Pick of the Litter – June 2019


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Toy Story 4

(Disney*Pixar) Starring the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Annie Potts. With Andy having grown up and gone to college, the gang from Andy’s room now have a new child to take care of – Bonnie. Bonnie has some toys of her own including one she made as a craft project; Forky. However, Forky has rejected his place as a toy and runs away. When the gang goes to bring him back, it leads to a reunion with an old friend and new dangers to overcome. June 21

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Framing John DeLorean

(Sundance Selects) Alec Baldwin, Morena Baccarin, Michael Rispoli, Dean Winters. The incredible but true story of John DeLorean, a visionary and fraud who captured headlines in the 1980s for his revolutionary car and his spectacular fall. This film is a combination documentary and biopic that tells the tale. June 7

Late Night

(Amazon) Emma Thompson, Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow, Hugh Dancy. A veteran late-night talk show host whose show has been slowly withering away hires a perky woman of color to augment her all-white male writing staff and ends up finding her funny again. June 7

I Am Mother

(Netflix) Clara Rugaard, Rose Byrne (voice), Hilary Swank, Luke Hawker. A kindly robot raises a teenage girl underground following the extinction of mankind. Dedicated to repopulating the earth, they live a quiet life until a mysterious woman, still inexplicably alive, arrives with disturbing news. June 7

Papi Chulo

(Blue Fox) Matt Bomer, Alejandro Patiño, Elena Campbell-Martinez, Wendi McLendon-Covey. An L.A. weatherman, in the midst of a personal crisis, hires a day laborer to refinish his deck. The two form an unlikely friendship which takes them both in unexpected directions in their lives. June 7

The Dead Don’t Die

(Focus) Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Adam Driver, Selena Gomez. It’s the Zombie Apocalypse, Jim Jarmusch-style as the pleasant town of Centerville takes on an army of the undead ravening for human flesh. At last, the answer to the question “What if an acclaimed and revered indie icon directed an episode of The Walking Dead. NB: Not to be taken seriously. June 14

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

(A24) Jimmie Falls, Jonathan Majors, Tichina Arnold, Danny Glover. A young man dreams of reclaiming the gorgeous Victorian home his grandfather built in the heart of San Francisco. However, the city is not the same as he remembered it and perhaps that dream has already slipped through his fingers. This Sundance hit is already being discussed as a possible Oscar contender. June 14

American Woman

(Roadside Attractions) Sienna Miller, Christina Hendricks, Aaron Paul, Amy Madigan. When a 32-year-old Pennsylvania woman’s teenage daughter disappears, she is left to raise her infant granddaughter alone. The movie follows the eleven-year journey for the mom to eventually find out what happened to her girl. June 14

Nightmare Cinema

(Cinelou) Mickey Rourke, Richard Chamberlain, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser. This horror anthology includes five works by some of the best directors in the business; Mick Garris, Joe Dante, Ryûhei Kitamura, David Slade and Alejandro Bruguės. Five strangers convene at a movie theater where a sinister projectionist shows them their deepest fears and darkest secrets. June 21

 

Maiden

(Sony Classics) Tracy Edwards. In 1989, skipper Tracy Edwards assembled an all-female crew and entered them into the Whitbread Around the World Race, one of the most grueling and dangerous sporting events there is. Nobody believed that these women could do it – not even themselves at times. This documentary covers the incredible true story of some unsung heroines of sailing. June 28

This Changes Everything

(Good Deed) Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman. This documentary takes a hard look at gender disparity in Hollywood, from the #MeToo movement to the lack of women in the executive structures while at the same time introducing us to some new voices in feminist filmmaking. June 28

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Pick of the Litter – May 2019


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Godzilla: King of Monsters

(Warner Brothers) Millie Bobby Brown, Vera Farmiga, Charles Dance, Sally Hawkins The awakening of Godzilla has led to a return of other titans, many thought to be myth. Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidoreh all vie for supremacy opposed by the mighty Godzilla with the fate of the human race hanging in the balance. May 31

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

(Netflix) Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Angela Sarafyan, John Malkovich. The story of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy as seen through the eyes of his girlfriend Liz Kendall. This was one of the big pick-ups at this year’s Sundance and it also played Tribeca this past month. May 3

