February 28, 2024 6:55 pm

#445 November 8, 2022

Matt writes: While covering this year’s BendFilm Festival in Bend, Oregon, last month, I had the great joy of speaking at length with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Tamara Jenkins (“Slums of Beverly Hills,” “The Savages“), who was honored by the festival as its Indie Woman of the Year. Our interview focuses primarily on her 2018 masterwork, “Private Life,” starring Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn. In addition to our conversation, I’ve also included a link to our Editor at Large Matt Zoller Seitz’s four-star review of the film, which is excerpted below.

It’s becoming increasingly hard for films like this to have a big impact on audiences, in part because stories about recognizable, present-day adults of every social class have been largely driven from theaters and onto TV and streaming platforms. Anything that doesn’t involve special effects and some kind of world-ending threat is deemed “low stakes” or “television” and thus not worth leaving home to see. (This one is getting a hybrid release from Netflix, playing a small number of theaters while debuting online.) But when the story is told in as engaging and fair-minded a way as it is here by Jenkins—who’s as adept with lyrical images as she is with snappy dialogue, and allows us to laugh at the characters even as we feel for them—it’s as immersive as any blockbuster, sneakily so. This film is a reminder that the smallness of life can feel huge when we’re in the middle of it. A perfect final shot sums up everything “Private Life” has been telling us and showing us, while letting us imagine Rachel and Richard’s destiny for ourselves.

Trailers

Avatar: The Way of Water (2022). Directed by James Cameron. Written by James Cameron, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver. Synopsis: Jake Sully lives with his newfound family formed on the planet of Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their planet. Debuts in the US on December 16th, 2022.

The Eternal Daughter (2022). Written and directed by Joanna Hogg. Starring Tilda Swinton, Carly-Sophia Davies, Zinnia Davies-Cooke. Synopsis: In this ghost story, a middle-aged daughter and her elderly mother must confront long-buried secrets when they return to their former family home, a once-grand manor that has become a nearly vacant hotel brimming with mystery. Debuts in the US on December 2nd, 2023.

The Box (2022). Directed by Lorenzo Vigas. Written by Lorenzo Vigas, Paula Markovitch and Laura Santullo. Starring Elián Gonzalez, Hernán Mendoza, Hatzín Navarrete. Synopsis: A Mexican teenager sets out to collect his fathers remains, only to be sucked into the underbelly of the manufacturing industry. Debuts in the US on November 11th, 2022.

The Swimmers (2022). Directed by Sally El Hosaini. Written by Sally El Hosaini and Jack Thorne. Starring Matthias Schweighöfer, Ali Suliman, James Krishna Floyd. Synopsis: A story of the miraculous journey made by swimming sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini who fled as refugees from war-torn Syria all the way to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Debuts on Netflix on November 23rd, 2022.

The Pale Blue Eye (2023). Written and directed by Scott Cooper (based on the novel by Louis Bayard). Starring Christian Bale, Gillian Anderson, Harry Melling. Synopsis: A world-weary detective is hired to investigate the murder of a West Point cadet. Stymied by the cadets’ code of silence, he enlists one of their own to help unravel the case – a young man the world would come to know as Edgar Allan PoeDebuts on Netflix on January 6th, 2022.

A Christmas Story Christmas (2022). Directed by Clay Kaytis. Written by Nick Schenk and Clay Kaytis. Starring Peter Billingsley, Erinn Hayes, Julie Hagerty. Synopsis: Follows the now-adult Ralphie as he returns to the house on Cleveland Street to give his kids a magical Christmas like the one he had as a child, reconnecting with childhood friends, and reconciling the passing of his Old Man. Debuts on HBO Max on November 17th, 2022.

Spirited (2022). Directed by Sean Anders. Written by Sean Anders and John Morris. Starring Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer. Synopsis: A musical version of Charles Dickens’s story of a miserly misanthrope who is taken on a magical journey. Debuts on Apple TV+ on November 11th, 2022.

The Santa Clauses (2022). Created by Jack Burditt. Starring Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, David Krumholtz. Synopsis: Scott Calvin is about to turn 65 and, realizing he can’t be Santa forever, sets out to find a suitable replacement Santa while preparing his family for a new adventure in life south of the pole. Debuts on Disney+ on November 16th, 2022.

