#467 September 19, 2023 | Pretty Reel

Matt writes: The Toronto International Film Festival just wrapped up this past Sunday, and you can find our complete coverage of its tantalizing selections in this table of contents, with reviews and essays written byBrian Tallerico, Nick Allen, Robert Daniels, Marya E. Gates, Monica Castillo and Chaz Ebert. This year’s distinguished recipient of the TIFF Ebert Director Award at the annual TIFF Tribute Awards gala was Academy Award winner Spike Lee, who previously attended Ebertfest for a screening of 1989’s “Do the Right Thing.” Chaz joined “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins and TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey to present Lee with the honor, and you can watch his acceptance speech in the video embedded below…

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar(2023). Written and directed by Wes Anderson (based on the book by Roald Dahl). With Benedict Cumberbatch, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes. Synopsis: Chronicles a variety of stories, but the main one follows Henry Sugar, who is able to see through objects and predict the future using a book he stole. Debuts on Netflix September 27, 2023.

The boy and the heron(2023). Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. With Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Takuya Kimura. Synopsis: Through meetings with his friends and his uncle, follows the psychological development of an adolescent. He enters a magical world with a talking gray heron after finding an abandoned tower in his new town. Debuts in the United States on December 8, 2023.

Origin(2023). Written and directed by Ava DuVernay (based on the book by Isabel Wilkerson). With Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga. Synopsis: The unspoken system that shaped America and tells the story of how life today is defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.US release date TBD.

Nyad(2023). Directed by Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Written by Julia Cox (based on the book by Diana Nyad). With Annette Bening, Jodie Foster, Rhys Ifans. Synopsis: It tells the true and remarkable story of athlete Diana Nyad who, at the age of 60 and with the help of her best friend and coach, commits to realizing her life’s dream: swimming 110 miles on the open sea, from Cuba to Florida. . Debuts on Netflix on November 3, 2023.

May December(2023). Directed by Todd Haynes. Written by Samy Burch. With Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, Charles Melton. Synopsis: Twenty years after their tabloid-notorious romance took over the country, a married couple buckles under pressure when an actress arrives to do research for a film about their past.Debuts on Netflix December 1, 2023.

The funeral (2023). Directed by Maggie Betts. Written by Maggie Betts and Doug Wright (based on the article by Jonathan Harr). Starring Jamie Foxx, Tommy Lee Jones, Jurnee Smollett. Synopsis: Inspired by true events, a lawyer helps a funeral home owner save his family business from a giant, revealing a complex web of race, power and injustice. Debuts on Prime Video on October 13, 2023.

Bikers(2023). Written and directed by Jeff Nichols (based on the book by Danny Lyon). With Austin Butler, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon. Synopsis: It follows the rise of a Midwest motorcycle club through the lives of its members. Debuts in the United States on December 1, 2023.

The Royal Hotel(2023). Directed by Kitty Green. Written by Kitty Green and Oscar Redding. With Julia Garner, Jessica Henwick, Herbert Nordrum. Synopsis: American backpackers Hanna and Liv take a job at a remote Australian pub for some extra cash and are confronted by a group of unruly locals and a situation that is quickly spiraling out of their control. Debuts in the United States on October 6, 2023.

Stew(2023). Written and directed by Anh Hung Tran. With Juliette Binoche, Pierre Gagnaire, Jan Hammenecker. Synopsis: It tells the story of Eugénie, a popular cook, and Dodin, the gourmet for whom she has worked for 20 years.Debuts in the United States on November 8, 2023.

The delinquants (2023). Written and directed by Rodrigo Moreno. With Daniel Elías, Esteban Bigliardi, Margarita Molfino. Synopsis: Morán and Román seek freedom and adventure. One commits theft, discovering an alternative to his boring life, while the other hides money that doesn’t belong to him. Their destiny as new criminals will bring them closer together. US release date TBD.

How to have sex(2023). Written and directed by Molly Manning Walker. With Mia McKenna-Bruce, Shaun Thomas, Lara Peake. Synopsis: Three British teenage girls go on vacation for rites of passage – drinking, clubbing and dating, during what should be the best summer of their lives.US release date TBD.

