Around the remote

Israeli movies, the best Sherlock, international women and more.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (photo credit: Courtesy)
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson
(photo credit: Courtesy)
It’s almost time for the Oscars – which will be broadcast live on both HOT and YES at 2 a.m. on March 3 (or 4 p.m. on March 2 if you’re in Hollywood) – and it’s actually surprising that Israel doesn't have a film in the running in any category this year. In spite of that fact, the Israeli film industry has come so far in the past 15 years that Channel 1 is celebrating by airing two of the films that led off this Golden Age of Israeli cinema. Keren Yedaya’s 2004 film Or will be broadcast on February 28 at 9:30 p.m. on Channel 1 and will also be shown on Channel 511 in HD. The film, which won the Camera d’Or Prize in Cannes, is a portrait of an AIDS-infected prostitute in Tel Aviv and her teenage daughter, and it stars Ronit Elkabetz and Dana Ivgy.
On March 7 at 9:30 p.m., Channel 1 and Channel 511 will air A Late Marriage, Dover Kosashvilli’s story of Georgian parents who are pressuring their son (Lior Ashkenazi), a graduate student, to marry a nice Georgian girl rather than the divorcee (Ronit Elkabetz) he loves.
Both films are in Hebrew (A Late Marriage has some Georgian dialogue) and will be shown with Hebrew titles.
And speaking of Oscars again, 12 Years a Slave is expected to be one of the big winners this year, and it co-stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the more sympathetic of several slave owners who exploit Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a black musician who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. But Cumberbatch is best known for playing Sherlock Holmes on TV in Sherlock, the British 21st-century adaptation of the famed detective stories and novels. This award-winning British TV show is a tour de force for Cumberbatch, and Martin Freeman is winning as his reliable sidekick, Dr. Watson. HOT has just announced it will be airing the latest season of the show, which will be welcome news for its Israeli fans. Sherlock is far better written and more interesting than the intermittently fun but often awkward American Sherlock Holmes update, Elementary.
To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, YES is presenting a series of movies featuring strong women on its V.O.D. service, from March 2 to 9.
These films include several Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated performances. Among them are The Iron Lady, which stars Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar; Frida, the story of artist Frida Kahlo, for which Salma Hayek was nominated for Best Actress; The Hours, an adaptation of the Michael Cunningham novel about three women whose lives parallel each other’s and all of which revolve around the Virginia Woolf novel Mrs. Dalloway. Nicole Kidman might be the most counterintuitive choice for an actress to play Virginia Woolf, and yet she did play Woolf in The Hours and won an Oscar for it. Diana, a very dull biopic about Princess Diana, starring Naomi Watts, will be included in this V.O.D. program, as will the documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, a look at the chic Serbian artist.
Now that the Winter Olympics are over and the Oscars are about to be broadcast, it’s time for some of the best shows that have been on mid-season hiatus to return. One of the most anticipated is The Good Wife, which ended its mid-season finale with a big reveal – Marilyn (Melissa George), the ethics adviser to now Illinois governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), is actually pregnant by real life film director Peter Bogdanovich (who played himself in a cameo) and not by Florrick, as was hinted. The first new episode will air on March 9 in the US, and YES is rebroadcasting previous seasons and will start airing the new season soon.
The Walking Dead, AMC’s intense zombie series, is back. The fourth season, which is on YES Oh, is shaping up to be one of its best, with the members of the group we’ve come to know scattered throughout the woods after their prison haven is destroyed. It features small nail-biting moments and back stories on some of the most enigmatic characters, including Michonne (Danai Gurira).