This Week’s Movie Menu (15 – 21 January 2024)

Get in, loser – we’re going to the movies, and here’s an exciting new menu of releases you can pick from, including a musical that’s so fetch, a heartwarming Oscar contender, and more…

Movie of the Week

 

Mean Girls (2024, dirs. Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr.)

CAST: Angourie Rice, Reneé Rapp, Auliʻi Cravalho, Christopher Briney, Jaquel Spivey, Bebe Wood, Avantika Vandanapu, Tina Fey, Tim Meadows, Jenna Fischer, Busy Philipps, Jon Hamm, Ashley Park, Mahi Alam, Connor Ratliff

CREW: Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr. (directors), Tina Fey (writer, producer), Jeff Richmond (producer, composer), Erin David, Micah Frank, Sonia Friedman, Eric Gurian, Caroline Maroney, Lorne Michaels, Christine Schwarzman and Marisa Sechrest (producers), Bill Kirstein (cinematographer), Andrew Marcus (editor)

PLOT: Cady Heron (Rice), a new student at North Shore High School, is introduced to the elite clique known as The Plastics, which consists of its conniving queen bee Regina George (Rapp) and her loyal friends Gretchen Wieners (Wood) and Karen Shetty (Vandanapu), and quickly joins their ranks. However, when Cady winds up in Regina’s crosshairs after falling for the head Plastic’s ex-boyfriend Aaron (Briney), she and fellow outcast students Janis (Cravalho) and Damian (Spivey) set out to take down the queen bee at her own game…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The modern teen classic gets a fresh spin for a new generation of queen bees and wannabes
  • This new version, originally set for streaming before being upgraded to a theatrical run, is an adaptation of the successful stage musical inspired by the original 2004 film, both of which (as well as this new version) were written by SNL and 30 Rock star Tina Fey
  • Filling the roles that made stars out of Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried and more include The Nice Guys star Angourie Rice and singer Reneé Rapp, the latter of whom reprises her stage role of Regina George
  • The cast of new faces (and some old, including Fey and Tim Meadows who also reprise their roles from the original film) sing their hearts out to Jeff Richmond’s witty and savage musical numbers
  • Whether or not you’ve seen either the original film or the stage musical, this is a cinematic event that you’d be so un-fetch to miss!

Mean Girls is showing in cinemas from Wednesday 17 January 2024

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

The Holdovers (2023, dir. Alexander Payne)

CAST: Paul Giamatti, Dominic Sessa, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Carrie Preston, Brady Hepner, Ian Dolley, Jim Kaplan, Michael Provost, Andrew Garman, Naheem Garcia, Stephen Thorne, Gillian Vigman, Tate Donovan, Darby Lily Lee-Stack

CREW: Alexander Payne (director), David Hemingson (writer, producer), Bill Block and Mark Johnson (producers), Mark Orton (composer), Eigil Bryld (cinematographer), Kevin Tent (editor)

PLOT: In the winter of 1970, Paul Hunham (Giamatti) is a deeply unpopular professor at the prestigious Barton Academy who is charged with looking after the students who have nowhere to go for the Christmas holidays. He soon develops an unexpected friendship with troubled student Angus Tully (Sessa), as well as the school’s head cook Mary Lamb (Randolph) who is mourning the loss of her son…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Alexander Payne returns to form with a great big bear hug of a movie that is destined to become a future Christmas classic (so why is it being released in January?!)
  • Payne reunites with his Sideways star Paul Giamatti, who occupies the lead role of a curmudgeon professor with an unexpected heart of gold
  • He shares some powerful scenes with co-stars Dominic Sessa, who impresses in his first film role, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph who gives a performance that has catapulted her to the front of the current awards season
  • The script by David Hemingson is filled with hilarious wit and plenty of heart, which Payne brings to life though an old-school 70s film aesthetic
  • Destined to warm everyone’s hearts this chilly winter, this is a true delight that will put you in the best possible mood

The Holdovers is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 January 2024

 

The End We Start From (2023, dir. Mahalia Belo)

CAST: Jodie Comer, Katherine Waterston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Joel Fry, Gina McKee, Nina Sosanya

CREW: Mahalia Belo (director), Alice Birch (writer), Adam Ackland, Leah Clarke, Sophie Hunter, Amy Jackson and Liza Marshall (producers), Anna Meredith (composer), Suzie Lavelle (cinematographer), Arttu Salmi (editor)

PLOT: When London is suddenly submerged by flood waters, a young woman (Comer) and her newborn baby are forced on a perilous journey to find their way home…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Prepare to let this emotional and unconventional environmental thriller wash all over you
  • It is the feature debut of director Mahalia Belo, who announces herself with a striking tale of motherhood and natural disaster
  • Jodie Comer plays the (nameless) mother in question, and she gives an exemplary lead turn in a cast that also includes appearances by Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Joel Fry and Katherine Waterston
  • Screenwriter Alice Birch takes cues from fellow modern dystopian dramas like Children of Men and The Road, but adds enough of her own voice for the film to stand out
  • Both a compelling human drama and a bleak reminder of the very real dangers of climate change, it’s hard to not be impressed with its sheer amount of gravitas

