On Screen: November

Iconic music stars, both real and fictional, take centrestage this month.

By Yong Shu Chiang        13 November 2021

Last Night In Soho

Out In Cinemas 25 November (Available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Thomasin McKenzie, Anya Taylor-Joy, Matt Smith

A wide-eyed young woman named Ellie (McKenzie) arrives in London to study fashion. On her first night, she has a vivid dream of waking up in the 1960s and having a night on the town with a handsome suitor (Smith). In this dreamscape, her reflection in the mirror is a beautiful blonde aspiring singer, Sandie (Taylor-Joy). As Ellie has more of these dreams, she realises that they are not dreams after all, but ominous visions from the past that start to invade her waking life.

Anya Taylor-Joy: Can’t take your eyes off her

Discovered as a model, the star of 2020’s biggest “lockdown hit” was bullied at school, a self-professed ugly duckling and didn’t speak the Queen’s English for her first six years alive.

One of the first things you notice about Anya Taylor-Joy – or rather two of the first things – are her prominent eyes, which undoubtedly play a part in her fine abilities as an actress.

The star of one of the biggest streaming hits of the Covid era, The Queen’s Gambit, which brought her widespread acclaim as chess prodigy Beth Harmon, five years after her feature film debut in The Witch, has said in interviews that she doesn’t consider herself beautiful.

She has admitted feeling odd-looking growing up, because of her “goldfish eyes”. No matter what she thinks, many critics agree that she’s a star, and fashion icon, on the rise. And that there is a magnetic “can’t take your eyes off her” quality about her.

First discovered as a model, after she had left school at 16 because of bullying, she has quietly made her mark in films such as Split, Thoroughbreds and Glass, and in the celebrated British crime series Peaky Blinders.

In 2020, besides portraying a fictional chess champion with a wonderful wardrobe, she also excelled in Emma, as the lead character in the adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel.

Fluent in both Spanish and English, having first been brought up in Argentina, before being transplanted to the United Kingdom, Taylor-Joy has a difficult-to-place off-screen accent, yet is convincing in playing both American or British characters.

She can next be seen in Edgar Wright’s psychological horror film, Last Night in Soho, opposite another starlet Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit), and is reuniting with The Witch director Robert Eggers for The Northman, to be released in 2022.


Out Now In Cinemas (Available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan

While Eternals is the latest Marvel superhero epic featuring powerful do-gooders combating formidable foes, it is also “the movie that got Kumail Nanjiani jacked”. Apart from turning the funnyman into an unlikely hunk, as one of the titular heroes, it is the latest film by Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao (Nomadland). As the story goes, immortal beings – the Eternals – who have lived unnoticed for millennia, need to reunite to save mankind from evil otherworldly creatures.


Out In Cinemas 25 November (Available at Shaw Theatres)

Stars: Louise Wong, Louis Koo, Terrance Lau

The late Cantopop icon, Anita Mui, who died in 2003 from cancer at just 40, is the subject of this nostalgic biopic directed by Longman Leung and produced by her friend Bill Kong. Known as the “Madonna of the East”, Mui is portrayed here by model-turned-actress newcomer Wong. The film charts Mui’s humble beginnings, when she started singing at four to help her family make ends meet, to her rise as one of the most unforgettable musical talents Hong Kong has ever produced.

SAFRA members enjoy special rates on movie tickets and popcorn combo sets at Shaw Theatres. For more info, go to www.safra.sg/promotions/shaw-theatres

The Shrink Next Door

Out now, Apple TV+

Stars: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Kathryn Hahn

A dubious psychiatrist named Isaac (Rudd, recently voted People Magazine’s sexiest man alive) starts seeing a patient named Martin (Ferrell). At first, their relationship seems perfectly normal as Isaac begins to help Martin work on his issues and feel better. Over time, Isaac starts to exert a greater control over Martin, first asking him to alienate himself from his sister (Hahn), then taking over Martin’s fabrics company and even his mansion in a high-end neighbourhood in Long Island. Before long, Martin is changing his will.

Cowboy Bebop

Out 19 November, Netflix

Stars: John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda

In a not-too-distant future, a trio of bounty hunters are thrown together by fate to hunt down criminals together on their ship, the Bebop. They are Spike (Cho), a reformed gangster from Mars trying to escape his chequered past; Faye (Pineda), a con artist deep in debt; and Jet Black (Shakir), the captain of the Bebop who has a cybernetic arm. The hunter is also the hunted as Spike is pursued by his former criminal partner, Vicious, across the solar system.

The Beatles: Get Back

Out 25 November, Disney+

Stars: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr

A documentary of The Beatles making their 1970 album, Let It Be, was shot in early 1969 before the band broke up later that year, and released in 1970. This new three-part series, directed by Peter Jackson with film restoration technology, is based on more than 55 hours of footage from that original documentary project. It offers a fresh perspective on how the band collaborated on their final studio album, with both joy and tensions that underlined why the break-up ensued.