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Thursday, June 13, 2019 12:15 am

Summer films for grown-up fun

Sienna Miller in American Woman.
The old saying “make hay while the sun is shining” applies to Hollywood’s attitude toward the summer season. The three months between Memorial Day and Labor Day are when the Tinsel Town studios make the lion’s share of their annual profits, so it stands to reason that their biggest productions are released over these 12 weeks.  As a result, the multiplexes are jam-packed with superhero epics, monster movies and sequels, films that appeal to a broad, young audience with disposable income and a less discerning approach toward what they see.


Be that as it may, there’s still adult fare to be seen in the upcoming months.  To be sure, it may take a bit of looking to seek them out, but what follows is a guide to nine films that don’t feature any caped crusaders, alien invasions or teenagers run rampant, that will be well worth your time.

Late Night (June 7)
Written by and starring Mindy Kaling (The Office), this comedy features Emma Thompson as a longtime, late-night talk show host who’s failed to change with the times, only coming to realize it when her show is on the verge of being cancelled.  A young woman writer (Kaling), the first in the show’s history, is hired and tries to right this sinking ship. A big hit at this at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the movie also features John Lithgow as Thompson’s husband.

Pavarotti (June 14)
Director Ron Howard’s third music documentary (Made in America, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week) looks at the life and career of the legendary opera singer and the impact he had on the world.  Archival footage features the great tenor as well as Princess Diana, Nelson Mandela, Stevie Wonder, Spike Lee and his two most famous collaborators, Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.

American Woman (June 14)
This movie features a career-defining performance from Sienna Miller, who stars as a hard-living, irresponsible woman who’s forced to take stock of herself when her daughter disappears and she has to raise her grandson.  Taking place over the course of 12 years, the film allows all of its characters to develop in natural, logical ways as the story unfolds, charting the titular character’s torise through her grief and circumstances to become truly independent.  One of the year’s best films.

Hampstead (June 14)
Inspired by a true story, this British romantic comedy features Diane Keaton as a bitter widow who’s fallen into a rut. However, when she discovers an odd man (Brendan Gleeson) living in seclusion, she finds herself experiencing life in a way she never has before.

Them That Follow (June 21)
Set deep in the Appalachian Mountains, the daughter (Kaitlyn Dever) of a pastor has a secret, that if revealed, will create a deep fissure in their close-knit, isolated community.  Last year’s Best Actress Oscar winner Olivia Colman co-stars.

Yesterday (June 28)
From writer Richard Curtis (Love Actually) and director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) comes this fantasy about a struggling musician who wakes up in an alternate timeline where The Beatles never existed.  However, he can remember each and every one of their songs. What will he do with this information?

The Farewell (July 12)
A Chinese family discovers that their grandmother is dying.  They decide not to tell her and instead try to quickly pull together a wedding so that her extended family might reunite once more before she passes away.

Luce (August 2)
Naomi Watts and Tim Roth star as a married couple who have been devoted adoptive parents to a young man they adopted from a war-torn African nation.  However, just as he’s about to get an athletic scholarship for college, they must deal with a startling discovery about their son.

Where’d You Go Bernadette (August 16)
From director Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise, Boyhood) comes the story of a dynamic architect (Cate Blanchett) who put her career aside to raise her daughter but now longs to find her mojo again once middle age has hit.  Kristen Wiig, Laurence Fishburne and Billy Crudup co-star.

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