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Up To Date

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' January 4-6

Magnolia Pictures
Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'Shoplifters' chronicles one Japanese family's struggle to make ends meet on part-time work.

New Year, new you, right? Resolutions can be tough to keep, but a trip to the theater might be enough to help you stick to it (or at least muddle through). There's nothing like watching others overcome obstacles to put things in perspective. This weekend's recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics can provide plenty of that. Dig in!

Cynthia Haines

"Roma," R

  • Academy Award-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuaron brings us his most emotional project to date. Drawing on his own childhood, he explores political turmoil and social strife through the narrative of a single family.

"Shoplifters," R

  • The "resourcefulness" of a Japanese family of small-time crooks comes into question after they take in a beleaguered young girl they find in the cold.

"The Favourite," R

  • In the early 18th century, a fragile, yet tempestuous Queen Anne reigns. But behind her throne are two women who tend to her health and calm her bouts of rage. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz bring this period piece to a modern audience with witty dialouge and spicy rivalry. 

Steve Walker

"Shoplifters," R

  • In this winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, a Japanese family of grifters, gamblers and thieves forms indelible bonds until a twist begs the question: What really defines a family?

"If Beale Street Could Talk," R

  • Based on a novel by James Baldwin, director Barry Jenkins' follow up to "Moonlight" is a graceful portrait of a young couple in Harlem coping with her unexpected pregnancy and his unjustified incarceration

"Mary Queen of Scots," R

  • Exploring issues of female empowerment and family dysfunction are Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan as, respectively, the garish Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, the self-assured cousin who felt she was entitled to the throne.
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.