Everyone knows the best films come out closest to the holidays, and this year seems like no exception. November is already seeing a great many fantastic looking films. Here are five notable films that recently opened or will open within the month.
5. “Honey Boy”
The screenplay for this film is by Shia LaBeouf, once of “Holes” fame but more recently known for his bizarre, erratic behavior. Directed by Alma Har’el and starring Lucas Hedges, the film is described as an act of therapy for LaBoeuf. Following two different timelines, the film shows LaBeouf’s ascent into stardom and his attempt to work out issues with his father via film and art. The film comes out Nov. 8, and it promises to be a wild ride.
4. “The King,” Netflix
This film is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s “Henriad,” a term for the Henry plays, and “Richard II.” Starring the world’s collective boyfriend, Timothée Chalemet, who is most well-known for “Call Me By Your Name” and “Lady Bird,” the film seems to be an attempt to translate Shakespeare for younger audiences, a statement bolstered by the appearance of actors Robert Pattinson and Lily-Rose Depp. Reviews have generally been positive, citing Depp’s strong female character and Pattinson’s short but effectual performance. The film had a limited release in theatres and is now available for streaming on Netflix.
3. “Queen and Slim”
Dealing with a pervasive and somehow divisive premise, “Queen and Slim” follows a couple – Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith – on a first date thrown into chaos after a traffic stop goes wrong. Smith, known for directing Beyoncé’s “Formation” music video, makes her leading debut. The film’s screenplay was written by Lena Waithe, known for “The Chi,” her Emmy-winning writing on “Master of None” and the fabulous rainbow cape she wore to the Met Gala in 2018. The film seems topical but not trite, with great attention to detail and lots of care in rendering race thoughtfully and powerfully. The film is released across the United States Nov. 27.
2. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Depicting one of America’s icons, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” tells the story of a cynical reporter’s life-changing interaction with Mr. Rogers, played by another American icon, Tom Hanks. From the trailer, Hanks seems to embody Mr. Rogers perfectly, showing the triumph of love and acceptance over pessimism and hate in a time which desperately needs some neighborliness. If you’re in the mood for some wholesome, if not a bit saccharine, family cheer this holiday, “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” releases across the United States Nov. 22.
With a star-studded cast featuring Janelle Monae, Leslie Odom Jr. and Cynthia Erivo, this film about famed escaped slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman has been making headlines for months. The film depicts Tubman’s journey from a young slave through her escape, many subsequent journeys back south to help others escape and her stint in the Union army during the civil war. Although packed with action the film also works to be historically accurate and racially sensitive. While possibly not as horrific as 2014 Best Picture winner “12 Years a Slave” or as stunningly rendered as Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” “Harriet” seems to be a powerful film that is accessible to audiences without becoming overly distorted. Released Nov. 1, the film is sure to be in theatres awhile, making it the perfect Thanksgiving break monotony breaker!