Movies and TV

John Boyega stars in “Naked Singularlity,” the opening presentation of the 2021 SFFILM Film Festival.<ins> (Courtesy SFFILM)</ins>

2021 SFFILM Festival is online and at the drive-in

Program offers 103 films, including 42 features and 13 premieres, from 41 countries

John Boyega stars in “Naked Singularlity,” the opening presentation of the 2021 SFFILM Film Festival.<ins> (Courtesy SFFILM)</ins>
Oscar Isaac appears in “The Letter Room,” a 2020 short drama directed by Elvira Lind. (Courtesy ShortsTV)

Oscar-nominated short films online and in theaters

Live-action lineup, with three U.S. entries, particularly strong

Oscar Isaac appears in “The Letter Room,” a 2020 short drama directed by Elvira Lind. (Courtesy ShortsTV)
Michelle Pfeiffer is terrific as a quirky socialite in “French Exit.” <ins>(Courtesy Lou Scamble/Sony Pictures Classics)</ins>

Michelle Pfeiffer shines in uneven ‘French Exit’

Eccentricity overwhelms what could be effective social satire

Michelle Pfeiffer is terrific as a quirky socialite in “French Exit.” <ins>(Courtesy Lou Scamble/Sony Pictures Classics)</ins>
Godzilla battles Kong in in the fun action-adventure “Godzilla vs. Kong.” (Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)

Smash of the titans: ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’

Dumb and fun flick delivers everything you want from a giant monster movie

Godzilla battles Kong in in the fun action-adventure “Godzilla vs. Kong.” (Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)
Angelo Gagliardi appears in “The Truffle Hunters,” a feel-good documentary about the passion of some old Italian villagers. (Courtesy Michael Dweck and Gregory Kersha/Sony Pictures Classics)

‘Truffle Hunters’ an uplifting film about men and dogs

‘Father’ a fascinating exploration of dementia

Angelo Gagliardi appears in “The Truffle Hunters,” a feel-good documentary about the passion of some old Italian villagers. (Courtesy Michael Dweck and Gregory Kersha/Sony Pictures Classics)
Bob Odenkirk is an appealing regular-guy action hero in “Nobody.” 
Courtesy Universal

Bob Odenkirk makes ‘Nobody’ a human story

Everyman hero appeals in adrenaline-fueled film by Ilya Naishuller

Bob Odenkirk is an appealing regular-guy action hero in “Nobody.” 
Courtesy Universal
Neo-soul singer-songwriter Celeste has been nominated for an Oscar for “Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” <ins>(Courtesy Sophie Jones)</ins>

Celeste’s impressive recording debut earns Oscar nod

Singer’s appealing retro-R&B attracts notice of A-listers and more

Neo-soul singer-songwriter Celeste has been nominated for an Oscar for “Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” <ins>(Courtesy Sophie Jones)</ins>
Cinequest’s closing Spotlight event includes a conversation with the Bay Area-based directors of “Boys State,” a documentary about teens tasked with creating a government under a program sponsored by the American Legion. (Courtesy A24)

Cinequest offers spotlight screenings with filmmaker chats

South Bay film-VR fest offers dozens of movies and special programs

Cinequest’s closing Spotlight event includes a conversation with the Bay Area-based directors of “Boys State,” a documentary about teens tasked with creating a government under a program sponsored by the American Legion. (Courtesy A24)
“Martha: A Picture Story,” joyously showcases photographer Martha Cooper and her affinity for street art. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>

‘Martha: A Picture Story’ celebrates street art

‘Groomed’ an in-depth look at how child abusers work

“Martha: A Picture Story,” joyously showcases photographer Martha Cooper and her affinity for street art. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Merab Ninidze, left, and Benedict Cumberbatch star in “The Courier.” (Courtesy Liam Daniel/Roadside Attractions)

