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Up To Date

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' February 2-4

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Focus Features
In Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Phantom Thread,' Vicky Krieps plays muse and model to Daniel Day-Lewis' turbulent high-fashion genius.

Nobody should experience the anxiety associated with broken relationships, secret romance, or a life thrown into turbulence, but it does make great film fodder. Cinemas this weekend are full of characters who must face down their fears or perish, and Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics think more than a couple are worth seeing. Given their recommendations, movie-goers who like watching others suffer should strongly consider a trip to the theater.

Cynthia Haines

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.

I, Tonya, R

  • When most people think of figure skater Tonya Harding, they think of the leg-bashing her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, took in 1994. This twisted comedy from Craig Gillespie provides background and context to the troubled life of the first American women to land a triple axel in competition.

Phantom Thread, R

  • Daniel Day-Lewis is a dressmaker and casanova at the top of his game in 1950s London whose carefully-crafted lifestyle is disrupted when he meets an intriguing ingénue, played by Vicky Krieps, who becomes his lover and muse.

Steve Walker

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.

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.

I, Tonya, R

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