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Up To Date

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' January 19-21

Sony Pictures Classics
Luca Guadagnino's 'Call Me By Your Name,' featuring Timothée Chalamet, foreground, and Armie Hammer, is based on André Aciman's 2007 novel by the same name.";

Six weeks may seem like plenty of time, but the 90th Academy Awards will be here before you know it. Now's the time to start catching up on the films that could be up for contention (official nominations are announced on January 23). This weekend, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics recommend a few flicks released too late to be considered this time around, and a couple that are getting lots of Oscar buzz.

Bob Butler

Call Me by Your Name, R

  • Armie Hammer stars as Oliver, whose summer trip to Italy evolves from an opportunity to study Greco-Roman culture in the field, when he develops a crush on his host's curious, coltish 17-year-old son, Elio Perlman.

I, Tonya, R

  • Margot Robbie is sensational as the notorious figure skater Tonya Harding, whose abuse at the hands of her disturbed mother, played by Allison Janney, and husband fostered self-doubt that resulted in the 1984 attack on her chief rival, Nancy Kerrigan.

The Post, PG-13

  • With America's First Amendment ideals in the balance, a Washington Post publisher played by Meryl Streep must decide whether to print a dossier of top-secret documents (that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers) or to obey a federal restraining order prohibiting it.

Steve Walker

Call Me by Your Name, R

  • Timothée Chalamet gives a break-out performance as a sexually-fluid teenager who, over six weeks of an Italian summer, falls in love with his father's graduate student intern, played by Armie Hammer.

Phantom Thread, R

  • Daniel Day-Lewis is superb and Lesley Manville is icy perfection in Paul Thomas Anderson's lush portrait of a gifted but neurotic haute couture clothing designer in 1950s Britain.

Small Town Crime, R

  • In this contemporary film noir, John Hawkes gives a stirring performance as an alcoholic ex-cop who poses as a private investigator to solve the mystery of a murdered prostitute he finds on the side of a road.

Cynthia Haines

Call Me by Your Name, R

  • Director Luca Guadagnino’s latest is an intoxicating, emotional look at an Italian summer romance that develops between Oliver, played by Armie Hammer, and his professor's 17-year-old son, impeccably portrayed by Timothée Chalamet.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, R

  • In Martin McDonagh's latest film, Frances McDormand deftly plays an anguished mother who makes a 15-foot-tall statement to her local law enforcement, led by Woody Harrelson's sheriff, about their inability to find her daughter's killer.

Darkest Hour, PG-13

  • With the fate of western Europe in the balance, newly-appointed Prime Minister Winston Churchill, played by Gary Oldman, must decide whether to negotiate with the rapidly expanding Third Reich or unite his countrymen and take up arms.
Since 1998, Steve Walker has contributed stories and interviews about theater, visual arts, and music as an arts reporter at KCUR. He's also one of Up to Date's regular trio of critics who discuss the latest in art, independent and documentary films playing on area screens.
As culture editor, I oversee KCUR’s coverage of race, culture, the arts, food and sports. I work with reporters to make sure our stories reflect the fullest view of the place we call home, so listeners and readers feel primed to explore the places, projects and people who make up a vibrant Kansas City. Email me at luke@kcur.org.