Opening this week at a screen near you:
Nomadland (2020) R
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After her company town is devastated by the economic recession; Fern (Frances McDormand) packs up her possessions in her van and sets off on the road to take a journey through the American West, living as a modern-day nomad. Nomadland Website
What to Watch For: Frances McDormand is sure to be nominated for Best Actress in this year’s Academy Awards.
Word on the Street: The film won the 2020 Atlanta Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film, along with Best Director for Chloe Zhao and Best Cinematography for Joshua James Richards.
My Take: I am a big fan of the film’s director, Chloe Zhao, who gave us one of the best films of 2017, The Rider.
I Care A Lot (2020) R
Marla (Rosamund Pike) has a nice racket going; she becomes the legal guardian of the elderly and then drains their savings as she puts them in nursing homes. Marla has just picked the wrong woman (Dianne Wiest) to swindle. I Care A Lot Website
What to Watch For: The supporting cast includes Peter Dinklage, Eiza González, Chris Messina, and Alicia Witt.
Word on the Street: Rosamund Pike has just been nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the film.
My Take: The trailer is so much fun to watch! I can’t wait to see this film.
Blithe Spirit (2020) PG-13
Charles (Dan Stevens) is a writer suffering horrible writer’s block. He decides to invite a spiritualist medium (Judi Dench) to hold a seance to get the writing juices flowing again. Unfortunately, for both Charles and his wife of five years, Ruth (Isla Fisher), the medium brings back Charles’s first wife, Elvira (Leslie Mann), and she won’t or can’t leave Charles’s side, even if only he can see her. Blithe Spirit Website
What to Watch For: This is a remake of the 1945 classic film of the same name and is based on Noël Coward’s play.
Word on the Street: This is the feature-film directorial debut of Edward Hall, known for his work directing TV shows Downton Abby, MI-5, and The Durrells in Corfu.
My Take: I love Leslie Mann, who I think is one of the funniest actors out there.READ MORE: Rapper Silentó Charged With Murdering Cousin
Flora & Ulysses (2021) PG
Flora (Matilda Lawler), the daughter of George (Ben Schwartz), a comic book creator, and Phyllis (Alyson Hannigan), a romance writer, is upset about her parent’s separation. When Flora rescues a squirrel from a robot lawnmower, she discovers that the squirrel, she has named Ulysses, has developed magical superpowers. Now can Ulysses help bring Flora’s parents back together before the evil animal control officer (Danny Pudi) catches Ulysses? Flora & Ulysses Info
What to Watch For: The supporting cast includes Kate Micucci, Bobby Moynihan, and Anna Deavere Smith.
Word on the Street: Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, Kate Micucci, and Bobby Moynihan all provide voices for the Disney animated series Ducktales.
My Take: Don’t we all need a superhero squirrel in our lives?
Test Pattern (2019)
The film follows an interracial couple (Will Brill, Brittany S. Hall) whose relationship is put to the test after she is sexually assaulted, and her boyfriend drives her from hospital to hospital to get someone to administer a rape kit. Test Pattern Website
What to Watch for: The film played at the 2020 Atlanta Film Festival, where it was nominated for the Best Narrative Feature.
Word on the Street: The film won the Best Narrative Feature at the 2019 New Orleans Film Festival.
My Take: This is the first feature film for writer/director Shatara Michelle Ford, but I suspect it won’t be the last after the film’s success on the film festival circuit.
Days of the Bagnold Summer (2019)
Daniel (Earl Cave), a heavy-metal teenager, wanted to spend his summer with his dad in Florida, but instead, he is stuck, once again in England, with his mom, Sue (Monica Doland), a mild-mannered librarian. Days of the Bagnold Summer Info
What to Watch For: The film is based on a 2012 graphic novel of the same name by Joff Winterhart.
Word on the Street: The film uses songs from the metal bands Pure Disgust, Fleshworks, Tannhauser Kreig, Boris, and Chepang.MORE NEWS: Wanted Atlanta Rapper YFN Lucci Surrenders
My Take: The soundtrack is by a favorite of mine, the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian.