This Week’s Movie Menu (4 – 10 March 2024)

Less than a week to go until the Oscars reveal their annual winners – will Oppenheimer reign supreme, or is there room for something like The Holdovers or even Barbie to surprise? Until then, why not check out this week’s glowing pack of new film releases, including a timely new academic drama, a revisionist fairy tale, and the big-screen debut of an Oscar-winning Pixar classic…

Movie of the Week

 

Origin (2023, dir. Ava DuVernay)

CAST: Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Niecy Nash-Betts, Nick Offerman, Blair Underwood, Emily Yancy, Finn Wittrock, Victoria Pedretti, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Isha Blaaker, Connie Nielsen, Stephanie March, Myles Frost, Suraj Yengde, Donna Mills, Jordan Lloyd, Franz Hartwig, Daniel Lommatzsch, Gaurav J. Pathania

CREW: Ava DuVernay (director, writer, producer), Paul Garnes (producer), Kris Bowers (composer), Matthew J. Lloyd (cinematographer), Spencer Averick (editor)

PLOT: After experiencing a personal tragedy, writer Isabel Wilkerson (Ellis-Taylor) puts herself on a path of global investigation and self-discovery as she crafts her bestselling non-fiction book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, which explores the hierarchal system that shaped modern American racism…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Filmmaker Ava DuVernay adapts Isabel Wilkerson’s eye-opening non-fiction book in a unique fashion that takes great inspiration from the writer’s own life
  • Oscar-nominee Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor portrays Wilkerson as she conducts extensive research into her magnum opus, and experiences love and loss in between
  • Also among the cast are Jon Bernthal, Audra McDonald and Vera Farmiga, all of whom take on significant roles in Wilkerson’s journey
  • The book itself was a huge hit with readers, including Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama who listed it among their top books within its 2020 publication year
  • Prepare to be moved to bits as DuVernay unleashes her filmmaking power whilst conveying Wilkerson’s essential messages to wider audiences

Origin is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 March 2024

What’s Showing in Cinemas This Week?

 

Imaginary (2024, dir. Jeff Wadlow)

CAST: DeWanda Wise, Pyper Braun, Tom Payne, Betty Buckley, Taegan Burns, Matthew Sato, Verónica Falcón, Dane DiLiegro

CREW: Jeff Wadlow (director, writer, producer), Greg Erb, Bryce McGuire and Jason Oremland (writers), Jason Blum and Paul Uddo (producers), Bear McCreary (composer), James McMillan (cinematographer), Sean Albertson (editor)

PLOT: After moving back into her childhood home with her new family, Jessica (Wise) discovers Chauncey, the old stuffed bear that she used to play with as a child, which her youngest stepdaughter Alice (Braun) has now become attached to. However, when Alice starts displaying some disturbing behaviour, including some increasingly sinister games with Chauncey, Jessica begins to realise that the bear holds some dark, and terrifying, secrets…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • You’ll never look at your childhood teddy bear the same way again in director Jeff Wadlow’s creepy new collaboration with Blumhouse
  • The director, who previously made Truth or Dare and Fantasy Island for producer Jason Blum, also co-writes the suspenseful script with Bryce McGuire, the filmmaker behind the production company’s Night Swim from earlier this year
  • DeWanda Wise leads a cast full of entertaining performers, including young actor Pyper Braun who gets some chilling scenes opposite her cuddly co-star
  • With a plot that combines elements of M3GAN, Poltergeist and, of all things, Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, this could be a bonkers horror filled with endless entertainment (intentional or not)
  • It’ll certainly be memorable, to say the least, which a filmmaker like Wadlow perhaps needs to have right now after a series of underperformers

Imaginary is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 March 2024

 

Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World (2023, dir. Radu Jude)

CAST: Ilinca Manolache, Nina Hoss, Katia Pascariu, Sofia Nicolaescu, Uwe Boll, László Miske, Ovidiu Pîrsan, Dorina Lazar, Alex M. Dascalu

CREW: Radu Jude (director, writer, producer), Adrian Sitaru and Ada Solomon (producers), Marius Panduru (cinematographer), Catalin Cristutiu (editor)

