What To Watch At The Cinema In November

Culture
By Rufus Punt | 31st October 2023
Best of Cinema November

Can’t figure out what to watch at the cinema this month? We’ll be your guide: from potential Oscar contenders to new instalments in the Hunger Games franchise, there are plenty of great films to sink into in November. Joaquin Phoenix’s Napoleon also releases this month, and the follow-up to the acclaimed Promising Young Woman, Saltburn.

Read on for more of what to watch in November.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Hungar Games

It’s been a while since we were last in the world of Panem onscreen, but this month finally sees the release of the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. There’s no Jennifer Lawrence this time around, as the story takes place some six decades before the first film and focuses on a young Coriolanus Snow (Benediction star Tom Blyth).

How did the youthful future president become the tyrannical grump played by Donald Sutherland in the previous trilogy? That’s what this film aims to answer, as he and protégé Lucy Gray Baird (West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler) prepare for the 10th annual holding of the Hunger Games. He might be cynical about Lucy’s chances in the Games, but he suspects her rebellious nature might be the key to victory.

release date: 17.11.2023

‌Dream Scenario

Dream Scenario

Nicholas Cage stars in this quirky comedy about dreams and fame. The actor plays Paul Matthews, a hapless family man and altogether unremarkable professor whose life is upended when he becomes a celebrity overnight- quite literally.

Out of nowhere, Paul has started appearing in people’s dreams for no apparent reason, and suddenly millions of strangers know his face. He’s not entirely thrilled by this odd stardom, especially when his dream appearances become nightmares. Nonetheless intrigued and forced to fend off people constantly trying to meet with him, he seeks out help to discover what makes him so special. Michael Cera, Tim Meadows, Julianne Nicholson and Dylan Baker also star.

release date: 10.11.2023

Napoleon

Napoleon

Ridley Scott and Joaquin Phoenix reunite for the historical epic Napoleon, telling the life story of the famed French leader (played by Phoenix). It shows his rapid rise to power and stunning military victories across Europe, as he crowns himself Emperor of the French. Key to this story though is the up-and-down relationship he experiences with his wife Empress Josephine (The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby), which is as volatile and difficult as any military campaign.

The film promises to go beyond the myth and imagery of Napoleon (short stature and big hats) to focus on the man behind it all, and what exactly made him tick. There are plenty of historical figures in the cast, with Tahar Rahim stars as Paul Barras, Ben Miles as Caulaincourt, Rupert Everett as the Duke of Wellington, and Catherine Walker as Marie-Antoinette.

release date: 24.11.2023

Saltburn

Saltburn

The much-anticipated followup to Promising Young Woman, Saltburn is the second film from writer and director Emerald Fennell and is set in the mid-2000s. The Banshees of Inisherin star Barry Keoghan and Euphoria’s Jacob Elordi lead the cast as two students at Oxford University who become close friends. Oliver (Keoghan) comes from a quite humble background and doesn’t really fit in much with his fellow students. But he becomes infatuated with the charismatic Felix (Elordi), who comes from a rich and aristocratic family- especially when Felix invites him to stay with him on Saltburn estate, owned by his parents.

It’s a psychological thriller about desire and privilege, and also stars Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Alison Oliver, Carey Mulligan and Reece Shearsmith.

release date: 17.11.2023

May December

May December

Dark comedy drama May December definitely looks like one of 2023’s most intriguing films: it stars Natalie Portman as an acclaimed actor, who travels to meet Gracie, the woman she’s playing in a film (Julianne Moore).

Elizabeth (Portman) is well known for her acting prowess, and so Gracie and her family are open to her portrayal. But the subject matter is a delicate one: twenty years prior, Gracie had an illegal romance with 13-year-old Joe (Charles Melton), now her husband. She’d had to briefly do jail time and remains on the sex offender’s register, and Elizabeth is keen to tell the story in a sensitive way. Nevertheless, the pressure and further exposure of the couple begin to weigh down on them and fractures appear in their apparently happy marriage.

release date: 17.11.2023

How To Have Sex

How to have sex

The title pretty much sums it up: this indie drama is about a group of teenage girls who head off to a resort to experience teenage rites of passage. Tara (Mia McKenna Bruce) is our central character and is shy and reserved when it comes to meeting new people. She feels a newfound freedom on the island of Crete where she and her friends are staying, and is trying to forget about exam results and her future to focus on the here and now. Drinking and partying are inevitable, and Tara is quietly concerned that she hasn’t yet had sex. As she and her friends Em and Skye find themselves and meet boys, the film tackles themes of consent and knowing your limits.

release date: 03.11.2023

Lost In The Night

Lost in the night

Also out this month is Lost In the Night, a new film from Mexican director Amat Escalante. It’s set in a small mining town in Mexico and focuses on Emiliano, one of its residents. The town has suffered from unemployment and job losses due to an international corporation taking jobs away from local workers, and Emiliano’s mother, an activist, went out to protest against it. However, she disappeared in the night, and Emiliano strongly suspects foul play.

Feeling the injustice, he sets out to find out who exactly caused her to go missing and how to find her again. The police and legal systems have no interest in assisting him, and so he’s forced to strike out on his own- taking a job at the home of a wealthy artist and his family.

release date: 24.11.2023


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