The “Oscars So White” chatter continues to grow with movie fans crediting protests around Hollywood’s lack of diversity for delivering the lowest TV audiences in eight years for the Academy Awards telecast. In the days following Leonardo DiCaprio’s Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar for The Revenant, audiences can continue their Hollywood protests with trips to the art house, or support a new studio release with diverse leads.
The Wave director Roar Uthaug draws inspiration from Hollywood disaster movies with the story of a geologist caught in the middle of a giant tsunami when a mountain pass breaks off and tumbles into the Norwegian fjord Geiranger. Magnolia Pictures releases the film this weekend in select cinemas as well as streams.
For film buffs committed to their local art-house cinemas and the latest releases featuring world masters, Strand Releasing opens Cemetery of Splendour in select markets.
Cemetery of Splendour, the latest movie from Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, tells the story of a lonely middle-aged housewife aiding a soldier with sleeping sickness. Critics praise Weerasethakul movies as “dreamlike” and “strange.” Granted, audiences of past Weerasethakul dramas like Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall Past Lives are select, but they are the most passionate moviegoers you’ll ever find.
In Mekong Hotel, Weerasethakul works both sides of the movie camera in his 2012 short film about a filmmaker rehearsing a movie in the titular hotel on the Mekong River. Mekong Hotel opens in select cinemas alongside Cemetery of Splendour, providing an extra cinematic punch for Weerasethakul fans.
Directors Byron Howard (Tangled) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) co-create the latest Walt Disney Animation Studios comedy, Zootopia, something of a riff on classic Richard Scarry books.
In Zootopia, a con artist fox and bunny police office work together to uncover a conspiracy. Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba and Jenny Slate voice the characters.
Iranian filmmaker Babak Najafi makes a bold shift from his intimate, 2010 foreign-language drama Sebbe to Hollywood action blockbuster London Has Fallen; Focus Feature’s sequel to the 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen.
In the sophomore installment of the emerging action franchise, Gerard Butler returns as Secret Service agent and former presidential guard Mike Banning, this time saving President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) from an extensive assassination plot in London. Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett and Radha Mitchell reprise their Olympus roles with newcomer Alon Aboutboul joining as the terrorist mastermind behind the assassination plot.
After playing Set the god of darkness in the box office bomb Gods of Egypt, Butler looks to redeem his action cred with London Has Fallen.
Finally, the media conglomerate known as Tina Fey Inc. continues to grow with Paramount’s Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a comic adaptation of journalist Kim Barker’s memoir The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa co-direct with Fey’s longtime collaborator Robert Carlock supplying the screenplay. Of course, Fey lands the leading role as Baker with Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman and Alfred Molina in supporting roles.