Last weekend, I watched Madeline’s Madeline, a dizzying film about a teenage girl in an experimental theater troupe who’s also struggling with an unidentified mental illness. The film is particularly clever when it comes to melding its premise with its camerawork — the ethos of the theater troupe and the ill confusion its protagonist feels is often the lens we see the world of this movie through.
The movie also tries to grapple with some complicated questions around appropriation that become uncomfortably meta when you read about how the film was developed. The movie focuses on a relationship between a black teenage girl and a white director who wants to, essentially, steal her story for a play. The film, likewise, was formed when its white director met this teenage star, and it incorporates real-life elements.
I don’t know that the movie can handle all of the questions it raises around appropriation. I don’t know that it even wants to. It presents viewers with something difficult and unsettling, and that may well be all it set out to do.
Check out nine trailers from this week below.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
It’s finally here: the title and teaser for the final Star Wars film (for now, at least). J.J. Abrams’ first Star Wars had a very magical vibe to it — one that Rian Johnson really played against in his sequel — and this teaser makes it seem like The Rise of Skywalker will go back toward that sense of awe and wonder that so encompassed The Force Awakens. Albeit, maybe just a little bit darker. I’m definitely down for it. It’s out on December 20th.
The Lion King
Disney put out its first real look at the Lion King remake this week. There’s no question about this film becoming a massive hit, but I’m still a little skeptical of how well its fairly realistic animation style will work with human voice actors — something we still see very little of here. The film debuts on July 19th.
Hulu is bringing back Veronica Mars, and we got a very brief teaser of what that’ll look like this week. I’ve never seen the original series, but as a newfound fan of The Good Place, I’m all for more witty, fed-up Kristen Bell roles. The new season premieres on July 26th.
This is barely a teaser, but it’s interesting enough that I have to mention it: Donald Glover and Rihanna co-star in Guava Island, a film by Hiro Murai, one of the strongest music video directors out there. It’s still mostly unclear what Guava Island actually is. A visual album? A movie? Vanity Fair calls it a “music-driven hour-long film,” and that’s the only knowledgable description I could find. But regardless, it’s almost definitely going to be worth watching. It’ll be an Amazon Prime exclusive eventually, but the film will be free to watch for most of Saturday.
The Addams Family
It’s time for another reboot of The Addams Family. It’s still a very silly comedy, just animated in this incarnation, with Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, and Bette Midler among the characters’ voices. It comes out on Halloween.
Homecoming: A Film By Beyoncé
Netflix picked up a film / concert documentary based on Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance. As with every visual released around a Beyoncé performance, Homecoming looks gorgeous and poetic, in addition to simply being a blast of a show. It comes out on April 17th.
Everything about this film looks a little bit bewildering, but the trailer cuts it all together with such a quick pace and high energy that it may just not matter. The film has Dave Bautista playing someone who claims to be a cop. He commandeers an Uber car and its driver, played by Kumail Nanjiani, to race him around a city. It’s a buddy cop movie with a ridiculous premise, and maybe the two of them are just fun enough to make it work. The film comes out on July 12th.
Amy Poehler’s feature directorial debut mostly seems like an excuse to work with a bunch of her friends again, and that’s excellent news for the rest of us. It stars Poehler, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, and Tina Fey, among others. It’ll be out on May 10th.
I know a lot of people love Luc Besson’s films. I am not one of those people. But here it is — his latest action film with a super capable heroine who kicks butt and is only sometimes sexualized by the camera. It comes out on June 21st.