Pick of the Litter – September 2018


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

The Nun

(New Line) Taissa Farmiga, Demián Bichir, Bonnie Aarons, Jonny Coyne. The second spin-off film from the Conjuring film universe focuses on a demonic nun who has appeared in the visions of Lorraine Warren – played by Vera Farmiga, the older sister of Taissa. In this period piece, a young novitiate about to take her final vows and a priest with a troubled past are sent to a Romanian convent to investigate the suicide of a nun there. They find a terrifying apparition who heralds a desperate battle between the living and the damned with the fate of their souls on the line. Could be another winner for the series.  September 7

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Hal

(Oscilloscope) Hal Ashby, Jon Voight, Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges. Hal Ashby directed some of the most seminal films of the 70s including Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Being There, Coming Home, Shampoo and Bound for Glory. Despite a resume of that caliber he remains largely unsung today, his later career being marked by drug use and a reputation for being difficult to work with. Still, many contemporary directors are influenced by his passion and his eye for a great story. September 7

Life in the Doghouse

(FilmRise) Ron Davis. Danny and Ron’s Dog Rescue is a unique operation. They are contacted regularly by animal shelters to take dogs that are on the euthanasia list and bring the animals into their home. Since beginning their business, they’ve rescued over 10,000 dogs, many of them who are basically unadoptable. Their pledge is that these animals will never see the inside of a shelter again, and if nobody adopts them, they’ll live their lives out with Danny and Ron. September 12

The Children’s Act

(A24) Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Finn Whitehead, Ben Chaplin. A judge whose marriage is crumbling is assigned a particularly difficult case in which a young teen with leukemia refuses blood transfusions that he needs to survive because of his faith. The judge must determine whether the teen is being unduly influenced by his parents who are devout Jehovah’s Witnesses or that the boy has arrived at his stand on his own. The two will find inspiration in one another as time ticks down on the seriously ill young man. September 14

Lizzie

(Roadside Attractions/Saban) Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, Jamey Sheridan, Fiona Shaw. The story of Lizzie Borden is a familiar one; in 1892, her mother and father were brutally murdered with an axe. Lizzie was accused of the heinous crime but was never convicted. This is a reimagining of the notorious case which remains unsolved more than 125 years later. September 14

Love, Gilda

(Magnolia/CNN) Gilda Radner, Gene Wilder, Amy Poehler, Bill Hader. She was one of the most beloved comedians of her time. She was also the first person selected for the original Saturday Night Live cast. In this intimate documentary, we hear her thoughts and her life in her own words through tape recordings made during her illness and in journal entries throughout her life. September 21

 Tea With the Dames

(Sundance Selects) Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright, Eileen Atkins. Four of the greatest actresses of the 21st century (and the 20th) get together for a spot of tea and a bit of idle gossip. The results are hilarious, heartwarming and vivacious. September 21

The Old Man and the Gun

(Fox Searchlight) Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover. This is the story of Forrest Tucker, an enigmatic bank robber who at 70 years old  escapes from San Quentin and embarks on a series of daring heists that frustrate law enforcement authorities and captivate the public. Redford has stated that this will be his final acting role. September 28

Bad Reputation

(Magnolia) Joan Jett, Kenny Laguna, Iggy Pop, Pete Townshend. Joan Jett has gone from an upstart who dared to play rock and roll as a woman to an icon who has inspired generations of female rockers. This is her story from her time in the Runaways to her battles with the powers that be to her acceptance as one of the most influential figures in the annals of rock and roll. September 28

Monsters and Men

(Neon) Anthony Ramos, John David Washington, Rob Morgan, Chanté Adams. A young man with a future films an unjustified police shooting of an unarmed man in front of a Brooklyn bodega. He is faced with the choice of posting the video and potentially jeopardizing everything he has worked so hard to achieve, or keep it hidden and in doing so becoming complicit in the cover-up. September 28