Opening this week at a screen near you:
Antebellum (2020) R
Bestselling author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) has everything going for; a successful career and a loving family. Veronica finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality from the past and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late. Antebellum Website
What to Watch For: Filmmakers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz, known as Bush + Renz, are best known for their groundbreaking work in advertising that is based in the fight for social justice.
Word on the Street: The production team is known for their Academy Award-winning films Get Out (2017) and Blackkklansman (2018).
My Take: Janelle Monáe has come a long way from her first feature film as the vice of Dr. Monae in the 2014 animated film Rio 2 with roles in such films as Moonlight (2016), Hidden Figures (2016), and Harriet (2019).
The Way I See It (2020) PG-13
Documentary looks at the eight-year Obama presidency through the eyes of former Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza. The Way I See It Website
What to Watch For: The film is based on the New York Times bestseller by Souza, Obama: An Intimate Portrait: The Historic Presidency Photographs.
Word on the Street: The film is from award-winning director Dawn Porter, who also gives us this year’s documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble.
My Take: I loved the book the film is based on, so I can’t wait for this movie.
H is for Happiness (2019)
Candice (Daisy Axon) is a bit of a loner in her school, as she asks too many questions, but this doesn’t keep Candice from a boundless optimism that gives her a unique view of the world. With the help of her newfound friend Douglas Benson from Another Dimension (Wesley Patten), Candice is determined to mend her parent’s relationship after they are still giving at the loss of Candice’s baby sister. H is for Happiness Website
What to Watch For: The film won the Special International Jury Prize at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival.
Word on the Street: The film was shot in the seaside town of Albany on the southern coast of Western Australia.
My Take: I would love to read the book the film is based on, My Life is an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg.
Last Call (2019)
Scott (Daved Wilkins) is a bitter and lonely man who calls the Suicide Prevention Hotline but accidentally calls Beth (Sarah Booth), a janitor. It’s a phone call that both won’t ever forget. Last Call Website
What to Watch For: The film is one continuous take with two cameras, one centered on each character.
Word on the Street: The film is directed and co-written by award-winning short director Gavin Michael Booth and was a big hit on the film festival circuit, including winning Best Film at the 2019 Hamilton Film Festival, CA.
My Take: I love that the film is being released during the National Suicide Awareness Month.
The Nest (2020) R
Rory (Jude Law), an ambitious entrepreneur, decides to move his family from suburban America to his native England so that he can rejoin his former firm. They lease a centuries-old country manor, and everything seems to be working out until Rory and his wife (Carrie Coon) soon have to face the unwelcome truths lying beneath the surface of their marriage. The Nest Website
What to Watch For: The film is from writer/director Sean Durkin, whose first feature film was the award-winning 2011 film Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Word on the Street: Carrie Coon wowed everyone with her Emmy-nominated role as Gloria Burgie in the 2017 limited TV series Fargo.
My Take: The movie will be one of the featured films at this year’s Atlanta Film Festival.
The Secrets We Keep (2020) R
Maja (Noomi Rapace), after suffering horribly in Europe during World War II, has relocated to America and is living happily in the suburbs with her husband (Chris Messina). One afternoon Maja encounters a man she believes attacked her and her family during the war. On impulse, Maja kidnaps the man and seeks vengeance for the heinous war crimes she thinks he committed. The Secrets We Keep Website
What to Watch For: The film was a three-time winner, including the Grand Special Prize at the 2020 Deauville Film Festival.
Word on the Street: The film is currently at 87 percent on Rottentomatoes.com.
My Take: I have been a big fan of Noomi Rapace since her groundbreaking role as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Swedish film series.
The Devil All the Time (2020) R
Taking place between World War II and the Vietnam War, Arvin (Tom Holland) fights evil forces that threaten him and his family. The Devil All the Time Website
What to Watch For: The outstanding cast includes Robert Pattinson, Jason Clarke, Riley Keough, Bill Skarsgard, Sebastian Stan, and Haley Bennett.
Word on the Street; Filmmaker Antonio Campos is known for his award-winning film Christine (2016), that starred Rebecca Hall.
My Take: I am always excited to see Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) on the screen.