The Intern / The Walk/ Suffragette

At the top of the month, The Intern (October 2), starring Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro as comically mismatched buds and – thankfully – not creepily mismatched lovers. Phew.

The story has a distinct real-life resonance about it: seventy year-old retired writer Jack (De Niro) decides he doesn’t like being retired and decides to get back in the game any way he can. With no humiliation too great (Little Fockers), no premise too pointless (Last Vegas) to be considered, he ends up as a “senior” intern working for Wintour-ish fashion maven Jules Ostin (Hathaway).

Beyond the terrifying idea that, since the retirement age keeps being raised, we all might end up as septuagenarian interns one day, the movie is a safe effort from some capable pros.

Next up, vertigo-inducing terror in the form of The Walk (October 9), based on the real-life adventures of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit.

Well, specifically one adventure: his 1974 “walk” on a tightrope spanning the World Trade Centre towers. The event has already thoroughly documented, thanks to Petit’s 2002 book ‘To Reach The Clouds’ and the acclaimed 2008 documentary (Man on Wire) based upon it.

So the story is thus: ambitious French tightrope walker Petit (Joseph Gordon Levitt) who sets his mind to a fantastically dangerous task and – zut alors! – he means to achieves it, or plummet to his death trying. If every heist movie ever made has taught us anything, it’s that arranging an illegal stunt requires a crew of talented, yet eccentric misfits. And so Petit, the misfits, his girlfriend and mentor (Ben Kingsley) set about making his beau rêve a beau réalité.

Almost as terrifying as the gravity-defying action, is Levitt’s nation-defying French accent. To be fair, it is a note-perfect imitation of Petit’s own accent, but it’s so French, it’s a little too Pepe La Pew (or Petit Le Pew).

Finally this month, Suffragette (October 30), single-handedly redressing Hollywood’s gender casting imbalance by stocking the cast with some of the best acting talent around (including Helena Bonham Carter, the ever-excellent Anne Marie Duff and even a Meryl Streep cameo).

The story covers the fraught battle to secure votes for women, by means of domestic, civil and political disobedience, seen through the experiences of Maud (Carey Mulligan). ‘Maud’ as a name neatly encapsulates the misery of a late 19th/ early 20th century existence, aptly conjuring visions of poverty, inequity and tuberculosis.

For many viewers this will be their first brush with the suffragette story since the mother in Mary Poppins marched out of the front door sporting a ‘votes for women’ sash after leaving the kids with a magical stranger. And though Suffragette is less colourful, it is almost certainly more accurate and has the bonus feature of containing 100% less Dick Van Dyke.


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