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November is a big month for movies, and the slate includes a blockbuster that is likely to be one of the biggest box-office hits of 2022 as well as the movie that appears poised to win Best Picture at the Oscars. There’s plenty to look forward to on TV, too, including a highly anticipated new Marvel special. Here’s everything to watch in November:
What could be more brutal than a streaming service putting a company out of business … and then making a show about the demise of that company? That is what Netflix is doing with its new comedy, Blockbuster, a sitcom set in the last Blockbuster Video in America. Randall Park stars as the manager who “fights to keep his video store open and staff happy amid competition and complicated feelings,” per Netflix’s synopsis. Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Melissa Fumero and Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s J. B. Smoove also star, and the rest of the cast includes Tyler Alvarez, Madeleine Arthur, and Olga Merediz. Vanessa Ramos, a writer on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Superstore, created the series. If you’re interested in the story of the real last Blockbuster in America, it was covered in the 2020 documentary The Last Blockbuster … which is also streaming on Netflix. Is this sort of like when a serial killer wears the face of their victims? We look forward to watching the Disney+ original comedy Netflix in about 10 years.
Jennifer Lawrence hit the brakes a bit after being absolutely everywhere in the 2010s, but the first film where she plays a lead role since 2018 is the Apple TV+ original Causeway. From director Lila Neugebauer, it sees Lawrence as a soldier who returns home after suffering a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan, and she stars opposite Brian Tyree Henry. Linda Emond also plays the mother of Lawrence’s character. It’s a more low-key role for Lawrence, noted Deadline‘s Pete Hammond, who wrote that it’s a “pleasure to see this immensely talented star take it down a few notches and throw herself into” this “understated” film. Speaking to Vogue, Lawrence said she took the role because she missed “the slow melody of a character-driven story,” which it’s safe to say she didn’t quite get with Dark Phoenix. Lawrence isn’t considered an Academy Awards frontrunner for Causeway, but we’re talking about someone who had four Oscar nominations by the time she was 30, so we’d never rule it out.
It’s time for Daniel Radcliffe to get weird — well, even weirder than usual. The Harry Potter alum plays “Weird Al” Yankovic in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, but in a brilliant twist, the film is not actually a real biopic of Yankovic and his career. Instead, the same way Yankovic parodies songs, the movie itself is a parody of musical biopics, so it takes massive liberties with his life for the sake of comedy. Director Eric Appel even told MovieMaker that making the film involved “absolutely no research” on the actual man’s life. Weird does, though, include a number of famous faces as other famous faces, with Evan Rachel Wood playing Madonna and Quinta Brunson playing Oprah Winfrey. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was warmly received; Variety said it has “the spirit of one of the Naked Gun films,” which is pretty much the highest compliment you can give a comedy. But nothing about Weird is weirder than the fact that it’s a Roku original movie.
Selena Gomez looks set to get more vulnerable with her fans than ever in the new Apple TV+ documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me. The “uniquely raw and intimate” film, from the director of 1991’s Madonna: Truth or Dare, follows the pop star’s “six-year journey into a new light,” Apple said. Director Alex Keshishian first started following Gomez during her Revival tour in 2016, but the project took a turn after the tour was scrapped amid Gomez’s struggle with anxiety and depression, according to Vanity Fair. The project was paused but revived in 2019, and the film will also explore Gomez’s battle with lupus after she revealed her diagnosis in 2015. Gomez told Vanity Fair that “as nervous as I am to put out something this personal, in my heart I know now is the time,” and Keshishian said his one condition for directing the film was that the pop star had to “give me access to everything. And she did.” The first trailer was released in honor of World Health Mental Day.
