By James Fanizza, January 2018 Issue
A Fantastic Woman
In Theaters Feb. 2 | R | 104 Minutes | Drama
Daniela Vega stars as Marina, a transgender singer, and Francesco Reyes portrays Orlando, a small business owner 20 years Marina’s senior. After celebrating Marina’s birthday one evening, Orlando falls seriously ill and passes away just after arriving at the hospital. Instead of being able to mourn her lover, Marina is treated with suspicion: Neither the doctors nor Orlando’s family trust her, and as a result, a detective launches an investigation to determine whether or not she was involved in his death. To make matters worse, Orlando’s ex-wife forbids her from attending the funeral. Marina battles the very same forces she’s fought just to become the woman she is – a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic woman. Written and directed by Sebastián Lelio, A Fantastic Woman is Chile’s official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards.
Available on VOD Feb. 6 | 80 Minutes | Drama, Romance
One fateful day, Alex (played by me) initiates a fling with Sebastian (Alex House) who is visiting from Argentina, despite the inconvenient fact that his boyfriend is Sebastian’s cousin. The pair feels badly about what they’re doing, but they don’t consider not doing it – knowing the relationship will end when Sebastian catches his flight back home at the end of the week. But the affair is irrepressible, the kind that changes them and unlocks things hidden deep inside. Written and directed by yours truly, Sebastian is a heart-wrenching love story that co-stars the hilarious Katya Zamolodchikova (Brian McCook). For more information, visit echomag.com/james-fanizza.
In Theaters Feb. 16 | 71 Minutes | Comedy, Drama
Written and directed by Sally Potter, The Party centers around an intimate gathering of friends that Janet (Kristen Scott Thomas) is hosting in her London home to celebrate her political ascension, while her husband, Bill (Timothy Spall), seems preoccupied. Janet’s acerbic best friend, April (Patricia Clarkson), arrives and others follow, some with their own dramatic news to share, including the news that Jinny (Emily Mortimer) and her partner Martha are pregnant. However, an announcement by Bill provokes a series of revelations that gradually unravel the sophisticated soirée, and a night that began with champagne may end with gunplay.
In Theaters Feb. 23 | R | Action, Comedy, Crime
A weekly game night, hosted by Max and Annie (Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams), gets kicked up a notch when Max’s brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), arranges a murder mystery party – complete with fake thugs and federal agents. So, when Brooks gets kidnapped, it’s all supposed to be part of the fun. But as the competitors set out to solve the case, they discover that neither the game, nor Brooks, are what they seem to be. Written by Mark Perez and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, Game Night promises unexpected twists and turns over the course of one chaotic evening.