I told you this week would be busy. No fewer than a dozen films opening, and me on top of most of them.
I’m so tired.
Anthropoid: Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan plot to kill the Butcher of Prague in this dour war picture, directed with typical self-importance by Sean Ellis (Cashback). It’s fine, but it could have been so much better.
Equity: Anna Gunn stars as a disgraced investment banker determined to get back on top (metaphor very much intended) in Meera Menon’s feminist spin on Wall Street thrillers. Jose has some reservations.
Florence Foster Jenkins: Stephen Frears’ latest casts Meryl Streep as the legendarily horrific chanteuse, with Hugh Grant as her longtime enabler. Phil enjoyed it.
Gleason: Rad goes all in for Clay Tweel’s documentary about Steve Gleason, a football player who refuses to let a diagnosis of ALS stop him from living his life.
How Heavy This Hammer: Kaz Radwanski follows Tower with a similarly suffocating study of middle-aged urban alienation. I like his style. (He’s also this week’s SEMcast guest, so check that out if you haven’t already.)
The Infiltrator: The Herculean efforts of Bryan Cranston and John Leguizamo invest Brad Furman’s rote drug-war drama with much-needed life, but it’s just so predictable.
Lo and Behold: Reveries of a Connected World: Werner Herzog peers into the abyss of the Internet and decides he doesn’t much care for it.
Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise: The life and impact of the late author is celebrated in this expanded American Masters documentary built around an extensive interview recorded shortly before her death.
Operation Chromite: Anthropoid isn’t the only get-er-done war movie opening this week. This one — which is even duller and less involving — hails from South Korea, and features Liam Neeson in a dull walk-on as Douglas MacArthur.
Pete’s Dragon: David Lowery’s rapturous tale of a boy and his monster might be the thing that saves Disney’s soul — or at least validates the studio’s mania for remaking absolutely everything in its library. But don’t think of it as a remake; it is magnificently its own thing.
Sausage Party: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s first venture into animation is Toy Story inside a supermarket, with a lot more existential dread.
Zoom: Three stories — two live-action, one animated — bounce off of one another in Pedro Morelli’s nicely slippery drama. Fun fact: Screenwriter Matt Hansen is also a friend of SEMcast, and you should totally check out his episode.
Phew. And now to dig into next week’s movies. And some TIFF stuff. And some other stuff too. Because it never goddamn ends.