Disenchanted (2022). Directed by Adam Shankman. Written by Brigitte Hales (based on characters created by Bill Kelly). Starring Amy Adams, James Marsden, Patrick Dempsey. Synopsis: Ten years after her happily ever after, Giselle questions her happiness, inadvertently turning the lives of those in the real world and Andalasia upside down in the process. Debuts on Disney+ on November 18th, 2022.

Stars at Noon (2022). Directed by Claire Denis. Written by Claire Denis, Andrew Litvack and Léa Mysius (based on the novel by Denis Johnson). Starring Margaret Qualley, Joe Alwyn, Benny Safdie. Synopsis: A young American journalist stranded in present-day Nicaragua falls for an enigmatic Englishman who seems like her best chance of escape. She soon realizes, that he may be in even greater danger than she is. Now available on Hulu.

Lowndes County and the Road of Black Power (2022). Directed by  and . Synopsis: It tells the story of the courageous campaign of citizens and activists who faced violence and oppression in the struggle for the right to vote. US release date is TBA.

Lady Chatterly’s Lover (2022). Directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre. Written by David Magee (based on the novel by D.H. Lawrence). Starring Emma Corrin, Jack O’Connell, Matthew Duckett. Synopsis: An unhappily married aristocrat begins a torrid affair with the gamekeeper on her husband’s country estate. Debuts on Netflix on December 2nd, 2022.

NR. 10 (2022). Written and directed by Alex van Warmerdam. Starring Tom Dewispelaere, Frieda Barnhard, Hans Kesting. Synopsis: Günter, found in a German forest as a four-year old, grows up in a foster family. Four decades later, he leads a normal life: he earns a living as a stage actor, spends time with his daughter Lizzy, and has an affair with a married woman. He doesn’t start wondering about his origins until a stranger on a bridge whispers a single word in his ear. US release date is TBA.

Mammals (2022). Created by James Richardson. Starring James Corden, Sally Hawkins, Melia Kreiling. Synopsis: The story of a Michelin-starred chef whose world implodes when he discovers shocking secrets about his pregnant wife. Debuts on Prime Video on November 11th, 2022.

Taurus (2022). Written and directed by Tim Sutton. Starring Colson Baker, Megan Fox, Ruby Rose. Synopsis: Follows the last days of a rising but problematic musician. Debuts in the US on November 18th, 2022.

Chavalier (2023). Directed by Stephen Williams. Written by Stefani Robinson. Starring Kelvin Harrison Jr., Samara Weaving, Minnie Driver. Synopsis: Based on the true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, who rises to heights in French society as a composer before an ill-fated love affair. Debuts in the US on April 7th, 2023.

Sharper (2023). Directed by Benjamin Caron. Written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka. Starring Julianne Moore, John Lithgow, Sebastian Stan. Synopsis: A con artist takes on Manhattan’s billionaires. Debuts on Apple TV+ on February 17th, 2023.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022). Written and directed by Rian Johnson. Starring Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe. Synopsis: Famed Southern detective Benoit Blanc travels to Greece for his latest case. Debuts in the US on November 23rd, 2023.

The Power of “Till

Matt writes: Our contributor Carla Renata has penned a powerful piece on how a mother’s love transformed a nation and inspired a movement in Chinonye Chukwu’s historical drama, “Till,” which is highly recommended by our longtime critic Odie Henderson, who is now the film critic at The Boston Globe

“Daisies” on Criterion

Matt writesVěra Chytilová’s 1966 classic, “Daisies,” has received a 4K restoration courtesy of The Criterion Collection and is celebrated by our frequent contributor Marya E. Gates in this insightful essay.

Free Movies

The Little American (1917). Directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Joseph Levering. Written by Jeanie Macpherson. Starring Mary Pickford, Jack Holt, Raymond Hatton. Synopsis: A young American has her ship torpedoed by a German U-boat but makes it back to ancestral home in France, where she witnesses German brutality firsthand

Watch “The Little American”

The Jackie Robinson Story (1950). Directed by Alfred E. Green. Written by Arthur Mann and Lawrence Taylor. Starring Jackie Robinson, Ruby Dee, Louise Beavers. Synopsis: Biography of Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player in the 20th century. Traces his career in the negro leagues and the major leagues.  

Watch “The Jackie Robinson Story”

Triple Cross (1966). Directed by . Written by René Hardy (based on the book by Frank Owen). Starring Christopher Plummer, Romy Schneider, Trevor Howard. Synopsis: During WW2, convicted bank robber Eddie Chapman becomes a triple agent working for both the British and the Germans.

