Movie Mondays: Your Christmas Hangover Cure
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Movie Mondays: Your Christmas Hangover Cure

As a means of rounding up Toronto’s various cinematic goings-on each week, Movie Mondays compiles the best rep cinema and art house screenings, special presentations, lectures, and limited engagements.
Boo-hoo-hoo, Christmas is over. Wah, wah, wah. Now it’s just plain old stupid cold winter. Get used to it. But you know what winter’s great for? Movies! So cash that fourteen-dollar cheque your grandma gave you and take a date to the ol’ rep house. This week, choose from the silliness of Monty Python, the not-quite-timeliness of Tim Burton, that Facebook Movie you keep hearing about, and the best commercials from around the world.

The Royal (608 College Street)

mm_royal.jpg As respectable, sensible, serious purveyors of cinematic recommendations we cannot, in good conscience, advise you to attend the free screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail at The Royal at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 27. Quite simply, the film is just too silly. Grown men prancing around in medieval period garb, clacking together coconuts to approximate a horse’s gallop? Murderous bunny rabbits? Explications on why the Earth is banana-shaped? Enchanters named Tim? Far, far too silly.
And did we mention the screening is absolutely free? How does this theatre expect to turn a profit screening such silliness for free? Their business model is itself silly! And while we shan’t abide such silliness, we’re sure anyone with a taste for the goofy would have a fine, if far too silly, time.

The Lightbox (350 King Street West)

mm_lightbox.jpg ‘Twas three nights after Christmas and…uh…hell, we’re no good at this. In any event, three nights after Christmas, The Lightbox is screening The Nightmare Before Christmas as part of its ongoing run of Tim Burton movies (yes, yes, we know, Tim Burton didn’t direct Nightmare but it’s his, like, vision or whatever). Three days after Christmas may seem like an odd time to watch a movie that’s kind-of about the holiday season. But really, it’s not.
As a holiday film, Nightmare has always occupied this weird space between Halloween and Christmas. (Our American friends call this space “Thanksgiving.” We don’t have a word for it.) The film’s spookiness puts it closer to the Halloween camp. But its weird respect for Christmas makes it seems more like a Christmas movie. It’s just proof that The Nightmare Before Christmas is fun any time of year, including a few days after Christmas. So put on your best Jack Skellington wristlets and shuffle over to the Lightbox on Tuesday, December 28 at 1:15 and 6 p.m..

The Bloor (506 Bloor Street West)

mm_bloor.jpg In cinema, Cannes is most commonly associated with le Festival de Cannes, the annual glitzy and prestigious fest that unofficially kicks of festival season, bringing diverse panels of judges to the south of France to hand out awards to the best and most creative films from around the globe. But did you know that Cannes also hands out awards for commercials? It’s true, you know! And every year, The Bloor makes a habit of rounding up the winners of the Cannes Lions International Festival for Creativity and packaging them together as one nifty screening.
North America is perhaps pretty dry in terms of creative commercials—though ads for far-flung places like Montgomery Flea Market and Mr. Sprigg’s BBQ have become online memes—but the rest of the world apparently puts a lot of effort into their hocking their wares. Maybe it’s a harder sell getting French people to buy condoms, or convincing Germans to drink soft drinks that will render them sluggish and inefficient. Whatever the case, there are some seriously funny and ingenious commercials out there, and watching them may give you a little perspective on how low our consumer culture has sunk. (Seriously, we’re about five years off from advertisements just being the barebones consumerist propaganda from They Live). The Bloor hosts The Best of the 2010 Cannes Lions Awards at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 29.

The Fox (2236 Queen Street East)

mm_fox.jpg Now that David Fincher’s The Social Network (or, more commonly, “The Facebook Movie”) is clean-sweeping its way through all the annual critics’ awards, including the Toronto Film Critics Association, it’s high time you see it if you haven’t already. It’s really pretty good: a whip-smart, quick-witted, and mature look at male relationships and hubris, built around the website that redefined the way we interact (or at least the way we lecherously scan through photos of a friend of a friend’s grad trip to Cuba in 2006).
Furthermore, The Social Network boasts all kinds of good performances, from Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and especially Armie Hammer. It’s also a shoo-in for all kinds of accolades come awards season, and now’s as good a time as any to see what all the fuss is about. “The Facebook Movie” screens at 9 p.m. on Thursday, December 30 at The Fox. (Coming soon: Facebook The Movie The Ride!)

Illustrations by Clayton Hanmer/Torontoist.