The best films in October 2020—I'm thinking of Ending Things and Miss Juneteenth

Plus Rebuilding Paradise takes us behind the Californian wildfires of 2018
August 31, 2020

I’m Thinking of Ending Things, On Netflix from 4th September

The latest film from Charlie Kaufman (writer of Being John Malkovich) is adapted from the novel by Ian Reid. Kaufman’s tropes are all present in this existential horror: social discomfort; temporal loops; characters whose identities switch; bleak humour. Jessie Buckley is a marvel as a young woman travelling to meet her new boyfriend’s parents for the first time; Jesse Plemons is Jake, the boyfriend with whom she is “thinking of ending things.” It’s genuinely unsettling and utterly remarkable.

Miss Juneteenth, In cinemas and streaming from 25th September

Turquoise Jones had high hopes for her future after winning the beauty queen title Miss Juneteenth. But life had other plans and she became a single mum and a barmaid. Now Turquoise is determined to rewrite history: she pushes her daughter Kai to win in the same pageant, no matter that Kai’s dreams lie elsewhere. This lovely, heartfelt mother-daughter story sidesteps melodrama through fresh, convincingly naturalistic performances; it’s a textured glimpse of working-class black America.

Rebuilding Paradise, In cinemas and streaming from 25th September

The California wildfires of November 2018 wreaked havoc across the state. But few settlements were more devastated than the picturesque mountain town of Paradise. From National Geographic Documentary Films and directed by Ron Howard, this film opens with harrowing footage shot by citizens fleeing the flames to an uncertain fate. But for every tale of tragedy and loss—86 people died in the fire and tens of thousands were displaced—there is a moment of hope and fortitude. Powerful stuff.