Cinema Chat: ‘Smile,’ ‘The Good House,’ ‘Bros,’ and more


OPENING THIS WEEK

“Smile” — OPEN FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 AT THE MULTIPLEX

After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.

“The Good House” — OPEN FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 AT THE MICHIGAN

This film follows Hildy Good (Sigourney Weaver), a wry New England realtor and descendant of the Salem witches, who loves her wine and her secrets. Her compartmentalized life begins to unravel as she rekindles a romance with her old high-school flame, Frank Getchell (Kevin Kline), and becomes dangerously entwined in one person’s reckless behavior. Igniting long-buried emotions and family secrets, Hildy is propelled toward a reckoning with the one person she’s been avoiding for decades: herself.

“Bros” — NOW PLAYING AT THE STATE THEATRE

A 2022 American romantic comedy film directed by Nicholas Stoller (Ann Arbor shot “The Five-Year Engagment,” his wife is Ann Arborite Francesca Delbanco) from a screenplay he co-wrote with Billy Eichner, who also stars and executive produces. Stoller and Judd Apatow are producers on the film. The film also stars Bowen Yang, Harvey Fierstein, Luke Macfarlane, Ts Madison, Monica Raymund, Guillermo Díaz, Guy Branum, Amanda Bearse, and Jim Rash. It is the fourth LGBT romantic comedy by a major legacy studio, after “Love, Simon,” “Happiest Season,” and “Fire Island.”

It had its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival from the ferocious comic mind of Billy Eichner (“Billy on the Street,” 2019’s “The Lion King,” “Difficult People,” “Impeachment: American Crime Story”) and the hitmaking brilliance of filmmakers Nicholas Stoller (the “Neighbors” films, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) and Judd Apatow (“The King of Staten Island,” “Trainwreck,” “The Big Sick”), comes a smart, swoony and heartfelt comedy about finding sex, love and romance amidst the madness.

“Barbarian” — OPEN FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 AT THE STATE

A 2022 American horror film written and directed by Zach Cregger and received excellent reviews. It stars Georgina Campbell, Bill Skarsgard, and Justin Long. It is set in and partially shot in Detroit. The film follows a young woman who finds out that the house she rented is accidentally double-booked with a man, and learns a dark secret within the home. It premiered at San Diego Comic-Con on July 22, 2022.

“Amsterdam” — OPENS FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7 WITH ADVANCE SCREENING THURSDAY, AT THE STATE

A 2022 period mystery comedy film written, directed, and produced by David O. Russell. Led by Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington, the film features an ensemble cast including Chris Rock, Anya Taylor-Joy, Zoe Saldaña, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Timothy Olyphant, Andrea Riseborough, Taylor Swift, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alessandro Nivola, Rami Malek, and Robert De Niro.

Three friends—a doctor, a nurse, and a lawyer—become the prime suspects in the murder of Senator Bill Meekins in the 1930s.

SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN

“The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” — PLAYS TONIGHT AT 7:30 PM AT THE STATE

When drag queen Anthony (Hugo Weaving) agrees to take his act on the road, he invites fellow cross-dresser Adam (Guy Pearce) and transsexual Bernadette (Terence Stamp) to come along. In their colorful bus, named Priscilla, the three performers travel across the Australian desert performing for enthusiastic crowds and homophobic locals. But when the other two performers learn the truth about why Anthony took the job, it threatens their act and their friendship.

“Mean Girls” — PLAYS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 AT 9:30 PM AND MONDAY OCTOBER 3 AT 7:30 PM AT THE STATE

Part of Late Nights at the State

A 2004 American teen comedy film directed by Mark Waters and written by Tina Fey. The film stars Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried (in her film debut), Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, and Fey. The plot centers on a naive teenage girl navigating her way through the social hierarchy of a modern American high school after years of her parents homeschooling her while conducting research in Africa.

“Coming Up for Air” — PLAYS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN

When single mom Anna Russell, a ceramic artist, discovers that her son Stan, an outstanding college diver and academic star is unraveling, she must act quickly to avoid tragedy. Tickets include a pre-screening reception at 6:45 PM and a post-film discussion panel and Q&A session.

“Hocus Pocus” — PLAYS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 AT 5 PM AT THE MICHIGAN (WITH COSTUME CONTEST!!!)

After moving to Salem, Mass., teenager Max Dennison (Omri Katz) explores an abandoned house with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and their new friend, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). After dismissing a story Allison tells as superstitious, Max accidentally frees a coven of evil witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy) who used to live in the house. Now, with the help of a magical cat, the kids must steal the witches’ book of spells to stop them from becoming immortal.

