Entertainment

Sarasota-Bradenton top 5 movie picks, Jan. 13-19

This week’s big new release is horror sequel “Scream,” which heads to theaters along with Japanese animated film “Belle.” Some of last year’s most acclaimed movies also expand in release this week, including the Haruki Murakami adaptation “Drive My Car” and Shakespeare drama “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” The latter becomes available to watch on Apple TV+ this weekend, among other at-home watching options. Here are this week’s highlights.

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1. ‘Drive My Car’

Ryusuke Hamaguchi helms this adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s short story about a stage actor and director who, after his wife’s unexpected death, is offered the chance to direct a production of “Uncle Vanya” by a theater festival and assigned a chauffeur. “Drive My Car” premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it won three awards including Best Screenplay, and was later selected as Japan’s submission for the International Feature Film Oscar and the best movie of 2021 by the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and National Society of Film Critics.

Where to watch: Limited release in theaters including Burns Court Cinemas

"The Tragedy of Macbeth."

2. ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’

Joel Coen, of the Oscar-winning Coen brothers duo known for films such as “Fargo” and “No Country for Old Men,” helms this latest version of Shakespeare’s play about a Scottish lord (Denzel Washington) who sets out to become king, urged on by his wife (Frances McDormand.) Expect two-time Oscar winner Washington to earn his latest Best Actor nomination for his role, with Coen’s screenplay and Bruno Delbonnel’s black-and-white cinematography quite possibly earning recognition as well.

Where to watch: Apple TV+ on Friday and limited release in theaters including Burns Court Cinemas

"Belle."

3. ‘Belle’

Inspired by “Beauty and the Beast,” this animated film follows a high school student who in the virtual world “U” has a popular singer online persona called Belle, eventually crossing paths with an avatar called The Dragon. “Belle” premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it received highly positive reviews, and is written and directed by Mamoru Hosoda, whose previous movie “Mirai” was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar – a category he could find himself competing in again this year.

Where to watch: Theaters on Friday

"Scream."

4. ‘Scream’

Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette return alongside new cast members such as Melissa Barrera and Jack Quaid for the fifth film in the horror franchise, as a new killer dons the Ghostface mask and targets a group of teenagers in the town of Woodsboro. It’s the first film in the series not directed by the late great Wes Craven, but new directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett – whose last film “Ready or Not” showed they could juggle horror and satire – seem like a good fit for the franchise.

Where to watch: Theaters on Friday

"Italian Studies."

5. ‘Italian Studies’

Oscar-nominated “Pieces of a Woman” actress Vanessa Kirby stars in this film as a writer who suddenly loses her memory and finds herself adrift on the streets of Manhattan, eventually connecting with a teenager (Simon Brickner.) Premiering at last year’s Tribeca Festival, “Italian Studies” is similar to writer-director Adam Leon’s previous films “Gimme the Loot” and “Tramps,” in that it is less about plot and more about mood, conversation and the backdrop of New York City.

Where to watch: Video on demand on Friday

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