The End We Start From is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 January 2024

 

The Civil Dead (2023, dir. Clay Tatum)

CAST: Clay Tatum, Whitmer Thomas, Whitney Weir, Budd Diaz, Robert Longstreet, Teresa Lee, Christian Lee Hutson, Anthony Oberbeck, DeMorge Brown, Anna Seregina, Chris Thayer

CREW: Clay Tatum (director, writer, producer, editor), Whitmer Thomas (writer, producer), Max Whipple (composer), Joshua Hill (cinematographer)

PLOT: Clay (Tatum), a lonely photographer, is advised by his wife Whitney (Weir) to be more productive and social whilst she’s out of town. He soon comes across his long-lost friend Whit (Thomas), who discloses the unsettling truth to Clay: he is actually a ghost, one that only Clay can see and talk to…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • This peculiar take on the classic ghost story is both darkly funny and surprisingly heartfelt
  • Writers Clay Tatum and Whitmer Thomas star in the film, with Tatum also directing
  • It was shot during the COVID-19 pandemic on a shoestring budget of $30,000, some of which was funded by one of Tatum’s old college friends
  • The film has won acclaim at several festivals, including the 2022 Slamdance Film Festival where it won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
  • You’ll come away with a whole new look at friendships and the meandering afterlife

The Civil Dead is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 January 2024 (and will be available to rent/buy on digital platforms)

 

Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer (2022, dir. Thomas von Steinaecker)

CAST: Werner Herzog, Chloé Zhao, Joshua Oppenheimer, Patti Smith, Robert Pattinson, Carl Weathers, Wim Wenders, Christian Bale, Nicole Kidman, Lena Herzog, Tilbert Herzog, Lucki Stipetic, Volker Schlöndorff, Lotte Eisner, Lucía Lalor, Guillermo Fernández de Oliveira, Martje Herzog, Thomas Mauch, Klaus Kinski, Paul Holdengräber, David M. Wilson, Peter Zeitlinger, Timothy Treadwell, Jewel Palovak, Henry Rollins, Tony Shanahan

CREW: Thomas von Steinaecker (director, writer), André Singer, Bernhard Von Hülsen and Maria Willer (producers), Philip Stegers (composer), Henning Brümmer (cinematographer), Volker Schaner (editor)

PLOT: A celebration of the life and career of filmmaker, auteur, poet, truth seeker, explorer, brand, meme, actor, lauded voice artiste, doomsayer, and overall legend Werner Herzog…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The world-renowned maverick filmmaker Werner Herzog is the focus of this insightful and commemorative new documentary
  • Filmmaker Thomas von Steinaecker takes the audience through Herzog’s unconventional career, as well as his many eccentricities that have made him a household name
  • It features numerous interviews with fellow filmmakers like Wim Wenders, Joshua Oppenheimer and Oscar-winner Chloé Zhao, as well as actors Christian Bale, Robert Pattinson and Nicole Kidman
  • Rare archival footage is also incorporated into the film, which gives viewers a much more personal look at Herzog than ever before
  • Whether you’re a Herzog fan or a newcomer to his filmmaking style, this is as solid an encapsulation of his life and times as you can get

Werner Herzog: Radical Dreamer is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 January 2024

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

The Kitchen (2024, dirs. Daniel Kaluuya and Kibwe Tavares)

CAST: Kane Robinson, Jedaiah Bannerman, Hope Ikpoku Jr, Teija Kabs, Demmy Ladipo, Cristale, BackRoad Gee, Dani Moseley, Harvey Quinn, Henry Lawfull, Lola-Rose Maxwell, Richie Lawrie, Alan Asaad, Fiona Marr, Rasaq Kukoyi

CREW: Daniel Kaluuya (director, writer, producer), Kibwe Tavares (director), Joe Murtagh (writer), Daniel Emmerson (producer), Wyatt Garfield (cinematographer), Maya Maffioli and Christian Sandino-Taylor (editors)

PLOT: In the near-future, most of London’s boroughs have been gentrified, except for a community known as “the Kitchen”, which is occupied by working-class residents who refuse to buck under the authoritative pressure to leave. Izi (Robinson), a Kitchen resident who works at a funeral home in one of London’s gentrified districts, soon forms a bond with grief-stricken young teen Benji (Bannerman), and takes him under his wing as the criminal forces around them start to force their way in…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Oscar-winning actor Daniel Kaluuya makes his directorial debut alongside Kibwe Tavares for a thought-provoking dystopian social thriller
  • Kaluuya also co-wrote the script with Joe Murtagh, the co-writer of 2020’s crime drama Calm with Horses, and together they create a futuristic society that is expansive and eerily plausible
  • At its centre is a heartfelt story about two outsiders, played by musician Kano (credited as Kane Robinson) and young standout Jedaiah Bannerman, who find a piece of themselves in each other
  • Some dazzling visual effects and production design help bring the world of the Kitchen to life, which have already won the film a couple of awards at last month’s British Independent Film Awards
  • Fresh from closing out last year’s BFI London Film Festival, this film is set to compel you and break your heart as much as it did with audiences at the festival

