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Up To Date

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' January 11-13

Jonathan Wenk
Focus Features
From left, Felicity Jones, Cailee Spaeny, and Kathy Bates in 'On the Basis of Sex,' which tells the story of the future Supreme Court associate justice from 1956 to 1975.

By Monday, legislatures in Topeka, Jefferson City and Washington will all be back in session and, like it or not, political battles will have largely reclaimed the nation's attention after a holiday respite that was far too short. For those looking to hide from the political fray for just one more weekend, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics recommendations could provide just the escape. 

Steve Walker

"On the Basis of Sex," PG-13

  • Following this summer's "RGB" comes a biopic about the young Ruth Bader Ginsberg, played by Felicity Jones, which documents her awkward law school experience and the sex discrimination suit that put her on the map. 

"The Aspern Papers," R

  • Based on a Henry James novella, this gothic tale of seduction and longing pits an American biographer obsessed with a 19th century poet against the steely Joely Richardson, who plays the niece of the poet's muse from more than 60 years prior. One week only at Glenwood Arts Theatre

"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?

Cynthia Haines

"Shoplifters," R

  • The "resourcefulness" of a Japanese family of small-time crooks comes into question in Hirokazu Kore-eda's latest drama after they take in a beleaguered young girl they find in the cold.

"On The Basis of Sex," PG-13

  • Based on a true story, Felicity Jones plays Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she builds a legal career marked by cases aimed at overturning a century of gender discrimination. Mimi Leder's drama comes as the associate justice of the Supreme Court celebrates 25 years on the bench.

"Mary Queen of Scots," R

  • Exploring issues of female empowerment and family dysfunction are Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan as the garish Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, respectively, 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.