Opening this week on a screen near you:

 

Dear Evan Hansen   (2021) PG-13

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Dear Evan Hansen

Photo courtesy of Universal PIctures

Following the suicide of a fellow classmate, Evan Hansen (Ben Platt), a high-school-senior with Social Anxiety disorder, goes on a journey to find acceptance and self-discovery. A letter Evan has written will change not only his life but will touch so many more.       Dear Evan Hansen Website

What to Watch For: The Broadway musical won six Tony Awards, including Ben Platt for Best Actor in a Musical.

Word on the Street: The cast includes Julianne Moore and Amy Adams. The film has added new songs, including one for the expanding part of Alana Beck (Amandla Stenberg).

My Take: I am always ready to see a musical.

 

The Guilty   (2021)  R

The Guilty

Photo courtesy of Netflix

It’s an ordinary day for 911 operator Joe Bayler (Jake Gyllenhaal), as he gets his standard calls of people asking for help, but this morning will be different. As a wildfire threatens the city, and grounds air support, Joe receives a call from a woman in a car and is being held against her will. Now it’s a race against time as Joe tries to trace down the woman whose last words on the call are ‘I’m going to die.’     The Guilty Website

What to Watch For: The film is from filmmaker Antoine Fuqua, the award-winning director of Training Day (2001), The Equalizer (2014), and The Magnificent Seven (2016).

Word on the Street: The film is a remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name. The film was shot in just eleven days due to the Covid pandemic.

My Take: I love the Danish film, and I am a big fan of Jake Gyllenhaal, so I won’t be missing this film.

 

Man in the Field: The Life and Art of Jim Denevan    (2020)

Man in the Field: The Life and Art of Jim Denevan

Photo courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment

Documentary on pioneering artist Jim Denevan, who started out creating giant works of art on beaches and then started combining his art with a radical alternative to conventional dining.       Man in the Field Website

What to Watch For: Instead of bringing food to a restaurant, Jim, with his Outstanding in the Field projects, brings 100 to 1000 guests to sit at one long table in settings such as a beach or the very field that the produce was grown in.

Word on the Street: The film’s director, Patrick Trefz, is known for his documentary’s Thread (2007) and Surfer’s Blood (2020).

My Take: I would love to be a participant at one of these fantastic works of art, but it could be a while. As you can imagine, it’s hard to get an invitation to these amazing events.

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Lady of the Manor    (2021)

Lady of the Manor

Lionsgate

Hannah (Melanie Lynskey) is a hot mess who would rather smoke pot then get a regular job. When forced to work, Hannah gets a job as a tour guide, portraying Lady Wadsworth at the historical home, Wadsworth Manor. Work isn’t going great when she meets the ghost of Lady Wadsworth (Judy Greer), who tells her if Hannah doesn’t change her wild ways, she will haunt her until she does.    Lady of the Manor Website

What to Watch For: The film is written and directed by brothers Christian and Justin Long. Justin Long also stars in the film as Max, a man who has a Ph.D. in history and becomes the love interest for Hannah.

Word on the Street: The cast includes Ryan Phillippe, Luis Guzman, Patrick Duffy, and Tamara Austin.

My Take: I have always loved Justin Long since he portrayed Warren Cheswick on the TV series Ed that starred Tom Cavanagh and Julie Bowen.

 

This is the Year (2021)

This is the Year

Photo courtesy of Vertical Entertainment

Pining away for a girl, Zoey(Alyssa Jirrels) he believes is way out of his league, Josh (Lorenzo James Henrie), a high-school senior, decides to enlist his friends to go on a road trip, promising Zoey he can get her into the biggest concert of the year.     This is the Year Website

What to Watch for: The cast includes Vanessa Marano, Bug Hall, Jake Short, and Jeff Garlin.

Word on the Street: The executive producer of the film is Selena Gomez.

My Take: Vanessa Marano is best known for her role as Bay on the hit TV show Switched at Birth.

 

Hudson    (2019) R

Hudson

Photo courtesy of 1091 Pictures

After his mother’s death, Hudson (David Neal Levin) enlists his distant cousin, Ryan (Gregory Lay), on a road trip to scatter her ashes a family favorite place. Along the way, they meet an unusual hitchhiker (Mary Catherine Greenawalt), and the three go on a journey that will involve a broken-down Volvo, haiku’s, mini-golf, and self-discovery.     Hudson Info

What to Watch For: The film was a big hit on the film festival circuit, winning three awards, including the Audience Award at the 2019 Phoenix Film Festival and the Best Feature Film Award at the 2018 Syracuse International Film Festival.

Word on the Street: Filmmaker Sean Daniel Cunningham also directed Mary Catherine Greenawalt in his 2014 short film This is When We Met.

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My Take: David Neal Levin has appeared in TV shows Billions, Mr. Robot, Bull, The Blacklist, Broad City, and in the 2019 film The Climb.