October 2, 2022 10:12 am

#440 August 30, 2022

Matt writes: In past years, the Toronto International Film Festival’s annual Ebert Director Award has been given to such revered talents as Martin ScorseseClaire DenisAva DuVernayWim WendersAgnès VardaDenis VilleneuveChloé Zhao and Taika Waititi. This year, the accolade will be presented to Oscar-winner Sam Mendes in-person at the 2022 TIFF Tribute Awards gala fundraiser on Sunday, September 11th, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto

Mendes received the Best Director Oscar for his 1999 debut feature, “American Beauty,” which also earned four additional Oscars, including Best Picture. Ihis four-star review, Roger Ebert wrote, “‘American Beauty’ is a comedy because we laugh at the absurdity of the hero’s problems. And a tragedy because we can identify with his failure–not the specific details, but the general outline. The movie is about a man who fears growing older, losing the hope of true love and not being respected by those who know him best. If you never experience those feelings, take out a classified ad. People want to take lessons from you.” You can view the episode of “Roger Ebert & the Movies” in which Roger and guest critic David Poland reviewed the film in the video embedded below.

Click here to read the full announcement, which includes Roger’s thoughts on other films directed by Mendes, including 2008’s “Revolutionary Road” and 2012’s “Skyfall,” both of which he also awarded four stars.

Trailers

Empire of Light (2022). Written and directed by Sam Mendes. Starring Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Toby Jones. Synopsis: Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, this film is a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema. Debuts in the US on December 9th, 2022.

White Noise (2022). Written and directed by Noah Baumbach (based on the book by Don DeLillo). Starring Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Raffey Cassidy. Synopsis: A dramatization of a contemporary American family’s attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world. US release date is TBA.

TÁR (2022). Written and directed by Todd Field. Starring Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Noémie Merlant. Synopsis: Set in the international world of classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár, widely considered one of the greatest living composer/conductors and first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra. Debuts in the US on October 7th, 2022.

Sidney (2022). Directed by Reginald Hudlin. Synopsis: Follows the real life story of Sidney Poitier, the Best Actor Oscar-winner of 1964. Debuts on Apple TV+ on September 23rd, 2022.

My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2022). Directed by Damon Thomas. Written by Jenna Lamia (based on the book by Grady Hendrix). Starring Elsie Fisher, Amiah Miller, Cathy Ang. Synopsis: The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. Debuts on Prime Video on September 30th, 2022.

The Good Boss (2022). Written and directed by Fernando León de Aranoa. Starring Javier Bardem, Manolo Solo, Almudena Amor. Synopsis: Awaiting a visit by a committee that could give his company an award for excellence, the owner of an industrial scales manufacturing business tries to resolve any problems from his workers in enough time. Debuts in the US on September 2nd, 2022.

The Lost King (2022). Directed by Stephen Frears. Written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope. Starring Sally Hawkins, Steve Coogan, Harry Lloyd. Synopsis: An amateur historian defies the stodgy academic establishment in her efforts to find King Richard III’s remains, which were lost for over 500 years. Debuts in the US on October 7th, 2022.

God’s Creatures (2022). Directed by Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer. Written by Shane Crowley. Starring Emily Watson, Paul Mescal, Aisling Franciosi. Synopsis: In a windswept fishing village, a mother is torn between protecting her beloved son and her own sense of right and wrong. A lie she tells for him rips apart their family and close-knit community in this tense, sweepingly emotional epic. Debuts in the US on September 30th, 2022.

Confess, Fletch (2022). Directed by Greg Mottola. Written by Greg Mottola and Zev Borow (based on the novel by Gregory McDonald). Starring Jon Hamm, Marcia Gay Harden, Kyle MacLachlan. Synopsis: After becoming the prime suspect in multiple murders, Fletch strives to prove his innocence while simultaneously searching for his fiancé’s stolen art collection. Debuts in the US on September 16th, 2022.

Call Jane (2022). Directed by Phyllis Nagy. Written by Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi. Starring Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Chris Messina. Synopsis: A married woman with an unwanted pregnancy lives in a time in America where she can’t get a legal abortion and works with a group of suburban women to find help. Debuts in the US on October 28th, 2022.

