By Glenn McDonald
Every other week, our Movie Night! column previews the best upcoming films showing in Chapel Hill theaters – for those who still like to go out to the movies. While Covid remains an issue, all local venues have taken measures to make their spaces safe. Also please remember that bookings and schedules change all the time, so always check online before heading out.
Opens March 25 at the Chelsea
The acclaimed documentary Writing With Fire takes us to the other side of the planet to profile a group of female journalists in India as they ply their trade in severely hostile territory. The reporters all hail from the country’s so-called untouchable caste, and they work in a province notorious for violence against women.
Directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh follow these incredibly brave journalists as they face town genuinely dangerous situations to produce India’s only women-led newspaper. It’s an uplifting story, ultimately, as we see evidence of real change taking root in the planet’s largest democracy. Writing with Fire has already won several major festival awards and it’s one of this year’s Oscar nominees for documentary film.
Opens March 25 at Silverspot and the Carraway drive-in
Lost City, a comedy-adventure in the vein of Romancing the Stone, is the kind of date-night comfort movie that used to be a Hollywood mainstay. Sandra Bullock stars as a romance novelist who teams up with Channing Tatum’s clueless male model on a jungle adventure.
Bullock is reliably funny in movies like this, and Tatum is always a good sport when he leans into his dim-bulb beefcake persona. Stay tuned for a Brad Pitt cameo, too. I sincerely hope that The Lost City can draw an audience in the age of COVID isolation and endless streaming media options. This is exactly the kind of movie that plays waaaaay better in a crowd on a Saturday night, when the laughter gets contagious.
Now playing at Silverspot
The fabulous British actor Mark Rylance takes the lead in this stylish crime drama about an old-fashioned tailor who gets mixed up with Chicago’s Irish mob in the 1950s.
Fans of old-school period thrillers should like this one, which represents an interesting riff on the ancient gangster film template. The official trailer provides a good sense of the film’s style and tone.
The Chelsea has a great selection of other films in rotation right now, including Ascension, Compartment No. 6, The Worst Person in the World and Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom. They’re also queuing up a special 50th anniversary showing of The Godfather next week – check the Chelsea website for details.
Silverspot is screening the blockbuster animated fantasy Jujutsu Kaisen O – concerning teenage sorcerers – in both dubbed and subbed (subtitled) versions. The film was a colossal hit last year in Japan.
The Varsity theater will open the new Marvel comics movie Morbius (Jared Leto as a kind of crimefighting vampire) with a special sneak peek screening Thursday, March 31.
On Sunday, March 27, Silverspot’s Flashback Cinema series rolls out director Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic Blade Runner. Sci-fi nerds will want to note that this is The Final Cut version, one of five different edits of the film assembled over the years – and the best one, in my embarrassingly considered opinion.
Glenn McDonald is a Chapel Hill freelance writer and contributing film critic with Indy Week.