Prestige Galore! (and Beasts that are Fantastic) November 18's New MoviesFriday, November 18, 2016 Rob Samuelson
We have seen a steady trickle of prestige-type pictures for the last month and a half. This weekend it turns into a downpour. There is also a certain Harry Potter-related family film hitting theaters that you may have heard of. Let’s check ‘em out, shall we?
|Photo credit: Fantastic Beasts/Facebook|
Bleed for This
Director: Ben Younger
Writers: Ben Younger, Angelo Pizzo, Pippa Bianco
Starring: Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Katey Sagal
When a young boxing contender played by Whiplash’s Miles Teller is nearly fatally injured in a car crash, he vows to make it back into the ring. Problem is, his neck has been broken. A bump on his head could sever his spine, paralyzing him for life. With a contraption stuck around his entire upper body to keep his head stable, he begins training his body for an eventual return to fighting -- against the wishes of his doctors, trainers, and family. It's one of those stories that will either inspire you or infuriate you because of the stubborn stupidity of it all.
The Edge of Seventeen
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Writer: Kelly Fremon Craig
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner
Hailee Steinfeld has largely kept a low profile since breaking out as a child actor in the Coen brothers’ True Grit in 2010. Now she's the right age for a coming-of-age story about a grumpy teen going through the trials and tribulations of teenage years. The premise here is simple, as her best friend begins to date her older brother, causing all kinds of strife. The potential magic comes in with the wry, downright dark monologues Steinfeld’s character appears to give multiple times to her favorite teacher, played by Woody Harrelson.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Director: David Yates
Writer: J.K. Rowling
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol
Donald Trump got elected so now everyone is talking about Harry Potter because apparently Voldemort is the only villain people in modern America know. So, you know, you can get your Potter on with the start of this spinoff series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, while you mourn the fact that your incoming president brags about sexually assaulting women, names literal white supremacist allies to his staff, and promises to throw out war-preventing international treaties like used tissues. Anyway, this time around, The Danish Girl’s Eddie Redmayne stars as an English traveler to America. His briefcase is filled with the fantastic beasts of the movie’s title, and they start causing problems. Adventures commence. Box office receipts go through the roof. Memes perpetuate. You know the drill.
Manchester by the Sea
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Starring: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler
Kenneth Lonergan’s last film, Margaret, is probably the best drama of the decade so far. His latest, Manchester by the Sea, looks equally heart wrenching as that sprawling tale of a teenage girl reeling from the trauma of causing a bus to hit a woman and then caring for her during her final moments. This time out, Casey Affleck plays a man whose brother dies, leaving behind a teenage son who Affleck has to care for as the “backup” parent. He must wrangle with his own grief and that of his nephew, along with mending the wounds of a failed relationship with a woman played by the always great Michelle Williams (Wendy and Lucy). It won't feel good, mind you. It'll probably feel transcendent, though. We all need to feel sad sometimes.
Director: Tom Ford
Writer: Tom Ford
Starring: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon
Writer-director Tom Ford, better known as a fashion designer, returns to the big screen for the first time since his 2009 debut, A Single Man. He brings with him a story that appears to be a kooky psychological thriller about a man (Jake Gyllenhaal) who sends his ex-wife (Amy Adams) a novel he has written that takes elements of their married life but includes all kinds of disturbing, murderous qualities. It looks mega stylish and colorful and like it's a slickly fun ride.