'Tis the season for limited-release pictures that are sort of indie films and sort of studio productions. For example, this weekend there's Doubt (in NY, LA, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco), The Reader (NY and LA), and Che (NY and LA) -- but you've heard plenty about those films elsewhere. There's also Delgo, which is a truly independent animated film -- but it's opening on 1,800 screens, so you don't need me to tell you about it here.
Our focus is the stuff that might be under the radar, which this week includes: Adam Resurrected, Dark Streets, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Timecrimes, What Doesn't Kill You, Where God Left His Shoes, While She Was Out, and Wendy and Lucy. For the details, read on!
Wendy and Lucy (pictured)
What it is: A quiet drama about a penniless woman (Michelle Williams) whose car breaks down in rural Oregon while she's heading West to find a job. Lucy is the name of her dog and traveling companion. The film is not, as I previously believed, a biopic about the red-haired girl from the fast food place and Linus' older sister.
What they're saying: Cinematical raved about it at Cannes earlier this year, and 89% of the critics at Rotten Tomatoes agree. The consensus is that it's a tender, beautifully shot, emotionally intimate little film.
Where it's playing: New York City (Film Forum), Los Angeles (Laemmle Sunset 5).
More info: The official site has a list of release dates for a few dozen other cities.
What it is: A suspenseful and clever time-travel-mystery-horror-thingee from Spain.
What they're saying: Cinematical's Jette Kernion had the honor of reviewing at Fantastic Fest last year, but a bunch of us saw it at Sundance, too, and we all got a kick out of it. At Rotten Tomatoes, 85% of the reviews are positive. Enjoy it now before the American remake ruins it!
Where it's playing: New York City (Landmark Sunshine), Los Angeles (Laemmle Sunset 5).
More info: The official site isn't much help as far as future release dates. Just keep an eye out for it.
Where God Left His Shoes
What it is: John Leguizamo plays a down-and-out boxer looking for an apartment for his family on Christmas Eve. (Spoiler: God left his shoes right next to His bed, where He always leaves them.)
What they're saying: Only a few reviews (two positive, one negative) are posted at Rotten Tomatoes so far. It looks to be one of those gritty, realistic flicks about colorful New York City characters.
Where it's playing: New York City (IFC Center).
More info: The official site tells us it opens in L.A. next week, and that it's available now through IFC On Demand.
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi
What it is: A Bollywood film -- which usually means dancing, singing, romance, and general merriment -- about a middle-aged man who finds a new zest for life through a TV dance contest program.
What they're saying: Nothing yet -- it's opening simultaneously in India today.
Where it's playing: A few dozen theaters in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Austin, Atlanta, and Detroit.
More info: The official site has catchy music; not much else.
What Doesn't Kill You
What it is: A semi-biographical drama about a couple of low-level Boston thugs flirting with crime and drugs. Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke star, and a Wahlberg makes an obligatory appearance.
What they're saying: It's 8 for and 3 against at Rotten Tomatoes, with most critics praising the acting and the film's no-nonsense, authentic style.
Where it's playing: New York City (City Cinemas Village East), Los Angeles (Mann Chinese, Majestic Crest).
More info: Here's the official site.
What it is: A jazzy film noir about a New Orleans nightclub owner in the 1930s, complete with double-crosses and femmes fatales.
What they're saying: Cinematical's me, Eric D. Snider, reviewed it at CineVegas back in June, and I loved the film's gorgeous cinematography and great music; the story, on the other hand, eh. Most of the reviews at Rotten Tomatoes are even more negative.
Where it's playing: Various locales in NYC, L.A., Chicago, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Atlanta, Memphis, Kansas City, Dallas, and Austin.
More info: The official site has a list of all the theaters.
While She Was Out
What it is: A thriller starring Kim Basinger as a woman who gets terrorized in the woods by bad guys, one of whom is Lukas Haas.
What they're saying: All three reviews at Rotten Tomatoes so far are quite positive, though one of them is really blurb-tastic and pun-oriented so I don't know how seriously I take it.
Where it's playing: New York City (AMC Empire 25), Los Angeles (AMC Burbank Town Center, AMC Loews Marina 6). Or, if you live in the U.K., you can just rent the DVD, which was released a couple months ago.
More info: I can't find an official site anywhere. Perhaps it, too, was murdered by thugs in the forest.
What it is: A drama starring Jeff Goldblum as a Jewish circus clown who survives the Holocaust and becomes a ringleader at an asylum for fellow survivors. Directed by Paul Schrader (American Gigolo, Auto Focus).
What they're saying: Cinematical's review from Telluride called it "art and poetry at its highest level." That's one of only five positive reviews (36%) at Rotten Tomatoes, though -- the other nine are negative.
Where it's playing: New York City (Quad Cinema),
More info: No official site for this one, either.