PLOT: Angela (Manolache), an overworked production assistant, is tasked with casting a workplace safety video for a multinational company, but comes across numerous complications during her hectic workday…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Romanian satirist Radu Jude returns with his most ambitious takedown yet of contemporary life in the European nation
  • Jude takes aim at everything from baseless online conspiracies to corporate mismanagement to desperate TikTok personalities in his darkly funny view of the world
  • It received the Special Jury Prize at last year’s Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland, and caught people’s attention at other festivals around the world
  • While most of it is shot in grainy black-and-white, parts of the film are spliced with the 1981 Romanian film Angela Moves On, which offers a stark parallel to how things are today
  • It’s not a quick sit at 163 minutes, but Jude will have you uncomfortably laughing so hard that the time will just fly by!

Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 March 2024

 

Copa 71 (2024, dirs. James Erskine and Rachel Ramsay)

CAST: Elvira Aracen, Brandi Chastain, Birte Kjems, Nicole Mangas, Alex Morgan, Jose Palma, Elena Schiavo, Elba Selva, Ann Stengard, Carol Wilson, Silvia Zaragoza

CREW: James Erskine and Rachel Ramsay (directors, writers), Victoria Gregory (writer, producer), Jannat Gargi and Anna Godas (producers), Rob Lord (composer), Maggie Olkuska and Angela Zoe Neil (cinematographers), Arturo Calvete and Mark Roberts (editors)

PLOT: The story of the 1971 Women’s Football World Cup in Mexico City, which despite record attendance has largely been lost to history…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • In time for International Women’s Day, filmmakers James Erskine and Rachel Ramsay allow you to experience the awe and might of a historic woman’s football tournament that defined the sport forever
  • Numerous players both old and new are interviewed on-camera about their memories of the sporting event
  • Central to the journey is the unfortunate misogyny that ensured a whole generation would never know that the whole thing even took place
  • Some of the film’s A-list executive producers include sport icons Venus and Serena Williams and American soccer player Alex Morgan
  • Whether or not you’re into football as a whole, you’ll be gripped and moved by the inspiring stories that the players share with the audience

Copa 71 is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 March 2024

 

Vindication Swim (2024, dir. Elliott Hasler)

CAST: Kirsten Callaghan, John Locke, Victoria Summer, Douglas Hodge, James Wilby, John Tolputt, Sam Bullen, Mike Skinner, Matthew Wyn Davies, Anthony Arundell, David Aitchison, Owen Oldroyd, Justin Hayward, Michael Cronin, Melodie Tyrer, Billy Reid, Tim Loughton

CREW: Elliott Hasler (director, writer, cinematographer, editor), Simon Hasler, Douglas McJannet and Sally Humphreys Wood (producers), Daniel Clive McCallum (composer)

PLOT: In 1927, Mercedes Gleitze (Callaghan) trains to become the first British woman to swim the English Channel, but soon finds herself battling the Channel’s freezing temperatures, the oppressive nature of British society, and an unexpected claim by rival swimmer Edith Gade (Summer)…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The inspiring story of swimmer Mercedes Gleitze is the subject of filmmaker Elliott Halser’s thrilling narrative feature
  • Kirsten Callaghan makes her film acting debut as Gleitze herself, in a role which she spent three years training in preparation for
  • The production was subject to numerous delays during the pandemic, with the swimming scenes shot over the course of two years as a result
  • Speaking of the swimming, they filmed in the actual English Channel itself, ensuring a level of realism as Gleitze progresses further towards her goal
  • It’s the perfect swimming biopic for anyone who’s still butt-hurt over the surprise Oscar performance of last year’s Nyad (which I’m not sure why, as it’s a pretty good movie, but Internet’s Gonna Internet©)

Vindication Swim is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 March 2024

 

High & Low – John Galliano (2024, dir. Kevin Macdonald)

CAST: John Galliano, Penélope Cruz, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Anna Wintour, Hamish Bowles, Edward Enninful, Charlize Theron

CREW: Kevin Macdonald (director, producer), Chloe Mamelok (producer), Tom Hodge (composer), Patrick Blossier, David Harriman, Nelson Hume and Magda Kowalczyk (cinematographers), Avdhesh Mohla (editor)