The Kitchen is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 19 January 2024

 

The Marsh King’s Daughter (2023, dir. Neil Burger)

CAST: Daisy Ridley, Ben Mendelsohn, Garrett Hedlund, Caren Pistorius, Brooklynn Prince, Gil Birmingham, Joey Carson

CREW: Neil Burger (director), Mark L. Smith (writer, producer), Elle Smith (writer), Keith Redmon and Teddy Schwarzman (producers), Adam Janota Bzowski (composer), Alwin H. Küchler (cinematographer), Naomi Geraghty (editor)

PLOT: Helena (Ridley) is a seemingly ordinary woman with a dark past: she is the daughter of the infamous “Marsh King” Jacob (Mendelsohn), who kidnapped her mother (Pistorius) and raised young Helena (Prince) in the wilderness before he was caught. After Jacob escapes from prison, Helena must do whatever she can to protect herself and her own daughter Marigold (Carson) from his grasp…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • You’ll be biting your fingernails down to the bone during this tense psychological thriller
  • Director Neil Burger, of Limitless and The Illusionist, rounds up an impressive ensemble cast including Daisy Ridley, Ben Mendelsohn, Garrett Hedlund and Brooklynn Prince
  • The novel of the same name by Karen Dionne is adapted by co-screenwriter Mark L. Smith, who also wrote The Revenant
  • Its plot deals with the heavy trauma of being held captive by a seemingly trustworthy person, which makes for some unnerving psychological twists
  • With a thrilling narrative and deeply committed performances, it’ll hook you right up until the very last frame

The Marsh King’s Daughter is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Monday 15 January 2024

What’s Returning to Cinemas This Week?

 

The Enigma of Kasper Hauser (1974, dir. Werner Herzog)

CAST: Bruno S., Walter Ladengast, Brigitte Mira, Reinhard Hauff, Herbert Fritsch, Florian Fricke, Henry van Lyck, Willy Semmelrogge, Michael Kroecher, Hans Musäus, Volker Prechtel, Gloria Doer, Marcus Weller, Herbert Achternbusch, Wolfgang Bauer, Wilhelm Bayer, Franz Brumbach, Johannes Buzalski, Helmut Döring, Enno Patalas, Clemens Scheitz, Alfred Edel, Andi Gottwald, Kidlat Tahimik

CREW: Werner Herzog (director, writer, producer), Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein (cinematographer), Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus (editor)

PLOT: In 19th century Nuremberg, a young man named Kasper Hauser (S.) draws attention for having spent the first seventeen years of his life held captive in a dungeon, which has left him barely able to speak or walk. He attempts to integrate himself into society, with intriguing results…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • As part of the BFI’s new season centred around Werner Herzog, the institute is bringing back the auteur’s provocative historical drama for its 50th anniversary
  • It is based very closely on the actual life of its titular foundling, with Herzog using the text from Hauser’s actual letters to convey an accurate representation
  • Herzog cast lead actor Bruno Schleinstein (credited as Bruno S.) despite him having no acting experience, and his bizarre on-set behaviour has led to many parallels being drawn with his on-screen character
  • It was an immediate success at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Grand Prix accolade, and was even submitted as West Germany’s entry for that year’s Foreign Language Film Oscar, though it did not receive a nomination
  • The film is a surreal but fascinating gateway into the world of its filmmaker, as well as a slick companion piece for the theatrical release of the new Herzog documentary (see above)

The Enigma of Kasper Hauser is showing in cinemas from Friday 19 January 2024  

That’s about it for this week – be sure to come back next week for a whole new set of movies to work up an appetite for!

Want to see our past menus?

Want to find a specific film?

Search for it in the box below:

Lisa Frankenstein (2024, dir. Zelda Williams)

A misunderstood teen resurrects a handsome corpse…

Spaceman (2024, dir. Johan Renck)

A lonely astronaut makes an unexpected connection on a solo mission…

American Star (2024, dir. Gonzalo López-Gallego)

An aging hitman travels to Fuerteventura for a final mission…

Dune Part Two (2024, dir. Denis Villeneuve)

Paul Atreides leads the Fremen of the desert planet Arrakis on a defiant mission…

Wicked Little Letters (2024, dir. Thea Sharrock)

In 1920s Littlehampton, a series of vulgar letters rock the community…

Perfect Days (2023, dir. Wim Wenders)

A Tokyo toiler cleaner leads a carefully structured life…

Memory (2023, dir. Michel Franco)

A woman has a surprise encounter with an old high school classmate…

Someone’s Daughter, Someone’s Son (2024, dir. Lorna Tucker)

Filmmaker Lorna Tucker explores the UK’s ongoing homeless crisis…

Bob Marley: One Love (2024, dir. Reinaldo Marcus Green)

Reggae musician Bob Marley rises to prominence throughout the world…

Madame Web (2024, dir. S.J. Clarkson)

A clairvoyant paramedic protects a trio of young women from a mysterious assailant…

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