January 18, 2020

Fall Movie Preview: MOTs on Screen

Natalie Portman in “Lucy in the Sky;” Photo by courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Jewish talent shines on camera and behind the scenes this fall in dramas and comedies, modern tales and period pieces, and stories factual and fictional.

Natalie Portman plays an astronaut who slowly unravels and loses touch with reality after returning from a space mission in “Lucy in the Sky,” also starring Dan Stevens as her husband and Jon Hamm as a fellow astronaut with whom she becomes involved. (Oct. 4)

Maori-Jewish director Taika Waititi (“Thor: Ragnarok”) wrote, directed and stars as Adolf Hitler in his latest film, “Jojo Rabbit.” Set in Nazi Germany, it’s about a lonely, bullied boy who conjures up the Führer as his imaginary friend. When he discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic, he begins to question the political propaganda he’s been taught. (Oct. 18)

(From L-R): Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) has dinner with his imaginary friend Adolf (Writer/Director Taika Waititi), and his mother, Rosie (Scarlet Johansson). Photo by Kimberley French. 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Johansson also stars (with Adam Driver) in writer-director Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story,” about the disintegration and end of a couple’s relationship and the effect it has on their family. (Nov. 6, Netflix Dec. 6)

Cartoonist Charles Addams’ ghoulish clan gets animated in “The Addams Family,” with Bette Midler as Grandma Addams and Nick Kroll voicing Uncle Fester. (Oct. 11)

Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” (Parts 1 and 2) and “Henry V,” “The King” stars Timothée Chalamet as the young, rebellious Prince Hal who is forced to accept his royal responsibility (and deal with war and palace politics) after the death of his father. (Oct. 11, Netflix Nov. 1)

Timothée Chalamet in “The King;” Photo courtesy of Netflix

Nature director and cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg, acclaimed for his time-lapse documentaries, focuses his camera on the fascinating world of mushrooms in his documentary “Fantastic Fungi.” (Oct. 25)

David Schwimmer and Melissa Rauch are in the all-star cast of Steven Soderbergh’s “The Laundromat,” adapted from the Jake Bernstein bestseller about a global money-laundering scheme. Meryl Streep stars as the woman who uncovers the scam. (Sept. 27, Netflix Oct. 18)

Elizabeth Banks directs and plays one of a triumvirate of Bosleys in the latest reboot of “Charlie’s Angels,” which stars Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott as the titular undercover trio. (Nov.15)

In the behind-the-scenes documentary “Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound,” directors including Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand sing the praises of sound designers, mixers and technicians who explain exactly what they do and how they do it. (Oct. 25)

“Frozen II” Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Jesse Eisenberg and Zoey Deutch continue to battle the walking dead as
they travel across America in the horror comedy sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap.” (Oct. 18)

Playing an actor and a director respectively, James Franco directs and stars with Seth Rogen in the punk rock meets cinema saga “Zeroville,” a comedy-drama set in Hollywood in 1969. (Sept. 20) 

Shia LaBeouf wrote and stars in “Honey Boy,” an autobiographical drama about a troubled child actor and his difficult relationship with his alcoholic father. Israeli director Alma Har’el directs. (Nov. 8)

In “Frozen II,” the sequel to Disney’s animated blockbuster, the quest is on to discover the source of Princess Elsa’s (Idina Menzel) powers and save the kingdom. Josh Gad returns to voice Olaf. (Nov. 22)