Not a good month, which gives us plenty of time to finish the month of May’s #FormanChallenge, where we watch all nine films listed by the New York Times as a tribute to the great director, putting them in order.
THE GUARDIANS – May 4
Tells the story when women are left behind to work a family farm during the Great War. French director, Xavier Beauvois, has won a few awards at the Cannes Film Festival (Of Gods and Men, Don’t Forget You’re Going to Die), rendering whatever he does, at a minimum, mildly intriguing.
ANON – May 4
Writer and director Andrew Niccol, who hit the big time with his writing of The Truman Show, has written a new sci-fi movie that was picked up by Netflix last year. Niccol made his directorial with sci-fi film Gattica, which was well received. Set in a futuristic time where there is hardly any crime left and your privacy is a thing of the past, a detective (Clive Owen) is set down a trail to discover a streak of murders. It turns out someone has figured out how to remain anonymous, and in doing so is getting away with murder. Look for this one on Netflix on May 10th. [Chris Butler]
DARK CRIMES – May 11
A murder investigation of a slain business man turns to clues found in an author’s book about an eerily similar crime. While we remain skeptical, seeing Jim Carrey in another serious role may be worth the time.
POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD – May 18
Documentary about Pope Francis traveling the world, speaking to those in need, and delivering a message of hope. It’s Wim Wenders, so yeah, we’re watching it.
FIRST REFORMED – May 18
A former military chaplain is wracked by grief over the death of his son. Mary is a member of his church whose husband, a radical environmentalist, commits suicide, setting the plot in motion. I missed this film in Telluride last year and have been waiting to see it ever since.
ON CHESIL BEACH – May 18
Based on Ian McEwan’s novel (also did Adaptation with Saoirse Ronan). In 1962 England, a young couple find their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night. So far getting pretty average reviews, which says a lot given how much Hollywood loves Ronan, who also has a limited release feature coming May 11 called The Seagull based on a play by Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov. The film just premiered at Tribeca.
FAHRENHEIT 451 – May 19
Finally, we have a release date (and full length trailer) of the new HBO film that is adapted from Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel with the same name. This will star Michael B. Jordan from Black Panther and Michael Shannon from The Shape of Water. Set in a future where books are banned and burned by people called Firemen, one Fireman starts to see things differently. After it premiers at Cannes, you can find it on HBO Now or HBO Go. [Chris Butler]
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY – May 25
During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion. My gut tells me that this installment will do poorly at the Cannes premiere before an audience of critics, which will inevitable kill its box-office.