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Cinema Chat: Golden Globes recap, Michael's top films of 2021, 'Belle,' and more

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The temperatures have dropped a bit outside, so stay warm inside with a good movie. WEMU's Michael Jewett fills in for David Fair again to talk about the world of film with Michigan Theater Foundation executive director Russ Collins.

2022 GOLDEN GLOBES

For a complete list of winners, click here.

RUSS’S MEMORABLE FILMS OF 2021 (in no particular order)

  • "Summer of Soul"
  • "In the Heights"
  • "West Side Story"
  • "Hamilton" (should have been on the BIG screen)
  • "tick, tick...BOOM!"
  • "King Richard"
  • "The Tragedy of Macbeth"
  • "The Power of the Dog"
  • "The Electrical Life of Luis Wain"
  • "Nightmare Alley"
  • "The French Dispatch"
  • "Belfast"
  • "The Truffle Hunters"

FILMS FROM 2021 RUSS LOOKS FORWARD TO SEEING

  • "Drive My Car"
  • "Passing"
  • "Parallel Mothers" (Pedro Almodóvar)
  • "Encanto"
  • Oscar Shorts
  • Oscar nominated International and documentary films
  • More…

MICHAEL JEWETT'S MOST MEMORABLE FILMS OF 2021

 

  • "King Richard"
  • "The Harder They Fall"
  • "Encanto" (mostly because he saw it in the theater with his granddaughter!)
  • "Summer of Soul"
  • "Eternals"
  • "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings"
  • "Spider-Man: No Way Home"
  • "West Side Story"

 
REMINDER: LIVE ON STAGE: ANAIS MITCHELL & BONEY LIGHT HORSEMAN AT THE MICHIGAN THEATER

TICKETS NOW ON SALE THROUGH TICKETMASTER! Anaïs Mitchell is on tour is and coming to Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater on February 7, 2022. She'll be performing with a band (including JT Bates on drums and Michael Lewis on bass) and will play brand new music alongside older favorites including selections from "Hadestown." Bonny Light Horseman, Anais’s band with Josh Kaufman and Eric Johnson, will open! Tickets available now at TicketMaster.

OPENING DOWNTOWN

"Belle" -- OPENS FRIDAY, JANUARY 14 AT THE STATE WITH ADVANCE SCREENING TONIGHT

This (in Japanese: Sobakasu no Hime "The Dragon and The Freckled Princess") is a 2021 Japanese animated science fiction fantasy film. It is based on and inspired by the 1756 French fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" (La Belle et le Bete). The film received its world premiere on July 15, 2021 at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, where it was well-received by critics with a standing ovation that lasted fourteen minutes, the longest of any film shown at the festival.

The celebrated Academy Award®-nominated director Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu, creators of "Mirai," "Wolf Children," "Summer Wars," and more, comes a fantastical, heartfelt story of growing up in the age of social media.

Suzu is a shy, everyday high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters “U”, a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a gorgeous and globally-beloved singer. One day, her concert is interrupted by a monstrous creature chased by vigilantes. As their hunt escalates, Suzu embarks on an emotional and epic quest to uncover the identity of this mysterious “beast” and to discover her true self in a world where you can be anyone.

"Scream" -- OPENS AT THE MULTIPLEX FRIDAY, JANUARY 14 (MAY OPEN DOWNTOWN NEXT WEEK)

Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past. Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette (“Dewey Riley”) return to their iconic roles in this film, alongside Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar.
 
SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN

Late Nights at the Michigan 

Korean Cinema NOW 

Sidney Poitier Memorial Retrospective

 

  • Series starts later in January and play through February

 
CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

"The King's Man"

This is a 2021 spy action-comedy film directed by Matthew Vaughn from a screenplay by Vaughn and Karl Gajdusek and a story by Vaughn. The third installment in the Kingsman film series, which is based on the comic book "The Secret Service" by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, the film serves as a prequel to 2014's "Kingsman: The Secret Service" and 2017's "Kingsman: The Golden Circle."

The film features an ensemble cast that includes Ralph Fiennes (who also serves as one of the film's executive producers), Gemma ArtertonRhys IfansMatthew GoodeTom HollanderHarris DickinsonDaniel BrühlDjimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance, and focuses on several events during World War I and the birth of the Kingsman organization.

