We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
"November" opens in a perfectly conventional way, as the story of an ordinary evening that goes wrong. Sophie and Hugh (Courteney Cox and James Le Gros) are driving home when she gets a snack attack and pulls the car to the curb by an all-night convenience store. He goes in to buy her something. A young man enters to rob the store. He starts shooting. Hugh is killed.
The film has developed this episode as if it will be about its aftermath. We anticipate a story in which Sophie deals with the death of someone she loves, and indeed the movie continues in that vein, as she visits a psychiatrist (Nora Dunn), complains of headaches, confesses to being unfaithful to Hugh, and in general seems to be gearing up for some heavy-duty soul-searching.
But then a strange thing happens. A lot of strange things happen. To tell you all of them would be unfair to the film, but I can tell you the first, I think. Sophie is a photographer. She met Hugh by taking his portrait. She teaches a photography class. Students present slide-shows of their work, for discussion and criticism. Sophie is clicking her way through one student's work when the last photo is revealed as...
She looks at the screen, stunned. The photo shows the convenience store on the night of the death. There's her car, parked at the curb. An indistinct figure inside may be Hugh. Who took this picture? How did it end up in the carousel of the slide projector? What does it mean?