With comic book film "Morbius" postponing its release date to April 1, this week is slated to feature no new wide-release movies debuting in theaters. However, as the Feb. 8 date for Oscar nomination announcements nears, numerous awards season contenders will expand their releases. Meanwhile, at-home viewing options include another national film festival going online this year, following the kickoff of the second online Sundance Film Festival last week. Here are this week's highlights.
Fall movie season guide: The top 25 Oscar contenders of 2021 and where to watch them
1. 'Parallel Mothers'
The great Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar's latest movie follows two new mothers, one of whom is played by the director's frequent collaborator Penélope Cruz. Yet that seemingly simple premise quickly takes twists and turns, as Almodóvar's melodramas often do, anchored by strong lead performances by relative newcomer Milena Smit and Cruz, who appeared in the director's Best International Feature Film Oscar winner "All About My Mother" and "Volver," which earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination.
Where to watch: Limited release in theaters including AMC Bradenton 20 and Burns Court Cinemas
Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s documentary, recounted mostly through animation, tells the story of a man who was a child refugee from Afghanistan to Denmark, compelled to reveal his hidden past for the first time as he's on the verge of marriage. “Flee” premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it won a World Cinema – Documentary Grand Jury Prize, and is considered an Oscars contender thrice over in the Animated, Documentary and International Feature categories.
Where to watch: Limited release in theaters including Burns Court Cinemas and video on demand
3. 'The Beatles: Get Back – The Rooftop Concert'
Peter Jackson's great documentary series on The Beatles' recording of music that would later appear on their albums "Abbey Road" and "Let It Be" culminates with a rooftop concert, the group's last public performance, which will now be screened as an hourlong feature at select IMAX theaters. "The Beatles: Get Back" was initially conceived as a movie to be released in theaters before being expanded into a three-part Disney+ series, so now Beatles fans have a chance to see it on the big screen.
Where to watch: Limited release in theaters including AMC Sundial 12 on Sunday; full documentary on Disney+
4. Slamdance Film Festival
The film festival, which takes place annually around the same time as Sundance, will also go virtual again this year, with a $10 pass for access to its entire lineup of narrative and documentary features and shorts. The spotlight screening will be "The Severing," described as “'Pina' meets 'Saw'… a dance film for the body," by Mark Pellington ("Arlington Road," "The Mothman Prophecies.") Also of note for Florida viewers is "Sylvie of the Sunshine State," a documentary about a family that includes the titular second-grader and her filmmaker mom.
Where to watch: Virtually Thursday, Jan. 27-Feb. 6 through slamdance.com/festival
5. 'The Fallout'
Writer-director Megan Park's debut feature stars Jenna Ortega as a teen dealing with the emotional fallout of a shooting at her high school, with the cast also including Maddie Ziegler, Shailene Woodley and Julie Bowen, and Billie Eilish's brother/collaborator Finneas O'Connell providing the music. "The Fallout" premiered at last year's South by Southwest Film Festival, where it earned strong reviews and both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards in the Narrative Feature Competition.
Where to watch: Thursday on HBO Max
Email entertainment reporter Jimmy Geurts at firstname.lastname@example.org. Support local journalism by subscribing.
This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Sarasota-Bradenton top 5 movie picks, Jan. 27-Feb. 2