ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
Certain Women (Reichardt, 2016)
Director Kelly Reichardt has been a low-budget filmmaker from the very beginning. Few maintain more steady indie cred. Her film follows the lives of four women, who deal with the charges life and society thrust upon them. The strengths of “Certain Women” lie in the use of technique and how Reichardt plays with space and movement. The film is focused on its mundanity, because sometimes this is how people’s stories are. “Certain Women” will be playing at Film Streams through Nov 22.
Moonlight (Jenkins, 2016)
This has been the film that has caught on fire at festivals. Filmmakers and attendees alike have been in awe of this film. Film critic Brian Tallerico of rogerebert.com calls it “lyrical and deeply grounded in its character work” and “a balancing act that is breathtaking to behold.” “Moonlight” follows the journey of one boy’s life in Miami as he begins to discover himself and his own sexuality. “Moonlight” opens at Film Streams on Nov 11.
Arrival (Villeneuve, 2016)
De-nis Villeneuve’s latest is currently being predicted by Indiewire as the film to win best picture at the Academy Awards next year. It’s been met at festivals with near unanimous praise, to the point where it currently has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Lauren Williams, from the website Black Girl Nerds recommends the film to fans of Christopher Nolan, and Cameron Williams of Graffiti with Punctuation praises its ability to transcend genre trappings. “Arrival” opens in wide release on Nov 11.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Yates, 2016)
Five years later, moviegoers will be gifted an opportunity to return to the Harry Potter universe. This David Yates-helmed spinoff will follow Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in 1920’s America. There have been no early reviews as it is a big release, but the cast and material seem lined up for success. The book has earned some strong praise, and director David Yates has adapted author J.K. Rowling’s writing successfully four times now. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” opens in wide release on Nov 18.
The Edge of Seventeen (Craig, 2016)
“The Edge of Seventeen” is a new teen comedy starring Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson. The trailer offers a lot of self-deprecating humor, most of which is very funny. David Ehrlich, film critic for Indiewire says “pick a god, any god, and thank them for this movie.” Many other critics cite Steinfeld’s performance as the selling point, like Steve Pond from The Wrap, who praises her lead character as being ‘very distinctive.’ “The Edge of Seventeen” opens in wide release on Nov 18.
The Handmaiden (Park, 2016)
“The Handmaiden” follows an elaborate plot by a Korean con man to seduce and bilk a Japanese woman out of her inheritance. Park Chanwook has some street cred among indie buffs and foreign film buffs. The average patron of movies might have seen “Oldboy”, for example. A.A. Dowd from the AV club describes it as a “fiendishly clever, sinfully funny con job.” Maggie Lee, from Variety praises Park’s signature aesthetic beauty. “The Handmaiden” opens at the Alamo Drafthouse in La Vista on Nov 11.
Moana (Clements; Musker, 2016)
“Moana” is the latest tentpole from Disney. The film follows a young woman who uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island, joining her is her hero, a Demi-God named Maui. The odds that it will be delightful are high, since “Frozen” was delightful (at least the first time was). “Moana” opens in wide release on Nov 23.