This week features Academy Award winners and nominees, a blockbuster war film and a pair of revivals for classic franchises.
Taika Waititi's "Jojo Rabbit" tells the story of Johannes "Jojo" Betzler, a young boy living in Nazi Germany towards the end of World War II, whose imaginary friendship with Hitler becomes complicated when he discovers that his mother hiding a Jewish girl in the attic. Nominated for six Academy Awards, "Jojo Rabbit" won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Tom Hanks stars as Fred Rogers in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," a film based on the true story of a cynical journalist's interaction with the famed television personality when he is assigned to write an article about Rogers for an upcoming magazine issue devoted to heroes. Hanks is simply fantastic as Rogers as he captures the spirit of the man, rather than trying to imitate him.
With "Midway," filmmaker Roland Emmerich ("Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow") set out to recreate one of the decisive battle of World War II. Beginning with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, "Midway" is built around an ensemble of characters who played a role in the fight on the ground, in the air and at sea. The cast includes Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Nick Jonas, Dennis Quaid and Woody Harrelson.
Elsewhere we have "21 Bridges," a action drama starring Chadwick Boseman as a NYPD detective locking down Manhattan's bridges to keep two suspects from fleeing the city; "Frankie," a drama from Ira Sachs that finds a family gathering the Portuguese resort town of Sintra to celebrate Françoise Crémont (Isabelle Huppert) as her future goes out of focus; and "Warriors of the Nation," a Hong Kong action film about folk hero Wong Fei-hung (Vincent Zhao) from director Marco Mak who worked as an editor on the six Once Upon a Time in China films.
Continuing down the genre path we have "Snatchers," a horror comedy with sci-fi leanings that impressed audiences at SXSW. The tale finds a high school senior waking up nine months pregnant after one night with her boyfriend when he returns from his summer vacation; and "The Twilight Zone: Season One," the CBS All Access revival of the classic anthology series hosted by Jordan Peele.
With "Antonio Gaudí " Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara ("Woman in the Dunes") pays tribute to the architectural work of Antonio Gaudí in this documentary that is far more focused on its visual aspects than it is on presenting a traditional narrative. Those looking for a more traditional look at Gaudí's work can visit the hour-long documentary that is a bonus feature on this new, impressive Criterion Collection Release.
"The Good Karma Hospital: Series 3," the third season of this India set series about Ruby Walker (Amrita Acharia), a young doctor, who leaves the UK for India where she works in a ramshackle care center run by Dr. Lydia Fonseca (Amanda Redman), an English expat.
Director Pier Paolo Pasolini, best known for his wildly controversial "Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom," pulls no punches with "Teorema." a drama that finds a mysterious young man seducing all the members of a wealthy family before leaving them in a sense of disarray. The film is filled with religious imagery, which angered the Vatican and saw the film stripped of awards and barred from release in some regions. Angels, devils and the bourgeois.
Released in 1990, "Deadly Manor" is a standard slasher from director José Ramón Larraz ("Vampyres") that finds a group of teens trapped in a mansion with a killer; 1989's"Mind Games," a thriller about a splintering couple who look to save their marriage by taking their son on a camping trip and pick up a hitch-hiker; and "The Point," Harry Nilsson's 1971 animated tale about a young man with a round head in a world filled with people with pointed heads.
The Elizabeth Banks reboot of "Charlie's Angels" saw actresses Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Elle Balinska cast as the newest edition of the femme fatale trio. The film was battered by some critics; I thought the film was silly, but an entertaining escape from reality.
"Dark Waters," a drama from director Todd Haynes ("Carol," "Far from Heaven"), slipped through the cracks, never finding the kind of support it needed to build up steam for an Award Season run. Based on The New York Times article "The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare," "Dark Waters" explores a world of corruption and cover ups from the point of view of a lawyer asked to defend a chemical company's years of rule breaking. The cast features Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins and Bill Pullman.
When a traffic stop ends in violence, Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) and Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) become viral antiheroes as they flee from police in Melina Matsoukas's film "Queen & Slim."