Mister Organ(2023). Directed by David Farrier. Synopsis: Journalist David Farrier (“Tickled”) is drawn into a game of cat and mouse with a mysterious individual. As he digs deeper, he discovers a series of trials, royal bloodlines and ruined lives, in this true story of psychological warfare.US release date TBD.

Joan Baez: I am a noise(2023). Directed by Miri Navasky, Maeve O’Boyle and Karen O’Connor. Synopsis: At the end of a 60-year career, legendary singer and activist Joan Baez takes an honest look back and a deep inner look as she attempts to make sense of her great, historic life and personal struggles which she kept private. . Debuts in the United States on October 6, 2023.

Divinity(2023). Written and directed by Eddie Alcazar. With Bella Thorne, Stephen Dorff, Caylee Cowan. Synopsis: It is the story of two mysterious brothers who kidnap a tycoon during his quest for immortality. Meanwhile, an attractive woman helps them embark on a journey of self-discovery.Debuts in the United States on October 13, 2023.

Appendix(2023). Written and directed by Anna Zlokovic. With Emily Hampshire, Hadley Robinson, Deborah Rennard. Synopsis: A young fashion designer’s life takes a spiral as her darkest inner thoughts manifest into something horrible that will never stop growing.Debuts on Hulu October 2, 2023.

Dark Harvest(2023). Directed by David Slade. Written by Michael Gilio (based on the novel by Norman Partridge). With Casey Likes, Emyri Crutchfield, Dustin Ceithamer. Synopsis: A legendary monster called October Boy terrorizes the residents of a small Midwestern town when he rises from the cornfields every Halloween with his butcher knife and heads toward those brave enough to face him.Debuts in the United States on October 13, 2023.

Totally killer(2023). Directed by Nahnatchka Khan. Written by David Matalon, Sasha Perl-Raver and Jen D’Angelo. With Kiernan Shipka, Olivia Holt, Liana Liberato. Synopsis: When the infamous “Sweet Sixteen Killer” returns 35 years after his first series of murders to claim another victim, 17-year-old Jamie accidentally travels back in time to 1987, determined to stop the killer before he cannot begin.Debuts on Prime Video October 6, 2023.

Once in a while (2023). Directed by Godfrey Reggio and Jon Kane. Synopsis: A comical apocalyptic vision of the end of the world and the beginning of a new one, with unforgettable views, innocence and the hope of a new generation.US release date TBD.

Matt writes:Sarah Knight Adamson has written an in-depth report on various highlights from this year’s Telluride Film Festival, including Alexander Payne’s highly anticipated “The Holdovers,” which reunites the director with his “Sideways” star Paul Giamatti.

Matt writes: Earlier this month, Chaz Ebert attended the wedding of our regular contributor Collin Souter and his longtime “Christmas Movies Actually” podcast co-host Kerry Finegan at the Music Box Theater in Chicago. The ceremony was preceded by a delightful pre-show hosted by the couple, which included the above embedded scene from Joe Dante’s 1993 gem, “Matinee.” You can read Chaz’s full report on this joyous event here.

Appetizers(1950). Directed by George Templeton. Written by Alan Le May. With Robert Preston, Robert Sterling, Chill Wills. Synopsis: Brother is pitted against brother in this story of rancher kidnappers in the Wild West.

Watch “The Sundowners”

First man in space(1959). Directed by Robert Day. Written by John Croydon and Charles F. Vetter. With Marshall Thompson, Marla Landi, Bill Edwards. Synopsis: The first pilot to leave the Earth’s atmosphere lands, then disappears; but something thirsty for blood prowls the countryside.

Watch “First Man in Space”

Evel Knievel(1971). Directed by Marvin J. Chomsky. Written by Alan Caillou and John Milius. With George Hamilton, Sue Lyon, Bert Freed. Synopsis:Biography of the famous motorcycle daredevil, much of which was filmed in his hometown of Butte, Montana. The film shows Knievel reflecting on major events in his life just before a big leap.

Watch “Evel Knievel”

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