It’s October, and that means the art house is getting crowded. The 12 recommendations herein — Netflix indies, historical documentaries, character-driven dramas, and much more — include some contenders for the year-end best-of lists, yet they barely scratch the surface of what’s available to discerning moviegoers this month. Enjoy them while you can, folks. January will be here sooner than you think.
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RELEASE DATE: October 5
DIRECTOR: Tamara Jenkins
CAST: Kathryn Hahn, Paul Giamatti, Molly Shannon
Tamara Jenkins’ portrait of a marriage (and the stress it undergoes in the difficult process of later-than-usual conception and pregnancy) is so carefully written and savvily directed that it probably could’ve worked with any number of fine actors. But Jenkins got Giamatti and Hahn, and they’ve rarely been better — both crafting performances that live in her masterful dialogue, but breathe in the spaces between it. Watch the scene when he takes her hits, pauses, and keeps coming in to comfort her. Look at the things she’s doing with her face and voice when they get the big phone call. And witness what they’re saying to each other, without a word of dialogue, in the closing scene. That, friends, is what great movie acting is all about.