Jonesing to spend more time with a fourth-wall-breaking hero after the end of She-Hulk? Look no further than the sequel to Enola Holmes. The 2020 film, which starred Millie Bobby Brown as the sister of Sherlock Holmes who’s prone to talking to the camera, was a big hit for Netflix, and she’s back for this follow-up. So is Henry Cavill, who played Sherlock Holmes in the original. The sequel sees Enola, who has started her own detective agency, seeking to get out of the shadow of her brother and solve the mystery of a missing girl, only to find Sherlock is in the middle of investigating a case connected to hers. “As the sparks of a deadly conspiracy ignite, Enola must call upon the help of friends — and Sherlock himself — to unravel her mystery,” Netflix said. The same writer and director duo is back from the original, and Helena Bonham Carter returns as Eudoria Holmes, mother of Sherlock and Enola. Enjoy seeing Cavill in here while you still can, as it looks like he’s about to get busy with another franchise.
The Crown is finally ready to get back on the throne after a two-year hiatus, and it looks like we’re in for the most controversial season yet. The Netflix drama about Queen Elizabeth II is returning for its fifth season in the wake of the death of its subject, and will be set in the 1990s. The leads have once again been recast, with Imelda Staunton replacing Olivia Colman as the queen, while Jonathan Pryce is our new Prince Philip, Dominic West plays Prince Charles, and Elizabeth Debicki plays Princess Diana. But the season has already faced criticism over the way the show dramatizes events, with former British Prime Minister John Major taking issue with a reported scene showing that Charles plotted to oust the queen, which Major said is “nonsense.” Following criticism from Judi Dench and others, Netflix noted in its description of the recent trailer that the show is a “fictional dramatization.” The season is expected to depict events like Charles and Diana’s divorce, though Diana’s death reportedly won’t be included until season six. Get ready for more fact-check articles than you can handle.
This is not a drill: The Lohanaissance is officially underway. Lindsay Lohan is returning to acting with her first major movie in years (we’ll all just agree to forget about that werewolf one) with the new Netflix Christmas romantic comedy Falling for Christmas. In the vein of Overboard, Lohan plays a hotel heiress who suffers from amnesia after getting into a skiing accident. A lodge owner, played by Chord Overstreet, starts taking care of her — and, obviously, falling in love with her — as she struggles to regain her memories. If you’re looking for something to throw on in the background and half-watch while preparing Thanksgiving dinner, this might be perfect. But it’s only the start of Lohan’s acting comeback, as she already signed a two-picture deal with Netflix and has another romantic comedy on the way with the streamer called Irish Wish — and Jamie Lee Curtis has been pitching a Freaky Friday sequel. Now, where’s our Parent Trap requel?
Ryan Coogler looks set to deliver both a thrill ride and a gut punch in the highly-anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. The sequel to Marvel’s 2018 phenomenon hadn’t yet started shooting when Chadwick Boseman died from cancer in 2020, leading the film to be massively rewritten. But Boseman’s character, T’Challa, has not been recast. Instead, the film is expected to grapple with his loss, with T’Challa having died within the Marvel universe, which should make it a real tear-jerker. Trailers have teased that another character will take up the Black Panther mantle, and while that person’s identity hasn’t been revealed, fans expect it to be T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright). The film will introduce two significant characters from the comics: Riri Williams (Dominique Thorne), a.k.a. Ironheart, a young Tony Stark-esque inventor; and Namor (Tenoch Huerta), the king of an ancient underwater civilization similar to Atlantis. Moving a franchise forward after the death of a star can’t be easy, but the film’s beautiful trailers have suggested Coogler may just have pulled off the impossible.
We’re starting to think this Steven Spielberg guy might be pretty good at directing. While a lot can change between now and the 2023 Oscars, it’s sure looking like The Fabelmans is set to win Best Picture, which would make it only the second Spielberg film to do so. It’s been described as Spielberg’s most personal film to date, as it’s loosely based on his childhood, centering around a young boy with an interest in filmmaking. Gabriel LaBelle plays the young Spielberg analogue, Sammy Fabelman, while Michelle Williams plays his mother and Paul Dano plays his father. Seth Rogen also stars as a family friend. Critics were quite impressed with the film when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the People’s Choice Award, which often helps forecast Best Picture nominees. Williams, in particular, has been earning tons of praise, so expect to see her as a major contender for Best Actress this year. You don’t really think Oscar voters won’t embrace a movie about the magic of the movies, do you?