Watch “Triple Cross

Matt writes: While covering this year’s BendFilm Festival in Bend, Oregon, last month, I had the great joy of speaking at length with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Tamara Jenkins (“Slums of Beverly Hills,” “The Savages”), who was honored by the festival as its Indie Woman of the Year. Our interview focuses primarily on her 2018 masterwork, “Private Life,” starring Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn. In addition to our conversation, I’ve also included a link to our Editor at Large Matt Zoller Seitz’s four-star review of the film, which is excerpted below. It’s becoming increasingly hard for films like this to have a big impact on audiences, in part because stories about recognizable, present-day adults of every social class have been largely driven from theaters and onto TV and streaming platforms. Anything that doesn’t involve special effects and some kind of world-ending threat is deemed “low stakes” or “television” and thus not worth leaving home to see. (This one is getting a hybrid release from Netflix, playing a small number of theaters while debuting online.) But when the story is told in as engaging and fair-minded a way as it is here by Jenkins—who’s as adept with lyrical images as she is with snappy dialogue, and allows us to laugh at the characters even as we feel for them—it’s as immersive as any blockbuster, sneakily so. This film is a reminder that the smallness of life can feel huge when we’re in the middle of it. A perfect final shot sums up everything “Private Life” has been telling us and showing us, while letting us imagine Rachel and Richard’s destiny for ourselves. Trailers Avatar: The Way of Water (2022). Directed by James Cameron. Written by James Cameron, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver. Synopsis: Jake Sully lives with his newfound family formed on the planet of Pandora. Once a familiar threat returns to finish what was previously started, Jake must work with Neytiri and the army of the Na’vi race to protect their planet. Debuts in the US on December 16th, 2022. The Eternal Daughter (2022). Written and directed by Joanna Hogg. Starring Tilda Swinton, Carly-Sophia Davies, Zinnia Davies-Cooke. Synopsis: In this ghost story, a middle-aged daughter and her elderly mother must confront long-buried secrets when they return to their former family home, a once-grand manor that has become a nearly vacant hotel brimming with mystery. Debuts in the US on December 2nd, 2023. The Box (2022). Directed by Lorenzo Vigas. Written by Lorenzo Vigas, Paula Markovitch and Laura Santullo. Starring Elián Gonzalez, Hernán Mendoza, Hatzín Navarrete. Synopsis: A Mexican teenager sets out to collect his fathers remains, only to be sucked into the underbelly of the manufacturing industry. Debuts in the US on November 11th, 2022. The Swimmers (2022). Directed by Sally El Hosaini. Written by Sally El Hosaini and Jack Thorne. Starring Matthias Schweighöfer, Ali Suliman, James Krishna Floyd. Synopsis: A story of the miraculous journey made by swimming sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini who fled as refugees from war-torn Syria all the way to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Debuts on Netflix on November 23rd, 2022. The Pale Blue Eye (2023). Written and directed by Scott Cooper (based on the novel by Louis Bayard). Starring Christian Bale, Gillian Anderson, Harry Melling. Synopsis: A world-weary detective is hired to investigate the murder of a West Point cadet. Stymied by the cadets’ code of silence, he enlists one of their own to help unravel the case – a young man the world would come to know as Edgar Allan Poe. Debuts on Netflix on January 6th, 2022. A Christmas Story Christmas (2022). Directed by Clay Kaytis. Written by Nick Schenk and Clay Kaytis. Starring Peter Billingsley, Erinn Hayes, Julie Hagerty. Synopsis: Follows the now-adult Ralphie as he returns to the house on Cleveland Street to give his kids a magical Christmas like the one he had as a child, reconnecting with childhood friends, and reconciling the passing of his Old Man. Debuts on HBO Max on November 17th, 2022. Spirited (2022). Directed by Sean Anders. Written by Sean Anders and John Morris. Starring Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds, Octavia Spencer. Synopsis: A musical version of Charles Dickens’s story of a miserly misanthrope who is taken on a magical journey. Debuts on Apple TV+ on November 11th, 2022. The Santa Clauses (2022). Created by Jack Burditt. Starring Tim Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, David Krumholtz. Synopsis: Scott Calvin is about to turn 65 and, realizing he can’t be Santa forever, sets out to find a suitable replacement Santa while preparing his family for a new adventure in life south of the pole. Debuts on Disney+ on November 16th, 2022. Disenchanted (2022). Directed by Adam Shankman. Written