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Films for holiday viewing

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Man and donkey in a horse trailer. Man is seated in the straw on the left looking up at the donkey standing on the right and looking at him.
Janus Films
"EO" looks at life through the eyes of a circus donkey. The film won the Jury Prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

For many people, movies are a Thanksgiving Day tradition. We have suggestions to take you through the holiday season.

One more thing to be thankful for: movie releases in theaters and streaming that arrive in time for the holidays.

Film reviewers Steve Walker and Beck Ireland joined Up to Date to talk about the releases that have them ready to head out to the theaters or make some popcorn at home.

Beck Ireland

  • "The Banshees of Inisherin"  On a remote island off the west coast of Ireland in 1923, two lifelong friends (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) face estrangement when one ends the friendship without giving the other his reason. Informally considered a sequel to the dark comedic thriller "In Bruges," the film, also written and directed by Martin McDonagh, recreates the glorious and volatile chemistry of the two leads.
    Playing at Glenwood theater until November 24
  • "Bones and All" — For his first film set in the United States, director Luca Guadagnino ("Call Me by Your Name") tells the story of a 16-year-old cannibal (Taylor Russell) as she travels the back roads of Ohio in search of her father. Based on the 2015 novel by Camille DeAngelis, the film takes on the themes of feminism, loneliness and the moral problem of eating those you get close to. Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg, André Holland, Chloë Sevigny, David Gordon Green and Jessica Harper make up the heavyweight ensemble cast.
    Playing at Screenland Armour November 22
  • "White Noise" — Academy-Award nominated filmmaker Noah Baumbach’s latest film, based on the 1985 novel by Don DeLillo, follows Jack Gladney (Adam Driver), the death-obsessed pioneer of Hitler studies at a small Midwestern college, when he and his family are forced to evacuate during a cataclysmic train accident that casts chemical waste over the town. This dark comedy is sure to include sharp insights into the modern condition that are as relevant now — or even more so — as when DeLillo first published the book. Also stars Greta Gerwig and Don Cheadle.
    Streaming on Netflix December 30
  • "Eo" — Winner of this year’s Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize and on the list of submissions to the 95th Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film, legendary Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski’s "Eo" follows the adventures of a donkey born into a circus who encounters people with good and ill intentions. The film was inspired by Robert Bresson's spare 1966 tale of a French donkey named Balthazar, which in turn was inspired by a passage told from the point of view of a Russian donkey in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel "The Idiot." If this film follows suit, there will be scenes especially difficult for animal lovers to watch but hopefully the animal’s spirit will triumph.
    Playing at Screenland Armour January 13 with subtitles.
  • "The Son" — In his directorial debut, "The Father," playwright Florian Zeller directed both Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins in Academy Award-nominated roles (Hopkins took home the statue). For his follow-up, Zeller explores the aftermath of a family breakup when the troubled 17-year-old son of Peter (Hugh Jackman) comes to live with him and his new nuclear family. "The Son" is based on Zeller's stage play, so here’s hoping Zeller has opted for the same nonlinear theatricality he did in his first movie. Anthony Hopkins, Laura Dern and Vanessa Kirby also star.
    Coming to the Fine Arts Theaters after opening on November 25 in New York and Los Angeles.

Steve Walker

  • "She Said" — The dramatized account of The New York Times’ reporters Jody Kantor and Megan Twohey’s dogged pursuit of the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal. Stars Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan as the reporters, with some scenes filmed inside The New York Times building.
    Playing at theaters throughout the metro
  • "Causeway" — Jennifer Lawrence plays a wounded Afghan war vet. The film opens with her travails through physical therapy after being wounded; to recuperate, she has no choice but to go home and live with her dysfunctional mother. It's low key but not low energy because Lawrence's character is so wounded in so many ways. Lawrence is always worth watching.
    Currently streaming on Apple TV +
  • "Bad Axe" — This documentary about a Cambodian family’s struggles to keep their Michigan restaurant open during the COVID-19 pandemic takes place amid the resulting peripheral racial animosity against Asian-Americans. David Siev was the cinematographer of his family’s resilience in the face of anger and threats in the town of Bad Axe.
    Opens November 18 at AMC Legends and is currently streaming on various platforms.
  • "Is That Black Enough for You!?!" — New York Times’ film critic Elvis Mitchell took his turn at filmmaking with this documentary. It offers a sweeping analysis of how the Black experience has been depicted on screen over the last century. Covering 100 years of Black cinema, this fascinating movie clocks in at 2 hours and 15 minutes.
    Streaming now on Netflix.
  • "Boulevard: A Hollywood Story" — Fans of the classic 1950 movie “Sunset Boulevard” will relish this documentary about its star Gloria Swanson’s effort to turn the story into a Broadway musical.
    Streaming on iTunes & Apple TV+
Stay Connected
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.
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