Cinema/Chicago News

TAKE 2: What to See in Theaters and Stream in December 2019

Knives and Skin film still

Knives and Skin opens December 13 at the Music Box Theatre.

Welcome to TAKE 2, our monthly feature where we highlight recent Chicago International Film Festival selections that are now playing in theaters or on streaming platforms in case you missed them at the Festival! Take a look below for the best of #ChiFilmFest to watch this month.


In Theaters

THE AERONAUTS

Director: Tom Harper
Special Presentation, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

In 1862, daredevil balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) teams up with pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) to advance human knowledge of the weather and fly higher than anyone in history. While breaking records and furthering scientific discovery, their voyage to the very edge of existence helps the unlikely pair find their place in the world they have left far below them. But they face physical and emotional challenges in the thin air, as the ascent becomes a fight for survival. 75 mm.

Screening Details:
Opens December 6, visit website for showtimes
Music Box Theater, 3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

VARDA BY AGNÈS

Director: Agnès Varda
Masters, Women in Cinema, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

Before her passing earlier this year, legendary filmmaker Agnès Varda (Cleo from 5 to 7, Faces Places) completed this self-portrait filled with whimsy and insight, at once delightful and bittersweet. Full of stunning film clips showcasing her extraordinary oeuvre accompanied by salient commentary, Varda takes center stage, offering the definitive word on her work as well as a thoughtful meditation on the passage of time, in cinema and in life.

Screening Details:
Opens December 6, visit website for showtimes
Music Box Theater, 3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR

Director: Travis Stevens
After Dark, City & State, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

Home improvement can be horrible—but for Don (CM Punk), a tattooed dad-to-be fixing up his newly acquired turn-of-the-century Victorian, they can be downright gruesome. With his wife away, Don tries to clean up his own act and the decaying drywall, but the house has other plans. With a bounty of blood-splattering body-horror, Girl on the Third Floor is a supernatural skincrawler about how things left to rot can come back to haunt you.

Opens December 6, visit website for showtimes
Music Box Theater, 3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

THE TWO POPES

Director: Fernando Meirelles
In Focus: Italy, Special Presentation, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

From Fernando Meirelles, the Academy Award®-nominated director of City of God, and three-time Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten, comes an intimate story of one of the most dramatic transitions of power in the last 2,000 years. Frustrated with the direction of the church, Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). Behind Vatican walls, a struggle commences between both tradition and progress, guilt and forgiveness, as these two very different men confront elements from their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for a billion followers around the world.

Screening Details:
Opens December 6, visit website for showtimes
Landmark’s Renaissance Place Cinema, 1850 Second Street, downtown, Highland Park, IL, 60035

KNIVES AND SKIN

Director: Jennifer Reeder
After Dark, City & State, Out-Look Competition, Women in Cinema, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

In this mystical Twin Peaks-ian teen noir, the disappearance of a high school student points to dark forces at work in a sleepy Illinois town. Although friends, neighbors, and family search for Carolyn Harper, the case remains unsolved. Unmoored and adrift, the rural community— from the mother of the missing girl to her fellow choir members—tries to soldier on. Surreal, sly, and shocking, Jennifer Reeder’s coming-of-age tale has a fiercely feminist heart.

Screening Details:
Opens December 13, visit website for showtimes
Music Box Theater, 3733 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

A HIDDEN LIFE 

Director: Terrence Malick
Special Presentation, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

Based on real events, from visionary writer-director Terrence Malick, A Hidden Life is the story of an unsung hero, Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife Fani and children that keeps his spirit alive.

Opens December 20, visit website for showtimes
Landmark’s Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657

JUST MERCY

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Black Perspectives, Gala Presentation, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

Just Mercy is the true story of young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his history-making battles for justice in Alabama. Stevenson refuses to back down as he fights a legal system without mercy stacked against him and his clients at every turn. One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), a man whose clear innocence means nothing to the corrupt and compassionless forces Stevenson doggedly takes on.

Opens December 25, visit website for showtimes
AMC River East 21, 322 E Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60611

On Streaming

HALA

Director: Minhal Baig
City & State, Global Currents, Women in Cinema, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

The film follows seventeen-year old Hala, played by Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers), as she navigates her senior year of high school and starts to develop feelings for her classmate. Raised in a conservative Muslim household, her growing attraction is at odds with her traditional upbringing. At the same time, she finds herself grappling with the knowledge of a secret that threatens to unravel her family.

Streaming Details:
Hala is available to stream on Apple TV+ starting December 6.

THE AERONAUTS

Director: Tom Harper
Special Presentation, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

In 1862, daredevil balloon pilot Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) teams up with pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) to advance human knowledge of the weather and fly higher than anyone in history. While breaking records and furthering scientific discovery, their voyage to the very edge of existence helps the unlikely pair find their place in the world they have left far below them. But they face physical and emotional challenges in the thin air, as the ascent becomes a fight for survival. 75 mm.

Streaming Details:
The Aeronauts is available to stream on Amazon Prime starting December 20.

THE TWO POPES

Director: Fernando Meirelles
In Focus: Italy, Special Presentation, 55th Chicago International Film Festival

From Fernando Meirelles, the Academy Award®-nominated director of City of God, and three-time Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten, comes an intimate story of one of the most dramatic transitions of power in the last 2,000 years. Frustrated with the direction of the church, Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). Behind Vatican walls, a struggle commences between both tradition and progress, guilt and forgiveness, as these two very different men confront elements from their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for a billion followers around the world.

Streaming Details:
The Two Popes is available to steam on Netflix starting December 20.

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