Films in 2022: November

November seemingly flew by, and as you’ll see, I ended up re-watching more movies than seeing films for the first time, but I still saw plenty regardless! During the first weekend of the month, I went to a handful of AFI FEST screenings, most of which included Q&As with the talent in front of and behind the camera. And the Q&As for this year’s anticipated releases didn’t stop there, I was also fortunate to attend several screenings through American Cinematheque, including Nope and Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. There were also a few repertory screenings that featured some very special guests: Sunset Blvd. with Nancy Olson (who signed copies of her new memoir), and Flower Drum Song with Nancy Kwan and Irene Tsu (both sat right behind me during the whole movie!). At home, I ended up revisiting a lot of the classic film offerings on the Criterion Channel for Noirvember; you can see everything I watched for the annual noir celebration here. With all that said, let’s take a look at what I watched over the past 30 days…

New-to-Me: 33

Re-Watched: 38

New-to-Me Films by Decade:

  • 1910s – 0
  • 1920s – 0
  • 1930s – 0
  • 1940s – 12
  • 1950s – 6
  • 1960s – 2
  • 1970s – 2
  • 1980s – 0
  • 1990s – 2
  • 2000s – 0
  • 2010s – 0
  • 2020s – 9

List of New-to-Me Films:

  1. Nightmare (1956)
  2. Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948)
  3. Street of Chance (1942)
  4. Rogue Cop (1954)
  5. Shining Victory (1941)
  6. She Said (2022)
  7. Women Talking (2022)
  8. Bones and All (2022)
  9. The Fabelmans (2022)
  10. Lonelyhearts (1958)
  11. Bad Influence (1990)
  12. Red Rock West (1993)
  13. Whistle Stop (1946)
  14. The Glass Wall (1953)
  15. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022)
  16. Walk Like a Dragon (1960)
  17. Enter the Dragon (1973)
  18. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)
  19. Calcutta (1946)
  20. The Unseen (1945)
  21. So Evil My Love (1948)
  22. Among the Living (1941)
  23. The Devil Thumbs a Ride (1947)
  24. Rolling Thunder (1977)
  25. Her Kind of Man (1946)
  26. The Good Nurse (2022)
  27. Disenchanted (2022)
  28. Railroaded! (1947)
  29. Behind Locked Doors (1948)
  30. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)
  31. A Life at Stake (1955)
  32. Please Murder Me! (1956)
  33. Roustabout (1964)

A Few Favorite Discoveries:

The Fabelmans (2022)

The Fabelmans (2022), directed by Steven Spielberg

I’m a sucker for movies about movies, so I knew I’d enjoy Steven Spielberg’s latest film, a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story that he co-wrote with his frequent collaborator Tony Kushner. While The Fabelmans shows how the legendary filmmaker became passionate about his craft at a young age, it’s much more about what the title suggests, the fictional family at the center of the movie, and how everyone from his parents and sisters, to distant relatives and classmates shaped who he became. It’s a very specific, personal story, but it still feels universal and not overly sentimental as these kinds of films can be. It’s anchored by a well-rounded cast including Michelle Williams and Paul Dano portraying a version of Spielberg’s parents and an impressive breakout performance from Gabriel LaBelle who had the daunting task of playing the proxy of the man who was directing him! It’s definitely one of my favorites of the year and has one of the best endings I’ve seen in some time, featuring a special treat of a cameo.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022)

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (2022), directed by Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafson

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio is a fresh take on one of the most familiar stories ever known, infusing the filmmaker’s trademarks into a stop-motion spectacle set against WWII-era fascist Italy. In that sense it reminded me a lot of del Toro’s most acclaimed movie, Pan’s Labyrinth, striking a balance between charming fantasy and harrowing realism. I wish this got a wider theatrical release as I really enjoyed seeing the beautiful animation on a big screen, but it will at least be hitting Netflix soon, and I recommend checking it out then. This movie should be a shoo-in to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022)

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022), directed by Rian Johnson

When it was announced that Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery would be getting a one-week theatrical release over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was sure to get a ticket for one of the showings on its first day in theaters, and seeing it with an audience did not disappoint. Again, it’s too bad this did not stay in theaters long, but it’ll be on Netflix in time for Christmas. Anyway, this may be recency bias speaking but I may have enjoyed Glass Onion more than its predecessor Knives Out, which I still enjoyed a whole lot. Anyone familiar with whodunnits like The Last of Sheila and Evil Under the Sun can see how clearly inspired Rian Johnson was by those films, and he has a lot of fun drawing from them and twisting them into this contemporary murder mystery. It boasts another great all-star cast, who I think overall get more to do than in the original alongside Daniel Craig as the beloved Benoit Blanc. Janelle Monae is the real star of the film, giving an unexpectedly complex performance. Other standouts include Kate Hudson and Edward Norton, as well as a few very notable cameo appearances.

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