Here’s a quick round-up of the films we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week. After nearly a month of there being little to recommend, the mysterious distribution gods are actively trying to drown us. There’s so much to see!
Movies We Haven’t Seen (Yet)
The Favourite – Yorgos Lanthimos follows up the stubbornly obscure The Killing of a Sacred Deer with what appears to be his most accessible feature yet: a queer, darkly funny costume drama about a three-way power struggle between increasingly volatile women (Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz). This is the one film I feel like I must see before contributing to any Best of the Year lists; it looks like a gorgeous riot.
Roma – Alfonso Cuarón’s black & white period-piece epic & personal memoir is all but guaranteed to be a major Oscar contender in the next few months, but most people will only have a chance to see it at home on Netflix. We’re one of the few cities where audiences can fully immerse themselves in its lush cinematography & meticulously detailed sound design on the big screen. Only playing at The Broad Theater.
The Big Easy (1986) – A big-budget erotic thriller starring Dennis Quaid & Ellen Barkin, shot on location in 1980s New Orleans. Come for the hot & steamy criminal-world intrigue; stay for the documentary glimpses of 80s New Orleans locales like Tipitina’s, Antoine’s, Mardi Gras parade float warehouses, and French Quarter strip clubs. Screening Thursday 12/13 at The Prytania Theatre.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Spider-Man & CG animation are two filmmaking arenas I usually don’t care about at all, but there’s a lot of promise in the screenwriting involvement of Phil Lord (Clone High, Last Man on Earth, The Lego Movie) and the movie’s Ben-Day dots visual design. Its high critical scores (99% on Rotten Tomatoes, 85 on Metacritic) also suggest that it’s something worthy of my time, despite my genre biases.
Movies We Already Enjoyed
Female Trouble (1974) – Divine might not have ever gotten those cha-cha heels she wanted from Santa and John Waters may never make the gay Christmas movie Fruitcake that he wrote, but you can still celebrate XXX-Mas with the Dreamlanders this weekend with a drag-themed screening of Female Trouble. Drag performers Puddin’ Tain, Titibaby, Squirt Reynolds and Tarah Cards will host a rowdy midnight screening of the film (with the pre-show starting at 11) Saturday 10/15 at the AllWays Lounge (as an unofficial afterparty for the performance of A John Waters Christmas at the Civic).
Vox Lux – Natalie Portman stars as an off-the-rails pop star in the middle of a spectacular breakdown in the public spotlight. A lot of people are going to hate this, but I was really won over by it when we caught it at NOFF. It’s brutal and coldly funny like a Lanthimos film, but also absurdly earnest like a Mommie Dearest melodrama. It’s interesting as a philosophical indictment of modernity, but also just a perverse joy in watching a woman behave monstrously (and dance to Sia songs) without repercussion. Bold, alienating stuff – the mother! of 2018.
Widows – Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen cashes in some of his prestige points to make a heist picture about a group of ordinary women who reluctantly transform into violent criminals, a collaboration with Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn. I was surprised by how much of his one functions like an ensemble cast melodrama instead of the action-thriller that was advertised. Not disappointed, just surprised. It feels like a movie custom built for people whose all-time favorite TV show is still The Wire, which, who could blame ‘em?
Jim Henson’s Holiday Special (1977, 1984) – A Yuletide, Muppet-themed double feature of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas and The Bells of Fraggle Rock, two beloved Jim Henson holiday classics. Screening Sunday 12/16 via Fathom Events.