And While We Were Here – A young bride is on vacation in Italy. While her husband is busy preparing for a concert, she tours the city and bumps into a young traveler. It should be no surprise that the husband works too much and doesn’t pay her enough attention, that the young traveler fawns over her with honesty that she has never seen before, that she is torn between two possible lives… We’ve seen this movie a hundred times, read this book a thousand times, heard this story more times than we can count. This is not a case of, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” it is just be apart of being human. Kate Bosworth, Iddo Goldberg, and Jamie Blackley are the players, Claire Bloom is the narrator, and Kat Coiro is the writer/director. Out in limited release from Well Go USA.
Blue Caprice – Another city, another shooting. Every couple of months it happens, a part of the American rhythm. Who are these people who perpetrate these random acts of killing? Sometimes they have flimsy reasons for their actions, but it is the disturbed mind that is the real reason. Most of them seem to work in pairs, and here we have an access point to the psychology that might explain what the stronger one said to the weaker one to get them to go along with it. Isaiah Washington plays the role of the absent father who is reunited with his son for one very serious purpose, Tequan Richmond plays the son, and Tim Blake Nelson, Joey Lauren Adams, and Leo Fitzpatrick round out the cast. Written by Alexandre Moors and R.F.I. Porto with Moors directing. Out in limited release from IFC Films.
The Family – A mafia family snitches on their cohorts and is placed in witness relocation in France, not a terrible relocation. A new Bat-time and a new Bat-channel may seem like a chance at a new life, but old habits are hard to break. “Be careful, lest in casting out your demon you exorcise the best part of you,” Nietzsche sez, but these guy’s demons are a little more rambunctious than most. Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Pfeiffer, John D’Leo, Dianna Agron are the players, Tonino Benacquista and Luc Besson are the writers, and Besson is the director. Relativity Media releases this wide, so have fun.
GMO OMG – Lots of documentaries this year about the food crisis in American and abroad. This one focuses on Genetically Modified Organics, in other words: looks like food, smells like food, taste like food, but manufactured in a laboratory somewhere. One man (Jeremy Seifert) is in search of food that is not genetically modified (hint: don’t waste your time at the fast food line) and get to the bottom line of what GMOs are, why they exist, and what harm they are doing to us. The sad truth of GMO is that they aren’t good for you, but they drive down the cost of food. People like to eat, and they don’t like to spend a lot, so GMO away! Add in a little ignorance and nothing will stand in Monsanto’s way. Out in very limited release, so check the release schedule here.
Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction – Partly Fiction, what a great title for a memoir. If I didn’t love Harry Dean Stanton so much, I would steal it. Stanton is one of the greatest, if not greatest, character actors of all time. He’s worked in over 200 films, and became one of those classic “That Guys”. You might not know his name, but you surely know his face, and what a face. This documentary about the man brings together his many collaborators and supporters. Men like David Lynch, Sam Shepard, Kris Kristofferson, Wim Wenders, and on. Directed by Sophie Huber, a valentine to a true American legend. Out in limited release from Adopt Films.
Informant – Brandon Darby became a very public activist after Hurricane Katrina, organizing community out reach, getting fresh drinking water to the people in need, getting injured victims out, and on and on. Whoever would have thought that he would fall into the hands of the FBI? Darby informed on some men preparing to attack the RNC and since, he has been labeled a rat, a traitor, and a problem that must be dealt with. With extreme prejudice. Writer/director Jamie Meltzer cobbles together a series of talking heads and archive footage to tell the rise and fall of Brandon Darby.
Insidious: Chapter 2 – It’s Friday the Thirteenth, almost a requisite that a horror movie come and clean up the box office. Starting up where Insidious left off, the Lambert family goes in search of a little R&R only to find that their pesky past has managed to catch up with them again. Voices, ghouls, ghosts, and a murky childhood that just don’t want to leave them alone. Some spirits don’t rest in peace. Starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne as Mr. and Mrs. Lambert with Ty Simpkins as that creepy kid. Written by Leigh Whannell with James Wan directing once again. Out in wide release from Film District.
Jane Mansfield’s Car – Nothing can bring people together quite like a death in the family. Or at least in the movies it does, in real life it usually reduces people to a bunch of squabbling children, but that’s why we have the movies! Set in Alabama in 1969, a death in the family brings together two families, separated by the Atlantic Oceans, connected by one woman. Even though everyone thinks that they are so different, they quickly learn that they are more alike than they are willing to realize. Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Kevin Bacon, Ron Wood, Robert Patrick, Ray Stevenson, along with two of the greatest actors out there, Robert Duvall and John Hurt. Written and directed by Thornton and out in a limited theatrical run from Anchor Bay Films and everywhere via On Demand.
Mother of George – Set in New York City, a city where the minorities make up the majority, Mother of George shows us a slice of life not so different from our own, even if the details are. Love, marriage, tradition, parents, and children. How a child views a parent and how a parent sacrifices for a child is shockingly similar no matter what your background is. Performances by Danai Jekesai Gurira, Isaach De Bankolé, Yaya Alafia, Anthony Okungbowa, Bukky Ajayi, and Angélique Kidjo. Written by Darci Picoult and directed by Andrew Dosunmu. Out in limited release from Oscilloscope Pictures.
Wadjda – Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) is a young girl who wants to rebel. Saudi Arabia is not exactly the place for a rebellion, especially by a female, but Wadjda isn’t going to let that stand in her way. She wants a bike, something that is forbidden, and she’ll enter in a Koran competition with a nice payout just to buy one. Her mother (Reem Abdullah) loves her and supports her, but like most mothers, she just wants her child to be happy even if that means playing by the rules. The first film made in Saudi Arabia by first time female writer/director, Haifaa Al-Mansour. Out in limited release from Sony Pictures Classics.