Opening this week:
Bacurau If The Hunt and Beneath Us didn't slake your jones for stories that put the common person in the crosshairs of sadistic elites, take a trip to the little Brazilian village of Bacurau. It's the site of some weird shenanigans that involve everything from hovering drones to hallucinogenic drugs to nefarious manipulation of Google Maps. (Not our Google Maps!) What ties all of this persecution-of-the-innocents-type-stuff together – besides some pure and unadulterated grindhouse ultraviolence – is a story of community resistance that many observers are interpreting as a scathing swipe at Brazilian politics of the Bolsonaro era. In all likelihood, these are the same people who actually understood the Mexican sociopolitical context of Y Tu Mamá También while certain others thought they were simply processing an extended stag-party joke. (Meekly raises hand.) Anyway, Bacurau includes performances by both Sonia Braga and Udo Kier, so there'll be plenty of genre kicks for you, even if you're not into that whole biting-commentary angle. And if it does well enough, maybe there'll be a sequel, Bacurau Banzai. Take a bow, Steve's dictation program. (NR; tentatively scheduled to open Friday at Enzian Theater, Maitland)
Baaghi 3 The third installment in the Baaghi series of action thrillers has taken something of a critical pasting back home in India, with naysayers decrying a lack of storytelling logic in its portrayal of one man's violent quest to rescue his brother from ISIS kidnappers. In the film's defense, director Ahmed Khan has made the (wholly reasonable, IMHO) point that nobody expects logic from the Fast and the Furious movies, so why should an Indian director be held to a higher standard? Hey, Ahmed: Fast & Furious 9 just got pushed to 2021. Go kick its ass! (NR; playing Universal Cinemark at CityWalk and XD)
Hope Gap For only the second time in 22 years, acclaimed British screenwriter-playwright-novelist William Nicholson (Shadowlands, Gladiator) has stepped behind the camera to direct a film based on one of his own scripts. This one's the story of a Sussex woman (Annette Bening) who is blindsided by her husband's (Bill Nighy) announcement that he wants a divorce. Seriously, Annette: You didn't realize his heart belongs to Joe the personal manager? You're the one person on Earth who hasn't seen Love, Actually? (PG-13; playing at Regal Winter Park Village & RPX)
Ordinary Love Here's another limited-release drama about an older married couple facing a serious crisis. Only in this case, it's not infidelity that's the issue, but rather the wife's diagnosis with breast cancer. And like Hope Gap, this movie also stars a Love, Actually alumnus, namely Liam Neeson. Wait a minute: Didn't he have a dead spouse in that picture too? And in ... real life? I'm starting to think the guy is bad luck. Shout out to Liam: You just made No. 1 on the social-distancing list, buddy boy. You mess with the bull, you get the facemask. (R; playing at Regal Winter Park Village & RPX)
– This story appears in the March 18, 2020, print issue of Orlando Weekly. Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters.