"Sometimes as women we think if I am sexy, I won't be taken seriously. You cannot just cancel different parts of who you are". The documentary on Jennifer Lopez opens on her 50th birthday in July 2019, in what would turn out to be a landmark year: her movie Hustlers got rave reviews, she performed at Super Bowl with Shakira—making a subtle statement on immigration policy—and at Joe Biden's inauguration. "I am not done, not even close," she says. There are moments she reveals herself: The sadness at not winning the Golden Globes or getting an Oscar nomination, and despite being a tabloid fixture, still being able to hold it together. Matching her star power are her Swarowski-studded tumbler cups.—Nipa Charagi
An affectionate meta-comedy featuring the actor Nicolas Cage as himself. We wrote in our review: “The greatest achievement of Gormican’s film, in fact, could be his refusal to judge any facet of Cage’s career. In a disarmingly tender scene, Javi talks about Guarding Tess — one of Cage’s cheesiest comedies — as a film that allowed him to connect with his dying father. Films mean different things to different people, and it is important to highlight Cage’s willingness to dive into all kinds of cinema. It’s highly touching — until Cage then starts solemnly explaining the motivations behind his Guarding Tess character.”
Lightyear (in theatres)
After all the jokes about its convoluted premise, Pixar’s Lightyear is finally releasing. Put as simply as possible: This is the film that the Buzz Lightyear action figure featured in the Toy Story films was inspired by. Pixar will be hoping a generation of kids who’ve grown up on reboots, retoolings and ’verses’ will be able to grasp this. Angus MacLane directs; Chris Evans voices Buzz, with Keke Palmer, Josh Brolin and Taika Waititi for company.
Irma Vep (Disney+ Hotstar)
Mira, an American actress played by Alicia Vikander, waltzes through glitzy hotels and premieres in Paris. She’s in France to shoot a remake of a 1915 crime film Les Vampires where she plays Irma Vep, a cat-suit clad villain. Mira has escaped to Paris to do this artsy series after the wild success of Doomsday ,a superhero franchise film. She’s not just fleeing her American career though, she’s also fleeing Laurie, her old assistant and former flame who conveniently shows up to Paris with her new husband, the director of Doomsday. This meta TV series—by Olivier Assayas, reworking his 1996 film of the same name—with its black and white scenes from the original Les Vampires and its scorn for the Marvelification of film, is made for cinephiles.—Angela Mathew
Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey (Netflix)
After Our Father, this is another disturbing true crime documentary from Netflix. It focuses on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), a polygamous sect with Warren Jeffs as its prophet. The currency of the cult is young brides. Under Jeffs, underage marriages took off on steroids, says the documentary. A lifetime of conditioning and being cut off from the world, most women did not even understand that they were being abuse—"keep sweet" was the bottomline. One woman narrates that she had six kids by the time she was 24. At the time of his arrest in 2006, Jeffs had 78 wives, 24 of them underage.—NC