Non-Fiction

(Sundance Selects) Guillaume Canet, Juliette Binoche, Vincent Macaigne, Christa Thėret. A Parisian author details his marital infidelities in a new book in an effort to re-energize his career, including an affair with the actress wife of his editor. The French excel at sexy comedies and this bright and breezy concoction is directed by Olivier Assayas, one of the finest directors working in France currently. May 3

Ask Dr. Ruth

(Magnolia/Hulu) Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer. In the 1980s, a tiny German woman, a survivor of the Holocaust, became a household name because she spoke frankly and openly about all things sexual. She essentially became America’s sex education teacher, letting people know it was okay to ask questions about such a natural yet taboo act. Even today when she is in her 90s, Dr. Ruth remains first and foremost an educator, preaching the gospel of good sex. May 3

Tolkien

(Fox Searchlight) Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Colm Meaney, Derek Jacobi. Author J.R.R. Tolkien changed literature and indeed the entire world with his tales of Middle Earth. This film explores his formative years as the orphaned outcast makes a fast group of friends in school, then undergoes the horrors of the First World War that would later inform his work. May 10

The Professor and the Madman

(Vertical) Mel Gibson, Sean Penn, Natalie Dormer, Ioan Gruffud. The compiling of the Oxford English Dictionary was a mammoth job that many felt was impossible; the language was changing at a faster rate than the researchers could keep up with. Salvation though came from an unlikely source; an inmate at the Broadmoor Prison for the Criminally Insane. May 10

The Serengeti Rules

(Abramorama) Greg Kriek, Ashlyn Jade Lopez, Jonathan Newport, Mary Power. In the 1960s, a group of scientists set out into some of the most remote places on Earth to examine how nature works. Their discoveries turned our understanding of ecology upside down and may hold the key to saving our planet in the wake of climate change. May 10

Mosul

(Gravitas Ventures) Ali Mula, Anouar H. Smaine. The incredible story of local militias, international forces and uneasy allies who banded together to liberate Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city of over a million people, from the clutches of ISIS amidst rumors of sectarian violence among the ranks. May 14

Trial by Fire

(Roadside Attractions) Jack O’Connell, Laura Dern, Emily Meade, Jason Douglas. Cameron Todd Willingham is accused of the most heinous crime imaginable; of deliberately setting his house on fire and burning his three daughters alive inside of it. He proclaims his innocence but the forensic evidence points to his guilt, so he’s convicted and sentenced to death. Nobody believes his protestations until he befriends a writer who begins to suspect that the evidence might not be pointing in the right direction. May 17

Echo in the Canyon

(Greenwich) Jakob Dylan, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Michelle Phillips. In the 1960s a group of musicians found a home in Laurel Canyon near Los Angeles. The music that they made would change the direction of rock music forever, influencing even the Beatles themselves. This played the Florida Film Festival in April. May 24

Funny Story

(Blue Fox) Matthew Glave, Emily Bett Rickards, Jana Winternitz, Reginald VelJohnson. A dad in the midst of a raging midlife crisis decides to reconnect with his estranged daughter by visiting her at her Big Sur cabin. Along the way there he offers a ride to a young woman in the midst of a crisis of her own and ends up bonding with her in ways that will upset the lives of everyone around them. May 24

Deadwood: The Movie

(HBO) Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Kim Dickens, Brad Dourif. The critically acclaimed revisionist Western returns in a movie that brings back together the denizens of Deadwood, Montana as a corrupt senator seeks to take over the town.. May 31

Free Trip to Egypt

(Kindness) Adam Saleh, Ahmed Hassan, Jenna Day, Tarek Mounib. An Egyptian-American seeks out random Americans who harbor a fear of Islam and offers them a free trip to Egypt to get a better understanding of the people who live there. May 31

Pick of the Litter – April 2019


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Avengers: Endgame

(Disney/Marvel) Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson. The events of Avengers: The Infinity War have left the universe devastated. Many friends have fallen but one hero doesn’t accept it; Captain America. He has a plan to put things to rights. Whether or not it works, one thing is certain – the Marvel Cinematic Universe will never be the same. This brings Phase III to an end. April 26

