As another month goes by, another Oscar ceremony comes to a close – and it’s safe to say that I have watched Olivia Colman’s acceptance speech a total of 27 times. But anyway, whether you’re sick of films or not, March is chock-a-block full of them.
If you miss the weighty dramas of awards season, might I recommend At Eternity’s Gate, starring Willem Dafoe in his Oscar-nominated performance as Vincent van Gogh. Or, you might prefer Ben is Back, the tale of a drug-addicted boy (Lucas Hedges) and his relationship with his mother (Julia Roberts) – not to be confused with Beautiful Boy, the tale of a drug-addicted boy and his relationship with his father.
“But of course, there’s plenty more to look out for this month.”
On the other hand, there are plenty of light-hearted movies as well. What Women Want – a loose remake of the 2000 Mel Gibson movie – stars Taraji P. Henson as a high-flying executive who suddenly acquires the power to read the minds of men. And of course, after that cracker ending from Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel makes her debut into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But of course, there’s plenty more to look out for this month.
Miss Bala – 8th March
Based on the 2011 Mexican film of the same title, director Catherine Hardwicke tries her hand at yet another genre with intriguing results.
When her friend goes missing after armed gunmen invade the club they are at, Gloria (Gina Rodriguez) is kept hostage by their gang’s leader. Her safety is guaranteed, however, on the condition that she keeps up her end of a shifty deal – which becomes all the more difficult when the DEA get in touch.
Having made a name for herself in the truly fantastic television show Jane the Virgin, Rodriguez has recently been branching out onto the big screen – most notably with her supporting role in the underrated 2018 movie Annihilation. Now stepping into a leading role, Rodriguez will be able to demonstrate her action chops – which should be easy, given her penchant for boxing in her free time.
The Kindergarten Teacher – 8th March
Also based on a foreign film – the 2014 Israeli film of the same name – is The Kindergarten Teacher, which proves to be yet another success for the sublime Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Despite an ostensibly happy life – with a loving husband and a stable job – Lisa (Gyllenhaal) feels she is creatively stifled, her writing often being dismissed as average. But when she hears an off-hand poem from her five-year-old student (newcomer Parker Sevak), she realises that she has stumbled upon an untapped source of genius – one that she becomes a bit too obsessed with.
Although this feature from director Sara Colangelo received rave reviews when it first premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year, the buzz surrounding it seems to have died down a tad, which is truly a shame. By all accounts, Gyllenhaal gives one of the best performances of her career – which is saying something, given her consistency. She manages to balance a fine line, imbuing her character with enough complexity, so that her misguided actions are justified, whilst also emphasising the darker tones of the film. If you like your thrillers to stay with you after the credits roll, I’d recommend this one.
Under the Silver Lake – 15th March
Director David Robert Mitchell follows up his genuinely creepy 2014 cult favourite It Follows, with a movie that takes a hint of the mystery that was demonstrated in that film, and mixes it with a little more comedy.
Conspiracy-theory lover Sam (Andrew Garfield) can’t believe his luck when the charming Sarah (Riley Keough) moves in next door. After hitting it off, she tells him to return the next day, but when he does so, her house looks utterly dilapidated. Confused as to why someone would move out in the middle of the night, Sam soon begins to notice codes hidden in his surroundings – codes which he believes may lead him back to Sarah.
Since the dazzling success of the 2014 podcast Serial, true crime has infected audiences with an insatiable appetite for perplexing cases and enigmatic individuals. Though this isn’t based on a true story, Mitchell appears to use the sickening apprehension that he manipulated to great effect with It Follows, but substitutes horror for secrecy with his latest project. Whether he does so successfully is for viewers to decide.
Us – 22nd March
Speaking of following up break-out successes, I’m sure multi-hyphenate (and now Oscar-winner) Jordan Peele can relate to that pressure, with his first directing project since 2017’s gargantuan hit Get Out.
Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) and her husband Gabe (Winston Duke) are looking forward to a relaxing beach holiday with their children and friends. Unfortunately, what starts off as that soon takes a terrifying turn when the family are tormented by… themselves?
Reuniting with his Get Out and BlacKkKlansman co-producers Jason Blum and Sean McKittrick, Peele has stated that where Get Out was more of a psychological thriller, Us will instead be a straight-up horror. If this is the case, then Us is most definitely going to be the stuff of nightmares – I couldn’t even watch the trailer unless it was daytime, that spine-chilling version of “I got 5 on it” messing with my head. But this being Peele, theories and rumours have been rife ever since the trailer dropped on Christmas Day. Is there a fifth member of the family? Are the doppelgangers the real family? Is this all taking place in the imagination of a rabbit? Come 22nd March, hopefully all will be revealed.
Featured image courtesy of Georgia Butcher.
Image use license here.