by Rob DiCristino
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (dir. Dean Fleischer-Camp)
Bones and All (dir. Luca Guadagnino)
Armageddon Time (dir. James Gray)The Fabelmans), James Gray’s Armageddon Time offers a complicated and self-effacing picture of class struggle among minorities at the dawn of the Reagan era (era). Young Paul Graff (Banks Repeta) pushes against the expectations of his outer-borough Jewish family — Jeremy Strong and Anne Hathaway as his parents, Anthony Hopkins (on the Oscar hunt again) as his grandfather — while gradually coming to terms with the incredible privilege that keeps him a step ahead of his peers. His foil is African-American classmate Johnny Davis (Jaylin Webb), a public school repropate who, despite his keen heart and dreams of a career with NASA, enjoys none of those privileges and will spend his life lowering expectations. Gray shows his contrition without offering a solution (How could he?), but his honest confrontation of these socio-economic realities is well worth our attention.
Women Talking (dir. Sarah Polley)
TÁR (Dir. Todd Field)