Flick Picks 3/6/2015: Foxcatcher, Outlander

A very quiet week for new releases, with Foxcatcher and the first season of the series Outlander.  If you're like me, this is a time to pare down that tower of videos awaiting you on the DVD player (in your Netflix queue, on Hulu...).  You might also want to catch up on some fine, recently-released films from 2014 that can be found among our new DVDs.

FOXCATCHER

One of the better films of 2014, Foxcatcher is based on true events.  John Eleuthere du Pont, he of the very elite family, convinced Olympic wrestlers Mark and Dave Schultz to join his Foxcatcher wrestling team in the late 1980's.  Eventually, the relationship between patron and athletes went very bad.  Nearly unrecognizable behind a lot of makeup and a prosthetic nose, Steve Carrel's Oscar-nominated performance was one of the year's best, playing the disturbed scion of the du Pont family.  Nearly as good, Channing Tatum does what might be the best work of his career as the younger Schultz brother with a very big chip on his shoulder.  Foxcatcter is a chilling, arresting story that's full of substance.  Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball) directs.

Have you seen Pride?  Ida?    

If Foxcatcher leaves your faith in humanity in need of a bolster, you might want to check out Pride.  Based on much more encouraging true events, Pride dramatizes the unlikely alliance of striking Welsh coal miners and gay rights activists from London in Margaret Thatcher's Britain of the 1980's.  A very appealing cast includes Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West and Paddy Considine.  If you're looking for a a feel-good film, look no farther.

A deserving winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film, Ida is another story of seeming opposites united.  In the case of Ida, a young novitiate nun seeks out her very wordly aunt in 1950's Poland, to experience life outside the convent walls and determine what happened to the rest of their family during World War II.  Beautifully shot in black and white, Ida is one of the most memorable films of 2014.  

Coming soon:  Hunger Games, Mockingjay, Part 1, The Theory of Everything, The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

OUTLANDER, Season 1

Based on the fictional series by the fantasy favorite, Diana Gabaldon, Outlander is the fanciful tale of World War II nurse Claire Beauchamp Randall transported back in time to 1743 Scotland.  Already an audience favorite, Outlander promises quality escapism from the persistent winter.

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