Ready to feel extremely old by watching The Social Network star Jesse Eisenberg play a divorced man in his 40s? Based on the 2019 novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, this new FX on Hulu miniseries stars Eisenberg as a recently divorced man, Toby Fleishman, “who dives into the brave new world of app-based dating with the kind of success he never had dating in his youth,” per the plot synopsis. But amid this, his ex-wife, played by Claire Danes, disappears after dropping the kids off with him. It’s a story about “life and marriage and how young love can become old resentment,” the narrator says in the trailer, which ends with police showing up at Toby’s house. Brodesser-Akner, the author of the original book, created the show and wrote most of the episodes. The rest of the cast includes Lizzy Caplan and Adam Brody as Toby’s friends, and Josh Radnor has a role, making this one of his biggest TV projects since How I Met Your Mother — though let’s hope this one has a less disappointing ending. No, we still haven’t been able to let that go.
You’ll stream your eye out! The 1983 Christmas movie that plays on a constant loop on TV every holiday season is getting a sequel nearly four decades later with A Christmas Story Christmas, which is headed directly to HBO Max. (Are we sure we can’t squeeze the word “Christmas” into that title one more time?) Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie as a kid in the original, is returning. The first movie was set in the 1940s, so the follow-up takes place in the 1970s, and it sees a now adult Ralphie “return to his house on Cleveland Street to deliver his kids a magical Christmas like the one he had growing up,” per The Hollywood Reporter. Ian Petrella, Zack Ward, Scott Schwartz, and R.D. Robb, who played kids in the original film, are reprising their roles, Deadline reports. The teaser is mostly focused on evoking the original’s most iconic moments, so expect a healthy heaping of nostalgia — and after it comes out, maybe we can dream of a day when TBS actually plays two movies on Christmas.
This really is the fall of long-anticipated streaming sequels to Disney movies. First we had Hocus Pocus 2, and now the beloved 2007 Amy Adams film Enchanted is finally getting a follow-up, appropriately titled Disenchanted. The original starred Adams as Giselle, who travels from a Disney fairy tale universe into the real world, and by the end, she marries Robert Philip, played by Patrick Dempsey. The sequel picks up with Giselle and Robert moving from New York to the suburbs, where she decides to cast a spell upon finding the world she’s living in is not as perfect as she imagined, making the town resemble a fairy tale. “Now, Giselle is in a race against time to reverse the spell,” the plot synopsis says, and it looks like there will be a bit of a role reversal this time in that Giselle inadvertently fills the role of the evil stepmother. James Marsden and Idina Menzel are back from the original, and the new cast includes Maya Rudolph and Yvette Nicole Brown. Let’s hope it’s a winner for Adams, because boy, her filmography has sure been in rough shape lately.
The growing “Eat the Rich” Cinematic Universe looks set to get another tasty entry with The Menu. Anya Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult star in this dark comedy-thriller about a couple who travels to an island with a group of wealthy people to eat at a high-end restaurant, only for things to take a dark turn. Ralph Fiennes plays the chef, and the rest of the cast includes John Leguizamo and Hong Chau, the latter of whom is also getting awards buzz this year for The Whale. Reviews have been mostly positive, with Paste‘s Matthew Jackson praising the film’s “delicate dance of violence, comedy and artful staging” and calling it one of the year’s best movies, while Deadline‘s Valerie Complex wrote that it offers “unnerving satirical commentary on the class divide and how the wealthy are a bottomless pit of need that will never be satisfied.” Mark Mylod, who has helmed many episodes of Succession, directs, so he’s really becoming the go-to guy for stories about awful rich people.