On the Come Up (2022). Directed by Sanaa Lathan. Written by Kay Oyegun (based on the novel by Angie Thomas). Starring Da’Vine Joy RandolphSanaa LathanMethod Man. Synopsis: Story centers on 16-year-old Bri, who wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Facing controversies and with an eviction notice staring down her family, Bri doesn’t just want to make it, she has to. Debuts on Paramount+ on September 23rd, 2022.

The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022). Directed by Peter Farrelly. Written by Peter Farrelly, Brian Hayes Currie and Pete Jones. Starring Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Bill Murray. Synopsis: A man’s story of leaving New York in 1967 to bring beer to his childhood buddies in the Army while they are fighting in Vietnam. Debuts in the US on September 30th, 2022.

No Bears (2022). Written and directed by Jafar Panahi. Starring Jafar Panahi, Mina Kavani, Bülent Keser. Synopsis: Two parallel love stories in which the partners are thwarted by hidden, inevitable obstacles, the force of superstition, and the mechanics of power. US release date is TBA.

Padre Pio (2022). Directed by Abel Ferrara. Written by Abel Ferrara and Maurizio Braucci. Starring Shia LaBeouf, Cristina Chiriac, Marco Leonardi. Synopsis: It follows Italian Saint Padre Pio on his early years. US release date is TBA.

The Woman King (2022). Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. Written by Dana Stevens. Starring Viola Davis, John Boyega, Thuso Mbedu. Synopsis: A historical epic inspired by the true events that happened in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Debuts in the US on September 16th, 2022.

Pinocchio (2022). Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Written by Robert Zemeckis, Chris Weitz and Simon Farnaby (based on the story by Carlo Collodi). Starring Tom Hanks, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cynthia Erivo. Synopsis: A live-action adaptation of Disney’s ‘Pinocchio’. Debuts on Disney+ on September 8th, 2022.

Wednesday (2022). Created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. Directed by Tim Burton. Starring Jenna Ortega, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Synopsis: Follows Wednesday Addams’ years as a student, when she attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart and solve the mystery that embroiled her parents. US release date is TBA.

WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story (2022). Directed by Eric Appel. Written by Eric Appel and ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Evan Rachel Wood, Rainn Wilson. Synopsis: Explores every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like ‘Eat It’ and ‘Like a Surgeon’ to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle. Debuts on Roku on November 4th, 2022.

Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall

Matt writes: I recently had the great privilege and pleasure of interviewing two of the finest actors working today, Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall, during their visit to Chicago while promoting their splendid new film, “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.”, which marks the impressive debut feature of writer/director Adamma Ebo. You can read our complete conversation here.

Michael Mann’s “Heat 2”

Matt writes: The eagerly anticipated sequel to Michael Mann’s 1995 masterpiece, “Heat,” has arrived in the form of a novel co-authored by the director and Meg Gardiner. Click here to read RogerEbert.com Managing Editor Brian Tallerico’s review of the book, which he hails as a thrilling triumph.

Free Movies

Willie Dynamite (1974). Directed by Gilbert Moses. Written by Ron Cutler. Starring Roscoe Orman, Diana Sands, Thalmus Rasulala. Synopsis: A social worker tries to get a pimp to change his ways.

Watch “Willie Dynamite”

Household Saints (1993). Directed by Nancy Savoca. Written by Nancy Savoca and Richard Guay (based on the novel by Francine Prose). Starring Lili Taylor, Vincent D’Onofrio, Tracey Ullman. Synopsis: Unsettling drama about three generations of Italian-American women struggling to get by in post-World War II New York’s Little Italy.

Watch “Household Saints

A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (1998). Directed by James Ivory. Written by James Ivory and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (based on the novel by Kaylie Jones). Starring Leelee Sobieski, Kris Kristofferson, Anthony Roth Costanzo. Synopsis: A fictionalized story based on the unconventional family life of From Here to Eternity author James Jones, as observed through the eyes of his daughter.

