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Arty Chick’s Seven Picks: Week 10

This week is heavy on movies about couples. They include rom-coms and complicated relationship stories, and the characters range from criminals to musicians to politicians, from kings to bakers. The genres include classic dramas, and film noir, and brilliant satire. And there’s a good dollop of sex, for good measure.

They’re mostly from the 80s and 90s, though one is from the 60s. And something they all (except one) have in common is that they were nominated for a lot of Oscars, and won quite a few.

 

The films are: Moonstruck, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Body Heat, Nashville, Out of Sight, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and The Lion in Winter

Snowden

Unless you never watch the news or have been hiding under a rock for several years, you’ve probably heard of Edward Snowden. A gripping documentary called Citizen Four was made about him in 2013 and won the 2015 Oscar. Here’s what I said about that film:

In January of 2013, filmmaker Laura Poitras began receiving emails from a mysterious person who only identified himself as “citizenfour” and who had information about US government surveillance on a scale unheard of in history. A few months later, after a number of encrypted email exchanges, Poitras headed to Hong Kong along with journalist Glenn Greenwald to meet the sender. The rest is history. Waiting for them in a hotel room was Edward Snowden who would hand them evidence of massive citizen surveillance and data mining by the NSA and other government agencies, and would expose our global cyber-spy program.

Oliver Stone’s new movie Snowden begins in that hotel with Poitras (Melissa Leo) and Greenwald (Zachary Quinto) and flashes back to Snowden’s (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) tortured path to this clandestine meeting. The film succeeds in telling its story without becoming a typical Oliver Stone polemic. Whether that is a good or bad thing is up to you.

Kick-Ass

What a quirky little film! From the previews I was expecting more of a comedy, but in fact, Kick-Ass is a teenage angst Tarantino action film gone awry. In it, three main stories converge. In one you have the nerdy comic book reading teenage boy, Dave (Aaron Johnson), who wants to be bigger than life and concocts a superhero persona for himself named Kick-Ass. In another thread a father (Nicolas Cage) trains his 11-year-old daughter (Chloe Moretz) to be his action heroine sidekick in order to exact revenge on the man who ruined their lives. The third storyline is about the big mob boss villain of the piece, Frank (Mark Strong) whose son, the same age as Dave, is desperate for his father’s approval and invents his own comic book identity as Red Mist to try and trap the other superheroes.