Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
How frequently does Hollywood produce a follow-up to a movie these days that isn’t a cartoon, a horror film, or an action blockbuster with lots of CGI? The response is: never at all. However, Rian Johnson has written and directed another murder mystery in the same brilliantly complex style since Knives Out was so brilliant and its main character was so fascinating. Benoit Blanc, the clever detective with a flamboyant vocabulary and an even more exaggerated Southern drawl, is played once again by Daniel Craig. He’s hunting down a killer among a bunch of affluent, entitled Americans, as in Knives Out, but this time the scene is on a private Greek island, and the suspects (played by Ed Norton, Dave Bautista, Kate Hudson, Janelle Monáe, and others) are millionaires.
Released on November 23 in cinemas in the UK and the US, and on December 23 worldwide on Netflix.
2. Bones and All
The Call Me by Your Name actress and director, Luca Guadagnino, reunite for this heartwarming, 1980s-set adaptation of a novel about a young couple. Bones and All, however, differs in one crucial way: the young lovers who inhabit the film can’t stop consuming human flesh. One of them, Maren (Taylor Russell), age 18, believed she was the only one with this unusual dietary requirement, but as she travels through small-town America, she discovers that “eaters” are unexpectedly prevalent. Her new cannibalistic friends include the dashing Lee (Chalamet) and the terrifyingly dangerous Sully (Mark Rylance). “Guadagnino has created an effective and gruesome shocker,” says John Bleasdale at Sight & Sound. “But Bones and All is also the tale of a lost young pair, finding each other and themselves. It is wryly funny, gleefully entertaining and oddly touching. Delicious and nutritious.
Released internationally on 23 November
3. The Fabelmans
There is currently a tendency for movies on the formative years of its directors, as seen in Roma, Belfast, and The Hand of God. The Fabelmans, a touching, autobiographical coming-of-age story directed by Steven Spielberg, is the most recent example. It has been predicted that it will win best picture at the Oscars. Its young protagonist is now known as Sammy Fabelman (played by Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord, then by Gabriel LaBelle), but his life story is very similar to that of Steven Spielberg: he falls in love with movies, moves from New Jersey to Arizona to Northern California, and sees his mother’s and father’s marital issues (played by Michelle Williams and Paul Dano, respectively). “This is the movie we’ve been waiting 45 years for him to make,” says David Fear at Rolling Stone. “It’s one man’s thank you to the movies for saving him. And it’s a great American artist utilising his skill as a great storyteller to finally tell his own… It’s one of the most impressive, enlightening, vital things he’s ever done.”
Released on 23 November in the US, 24 November in Portugal, 25 November in Poland and Turkey, and 27 January 2023 in the UK.
4. The Wonder
A doubtful English nurse (Florence Pugh) is dispatched to monitor an 11-year-old girl (Kila Lord Cassidy) who is reported to have survived for months without sustenance in a rural Irish village in 1862. Is she a miracle or a fraud? is what the local power brokers (Ciarán Hinds, Toby Jones, Tom Burke) want to know. A genius or a tool in another person’s hands? Sebastián Lelio’s adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s novel Room, “eerie and unusual period drama is a magnetic and mysterious little marvel rich in atmosphere and allure”, says Benjamin Lee in The Guardian. But the real miracle in this “incredibly involving” film is Pugh, who is “never less than utterly, mesmerically convincing. She’s so totally in command here that it almost feels as if she’s directing the film from within”.
Released on 16 November on Netflix.
5. Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Emma Corrin, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Lady Diana Spencer in The Crown, plays Lady Constance Chatterley in Laure de Clermont-adaptation Tonnerre’s of DH Lawrence’s ground-breakingly sinister book. (In the 1960 British obscenity trial, the prosecutor questioned whether this was the sort of book “you would desire your wife or servants to read.) The Lady (Matthew Duckett) is given the physical care she desires by the tough gamekeeper Oliver Mellors, played by Jack O’Connell, after her husband Sir Clifford (Matthew Duckett), who served in World War One, became paralyzed from the waist down. Additionally, Joely Richardson, who co-starred with Sean Bean in a 1993 television series as Lady Chatterley, plays Mrs. Bolton, Sir Clifford’s nurse. Tomris Laffly at The Wrap says that the film is “a handsome introduction to this feminine saga of sexual awakening, laced with both something old and something new, and plenty of frank, tastefully choreographed and actually steamy eroticism dearly missed in today’s increasingly sterile mainstream cinema”.
