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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

We are reaching the end of 2022, which means we are approaching award season… which also means studios are full speed ahead in releasing movies at an attempt in getting in contention for a nomination. November of 2022 saw some of the most anticipated films of the year released, including Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the black-comedy starring it girl Anya Taylor-Joy, and the newest projects from Steven Spielberg and Luca Guadagnino. Although December will see a slew of heavy hitters, I thought November was a diverse and solid month for film. These five movies aren’t the only films I saw in November, but I consider these to be the most prominent and impactful.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

4/5 Stars

Black Panther:Wakanda Forever is the sequel to Marvel’s Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler. The film focuses on the leaders and people of Wakanda fighting to protect their nation from the invasion forces of the undersea nation of Talokan, while reeling from death of their King, T’Challa. The film is a beautiful tribute to Chadwick Boseman and continues his legacy. The story seamlessly continues the themes of the first film and expands upon them in a thought-provoking way. Letitia Wright, Angela Bassett, and Tenoch Huerta give gut-wrenching performances, and the film’s greatness is underscored by its improved visual effects and powerful score. Coogler does a fantastic job with world building, as the story and visuals of Talokan are next level. Ryan Coogler was a dealt a terrible hand, but somehow managed to successfully pull off a thematically relevant and emotional sequel to a film that will go down as one of the most iconic films of past decade. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is filled with so much love and passion, that even the flaws don’t ruin the experience. May Chadwick Rest in Power.

SHE SAID

2.5/5 Stars

She Said is a biographical drama directed by Maria Schrader that depicts the work done by journalists Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey as they expose Harvey Weinstein’s history of abuse and sexual misconduct in Hollywood. For me, I found this film extremely difficult to examine and assess. One, because these are recent events and I don’t think everyone has had the time to fully process MeToo and Weinstein’s downfall. Two, because although I am glad this story is being told and is being told by a women, there are flaws that are hard to ignore. I am not sure that this style of film was the best way to tell a story of this magnitude, especially when the screenplay has much left to be desired. I do appreciate that it featured victims are telling their stories directly, being blunt about the atrocity of what Weinstein did and never sugarcoating his horrific crimes. For me, the film fails to say anything new about womanhood or the system that allowed Weinstein to continue to abuse and silence women. The blend of real life and fictionalized representation of those involved pulls me out of the film and can come off as goofy. The film was well-intentioned will pull emotion from the audience, but I think such an important story deserves a better film or maybe even a documentary.

The mEnu

4/5 Stars

The Menu is a black comedy horror movie directed by Mark Mylod that follows Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult), a couple who travel to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant called Hawthorne. I had a ton of fun watching this film, and I appreciate that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The film is a seamless blend of genres with a fantastic cast. The Menu is a great satire on foodie culture and social classes that is elevated by it’s funny and clever dialogue. It is horrifying, anxiety-induing, and hilarious all at the same time. This is one to go in not knowing anything about the plot! Both the score and the cinematography are excellent, as they stand out so much without being overbearing. The film looses me a bit in the third act, but boy was this film such a roller coaster to watch.

The fabelmans

4/5 Stars

The Fabelmans is a coming of age drama directed by Steven Spielberg and is loosely based on his own life. The film follows a young man’s discovery of a shattering family secret and an exploration of the power of movies. I wasn’t expecting much coming into this film because I usually don’t love movies about movies, but I was proven extremely wrong. Few films besides this one can accurately capture the power that film can have on an impressionable young person. The film beautifully addresses how cinema can manipulate our memories, and distort the past, present, and future. Spielberg demonstrates what it means to be an artist, with a dramatic family relationship storyline that can be heartbreakingly relatable to some. The visuals are so dreamlike and bright, which added to the mix of emotions I felt while watching.  

Bones and AlL

5/5 Stars

Bones and All is a coming-of-age movie directed by Luca Guadagnino that follows a pair of cannibalistic lovers who embark on a road trip across Reagan-era America. Bones and All was my most anticipated film of the year and not JUST because of Timothee Chalamet, but because I love weird and obscure topics being explored in films. Guadagnino did not disappoint, making a movie so romantic, bloody, tragic… and filled with love. The film combines tenderness and grotesqueness, creating a painting of innocence and love shattering but also piecing it back together. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie that tackles as many tones as this one, the blending of dark humor, romance, and violence is done almost perfectly. The film’s social commentary is nuanced and allegorical, but is in the backdrop of the events of the film. Consuming human flesh as way to understand how much we crave a pure, authentic kind of love might be off-putting to some(it was not for me), but regardless it will make you reflect your own understanding of love and what it means to belong to a society.

she/her Freshman journalism major at the University of Texas at Austin! An Aquarius who has a passion for film, creative writing, pop culture, and figure skating/dance! IG: @sophiasandovall Twitter: @sophiasandovall Letterboxd: @sophisandovall