Summer Distractions

Happy long Canada Day weekend, everybody! Here are the movies opening today, as I fly off to New York to enjoy the crushing humidity we’ve been missing here at home.

The Beguiled: Sofia Coppola doesn’t so much remake Don Siegel’s 1971 classic as strip it down to its basic moving parts, which proves dramatically limiting. Still, they gave her Best Director at Cannes so what do I know.

The Big Sick: Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon turn their meet-weird story into a really smart comedy about cultural divides and scary decisions, with Zoe Kazan playing Emily. I liked it a whole lot, and so did Rad.

Despicable Me 3: Look, I’ve been in this business a long time, and If there’s one thing kids love, it’s Steve Carell in an unidentifiable Eastern European accent. And also those ambulatory Twinkie guys. Rad’s review should be up later today.

The House: Suburban parents Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler turn their home into a bordello to pay for their daughter’s college tuition; things escalate quickly. Warner didn’t screen it, but the trailer made me laugh harder than the entirety of Chips and Baywatch combined, so I’m keeping hope alive.

In the Name of All Canadians: Commissioned to mark Canada’s 150th birthday tomorrow, this assortment of short docs exploring the legacy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a mixed bag … but it ends with a wallop.

Manifesto: Julian Rosefeldt and Cate Blanchett’s collaboration is a fun, occasionally brilliant work of political, social and artistic thought, with lots of costume changes and makeup. Also a monolith, for some reason I still don’t understand.

Nowhere to Hide: Zaradasht Ahmed’s documentary captures the creeping hopelessness of an Iraqi nurse who works in a hospital smack in the middle of his country’s “triangle of death”. Rad appreciates it.

Radio Dreams: Babak Jalali’s deadpan comedy about Iranian exiles running a San Francisco radio station — and waiting for Metallica to show up and jam — shares a similar vibe with early Wenders, Kaurismaki and Jarmusch, though it’s not quite as confident in its filmmaking.

Also, TIFF’s Melville series starts this week, and I wrote a thing about it for the NOW site. Crime has rarely been cooler.

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