Another likely Oscar contender, Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan star in She Said as Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, the New York Times reporters who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse in 2017. From director Maria Schrader (Unorthodox), the film revolves around their investigation similar to the Best Picture winner Spotlight, and it’s based on Twohey and Kantor’s own 2019 non-fiction book. The rest of the cast includes Andre Braugher as Dean Baquet, executive editor of the Times, and Patricia Clarkson as editor Rebecca Corbett, and Weinstein accuser Ashley Judd appears as herself. The reception to the film after its New York Film Festival premiere was mostly positive, with Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman calling it “tense, fraught, and absorbing.” It’s likely to be among this year’s Best Picture line-up, and Mulligan looks set for a Best Supporting Actress nomination and possibly even a win — yes, at the very same awards ceremony where Weinstein was once thanked more than God.
Isn’t it a bit odd that director Luca Guadagnino and actor Timothée Chalamet’s next collaboration after working with Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name would be a cannibal movie? Well, they say it’s a complete coincidence. If you say so! Bones and All has been described as sort of like Bonnie and Clyde, but with cannibals, as it follows two young lovers, played by Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell, who go on a road trip in the 1980s in “Ronald Reagan’s America,” per the plot synopsis. Mark Rylance and Michael Stuhlbarg also star. It received largely positive reviews after premiering at the Venice Film Festival, and The Hollywood Reporter‘s David Rooney described it as “both a horror movie and a humanistic story of disenfranchised youth looking to figure out who and what they are, ultimately just yearning to belong.” Be warned, though: Expect plenty of gore, so this might not be the movie to see at one of those dine-in theaters.
Wow, there’s already a sequel to Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers? Well, okay, not quite. The creator of last year’s Pamela Anderson drama Pam & Tommy is teaming back up with Hulu for another true story, this time revolving around the founder of Chippendales, Somen Banerjee. Kumail Nanjiani is starring in the lead role of Banerjee, who founded the male dance troupe. Without dropping spoilers for real life, he ends up in legal trouble after his story takes some unbelievable, Tiger King-esque turns. Murray Bartlett also stars coming off his Emmy-winning performance in The White Lotus, as do Dan Stevens, Juliette Lewis, and Annaleigh Ashford. Nanjiani is also a producer on the show along with his wife, Emily V. Gordon, with whom he wrote the fantastic rom-com The Big Sick, and don’t be shocked if the show earns Nanjiani his second Emmy nomination based on how well voters received Pam & Tommy. The series premieres with two episodes on Nov. 22 before the rest drop weekly.
How many more movies and TV shows with the word “strange” in them can one year take? After Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Stranger Things, and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, we now have Strange World, the latest animated film from Disney. This one comes from the co-director of Raya and the Last Dragon and Big Hero 6, who has said the film was inspired by “big adventure stories” like King Kong and Journey to the Center of the Earth. It follows a family of explorers, including Jake Gyllenhaal’s Searcher Clade, who head on an expedition to a strange alien planet. There, Searcher encounters someone unexpected: His dad, voiced by Dennis Quaid, who went missing years ago. “They attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land alongside a motley crew that includes a mischievous blob, a three-legged dog, and a slew of ravenous creatures,” Disney says. The film opens in Disney’s traditional Thanksgiving weekend slot occupied last year by Encanto, though if Strange World hopes to deliver anything as culturally relevant as “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” that may be a tall order.
Detective Benoit Blanc is ready to peel back the layers of another juicy mystery from writer-director Rian Johnson. Daniel Craig returns in this sequel to the acclaimed 2019 murder mystery Knives Out, although other than the central detective being the same, it’s an entirely new cast and plot. This time, Blanc heads to a Greek island where a tech billionaire (Edward Norton) invites his friends to play a murder mystery game, only for someone to really end up dead. The ensemble cast includes Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Madelyn Cline, Kate Hudson, and Dave Bautista, and critics have identified Monáe and Hudson as stand-outs. Glass Onion was the runner-up to win the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, and many reviews said it’s even better than the original. The film is getting a one-week theatrical run in November before hitting Netflix in December, and unlike the streamer’s past films, you’ll actually be able to watch this one at an AMC or Regal theater. But anyone who spoils who the killer is can expect a lump of coal for Christmas.
