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Up To Date

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

Two white men in brimmed hats and suit coats sit on a city bench.
Sony Classics
Oscar Wilde's final years in exile, portrayed by Rupert Everett, left, are interlaced with flashbacks from his glory days in 'The Happy Prince.' Colin Morgan co-stars.

Writers, whether fictional or in real life, always seem to have fascinating stories to tell. This weekend's recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics tell those stories of writers themselves. Take another look at Oscar Wilde's last days, hear how Lee Israel battled writer's block, or see the thrilling journey of a journalist captured by terrorists. 

Steve Walker 

"Can You Ever Forgive Me?" R

  • In an uncanny dramatic performance, Melissa McCarthy plays real-life writer Lee Israel who, after crippling writer's block, forges and sells letters from literary icons like Noel Coward until the law catches up with her. 

"The Happy Prince," R

  • In addition to writing and directing this biopic about Oscar Wilde, Rupert Everett also vividly plays the writer during the impoverished, drug-addled years following his imprisonment for "gross indecency."

"Viper Club," R

  • A humble yet persistent emergency room nurse, played by a steely Susan Sarandon, fights with the FBI and the Department of State as she struggles to bring home her son, a journalist captured by a terrorist group in the Middle East.

Cynthia Haines

"Viper Club," R 

  • A new twist on a mother's worst fear. After the FBI and state department turn their back on her, an ER nurse tries her own hands at saving her son from terrorists. With help from a team of activists and philantropists, her moral dilemma, not her son's captivity, is the heart of the film. 

"Free Solo," not rated

  • For Alex Honnold there are two options, be the first person to free solo climb El Capitan, or die trying. The Yosemite scenery will take your breath away but the images of a lone man climbing a 3,000-foot rock wall will bring you to the edge of your seat. 
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.