News Column

The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va., Lindsey Fleming column

September 12, 2013

YellowBrix

Sept. 12--WITH THE TORONTO International Film Festival under way, and Oscar buzz building for many of the movies and actors featured, my favorite season for films has begun.

As the light in the sky fades faster, with fall upon us, so too do the bright, shiny tentpoles make way for films with premises that take darker turns.

Here are a few movies I can't wait to check out:

"12 Years a Slave" -- Whereas Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" took on the subject of slavery with the director's traditionally controversial tone, critics thus far have no qualms with this historical drama dealing with the same topic. Based on the true account of a free man sold into slavery, many reviewers are already saying Steve McQueen's latest effort starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender is a shoo-in for Best Picture.

"Dallas Buyers Club" -- Praise is also being heaped on Jared Leto's supporting performance as Rayon, a transsexual drug addict dealing with AIDS, in "Dallas Buyers Club." Matthew Mc-Conaughey stars as Ron Woodroof, a man who, upon being diagnosed with the virus, seeks out alternative treatments. He then begins illegally smuggling the drugs into the United States and distributing them.

"Hateship Loveship" -- Best known for her stint on "S N L" and leading role in the 2011 summer hit "B r i d e s m a i d s, " there's no doubt Kristen Wiig has comedic chops. But with "Hateship Loveship" the funny woman is seeking to prove she can tackle dramatic parts as well. Adapted from a short story written by the superb Alice Munro , the film centers around Wigg's Johanna Parry. The shy caregiver is the victim of a cruel prank orchestrated by the granddaughter of the man she tends to for her new job.

"You Are Here" -- Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis attached to a roadtrip tale does not normally make for a must-see movie in my book. However, finding out said buddy comedy is the passion project and feature-length directorial debut of "Mad Men's" Matthew Weiner gets my attention. Only time will tell if "Yo u Are Here" can keep it.

Rom-com vets leave safety of genre

"Devil's Knot" and "Life of Crime" have more in common than the fact that both center around lawless behavior. The first takes on the West Memphis Three case, while the latter revolves around a kidnapping; and both star women known for traditionally lighter film fare. In "Devil's Knot," Reese Witherspoon plays the mother of a murder victim, while Jennifer Aniston stars as the kidnappee in "Life of Crime." And I, for one, am excited to see these talented ladies show they can do more than master the meet-cute.

LINDSEY FLEMING is a writer/copy editor for The Dominion Post. Email her at lfleming@dominionpost.com.

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