“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” — PLAYS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27 AT THE MICHIGAN

In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet are stuck with a flat tire during a storm and discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank N Furter. As their innocence is lost, they meet a houseful of wild characters. Presented with a live stage “shadow cast” by The Leather Medusas. Costumes are encouraged!

“Nosferatu” — PLAYS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30 AT THE MICHIGAN

In this classic silent horror film, the mysterious Count Orlok summons Thomas Hutter to his remote Transylvanian castle. After Orlok reveals his vampire nature, Hutter struggles to escape the castle, knowing that his wife Ellen is in grave danger. Silent film with live organ accompaniment.

NT Live: “Frankenstein” — PLAYS MONDAY, OCTOBER 31 AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN

Directed by Academy Award® winner Danny Boyle, this production of “Frankenstein” sees Benedict Cumberbatch as Victor Frankenstein and his creation and Jonny Lee Miller also as Victor Frankenstein and his creation.

Cinema Made in Italy (Thursdays in September at the Michigan)

Honoring Italian Cinema – Film & Food Festival (Thursdays at the State)

CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

“Moonage Daydream”

A 2022 documentary about English singer-songwriter David Bowie. The film uses previously unreleased footage from Bowie’s personal archives, including live concert footage. It is the first film to be officially authorized by Bowie’s estate and takes its title from the 1971 Bowie song of the same name. It had its world premiere at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, where it received positive reviews.

The film illuminates the life and genius of David Bowie, one of the most prolific and influential artists of our time. Told through sublime, kaleidoscopic, never-before-seen footage, performances and music, Brett Morgen’s (“The Kid Stays in the Picture,” “Cobain: Montage of Heck”) feature-length experiential cinematic odyssey explores David Bowie’s creative, musical and spiritual journey. The film is guided by David Bowie’s own narration and is the first officially sanctioned film on the artist. A cinematic odyssey exploring Bowie’s creative, spiritual and musical journey. The film includes 40 exclusively remastered Bowie songs and is the first film ever sanctioned by the Bowie Estate, with local access to the artists’ archives.

“Don’t Worry Darling”

A 2022 American psychological thriller, directed by Olivia Wilde (“Booksmart”) from a screenplay by Katie Silberman, based on a story by Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke, and Silberman. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Wilde, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Nick Kroll, and Chris Pine.

Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) are lucky to be living in the idealized community of Victory, the experimental company town housing the men who work for the top-secret Victory Project and their families. The 1950’s societal optimism espoused by their CEO, Frank–equal parts corporate visionary and motivational life coach–anchors every aspect of daily life in the tight-knit desert utopia. While the husbands spend every day inside the Victory Project Headquarters, working on the “development of progressive materials,” their wives–including Frank’s elegant partner, Shelley–get to spend their time enjoying the beauty, luxury and debauchery of their community. Life is perfect, with every resident’s needs met by the company. All they ask in return is discretion and unquestioning commitment to the Victory cause. But when cracks in her idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive facade, Alice can’t help questioning exactly what they’re doing.

“Catherine Called Birdy”

A 2022 medieval comedy film written and directed by Lena Dunham, based on the 1994 novel of the same name by Karen Cushman. It stars Bella Ramsey as the title character, alongside Andrew Scott, Billie Piper, Joe Alwyn, Dean-Charles Chapman, Ralph Ineson, and Russell Brand. It had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The year 1290ish? In the Medieval English village of Stonebridge, Lady Catherine (known as Birdy) is the youngest child of Lord Rollo and the Lady Aislinn. Her playground is Stonebridge Manor, a house that, like the family, has seen better days. Financially destitute and utterly greedy, Rollo sees his daughter as his path out of financial ruin by marrying her off to a wealthy man for money and land. But Birdy, like all the great teen heroines, is spirited, clever, and adventurous and ready to put off any suitor that comes calling in increasingly ingenious ways. Her imagination, defiance, and deep belief in her own right to independence put her on a collision course with her parents. When the worst suitor of all arrives, they are presented with the ultimate test of love for their daughter.

“See How They Run”

A 2022 mystery comedy film directed by Tom George and written by Mark Chappell, the film stars Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Ruth Wilson, Reece Shearsmith, Harris Dickinson, and David Oyelowo. In the West End of 1950s London, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered. When world-weary Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and eager rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) take on the case, the two find themselves thrown into a puzzling whodunit within the glamorously sordid theater underground, investigating the mysterious homicide at their own peril.

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