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Mia’s Guide to Upcoming and Current Movies

Free cinema seats image, public domain design CC0 photo.

The year 2023 is quickly coming to a close, but Hollywood silver screens still have some storytelling to do in its last month. The jam packed month of December starts with Poor Things on Dec. 8, then The Zone of Interest, Wonka, and American Fiction all on Dec. 15. The month will close out with The Iron Claw on Dec. 22, and Maestro on Dec. 20 released on Netflix. 


Poor Things, a Searchlight Pictures film starring Emma Stone and directed by Yorgos Lanthino, is about Bella Baxter, a woman created by a mad scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter. Bella has the mind of a toddler and throughout the movie, develops her own beliefs and thoughts, similar to that of growing up. Bella learns what it is to be a human, she experiences fear, and love, and undergoes a poignant sexual awakening. 


The film also features Mark Ruffalo, portraying Bella’s primary love interest, and Willem Dafoe as the mad scientist. Poor Things is a romance/sci-fi movie, an odd mix that seems to work according to IMDB user reviews “Hilarious, bizarre and a philosophically very dark comedy – cinema at its finest!”. 


Colorado State University students, Andrew Damatteo and Adison Leo both expressed their anticipation for Poor Things due to the unique style of Yorgos Lanthino’s earlier films. Lanthino brings an interesting view to the world of this Victorian/Tim Burton-esque story by blending dark humor and surrealism.


Another anticipated movie is The Zone of Interest, an A24 film, directed by Jonathan Glazer. The film is a screen adaptation of the 2014 book written by Martin Amis. The film takes place during World War II and centers around the Hoss family, who live on a plot of land near the Auschwitz concentration camp, with the head of the family, Rudolf Hoss, as the commander of the camp. 


The film takes a different view of the holocaust that hasn’t been explored much before, focusing on the point of view of Nazi commander Rudolf instead of the Jewish people. The perpetrator instead of the victims. The narrative forces you to personify someone with hateful beliefs to reflect the hate we have inside ourselves.


American Fiction, an MGM Studio film, directed by Cord Jefferson follows Monk, a black novelist who is deeply unsettled and angry with the same old drawn-out “black experience”, an insulting trope that is much too often used among other black writers for profit. Monk decides to make a mockery of this and writes a stereotypical “black experience” book, driving him into a world he is unwilling to conform to. 


The film is labeled as a comedy/drama as it carefully balances the weighty material of racial stereotypes with satirical humor. According to a film critic for Rotten Tomatoes, Alissa Wilkinson, “It’s an extremely funny movie that lands some sharp blows, and a stellar feature debut from seasoned TV writer Cord Jefferson.”


The much anticipated Wonka, a Warner Bros production, directed by Paul King and starring big names Timothee Chalamet, Hugh Grant, and Olivia Coleman,  explores the early story of Willy Wonka, played by Chalamet. Wonka navigates the corrupt businesses of other chocolatiers, struggling to find where he and his dreams stand in the midst of it all. 


The film is a musical take on Wonka’s story where we will see Chalamet sing for the first time on the big screen. “I want to see Wonka because I’m interested in seeing a new film adaptation of something I very closely associate with my childhood,” CSU student, Erin Burke said,


 Maestro, a Netflix original film, written, directed, and starring Bradley Cooper, recounts the relationship between famous conductor, Leonard Bernstein, and actress, Felicia Montealegre. 


Maestro has an old movie feel, as the story goes back and forth between earlier stages of Leonard and Felicia’s relationship to later ones, with the earlier stages represented in black and white color. This film is Bradley Cooper’s second time directing a big motion picture, the first one being A Star is Born, so needless to say expectations are high. 


Last but not least, The Iron Claw, an A24 film, starring Zac Efron, Jeremy Allen White, and Harris Dickinson, and directed and written by Sean Dunkin is a rendition of the true story of the famous wrestling Von Erich brothers. The film follows the Von Erich brothers through the 80s during the peak of their professional wrestling careers. Telling a true story of tragedy, heartbreak, endurance, and strength. 

Needless to say, the month of December will be nothing short of promising for film lovers. Each of these films offers a unique lens on the human experience and the society and structures we live in. My personal favorites I’m excited to see this month are tied between The Iron Claw and Poor Things. I love an unconventional romance story and I love Jeremy Allen White, do I need to say more?

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Mia Anguiano-Perez
Mia Anguiano-Perez, Contributor
I’m Mia Anguiano-Perez and I love writing all sorts of stories! i’m particularly passionate about politics, film, food, wildlife conservation, and sustainability. College ave has given me the platform to write what I want and care about, enjoy!

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