#391 October 13, 2020

Matt writes: On October 8th, our site’s publisher Chaz Ebert joined Dr. Nate Kohn in moderating the first virtual panel for the 2020 Ebert Symposium. Entitled “The Film Industry in a Time of Change,” the insightful conversation featured such distinguished panelists as Michael Barker, Co-President and Co-Founder of Sony Pictures Classics; Neal Block, Head of Distribution and Marketing for Magnolia Pictures; Darrien Michele Gipson, Executive Director of SAGindie; Melissa Haizlip, director of “Mr. Soul!”; Malcolm D. Lee, director of “Girls Trip“; Mary Mazzio, director of “A Most Beautiful Thing“; Nina Shaw, founding partner in the entertainment law firm of Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano; and Christine Swanson, director of “The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel.” 

Watch the full conversation embedded below and stay tuned for two more virtual panels rounding out this year’s Ebert Symposium: “Documentary Film and Social Change” on Thursday, October 22nd, and “Representation in Media” on Thursday, November 5th. Each panel is free and open to the public, and will be broadcast on both the Ebertfest YouTube channel and Facebook page at 5 p.m. CST on their respective dates. To find a full list of bios for the first panel’s participants, click here.


Mank (2020). Directed by David Fincher. Written by Jack Fincher. Starring Gary Oldman, Tom Burke, Amanda Seyfried. Synopsis: Follows screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz’s tumultuous development of Orson Welles’ iconic masterpiece “Citizen Kane” (1941). Debuts on Netflix on December 4th, 2020.

Leap of Faith (2020). Directed by Alexandre O. Philippe. Synopsis: A lyrical and spiritual cinematic essay on “The Exorcist“, this documentary explores the uncharted depths of William Friedkin’s mind’s eye, the nuances of his filmmaking process, and the mysteries of faith and fate that have shaped his life and filmography. US release date is TBA.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2020). Directed by Jason Woliner. Written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Peter Baynham, Jena Friedman, Anthony Hines, Lee Kern, Dan Mazer, Erica Rivinoja and Dan Swimer. Starring Sacha Baron CohenMaria BakalovaMike Pence. Synopsis: Follow-up film to the 2006 comedy centering on the real-life adventures of a fictional Kazakh television journalist named Borat. Debuts on Prime Video on October 23rd, 2020.

My Salinger Year (2020). Written and directed by Philippe Falardeau (based on the novel by Joanna Smith Rakoff). Starring Margaret QualleySigourney WeaverDouglas Booth. Synopsis: A college grad takes a clerical job working for the literary agent of the renowned, reclusive writer J.D. Salinger. US release date is TBA.

Black Bear (2020). Written and directed by Lawrence Michael Levine. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Christopher Abbott, Sarah Gadon. Synopsis: A filmmaker at a creative impasse seeks solace from her tumultuous past at a rural retreat, only to find that the woods summon her inner demons in intense and surprising ways. Debuts in the US on December 4th, 2020.

Half Brothers (2020). Directed by Luke Greenfield. Written by Eduardo Cisneros and Jason Shuman. Starring José ZúñigaLuis Gerardo MéndezVincent Spano. Synopsis: A story about the complex connection with a brother who is based in Mexico, meant to be a metaphor of the relationship between neighboring countries The United States of America and Mexico. Debuts in the US on December 4th, 2020.

Collective (2020). Directed by Alexander Nanau. Synopsis: A crack team of investigators at the Romanian newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor try to uncover a vast health-care fraud that enriched moguls and politicians and led to the deaths of innocent citizens. Debuts in the US on November 20th, 2020.

Minari (2020). Written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung. Starring Steven YeunYeri HanYuh-Jung Youn. Synopsis: A Korean family moves to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s. US release date is TBA.

American Selfie: One Nation Shoots Itself (2020). Directed by Alexandra Pelosi. Synopsis: A snapshot of The United States of America as the country faces a pandemic, a presidential election and a costly financial collapse. Debuts on Showtime on October 23rd, 2020.