PLOT: The story of John Galliano, the infamous fashion designer whose battle with alcoholism and substance abuse led to his public downfall…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • For his latest documentary, Oscar-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald takes a look at the controversial life and career of a fashion superstar
  • The film covers John Galliano’s sharp rise in the fashion world, including his daring status as the first British man to head a French haute couture house (Christian Dior, for those wondering)
  • However, it also covers his deep descent into addiction, culminating in a 2011 recording that destroyed his reputation and his credibility
  • For the first time since his public fall from grace, Galliano himself shares his own story in front of the camera
  • In addition to covering a modern rise-and-fall story, the documentary hopes to rehabilitate his image so that he can hopefully rise once more

High & Low – John Galliano is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 March 2024

 

The Inventor (2023, dir. Jim Capobianco)

CAST: Stephen Fry, Daisy Ridley, Marion Cotillard, Matt Berry, Natalie Palamides, Jim Capobianco, Ben Stranahan, Gauthier Battoue, Max Baumgarten, Jane Osborn, John Gilkey, Angelino Sandri, Daniel Swan

CREW: Jim Capobianco (director, writer, producer), Martin Metz, Adrian Politowski and Robert Rippberger (producers), Alex Mandel (composer), Marijke Van Kets (cinematographer), Nicolas Flory (editor)

PLOT: In 1516, elderly artist Leonardo da Vinci (Fry) runs afoul of the Catholic Church, as headed by Pope Leo X (Berry), for his controversial studies of the human body. Seeking a more creative environment, he flees to France and joins the court of Francis I (Battoue), where his scientific inventiveness captures the imagination of the King’s sister Marguerite (Ridley)…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The complex story of Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci is brought to gorgeously animated life for families everywhere
  • Writer-director Jim Capobianco, formerly a story artist for Pixar (with whom he scored an Oscar nomination as a co-writer on Ratatouille), expands his 2009 short Leonardo in dazzling ways
  • The film combines smooth stop-motion animation for the main storyline, with hand-drawn 2D animation used for certain fantastical sequences
  • An all-star voice cast has been assembled, including Star Wars veteran Daisy Ridley, Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, and Stephen Fry as da Vinci himself
  • It is a bright and terrifically entertaining introduction for young children to the iconic creative at its centre, and maybe even adults can learn a thing or two from it as well!

The Inventor is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 March 2024

What’s Showing At Home This Week?

 

Damsel (2024, dir. Juan Carlos Fresnadillo)

CAST: Millie Bobby Brown, Angela Bassett, Robin Wright, Ray Winstone, Nick Robinson, Brooke Carter, Shohreh Aghdashloo

CREW: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (director), Dan Mazeau (writer), Morgan Bushe, Chris Castaldi, Jeff Kirschenbaum and Joe Roth (producers), David Fleming (composer), Larry Fong (cinematographer), John Gilbert (editor)

PLOT: In a faraway kingdom, noblewoman Elodie (Brown) dutifully agrees to marry the handsome Prince Henry (Robinson), only to discover that the royal family intends to sacrifice her in order to repay an ancient debt. She is soon thrown into a deep, dark cave, wherein she is trapped with a fire-breathing dragon, and must now rely on her wits and will to survive and take vengeance…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The classic fairy tale structure is given a fresh upgrade in this gritty and violent fantasy thriller
  • Millie Bobby Brown leads a cast that also includes Robin Wright, Ray Winstone and Oscar nominees Angela Bassett and Shohreh Aghdashloo
  • It is the first film by Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, of 28 Weeks Later and the home invasion thriller Intruders, in over a decade
  • Expect some nifty effects as Brown’s hero battles a fierce dragon and several other foes along the way
  • With suspenseful set-pieces and plenty of action, this is one fairy tale where you’ll be begging for it to have a happily-ever-after!

