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Friday Flicks: ‘Freak Show’, ‘Lover for a Day’, ‘Proud Mary’

We’re only into week two of 2018 and already the scandals are rolling in, the most notable being a fresh batch of sexual misconduct allegations delivered to James Franco’s door by a series of former acting students. It’s been a downward slide ever since his Best Actor win at the Golden Globes for his stunning turn as bad movie maestro Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist.

Of course, it’s not just Franco causing a stir. As the allegations continue to mount, so does the division within the movie industry. While many have offered sympathy to the victims who hid their shame for years, across the pond a group of women have offered their sympathy to the accused in a letter that blames the solidarity movement for creating a “totalitarian” climate that unfairly punishes men for “clumsily” flirting.

It’s finally Friday, which means we’re here to celebrate the nicer side of the industry with FD’s picks of the best films to catch this weekend. Throw on some glitter and join gender-bender teenager Billy on his colourful Freak Show journey through a monochrome world; travel back to your childhood with everyone’s favorite tartan-scarfed teddy in Paddington 2; and follow Proud Mary, a feisty hitwoman whose life is turned upside when a professional hit goes awry.

Freak Show (IFC Films)

on limited theatrical release now

Our favourite misfit actor Alex Lawther (The Imitation Game) is back on the big screen as a glitter-bedecked, crossdressing teen sent away by his mother (Bette Midler) to live with his father (Larry Pine) where he’s forced to attend a straight-laced school. Being a diva-out-of-water doesn’t get Billy Bloom down and, undaunted by the bullies who just don’t understand his style, Billy sets out to challenge the norms in his own fabulous way. Directed by Trudie Styler, this film is a definite pick for any misfits or oddball who feel they just don’t belong.

Watch the trailer for Freak Show

Paddington 2 (Warner Bros. Pictures)

on wide theatrical release now

Hot on the heels of the wildly successful Paddington is writer and director Paul King’s sequel to the much-loved family favorite. If you’re in the mood for a trip down memory lane (or you’re hungover and need a little nostalgic comfort), check out Paddington 2 to watch the teddy (Ben Whishaw) happily settled with the Brown family in London, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. Stars Michael Gambon (Gosford Park), Imelda Staunton (Pride), Madeleine Harris (Paddington), Samuel Joslin (The Impossible), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), and Hugh Bonneville (Notting Hill).

Watch the trailer for Paddington 2

Proud Mary (Screen Gems)

on wide theatrical release now

Kind of like a reverse Leon but with less plants and more sass, Proud Mary tells the story of a hitwoman, played by Taraji P. Henson, whose life and career is turned upside down when she comes across a young boy in a hit gone wrong. Directed by Babak Najafi and written by Steve Antin, John Stuart Newman, and Christian Swegal, this female-centric action drama is a strong showcase for Henson’s skills both as a producer and film lead. Stars Jahi Di’Allo Winston (Feed the Beast), Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon), Xander Berkeley (Terminator 2), and Billy Brown (Star Trek).

Watch the trailer for Proud Mary

Lover for a Day (MUBI)

on limited theatrical release now

Defiantly independent director Philippe Garrel once again explores love and betrayal in this beautifully shot feature starring Éric Caravaca, Esther Garrel, and Louise Chevillotte. The love triangle in this story involves a daughter who returns home after the breakdown of a relationship only to find her father’s new girlfriend has moved in too: a woman who is her own age, resulting in a tantalizing love triangle.

Watch the trailer for Lover for a Day

Saturday Church (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

on limited theatrical release now

Writer & director Damon Cardasis’ debut feature uses song and dance to mark out the exploration of sexuality and gender identity of a Bronx teenage boy, played with subdued intensity by Luka Kain. His character, Ulysses, is a shy and effeminate boy who struggles to play the man of the house and deal with questions about his gender following the death of his father. Ulysses finds an escape through a vibrant transgender community who take him to Saturday Church, a program for LGBTQ youth. Stars Margot Bingham (The Family), Regina Taylor (Courage Under Fire), Peter Y. Kim (Hackers), and Evander Duck Jr. (Mindhunter).

Watch the trailer for Saturday Church

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