Academy members, film critics, and guild members are typically extremely busy over the Thanksgiving holiday, catching up with moviegoers, responding to special screenings, and rushing to pick up all the awards. Hope is knocking on the door. For casual moviegoers, it can often be very different. Eg, Adam McKayfull of stars Don’t look up is showing across New York and Los Angeles for various award voters, but the film won’t be available in theaters until December 10 and won’t be on the Netflix streaming platform until Christmas Eve. born.
But there’s no reason to feel left out! Whether you’re an Academy member or just an Oscar-hungry spectator, many of this year’s top hopefuls are available to watch right now, no reply needed. Ahead, guide many of them — wish your Thanksgiving with great movies, not just fondue.
King Richard (in theaters and on HBO Max November 19)
Report of a disappointing box office debut should not dissuade anyone from catching up on this crowd-pleasing, whether at the theater or at home (it’s certainly a title you can guarantee everyone at your Thanksgiving table will agree). Will Smith’s main performance as ‘s father Venus and Serena Williams is leading the award conversation around the film, but it could be a strong contender everywhere from best picture to best supporting actress (for Aunjanue Ellis) to the best origin.
Belfast (at 580 theaters as of November 21)
Kenneth Branaghthe story of the era to black and white full of magic based on my own childhood probably the next closest thing to seeing a family movie out on vacation. With supporting performances from two generations of outstanding adults (Judi Dench, Ciarán Hinds, Caitriona Balfe, and Jamie Dornan) as well as the winning 11-year-old Jude Hill At the heart of it, it’s a family-friendly yet weighty story that takes place at the beginning of troubles in Northern Ireland. It is also, as you may have heard, an extremely likely Oscar contender in many categories, especially the Best Picture category. Update now and find out why Jamie Dornan sings “Eternal Love” will be the hit single of the holiday season!
The power of the dog (in limited release November 17, on Netflix December 1)
Give the family something to talk about Jane Campionrich, with neo-Western texture. Main actor Benedict Cumberbatch in his best career turn as a male cowboy in 1920s Montana, the film follows his collisions with a lonely widow who is married to his family (Kirsten Dunst), and her quiet, sensitive son (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who makes a discovery that turns the story. The critically-acclaimed TV series, now playing in select theaters before Netflix bows, leaves you gasping for surprise, clarifying the final stretch that will make you want to come back Again.
Sand dunes (theater only)
Denis VilleneuveThe epic adaptation of half a classic sci-fi novel was released in October in theaters and on HBO Max, but if you missed it while it’s showing on the streaming service… The movie is still playing in cinemas. With awe-inspiring visual and landscape effects and a huge amount of talent (from Timothée Chalamet come Oscar Isaac and Zendaya), this mega-blockbuster is best viewed on the big screen anyway. Plus, you’ll want to be on the lookout for the next part, which is recently announced for release in October 2023.
Spencer (at 1,200 theaters as of November 12)
So you love Crown? Well, this is a very different about Princess Diana and the royal family, but it’s a trip well worth taking. Had the best performance in a career since Kristen Stewart as Diana Spencer, Pablo LarrainDiana’s stunning visual drama follows Diana for three days as she tries to navigate the Christmas holidays under the watchful and stern supervision of her husband’s parents. Stewart has been tipped as key to the Best Actress nomination since the film premiered at film festivals in the fall, and while the film might be too outlandish for some, it’s a beautiful and unique film about what it can feel like to be stuck in a life that isn’t quite your own.
Licorice pizza (limited release November 26)
Paul Thomas Anderson back to Southern California for this beautifully told story about a 15-year-old child actor (Cooper Hoffman) who has a great ex-love with a 25-year-old young man (Alana Haim). The pair teamed up for a series of wild action in Los Angeles that took them from motor racing on a golf course to the home of a very famous Hollywood couple. There are appearances from Bradley Cooper and Sean Penn, among others, but the star of this ’70s story is Hoffman, the son of the late ’70s. Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Haim, whose talents clearly extend beyond a very successful musical role with her older sisters.
Gucci house (wide release November 24)
Holiday movies are all about entertainment and Ridley ScottThe tumultuous biography of sure checks that box. Lady Gaga deliciously chewing on every line of dialogue she gives Patrizia Reggiani, who married into the wealthy Gucci family before having a relationship with Maurizio (Adam Driver) go south, as usual in life and love. From there, the story turns into a mixture of wild accents, huge design pieces, and lots of behind-the-scenes drama about the evolution of the Gucci brand. Even if it doesn’t come together seamlessly, there’s something for everyone there, right?
Come on (limited release November 19)
Fan Mike Millsgentle family drama Beginner and 20th century women will find much of the same in his latest work, an ode to fatherhood drawn from his personal experience. Although in this case the story is about an estranged uncle (Joaquin Phoenix, in one of his most subtle and most influential performances) connects with his nine-year-old grandson (who is Woody Norman) on a cross-country trip. The film raises big questions about children and the future, but remains relatable throughout.
French Dispatch (at 1,200 theaters as of November 12)
One of the few special release success stories of 2021, French Dispatch, continue Wes Andersonhot streaks of art house. His latest, an old magazine tribute inspired by New Yorkers screenplay and story, featuring the largest cast of any fall film this year, from the Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Frances McDormand for newcomers Jeffrey Wright and Benicio del Toro.
After becoming a critic beat in Sundance and the biggest purchase of the year, CODA was released in September, but for those who may have missed it, it’s still available on Apple TV+. This heartfelt story about a teenage girl (Emilia Jones) who helped her deaf parents (Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur) with their business illuminating a community that doesn’t often get space for their stories in Hollywood, while also featuring outstanding performances and a knockout ending.
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