Movie Blog: This Week’s Best Bets

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Eric Henderson Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson joined the WCCO.COM web team in June 2006 and currently...
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It’s Election week. Depending on your position, you may find yourself either in a celebratory mood or in dire need of some escapism. What better way to put a cherry on top of a victory or to rub some salve on freshly torn political wounds than to take in a movie?

Here are some of the best screening options for the next seven days:

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Monday, Nov. 5: How to Marry a Millionaire (Riverview Theater)

No, it’s not a documentary about Ann Romney. (Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week … unless I get fired for making a political joke in the movie blog.) Marilyn Monroe capped off a very materialistic 1953 with this comedic romp, directed with all the subtlety of a battleship in ultrawide CinemaScope. Monroe shares the screen with Lauren Bacall and Betty Grable (who you may recall looking over her shoulder in every WWII G.I.’s favorite pinup) in a sort of gold-diggers’ On the Town triptych. Monroe’s fetching Pola does sincere psychological battle with the accursed pair of glasses she knows will make rich men pass her over, but that’s the least of the movie’s schematic-romantic complications.

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Monday, Nov. 5 through Wednesday, Nov. 7: Beasts of the Southern Wild (Riverview Theater)

Did you miss this one when it was in theaters early last summer? It was possibly the single best-reviewed movie of the year up to that point, and remains one of the few films from 2012 pre-September that’s still figuring into most conversations about this year’s Oscar nominations, especially (then) 6-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis’s performance as Hushpuppy, daughter of single father Wink (an equally impressive Dwight Henry). The two live in the Louisiana bayou until danger approaches vis-à-vis the onset of a Hurricane Katrina stand-in. And then things start getting all Maurice Sendak in their neighborhood.

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Tuesday, Nov. 6: Knuckleball! (Trylon Microcinema)

Monday night’s screening of this week’s Trylon Premieres selection is already sold out, so if you want to catch it, you’ll have to sacrifice watching the election returns. (And, oh, how I envy those of you who make that decision.) Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg’s new documentary takes a look at pitchers Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey as they explore their wheelhouse pitch, the knuckleball. In this very sabermetrics/Nate Silver election year, there’s something sort of suggestive about the Trylon’s description of “baseball’s slowest, least predictable and most disrespected pitch.”

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Thursday, Nov. 7: My Dinner with Andre (Lagoon Theater)

Politically speaking, many would say minds are usually changed most effectively through simple, direct communication between two people. To that end, we could all probably take a lesson from My Dinner with Andre, a 1980s art-house staple and an enduring cheap punchline to thousands of stand-up comedians. The movie stars Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory as two old friends catching up at a long dinner. Throughout their conversations, they come to make realizations about themselves they wouldn’t have recognized without the guidance of an observing party. It’s 110 minutes of non-start action.

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Friday, Nov. 9: Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (Trylon Microcinema)

I can do no better than to quote one Letterboxd user‘s one-sentence review: “A drug crazed lunatic slowly kills children in front of their parents one by one.”

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