Don’t forget to plan to attend Cinequest in San Jose and Redwood City from February 17 through March 11. My festival preview will be online this weekend.
I just watched the splendid Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri again, this time with The Wife. Before the Oscars, you’re going to want to see Three Billboards and The Shape of Water. (I’ve also written If I Picked the Oscars – before the nominations were announced.) Here are the best movie choices in theaters this week:
- The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro’s imaginative, operatic inter-species romance may become the most-remembered film of 2017.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri a powerful combination of raw emotion and dark hilarity with an acting tour de force from Frances McDormand and a slew of great actors.
- Steven Spielberg’s docudrama on the Pentagon Papers, The Post, is both a riveting thriller and an astonishingly insightful portrait of Katharine Graham by Meryl Streep. It’s one of the best movies of the year – and one of the most important. Also see my notes on historical figures in The Post.
- Pixar’s Coco is a moving and authentic dive into Mexican culture, and it’s visually spectacular.
- Lady Bird , an entirely fresh coming of age comedy that explores the mother-daughter relationship – an impressive debut for Greta Gerwig as a writer and director.
- I, Tonya is a marvelously entertaining movie, filled with wicked wit and sympathetic social comment.
Here’s the rest of my Best Movies of 2017 – So Far. Most of the ones from earlier this year are available on video. Here’s another current (and Oscar-nominated) choice:
- Call Me By Your Name is an extraordinarily beautiful story of sexual awakening set in a luscious Italian summer, but I didn’t buy the impossibly cool parents or the two pop ballad musical interludes.
My DVD/Stream of the Week is the actor Michael Shannon’s breakthrough film, Shotgun Stories. The first of director Jeff Nichols’ “Arkansas Trilogy”, Shotgun Stories ranked #7 on my Best Movies of 2007. Shotgun Stories is available on DVD from Netflix and streaming from Netflix and iTunes.
Turner Classic Movies is celebrating 31 Days of Oscars, so we have many good choices of movies that often play on TCM. My choice this week is one of the great American political movies – Network playing on February 24. Paddy Chayefsky’s Oscar winning original screenplay is both bitingly satirical and frighteningly prescient. Its leads, Peter Finch and Faye Dunaway both also won Oscars, as did Beatrice Straight for Supporting Actress. Director Sidney Lumet and five others from the cast and crew were nominated.
You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’