By Rick Davis
As awards season picks up steam, movies that have been in limited release are now going into more theatres this weekend.
The most prominent of these is I, Tonya, the unconventional dark comedy that is based upon the events surrounding Tonya Harding, Nancy Carrigan and the 1994 Winter Olympics. Anyone alive around that time could not escape the story of how Harding’s husband, Jeff Gillooly, orchestrated an attack on Kerrigan with the hopes of preventing her from competing and increase his wife’s chances. What makes the movie unique is it features interviews with the characters in a mockumentary-style and breaks down the “fourth wall” (meaning characters talk directly to the audience). Margot Robbie stars as Harding, Sebastian Stan plays Gillooly and Allison Janney is Harding’s mother in a performance that has already earned her a Golden Globe award for Best Supporting Actress. The movie was also nominated for Best Picture and Robbie was nominated for Best Actress, Musical or Comedy. It opens at Landmark Cinemas Grand 10.
Also opening this weekend at the Grand 10 is Phantom Thread, a historical drama set in London’s couture world of the 1950s. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Reynolds Woodcock, a renowned dressmaker to the royal family, film stars heiresses, socialites and debutantes. He is a confirmed bachelor who has many women coming and going in his life, providing him with inspiration and companionship until he meets Alma, a strong-willed woman who soon becomes his love and muse. Day-Lewis has already been nominated for the Best Dramatic Actor Golden Globe and the movie has numerous nominations and wins with film critics and several film festivals.
Although it has already played in Kelowna over the holiday season, you now get another chance to see Darkest Hour at Landmark Cinemas Xtreme starting this weekend. The critically acclaimed drama follows Winston Churchill and the events surrounding Hitler’s invasion of Britain in World War II. Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Churchill has already received the Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Actor and is nominated for a Screen Actor’s Guild Award. Darkest Hour is also nominated for nine British Academy Film Awards including Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress for Kristen Scott Thomas as Churchill’s wife Clementine.
Although Hostiles is not getting much awards attention, it is still a western that is getting some critical acclaim, particularly for star Christian Bale. Set in 1892, it tells the story of a legendary Army Captain (Bale), who reluctantly agrees to escort a dying Cheyenne war chief (Wes Studi) and his family back to tribal lands. On their perilous journey from New Mexico to Montana, the former enemies encounter a young widow (Rosamund Pike) whose family was murdered on the plains and together they must join forces to overcome life-threatening obstacles. Showing at the Grand 10, it holds a 74 per cent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
And finally, Chris Hemsworth stars in 12 Strong, a war drama that tells the story of CIA paramilitary officers and U.S. Special Forces sent to Afghanistan immediately after the September 11 attacks. It is playing both at the Grand 10 and Xtreme.