"Licorice Pizza"

This film is a 2021 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson ("Phantom Thread," "There Will Be Blood," "Boogie Nights"). The film stars Alana HaimCooper HoffmanSean PennTom WaitsBradley CooperMaya Rudolph, and Benny Safdie. The film received acclaim from critics and received three awards from the National Board of Review, including Best Film. It was also named one of the best films of 2021 by the American Film Institute and received four nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, along with eight nominations at the 27th Critics' Choice Awards, including Best Picture. The story of Alana Kane (Alana Haim) and Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) growing up, running around and going through the treacherous navigation of first love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973. 

"Nightmare Alley"

A 2021 American neo-noir psychological thriller directed by Guillermo del Toro from a screenplay by del Toro and Kim Morgan, based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham. The film features an ensemble cast including Bradley CooperCate BlanchettToni ColletteWillem Dafoe, Richard JenkinsRooney MaraRon PerlmanMary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn. It is the second feature film adaptation of Gresham's novel, following the 1947 version. The film focuses on Stan Carlisle (Cooper), an ambitious carny, who hooks up with a corrupt psychiatrist, Dr. Lilith Ritter (Blanchett), who proves to be as dangerous as he is.

Cooper plays the charismatic but down-on-his-luck carny, Stanton Carlisle, who endears himself to clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette) and her has-been mentalist husband Pete (David Strathairn). At a traveling carnival, he crafts a golden ticket to success, using this newly acquired knowledge to grift the wealthy elite of 1940s New York society. With the virtuous Molly (Rooney Mara) loyally by his side, Stanton plots to con a dangerous tycoon (Richard Jenkins) with the aid of a mysterious psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who might be his most formidable opponent yet. 

"Spider-Man: No Way Home"

This is a 2021 American superhero film, the sequel to "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017) and "Spider-Man: Far From Home" (2019). It is the 27th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film is directed by Jon Watts, written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man alongside ZendayaBenedict CumberbatchJacob BatalonJon Favreau, and Marisa Tomei. In this film, Parker asks Dr. Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) to make his identity as Spider-Man a secret again with magic, but Strange's spell goes awry, breaking open the multiverse and allowing supervillains from alternate realities to enter the MCU. This marks the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero's identity is revealed, bringing his Super Hero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk. Now, Peter will have to overcome his greatest challenge yet, which will not only forever alter his own future, but the future of the Multiverse.

"West Side Story"

Love at first sight strikes when young Tony spots Maria at a high school dance in 1957 New York City. Their burgeoning romance helps to fuel the fire between the warring Jets and Sharks -- two rival gangs vying for control of the streets. Director: Steven Spielberg. Writer: Tony Kushner.

"House of Gucci"

This is a 2021 American biographical crime drama film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the 2001 book "The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed" by Sara Gay Forden. The film stars Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, the wife of Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), as their romance transforms into a fight for control of the fashion brand Gucci; Jared LetoJeremy IronsSalma Hayek, and Al Pacino also star.

Ridley Scott had wanted to do a film about the Gucci dynasty since acquiring the rights to Forden's book in the early 2000s. The project languished for several years and went through a handful of directors and rumored actors before Scott and Gaga were confirmed as attached in November 2019. Much of the rest of the cast joined the following summer, and filming began in Italy in February 2021, lasting through May.

The film is inspired by the shocking true story of the family behind the Italian fashion empire. When Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga), an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel the family legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately... murder.

"The French Dispatch"

A 2021 American comedy-drama anthology film written, directed, and produced by Wes Anderson from a story he conceived with Roman CoppolaHugo Guinness, and Jason Schwartzman. The film stars an ensemble cast featuring Benicio del Toro, Adrien BrodyTilda SwintonLéa SeydouxFrances McDormandTimothée ChalametLyna KhoudriJeffrey WrightMathieu AmalricStephen ParkBill Murray, and Owen Wilson. Its plot follows three different storylines, as the French foreign bureau of a fictional Kansas newspaper creates its final issue. Filming took place between November 2018 and March 2019, with cinematographer Robert Yeoman, in the city of Angoulême, France. Following a delay, the film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on July 12, 2021.

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—Michael Jewett is the WEMU weekday jazz host.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Michael Jewett is the long-time host of 89.1 Jazz every weekday afternoon. Besides his on-air work; Michael is WEMU’s Operations Manager. Mr. Jewett started working for WEMU in 1983. He’s been on the air longer than any other current WEMU music host.
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