This October was a wonderful month for film, and if there’s one month that can top it this year, it’s November. Though there are not nearly as many releases, the month holds in store some film treasures.
So that you don’t miss anything, here are the five most vital films to see this month:
5. “The Front Runner” (in theaters Nov. 9)
Hugh Jackman steps out of the blockbuster scene for the first time in a long time to give what many call his best performance ever. The film follows Senator Gary Hart, whose 1988 presidential campaign blows up when the public learns about his scandalous extramarital affair with a friend. The true story was brought to the silver screen by Jason Reitman (“Juno,” “Up in the Air,” “Thank You for Smoking”) and stars Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga and J.K. Simmons.
4. “Widows” (in theaters Nov. 16)
Steve McQueen’s last film was “12 Years a Slave.” He’s now set his sights for over a century later in Chicago, where four women with debt from their dead husbands band together to steal what they need. This is not an “Ocean’s” type of heist film, though; it’s pure drama, with Viola Davis stepping into the lead role. The film has been praised by critics left and right and is sure to be a major contender this awards season.
3. “At Eternity’s Gate” (in theaters Nov. 16)
Many were disappointed by the entirely hand-painted animated story of Vincent Van Gogh, titled “Loving Vincent” last year; as incredible as the concept was, the story just wasn’t interesting. This year, another Van Gogh story hits cinemas, and it drops the gimmick in place of a great performance by Willem Dafoe. Director Julian Schnabel (“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”) offers an expressionistic look into the mysterious painter’s world in a film Variety calls “audacious.”
2. “The Favourite” (in theaters Nov. 23)
Yorgos Lanthimos is working his way into the mainstream on his own terms. After years of making films in his home country of Greece, he transitioned to the American audience with “The Lobster.” It was the hit that nobody—not even Lanthimos—could have predicted. Then, his thriller “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” freaked out widespread audiences. Now, he tackles a period piece in “The Favourite,” following a fight for power in 18th century England. Shrouded in mystery, the film has been adored by most critics who has seen it, and soon, the general public will get to experience it firsthand.
1. “If Beale Street Could Talk” (in theaters Nov. 30)
This pick shouldn’t surprise anyone who knew about this movie. Riding the success of “Moonlight,” director Barry Jenkins picked James Baldwin’s novel of the same name to bring to life. The film’s story is that of a pregnant black woman fighting to prove her fiance’s innocence. Though exploring different significant themes, “Beale Street” has the same ponderous feeling of “Moonlight,” and surely it will be just as good.
These five films should keep you busy over the next four weeks, but if you still need more to see, “Green Book" (Nov.16),” “Shoplifters” (Nov. 23) and “The Crimes of Grindelwald” (Nov. 16) are bound to be excellent movies, too.
This is the opinion of Jacob Cornblatt, a sophomore film production major from Gaithersburg, Maryland. Tweet comments to @JacobCornblatt or email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.