Released in UK cinemas on 25 November, and Netflix internationally on 2 December.
6. The Menu
The Menu, this month’s other satirical film about the super-rich getting their just desserts on a private island (see also: Glass Onion), stars Ralph Fiennes as a diabolical celebrity chef who runs one of the most upscale dining establishments in the world. Two of the foodies who have signed up for the $1250 per person fine-dining experience are portrayed by Nicholas Hoult and Anya Taylor-Joy. However, they quickly learn that while the chef’s “molecular gastronomy” (including a rock covered in bits of seaweed) is not exactly lip-smacking, the way he treats his customers is even worse. “The rarefied world of haute cuisine is not exactly a hard target to satirise,” says Wendy Ide at Screen Daily, “but this deliciously savage comedy from Succession director Mark Mylod makes every bitter mouthful count. A bracingly spiteful and very funny picture.”
Released internationally on 18 November
7. Good Night Oppy
Opportunity, a NASA Mars exploration rover, touched down on the planet in 2004. The solar-powered, remote-controlled robot that was designed to last barely 90 days continued to trudge around for 15 years, analyzing minerals. (That is, fifteen Earth years, which corresponds to eight Martian years.) It should come as no surprise that scientists began to view it—or her—less as a machine and more as a warm relative of Wall-E and R2-D2. The documentary by Ryan White may cause viewers to experience similar emotions. White employs computer-animated sequences in addition to video from NASA to depict Oppy’s Martian adventures. That means that the “inspirational and wonderfully engaging… Good Night Oppy is more than just a documentary,” says Peter Debruge in Variety. “It’s an animated film as well – and a hugely entertaining one at that.”
Released in UK cinemas on 4 November, and Amazon Prime internationally on 23 November
One of the most well-liked movies of the year is Charlotte Wells’ debut as a writer-director. She still lives with her mother in Scotland while he has gone to England and has no plans to return. In the melancholy, intimate Aftersun, starring Francesca Corio and Paul Mescal (Normal People), the 11-year-old girl goes on a rare vacation with her 30-year-old father in the late 1990s. They explore a decrepit Turkish resort’s discos, arcades, and karaoke bars, but it soon becomes apparent that Calum isn’t quite the content father he is trying to be. “Deftly constructed and utterly heartbreaking,” says Pat Brown at Slant Magazine, “Aftersun announces Wells as an eminent storyteller of prodigious powers.”
Released on 18 November in the UK and Ireland
9. Strange World
The creators of Raya and the Last Dragon, Don Hall and Qui Nguyen, use their most recent Disney animated film to pay homage to the classic science-fiction adventure stories of Jules Verne and HG Wells: the film’s explorer heroes, voiced by Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Gabrielle Union, find a land of strange and wonderful flora and fauna beneath the Earth’s surface. But like previous Disney and Pixar movies, such The Incredibles, Strange World is also about family life. “We know this is about Don [Hall] and his dad,” Nguyen told Jamie Jirak at ComicBook.com, “about his children, and what he thinks is important to the world and what he wants to give to the world as a legacy… it’s our love letter to our kids as both fathers and sons.”
Released internationally on 23 November
10. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman was so admired that when he passed away from cancer in August 2020, Marvel Studios execs realized they couldn’t recast the role. Instead, the movie’s director, Ryan Coogler, created a sequel that honors Boseman. The movie centers in part on T’Challa’s Wakandan friends and family against Namor, the Sub-aquatic Mariner’s army (Tenoch Huerta). But it also deals with a country that is mourning the loss of its ruler. “I dreaded the start of this shoot because I could not imagine how we would proceed without Chadwick,” Lupita Nyong’o told Devan Coggan at Entertainment Weekly. “It was unfathomable to me. But Ryan managed to honour his life and his role in both the film and our lives with his moving, truthful, and clear vision.”
Released internationally on 11 November