It’s November, a time associated in the popular imaginary as much with fireworks and bonfires as it is with rain. These seemingly contradictory elements of the penultimate month of the year can be seen manifest in its new releases. For every star-studded sequel to a billion-dollar blockbuster, there’s a small but buzzy indie flick which may either compete with or complement it – depending on your tastes. Here’s a look at what’s out in the next few weeks, hopefully, there are more bright sparks than damp squibs.
Paddington 2 (November 10th)
Paddington Bear returns this week in an incredibly funny sequel by Paul King and Simon Barnaby. The film sees Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) framed for the theft of a pop-up book that holds the key to a long-lost treasure, while his adoptive family, the Browns, try to find the real culprit. Co-starring Hugh Grant as a narcissistic actor and a delightful Brendan Gleeson as ‘Nuckle’s’, (yes, ‘Nuckle’s’) the prison chef, this is undoubtedly this month’s most wholesome release and one that’ll appeal to just about everyone with ears, eyes and a heart.
The Florida Project (November 10th)
The Florida Project is the latest film by writer/director Sean Parker, who made his name with the thoughtfully-madcap feature Tangerine, famously shot on an iPhone. Set south of Walt Disney World, the film centres on six-year-old Moonee and her friends as they navigate their very own ‘Magic Castle’; the run-down $38 dollar-a-night motel they call home. Featuring Willem Defoe as the building’s worldweary superintendent, this film offers a refreshing (orange-flavoured?) slice-of-life view of the sunshine state.
Justice League (November 17th)
This is, in fact, not a film about a harsh but fair Supreme Court magistrate named Stephen League, and one historical case that could make or break his career. Instead it’s like some fashion of Avengers remake starring the DC gang, who team up to fight a newly-awakened villain, Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) and thwart his attempt to collect the scattered
Infinity Stones Mother Boxes. This summer’s breakout superhero, Wonder Woman, returns with Ben Affleck’s Batman in tow, while Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa make their DC movie debuts as The Flash and Aquaman, respectively.
Ingrid Goes West (November 17th)
Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation, Legion) stars in a timely tale about a woman who becomes obsessed with an Insta-famous model (Elizabeth Olsen) and decides to travel cross-country to befriend her. Once in Los Angeles, Ingrid quickly discovers the ugly truth behind her idol’s flawlessly-filtered existence. O’Shea Jackson Jr. co-stars in this darkly comic saga about confusing ‘like’ for like and not believing everything you see on the internet, or the ways it makes you feel.
Suburbicon (November 24th)
‘Featuring Oscar Isaac’ season has begun in earnest. Prior to the release of The Last Jedi next month, Isaac puts in a turn in George Clooney’s latest directorial project, from a script written by the Coen Brothers. Suburbicon centres around a middle-class white neighbourhood in 1950s America as its residents grapple with the fallout from a shocking home invasion, along with the arrival of an African-American family. Leads Matt Damon and Julianne Moore promise to bring a civil, nervous energy to this social satire-slash-murder mystery.
This month sees a range of film festivals taking place across the country. The IFI French Film Festival reprises in the capital this November. With 42 screenings scheduled as part of its 18th edition, highlights include new films from Clare Denis, Michael Haneke, and Stéphane Brizé. You can also catch La Régle De Jeu, one of the most highly-regarded films ever made, and a Jean Pierre Melville centenary season. Special guests will include filmmakers Agnes Joui (The Taste of Others) Léa Mysius (Ava), and Robin Campillo, whose film 120 BPM won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
French Film Festival (15-26 November)
Ireland’s oldest film festival, the Cork Film Festival, launches this weekend in the Everyman Theatre with a screening of the Charles Dickens biopic, The Man Who Invented Christmas. The programme offers plenty for rebel filmgoers to enjoy over the next ten days in a range of venues in the city, including a series of shorts showing ‘Cork on Camera’, Paul McGuigan’s affecting biopic Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, and Robert Pattinson crime drama Good Time. The Illuminate strand of carefully curated film and discussion events, focusing on a differing aspect of mental health, adds an important social dimension to proceedings; while guests will include Pat Collins (Song of Granite) Frank Berry (Michael Inside) and the creative team behind the Irish Gothic horror The Lodgers.
Cork Film Festival (10-19 November)