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DID YOU READ

“Kinky Boots.”

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"I CAME for the adulation."
Postulation: "The Full Monty" flicks (British Economy Porn?) have taken the place Merchant Ivory‘s films once held in the hearts of the middlebrow rental crowd. Costumes and mild crescendos of pent-up emotion have been replaced by plucky, whey-faced types overcoming (in a somewhat expanded crescendo of pent-up emotion) a economy-related crushing loss of self-worth through some sort of inappropriate side project (and that’s a lame summation, but you know what we’re talking about). They’re given mild weight by the fact that they’re often based on a true story, and their inevitable uplifting end triumph is made bittersweet by the fact that the larger problems looming in the film’s background remain. "Brassed Off," "Billy Elliot," "Greenfingers," "Saving Grace"…last week’s "On A Clear Day" was one, if a rather clunky one that fumbled the minor epiphanies of its side characters and failed to create a real sense that the main character was really training all that hard. And Julian Jarrold‘s "Kinky Boots" is most definitely one.

The economic plot driver in "Kinky Boots" is a century-old Northampton quality shoe factory on the verge of going under because no one wants sensible, well-made brogues anymore. Charlie Price (the nearly featureless Joel Edgerton) reluctant inherits the company from his father, only to find it nearly bankrupt. On a trip to London to find new buyers, he runs into Lola (birth name Simon, and played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), your typical sassy, singing drag queen in red vinyl boots. And wouldn’t you know, the heels on those boot will insist on breaking?

"Kinky Boots" gets plenty right — it skims efficiently through Charlie’s father’s death and the factory’s crisis to adroitly deliver the money shots like the cinematic freebase they are: Lola sashaying through the factory and scandalizing the conservative workers; Lola winning those workers over with a combination of snappy comebacks and arm-wrestling technique; the factory workers rallying to work through the night to produce a fine line of transvestite footwear in time for the Milan Shoe Fair (hell, formulas stick around for a reason). The extraordinarily charismatic Ejiofor vamps and swans and then changes into a turtleneck (!) and angsts over his relationship with father. Charlie remains a non-entity and his character arc is muddy, but he still manages to free himself from his waspish fiancee and end up in the arms of one of his younger, spunkier employees.

Of course, mildly cheeky is a far as the film goes, and for all of her shouting to the employees that what they are creating is not a pair of boots, it is "two and a half feet of irresistible tubular sex!", we never get a sense that Lola/Simon would ever engage in anything so mundane — she hovers about the film’s drab Midlands setting like a vinyl-clad fairy (no offensive double-meaning intended), facilitating plot and character development while needing (and getting) nothing back in return.

Opens in limited release.

+ Kinky Boots (office site)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at IFC.com

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

Uncle-Buck

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…