In a strange year for cinema, November was meant to usher in a return to something resembling normality with the long-awaited release of the 25th James Bond movie, No Time To Die.
When Bond was hastily pulled from schedules and rescheduled once again, this time pencilled in for April 2021, it kick-started a shake-up that’s had dramatic repercussions for cinema chains around the world.
It’s never been more important to support your cinema (if you feel you can) and though 007 may be missing in action for now, November’s release schedule is still filled with gems, from the big screen outing of Nick Cave’s concert film to a harrowing look at the impact of county lines networks.
Below is our guide to some of the most exciting releases arriving in cinemas and landing on streaming platforms in November…
Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace
Back in July, Nick Cave sat down at a piano in an eerily empty Alexandra Palace to perform stripped-back versions of tracks from his sprawling back catalogue. His one-man show was streamed online that month; now fans have a chance to catch the film on a big screen worthy of its show-stopping production values (Cave recruited Oscar-nominated cinematographer Robbie Ryan, a frequent collaborator of the likes of Andrea Arnold, Sally Potter and Noah Baumbach to oversee filming).
In cinemas on November 5
The Human Voice
Legendary director Pedro Almodóvar has teamed up with Tilda Swinton for his first ever English language project, a colourful re-imagining of Jean Cocteau’s play The Human Voice. The 30-minute short, which featured on the London Film Festival programme last month, was filmed mid-pandemic and sees Swinton’s nameless character meditating on recent heartbreak while pacing around her swanky apartment.
In cinemas from November 7
The Life Ahead
Sophia Loren makes her return to acting after a decade-long hiatus in The Life Ahead, a film directed by her son, Edoardo Ponti. She plays Rosa, a Holocaust survivor who is tasked with taking in the 12-year-old street kid who recently robbed her. After a rocky start, the unlikely duo form an unconventional family unit.
Streaming on Netflix from November 13
Back in the 60s, journalist Linda Lipnack Kuehl set out to write the definitive biography of jazz icon Billie Holiday, recording 200 hours of interviews with everyone from her musical peers to her friends, family and even the FBI agents who arrested her. Kuehl’s book, however, was never finished, and the tapes remained unheard - until now. This new documentary pairs Kuehl’s interviews with restored and colourised archive footage to shed new light on Holiday’s compelling story.
In cinemas from November 13
Writer and director Henry Blake drew on his experience as a youth worker in East London when making County Lines, a painfully topical watch that tackles the grim reality of the drug networks that groom and recruit youngsters to transport their wares out of the city. Newcomer Conrad Khan plays 14-year-old Tyler, who is spotted as a potential accomplice by dealer Simon (The King’s Man star Harris Dickinson).
In cinemas from November 20
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square
Netflix’s Christmas film offering can be a little hit and miss, to say the least (may we interest you in The Princess Switch: Switched Again, starring Vanessa Hudgens as three separate yet identical characters? Or perhaps the Christmas Prince trilogy?) but this musical from Dolly Parton will surely be a cracker. Parton stars as an angel who’s tasked with warming the frosty heart of a money-grabbing heiress played by Mamma Mia’s Christine Baranski.
Streaming on Netflix from November 22
Amy Adams and Glenn Close (both in full for-your-consideration makeunder mode) lead this multi-generational family tale set in an Appalachian town in America’s so-called Rust Belt and adapted from J.D. Vance’s memoir. They’re joined by Freida Pinto, Haley Bennett and Gabriel Basso as Vance. Adams and Close are among the most-nominated actresses never to win an Oscar (Adams has been in the running six times, Close seven) - will this be the project that makes the Academy take notice?
Streaming on Netflix from November 24
Andrea Riseborough plays an assassin who takes over the bodies and minds of others in order to kill her high profile targets in this frankly terrifying-looking slice of sci-fi horror from Brandon Cronenberg, son of genre maestro David. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Girls’ Christopher Abbott and Sean Bean also star.
In cinemas from November 27