November 2016 Movie Roundup

Another month, another round of movies! I managed to catch most of my November list, and those that I missed I already have planned to catch in December. We’re moving quickly through movie season (Golden Globe noms coming out in a few days! Oscar host has been announced! NYFF awards have been given out!) and it’s only going to get quicker from here.

If you need a recap of the ranking hierarchy, check out October’s roundup. And without further ado, a quick recap of my November movies:

The Golden Goal
Arrival
Wow. All I can say is good thing I didn’t watch Arrival and Moonlight in the same month because it would have been virtually impossible to decide my favorite. While vastly different films, they both nevertheless encompass a future of filmmaking that I am desperate for the industry to move towards. Arrival is easily one of the best sci-fi movies to ever hit our screens in a good number of years. Anchored by a haunting performance from Amy Adams and beautifully crafted by the director/cinematographer duo of Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners) and Bradford Young (Selma, A Most Violent Year), the film is a mesmerizing mind-bender that both tells an evocative story about our world and delivers poignant insight into humanity itself. Don’t miss this movie.

The Hat Tricks
Loving
This movie has been on my list for a while, especially after hearing glowing reviews coming out of TIFF. Not to mention it’s directed by Jeff Nichols, whose 2013 Mud is still one of my most memorable film-watching experiences. Loving tugs at similar heartwarming themes, though on a more real level, as it tells the true story of the Lovings (played beautifully by Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga) and their fight for interracial marriage. It’s a soft, subtle, intimate film — the simple humility of the central characters elevating it to a different feel as most movies centered around the civil rights era. This may very well be this year’s quiet contender.

Moana
I don’t even know where to begin! Bolstered by the dynamite musical association of Lin-Manuel Miranda and of course voice-starring the Rock (whose smile is just pure gold and sunshine), it’s hard to imagine this movie not getting the waves of praise (ha, see what I did there) that it’s currently receiving. Disney has landed another beautiful, emotional, and timeless animation. Which speaking of, what absolutely stunning work by the studio team. Fully expecting Moana to be the one to beat in animation categories this season — and that’s saying something for a year with such contenders as Zootopia, Finding Dory, and Studio Ghibli’s The Red Turtle.

The Bicycle Kick
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Call it HP fatigue, but I can’t help being in two minds about this. I found Fantastic Beasts to be entertaining and funny albeit lacking in the same kind of magic that really brings the HP universe to life. The creatures were mad cute, the acting was great, the plot was just compelling enough that I’ll be interested to know the next part. But interested is the most I can muster. I wish I could be just as invested and obsessed and passionate but Harry Potter was a once-in-a-lifetime lightning bolt. I don’t think anything will ever come close to that kind of magic, but again that’s no reason to not enjoy and appreciate this movie, which can at least stand on its own as entertaining and fun and exciting to watch.

And that wraps up November! It was a solid month, only a few releases I didn’t catch that I am planning on checking out in December (Manchester by the Sea and Nocturnal Animals) and one that I ended up taking off my list due to less-than-stellar reviews (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk) — such a bummer too but with movie ticket prices sky-high, I gotta be a bit picky.

My list for December (in order of release):

  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Lion
  • Collateral Beauty
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One
  • Neruda
  • Barry
  • Sing
  • A Monster Calls
  • Fences

If all goes well, next month’s post will be fiiiiiiire. I already have tickets to early screenings of A Monster Calls and Lion this week and for Collateral Beauty next week. And you better believe I’m not missing La La Land or Manchester by the Sea. It’s going to be a great month. So get thee to a theater, and until next time — happy watching!

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