Consider these five films a palate cleanser after Tuesday’s presidential debate. We bring back a David Lynch classic, dive into the four stages of Gloria Steinem’s life, and await Sofia Coppola’s new Bill Murray-starring film.
This week, we couldn’t limit it to just five, so here’s a sixth one to look out for: Kirsten Johnson’s Dick Johnson Is Dead, a documentary in which the director stages a variety of ways her father, who suffers from dementia, could ultimately die. On Netflix October 2.
Week of September 28
The Boys in the Band
First there was the off-Broadway play. Then William Friedkin's 1970 film adaptation. Then a 2018 Broadway run to mark the play's 50th anniversary. That's the version director Joe Mantello has adapted for his new Netflix film, complete with the entire Broadway cast in their respective roles. The Boys in the Band takes us to a birthday party in 1968 New York, where a drunken game leaves seven gay friends to deal with secrets and feelings revealed. Starring Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, and Matt Bomer, the film premieres on Netflix September 30.
The Elephant Man
Based on a true story set in Victorian England, David Lynch’s The Elephant Man stars Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Frederic Treves, a surgeon who discovers Joseph Merrick (played by John Hurt), a side-show performer born with deformities. Over time, they develop a friendship. The film boasts an all-star cast, including Hopkins, Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, and Wendy Hiller. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Directing, and now comes to Blu-ray with a new 4K digital restoration from the Criterion Collection on September 29.
What’s better than one Gloria Steinem? Four. Julie Taymor’s new feature, The Glorias, traces the feminist leader’s rise from a childhood in 1940s Ohio to the center of the women’s liberation movement. Starring Ryan Kiera Armstrong, Lulu Wilson, Alicia Vikander, and Julianne Moore as Steinem in different stages of her life and career. The Glorias premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is available on Amazon Prime starting September 30.
In Craig Roberts’ keen look at mental illness, real and imagined worlds collide in ways both poignant and funny. After suffering a breakdown, Jane (played by Sally Hawkins) is diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic—and dysfunctional family and unexpected love propel her to find new sources of light and life. Eternal Beauty comes to VOD October 2.
On the Rocks
In her seventh feature, director Sofia Coppola brings together Rashida Jones and longtime collaborator Bill Murray for a father-daughter adventure around New York City, complete with martinis and and an Italian sports car. It all begins when Jones’ character, Laura, thinks her husband Dean (played by Marlon Wayans) is cheating on her—and she turns to her emotionally distant father, played by Murray, for support. On the Rocks comes to select theaters October 2 and Apple TV+ on October 23. For those awaiting the streaming release, here’s a look at the trailer to tide us all over a few more weeks.