Last week in trailers: Fifty Shades of Oscar buzz

lwit fifty shades oscar

There were plenty trailers released last week, so to make your weekly catch-up simpler I’ve split them up into very formal categories for you to peruse. Let’s get to it.

The mainstreams

Fifty Shades Freed

It feels like Fifty Shades Darker came out yesterday, but the films were shot back-to-back last year and I guess they’re looking to cash in before everyone forgets who Mr Grey even is.

This teaser doesn’t do much more than let you know they’re married and that Christian Grey thinks he respects Ana. It’s a naivete that’s neither cute nor deplorable.

The trilogy ends Valentine’s Day next year.

The Current War

With every invention that threatens to upend society comes a war between the powers of old and the change-makers. The Current War tells of the invention of electricity, and the businessmen selling gas who attempted to quash its rise.

It stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon, Tom Holland, Katherine Waterstone and Tuppence Middleton.

The Current War comes to South Africa on 19 January 2018.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm is coming back for a ninth season the eighth aired in 2011.

It stars Larry David as himself in a mostly-improvised tongue-in-cheek series about his life. Guest stars this season include Bryan Cranston, Lauren Graham, Jimmy Kimmel, Nick Offerman, and Elizabeth Banks.

The show airs on HBO in the US on 1 October.

The animations

Neo Yokio

Netflix’s original anime Neo Yokio is created by Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig and stars the voices of Jaden Smith, Jude Law, Susan Sarandon, Steve Buscemi, Stephen Fry and Alexa Chung.

According to Netflix, the series is a “postmodern collage of homages to classic anime, English literature and modern New York fashion and culture.”

It premieres globally on 22 September.

Early Man

The Early Man is a claymation from the creators of Wallace and Gromit that tells of a small stone-age tribe forced to save themselves from the evil men of the bronze age.

It stars the voice talents of Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne and Maisie Williams.

It opens in SA 23 February 2018.

The Christmas flicks

The Man Who Invented Christmas

With a title surely meant to anger some Christians, The Man Who Invented Christmas stars Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens as he struggles to write the classic A Christmas Carol. Spoiler alert: he finishes the book.

The film opens in South Africa on 15 December.

A Bad Moms Christmas

The Bad Moms team is back, and this time they’re enduring Christmas with heir own mothers. The original cast of Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn is joined by Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, and Cheryl Hines as they tackle a season designed to drive mothers insane.

It’s in SA cinemas from 1 December.

The indie films with some Oscar buzz

Lady Bird

Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird is a coming-of-age tale starring Saoirse Ronan.

The film has been garnering some Oscar buzz after its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival. Variety has gone so far as to say that “nominations for best picture, director, actress, supporting actress and original screenplay are absolutely on the table.”

It is in US theatres from 10 November.


Mudbound is a historical drama that tells of two men returning home to the US South after World War II, forced to battle PTSD and racial tensions.

The Oscar-buzzy film is directed by Dee Rees (Pariah) and stars Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Mary J Blige and Jason Mitchell.

Mudbound premieres (presumably globally) on Netflix on 17 November.


Thelma is a Norwegian horror-thriller about a woman who develops powers after falling in love with another girl — and it’s the country’s Oscar candidate.

IndieWire has called the film “beguiling”, while The Hollywood Reporter has dubbed it “unsettling” with an “intelligent, measured tone and elegant visual style”.

Thelma hits US theatres on 10 November 2017.

The Netflix documentaries

Gaga: Five Foot Two

The teaser for pop icon Lady Gaga’s documentary reveals just how personal it intends to get.

Highlighting the intense loneliness of stardom and the toll its taken on her body, Gaga: Five Foot Two follows the star through the creation of her latest album Joanne and her halftime performance at the Super Bowl.

It premieres globally on 22 September.

One of Us

From the creators of Jesus Camp comes a documentary that follows the lives of three individuals who recently left the world of Hasidic Judaism.

The synopsis promises “intimate access” into three years of their lives as they enjoy their personal freedom at the cost of everything they’d known before — including personal safety.

It is available globally from 20 October.

Bonus: The SA films making waves at TIFF

These trailers all technically didn’t come out this week, but they’re worthy enough for a bonus spot on the list.

High Fantasy

From the director of Love the One You Love comes High Fantasy, a largely work-shopped feature about a group of friends who discover they’ve swapped bodies while on an isolated camping trip.

The film — shot entirely on an iPhone 7s — deals with intersecting identities in contemporary South Africa.

It does not have a local release yet, but director Jenna Bass has called it a priority.

Five Fingers for Marseilles

Cape Town director Michael Matthews’ Five Fingers for Marseilles fuses Western influences into a contemporary South African landscape, telling the story of Tau, who — after fleeing his rural town in disgrace — returns to make peace.

It stars Vuyo Dabula, Hamilton Dhlamini, Zethu Dlomo, and arrives in SA theatres on 6 April 2018.

The Number

Directed by Khalo Matabane, The Number is based on a Jonny Steinberg novel and tells of the life of a Cape Flats prison gang leader.

“A young inmate’s murder confirms Magazine’s misgivings about his life inside, so he decides to join a reform-minded warden’s efforts to improve the prison, eyeing it as a path to early release,” a statement read.

The Number premieres in SA on 3 November.



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