#456 April 18, 2023


Matt writes: April 4th of this year marked the tenth anniversary of Roger Ebert’s passing. To commemorate his legacy, which has continued to reverberate throughout the cinematic discourse of the past decade, various writers at RogerEbert.com honored the site’s namesake by selecting films such as Robert Bresson’s 1951 classic “Diary of a Country Priest” that demonstrated the critic’s impassioned belief that cinema, at its highest level, was a machine that generated empathy. 

Our site’s publisher Chaz Ebert honored her late husband in a beautiful tribute entitled “A Return to the Presence of Love” that is essential reading. The theme of Ebertfest 2023, which runs this week from Wednesday, April 19th, through Saturday, April 22nd, is “Empathy at the Movies,” and there is no question that Roger’s spirit will be palpably felt at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign, Illinois, once again. For the full festival line-up, click here. Below you will find footage from the memorial honoring Roger at the Chicago Theatre in 2013.

Roger Tribute from The Mint on Vimeo.


STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie (2023). Directed by . Synopsis: Follows the life of beloved actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, exploring his personal and professional triumphs and travails, and what happens when an incurable optimist confronts an incurable disease. Debuts on Apple TV+ on May 12th, 2023.

Sanctuary (2023). Directed by . Written by . Starring  and Christopher Abbott. Synopsis: Follows a dominatrix and Hal, her wealthy client, and the disaster that ensues when Hal tries to end their relationship. Debuts in the US on May 25th, 2023.

Talk to Me (2023). Directed by Danny Philippou and Michael Philippou. Written by Danny Philippou and Bill Hinzman. Starring Sophie Wilde, Joe Bird, Alexandra Jensen. Synopsis: When a group of friends discover how to conjure spirits using an embalmed hand, they become hooked on the new thrill, until one of them goes too far and unleashes terrifying supernatural forces. Debuts in the US on July 28th, 2023.

Crater (2023). Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez. Written by John Griffin. Starring Mckenna Grace, Brady Noon, Piper Rubio. Synopsis: After the death of his father, a boy growing up on a lunar mining colony takes a trip to explore a legendary crater, along with his four best friends, prior to being permanently relocated to another planet. Debuts on Disney+ on May 12th, 2023.

Daliland (2023). Directed by Mary Harron. Written by John Walsh. Starring Ben Kingsley, Barbara Sukowa, Ezra Miller. Synopsis: In 1973, a young gallery assistant goes on a wild adventure behind the scenes as he helps the aging genius Salvador Dali prepare for a big show in New York. Debuts in the US on June 8th, 2023.

Fool’s Paradise (2023). Written and directed by Charlie Day. Starring Charlie Day, Jason Bateman, Ray Liotta. Synopsis: A fool for love becomes an accidental celebrity only to lose it all. Debuts in the US on May 12th, 2023.

Jeanne du Barry (2023). Directed by Maïwenn. Written by Maïwenn, Teddy Lussi-Modeste and Nicolas Livecchi. Starring Johnny DeppMaïwennMelvil Poupaud. Synopsis: The life of Jeanne Bécu who was born as the illegitimate daughter of an impoverished seamstress in 1743 and went on to rise through the Court of Louis XV to become his last official mistress. Debuts in the US on May 16th, 2023.

Book Club: The Next Chapter (2023). Directed by Bill Holderman. Written by Bill Holderman and Erin Simms. Starring Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen. Synopsis: Follows the new journey of four best friends as they take their book club to Italy for the fun girls trip they never had. Debuts in the US on May 12th, 2023.

The Mother (2023). Directed by Niki Caro. Written by Andrea Berloff, Peter Craig and Misha Green. Starring Jennifer Lopez, Paul Raci, Joseph Fiennes. Synopsis: While fleeing from dangerous assailants, an assassin comes out of hiding to protect her daughter she left earlier in life. Debuts on Netflix on May 12th, 2023.

The Sympathizer (2024). Directed by Park Chan-wook, Marc Munden and Fernando Meirelles. Written by Don McKellar (based on the novel by Viet Thanh Nguyen). Starring Robert Downey Jr., Hoa Xuande, Fred Nguyen Khan. Synopsis: A half-French, half-Vietnamese man who served as a spy for Communist forces during the Vietnam WarUS release date is TBA.

