WORTH SEEING IN THEATERS
86 The Big Sick – Pakistan-born comedian (Kumail Nanjiani) connects with Chicago grad student (Zoe Kazan) despite clash of family cultures. “By turns romantic, rueful, and hilarious” Geoff Berkshire, Variety trailer
77 The Beguiled – Wounded Civil War soldier is taken in by a Virginia girls’ school. With Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman. Directed by Sofia Coppola. “Mildly saucy, poetically made parable” — Dave Calhoun, Time Out trailer
76 Wonder Woman, epic story of Amazon princess Diana (Gal Godot) is first superhero saga both about a woman and directed by one (Patty Jenkins). It almost transcends big-budget genre constraints. trailer
98 I Am Not Your Negro – Brilliant, Oscar-nominated James Baldwin documentary. “Masterfully addresses the American racial divide, thrumming with a sense of history repeating itself.” –Joshua Rothkopf trailer
1. Cars 3 [G] – Animated race-car sequel from Disney/Pixar.
2. Wonder Woman [PG-13] – Epic story of Amazon princess Diana (Gal Godot) is first superhero saga both about a woman and directed by one.
3. All Eyez on Me [R] – The life and death of rapper Tupac Shakur.
4. The Mummy [PG-13] – Ancient queen (Sofia Boutella) wakes up angry in the present day. With Tom Cruise.
5. 47 Meters Down [PG-13] – Adventurous girls (Mandy Moore, Claire Holt) go shark-diving on vacation in Mexico.
June 28 – Baby Driver – Talented getaway driver meets the girl of his dreams. Complications ensue.
July 7 – A Ghost Story – Deceased husband returns as white-sheeted ghost to reconnect with his widow. Features Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck.
October 20 – Wonderstruck – Director Todd Haynes’ soul-stirring stories of two deaf pre-teens.
November 17 – Last Flag Flying, lyrical road movie about three Vietnam-era Navy veterans (Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne) directed by Richard Linklater.
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Brief takes from the year’s major festivals. See Poor Stuart’s full festival calendars
Film selections not announced until opening day.
Patron preview: La La Land – “Writer-director Damien Chazelle revives the all-singing, all-dancing MGM musical” (Larry Gross) with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and composer Justin Hurwitz.
Premieres: Clint Eastwood’s Sully with Tom Hanks and Laura Linney, and Moonlight from writer-director Barry Jenkins.
Tributes: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Amy Adams (Arrival) and Pablo Larrain (director, Neruda).
2016 recap: Writer-director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, the retro musical with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, dominated the festival chatter. Arrival and Moonlight built momentum, and Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, starring Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy, made a high-profile debut.
Opening night: Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying (world premiere Sep 28).
2016 recap: Opening night: The 13th, searing documentary by Ava DuVernay (director of Selma in 2014) about America’s sky-high prison incarceration rate. Featured: 20th Century Women, directed by Mark Mills. Closing night: The Lost City of Z, a period drama by James Gray set in the Amazon.
EARLIER THIS YEAR
U.S. Grand Jury Prizes – I don’t feel at home in this world anymore (drama), about a nursing assistant who investigates a break-in at her home, and Dina (documentary), which follows an unlikely romance in Philadelphia. U.S. Audience Awards – Gook (NEXT award), the story of two Korean Americans in LA, and Crown Heights (drama), about righting a wrongful murder conviction.
Despite power outage and cyberhack on box office systems, buzz was building for Landline and Al Gore in An Inconvenient Sequel.
2016 recap: U.S. Grand Jury Prizes – Weiner (documentary), The Birth of a Nation (drama). U.S. Audience Awards – Jim: The James Foley Story (documentary) and The Birth of a Nation.
Golden Bear (best film): Ildiko Enyedi’s Hungarian drama On Body and Soul, about lovers who work at a slaughterhouse and discover they have the same dreams at night. Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize: Felicite, the story of a singer in Kinshasa, Congo, who is forced to raise money for her son’s operation. World premieres: Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting: T2, James Mangold’s Logan with Hugh Jackman, Korean director Hong Sangsoo’s On the Beach Alone at Night, Volker Schlondorff’s Return To Montauk, and Viceroy’s House from Gurinder Chadha.
Narrative grand jury prize: Most Beautiful Island. a thriller about an undocumented immigrant in New York City. Documentary grand jury prize: The Work, directed by Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous which follows three convicts and three civilians in a group therapy program at Folsom Prison. Opening night: Terrence Malick‘s music and love story Song to Song, with Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett. Closing night: Sci-fi space saga Life with Jake Gyllenhaal.
2016 recap: Richard Linklater’s Everybody Wants Some!! opened the festival. Adam Pinney’s The Arbalest won the narrative grand jury prize. Keith Maitland’s Tower won the top documentary prize.
Opening night: Documentary feature Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives. Closing night: Screening and cast reunion of The Godfather and The Godfather Part II including director Francis Ford Coppola, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire and Robert De Niro. At Radio City Music Hall.
The Square, a satire of the art world, won the Palme D’Or. Notable entries: Wonderstruck from Todd Haynes [review] and The Beguiled from Sofia Coppola [review].
2016 recap: Palme d’Or: I, Daniel Blake, from British director Ken Loach, about a British carpenter struggling to keep his benefits after a heart attack. Notable screenings out of competition: Woody Allen’s Cafe Society, set in 1930s Hollywood, Steven Spielberg’s The BFG starring Mark Rylance, and Jim Jarmusch documentary about Iggy Pop, Gimme Danger.