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15 Films to See in May

Written by on May 2, 2018 

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While the summer season got a humongous start last weekend, there’s still four long months of movies this season. After highlighting the ones we’re most looking forward to, it’s time to zero in on the first round of May. Around these parts, much of the month will be devoted to Cannes coverage, but there’s still much to be unveiled in theaters, including perhaps the finest film of the year thus far.

Matinees to See: The Desert Bride (5/4), The Guardians (5/4), Anon (5/4), Mountain (5/11), Revenge (5/11), Terminal (5/11), The Seagull (5/11), Boom for Real (5/18), Pope Francis – A Man of His Word (5/18), and The Gospel According To André (5/25), and Summer 1993 (5/25)

15. How to Talk to Girls at Parties (John Cameron Mitchell; May 25)

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Synopsis: An alien touring the galaxy breaks away from her group and meets two young inhabitants of the most dangerous place in the universe: the London suburb of Croydon.

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Why You Should See It: Writer-director John Cameron Mitchell (Rabbit Hole, Shortbus) is back, teaming with author Neil Gaiman, and a cast featuring Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, and Ruth Wilson. Despite premiering at Cannes last year to a fairly tepid response, including our review, there’s enough noteworthy talent involved here to warrant a look.

14. Beast (Michael Pearce; May 11)

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Synopsis: In a small island community, a troubled young woman falls for a mysterious outsider who empowers her to escape her oppressive family. When he comes under suspicion for a series of murders, she defends him at all costs.

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Why You Should See It: Enjoying a healthy festival run, including Toronto, London, Sundance, and more, Michael Pearce’s drama finally arrives this week. With gorgeous-looking cinematography and an intense dramatic thrust, it looks like to be a break-out feature for all involved.

13. Racer and the Jailbird (Michaël R. Roskam; May 4)

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Synopsis: Set against the background of a brutal crime gang in Brussels, a tragic love story between a high-flying gangster and a young racing driver with very upper-class roots.

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Why You Should See It: After teaming together for the Oscar-nominated Bullhead and The Drop, Matthias Schoenaerts and Michaël R. Roskam have reunited for another crime drama, this time bringing along Blue is the Warmest Color star Adèle Exarchopoulos for the ride. Racer and the Jailbird, which premiered at film festivals last fall, looks like another stylish, intense outing for Roskam.

12. Filmworker (Tony Zierra; May 11)

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Synopsis: The story of Leon Vitali, who surrendered his promising acting career to become Stanley Kubrick’s devoted right-hand man.

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Why You Should See It: A week before Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey gets a 50th anniversary theatrical release, featuring an unrestored 70mm print, a documentary that captures his right-hand man, Leon Vitali, will arrive. While it isn’t necessarily the most polished production, it’s still a worthy angle on a different side of Kubrick’s production process. Kyle Pletcher said in his review from NYFF, “Purely as a document and examination of Vitali’s tireless dedication to Kubrick’s vision and legacy, Filmworker is a sufficiently insightful and informative piece, bringing light to the auteur’s profoundly virtuosic filmmaking approach.” 

11. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Ron Howard; May 25)

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Synopsis: During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.

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Why You Should See It: With Fury Road being a bit of an exception, Cannes Film Festival usually isn’t the best birthplace when it comes to Hollywood tentpoles, however it does provide some added pre-release clout. And one film that can certainly use the boost is Han Solo: A Star Wars Story. Arriving with a shrug as it pertains both to the concept of this prequel and the footage we’ve seen thus far, perhaps Ron Howard has peppered some magic into this one, but we’ll need a great deal of convincing.

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