The Eight Mountains (2023). Written and directed by Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch (based on the novel by Paolo Cognetti). Starring Luca Marinelli, Alessandro Borghi, Lupo Barbiero. Synopsis: An epic journey of friendship and self-discovery set in the breathtaking Italian Alps, the film follows over four decades the profound, complex relationship between Pietro and Bruno. US release date is TBA.

The Last Voyage of the Demeter (2023). Directed by André Øvredal. Written by Bragi F. Schut and Zak Olkewicz (based on the novel by Bram Stoker). Starring David Dastmalchian, Aisling Franciosi, Liam Cunningham. Synopsis: Based on a single chapter, the Captain’s Log, from Bram Stoker‘s classic 1897 novel Dracula, the story is set aboard the Russian schooner Demeter, which was chartered to carry private cargo – twenty-four unmarked wooden crates – from Carpathia to London. Debuts in the US on August 11th, 2023.

The Regime (2024). Directed by Stephen Frears and Jessica Hobbs. Written by Sarah DeLappe, Seth Reiss, Gary Shteyngart, Jen Spyra, Will Tracy and Juli Weiner. Starring Kate Winslet, Martha Plimpton, Andrea Riseborough. Synopsis: An authoritarian regime is about to unravel. Follows a story of one year within the walls of its palace. US release date is TBA.

The Marvels (2023). Directed by Nia DaCosta. Written by Nia DaCosta, Elissa Karasik, Megan McDonnell and Zeb Wells (based on characters created by Gene Colan and Roy Thomas). Starring Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Iman Vellani. Synopsis: Carol Danvers gets her powers entangled with those of Kamala Khan and Monica Rambeau, forcing them to work together to save the universe. Debuts in the US on November 10th, 2023.

Beau is Afraid (2023). Written and directed by Ari Aster. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey, Patti LuPone. Synopsis: Following the sudden death of his mother, a mild-mannered but anxiety-ridden man confronts his darkest fears as he embarks on an epic, Kafkaesque odyssey back home. Debuts in the US on April 21st, 2023.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023). Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers and Justin K. Thompson. Written by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Dave Callaham (based on characters created by Stan Lee). Starring Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac. Synopsis: Miles Morales catapults across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles must redefine what it means to be a hero. Debuts in the US on June 2nd, 2023.

Barbie (2023). Directed by Greta Gerwig. Written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach. Starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Michael Cera. Synopsis: To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken. Debuts in the US on July 21st, 2023.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023). Directed by James Mangold. Written by James Mangold, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and David Koepp. Starring Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen. Synopsis: The fifth installment of the “Indiana Jones” film series. Debuts in the US on June 30th, 2023.

Ebert Symposium 2023 

Matt writes: Preceding Ebertfest this week in Champaign, Illinois, is the latest edition of the Ebert Symposium, entitled, “Documentary, Violence and the Media,” on Tuesday, April 18th, and Wednesday, April 19th. It is dedicated to the memory of Roger and Chaz Ebert’s beloved grandson, Joseph London Smith, who tragically became the unintended victim of gun violence in Atlanta, Georgia, last August. You can find the full list of speakers here, including director Edson Oda and producer Jason Michael Berman, whose film “Nine Days” will open Ebertfest on Wednesday night.

Live Music at Ebertfest 2023

Matt writes: Three live musical performances are scheduled to take place at Ebertfest 2023, including an evening of songs from Amber Rubarth, who stars in David Heinz’s “American Folk,” which screens at 9pm on Thursday, April 20th. For info on all of the scheduled performances, click here.

Free Movies

The 39 Steps (1935). Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Written by Charles Bennett and Ian Hay (based on the novel by John Buchan). Starring Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim. Synopsis: A man in London tries to help a counter-espionage agent, but when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to save himself and stop a spy ring that is trying to steal top-secret information. 

Watch “The 39 Steps”

The Divorce of Lady X (1938). Directed by Tim Whelan. Written by Lajos Biró, Ian Dalrymple and Arthur Wimperis (based on the story by Gilbert Wakefield). Starring Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon, Binnie Barnes. Synopsis: Divorce lawyer Everard Logan thinks the woman who spent the night in his hotel room is the erring wife of his new client.  

Watch “The Divorce of Lady X”

Bride of the Monster (1955). Directed by Edward D. Wood Jr. Written by Edward D. Wood Jr. and Alex Gordon. Starring Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, Tony McCoy. Synopsis: A mad doctor attempts to create atomic supermen.

Watch “Bride of the Monster”

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