Cinematic Awards Season Continues in January

Updated 46 weeks ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
Cinematic Awards Season Continues in January
 

For mid regions such as this quadrant, the "specialty" releases - such as "The Post," "Molly's Game," "Darkest Hour," "Disaster Artist"  "Shape of Water" - expand beyond the limited large city demographics, assisted by Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild fever that translated into nomination publicity (and buzz from big city critics) for otherwise non-blockbuster titles.  Distributors have varying roll out strategies. 

. Not all speciality films designating a nationwide release date translate to our region. Normally, a statement of a "wide" release will. Otherwise, the film distributor and cinema management make determinations i.e. a film may be booked for a "college" market or another for specific venue demographics. The Golden Globe Awards are Jan. 7 and Oscar nominations come out on Jan. 23.

THE POST

The Post
The Post

Possibly "The Post" will test a perception - the significance of historic screen symbolism as metaphor of real (political and otherwise) life. It's already taken on a second slam dunk. Where the Pentagon Papers expose evokes a presidential Watergate and investigative journalism signature, the unexpected "me too" coming out against sexual harassment lends further morsels with Katherine Graham's (Meryl Streep) endurance in a who-can-relate "man's world" as the Washington Post publisher.  (Jan. 12) 

Here's some others of which we hope we will be seeing in this neck of the woods:

THE DISASTER ARTIST

Cinematic Awards Season Continues in January

How many awful movies have you watched? And, have you seen one which essentially mocks the process of delivering a rotten turkey that's so bad, it eventually finds a niche audience? James Franco tells us the story of Tommy Wiseau, the man behind "The Room," a truly awful movie that became a cult classic. "The Disaster Artist" has been described as "funny - sometimes brutally - and surprisingly touching, it works whether you've seen the source material or not, though there are plentiful shout-outs to die-hard fans," according to the New York Post. It's also an ode to friendship.

THE DARKEST HOUR

Cinematic Awards Season Continues in January

During 1940 with allied troops cornered on the beaches of Dunkirk, Britain faces its darkest hour (of about four weeks). Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) must maneuver amongst political rivals while confronting a dire choice - negotiate with Hitler and save the people or rally the nation against incredible odds.

The film opened at Marquee Pullman 16 and Galleria 14 on Dec. 29. 

Oldman likely will win an Oscar for his portrayal of Churchill , a dedicated leader manifesting his emotions, fears and quirks. Told from Churchill's perspective, "Darkest Hour" focuses on the political wrangling during the period  when a Hitler invasion of Great Britain was deemed imminent. Strategy and stirring speeches , not action, develop his persona and the state of the British island. 

President Donald Trump viewed the film at the White House. 

 

Critics have written:

"Oldman brings a wicked wit and compassionate heart to the role, one for which he seems almost superhumanly suited for...," it's a one man show, and "words really matter."

SHAPE OF WATER

Shape of Water
Shape of Water

Visual stylist Guillermo del Toro spins an other worldly fairy tale against a Cold War backdrop. Described as one of 2017's "best films," it's a re-imagining of "Beauty and the Beast" in a manner that is (according to one critic) "unforgettably romantic, utterly sublime, dazzling phantasmagoria." From a high security area, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) leaves isolation behind when she falls for the object of a classified experiment. The elements of "Beauty and the Beast" have been "recast in an alternative universe that's a wonderfully rendered twist on our own."

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Cinematic Awards Season Continues in January

Based on the acclaimed novel by Andre Aciman, director Luca Guadagnino delivers a sensual and transcendent tale of first love. Set in the Summer of 1983 in north Italy, a professor's intelligent son, Elio, falls for Oliver, an American summer intern assisting his father. Critics have labeled it as "stylized," "erotic yet not graphic," and "ecstatically beautiful," as it handles Elio's coming of age with "grace and humanity."

I, TONYA

Cinematic Awards Season Continues in January

Suicide Squad's Margot Robbie stars as the fiery Tonya Harding in a darkly comedic tale of the American figure skater. Already nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance, Robbie conveys an emotional tightrope in what has been called a "fabulously tragic" production. It's also been hailed for its funny, unconventional writing, directing and acting. Based on fact, it sets the record straight with an "adrenaline rush that overwhelms the senses."  (Jan. 19) 

MOLLY'S GAME 

Molly's Game
Molly's Game

Believe it or not, Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain, famed for "The Martian" and "Zero Dark Thirty"), an Olympic class skier, ran the world's most exclusive high stakes poker game filled with celebrities and Russian mobsters. One night, 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons, busts the party. Now, it's up to a defense attorney to achieve justice for the athlete. It's described as "witty, gossipy and very entertaining" examining the personalities of those who engage in discerning the motives of powerful men trying to one up each other.  (Jan. 5)

Insidious Last Key
Insidious Last Key

For mainstream fans, January 2018 brings "Insidious: The Last Key," "The Commuter," "Paddington 2," "Proud Mary," "Den of Thieves," "Forever My Girl," "12 Strong" and "Maze Runner: The Death Cure."

Award nominations (or wins) may trigger return engagements too such as "Dunkirk."

February reveals a new Cloverfield production, another chapter of "Fifty Shades" and Marvel's "The Black Panther." Others:  Annihilation, Alpha and Death Wish. 

In March Red Sparrow brings Jennifer Lawrence to the screen as one of a class of spies that use their sexuality to gain info. Others: A Wrinkle in Time, Upside, Strangers Prey at Night, and Gringo.

 

SUMMARY RED SPARROW

Red Sparrow
Red Sparrow

Dominika Egorova is many things. A devoted daughter determined to protect her mother at all costs. A prima ballerina whose ferocity has pushed her body and mind to the absolute limit. A master of seductive and manipulative combat. When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced. Dominika must now reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust.

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