Cumberbatch, powerful story make ‘Courier’ worth seeing

But pace is slow, and female characters lack substance

Merab Ninidze, left, and Benedict Cumberbatch star in “The Courier.” (Courtesy Liam Daniel/Roadside Attractions)
Gary Oldman has been nominated for an Oscar for best actor in David Fincher’s “Mank,” which leads the pack with 10 nominations. (Courtesy Netflix)
Gary Oldman has been nominated for an Oscar for best actor in David Fincher’s “Mank,” which leads the pack with 10 nominations. (Courtesy Netflix)
Jasna Đuričić gives a sensational lead performance in “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Courtesy Neon)

‘Quo Vadis, Aida?’ vividly looks at 1995 Bosnian massacre

Black heritage, culture shine in ‘The Inheritance’

Jasna Đuričić gives a sensational lead performance in “Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Courtesy Neon)
Ciara Bravo and Tom Holland make the most of their roles in “Cherry.” <ins> (Courtesy Apple TV+)</ins>

‘Avengers’ directors can’t make ‘Cherry’ genuine

Rollercoaster ride of a film leaves viewers without feeling

Ciara Bravo and Tom Holland make the most of their roles in “Cherry.” <ins> (Courtesy Apple TV+)</ins>
Colman Domingo is special guest at the San Francisco Mime Troupe’s 2021 virtual fundraiser on March 13. 
Courtesy Danny Clinch

Colman Domingo recalls inspirational years in The City

Screen and stage actor, director, producer and writer joins SF Mime Troupe benefit

Colman Domingo is special guest at the San Francisco Mime Troupe’s 2021 virtual fundraiser on March 13. 
Courtesy Danny Clinch
Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina provide the voices of the title characters of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” <ins>(Courtesy Disney)</ins>

‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ boasts full-scale diversity

Though familiar in plot, Disney’s latest is buoyed by beauty, pride and power

Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina provide the voices of the title characters of “Raya and the Last Dragon.” <ins>(Courtesy Disney)</ins>
Vanessa Kirby, left, and Katherine Waterston are excellent as friends and 
lovers in “The World to Come.”<ins></ins>

‘World to Come’ a moving period drama about women in love

Dogs in Istanbul are the subject of thoughtful doc ‘Stray’

Vanessa Kirby, left, and Katherine Waterston are excellent as friends and 
lovers in “The World to Come.”<ins></ins>
Dave Davis is excellent in “The Vigil,” an effective horror film by Keith Thomas. <ins>(Courtesy IFC Midnight)</ins>

‘Vigil’ cleverly mixes Jewish culture, atmospheric scares

Folkloric demon comes alive in writer-director Keith Thomas’ debut feature

Dave Davis is excellent in “The Vigil,” an effective horror film by Keith Thomas. <ins>(Courtesy IFC Midnight)</ins>
Andra Day sounds great in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”<ins></ins>

Singing soars in uneven ‘United States vs. Billie Holiday’

‘Test Pattern’ takes on timely issues, from racism to women’s health

Andra Day sounds great in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”<ins></ins>
Matilda Lawler stars in “Flora & Ulysses,” a pleasant film for kids based on a book by Kate DiCamillo. <ins>(Courtesy Disney+)</ins>

Fanciful films with a squirrel and a whirl

‘Flora & Ulysses’ has a girl and a rodent, ‘Jumbo’ has an Amelie-like woman enraptured by a machine

Matilda Lawler stars in “Flora & Ulysses,” a pleasant film for kids based on a book by Kate DiCamillo. <ins>(Courtesy Disney+)</ins>
Frances McDormand, left, and David Strathairn appear in the wonderful “Nomadland.”<ins> (Courtesy Searchlight Pictures)</ins>

‘Nomadland’ a sublime, magical story of people in transition

‘A First Farewell’ intriguingly depicts Muslim villagers in China

Frances McDormand, left, and David Strathairn appear in the wonderful “Nomadland.”<ins> (Courtesy Searchlight Pictures)</ins>