The second-scariest month of the year has passed, and we now find ourselves in the most-scariest. Something about an election (to paraphrase Barry Crimmins, the problem is that someone will win). Fortunately, there is a high chance that fans of film stand to win as well, as November appears to the month with the most intriguing array of releases. December looks fine too, but we’ll deal with that one as it comes. For this month’s base-touching, I’ll lament about the relatively disappointing October (briefly), wig out about November flicks that I predict will be worth seeing, and do a little managerial upkeep on Plot and Theme.
I thought October had a good chance, but it was largely a disappointment, save for two little Indie films I saw on the same day. The Birth of a Nation and The Accountant were both fine films, but certainly didn’t blow me away. Other things that I saw and wrote on, like The Greasy Strangler and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back were either downright weird or absurdly awful. To put it plainly, there was little to really champion and get behind this month. At least, not until I hit up an A24 double feature in the form of American Honey and Moonlight. Technically, I saw these in November, but they were released in October, so label them whatever you wish. Those reviews will be incoming, but to preview: American Honey succeeds through genius casting and by adopting the pacing of teenage wanderlust, and Moonlight is visually gorgeous, repetitively heartbreaking, and perhaps the best film I have seen this year.
As for the true November releases, there is practically no let-up. The first weekend sees the release of Doctor Strange, which I will see on November 9th, and Hacksaw Ridge as well. The week after is the long-awaited release of Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, and I am starting to get visibly antsy. This same week also sees the nationwide release of Loving, the Jeff Nichols-directed story about the unlawful mixed-race marriage that was taken all the way to the Supreme Court, and also Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. We then get Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Edge of Seventeen, and Bleed for This in the third week – three films which have the potential to be above-average. Nocturnal Animals and Manchester by the Sea, two Indie darlings from the festival circuit, are also released this week, so you big-city dwellers should watch for those. Disney’s Moana, the Robert Zemekis spy film Allied, and Bad Santa 2 all release on Thanksgiving weekend, closing the month out as strongly as it opened. The mathematically-inclined among you will notice that is over 10 films worth noting (it is actually 13, but I seriously doubt all of them will actually be good).
I anticipate writing reviews on each and every one of the movie I see among this crop; the majority look fantastic, and those that aren’t will at least be easily panned. Those two kinds of movies are the most fun anyways – drumming up a lukewarm review for a milquetoast movie is kind of taxing. In addition to these, I am nearly done with a pair of essays on The Silence of the Lambs, and I hope to publish both of them soon. I’ll also get my reward essay for Raising Arizona written (I hit 250 Twitter followers; the next milestone is 500!).
If I keep the average readership of the last few months going forward for the rest of the year, I should be within reach of 100,000 unique views by the end of the year! A lot of my readers know me personally, and I absolutely love hearing them extol the enjoyment they get from reading some of my pieces. I am sure other people out there who peruse this blog feel similarly and simply don’t have the opportunity to speak to me directly. To that, I suggest something simple: when you enjoy something, share it, retweet it, pin it, chapsnat it, whatever. I am doing well by bouncing around my own readership and reaching out to other bloggers on WordPress and Twitter, but it is by having others introduce Plot and Theme to their group of friends that I think I can hit the next level.