Movies to See in New Orleans this Week 12/13/18 – 12/19/18

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.

-Brandon Ledet

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