While November is the time for big budget releases from the major studios, it’s also the time of year when film festival favorites start popping up in limited release for Academy Award eligibility. A large collection of films open this month, and will start to trickle out in wider releases throughout the next month and a half. So keep an eye out for them in local theaters– especially Landmark theatres like The Downer and Oriental. Here’s a preview for this month, a crucial one for Oscar season.
Lady Bird – November 3 (limited)
Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”) and Laurie Metcalf (“A Doll House, Part 2”) star in Greta Gerwig’s (20th Century Women) solo directorial debut.
My Friend Dahmer – November 3 (limited)
Ross Lynch (“Girl Meets World”) plays Jeffery Dahmer in a film that creates horror through empathy in one of the most harrowing coming of age films in recent memory. It may be especially disturbing for residents of this city, where the Milwaukee Cannibal called home.
Last Flag Flying – November 3 (limited)
Critically acclaimed director Richard Linklater (“Boyhood”) pulls together an all-star cast in Steve Carrell (“Battle of the Sexes”), Laurence Fishburne (“John Wick: Chapter 2”), and Bryan Cranston (“Power Rangers”) for an emotional exploration of fatherhood, family ties, and patriotism.
Roman J Israel, Esq. – November 3 (limited)
After a poor initial response, Denzel Washington’s (“Fences”) new film about a idealistic defense attorney went through recuts that significantly alter the film before its limited release. Only time will tell if the resulting movie will be a catalyst in Washington’s chances of adding another Best Actor award to his trophy shelf.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – November 10 (limited)
Is it possible to give a best actress award for a trailer? Frances McDormand (“Hail, Caesar!”) plays a mother who buys three billboards to call out local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder after they fail to catch the culprit. But all I really needed to hear was that McDormand is going to cuss some people out. Numerous times.
Mudbound – November 17
Dee Rees’s (“Bessie”) third film offers a powerful snapshot of rural class struggles after World War II whose message reaches far past the time period of its setting. You can catch it in a limited release at Landmark theaters, or simply log on to Netflix and watch it from the comfort of your own home.
Darkest Hour – November 22 (limited)
“Darkest Hour” follows former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the early days of World War II that appears set to be the vehicle that carries Gary Oldman (The Space Between Us) to the front of the Best Actor Oscar pack.
Call Me by Your Name – November 24 (limited)
When asked if it was nerve-wracking acting through a very intimate gay sex scene, Armie Hammer (“Nocturnal Animals”) responded that while afraid at first, that, “when you’re doing it, it’s incredibly easy. […] Trying to create chemistry with a human is trying to create chemistry with a human.” Maybe it was that kind of approach that has led to critical acclaim across the board for this empathetic portrayal of first love.