Fresno Beehive

Three movies you should see this weekend

Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), flanked by fellow mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Mone) meet the man they helped send into orbit, John Glenn in “Hidden Figures.”
Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), flanked by fellow mathematicians Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Mone) meet the man they helped send into orbit, John Glenn in “Hidden Figures.” Hopper Stone, SMPSP

There are several new movies opening this weekend including “A Dog’s Purpose” and “Gold.” Plus, several of the movies that picked up Oscar nominations are back including “Arrival.”

Here’s my pick of three movies you should see this weekend:

“Moonlight”: This Oscar-nominated movie is back on local screens. The movie, written and directed by Barry Jenkins, is a slow journey through the pain-filled life of a young black man charted from his troubled childhood to his uncertain adulthood. The way Jenkins has structured his work isn't to give us a fully formed adult but to give the audience a ringside seat to see the outside influences that shaped this young man. It's painful and frustrating to watch at times but compelling and engaging.

“Hidden Figures”: One of the most pleasing Oscar nominations was this film being included in the Best Picture category. Three black woman prove to be valuable additions to America’s race for space. he film continues the hot Hollywood trend of basing feature films on real stories. It’s a tale of incredible courage and determination that has such a powerful message about the pure absurdity of racism that this movie should be mandatory viewing for every man, woman and child.

“La La Land”: You can see why this film picked up a record-tying 14 nominations. It’s about an actress and jazz musician who find music in their lives. Emma Stone stars. The first three quarters of the film constitute a light romantic musical movie that’s slightly off the mark. As soon as Stone sings the showstopper “Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” that’s when the movie becomes a brilliant mix of musical performance and visual storytelling. Stone delivers the tune – that summarizes the themes of the film brilliantly – with a power and passion that is nowhere to be found in the earlier numbers.

Rick Bentley: 559-441-6355, @RickBentley1

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