Content Note: child sexual abuse, child abuse, child neglect
Plot: Grace (Brie Larson) works in Short Term 12, a short term foster facility meant as a place to stay for children who can’t stay with their parents anymore until a permanent housing option is available. Though some children stay for a long time – like Marcus (LaKeith Stanfield) who is about to age out of the home. When Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever) comes to stay with them, Grace is reminded of herself as a teenager. This, coupled with a new development in her relationship with Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) who also works at Short Term 12 makes it necessary for Grace to confront her own dark past.
Short Term 12 is a touching and realistic look at a group home and the people who work there. I found it touching and insightful.
Plot: Michael (LaKeith Stanfield) is a journalist who has been working on a story for a while. When he interviews Isaac (Rob Morgan), a photograph catches his eye in Isaac’s home. Taken by a young photographer, Christine Eames (Chanté Adams) who was obviously very important to Isaac in the past (Y’lan Noel), Michael becomes interested in Christine’s life. But Christine passed away, so instead, Michael finds her daughter Mae (Issa Rae) who works as a curator in a museum. As they both rediscover her mother’s work and her past, the two are drawn to each other more and more.
I expected The Photograph to be a sappy love story and it is certainly that but it didn’t touch me quite as much as it should have.
Plot: Famous author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) has died, leaving behind an eccentric family, a lot of money and a police investigation into his death. Just before it is officially declared a suicide, detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) joins the investigation to make sure that everything is as everybody thinks it is. As he interviews the entire family, including Harlan’s nurse Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), there is no telling what he will uncover. But it’s probably nothing good.
Knives Out was an amazingly entertaining film that managed to breathe some new life into a genre that has been well-established for many, many years (and it’s not even a genre that I personally love a lot). I had the best of times.
Plot: Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) just got her dream job as a music journalist. Unfortunately that means that she has to move from New York to San Francisco. Her boyfriend of many years Nate (LaKeith Stanfield) decides against a long distance relationshop and breaks up with her instead, leaving Jenny reeling. Fortunately she has her best friends Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair (Brittany Snow) to pick her up. They decide to go for a last night of partying together before Jenny has to move.
Considering that there really aren’t enough movies about women being friends (if you ask me), I was really looking forward to Someone Great. Unfortunately it was a little too much a party film and that just isn’t my cup of tea. I ended up wanting to like the film much more than I actually did.
Plot: Cassius (LaKeith Stanfield) lives with his girlfriend, the artist Detroit (Tessa Thompson), in his uncle Sergio’s (Terry Crews) garage. Money is tight and that doesn’t really change when Cassius starts a new job as a telemarketer. But success is just around the corner when Cassius discovers his white voice and uses it in his sales. At the same time though his co-worker Squeeze (Steve Yeun) is starting to raise concerns about the products they are selling.
Sorry to Bother You is a wild film, in the best sense: it takes you into entirely different directions and it has so much fun with exploring and experimenting, that it doesn’t matter in the slightest when things get a little messy. I was thoroughly charmed by pretty much everything about it.
Plot: Jessica (Jessica Williams) is a playwright with a whole lot of rejection letters to prove it. She makes her living as a theater teacher for children. And she just broke up with her boyfriend Damon (Lakeith Stanfield), a break-up that still gnaws at her although she was the one who instigated it. When she starts dating again, she meets Boone (Chris O’Dowd). They get along, but Boone has just been divorced and is equally hung up on his past relationship as Jessica is on hers. Nevertheless, there is something between them that both want to follow up on.
The Incredible Jessica James isn’t a re-invention of anything, but it is a super-sweet, super-nice film with great character and performances that are simply enjoyable. It’s absolutely lovely.
Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose (Allison Williams) have been dating for a while and now it’s time for Chris to meet Rose’s parents. The upcoming encounter fills Chris with dread, not only because it’s always a little terrifying to meet your in-laws, but also because Chris is black, Rose and her family are white and Rose never had a black boyfriend before. Chris steels himself for casual racism, but when he and Rose get there, something more than that seems off.
I had been looking forward to Get Out for quite a while and my expectations were really very high. When a film comes with that many accolades, it’s rare that it actually manages to live up to them. But I’m very happy to say that Get Out definitely does.
Plot: Miles Davis (Don Cheadle) hasn’t released new music in a long time. In fact, he was barely seen in public. That’s why journalist Dave Braden (Ewan McGregor) is dead set on profiling him to find out what’s going on and to give his own career a boost. He manages to find his way into Davis’ home and gets quickly involved in Davis’ chaotic, drug-fueled life and his desperate search for the master tapes containing his new music that were stolen from him.
Miles Ahead takes a very liberal approach to Miles Davis’ life, landing somewhere between crime story and biopic and working as neither. I hated almost every second of it.