Movies of the Week: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Manchester by the Sea and Nocturnal Animals

That’s right! Another triple feature for this weekend and I am going to be busy with one of my most anticipated films of the year and two potential favorites for next year’s Oscars.

A wizard arrives in 1920s New York, a stranger to the American magical community and shortly after his arrival, a Pandora’s Box of magical proportions is opened, figuratively. Actually, an enchanted suitcase filled with magical creatures is pried open for a split second, and beasts are roaming around the city causing chaos. It’s up to magizoologist Newt Scamander to find and recapture his magical creatures before the wizarding world is exposed. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them headlines my weekend.

Director: David Yates

Screenwriter: J.K. Rowling

Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Alison Sudol, Zoe Kravitz, Ron Perlman, Ezra Miller, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo and Johnny Depp

My expectations: as a big Harry Potter fan-a Slytherin and a Pukwudgie according to Pottermore-I go into Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with high expectations and I want to be satisfied by this new story from the genius who gave the world Harry Potter more than a decade ago. I want to love this movie and what’s in store for after.

This will be my first film from writer and director Kenneth Lonergan but his name may be heard repeatedly in the next few months if Manchester by the Sea is as big a hit as expected. This is a tale about a man who undergoes a life-changing experience after his brother dies. Lee Chandler becomes the sole caretaker of his nephew and with this newfound and unexpected responsibility comes newfound and unexpected complications.

Director: Kenneth Lonergan

Writer: Kenneth Lonergan

Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges, Tate Donovan, Matthew Broderick and Tom Kemp

My expectations: From what I’ve heard, this movie features great performances, great writing, and exemplary execution and is heralded as one of the best films of the year. I’d like to see for myself if Manchester by the Sea is worth all of the praise it has earned for itself thus far.

I’ve heard Tom Ford’s name in film circles years ago when A Single Man was released. I didn’t take the opportunity to see it but now the opportunity has come for me to see Ford’s latest picture, Nocturnal Animals. When a woman named Susan receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband, Tony, she perceives the story as a possible framework for exacting revenge upon her.

Director: Tom Ford

Screenwriter: Tom Ford

Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Arnie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough and Michael Sheen

My expectations: Nocturnal Animals looks like a very stylish and intricate thriller. I would like my first film from Tom Ford to leave an impression that can linger until the end of the year. Maybe I don’t know what to expect but maybe that is a good thing because I can be taken by surprise more easily. Here’s hoping!

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