Lady Bird has set the record on Rotten Tomatoes as the best reviewed movie of all time! Critics and audiences alike, especially at the Michigan Theater, have come to a consensus in praising the film while it has picked up two Independent Spirt Award nominations for Best Feature and Best Screenplay. The film is the solo directorial debut of GRETA GERWIG, who you may recognize from her roles in Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha and Mistress America, as well as 2016’s Jackie, 20th Century Women, and Wiener-Dog which all received runs at the Michigan and State Theatre. Oscar nominee SAOIRSE RONAN (Brooklyn) stars as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson, a strong willed teenager living in Sacramento in the early 2000s, struggling to make her way through Catholic High School while navigating a contentious relationship with her equally headstrong mother (played by LAURIE METCALF). The film also stars Academy Award nominee LUCAS HEDGES (Manchester by the Sea) and TRACY LETTS.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri also draws tremendous support from Michigan Theater guests who specifically note FRANCES MCDORMAND’s performance as Mildred Hayes, a grieving mother who challenges local authorities to solve the case of her murdered daughter by purchasing three billboards directly calling out the Chief of Police Bill Willoughby (played by WOODY HARRELSON). The film also stars SAM ROCKWELL as the violent second-in-command who aggravates the already tense situation, and PETER DINKLAGE as a hopeful love interest to Mildred. Ann Hornaday of the Washing Post has said “The film is as dark as they come, a pitch-black, often laceratingly funny look at human nature at its most nasty, brutish and dimwitted”
And though their long runs have limited their showtimes, Loving Vincent and The Florida Project have found a way to stick around for another week as they continues to draw tremendous excitement and awe. Loving Vincent is noted as the world’s first fully oil painted feature film, exploring the troubled life of artist Vincent van Gogh; And The Florida is the follow up from Director SEAN BAKER to his acclaimed 2015 indie feature Tangerine, which was shot entirely on an iPhone. The Florida Project tells the story of a mother and daughter living in a budget hotel on the on the outskirts of Disney World.
Special Screenings Downtown
Our 1967 Film Series concludes with Point Blank tonight, Thursday, December 30 at 9:30 PM. The film stars Lee Marvin as Walter, a ruthless criminal who is left for dead by his partner, Reese, on the abandoned Alcatraz Island after a botched heist. Years later, Walter recovers and sets out for revenge after getting a lead on Reese’s whereabouts. In a 1967 issue of The New Yorker, renowned film critic Pauline Kael said that while Bonnie and Clyde romanticized the relationship of the “robbing lovers”, Point Blank “put the sting back into death.”
The Room returns to the Michigan Theater for the second year in a row tomorrow, Friday, December 1 at 10:00 PM. This misguided cult masterpiece subverts the rules of filmmaking with a boundless enthusiasm that renders such mundanities as acting, screenwriting, and cinematography utterly irrelevant. You will never see a spoon the same way again. This year, the film is screened in anticipation of The Disaster Artist which opens at the State Theatre on December 8th. The Disaster Artist stars JAMES FRANCO as TOMMY WISEAU, the peculiar and eccentric writer/director/star of The Room in the story of the film’s creation.
The Frozen Sing-Along, part of the Benard L. Maas Foundation Not Just For Kids Series presented by Toyota, returns this Sunday, December 3 at 3:00 PM. Let it Go and sing along with the two-time Oscar winning Disney favorite featuring on-screen lyrics, goody bags, special guests, and so much more. When the newly crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister, Anna, teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition.
And Miracle on 34th Street continues our Holiday Classics Film Series this Sunday, December 3 at 6:00 PM. This series means the film is FREE and open for the public to attend! This 1947 classic stars EDMUND GWENN as a man named of Kris Kringle who fills in for an intoxicated Santa in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and becomes an instant hit. However he soon gets into trouble after he make a claim to be the real Santa Claus, leading to a court case to determine his mental health and authenticity.
Opening at the Multiplex
From Director WOODY ALLEN, “Wonder Wheel tells the story of four characters whose lives intertwine amid the hustle and bustle of the Coney Island amusement park in the 1950s: Ginny (KATE WINSLET), an emotionally volatile former actress now working as a waitress in a clam house; Humpty (JIM BELUSHI), Ginny’s rough-hewn carousel operator husband; Mickey (Justin Timberlake), a handsome young lifeguard who dreams of becoming a playwright; and Carolina (JUNO TEMPLE), Humpty’s long-estranged daughter, who is now hiding out from gangsters at her father’s apartment. Cinematographer Vittorio Storaro captures a tale of pass” (Rotten Tomatoes). Wonder Wheel opens in theaters this Friday, December 1 and at the Michigan Theater December 15.
“From master story teller, GUILLERMO DEL TORO, comes The Shape of Water – an other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment. Rounding out the cast are Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones and Michael Stuhlbarg.” (Rotten Tomatoes). The Shape of Water opens in theaters this Friday, December 1 and at the State Theatre December 22
See you at the movies!
From Russell B. Collins
Director, State & Michigan Theaters – Ann Arbor
Founder/Director, Art House Convergence – Utah
Artistic Dir./Founder, Cinetopia Festival Detroit/A2
Strengthening communities with persistent creativity