INDEPENDENT PICKS

The Haunting of Sharon Tate

(Saban) Hilary Duff, Jonathan Bennett, Lydia Hearst, Pawel Szajda. Sometimes the prurient captures our imagination. In the days prior to one of the most notorious and gruesome murders in history, doomed actress Sharon Tate supposedly had premonitions of what was going to happen to her and her unborn baby. This movie follows along with that proposition. April 5

The Wind

(IFC Midnight) Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles, Miles Anderson, Dylan McTee. A woman living in an isolated cabin on the prairie in the 19th century is disturbed by the non-stop winds. Her fears are further amplified when a newlywed couple moves in nearby. Despite her husband’s assurances that there is nothing out there but the wind, it turns out that there is something malevolent watching her and it has sharp claws. April 5

Unicorn Store

(Netflix) Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Bradley Whitford, Joan Cusack. A young woman who is having trouble adjusting to adulthood receives a mysterious invitation to shop at a store that will allow her to fulfill her most precious childhood dreams. This charming film marks the directing debut of Oscar-winning actress Larson. April 5

Wild Nights With Emily

(Greenwich) Molly Shannon, Amy Seimetz, Susan Ziegler, Brett Gelman. Most of us who have any impression of the great poet Emily Dickinson see her as a reclusive spinster. However, this comedy explores her relationship with her sister-in-law Susan, to whom Emily’s letters reveal a much different side than popular thought.. April 12

The Most Dangerous Year

(Passion River) Vlada Knowlton. For the transgender community, it is generally agreed upon that 2016 was one of the most dangerous years for that community ever as several states considered banning transgenders from using public restrooms of the gender they identified with. This deeply personal documentary (the filmmaker’s daughter is a transgender) highlights the human side of that controversial equation. April 12

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

(Kino-Lorber) Wei Tang, Jue Huang, Sylvia Chang, Hong-Chi Lee. This Chinese art house hit follows a lonely man returning to his native province where he reminisces about a mysterious woman whom he met 20 years earlier. Apparently, the hour-long climax was done in one single shot. Like most of director Gan Bi’s work, this is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. April 12

Satan & Adam

(Cargo) Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee, Adam Gussow, Al Sharpton, The Edge. This duo of street musicians known as Satan and Adam couldn’t have been more different; one was a veteran Mississippi delta blues man who backed up the likes of Etta James and James Brown (at the Apollo Theater no less), the other an Ivy League-educated harmonica player. Together though they made music that would make Old Scratch himself dance a jig. April 12

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

(Screen Media) Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgård, Olga Kurylenko. This long-awaited Terry Gilliam film finally sees the light of day! An acclaimed but cynical film director gets sucked into the delusions of a Spanish cobbler who believes himself to be Don Quixote de la Mancha and the director to be Sancho Panza. As the delusion becomes increasingly surreal, the director is forced to confront the repercussions of a film he made as a young man that devastated a Spanish village and the impending mortality of the cobbler. April 10 (Fathom Releases)

Under the Silver Lake

(A24) Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Topher Grace, Jimmi Simpson. A young man whose life is going nowhere meets an effervescent young woman frolicking in the pool of his apartment complex and makes a connection – or so he thinks. When she seemingly disappears the next morning, he goes on a quest searching L.A. for hidden clues to find the girl of his dreams. April 19

The White Crow

(Sony Classics) Oleg Ivenko, Ralph Fiennes, Louis Hofmann, Adele Exarchopoulos. Rudolf Nureyev was perhaps the greatest dancer in the world. The Soviet Union used him as a political symbol of Soviet superiority in the arts. At the height of the Cold War, he defected – an act that was much more complicated than it sounds. April 26

Pick of the Litter – February 2019


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Alita: Battle Angel

(20th Century Fox) Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali. In the future the world will be divided into those above and those below – the haves and the have-nots. A man from down below finds a robot on the scrapheap and restores her meticulously, giving her the name of Alita. He soon realizes that Alita is something special – the last known remaining Battle Angel, the most advanced weapon ever devised. There are those who would stop at nothing to get control of her – and others who would stop at nothing to see her destroyed – but Alita will not be taken easily.  February 14