Watch “A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries

​Matt writes: In past years, the Toronto International Film Festival’s annual Ebert Director Award has been given to such revered talents as Martin Scorsese, Claire Denis, Ava DuVernay, Wim Wenders, Agnès Varda, Denis Villeneuve, Chloé Zhao and Taika Waititi. This year, the accolade will be presented to Oscar-winner Sam Mendes in-person at the 2022 TIFF Tribute Awards gala fundraiser on Sunday, September 11th, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.  Mendes received the Best Director Oscar for his 1999 debut feature, “American Beauty,” which also earned four additional Oscars, including Best Picture. In his four-star review, Roger Ebert wrote, “‘American Beauty’ is a comedy because we laugh at the absurdity of the hero’s problems. And a tragedy because we can identify with his failure–not the specific details, but the general outline. The movie is about a man who fears growing older, losing the hope of true love and not being respected by those who know him best. If you never experience those feelings, take out a classified ad. People want to take lessons from you.” You can view the episode of “Roger Ebert & the Movies” in which Roger and guest critic David Poland reviewed the film in the video embedded below. Click here to read the full announcement, which includes Roger’s thoughts on other films directed by Mendes, including 2008’s “Revolutionary Road” and 2012’s “Skyfall,” both of which he also awarded four stars. Trailers Empire of Light (2022). Written and directed by Sam Mendes. Starring Olivia Colman, Colin Firth, Toby Jones. Synopsis: Set in an English seaside town in the early 1980s, this film is a powerful and poignant story about human connection and the magic of cinema. Debuts in the US on December 9th, 2022. White Noise (2022). Written and directed by Noah Baumbach (based on the book by Don DeLillo). Starring Adam Driver, Greta Gerwig, Raffey Cassidy. Synopsis: A dramatization of a contemporary American family’s attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world. US release date is TBA. TÁR (2022). Written and directed by Todd Field. Starring Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, Noémie Merlant. Synopsis: Set in the international world of classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár, widely considered one of the greatest living composer/conductors and first-ever female chief conductor of a major German orchestra. Debuts in the US on October 7th, 2022. Sidney (2022). Directed by Reginald Hudlin. Synopsis: Follows the real life story of Sidney Poitier, the Best Actor Oscar-winner of 1964. Debuts on Apple TV+ on September 23rd, 2022. My Best Friend’s Exorcism (2022). Directed by Damon Thomas. Written by Jenna Lamia (based on the book by Grady Hendrix). Starring Elsie Fisher, Amiah Miller, Cathy Ang. Synopsis: The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act…different. Debuts on Prime Video on September 30th, 2022. The Good Boss (2022). Written and directed by Fernando León de Aranoa. Starring Javier Bardem, Manolo Solo, Almudena Amor. Synopsis: Awaiting a visit by a committee that could give his company an award for excellence, the owner of an industrial scales manufacturing business tries to resolve any problems from his workers in enough time. Debuts in the US on September 2nd, 2022. The Lost King (2022). Directed by Stephen Frears. Written by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope. Starring Sally Hawkins, Steve Coogan, Harry Lloyd. Synopsis: An amateur historian defies the stodgy academic establishment in her efforts to find King Richard III’s remains, which were lost for over 500 years. Debuts in the US on October 7th, 2022. God’s Creatures (2022). Directed by Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer. Written by Shane Crowley. Starring Emily Watson, Paul Mescal, Aisling Franciosi. Synopsis: In a windswept fishing village, a mother is torn between protecting her beloved son and her own sense of right and wrong. A lie she tells for him rips apart their family and close-knit community in this tense, sweepingly emotional epic. Debuts in the US on September 30th, 2022. Confess, Fletch (2022). Directed by Greg Mottola. Written by Greg Mottola and Zev Borow (based on the novel by Gregory McDonald). Starring Jon Hamm, Marcia Gay Harden, Kyle MacLachlan. Synopsis: After becoming the prime suspect in multiple murders, Fletch strives to prove his innocence while simultaneously searching for his fiancé’s stolen art collection. Debuts in the US on September 16th, 2022. Call Jane (2022). Directed by Phyllis Nagy. Written by Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi. Starring Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Chris Messina. Synopsis: A married woman with an unwanted pregnancy lives in a time in America where she can’t get a legal abortion and works with a group of suburban women to find help. Debuts in the US on October 28th, 2022. On the Come Up (2022). Directed by Sanaa Lathan. Written by Kay Oyegun (based on the novel by Angie Thomas). Starring Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Sanaa Lathan, Method Man. Synopsis: Story centers on 16-year-old Bri, who wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Facing controversies and with an eviction notice staring down her family, Bri doesn’t just want to make it, she has to. Debuts on Paramount+ on September 23rd, 2022. