Movie of the Week: ‘Two Days, One Night’

With millions and millions out of work, AHFW looks to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s gripping masterpiece about one woman’s (Marion Cotillard) struggle to keep her job in “Two Days, One Night” (2014). “Two Days, One Night” (2014) – Rightfully nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, Marion Cotillard plays Sandra, a woman in dire emotional and financial stress.  Her employer lets her go (under conflicting circumstances), but she reluctantly fights to keep her job and pleads her case to 16 co-workers over the course of a weekend.  Writers/directors Jean-Pierre and Luc…

Movie of the Week: ‘Waking Ned Devine’

Do you need an escape?  With COVID still disrupting nearly everything these days, why not virtually get away to Ireland?  Tullymore, actually, and you can meet Jackie, Michael and the whole town in “Waking Ned Devine” (1999).  This hilarious and heartwarming comedy is AHFW’s Movie of the Week! “Waking Ned Devine” (1998) –  In the little Irish town of Tullymore (population: 52), someone won the national lottery!  But who?  Jackie (Ian Bannen) did not strike gold, but he hopes that the lucky ticket holder will share some of the winnings…

Movie of the Week: ‘Shadow of the Vampire’

AHFW takes a trippy trip to 2000 and a look back at E. Elias Merhige’s highly memorable “Shadow of the Vampire” starring Willem Dafoe and John Malkovich.  Merhige’s flick is part-drama, part-comedy and part-horror, as it retells director F.W. Murnau’s (Malkovich) making of “Nosferatu” (1922).  The wrinkle is that Murnau personally hires actor Max Schreck (Dafoe) to play Count Orlok, but this unknown thespian displays bizarre behavior and – for some reason – never removes his makeup. Mmm, it makes you think that maybe….. Well, don’t speculate, we recommend that…

Movie of the Week: ‘Toni Erdmann’

AHFW’s Movie of the Week reaches across the pond to Germany and the Oscar-nominated “Toni Erdmann” (2016).  Who is Toni Erdmann?  Well, no character in the movie is officially named Toni Erdmann, but Winfried (Peter Simonischek) – a father desperately seeking attention from his daughter Ines (Sandra Huller) – actually creates an alter-ego with the said moniker. Really?  Yes, and AHFW not only thinks that Huller deserved the 2016 Best Actress Oscar, but director Maren Ade’s picture is one of the very best of the decade! Here’s our full review:…

Movie of the Week: ‘In the Bedroom’

“In the Bedroom” (2001) – AHFW’s Movie of the Week is Todd Field’s remarkable directorial debut “In the Bedroom” starring Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Marisa Tomei, and Nick Stahl. Set in a New England small town, Matt and Ruth Fowler (Wilkinson, Spacek) live a happy life, and their son Frank (Stahl) is home for the summer after his college graduation.   Frank has big plans – which please his parents – but starts a relationship with an older woman Natalie (Tomei), and his future designs may lie with her, a single…

Movie of the Week: ‘Mustang’

AHFW’S Movie of the Week takes a trip halfway around the world.  Turkey is the setting for director/co-writer Denize Gamze Erguven’s heartbreaking, Oscar-nominated drama about the perilous fate of five sisters in “Mustang”. “Mustang” (2015) – “Time misspent in youth is sometimes all the freedom one ever has” – Anita Brookner. For five, giggling, likable sisters – raised by their grandmother and ranging in ages between (about) 9 and 16 – they misspend their time like any group of schoolgirls.  On one fateful day, Selma (Tugba Sungur), Sonay (Ilayda Akdagun),…

Movie of the Week: ‘Rush’

Have you driven a Formula One car?   No, we haven’t either, but since they hit speeds of 200 mph, it must be a rush! In 2013, director Ron Howard and his producers perfectly Christ Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl as real-life 1970s Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda in “Rush”, a truly spectacular sports film. In fact, Bruhl’s portrayal of Lauda was the single best performance that our critic Jeff Mitchell saw that year, so there’s no time like the present to feature “Rush” as AHFW’s Movie of the…

Just Because Wednesday, Movies at Home: ‘Les Diaboliques’

The cover-up is worse than the crime. Isn’t that what public relations specialists always say? Well, it applies when a politician commits adultery, but what if John or Jane Q. Citizen murders someone?  The crime is bad enough on its own, but in “Les Diaboliques” (1955), the immediate cover-up morphs into something else: unbearable paranoia and a deep mystery. Well, it’s no mystery that AHFW features one of our favorite movies every Wednesday…just because!  This week, we’re going back in time 65 years and jumping across the pond to France…