We’d challenge you to name anyone who’s having a better year than Jenna Ortega. This year alone, our new “scream queen” has starred in The Fallout, Scream, and X, and now she’s leading the new Netflix Addams Family series Wednesday. The show stars Ortega as teenager Wednesday Addams, who’s sent to a school for “outcasts, freaks, and monsters” called Nevermore Academy, where she encounters “secret societies, hidden libraries, a homicidal monster,” and more, as she describes in the trailer. Though Wednesday is the focus, the rest of the Addams Family does appear, with Luis Guzmán playing Gomez Addams, Catherine Zeta-Jones playing Morticia Addams, and Fred Armisen playing Uncle Fester. Christina Ricci, who played Wednesday in the ’90s Addams Family movies, also has a role as a new character. The series was developed by Tim Burton, who, believe it or not, has never made an Addams Family project before this. Fingers crossed it’s suitably mysterious and spooky.
We’re hooked on a feeling: Christmas spirit. The Guardians of the Galaxy return in this new Disney+ holiday special, which should hold fans over until the release of Vol. 3 next summer. After the events of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is depressed over the death of Gamora (Zoe Saldaña), so Drax (Dave Bautista) and Mantis (Pom Klementieff) decide to cheer him up by traveling to Earth to find him the perfect Christmas present — and they try to kidnap Peter’s favorite actor, Kevin Bacon, who appears in the special as himself. That will also make this the Guardians’ first time really exploring Earth, though they were technically there during the final battle of Endgame (admittedly, it’s unclear if Peter ends up back on his home planet, too.) James Gunn wrote and directed the special, which was filmed while the upcoming third Guardians movie was in production. It will mark Gunn’s official return to the MCU after being briefly fired from Vol. 3 due to offensive tweets — though given he was just hired to oversee the DC franchise, it’s safe to say his time with Marvel is coming to an end.
Before Hugh Jackman makes us cry tears of joy by returning as Wolverine, he’s going to make us cry tears of sadness in The Son. Jackman stars in this drama from Florian Zeller, the director of 2020’s The Father starring Anthony Hopkins. He plays Peter, a father whose son, Nicholas, moves in with him after his parents’ divorce. “The young man has been missing from school for months and is troubled, distant, and angry,” and Peter “strives to take care of Nicholas as he would have liked his own father to have taken care of him while juggling work, his and Beth’s new son, and the offer of his dream position in Washington,” Sony’s plot synopsis says. Critics have actually been surprisingly divided on the film, with some dubbing it powerful while others felt it’s emotionally manipulative, complete with what IndieWire‘s David Ehrlich described as a “sadistic” ending. But most have agreed Jackman does great work and turns in possibly the best performance of his career — after Van Helsing, of course.
It’s easy to forget that Lucasfilm actually makes things that aren’t Star Wars and Indiana Jones, including the 1988 Ron Howard film Willow, which is now getting its own series on Disney+. The original movie starred Warwick Davis as a farmer swept up into a fantasy adventure who becomes a sorcerer; George Lucas himself came up with the story. In this sequel series, David returns as Willow, who’s asked for help by the daughter of Sorsha from the original film, who’s trying to rescue her brother. From there, “an unlikely group of heroes set off on a dangerous quest to places far beyond their home, where they must face their inner demons and come together to save their world,” Disney says. Erin Kellyman and Christian Slater flesh out the cast, and Davis’ real daughter, Annabelle Davis, is playing his character’s daughter. If the show is a hit, let’s hope the next step will be giving another ’80s Lucasfilm movie its own sequel series: Howard the Duck. The fans demand it!
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What to watch in November – The Week
Illustrated | Disney, Roku, Universal, Getty Images