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The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

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Winter Movies

Photo by Courtesy of @Priscillamovie on instagram
Priscilla Presley posing for a picture.

Anatomy of a Fall

Anatomy of a Fall directed by Justine Triet made its debut at the 76th Cannes Film Festival in 2023 and received a Palme d’Or. The film, a crime/thriller, is about the investigation into a husband’s death. His wife is the prime suspect and his son faces a complicated moral dilemma after witnessing his father’s death.  


While the plot may seem fairly  simple, and the film at first glance is a court case accusing the wife for her husband’s fall, it reveals a harsh reality to the audience in the family. When layers of the mystery are unpeeled, what’s encapsulated is intimacy, fear of failure in life, and exhaustion that we all will experience at some point in our lives. While “fall”  in the movie title ostensibly refers to the husband’s death by falling off the building, it also refers to the impermanence of lives. 


As the investigation of husband’s death and court case happen at varying and coinciding times, the truth of his death is revealed as well as the truth of life. The director uses her way to tell us seeing sometimes should not be believed. The characters live in ambiguous evidence and each other’s subjective assumptions and so do we. 

Killers of the Flower Moon 

Another crime drama movie of 2023 Killers of the Flower Moon is set in 1920’s Oklahoma. The director, Martin Scorsese, presents the history of white businessmen’s exploitation and brutal murders of members of Osage Nation based on journalist David Grann’s book of the same name. As the investigation digs deeper, the FBI (newly founded at the time) unfolds a conspiracy rather than a simple murder case. The three-hour-long movie is challenging, yet the director paces plot information with vivid fluency in storytelling.


Killers of the Flower Moon makes an epic critique on the capitalist industries. The movie opens on a classic 1920s Railroad Station. Workers and lackeys gather together, drawing the social landscape for the rest of the film. While oil brought wealth to the Indigenous people, it also casted an eternal curse on them—the murder conspired in the movie is for the purpose of securing money and their oil grant. 


Scorsese’s radical adaptation of the original novel is a wedge of great expositional expression. All the pent-up tension and mystery are revealed at the last moment, where reality and allegory converge into an absurd drama. Scorsese, cutting the fluff of visual elements that many movies may adopt to create suspense,  portrays a brutal dirge in a matter-of-fact stroke. 


Nyad is a newly released documentary film of 2023 based on the true life story of Diana Nyad, a journalist and long-distance swimmer. Nyad’s fame comes from her wild achievement: swimming from Cuba to Florida at the age of 64. The directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Vasarhelyi have been dedicated to producing extreme sports films for years that highlight the endurance of the human spirit. Besides the shots showing one surpassing their bodily limits and consciousness and the awe for the ocean, the documentary is a sports narrative centered with female gaze: the directors includes flashbacks to Nyad’s teen trauma, her final conquest to swim across the ocean, and the bond between two female side  characters are what’s uplifting. 

Mean Girls 

Many of you have probably heard about either Mean Girls the movie which was released in 2004 or Mean Girls the Musical which was released on BBroadway in 2017. With both of these being very popular successes, Mean Girls the musical movie is going to be coming to theaters on January 12, 2024. Mean Girls is based on high school cliques and stereotypes.After playing Regina George in the Broadway version, Renee Rapp will be starring in the musical’s movie adaption as Regina George as well. The musical will be featuring a mix of original cast members from the musical and new ones as well. Well-known for playing Conrad in The Summer I turned pretty, Christopher Briney will star as Aaron Samuels. Angourie Rice is playing Cady Heron who is the new girl in town who just moved from South Africa. 


Priscilla is the movie adaptation of the movie adaptation of Priscilla Presley’s own Priscilla Presley’s own memoir detailing detailing her and Elvis Presley’s life together. Priscilla first met Elvis when she was fourteen and Elvis was twenty-four and this movie captures how Priscilla first met Elvis and how young she was compared to the large age gap. It also features Jacob Elordi as Elvis and as Priscilla is Cailee Spaeny. The director is Sofia Coppola and this was released into theaters October 27, 2023. Sofia Coppola is very well known for her previous movies she has directed such as Marie-Antoinnette. She has received a Primetime Emmy award and an Academy award along with a Golden Globe award as well.


The Wonka movie has been on the receiving end of endless press, jokes, and memes, but it will definitely be a must-see for many. The spin-off follows the origin story of Willy Wonka as he meets the Oompa Loompas and experiments with chocolate, leading up to the creation of his famed chocolate factory. The team behind the film is impressive, as it’s directed by Paul King, and written by both Paul King and Simon Farnaby, both best known for the Paddington film series. They have also done expert British comedies like Ghosts and The Mighty Boosh, cementing themselves as an indie comedy television darling. They have proven themselves as incredible childrens’ film writers, and are apt to take on such a classic as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which is the basis for the Wonka movie. Wonka is sure to star, and even if it’s terrible, it’s bound to amuse.

All of Us Strangers

Premiering at the 50th Telluride Film Festival in August and coming to theaters in December, All of Us Strangers has already proven to be a critic favorite and an Oscar prospect. A loose adaptation of Taichi Yamada’s novel Strangers, an extremely popular and critically acclaimed Japanese novel, the story follows two neighbors as one of the neighbors feels a fantastical presence that draws him back to a time when his parents were still alive. It stars Andrew Scott, best known for his work on television like Fleabag and Sherlock, and Paul Mescal, best known for Normal People and the Oscar-nominated Aftersun. Directed by indie darling Andrew Haigh, All of Us Strangers is clear to be a hit. 

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