Disney plays around with its own fairytale tropes with the lighthearted comic fantasy, “Godmothered.” Jillian Bell plays a fairy godmother-in-training who is called upon to save the motherland by granting the wish of a jaded TV journalist, played by Isla Fisher. Bell is perfectly cast as the bungling but good-hearted fairy. While this Disney+ offering never quite achieves its comic potential, “Godmothered” is a warm and entertaining lark.
Aubrey Plaza shows impressive dramatic acting chops in the raw and scathing behind-the-scenes drama, “Black Bear.” Plaza plays an emotionally fragile actress who is manipulated and gaslighted by her director/boyfriend in order to achieve a believable performance in a low budget indie film. It’s a very smart and intriguing movie, but “Black Bear” nearly outsmarts itself with its multiple contrivances and plot layers.
Aaron Eckhart and Tommy Lee Jones star in the tangled and meandering thriller, “Wander.” Eckhart plays a private detective who co-hosts a podcast with a conspiracy theory enthusiast, played by Jones. A caller asks Eckhart to investigate a murder in a tiny desert town. Does he uncover a vast criminal scheme, or is he suffering from paranoid delusions. “Wander” is extremely well acted, but its outlandish twists and turns will have you rolling your eyes in disbelief.
“76 Days” is a harrowing fly-on-the-wall documentary about the lockdown of Wuhan, China during the Covid-19 pandemic. It focuses on the yeoman’s work done by the frontline healthcare professionals and shows the unprecedented challenges that they faced. Presented without narration, the film provides an enlightening and heart-wrenching snapshot of what these people endured. “76 Days” serves as an empathetic salute to all frontline workers.
Your local art house theaters are offering online viewing options for a number of intriguing movie titles. More information is available at nelson-atkins.org, Screenland.com, fineartsgroup.com and drafthouse.com.