Most of the week’s movie news has to do with features we won’t be able to see for a while, as theaters remain closed and productions largely remain stalled out of health concerns. (NBA players, however, may get to see delayed movies like Black Widow early, while quarantined in Walt Disney World Resort.)
As things get back to normal, however, we can look forward to seeing Cate Blanchett, Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, Donald Sutherland, and Anne Hathaway in James Gray’s new movie, Armageddon Time, which takes place in the lead up to the 1980 presidential election. We can also look forward to hearing Ewan McGregor as the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion animated version of Pinocchio.
While you wait, here are the movies you can watch at home this weekend.
Shannon Murphy’s Babyteeth stars Eliza Scanlen as a teenager with an unspecified form of cancer, whose blossoming romance with a 23-year-old delinquent sends ripples through her life. From our review:
Terminal teens have become fairly common in contemporary young adult romances, from The Fault in Our Stars (Shailene Woodley has cancer, falls in love with Ansel Elgort), to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Olivia Cooke has leukemia, falls in love with Thomas Mann), to Five Feet Apart (Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse both have cystic fibrosis, fall in love with each other). Some movies, like Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, handle terminal illness thoughtfully, but many others use it solely as a gimmick, romanticizing death and ignoring the actual difficulties of sickness. So Babyteeth, directed by Shannon Murphy in her feature debut, serves as a breath of fresh air for the subgenre. The film, which stars Eliza Scanlen as a teenager with an unspecified form of cancer, hits some predictable beats, but Rita Kalnejais’ script (based on her stage play of the same name) and Murphy’s directorial voice make the story seem brand new.
Single mom Turquoise Jones (Nicole Beharie) is a former beauty queen, once crowned “Miss Juneteenth,” a title commemorating the day slavery was abolished in Texas. Now, she aims to make her 14-year-old daughter Kai (Alexis Chikaeze) the next Miss Juneteenth, despite the fact that Kai doesn’t want to compete, in the hopes that winning will change Kai’s life where it failed to change her own.
You Should Have Left
You Should Have Left stars Kevin Bacon as Theo Conroy, a man who decides to book a vacation in the Welsh countryside in an attempt to repair his marriage to his much younger wife (Amanda Seyfried). Unfortunately, the house they’ve chosen to rent isn’t quite what it seems, as Theo begins to suspect that there’s something supernatural at work within its walls. From our review:
[Writer-director David] Koepp’s new film, You Should Have Left … isn’t one of his best, but it’s squarely within his wheelhouse. It recalls Secret Window, another of his less successful efforts, in that the story involves psychological mysteries exacerbated by isolation, and it’s based on someone else’s fiction. Secret Window was from a Stephen King novella; Left is apparently based on a whole novel, though the 92-minute film feels like it could have been adapted from a 25-page short story. It draws out tension by obviously withholding details from the audience, even though the movie’s characters already know them.
The Short History of the Long Road
The only life the teenage Nola (Sabrina Carpenter) knows is roaming the U.S. with her father (Steven Ogg) in their RV. When tragedy strikes, Nola must fend for herself, and begins by setting out to find the mother she never knew, as well as possibly finding a permanent home.
New on Netflix this weekend
And here’s what dropped last Friday:
The King of Staten Island
Judd Apatow’s latest movie stars Pete Davidson as a loosely fictionalized version of himself, and addresses the typically Apatovian story beats of growing out of arrested development and assuming responsibility through Davidson’s sharp lens. From our review:
When 20-year-old Pete Davidson made his debut on Saturday Night Live in 2014, he drew notice through his appearances on “Weekend Update,” where, as himself, he spoke on topics ranging from gender-neutral bathrooms to his mental health. Though he also performed in sketches, his monologues were more compelling. His blasé way of addressing heavy topics, such as his experiences getting sober and dealing with suicidal thoughts, made them feel less taboo and more approachable and relatable. And while he played it all casually, his frankness still revealed his more vulnerable side. Director Judd Apatow banks on that appeal in his new VOD movie The King of Staten Island, which stars Davidson (who also co-wrote the script with Apatow and Dave Sirus) as a loosely fictionalized version of himself, and proves his capabilities as a leading man.
Where to watch it: Streaming on Disney Plus
The film adaptation of Eoin Colfer’s young-adult series about a young criminal mastermind arrives on Disney Plus after the COVID-19 pandemic derailed plans for its big-screen release. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a mess. From our review:
Disney’s adaptation of Artemis Fowl feels like it has holes punched out of it. At 97 minutes long, the relentless action comes across as breathless, and the deceptively minimal plot feels abridged. Eoin Colfer’s young-adult series is made up of eight books, each focused on a 12-year-old prodigy and his dealings with fairies, dwarves, trolls, and other fantastical creatures. It’s a world ripe for adapting into a movie franchise. Disney’s take, helmed by Kenneth Branagh (who previously dipped a toe into fantasy with Disney’s live-action 2015 Cinderella), does feature a few genuinely fun setpieces and entertainingly grotesque character designs, but can’t quite smooth out its rough edges.
Sometimes Always Never
Where to watch it: Rent on digital $12 through virtual cinemas
Sometimes Always Never stars Bill Nighy as Alan, a man whose emotional stagnation manifests in his obsession with and penchant for Scrabble. His son Michael went missing long ago, and he doesn’t know how to communicate with his other son Peter (Sam Riley), who is still living. When a body is found, Alan and Peter set off on a road trip to see if the body might be Michael, and try to open up to each other along the way.
Where to watch it: Rent on digital $10.49 through virtual cinemas
Aviva tells its story through dance. As a couple fall in love and get to know each other, they’re portrayed by different actors, portraying their masculine and feminine sides. Aviva is played by Zina Zinchenko and Or Schraiber, and her love Eden is played by Tyler Phillips and Bobbie Jene Smith. Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans) directs, with choreography by Smith.
Marona’s Fantastic Tale
Where to watch it: Rent on digital $9.99 through virtual cinemas
Marona’s Fantastic Tale centers on a small dog named Marona, and recounts the humans she’s come to love over the course of her life. From our review:
The first moments of Marona’s Fantastic Tale set up the movie for heartbreak. The latest animated film from New York distribution house GKids is told by a small dog named Marona as she dies, lying on the street after being hit by a car. She thinks back to the first moments of her existence — and before that, as she describes the first meeting between her parents, a purebred and a mutt. And she considers her many owners, and how each of them became something different to her. Romanian director Anca Damian weaves a beautifully poignant story of a little dog and the humans she loves. With a rich visual language that demands every ounce of attention, Marona’s Fantastic Tale is a heartwarming, heartbreaking journey that lingers afterward.
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