Often, writers who craft festival "Must See!" lists present their selections with irrefutable authority. It's generally useful for readers who are attempting to navigate the endless stream of concerts/art/films with their limited time and budget.
But with dozens of interesting movies slated to run at the Whistler Film Festival this week, we here at the Pique are simply offering our suggestions for five films we think are worth seeing. We balanced star power, reviews, plot and buzz factor to provide you with a wide range that represents the best of what the festival has to offer.
It is not a definitive list, but rather a starting point to encourage you to take advantage of the impressive selection that ranges from indie comedy to animation, documentary and indie hits. And if you see any standout films during the festival be sure to let us — and fellow readers — know on our Facebook page (facebook.com/piquenewsmagazine) or on Twitter (@piquenews). Happy movie watching!
What it's about: Adapted from a successful Quebec TV series that ran from 1996 to 1999, the big screen version of Omerta tells the story of a mob plot to smuggle fake gold from North American banks, using a restaurant as a front for their illicit dealings. Enter Sophie, a blonde, vivacious former secret agent who's hired to go undercover and investigate the mob, winning the affection of a mobster along the way.
Why you should see it: Quebec cinema has been one of that province's best-kept secrets for far too long. Canadian film buffs might be well aware of all the excellent French flicks coming out of La Belle Province, but mainstream audiences are missing out, big time. This film has already been deemed the second highest-grossing Canadian movie of the year, but its screening at WFF marks its English debut.
Who's in it: Get a taste of some of Quebec's big-name talent in this movie, which stars Michel Côte (C.R.A.Z.Y., the Omerta TV series) and Patrick Huard (Bon Cop, Bad Cop, Starbuck) along with Celine Dion's husband/manager, Rene Angelil, whose stern look seems tailor-made for the role of mob boss. Adding Hollywood cache, Rachelle Lefevre also acted in the Twilight series.
Fun fact: Before the action begins, the film informs audiences that the seemingly far-fetched scheme was actually attempted in the mid-90s, according to a review from Examiner.com. "As far as mob-movies go, Omerta stands on its own thanks to its original and complicated plot, but also thanks to the performances," the reviewer writes.
When/where: Dec. 1, 9:30 p.m. at Whistler Conference Centre Screen B
What it's about: There's no shortage of films, books and stories on the lore of Marilyn Monroe. But in this documentary director Liz Garbus set out to put the star in context, as a real person, using newly uncovered documents, diaries and letters she acquired. Garbus rounded up an all-star cast of actresses to read the material in an attempt to paint an accurate portrait of the enduring sex symbol.