Formats subject to change. Keep an eye out for short-notice programming at Siskel, the Music Box, Facets and other venues.
The Trial of the Chicago 7
(Netflix, Friday, October 16)
Rat-a-tat writer Aaron Sorkin swings at directing for the big screen again, but after “Molly’s Game,” is he walking talk or talking walk or will he find an unanticipated sweet spot in this Paramount production scooped up by Netflix after theaters shuttered? The radicals and their adversaries are played by a Brit-stout cast including Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Strong, Mark Rylance, John Carroll Lynch, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Frank Langella, William Hurt and Michael Keaton.
(Friday, October 9 in theaters; October 16, Prime Video)
Garrett Bradley’s doc is an unusually intimate portrait of Fox Rich, an entrepreneur, abolitionist and mother of six boys who has spent over twenty years fighting for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, serving a sixty-year sentence for a robbery they both committed in the early nineties. Bradley combined video diaries Fox has recorded for Rob over the years with glimpses of her life today and America’s prison-industrial complex.
The War With Grandpa
(Opens Friday, October 9)
But is it a dirty war with Dirty Grandpa? Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle and Oakes Fegley star.
Death On The Nile
Can uber-prolific hack Kenneth Branagh deliver on the swank-slick trailer for “Death on the Nile” (scored to Depeche Mode’s “Policy of Truth”), his follow-up (with screenwriter Michael Green) to “Murder on the Orient Express” on the Agatha Christie couture and haberdashery floor? Cry hubris and lose the goofy anachronisms!
The Fifty-Sixth Chicago International Film Festival
Fifty features in a “hybrid” edition, shown at Chi-Town Movies drive-in and virtually, kicking off with R. J. Cutler’s John Belushi doc. The keynote speaker of the Industry Days sidebar, which runs October 14-18, is producer and president of Plan B Entertainment Dede Gardner, whose credits include 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His multimedia history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” will be published later this year.