Four New Movies Texans Won’t Want To Miss – Texas Monthly

Each year, SXSW honors its home state with programs of Texas shorts and a Texas-only “Lone Star” award. But even outside of its designated categories, Texas has a way of infiltrating festival offerings. Whether via actors, subject matter or accents, each of the four films below has a Texas flair.

Body Body Body

Right after the premiere of A24’s paranoid thriller Body Body Bodydirector Halina Reijn described the film as “lord of the flies meets mean girls.” It’s an apt description for a film that packs in comedy, satire, and horror before putting on a satisfying twist in its final minutes. Set at a hurricane party in a secluded mansion, the film follows a group of old friends as a game of “bodies” (similar to Mafia or Werewolf) turns into a terrifying search for a real killer. David (Pete Davidson) is the host of the party, whose temper is a point of tension between him and his girlfriend, Emma (Chase Sui Wonders); Alice (Rachel Sennott) is a podcast host who brought her noticeably older Tinder date, Greg (Lee Pace, raised in Houston), to the gathering; and Jordan (Myha’la Herrold) seems to have unsettled business with Sophie (Amandla Stenberg), who has brought her new girlfriend, Bee (Maria Bakalova), with her. While the scares in the film work well, the real thrill comes from watching the friends air out old grievances as everyone ends up becoming a suspect. expert cast, Body pokes fun at young online millennials and terminally ill Gen Z, with Sennott in particular focusing on a hilarious, star-studded performance. Keep your eyes peeled for the movie’s wide-scale release, which has yet to be announced.

Cat Cardenas, Associate Editor

Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets

Grapevine-based GameStop became the unlikely focus of the financial world last spring after a horde of social media users with an understanding of the stock market as legalized gambling found a way to stack the game in their own favor. diamond hands is the story of how they did it and why, told with elegant verve. The filmmakers roll out interviews with Reddit users and YouTubers who helped pump the declining stock of a company on the verge of obsolescence up to nearly $500 a share. diamond handswhich arrives on MSNBC April 10, owes as much to Adam McKay’s feature The big court as it does any sultry documentary. For example, when the author of a call-to-arms Reddit post refuses to read it (“too gritty,” he says), the filmmakers bring in his brother, a professional actor, to play it as suit. The story of what really happened with GameStop action gets complicated: the rush on the action stalled not because the Reddit crowd misunderstood market forces, but because the Day-trading app Robinhood stopped allowing users to buy the stock, driving the price down. diamond hands clearly shows sympathy for the social media insurgents, which is only part of the story. (Other parties include, but are not limited to, hedge funds that helped drive prices up and non-participants who nonetheless had to live in the financially unstable world of meme stocks.) Yet, diamond hands is a fun, breezy, and compelling look at the characters who drove GameStop to the center of the financial universe for a brief time, and a look at what they do next. Spoiler: it’s crypto.

—Dan Solomon, Editor

To Leslie

The character study “a person with addiction issues returns to his small town” is well-worn indie film territory, and for much of To Leslie, it looks like the film will flow perfectly along this track. Leslie, played by British actress Andrea Risenborough, is a former Texas lottery winner who won a $190,000 jackpot which she promptly drank; six years later, she spends her rent money on alcohol and ends up on the street. When she runs out of places to go, she lands in the same small West Texas town she escaped from with her six-figure earnings, having alienated most of the town on her way out. What separates To Leslie from, say, last year red rocket is the deeply empathetic onscreen connection between Risenborough and co-star Marc Maron, who puts on a not-quite-there Texas accent as he delivers a silently compassionate performance that belies his neurotic, big-picture comedy persona. mouth. Plans for a larger release have yet to be announced.

—Dan Solomon

The unbearable weight of massive talent

With Nick Cage as Nick Cage, The unbearable weight of massive talent is just as crazy as you expect it to be. Part buddy-comedy and meta-action movie, the film (which hits theaters April 22) follows a fictionalized version of Cage who struggles to take his next big step in his career. Desperate to pay off his growing debts and focus on his strained relationship with his teenage daughter (Lily Mo Sheen), he accepts a million dollar offer to attend a superfan’s (Pedro Pascal) birthday party. , unwittingly entangling them in the dealings of a dangerous international drug enforcement operation. It’s great to see Cage and Pascal’s bromance forming so organically, despite Pascal being such a natural comedic talent that he often steals the show. And with tons of references to Cage’s past work (yes, even The wicker man), it’s clear that Cage is the perfect actor to play a role that walks a fine line between complacency and self-awareness.

—Cat Cardenas


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