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022). Directed by Peter Farrelly. Written by Peter Farrelly, Brian Hayes Currie and Pete Jones. Starring Zac Efron, Russell Crowe, Bill Murray. Synopsis: A man’s story of leaving New York in 1967 to bring beer to his childhood buddies in the Army while they are fighting in Vietnam. Debuts in the US on September 30th, 2022. No Bears (2022). Written and directed by Jafar Panahi. Starring Jafar Panahi, Mina Kavani, Bülent Keser. Synopsis: Two parallel love stories in which the partners are thwarted by hidden, inevitable obstacles, the force of superstition, and the mechanics of power. US release date is TBA. Padre Pio (2022). Directed by Abel Ferrara. Written by Abel Ferrara and Maurizio Braucci. Starring Shia LaBeouf, Cristina Chiriac, Marco Leonardi. Synopsis: It follows Italian Saint Padre Pio on his early years. US release date is TBA. The Woman King (2022). Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. Written by Dana Stevens. Starring Viola Davis, John Boyega, Thuso Mbedu. Synopsis: A historical epic inspired by the true events that happened in The Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Debuts in the US on September 16th, 2022. Pinocchio (2022). Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Written by Robert Zemeckis, Chris Weitz and Simon Farnaby (based on the story by Carlo Collodi). Starring Tom Hanks, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cynthia Erivo. Synopsis: A live-action adaptation of Disney’s ‘Pinocchio’. Debuts on Disney+ on September 8th, 2022. Wednesday (2022). Created by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. Directed by Tim Burton. Starring Jenna Ortega, Christina Ricci, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Synopsis: Follows Wednesday Addams’ years as a student, when she attempts to master her emerging psychic ability, thwart and solve the mystery that embroiled her parents. US release date is TBA. WEIRD: The Al Yankovic Story (2022). Directed by Eric Appel. Written by Eric Appel and ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic. Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Evan Rachel Wood, Rainn Wilson. Synopsis: Explores every facet of Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like ‘Eat It’ and ‘Like a Surgeon’ to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle. Debuts on Roku on November 4th, 2022. Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall Matt writes: I recently had the great privilege and pleasure of interviewing two of the finest actors working today, Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall, during their visit to Chicago while promoting their splendid new film, “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.”, which marks the impressive debut feature of writer/director Adamma Ebo. You can read our complete conversation here. Michael Mann’s “Heat 2” Matt writes: The eagerly anticipated sequel to Michael Mann’s 1995 masterpiece, “Heat,” has arrived in the form of a novel co-authored by the director and Meg Gardiner. Click here to read RogerEbert.com Managing Editor Brian Tallerico’s review of the book, which he hails as a thrilling triumph. Free Movies Willie Dynamite (1974). Directed by Gilbert Moses. Written by Ron Cutler. Starring Roscoe Orman, Diana Sands, Thalmus Rasulala. Synopsis: A social worker tries to get a pimp to change his ways. Watch “Willie Dynamite” Household Saints (1993). Directed by Nancy Savoca. Written by Nancy Savoca and Richard Guay (based on the novel by Francine Prose). Starring Lili Taylor, Vincent D’Onofrio, Tracey Ullman. Synopsis: Unsettling drama about three generations of Italian-American women struggling to get by in post-World War II New York’s Little Italy. Watch “Household Saints” A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (1998). Directed by James Ivory. Written by James Ivory and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (based on the novel by Kaylie Jones). Starring Leelee Sobieski, Kris Kristofferson, Anthony Roth Costanzo. Synopsis: A fictionalized story based on the unconventional family life of From Here to Eternity author James Jones, as observed through the eyes of his daughter. Watch “A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries” Read More 

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