The Trial of the Chicago 7
In 1968, an anti-Vietnam War protest at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago escalated into a violent clash with the National Guard. A different time, maybe, but this Netflix drama about the protest, and the six-month trial that followed, seems spookily similar to recent US news footage, as its writer-director, Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The West Wing), admits.
“The movie was relevant when we were making it [in early 2020],” Sorkin told Vanity Fair. “We didn’t need it to get more relevant, but it did. The polarisation, the militarisation of the police, the fear of black activists, even the intramural battle between the left and the far left.” The movie will be released on October 16 on Netflix.
Summer of 85
François Ozon, the prolific, genre-hopping French writer-director, gets back to his roots – and, perhaps, his own adolescence – with an adaptation of Aidan Chambers’ ground-breaking gay coming-of-age novel, Dance on My Grave. The young lovers are 16-year-old Alexis (Félix Lefebvre) and a swaggering 18-year-old, David (Benjamin Voisin), who saves him from drowning when his boat capsizes off the coast of Normandy. Critics have compared Ozon’s nostalgic recreation of a sun-kissed summer fling to Call Me by Your Name. But in this case, as Alexis’s voice-over warns us, David doesn’t have long to live, so the mystery of who killed him and why looms over their intoxicating time together. The film will be released on October 9 in Spain and October 23 in the UK.
Over the Moon
One of the first cartoons to be financed by Netflix, and one of the first cartoons to be co-produced by American and Chinese studios, Over the Moon is a musical inspired by the legend of moon goddess Chang’e. When a 12-year-old girl (Cathy Yang) hears the legend from her parents, she builds a rocket ship so that she (and her pet rabbit) can visit her. The director, Glen Keane, has talked about the film’s painstakingly authentic depiction of Chinese family life, although he had an American fairy tale in mind, too. On Netflix on October 23
The most famous adaptation of Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier’s Gothic romance, is the Oscar-winning Alfred Hitchcock classic starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. How can Ben Wheatley’s new version possibly compete? Well, one answer is to have Kristin Scott Thomas as the formidable Mrs Danvers, a stroke of casting genius which is enough to justify the film’s existence. Another answer, which Wheatley gave at the 2019 London Film Festival, is “going back to the book and trying to get closer to the actual story… You think you know it and you just don’t.”
On Netflix from October 21.