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.
Opening March 10 at Chelsea
My dearly departed mom, born and raised in Scotland, fell in love with the movies when she emigrated to America in the 1950s. Her favorite genre was a designation she made up on her own. “Weepies,” she called them, and that meant pretty much any movie that made her cry.
The Quiet Girl, the Irish coming-of-age drama opening this weekend at the Chelsea, is precisely the kind of film that would have appealed to mom’s big Gaelic heart. The story concerns a neglected young Irish girl who finds love and acceptance when she’s sent to stay with relatives in the countryside. Based on the story by short fiction specialist Claire Keegan, it’s a movie of quiet moments, beautiful images and big feelings. You can get the gist of it here in the official trailer.
The Quiet Girl has won near-universal critical praise, and it’s nominated for Best International Feature Film at the upcoming Academy Awards. It’s also a rare opportunity to hear the Irish language spoken in a feature film (subtitled here, naturally).
Opening March 10 at Silverspot
There are certain kinds of movies which, if you’re going to see them at all, you want to see them on the big screen. All indications are that the oddly titled sci-fi thriller 65 is one of those movies. The quick gist: A spaceship pilot must survive primordial dangers when he’s transported 65 million years back to Earth’s Cretaceous period.
As the trailer ably demonstrates, 65 crosses science-fiction elements (spaceship crash lands on hostile planet!) with a proven action-adventure premise (dinosaurs!). It’s got a few things going for it. The formidable Adam Driver plays the lead, and he’s a full-service movie star. Also, the production team includes popcorn movie veteran Sam Raimi (the original Spider-Man series) and the guys who brought us the superior 2018 thriller A Quiet Place.
It’s all about timing with a movie like this. If you’re in the mood for it, then 65 will scratch that itch and it’ll be waaaay better in the theater than on your TV or tablet. Bonus trivia: The film was shot on location, with the Cretaceous period played by the lush forests and swamps of Louisiana bayou country.
Bookworms might dig the publishing industry documentary Turn Every Page, which chronicles 50-plus years of collaboration between famed scholar/biographer Robert Caro and his longtime book editor Robert Gottlieb. It’s a chance to learn how big, complicated books are put together, and it’s opening this weekend at the Chelsea.
The Varsity is holding over the boxing drama Creed III, with star Michael B. Jordan making his directorial debut. Reviews are good!
The Lumina is holding over the action comedy Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, directed by British caper film ace Guy Ritchie. Jason Statham—that’s good. Aubrey Plaza—that’s even better.
D&D nerds unite! On Sunday, March 19, Silverspot is hosting an early screening of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, otherwise opening wide on March 31.
Glenn McDonald is a Chapel Hill freelance writer and contributing film critic with Indy Week.