Screen Queen

For years, Julianne Nicholson has been the other Julianne (to Moore’s Julianne). But with each successive performance, including in the 2021 series “Mare of Eastown,” she has established her own Julianne-ness.

For some queer folks, dueling divas is a tale as old as time. Whether it’s Barbra Streisand versus Bette Midler, Whitney Houston versus Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera versus Britney Spears, or Lady Gaga versus Ariana Grande. When it comes to Cyndi Lauper versus Madonna, the winner is clear (hint: it’s Lauper). Even if you read her marvelous and revealing 2012 memoir, there’s nothing like hearing Lauper herself telling her story in her distinctive New York accent.

The first thing you’re going to want to know about “A Quiet Place: Day One” (Paramount) is that the cat survives. You know it’s been on your mind since you saw the first of several trailers months ago. Animal lovers across the globe can breathe a sigh of relief.

At this midpoint on the calendar, 2024 is turning out to be one of the best years for docs of interest to LGBTQ audiences. Titles such as “Queen of the Deuce,” “The World According to Allee Willis,” “Linda Perry: Let It Die Here,” and even the Cyndi Lauper doc “Let The Canary Sing,” are all required viewing. Possibly best of all (so far), is director and co-writer Sam Shahid’s “Hidden Master: The Legacy of George Platt Lynes” (Greenwich Entertainment).

“Chestnut” (Utopia), possibly named for the street in Philadelphia’s ritzy Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, is the feature-length debut by writer/director Jac Cron. Like a queer version of mumblecore – call it mumblequeer – “Chestnut” is about the last days recent college grad Annie (Natalia Dyer of “Stranger Things” fame) spends in Philly before leaving for L.A. and her first post-grad job.

In the same way that Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson’s 2003 movie adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist novel “Let The Right One In,” wasn’t your average vampire movie, Thea Hvistendahl’s “Handling the Undead” (Neon), also based on a Lindqvist book, isn’t your run-of-the-mill zombie flick.

Corey Sherman’s feature-length directorial debut, “Big Boys” (Dark Star Pictures), is like Jane Schoenbrun’s “I Saw the TV Glow” in that it is a raw and visceral depiction of being a teenaged outsider. The difference is that there is no pretension here, and the subject matter is handled with a grace and sensitivity noticeably absent in Schoenbrun’s work.

If you are among the throngs chomping at the bit to see queer actor Ilana Glazer (of “Broad City” fame) in a movie lead role, the wait is over. In “Babes” (Neon), directed by Pamela Adlon, and co-written by Glazer and Josh Rabinowitz, Glazer plays self-absorbed and misinformed Eden who unexpectedly finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand.

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