Here’s a quick rundown of the movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week, a healthy balance of prestigious Oscar contenders and schlocky genre pictures.
Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)
Widows – Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave, not Bullitt) cashes in some of his prestige points to make an action-thriller heist picture about a group of ordinary women who reluctantly transform into violent criminals. I’m always on the hook for an artfully staged genre picture, and I’d love to see this one’s pedigree land an action flick in Oscar contention.
Can You Ever Forgive Me? – An Oscar Season actor’s showcase for a once-goofy-now-serious comedian in a tonally muted biopic would normally not be something I’d rush out to see. The talent on-hand here is too substantial to ignore, however, as the comedian in question is the consistently-compelling Melissa McCarthy and the director behind her is Marielle Heller, whose previous feature The Diary of a Teenage Girl might just be one of the best dramas of the decade.
Castle in the Sky (1986) – Another classic Hayao Miyazaki anime re-released into national distribution thanks to animation saviors G-Kids. I don’t know much about this one in particular except that its title promises plenty of the gorgeous animation of flight Miyazaki is incredibly skilled at. Screening November 18, 19, and 20 via Fathom Events.
Movies We’ve Already Enjoyed
Overlord – This is less the Nazi Zombie Movie tedium delivered in Dead Snow than it is an over-the-top descendant of Re-Animator, reinterpreted as a WWII video game. It’s cartoonish schlock with a big studio budget behind it – a deliriously fun, cathartic middle finger to the Nazi grotesqueries of the modern world.
Halloween (2018) –This David Gordon Green-directed, Danny McBride-cowritten, Blumhouse-produced soft-reboot of the eponymous John Carpenter 1978 proto-slasher has to satisfy two entirely different audiences: people who want to know what Original Final Girl Laurie Strode is up to 40 years later and first-weekend horror audiences who just want to see some interesting slasher kills. I believe it did a great job of satisfying both sides of that binary in two separate tracks, then converging them in a thoughtful way that has a lot to say about Fate, senseless violence, and the obsessive thought-loops of trauma recovery.
Venom – A C-grade superhero movie that treads water for at least a half-hour, then mutates into an A+ slapstick body-horror comedy with an outright Nic Cagian lead performance from Tom Hardy. Venom is a less satirically pointed, big-budget version of Upgrade or a modernized Henenlotter, but its highs are also much funnier (and surprisingly queerer) than either of those reference points. It’s a lot of fun if you maintain your patience through the first act.