Upcoming Movies With a Brand New Context After The Election

Upcoming Movies With a Brand New Context After The Election

By Robert Dougherty Nov 09, 2016 09:19 AM
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

No one will look at Back to the Future: Part II the same way after the election, since its view of a Donald Trump lookalike taking power not long after the Chicago Cubs won a World Series has now come true in reality. However, it isn't just old movies that now have a new, ironic and perhaps poignant context in the wake of the election.

Several upcoming films over the next two months have a chance to be seen in a new light after Nov. 8, starting this very weekend alone.

Paramount Pictures


Three days after a bitterly divided election, Arrival shows the difficulty of talking to and understanding visiting beings far different from us, and the difficulty of it among humans as well. What's more, a woman attempts to bridge the gap before a divided humanity makes drastic, global changing decisions out of fear and a lack of cooperation.

Assuming there is a hopeful message of unity, saving the world and bridging the gap after all, it may be the exact kind of Hollywood ending many viewers need more than ever right now, on Nov. 11 and beyond.

Warner Brothers Pictures

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Traveling back to 1926 New York in J.K. Rowling's wizarding world was always meant to be more political than the Harry Potter films. It is a society where magical and non-magic communities are deeply segregrated, where a faraway threat is emerging in Europe and bubbling in America, and where it may take breaking down some barriers to avoid catastrophe.

Since Rowling herself admitted to writing the script out of an "aversion to nationalist, anti-immigrant sentiments" her message may be more resonant than she first intended on Nov. 18.

Europa Corp

Miss Sloane

It's no accident that the first TV ads for a movie about a female lobbyist taking on the entrenched powers of the gun lobby and the Washington establishment aired during CNN's election coverage. The prospect of a woman played by liberal Jessica Chastain actually beating Washington's elite at their own game may be extra tantalizing to liberal viewers. But perhaps that kind of setup can appeal to conservatives as well, if they mentally edit the part where she argues against the gun industry.

Audiences can impose their own Rorschach test on Miss Sloane on Dec. 9.

Focus Features


It's also no accident that CNN also aired ads of this new film about a persecuted interracial married couple in 1950s Virginia. Like Arrival, Loving is opening wide this weekend with messages now more meaningful than ever, like love enduring in a fractured society and the ultimate importance of the Supreme Court.

Yet Mildred Loving's declaration that "we may lose some battles but win the big war" may ring the loudest, for those who believe they won that war this week and for those aiming to win the next one.

Paramount Pictures

Office Christmas Party

This may be a stretch, but the prospect of Jennifer Aniston playing a nightmarish boss defied by her male, party loving brother can be seen in a different light now. From the looks of it, his rowdy and anti-establishment methods of a chaotic Christmas party to save his company is seen as the ideal solution to such tyranny. And with SNL Hillary Clinton impersonator Kate McKinnon among the cast, the irony is a bit more noteworthy.

Summit Entertainment

La La Land

The musical Oscar favorite doesn't appear to be political, or to have any hidden political messages. However, its joyful/bittersweet attitude and mood may become the perfect escapism from the real world, as it was for film critic Drew McWeeney when he actually saw the film on Election Night.



Will a newfound desire for more optimistic content win over a big section of viewers and Oscar voters, or will it be rejected for being too escapist right now? Audiences will get to make their vote heard on that front in select cities on Dec. 9, and everywhere on Dec. 16.


Rogue One

The biggest movie of the fall has already spelled out its message that "rebellions are built on hope."

Those encouraging words from Jyn Erso may well become a message of hope for others in this part of the galaxy. And while Jyn's team of diverse Rebels don't take down the entire Empire or its Death Star, their victory starts a chain reaction toward a much larger triumph, showing that every and any win against impossible odds can make a big unforeseen difference down the line.

Audiences in our galaxy will see that message take hold on Dec. 16.

Tags: Arrival (2016), Back to the Future: Part II (1989), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), Miss Sloane (2016), Office Christmas Party (2016), La La Land (2016), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
About the Author
Robert Dougherty is a longtime online freelance writer, who wrote reviews, articles & editorials on movies/TV for several years on the now defunct Yahoo Voices.
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