Look Out For… November

As Hollywood continues to unravel in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, this awards season will certainly have an air of the paradoxical about it. Nevertheless, there’s an interesting bunch lined up this month.

After Wonder Woman had her superb outing earlier this summer, Warner Bros. executives will be anxiously awaiting word on the critical and commercial success of Justice League. However, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women will be discussing the literal origins of the Amazonian Princess – a character born out of the somewhat unconventional life shared by three people.

Robert Pattinson is having anything but a Good Time in the botched-heist drama. Jon Hamm and Amy Schumer prove their acting chops in Marjorie Prime (an artificial-intelligence romance similar to Spike Jonze’s Her) and PTSD-drama Thank You For Your Service, respectively. Annette Bening is already stirring up Oscar buzz for her turn as Golden Age Hollywood star Gloria Grahame in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. If you’re looking for something more light-hearted, Mila Kunis and the gang are back in A Bad Moms Christmas. And there’s even more to choose from this November…

The Killing of a Sacred Deer – 3rd November

In case his previous films (the wonderfully bizarre Dogtooth and the bizarrely wonderful The Lobster) weren’t zany enough, Yorgos Lanthimos returns with a deliciously dark psychological thriller.

When the surgeon Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell) takes a young boy under his wing (Barry Keoghan, fresh from a scene-stealing performance in Dunkirk), his wife, Anna (Nicole Kidman), and their children’s lives are put at risk when a mysterious ailment befalls them.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer boasts some great talent, namely Kidman, who seems to be experiencing a McConaissance (Kidman-aissance?) of her own. And of course, Lanthimos himself could justly be considered as one of the most exciting working directors – his next film, The Favourite, is certainly on my radar for films to look out for. Until then though, here he delivers another original, chilling feature.

Murder on the Orient Express – 4th November

Following in the footsteps of Sidney Lumet’s 1974 stunner, Kenneth Branagh has assembled quite the cast in his version of Agatha Christie’s classic.

Finding his travel plans disrupted, Hercule Poirot (Branagh himself) is left stranded on a train upon which a gruesome murder has been committed. Stuck countless miles away from help, it’s up to the moustachioed Belgian detective to solve the impossible case.

Widely considered to be the pinnacle of Christie’s extensive bibliography, this first major film adaptation in 43 years is practically buckling under the weight of names like Judi Dench, Penélope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Olivia Colman and Daisy Ridley. Who doesn’t love a good old murder mystery? Especially when everyone’s a suspect…

The Florida Project – 10th November

Having received rave reviews after its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, Sean Baker appears to have directed a true gem of a film.

As told through the eyes of a precocious 6-year-old over the course of a summer, Moonee (breakout Brooklynn Prince) lives with her unconventional, protective mother (Bria Vinaite) in a motel on the outskirts of the Walt Disney World Resort. As she plays with her friends, the disapproval of her mother’s lifestyle from the fatherly motel owner (Willem Dafoe) casts a shadow over her carefree days.

In the same vein as Baker’s previous film Tangerine, The Florida Project should be one of those rare movies that delves into an unknown community and captures its essence perfectly. Of all the awards fodder coming our way in the next few months, this is at the top of my list of ones to watch.

Battle of the Sexes – 24th November

After their remarkable feature debut in 2006 with Little Miss Sunshine, directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris certainly like to keep their fans waiting, having worked on two films in the past 11 years. Nevertheless, their latest seems to have been worth the wait.

Based on a true story, famed tennis pro Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) bares the weight of sportswomen everywhere when she is challenged to a ‘battle of the sexes’ by the arrogant Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). However, she’s also facing a much more personal battle too, when she meets Marilyn Barnett (Andrea Riseborough).

Despite making the rounds at Telluride and Toronto a couple of months ago, this doesn’t seem to have captured the hearts of critics with as much intensity as Fox were no doubt hoping for. Still, this should be an inspiring, emotional way to pass a Sunday afternoon.

Lost in Paris – 24th November

Perhaps the least well known of the bunch is this French-Belgian comedy from Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon, which also screened at Telluride.

When Fiona (Gordon) is called to France to care for her absent-minded aunt (Emmanuelle Riva, in one of her last performances before passing away earlier this year), she reluctantly befriends a homeless man (Abel) who helps her journey through Paris.

From the exquisite trailer, this looks to be a bundle of fun and hilarity. For those who like a Wes Anderson aesthetic mixed with their physical comedy, Lost in Paris should be a joy from start to finish.

Sarah Quraishi

Featured image courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox via IMDb.

Image use license here.

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