One of the best Canadian films of 2009 presents a double whammy — the acting prowess of veteran star Patricia Clarkson and the sultry visuals of director Ruba Nadda. Throw in the exotic locales of Egypt and a mature, cross-cultural romance and you’ve got a date movie for grown ups.
Conan O’Brien vs. Jay Leno
It’s probably too early to say, but this one’s got to be the biggest TV battle of the year. NBC’s cancelling Leno’s prime-time show to send him back to his old pre-midnight slot, currently held by O’Brien. Both hosts have taken potshots at their employer, but now they are turning on each other on camera. This well may be the career boost both of them needed.
Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert
The American writer’s previous book Eat, Pray, Love explored the author’s spiritual search in the wake of a broken relationship. The memoir went on to become a massive seller. Gilbert turns her skepticism on its head in her latest work, which tries to find out what makes marriages tick.
Tuper Tario Tros
Tetris meets Super Mario Bros. in this surprisingly entertaining online game. Here’s how it works: You start out in a regular Mario game replete with magic mushrooms and evil snails. But, you also have the option of crossing over to Tetris mid-game where your block-rocking prowess will determine what kind of obstacles the Italian plumber will have to tackle to make it to Princess Peach.
Contra: Vampire Weekend
Love ’em or hate ’em, you can’t ignore these Ivy League lads. The four-piece band rocked the indie world, and then some more, with their self-titled debut album. Now they are back with a second helping of their signature Afropop-New Wave-tinged rock. The Billboard No. 1 spot seems well within reach.
The White Ribbon
If the awards season puts you in the mood for some serious cinema, give this German film a shot. Winner of the top prize at Cannes last year, Michael Haneke’s latest work chronicles the strange occurrences inside an otherwise sleepy German village just before the First World War. In limited release, but should be at a theatre near you soon enough.
Golden Globe Awards
Oscars Lite? Call it what you will, but the Hollywood red carpet madness begins here. On the movies side, there are no clear frontrunners, but as far as TV goes, Mad Men has it locked up. Airs Sunday on CTV at 8 p.m. EST The show will be hosted by Ricky Gervais.