Top 5 movie picks for Sarasota-Bradenton: Dec. 9-15 – Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Movie awards season is now in full force, with this week’s big new release being Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the classic musical “West Side Story.” Two other Oscars hopefuls, the Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz biopic “Being the Ricardos” and satire “Don’t Look Up,” begin their theatrical rollouts before coming to streaming shortly after. And if you’re staying at home, an International Feature Film Oscar contender heads to Netflix. Here are this week’s highlights.
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Steven Spielberg directs this latest adaptation of the late great Stephen Sondheim’s musical, starring Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler as Tony and Maria, two teenagers from opposing Jets and Sharks street gangs in ’50s New York who nonetheless fall in love with each other. Early reviews for the new “West Side Story” have been highly positive, suggesting it could be an Oscars contender on par with the 1961 film, which took home 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture.
Where to watch: Theaters on Friday
In remembrance:Cherishing a lifetime of musical theater created by Stephen Sondheim
Writer-director Aaron Sorkin’s latest biopic follows legendary show business couple Lucille Ball (Nicole Kidman) and Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem) as they face a series of personal and professional crises during a production week of their ’50s sitcom “I Love Lucy.” Sorkin’s previous movie “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was one of the biggest titles of last year’s movie awards season, and this film could be a contender as well, particularly for Kidman’s lead performance.
Where to watch: Limited release in theaters including AMC Bradenton 20 starting Friday, Dec. 21 on Amazon
Italian writer-director Paolo Sorrentino’s new film takes inspiration from his personal life, following a teenager in 1980s Naples, with footballer Diego Maradona and famed filmmaker Federico Fellini both playing a part in his life. Sorrentino won the International Feature Film Oscar for his 2013 movie “The Great Beauty” (along with creating the HBO series “The Young Pope” and “The New Pope”), and Italy has already selected this film as its submission in the same category in the upcoming Academy Awards.
Where to watch: Wednesday on Netflix
Director and co-writer Sean Baker’s follow-up to his 2017 Oscar-nominated, Sunshine State-set and shot film “The Florida Project” stars Simon Rex as a porn star who returns to his Texas hometown. “Red Rocket” premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in competition for the Palme d’Or and has continued to garner acclaim, earning three Gotham Awards nominations including Outstanding Lead Performance for Rex and being named one of the top ten films of 2021 by the National Board of Review.
Where to watch: Limited release in theaters starting Friday
Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence star in this satire as two astronomers who head on a media tour in an attempt to warn the world about an asteroid headed for Earth. Along with the recent Best Actor and Actress Oscar winners, the cast includes Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill and Boca Raton-born pop star Ariana Grande. Adam McKay, who previously made the Best Picture nominees “Vice” and “The Big Short,” writes and directs this film that looks to be Netflix’s big Oscars hopeful this year.
Where to watch: Limited release in theaters starting Friday, Dec. 24 on Netflix
Email entertainment reporter Jimmy Geurts at [email protected] Support local journalism by subscribing.

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