Weekly Watch List Recap 9/24/21

The movies and people in this week's mix

Weekly Watch List Recap 9/24/21

Welcome to the Friday recap of Ty Burr’s Watch List postings. If you’d like to receive this weekly email ONLY, please go to your account page and under “Email notifications” uncheck every box except “Weekly Digest.” (If you’d prefer to not receive it at all, uncheck just “Weekly Digest.”)

On Monday, I wrote a post-mortem of the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival: Which movies made a splash (like Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” with Benedict Cumberbatch, above), which sank like stones, and when you’ll see them on the big screen or your TV.

Toronto: Best of the Fest
The Toronto International Film Festival, which ended Saturday night, is the third of the Big Four festivals that recalibrate the movie year every September. The others are Venice, Telluride, and the New York Film Festival, which begins this Thursday at Lincoln Center. Between them, they don’t just debut the movies that will dominate the awards season to…

On Wednesday, I expressed some lukewarm thoughts about “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” on Amazon and instead suggested you check out the documentary “No Ordinary Man,” about the late trans jazz pianist Billy Tipton.

Papa's Got a Brand New Drag
Amazon’s latest streaming “original” is “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie,” a filmed adaptation of a 2017 stage musical adaptation of a 2011 BBC documentary about a 16-year-old British boy coming out as a drag queen. If you think most of the edges have been sanded off this story by now, you’re right – the…

On Thursday, paying subscribers were able to read an appreciation of the late Melvin Van Peebles, the godfather of Black American cinema.

Melvin Van Peebles 1932-2021
A glib way to thumbnail Melvin Van Peebles, the groundbreaking filmmaker who died yesterday at the age of 89, is to say he was Spike Lee for an America that wasn’t ready for Spike Lee (and America still isn’t ready for Spike Lee). That gets across the magnitude of Van Peebles’s status as a fearless and uncompromising voice of Black identity, cultural an…

And on Friday (today), I recoiled in distaste from two new movies on the subject of grief (“The Starling” and “Dear Evan Hansen”) and steered readers toward a much better one (“Rabbit Hole,” above), a much sillier one (“Death at a Funeral”), and a lesser-known winner (“Venus”) from director Roger Michell, who died this week.

What to Watch This Weekend 9/24/21
It’s a three-for-one Friday: Three recommendations of worthwhile older movies, all available for streaming, to make up for two terrible new movies debuting today. The terrible ones are “The Starling,” a Netflix Original, and “Dear Evan Hansen,” an adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical that is opening theatrically (no VOD date has yet been annou…