The weekend is here! And here is ‘The Movies for Grownups Movie Minute’. AARP’s Bill Newcott previews the week’s top theatrical releases in a video for our AARP Now smartphone app. This week he looks at Matthew McConaughey’s ambitious misfire, Gold. He also talks about the home video release of Tom Hanks’ latest Dan Brown adventure, Inferno .
Oscar Nominees Still in Theaters:
20th Century Women (Best Original Screenplay)
Writer-director Mike Mills got nominated, but Oscar should hang his head in shame for ignoring Annette Bening, who dazzles as a single mother who asks two young women (Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig) to help her raise her son (Lucas Jade Zumann) in 1970s Santa Barbara, Calif.
Elle (Best Actress)
Isabelle Huppert is galvanizing in this very French, very dark thriller about a high-powered executive who’s sexually assaulted in her home. Instead of calling the cops, she sets out to nail the perp.
Fences (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay)
Denzel Washington, who also directs, gives the performance of his life as a frustrated Pittsburgh trash collector battling racism and his own personal demons. Viola Davis will break your heart as his long-suffering wife. The late August Wilson wrote the screenplay, based on his Pulitzer-winning stage production.
Hacksaw Ridge (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director)
Director Mel Gibson’s brutal but inspired film contrasts the realities of war with the courageous pacifism of a conscientious objector (Andrew Garfield) who saved more than 70 comrades as a medic on Okinawa. Based on a true story.
Hidden Figures (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay)
This true story of how three African American women (Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae) used their ace math skills to help launch the U.S. space program provides one stand-up-and-cheer moment after another. As the NASA official who has their backs, Kevin Costner is a grumpy delight.
Jackie (Best Actress)
Neither star Natalie Portman nor Chilean director Pablo Larraín was around when JFK died in 1963, but they cast us back to that dark Friday with gut-wrenching immediacy. Their meticulous observation of Jackie Kennedy’s ordeal echoes the heartache, horror and loss felt by every American.
La La Land (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay)
Someone forgot to tell young director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) they don’t make movie musicals like they used to. This toe-tapping, break-into-song extravaganza swaps Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for Fred and Ginger, with endearing results.
Lion (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay)
Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel wins our hearts as a young Australian man tracking down the family he lost in India 25 years earlier. As his conflicted adoptive mother, Nicole Kidman leaves you with a tearful tug of parental pain.
Manchester by the Sea (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay)
One of the year’s best movies stars Casey Affleck as a deeply troubled handyman who finds himself caring for his newly orphaned nephew (Lucas Hedges).
Moonlight (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay)
This breakout film follows a young black man — played by three actors — from tragic childhood through troubled adolescence and into unsettled adulthood. Naomie Harris is his abusive, drug-addled mother.
Nocturnal Animals (Best Supporting Actor)
Director Tom Ford makes a picturesque hash of this disjointed drama about an ice-queen art dealer (Amy Adams) who spends much of the movie reading a violent novel written by her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal).
Silence (Best Cinematography)
Martin Scorsese’s account of two Roman Catholic priests (Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield) in 17th-century Japan is brutal, beautiful and brilliantly conceived. Veteran Japanese actor Issei Ogata nearly steals the show as a weary but ruthless inquisitor.