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Cinema Chat: Kevin Spacey Replaced, 'Wonderstruck,' 'Murder On The Orient Express,' And More

Nov 9, 2017

Michigan Theater Marquee
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins about the latest movie news and all of the new films you can catch on the silver screen this weekend.


Opening Downtown

"Wonderstruck"

This is the latest from acclaimed director Todd Haynes (most recently known for his 2015 drama "Carol"), about two children, Ben and Rose, whose stories are set 50 years apart and interlaced together as they venture away from home to find parents they have never known.  Rose lives in 1927 New Jersey and sets off to find her actress mother Lillian Mayhew (played by Julianne Moore), while Ben lives in 1977 Minnesota where he runs away to find the father he’s never known.  "Wonderstruck" opens this Friday, November 10.

Continuing Downtown

"Loving Vincent"

This is the world’s first fully oil painted feature film which explores the troubled life of artist Vincent van Gogh through his artwork and the events that led up to his mysterious death.  The film was written and directed by Dorota Kobiela & Hugh Welchman and features Saoirse Ronan and Chris O'Dowd.

"The Florida Project"

This is the follow up from director Sean Baker to his acclaimed 2015 indie feature "Tangerine."  It tells the story of a mother and daughter living in a budget hotel on the on the outskirts of Disney World and introduces breakout stars Brooklynn Prince and Bria Vinaite as a mother and daughter who live week-to-week while trying to maintain a normal lifestyle.  The film also features veteran actor Willem Dafoe, whose role is being described by critics as a “career best.”

"Goodbye Christopher Robin"

Director Simon Curtis offers a glimpse into the life of author A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) and his son Christopher Robin, who inspired Milne to create the lovable children’s books of Winnie the Pooh. The film also stars Margot Robbie and Kelly Macdonald.

Special Screenings Downtown

1967 FILM SERIES

"Valley of the Dolls"

Three women in New York City navigate the successes and failures of show business.  Anne Welles (played by Barbara Parkins) is hired as a secretary for a theatrical law firm where she meets and befriends up-and-coming singer Neely (played by Patty Duke) and beautiful but talentless actress Jennifer (played by Sharon Tate).  In their experiences they come to understand heartbreak, tragedy, and addiction.  "The Valley of the Dolls" plays tonight (Thursday, November 9) at 9:30 PM.

"Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner"

"Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner" & "In the Heat of the Night" will continue the series next Monday in a back-to-back presentation of Sidney Poitier’s most successful films in Hollywood.  In this film, Poitier plays John, a black doctor who becomes engaged to a white woman and must travel to her parent’s home to finally meet.  Though her parents distinguish themselves as liberals, the couple’s relationship brings up latent racial issues, and tensions escalate when John’s parents arrive for dinner.

"In the Heat of the Night"

In this film, Poitier plays detective Virgil Tibbs, who is arrested on suspicion of murder by a racist police chief in a small Mississippi town.  After Tibbs proves his innocence, he and the police chief team up to find the real killer, making dangerous enemies along the way.  "Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner" and "In the Heat of the Night" will play next Monday, November 13 at 4:00 & 7:00 PM.

"Don’t Look Back" 

Next Thursday, "Don’t Look Back" will continue our late night screenings at 9:30 PM.  This documentary from director D.A. Pennebaker follows folk hero Bob Dylan on his tour of the United Kingdom in 1965, pulling back the curtain of his often private personal life through hotel conversations, fan interactions, and downtime on the grueling tour.  "Don’t Look Back" will play Thursday, November 16 at 9:30 PM.

"My Hero Brother" 

This film will play Sunday. November 12 at 1:30 PM with 100% of ticket sales benefiting Intentional Communities of Washtenaw.  The film is an inspiring documentary about the “My Hero Brother Project” that took groups of siblings with Down syndrome on an expedition to India.  "My Hero Brother" will play Sunday, November 12 at 1:30 PM.

Opening at the Multiplex

"Murder on the Orient Express" 

Opens tomorrow (Friday, November 10) - “A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish & suspenseful mystery.  From the novel by Agatha Christie, 'Murder on the Orient Express' tells of thirteen stranded strangers & one man's race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.”

"Daddy’s Home 2" 

Opens tomorrow (Friday, November 10) - “Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Ferrell) have joined forces to provide their kids with the perfect Christmas. Their newfound partnership is put to the test when Dusty's old-school, macho Dad (Mel Gibson) and Brad's ultra-affectionate and emotional Dad (John Lithgow) arrive just in time to throw the holiday into complete chaos.” 

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at dfair@emich.edu