Welcome back to my Home Movies! This week, we have a handful of very different films competing for top honors. Today, you can pick up the charming iMordecai, the demented Infinity Pool, and the Bill Nighy acting showcase Living. There’s also a top notch Criterion Collection release. What came out on top? Read on to find out…
Joey’s Top Pick
Bill Nighy got a Best Actor nomination at the Oscars for his work in Living, and once you see it, you’ll understand why. He’s phenomenal and understated in the best way. I spoke to Nighy here about the performance (as well as costume designer Sandy Powell here), so definitely give my chat with him a look. Plus, out of the Toronto International Film Festival, this here is some of what I had to say about the movie itself:
For a full nine months, Living and I were playing film festival phone tag. First, it debuted at the Sundance Film Festival back in January. More recently, the movie played at both the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. TIFF is where it finally happened for me, and to be sure, the lead performance is worth all of the praise given to it in 2022. That aspect is so on point, the slow nature of the rest of the flick is more than forgivable. Playing at Toronto, it’s an adequate enough character study, but one with the character in question going above and beyond.
Living is the Bill Nighy show. He’s doing a ton here, while also keeping it incredibly subtle. Nighy is completely on point with the tone of the film, which asks you to have a lot of patience. Those willing to put in the time with this movie will have that investment rewarded, but it’s certainly a work that lives and dies with its leading man turn.
Also Available This Week
One Fine Morning
Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb
The Fisher King
From The Criterion Collection: “A fairy tale grounded in poignant reality, Terry Gilliam’s magnificent, Manhattan-set The Fisher King features Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams in two of their most brilliant roles. Bridges plays a former radio shock jock reconstructing his life after a scandal, and Williams a homeless man on a quest for the Holy Grail—which he believes to be hidden somewhere on the Upper East Side. Unknowingly linked by their pasts, the two men aid each other on a fanciful journey toward their own humanity. This singular American odyssey features a witty script by Richard LaGravenese, evocative cinematography by Roger Pratt, and superb supporting performances by Amanda Plummer and an Oscar-winning Mercedes Ruehl, all harnessed by Gilliam into a compassionate, funny modern-day myth.”
Stay tuned for more next week…