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Daughter of Mine

(Strand) Valeria Golino, Alba Rohrwacher, Sara Casu, Udo Kier. Two women fight over the custody of a little girl; the woman who has raised her in a loving environment and her birth mother who has changed her mind and wants her back in her life. This is a powerful drama with no easy answers.  February 1

The Golem

(Epic) Hani Furstenberg, Ishai Golan, Brynie Furstenberg, Adi Kvetner. In Jewish mythology, a Golem is a creature created from clay that exists to exact revenge for its creator, but often turns on its maker. This new film is about a woman in the 19th century, a mystical whose village finds itself in the midst of a plague that is devastating the land,l She creates a Golem to help repel foreign invaders but as the old adage goes, the cure is worse than the disease. February 1

Sharkwater Extinction

(Freestyle) Rob Stewart, Will Allen, Brock Cahill, Regi Domingo. It is no secret that sharks are among the most feared creatures on earth but these largely misunderstood animals are being hunted to extinction. A courageous filmmaker tackles the illegal fishing industry, the powerful political and criminal forces behind it and what we must do to save the sharks before it is too late. February 1

Song of Parkland

(HBO) Melody Herzfeld. A year ago, a typical school day at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was interrupted by the sound of gunfire. The drama department, deep in rehearsal for the annual kid’s show the school puts on was evacuated from the building amid chaos. When classes resumed again, the drama instructor Melody Herzfeld knew they had to finish what they started. This documentary shows how the show helped unite and heal a grieving student body and watches as they go from victims to activists making a real impact on the national debate for gun control. February 7

Everybody Knows

(Focus) Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darin, Eduard Fernández. Her sister’s wedding is ore than enough reason for Laura to travel from Buenos Aires to Madrid and from thence to the small town she grew up in. However the happy occasion turns nightmarish when unexpected events bring long-buried family secrets out into the open. February 8

Birds of Passage

(The Orchard) Carmiña Martinez, José Acosta, Natalia Reyes, Jhon Narváez. An indigenous family in Central America becomes involved with the marijuana trade in the 70s. At first, their involvement brings money and prestige for them. However, with money comes violence which threatens to destroy the family as well as their culture. This is the latest film from the team that brought you Embrace of the Serpent. February 15

A Tuba to Cuba

(Nom de Guerre) Danny Clinch, T.G. Herrington, Han Soto, Nicelle Herrington. The legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans is in many ways the face of American jazz. In order to better understand who they are, they embark on a journey to discover their own roots. That journey takes them to Cuba where they find that their sound is a bridge between two disparate peoples. February 15

Total Dhamaal

(Fox STAR) Ajay Devgn, Riteish Deshmukh, Arshad Warsi, Anil Kapoor. A group of motorists on a remote road in India come across a dying man who tells them of a buried treasure. It becomes a madcap race through adventure and peril to be the first to claim the fortune in this remake of the classic It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. February 22

Pick of the Litter – January 2019


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Glass

(Blumhouse/Universal) Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy. Security guard David Dunn is locked up in an institution for his belief that he has superpowers. But when a disturbed patient with 24 separate personalities including a homicidal maniac escapes, Dunn must put his powers to the test – knowing all of this is masterminded by evil genius Mr. Glass. This is a sequel to M. Night Shyamalan’s previous films Unbreakable and Split.. January 18

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Genesis 2.0

(Kimstim) Christian Frei. Jeff Goldblum as the fictional chaos theory mathematician once said “They were so busy trying to see if they could they never stopped to think if they should.” That was from the original Jurassic Park. Life is imitating art at a much more rapid pace than you might be aware; the discovery of a nearly intact mammoth carcass in the Siberian permafrost with muscle, liquid blood and fur intact has set off a frenzy of scientific interest as geneticists and virologists look to research the find and possibly bring an ancient mammoth back to life from the DNA recently discovered.  January 2

The Vanishing

(Saban) Gerard Butler, Peter Mullan, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Gary Lewis. In 1900 three lighthouse keepers in the Flannan Isles in the Outer Hebrides off the coast of Scotland disappeared without a trace and were never seen again. Although much conjecture about their fates was considered by the newspapers of the time, no explanation for their disappearance has ever been fully accepted. This film looks at one possibility. January 4

