Halloween has passed, but the holiday season has yet to start. We don’t want horror but we also can’t handle Christmas music this early. The first three weeks of November are “Nothingween” or the “21 days of Thanksgiving.” It consists of bracing yourself for family dinners and cramming for finals. The weather is getting colder as we prepare for winter, or at least it’s supposed to. It’s an inbetween phase, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Here are some perfect things to watch to get you in the post-scary, pre-Christmas-tree mood.
To be considered a perfect mid-November movie it must encapsulate fall vibes with a hint of winter spirit. The first movie that comes to mind is Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson and based on the Roald Dahl book. The claymation movie about a family of foxes and the adventures they have is not only an amazing movie but is perfect for this time of year. It follows Mr. Fox as he comes up with a plan to steal from the farmers that live near him. There’s lots of eating, moody skies, and a beautiful folksy soundtrack to tie it all together. Like all claymation, something about this movie is slightly unsettling, but the romantic plot will make you feel warm on a chilly November night. And who doesn’t want to hear George Clooney’s voice for an hour and 30 minutes?
Many of the Harry Potter movies take place in winter. A snowy Hogwarts is a staple of the movies’ aesthetics. The Harry Potter movie that feels the most “Nothingween,” however, is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Although the obvious choice might be Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets or Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, those feel far too Christmasy.
The Prisoner of Azkaban, which is by far the best book and second-best movie, presents the iconic snowball fight scene. The movie follows the gang Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) while they try to seek and protect themselves from escaped serial killer Sirius Black. The gray tones and moody vibes without the presence of Voldemort are the perfect combination of not spooky and spooky enough. I personally think that a Harry Potter marathon is the perfect way to distract yourself from forced family fun this holiday season.
The overall mood I crave during the month of November combined with the darker days that crime TV shows fit perfectly into the aesthetic—specifically British crime TV shows. I think the beginning of November lacks drama (let’s pretend it’s not an election year), so I need dramatic plot points and David Tennant. That’s why Broadchurch is my first TV recommendation for the month of November.
It’s a slow-paced thriller that takes place in a small seaside town. It starts after the body of a young boy is found on a beach and examines how small town gossip can affect a case and the absolutely devastating pain that parents feel at the loss of their child.
Maybe you don’t think the beach is fit for November vibes. Watch Happy Valley, starring Sarah Lancashire and James Norton, which gives you November moods in the countryside of West Yorkshire. It follows the kidnapping of a young woman, while unraveling the personal life of Catherine, a police sergeant. It examines family and the minds of truly evil people. Both Lancashire and Norton’s performances will blow you away. It might also prompt you to want to speak in a Yorkshire accent for the rest of your life.
This November feels especially long. Personally my attention span is shrinking by the hours. The world is becoming a little scarier everytime I check the news. I personally find solace in the arts now more than ever. So no matter what you watch this November, I hope it transports you to a better place—even if just for an hour. Right now, the art being created gives me hope that even in darkness we still create. At the very least, these movies and TV shows offer an outlet for distraction and will inspire others to create.
Featured Graphic by Allyson Mozeliak / Heights Editor