal, subtly creepy masterpiece while others call the film morose, pretentious drivel.  Such mixed reactions to a sexually-driven elliptical movie will all but kill its Oscar chances.

Although some of us predicted that Michelle Yeoh would receive an Academy Award nomination, it looks like The Lady, Luc Besson’s biopic of Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi has been panned by critics as nothing more than an uninspired slog.

Hmm, not a lot this weekend it looks like.  Well, what a perfect opportunity to catch up on what you’ve missed this season and giving us your thoughts on them!