Ashes in the Snow

(Vertical) Bel Powley, Peter Franzén, Sophie Cookson, James Cosmo. In his quest for power, Stalin and the Soviet Union occupied many countries already reeling from the ravages of the war. A 16-year-old aspiring artist and her family are deported from the Baltic to Siberia due to her father’s anti-Stalinist stance. Young Nina draws what she sees in hopes that history will give a voice to those who have none. January 11

Girl

(Netflix) Victor Polster, Arieh Worthalter, Oliver Bodart, Tijmen Govaerts. A 15-year-old girl, born in a boy’s body, dreams of becoming a ballerina even as she begins her body transition but achieving all her dreams may not be enough. This is up for the Best Foreign Language Film at the upcoming Golden Globe Awards. January 18

The Image Book

(Kino-Lorber) Jean-Luc Godard, Buster Keaton, Dmitri Basil. Without a doubt Jean-Luc Godard is one of the great visual artists of our lifetime. His latest film can only be described as a cinematic collage which may seem random at first but I’m told tells a story in five parts that illustrates his take on the state of humanity as the 2010s circle the drain. January 25

The Wild Pear Tree

(The Cinema Guild) Domu Demirkol, Murat Cemcir, Bennu Yildirimlar, Hazar Erguçlu. A young man returns home to his village from college with the intention of becoming a writer. However, his father’s debts put a crimp in his plans and thrust his family into peril. January 30

Pick of the Litter – December 2018


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Aquaman

(Warner Brothers) Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe. The first post-Justice League DC film will be under a microscope as we explore the origin tale of Arthur Curry, the son of a lighthouse keeper and the Queen of Atlantis who will be enlisted to unite the peoples below the sea and above it. Forces exist however who want to send the two peoples into a cataclysmic war that will determine who rules the world once and for all. December 21

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Ben is Back

(Roadside Attractions) Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges, Courtney B. Vance, Kathryn Newton. A mother’s most devout Christmas wish comes true when her estranged son appears unexpectedly on her doorstep Christmas Eve morning. However, the sins of his past including drug abuse and criminal activity are not far behind him and she will fight tooth and nail to keep it from dragging the rest of her family down with it.  December 7

Vox Lux

(NEON) Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Ehle. The events that shaped the world from 1999-2017 are viewed through the eyes of a self-centered pop diva. One of the most anticipated films to come out of Toronto this year, there is already talk that this might be Portman’s next Oscar win. December 7

ROMA

(Netflix) Yalitza Aparicio, Marina de Tavira, Diego Cortina Autrey, Carlos Peralta. Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron returns to his Mexican home turf to examine the life of a middle class family in a suburb of Mexico City during a single year in the tumultuous ‘70s. A big hit at various film festivals (it received the award for Best Film at Venice), Netflix is giving it the widest theatrical release in the history of the company in November in preparation for a major Oscar push. December 14

Ghostbox Cowboy

(Dark Star) David Zellner, Specialist, Robert Longstreet, Vincent Xie. A Texas entrepreneur who isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier relocates to China where he reinvents himself as something of a maverick in China’s booming tech market. However, unscrupulous and corrupt American businessmen are prepared to take him a lot further than he wants to go in this parable about the trade war mentality. December 14

 They Shall Not Grow Old

(Warner Brothers) Peter Jackson. Legendary producer/director/writer Peter Jackson is a World War I buff. Using modern technology, he has taken archival film from the Great War, restored it and added sound and color to make the scratchy, jumpy and sped up footage look more natural and realistic, allowing viewers to really become immersed in the experience. Theatrically, this is playing only at special screenings on December 17th and 27th via Fathom Events. December 17

Cold War

(Amazon) Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Borys Szyc, Agata Kulesza. Set in the background of the height of the Cold War, two young Poles, completely mismatched but stuck with each other, try to navigate the dangerous currents of Stalinist Poland and perhaps the even more dangerous currents of the human heart. This is Poland’s official submission for the 2019 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and comes to us from the director of a previous winner, Ida. December 21