Come Away (2020). Directed by Brenda Chapman. Written by Marissa Kate Goodhill (based on characters created by J.M. Barrie and Lewis Carroll). Starring Angelina JolieGugu Mbatha-RawMichael Caine. Synopsis: A prequel to the stories of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. Debuts in the US on November 13th, 2020.

Horizon Line (2020). Directed by Mikael Marcimain. Written by Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken. Starring Alexander DreymonAllison WilliamsKeith David. Synopsis: A couple flying on a small plane to attend a tropical island wedding must fight for their lives after their pilot suffers a heart attack. US release date is TBA.

Dear Santa (2020). Directed by Dana Nachman. Synopsis: A documentary that shines a light on the 100-year-old ‘Operation Santa’ Program of the United States Postal Service. Debuts in the US on December 4th, 2020.

John Bronco (2020). Directed by Jake Szymanski. Written by Marc Gilbar. Starring Walton Goggins, Bo Derek, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Synopsis: The unbelievable story of the rise, fall and ultimate redemption of the legendary pitchman for the Ford Bronco. US release date is TBA.

The 355 (2021). Directed by Simon Kinberg. Written by Simon Kinberg and Theresa Rebeck. Starring Jessica ChastainBingbing FanDiane Kruger. Synopsis: When a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, a wild card CIA agent joins forces with three international agents on a lethal mission to retrieve it, while staying a step ahead of a mysterious woman who’s tracking their every move. Debuts in the US on January 15th, 2021.

Proxima (2020). Written and directed by Alice Winocour. Starring Eva GreenZélie BoulantMatt Dillon. Synopsis: An astronaut prepares for a one-year mission aboard the International Space Station. Debuts in the US on November 6th, 2020.

Promising Young Woman (2020). Written and directed by Emerald Fennell. Starring Carey MulliganBo BurnhamLaverne Cox. Synopsis: A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path. Debuts in the US on December 25th, 2020.

News of the World (2020). Directed by Paul Greengrass. Written by Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies (based on the novel by Paulette Jiles). Starring Tom HanksElizabeth MarvelRay McKinnon. Synopsis: A widowed Civil War veteran agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home. Debuts in the US on December 25th, 2020.

The Witches (2020). Directed by Robert Zemeckis. Written by Robert Zemeckis, Kenya Barris and Guillermo del Toro (based on the book by Roald Dahl and the screenplay by Allan Scott). Starring Anne HathawayOctavia SpencerStanley Tucci. Synopsis: Based on Roald Dahl‘s 1983 classic book “The Witches“, the story tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven year old boy who has a run in with some real life witches! Debuts on HBO Max on October 22nd, 2020.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Matt writes: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” the 2004 masterpiece written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Michel Gondry, is revisited by our contributor Chris Vognar in a deeply personal essay about grappling with grief. Read the full article here.

Julianne Moore and Bette Midler

Matt writes: Screen legends Julianne Moore and Bette Midler recently spoke with our critic Tomris Laffly about bringing feminist icon Gloria Steinem’s story to life in Julie Taymor’s inspiring new movie, “The Glorias,” now streaming on Prime Video. Read the full conversation here.

Free Movies

We Think the World of You (1988). Directed by Colin Gregg. Written by Hugh Stoddart (based on the novel by J.R. Ackerley). Starring Gary Oldman, Alan BatesLiz Smith. Synopsis: An aimless young man, Johnny, is sent to prison. He entrusts his beloved dog, Evie, to the care of his former lover and best friend, Frank. When he gets out of prison, he has to face difficulties at home. Added to this, is the fact that he may have to give up Evie to Frank.

Watch “We Think the World of You”

Proof (1991). Written and directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse. Starring Hugo WeavingGeneviève PicotRussell Crowe. Synopsis: The life of a blind photographer who is looked after by a housekeeper is disrupted by the arrival of an agreeable restaurant worker.

Watch “Proof”

The Low Down (2000). Written and directed by Jamie Thraves. Starring Aidan GillenKate AshfieldDean Lennox Kelly. Synopsis: Relationships as they are really lived.

Watch “The Low Down

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