Nic Cage, Vikings, and Bad Guys highlight a loaded weekend at the theaters.
By Sean Blanford
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent: Nicolas Cage plays the most challenging role of his career: himself…kind of. Making its world premiere at the 2022 SXSW film festival, Massive Talent sees Cage play a dramatized but almost all-to-real version of his own life. Struggling to land his next significant acting role and dealing with issues in his home life, his agent (Neil Patrick Harris) hands Cage an opportunity to make a million dollars to attend the birthday week celebration of a superfan (Pedro Pascal) who may or may not have ties to dangerous gun runners. Tiffany Haddish, Ike Barinhotlz, and Sharon Horgan co-star.
The Northman: The second film hitting the Bananameter this week alongside Massive Talent is the latest from The Witch and The Lighthouse writer-director Robert Eggers. Following the death of his father (Ethan Hawke) and the kidnapping of his mother (Nicole Kidman) at the hands of his traitorous Uncle Fjolnir (Claes Bang), Amleth (Alexander Skarsgard), the rightful heir to the throne, goes of a path of vengeance. While this is a more significant film in terms of scale than his previous work, Eggers holds true to his own brand of filmmaking by combining stellar cinematography with outstanding performances. Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, and Bjork co-star.
The Bad Guys: The latest from Dreamworks Animation is based on the book series by Aaron Blabey about a group of criminals who avoid prison by becoming something they never thought they could be: good, decent members of society. The film features a loaded voice cast, including Sam Rockwell, Mark Maron, Awkwafina, Craig Robinson, Anthony Ramos, Zazie Beetz, and Alex Borstein.
Marvelous and the Black Hole: Making its premiere back at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, Marvelous and the Black Hole stars Miya Cech as Sammy, a young girl dealing with being a teenager in a dysfunctional home that soon befriends a party magician (Rhea Perlman). The two become unlikely allies in this cute and easy-to-digest dramatic comedy from writer-director Kate Tsang in her feature directorial debut.
Petite Maman: The latest from Portrait of a Lady of Fire writer-director Celine Sciamma has been making the rounds in theaters and film festivals worldwide since June of 2021 and is finally hitting theaters in the United States. The film is a 72-minute gift of filmmaking and tells the story of a young girl who goes with her family to clear the house of her recently-deceased grandmother, only to discover and befriend a girl her age she meets in the woods.
Polar Bear: If you are a fan of the DisneyNature Earth Day releases, this year’s iteration will warm your heart. Narrated by Catherine Keener, the film follows a new polar bear mother and her cub as they navigate the Arctic.
Other films to look out for this weekend and into next week include Hit the Road and The Duke (in theaters) and The Survivor, the latest from director Barry Levinson, hitting HBOMax on Wednesday, April 27th.