Well, here we are. Christmas Day, and finally you can catch up to the TIFF People’s Choice award-winner as it rolls into theatres on its way to Oscar glory (or at least a few Golden Globes). Some other stuff is opening too, but honestly? There’s only one movie you need to see.
Fences: Denzel Washington can be a compelling and vital actor, but he’s never been an especially distinguished director. His lack of filmmaking chops becomes a particular liability in this leaden attempt to bring August Wilson’s stage play to life; he compensates for the lack of cinematic juice by turning up the acting, and it doesn’t work. (Viola Davis maintains a certain steadfast dignity, but then she always does.) Glenn nails it.
Ghostland: The View of the Ju/’Hoansi: Simon Stadler’s documentary is being billed as a real-life version of The Gods Must Be Crazy. Okaaaay.
Hidden Figures: Theodore Melfi’s follow-up to St. Vincent stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — three black women who were of crucial importance to NASA during the space race. Susan feels much the same way I did about it: It’s a good story, told in a manner as meticulously calculated as any of its heroes’ equations.
La La Land: Gosling and Stone, together again — and singing and dancing, because god dammit we need this right now. One of the best films of the year; go see it and lose yourself for a couple of hours over the holiday.
Why Him?: I haven’t seen this one, but as far as I can tell it’s just Bryan Cranston and James Franco making faces at each other for an hour and a half in a next-gen subversion of Meet the Parents? Anyway, Rad hated it.
That’s that! Check back on Tuesday for a brand new episode of Someone Else’s Movie, assuming I don’t die of turkey before I finish the edit.