Aside from the chill in the air and the Christmas songs on the store PAs (c’mon, it’s November 1st, for the love of God), there’s one easy way to tell the year is coming to a close: the theatrical release schedule is jam-freaking-packed. So this month’s thirteen indie movie recommendations include a fair amount that are gunning for year-end awards and best-of-list consideration, plus a healthy dose of thoughtful dramas, sharp documentaries, and even a comedy or two.
RELEASE DATE: November 3
DIRECTOR: Greta Gerwig
CAST: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet
“We’re afraid that we will never escape the past, and we’re afraid of what the future will bring.” So says a sermonizing priest in the opening credit sequence of Greta Gerwig’s sublime directorial debut – a bit of offhand color that’s also the mission statement of the movie, and an early indication of the skill with which Gerwig does two things at once. She’s telling the story of a high school senior (the divine Ms. Ronan), who’s brassy and funny and awesome, and also a pain in the ass – particularly to her mother (Metcalf, never better). Gerwig’s elegant script and her peerless performers vividly capture the tricky dynamic between parents and children of that age, in both single lines disarming in their simplicity and truth (“Of course you love me. But do you like me?”), and in the things they choose not to say, but let fester. Witty and wise, hopeful and heartbreaking, this is one of the year’s very best films.