In cinemas this week – The Hateful Eight (digital release) and The Danish Girl.
The Hateful Eight – Set after Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jessica Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new Sheriff.
Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces. Bob (Demian Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and Confederate General Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travellers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all.
As of Thursday 21st January the Special Roadshow Engagement, presented in 70mm at selected cinemas in NSW and Victoria, will be over. Viewers will only be able to watch the digital presentation, which is 22 minutes shorter and doesn’t feature the overture or an interval. I can only comment on my experience with the film, which was tremendous. QT’s most political film to date is an agitating, ferocious, nasty piece of work, sure to divide people. The film’s two distinct halves are widely different, but both offend and entertain in equal measure. The claustrophobic setting is made to look exceptionally larger than it actually is and Ennio Morricone’s chilling score will rattle around in your brain for days afterwards. Jennifer Jason Leigh a stand-out from a brilliant cast of Tarantino regulars.
The Danish Girl – A fictitious love story inspired by the lives of artists Einer and Gerda Wegener. Their marriage and work evolve as they navigate Einer’s groundbreaking journey as a transgender pioneer, Lili Elbe. This is the new film from Tom Hooper (known for odious films like The King’s Speech and Les Miserables), and stars Alicia Vikander and Eddie Redmayne, Oscar nominated for their roles.
Weekly Recommendation: The Hateful Eight, but I suspect if you are film fan in either Sydney or Melbourne you have already seen it (last week). Carol and The Big Short are very worthy of a re-watch. The Danish Girl has scored some Oscar nominations – so we’ll be seeing purely out of interest in the performances.