 Destroyer

(Annapurna) Nicole Kidman, Tatiana Maslany, Toby Kebbell, Sebastian Stan. The leader of a notorious gang emerges from he shadows, prompting an aging L.A. detective who was once undercover in the gang with tragic results to seek out surviving members of the gang to exorcize her own demons and to get to the bottom of what happened so long ago. And yes, that is Kidman in the photo above. December 30

Stan and Ollie

(Sony Classics) John C. Reilly, Steve Coogan, Shirley Henderson, Danny Huston. The legendary comic duo of Laurel and Hardy are well past their prime and in desperate need of a hit. Undertaking a grueling theater tour of Britain, the two must deal with the ghosts of their past, Oliver Hardy’s failing health and their own feelings for each other. December 28

Pick of the Litter – November 2018


BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald

(Warner Brothers) Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Johnny Depp. The J.K. Rowling Wizarding World series continues as the notorious criminal Geller Grindlewald escapes American custody and sets about gathering followers to his cause – to rule over those who are not magical. Albus Dumbledore steps forward to stand up to his tyranny and enlists the help of Newt Scamander as the world of wizards and witches becomes increasingly divided.  November 16

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Bodied

(Neon) Callum Worthy, Jackie Long, Rory Uphold, Jonathan Park. A white graduate student doing his thesis on battle rap inadvertently sparks a battle of his own, as opposing sides yelling “cultural appropriation” and “freedom of speech” make their voices heard. This has a massive buzz about it already.  November 2

 A Private War

(Aviron) Rosamund Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci, Faye Marsay. This movie is based on the exploits of Marie Colvin, one of the most decorated and respected war correspondents of our time. With her distinctive eye patch, she went into war zones that many journalists wouldn’t go into, citing them as too dangerous. She thought of herself as a voice for the voiceless, speaking out for those whose lives were ruined by war. November 2

 

The Other Side of the Wind

(Netflix) John Huston, Peter Bogdanovich, Susan Strasberg, Lilli Palmer. Some movies make this list as much for what they represent as for their concept. This is the final film of Orson Welles, quite possibly the greatest film director of all time – certainly the director of arguably the best film of all time, Citizen Kane. Unfinished due to financial issues, the movie has been on the shelf for 40 years while the legal issues revolving around who owned the rights was resolved. Now, with post-production finally completed, Netflix is presenting this in limited release as well as on their streaming service as Huston plays an iconic director exiled from Hollywood who returns to make a movie that promises to be innovative. November 2

Postcards from London

(Strand) Harris Dickinson, Jonah Hauer-King, Alessandro Cimadamore, Leonardo Salerni. An extraordinarily handsome boy from a small town in England is lured to the bright lights and beauty of the fabled Soho district. Suffering from Stendahl’s Syndrome, he takes a highly unusual route into an escort service in this highly stylized film. November 9

 Jinn

(Orion) Simone Missick, Zoe Renee, Hisham Tawfiq, Kelvin Harrison Jr. A carefree young African-American girl is studying dancing and hopes to take it up as a vocation as her grandmother did before her. However, her life is turned upside down when her mother decides to convert to Islam and insists that her daughter convert with her. November 15

Jonathan

(Well Go USA) Ansel Elgort, Suki Waterhouse, Patricia Clarkson, Matt Bomer. Two brothers inhabit the same body, each living separate lives. They seem to be getting along, keeping their strange secret safe – until both of them develop an emotional attachment to the same girl. This film is equal parts science fiction and psychological thriller. November 16

Shoplifters

(Magnolia) Kirin Kiki, Lily Franky, Sôsuke Ikematsu, Mayu Matsuoka. A family of crooks and con men take in a little girl from the streets. Soon they find themselves in trouble way above their heads. This festival favorite is Japan’s official submission for the 2019 Foreign Language Oscar and a favorite to make the short list. November 23

 If Beale Street Could Talk

(Annapurna) Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Aunjanue Ellis. In Harlem in the 1970s, a young woman is deeply in love and looking forward to having her fiancé’s baby, despite some conflict with her devout mother. When her intended is jailed for a crime he didn’t commit, she sets out to prove his innocence regardless of her delicate condition. Based on a novel by the great James Baldwin, this is Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to the movie that won him the statue Moonlight.. November 30