Damsel is streaming exclusively on Netflix from Friday 8 March 2024

 

Ricky Stanicky (2024, dir. Peter Farrelly)

CAST: Zac Efron, John Cena, Jermaine Fowler, Andrew Santino, Lex Scott Davis, William H. Macy, Anja Savcic

CREW: Peter Farrelly (director, writer), Jeff Bushell, Mike Cerrone, James Lee Freeman, Brian Jarvis and Pete Jones (writers), Paul Currie, Michael De Luca, John Jacobs and Thorsten Schumacher (producers), Dave Palmer (composer), John Brawley (cinematographer), Patrick J. Don Vito (editor)

PLOT: For the past twenty-five years, Dean (Efron) and his friends JT (Santino) and Wes (Fowler) have relied on a fake friend named “Ricky Stanicky” as an excuse for their wild behaviour. However, when their partners decide to call their bluff, the friends hire washed-up actor Rod (Cena) to pose as Stanicky, only for him to cause plenty of chaos…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • The wild and debaucherous boys’ comedy of the 2000s makes a glorious comeback with an original tale of deceit and mayhem
  • It has been in development for over a decade, with actors like Jim Carrey, James Franco and even Joaquin Phoenix all lined up at one point for the rambunctious title role
  • The actual casts consists of Zac Efron, previously seen delivering one hell of a dramatic performance in The Iron Claw, and John Cena as Ricky Stanicky himself
  • Director Peter Farrelly, after a brief foray into more dramatic territory with The Greatest Beer Run Ever and the Oscar-winning Green Book, makes his return to the world of raunchy humour that he and brother Bobby were once kings of
  • Get ready to laugh, wince and maybe even cry a little at the plethora of frat boy humour that’s on full display here

Ricky Stanicky is streaming exclusively on Prime Video from Friday 8 March 2024

What’s Returning to Cinemas This Week?

 

Soul (2020, dir. Pete Docter)

CAST: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Braga, Richard Ayoade, Wes Studi, Fortune Feimster, Zenobia Shroff, Phylicia Rashad, Donnell Rawlings, Questlove, Angela Bassett, Daveed Diggs, Cora Champommier, Margo Hall, Rhodessa Jones, June Squibb

CREW: Pete Docter (director, writer), Mike Jones and Kemp Powers (writers), Dana Murray (producer), Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (composers), Matt Aspbury and Ian Megibben (cinematographers), Kevin Nolting (editor)

PLOT: In New York, pianist and music teacher Joe Gardner (Foxx) dreams of playing jazz professionally, but after scoring a spot playing alongside famous saxophonist Dorothea Williams (Bassett), he has a fatal accident that sends his soul to the Great Before, where young souls are prepared for their forthcoming lives. Joe soon encounters 22 (Fey), a cynical young soul who is reluctant to be born, prompting a journey where the two of them realise the value of life…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

  • Pixar’s Oscar-winning fantasy comes to the big screen for the very first time, after its original theatrical run was scuppered by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Directed by the company’s chief creative officer Pete Docter, who also directed Monsters Inc, Up and Inside Out, it features some stunning photo-realistic CG animation and a blend of various other styles
  • Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey deliver some powerful vocal performances as the two central characters, who are among the more complex and interesting in Pixar’s varied gallery of memorable protagonists
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s beautifully etherical score earned them their second Oscar win, while the jazz compositions by Jon Batiste won him his first
  • This is a golden opportunity to see one of Pixar’s most acclaimed films in years on the big screen, where it was always meant to have been seen

Soul is showing in cinemas from Friday 8 March 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:

Challengers (2024, dir. Luca Guadagnino)

A former tennis champion is caught between two former best friends…

Abigail (2024, dirs. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett)

A group of kidnappers realise that young Abigail is no ordinary child…

Rebel Moon – Part 2: The Scargiver (2024, dir. Zack Snyder)

A group of intergalactic rebels make their stand against a totalitarian regime…

Sometimes I Think About Dying (2024, dir. Rachel Lambert)

An introverted office worker befriends a new work colleague…

The Book of Clarence (2024, dir. Jeymes Samuel)

In 33 AD Jerusalem, Clarence takes advantage of the celebrity culture surrounding a certain prophet…

Back to Black (2024, dir. Sam Taylor-Johnson)

Rising singer Amy Winehouse falls in love with Blake Fielder-Civil…

Bleeding Love (2024, dir. Emma Westenberg)

A father and his addict daughter go on a road trip together…

Civil War (2024, dir. Alex Garland)

A group of journalists travel across America as it descends into a modern civil war…

The Teachers’ Lounge (2023, dir. İlker Çatak)

A teacher conducts her own investigation into a series of thefts at her school…

Seize Them! (2024, dir. Curtis Vowell)

In Medieval England, an arrogant Queen is overthrown in a rebellion…

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