Isle of Dogs
Wes Anderson is arguably the most distinctive American director working today. His first entirely stop-motion feature, a 2009 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, put most animated children’s films to shame. And now, Anderson has returned to stop-motion with Isle of Dogs, an original work about a young boy on a mission to rescue his faithful dog, Spots, from a Japanese island filled with quarantined canines. The ensemble cast voicing the dogs is jaw dropping: Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Courtney B. Vance—and that barely scratches the surface. The reviews out of February’s Berlin International Film Festival, where Anderson won the Silver Bear for directing, have been beyond stellar. Without a doubt, if there’s one movie to see in March, this looks to be it. In theaters March 23; isleofdogsmovie.com.
Between Veep and Silicon Valley, HBO has been on a hit-comedy hot streak lately. Now, Barry seems destined to complete the hat trick: created by Silicon Valley’s Alec Berg, the series stars Bill Hader, perhaps one of the greatest talents to emerge from SNL, as a hit man who moves to Los Angeles and falls in love with the acting scene. So far, so good. But if the early reviews out of the SXSW Festival, where the pilot premiered, are any indication, Barry borrows a page from Donald Glover’s Atlanta and rethinks what a cable comedy can be: Hader’s character, an ex-Marine, struggles with severe depression. And so, after riffing on the usual “hit man in Hollywood” tropes, the series is said to take a very dark, very bold turn. We were already onboard, but seeing Hader flex a greater variety of his acting muscles—along with the equally talented Henry Winkler as his acting coach and Stephen Root as his boss —ups the ante. Premieres March 25 on HBO; hbo.com.
No, you’re not seeing double: Yes, Ridley Scott’s 2017 film All the Money in the World was also about oil tycoon J. Paul Getty refusing to pay his 16-year-old grandson’s ransom in the 1970s. (Christopher Plummer, who replaced Kevin Spacey at the last minute, even earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as Getty.) So, why another take? Well, Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar-winning director-screenwriter team, are behind this version, which should be enough to pique anyone’s interest. Even more intriguing, though, is that this series provides an alternate, almost totally opposite interpretation of the infamous events: namely that Getty’s grandson was in on his own kidnapping from the beginning. That’s enough for us to check out the first few episodes, at least. Premieres March 25 on FX; fxnetworks.com.