I love how Sofia Coppola keeps turning to period pieces to explore the lost, dissatisfied women her films are almost exclusively about. Her latest, The Beguiled, goes back to the American Civil War and uses the era's strict gender roles to put women at a boarding school into a tense situation as they all try to manipulate — and get manipulated by — an injured male soldier.
The setup leads to some excellent suspense and a really nice contrast of how different characters (a widow, a single adult, a late teen) deal with the situation they've been put in. It fits right in with Coppola's other movies, and certainly does a thoughtful job of exploring the issues she's interested in — that said, there are some good critiques of the way Coppola's Beguiled ignores race in a way the previous adaptation of the story didn't.
Check out seven trailers from this week below.
I don't really know where to start in explaining how wonderful and ridiculous this whole thing is. Neo Yokio is a new anime series created by Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig. Jaden Smith voices its main character, who appears to be a fashionista/demon slayer, and other voice talent ranges from Tavi Gevinson to Steve Buscemi. At one point, while shooting an energy ball at a flying skull, Smith's character shouts, "Coco Chanel may her memory be blessed!” It comes out September 22nd. I am definitely going to watch.
Mudbound has received a ton of positive reviews from festival screenings throughout the year, and it’s already being surrounded by some very early Oscars buzz. The film comes from Pariah director Dee Rees and is about two former soldiers and their families, one white and one black, living in the south after World War II, and the different experiences they have trying to survive and move beyond the war. It comes to Netflix on November 17th.
Greta Gerwig is one of the funniest actors around, and with Lady Bird, she's taking that talent to directing for the first time. The film, which was written by Gerwig as well, is a coming of age story about a high school girl struggling to take on responsibility as she heads toward graduation. I really love the tone here, and early reviews seem to love it too. Saoirse Ronan stars. It's supposed to hit theaters on November 10th.
The Current War
Okay, so, of course Benedict Cumberbatch is the star of this. Can an actor just be inherently cliché in a role? Anyway, Cumberbatch plays Thomas Edison in The Current War, a film about the battle between Edison's DC electrical system and Nikola Tesla's AC system, largely represented here by Westinghouse. The film looks pretty cool and should be fun one for physics and engineering nerds. It comes out November 24th — I'd recommend killing the time until then with a few games of Tesla vs. Edison.
Versions of this trailer have been popping up for months now — which speaks to just how much buzz the film has been getting — but this is the first one targeted at US audiences. Unfortunately, it’s also the first one to put a distracting pop song over top of the footage, but if you ignore that, you’ll get a sense for what Thelma really is: a creepy supernatural romance about a student who realizes she has some disturbing and uncontrollable powers. It comes out November 10th.
One of Us
The directors of Jesus Camp take another deep dive into an insular religious community with One of Us, a potentially quite scary documentary about people who left the community of Hasidic Jews in New York City. It comes out October 20th.
It's good to see someone finally adapting a Stephen King novel into a movie. Netflix's latest is Gerald's Game, a really absurd-looking suspense film about a woman whose partner has a heart attack immediately after handcuffing her to a bed to spice things up. The film comes from the director of Oculus and Ouija: Origin of Evil. It'll be out on Netflix on September 29th.