ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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November 2019

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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FILM!

Motherless…

Motherless Brooklyn is now playing (Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Ed Norton)

Motherless…

  • By Debbie Emery
  • Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Edward Norton is renown for peeling away the layers of complex characters with surgical precision. He played an accused murderer with a severe stutter in Primal Fear, a reformed neo-Nazi in American History X, and an insomniac who was lured into a brutal underground world in Fight Club. Now Norton has finally brought his pet project, Motherless Brooklyn, to the big screen after wanting to direct the neo-noir crime drama adaptation of a Jonathan Lethem novel since 1999. Norton directed, produced, wrote the screenplay and plays the lead role of Lionel Essrog – a private investigator who struggles with Tourette syndrome.

Lethem’s novel was set in modern times, but Norton thought the plotline was a better fit for the 1950s. “I felt like that was the period when a lot of enormous institutional corruption and racism essentially baked itself into the fabric of modern New York permanently,” the Massachusetts-born actor said. “A lot of what we still struggle with in New York and a lot of what we are seeing in the political landscape today was taking place in a very subversive way back then.”

Having been compared by critics to cinema masterpieces such as The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon, Motherless Brooklyn co-stars Willem Dafoe, Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Alec Baldwin, and Bobby Cannavale.

Motherless Brooklynhits theaters November 1st.

Ford v Ferrari

Ford v Ferrari hits theaters November 15th (Starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon)

Ford v Ferrari

  • By Debbie Emery
  • Photo Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Christian Bale has swapped his Batmobile for an equally as impressive set of wheels in 20th Century Fox’s biographical drama Ford v Ferrari. For his latest role, the method actor has transformed into British-born driver Ken Miles, a pro racer known for his fearless attitude on the track. In the mid-1960s, the Ford Motor Company went head-to-head with Enzo Ferrari and his elite Italian racing program to design a car that would beat the legendary Scuderia Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. Miles and automotive designer Carroll Shelby (played by Matt Damon) led a team of American engineers and designers to build a super car in the form of the Ford GT40 for a showdown at the 1966 Le Mans.

Just as with any huge feat, they also had to “battle corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons,” according to studio’s official logline. And each other, we soon discover, as Miles and Shelby as seen throwing punches in the street in the first trailer. It is impossible for car fanatics not to be enamored by the high-octane racing scenes in this visually stunning period film, but it is the Oscar-winning acting skills of the lead actors that really lure the audience in and keep them engaged once the engines have stopped.

Ford v Ferrari” races into theaters November 15th.

A BEAUTIFUL DAY…

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood in theaters Thanksgiving (Starring Tom Hanks)

A BEAUTIFUL DAY…

  • By RICH ANDREW
  • Photo Courtesy of SONY

Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks (The Post) flaunts some of his finest work yet as he dons the iconic cardigan and sneakers of a man forever nestled in the hearts of our fondest childhood memories, a confidant, a father figure, a dreamer, a neighbor — Mr. Rogers.

In this moving biopic, writers Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil) examine the friendship between Fred Rogers and disillusioned reporter Lloyd Vogel. As their interviews turn more intimate, Rogers expertly coaxes Vogel to open up about his own life and ultimately concede the root of his cynicism and pain, the aftereffects of a strained relationship with his deadbeat dad. This genuine care and catharsis from Mr. Rogers remind us of what our lives have been missing ever since he went off the air — a voice that speaks to kindness, a heart that leads us to empathy, and a soul that invites us to love each other unconditionally. As always, Hanks impressively disappears into the role by portraying Fred Rogers with the tenderness and authenticity that made him a hero.

With equally commanding performances by Matthew Rhys (The Americans), Christine Lahti (The Good Fight), Wendy Makkena (Bull), Chris Cooper (11.22.63), Enrico Colatoni (Veronica Mars), Susan Kelchi Watson (This is Us), Tammy Blanchard (Beyond the Night), and Maryann Plunkett (Manifest), director Marielle Heller (Casual) deserves some Oscar buzz.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” hits theaters November 22nd.

Knives Out

Knives Out hits theaters November 27th (Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Christopher Plummer, and Don Johnson)

Knives Out

  • By Michael Jacobo

Don’t bring guns to this knife fight. An Agatha Christie-style whodunnit, Knives Out brings together a batch of top-notch talent, which is by far and away the best ensemble cast of the 21st century, in a Clue-esque mystery.

Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi), the film follows the wealthy and dysfunctional family of famous crime novelist Harlan Thrombey’s (played by the always charming Christopher Plummer). A day after his 85th birthday party, Thrombey found dead by his highly dysfunctional family. Seasoned detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) arrives at the scene — a lavish, yet tastefully gothic, manor — and quickly each member of the family becomes a likely suspect. Joining Plummer and Craig are Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Don Johnson (Miami Vice, Watchmen), Chris Evans (Avengers: Endgame), Michael Shannon (The Current War), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Lakeith Stanfield (Sorry to Bother You, Atlanta), and Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why).

Johnson had expressed interest in doing a mystery thriller like Knives Out as far back as 2010. He’d intended it to be his next film after 2012’s Looper (his next film, though, was 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi). While serving mostly as a black-comedy, Johnson is no stranger to the neo-noir/thriller elements; his debut feature, Brick, was a detective-like story set in an Orange County, CA high school setting.

Knives Out” hits theaters November 27th.

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