As expected, this month’s big releases all build on existing properties. Among the new movies we will see in April, we have The movie Super Mario Bros (April 5), featuring the laid-back voice work of Chris Pratt as everyone’s favorite Italian plumber. (Read our Super Mario review here.) Nicolas Cage stars as a predictably wacky Dracula in the horror comedy Renfield (April 14), about the earl’s devoted servant, played here by Nicholas Hoult. We also have Evil Dead Rise (April 21), reviving the popular horror franchise and transplanting the typical cabin-in-the-woods narrative to a Los Angeles apartment complex.
One of the most anticipated films of the year was also shot in Montreal. Ari Aster (Midsommar, Hereditary) returns with Bo is Scared (April 21), about a terrified man’s epic odyssey to reunite with his mother. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Bo in this epic weird and gory dark comedy about a man searching for meaning.
Reuniting with Matt Damon, Ben Affleck stars and directs Air (April 5). Based on a true story, the film is about Sonny Vaccaro and Nike chasing basketball rookie Michael Jordan, creating a partnership that revolutionizes the world of sports and modern culture. In other weird searches, we have the latest from Kelly Reichardt, Appear (April 14), starring Michelle Williams as an artist on the verge of a career-changing exhibition – a desperate and sometimes funny portrait of the life of a working artist. (For our interview with Reichardt about this film and more, see the April issue.)
Feeling like a rebel? Be sure to check out How to blow up a pipeline (April 14), an eco-thriller inspired by Verso’s famous manifesto. From the writer and co-director of the tech thriller Camthe film is about a crew of young environmental activists who go on a daring mission to sabotage an oil pipeline.
For other dreamy art films, Human flesh flowers (April 16) is one of the most beautiful films screened at festivals last year. Living with a crew of five men on a sailboat, Ida becomes fascinated with the French Foreign Legion and decides to sail to its former headquarters in Algeria. For something more animated (literally), Blind Willow, Sleeping (April 21) is about a lost cat, a giant talking frog and a tsunami that help an unambitious bank employee, his disillusioned wife and a schizophrenic accountant save Tokyo from an earthquake and find meaning in their lives. If you’re still in Oscar mode, Pakistan’s official choice for Best International Film, Joyland (April 21), is about a patriarchal family longing to have a baby boy to continue their family line. Their youngest son sneaks into an erotic dance theater and falls in love with a transsexual starlet.
For light but intense French cinema, check out François Ozon’s latest, Mon Crime (April 7). In 1930s Paris, Madeleine, a beautiful, young, fruitless and talentless actress, is accused of murdering a famous producer. Aided by her best friend Pauline, a young unemployed lawyer, she acquits herself on the grounds of self-defense. A new life of fame and success begins until the truth is revealed.
Closer to home, the critics Queens of the Qing Dynasty (April 7) is the latest from Ashley McKenzie, one of Atlantic Canada’s leading cinematic voices. The conversational film takes place mostly in a hospital and features extended conversations between two strangers: Star, a suicidal teenager, and An, a student from Shanghai. (Read our interview with McKenzie here.) With her latest, Bungalow (April 7), Lawrence Côté-Collins brings a comedy of modern anxieties to the screen as a young couple buys a decaying house in hopes of turning it into a dream home. As their renovations continue, their lives become a nightmare.
Look no further for more trashy new releases with big stars The Pope’s Exorcist (April 14) and Mafia Mamma (April 14). The Pope’s Exorcist stars Russell Crowe as the titular exorcist investigating a centuries-old conspiracy the Vatican has tried to keep secret. Toni Collete stars and Catherine Hardwick directs Mafia Mamma, a crime comedy about a suburban American woman who inherits her grandfather’s Mafia empire. ■
For Montreal cinema showtimes, click here.
This article was originally published in the April issue of Cult MTL.
For more movie coverage, visit our Film & TV section.
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