For your Thanksgiving viewing pleasure, complete with four new movie recommendations, here are my picks for the long weekend. My top two recommendations are
- 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.
- 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.
- The ambitious satire The Square.
- LBJ, an effective and engrossing Cliff Notes history lesson, with another fine performance by Woody Harrelson.
- Murder on the Orient Express is a moderately entertaining lark.
- Skip the well-cast, well-cast meandering to nowhere that is Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
My DVD/Stream of the Week is a different kind of Thanksgiving movie – a dysfunctional family thriller. Deadfall is available to rent on DVD from Netflix and Redbox and can be streamed from Netflix Instant, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube and Google Play.
On November 29, Turner Classic Movies presents The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. John Ford was the greatest director of Westerns and this is his masterpiece, showcasing both James Stewart and John Wayne. It took one kind of man to explore and tame the West and another kind of man to bring peace and prosperity. Ford uses the genre of the Western to deconstruct the mythology of the West. It’s also a mature Ford’s contemplation of all those shoot ’em ups from earlier in his career. Jimmy and the Duke are joined by Andy Devine, Woody Strode, Vera Mills, Edmond O’Brien and Lee Marvin. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is on my list of A Classic American Movie Primer – 5 to start with.