by Brigitte Hales (based on characters created by Bill Kelly). Starring Amy Adams, James Marsden, Patrick Dempsey. Synopsis: Ten years after her happily ever after, Giselle questions her happiness, inadvertently turning the lives of those in the real world and Andalasia upside down in the process. Debuts on Disney+ on November 18th, 2022. Stars at Noon (2022). Directed by Claire Denis. Written by Claire Denis, Andrew Litvack and Léa Mysius (based on the novel by Denis Johnson). Starring Margaret Qualley, Joe Alwyn, Benny Safdie. Synopsis: A young American journalist stranded in present-day Nicaragua falls for an enigmatic Englishman who seems like her best chance of escape. She soon realizes, that he may be in even greater danger than she is. Now available on Hulu. Lowndes County and the Road of Black Power (2022). Directed by Sam Pollard and Geeta Gandbhir. Synopsis: It tells the story of the courageous campaign of citizens and activists who faced violence and oppression in the struggle for the right to vote. US release date is TBA. Lady Chatterly’s Lover (2022). Directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre. Written by David Magee (based on the novel by D.H. Lawrence). Starring Emma Corrin, Jack O’Connell, Matthew Duckett. Synopsis: An unhappily married aristocrat begins a torrid affair with the gamekeeper on her husband’s country estate. Debuts on Netflix on December 2nd, 2022. NR. 10 (2022). Written and directed by Alex van Warmerdam. Starring Tom Dewispelaere, Frieda Barnhard, Hans Kesting. Synopsis: Günter, found in a German forest as a four-year old, grows up in a foster family. Four decades later, he leads a normal life: he earns a living as a stage actor, spends time with his daughter Lizzy, and has an affair with a married woman. He doesn’t start wondering about his origins until a stranger on a bridge whispers a single word in his ear. US release date is TBA. Mammals (2022). Created by James Richardson. Starring James Corden, Sally Hawkins, Melia Kreiling. Synopsis: The story of a Michelin-starred chef whose world implodes when he discovers shocking secrets about his pregnant wife. Debuts on Prime Video on November 11th, 2022. Taurus (2022). Written and directed by Tim Sutton. Starring Colson Baker, Megan Fox, Ruby Rose. Synopsis: Follows the last days of a rising but problematic musician. Debuts in the US on November 18th, 2022. Chavalier (2023). Directed by Stephen Williams. Written by Stefani Robinson. Starring Kelvin Harrison Jr., Samara Weaving, Minnie Driver. Synopsis: Based on the true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, who rises to heights in French society as a composer before an ill-fated love affair. Debuts in the US on April 7th, 2023. Sharper (2023). Directed by Benjamin Caron. Written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka. Starring Julianne Moore, John Lithgow, Sebastian Stan. Synopsis: A con artist takes on Manhattan’s billionaires. Debuts on Apple TV+ on February 17th, 2023. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022). Written and directed by Rian Johnson. Starring Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe. Synopsis: Famed Southern detective Benoit Blanc travels to Greece for his latest case. Debuts in the US on November 23rd, 2023. The Power of “Till” Matt writes: Our contributor Carla Renata has penned a powerful piece on how a mother’s love transformed a nation and inspired a movement in Chinonye Chukwu’s historical drama, “Till,” which is highly recommended by our longtime critic Odie Henderson, who is now the film critic at The Boston Globe.  “Daisies” on Criterion Matt writes: Věra Chytilová’s 1966 classic, “Daisies,” has received a 4K restoration courtesy of The Criterion Collection and is celebrated by our frequent contributor Marya E. Gates in this insightful essay. Free Movies The Little American (1917). Directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Joseph Levering. Written by Jeanie Macpherson. Starring Mary Pickford, Jack Holt, Raymond Hatton. Synopsis: A young American has her ship torpedoed by a German U-boat but makes it back to ancestral home in France, where she witnesses German brutality firsthand Watch “The Little American” The Jackie Robinson Story (1950). Directed by Alfred E. Green. Written by Arthur Mann and Lawrence Taylor. Starring Jackie Robinson, Ruby Dee, Louise Beavers. Synopsis: Biography of Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player in the 20th century. Traces his career in the negro leagues and the major leagues.   Watch “The Jackie Robinson Story” Triple Cross (1966). Directed by Terence Young. Written by René Hardy (based on the book by Frank Owen). Starring Christopher Plummer, Romy Schneider, Trevor Howard. Synopsis: During WW2, convicted bank robber Eddie Chapman becomes a triple agent working for both the British and the Germans. Watch “Triple Cross” Read More