Three Best Picture nominess, two festival darlings, and the Batman in a pear tree! Yeah, this is a pretty stacked weekend for quality movie watching.
By Sean Blanford
The Batman: One of two films that will be covered on this weekends Bananameter is already the first film to be Certified Bananas and is the first major blockbuster of 2022. Matt Reeve’s vision of the Dark Knight takes more of a detective crime drama approach than many of its predecessors, and Robert Pattinson does not disappoint as the Caped Crusader. The film is rounded out with a stellar cast, including Zoe Kravitz, Jeffrey Wright, Paul Dano, Colin Farrell, and John Turturro. The near three-hour runtime may be daunting, but the film’s pacing works to make it feel not as long as it actually is.
Available to own on digital
Licorice Pizza: By the end of this week, every Best Picture nominee will be available to watch from the comfort of your own home. If you’re okay shelling out twenty dollars for a digital copy on sites like Amazon Prime Video and Vudu, then I highly suggest doing so for Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest. Following two lost souls in the San Fernando Valley in the early 1970s, Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman are captivating in the lead roles. The film has been criticized for the age gap between the two lead characters. Still, if you’re able to look past that and enjoy the experience given to you, then you’ll see why this was nominated for Best Picture as well as Best Original Screenplay and Best Director.
Fresh: One of three films that were the talk of Sundance 2022 that you can watch this week is the twisted romance/horror from first-time director Mimi Cave starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan. This is a film you should know as little about going in as possible, but if you are a fan of genre-subverting movies, Fresh will undoubtedly satisfy your appetite. This will also be covered this weekend by our Bananameter critics.
After Yang: It’s a double dose of Colin Farrell this week, and the two films couldn’t be more different. From director Kogonada, After Yang is about the grief of loss and discovering your appreciation of what you have in front of you. After a family has their robotic sibling companion Yang begins to malfunction, father Jake (Farrell) goes on a journey to do whatever it takes to get Yang fixed. This is a subtle film that doesn’t spell everything out for you, but it is well worth your time to check out. After Yang was another hit from Sundance 2022 after premiering at Cannes last year.
Lucy and Desi: From Amy Poehler, this documentary on the life of television legends Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz goes place that its narrative counterpart Being the Ricardos should have. Combining new interviews with other icons of comedy and their children with never-before-heard cassette diaries from Lucy’s past, this was a film that was handled with great care by all involved. If you loved Ricardos, you would like Lucy and Desi so much more.
Drive My Car: Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best International Feature, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s story of how one man deals with grief has been a critical success all awards season. This is another film nearly three hours long, but it is well worth your time just to get to the movie’s riveting ending.
West Side Story: Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the beloved film that was released sixty years prior, it is nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, and several others. Whether you feel this is superior to the original is for you to decide, but this latest version holds true to its predecessor. Ariana DeBose could walk away with an Oscar at the end of this month, but the entire cast is phenomenal.