(Note – films featured represent new openings in the Seattle area…regional, limited, and platformed national releases are featured below…).
FOUR New Films This Week!
We’re back with our weekly guide of what’s new in Seattle-area theaters, as well as links to what is opening on a smaller scale in and around North America.
An LGBT-themed drama receiving several Best of 2011 mentions, Angelina Jolie’s controversial debut as a writer/director, an exorcism drama not screened for critics in advance (ALERT!), and a long-simmering British spy drama finally releases to multiple locations after more than a month of playing in selected cities. Check out all their details after the cut!
(R for disturbing violent content and grisly images, and for language including some sexual references.)
Starring: Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Suzan Crowley, Evan Helmuth
Directed by: William Brent Bell
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Distributor: Paramount Insurge
Tagline: No Soul Is Safe.
Synopsis: In 1989, emergency responders received a 9-1-1 call from Maria Rossi (Suzan Crowley) confessing that she had brutally killed three people. 20 years later, her daughter Isabella (Fernanda Andrade) seeks to understand the truth about what happened that night. She travels to the Centrino Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Italy where her mother has been locked away to determine if her mother is mentally ill or demonically possessed. When she recruits two young exorcists (Simon Quarterman and Evan Helmuth) to cure her mom using unconventional methods combining both science and religion, they come face-to-face with pure evil in the form of four powerful demons possessing Maria. Many have been possessed by one; only one has been possessed by many. (Courtesy of Paramount Insurge).
(R for for war violence and atrocities including rape, sexuality, nudity and language.)
Starring: Rade Serbedzjia, Zana Marjanovic, Goran Kostic, Branko Djuric
Directed by: Angelina Jolie
Running Time: 127 Minutes
Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of the Bosnian War that tore the Balkan region apart in the 1990s, In the Land of Blood and Honey tells the story of Danijel and Ajla, two people from different sides of a brutal ethnic conflict. Danijel, a soldier fighting for the Serbs, and Ajla, a Bosnian held captive in the camp he oversees, knew each other before the war, and could have found love with each other. But as the armed conflict takes hold of their lives, their relationship grows darker, their motives and connection to one another ambiguous, their allegiances uncertain. (Courtesy of FilmDistrict).
(R for for sexual content and language.)
Starring: Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, Pernell Walker
Directed by: Dee Rees
Running Time: 86 Minutes
Distributor: Focus Features
Tagline: Who Do You Become When You Can’t Be Yourself?
Synopsis: Adepero Oduye portrays Alike (pronounced ah-lee-kay), a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents Audrey and Arthur (Kim Wayans and Charles Parnell) and younger sister Sharonda (Sahra Mellesse) in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. With the sometimes boisterous support of her best friend, out lesbian Laura (Pernell Walker), Alike is especially eager to find a girlfriend. At home, her parents’ marriage is strained and there is further tension in the household whenever Alike’s development becomes a topic of discussion. Pressed by her mother into making the acquaintance of a colleague’s daughter, Bina (Aasha Davis), Alike finds Bina to be unexpectedly refreshing to socialize with. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity – sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward. (Courtesy of Focus Features).
(R for violence, some sexuality/nudity and language.)
Starring: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch.
Directed by: Tomas Alfredsson
Running Time: 127 Minutes
Distributor: Focus Features
Synopsis: Based on the classic novel of the same name, the international thriller is set at the height of the Cold War years of the mid-20th Century. George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a disgraced British spy, is rehired in secret by his government – which fears that the British Secret Intelligence Service, a.k.a. MI-6, has been compromised by a double agent working for the Soviets. (Courtesy of Focus Features).
ADDITIONAL OPENINGS (may not be playing in your area):
- In Beneath the Darkness, Ely Vaughn (Quaid) is a pillar of the community in tiny Smithville, Texas. The town’s mortician, Ely has been revered since his days as the high school’s star quarterback. But since the tragic death of his wife two years earlier, Ely has withdrawn from his neighbors, while local teens spread stories of supernatural goings on at Ely’s mansion-which is also the funeral home. When high school friends Travis (Oller), Abby (Teegarden), Brian (Lunsford) and Danny (Werkheiser) decide to check out the rumors, they are shocked to see the supposedly grieving widower dancing with a mysterious woman behind the curtains of his bedroom window. Their curiosity aroused, the four teens wait for Ely to leave the house before breaking in to investigate. But instead of finding clues to the woman’s identity, they stumble on a grotesque, long-hidden secret. The sadistic mortician next door will now stop at nothing to literally bury his past. (Courtesy of the film’s website).
- Tokyo, the late 1960s…Students around the world are uniting to overthrow the establishment and Toru Watanabe’s personal life is similarly in tumult. At heart, he is deeply devoted to his first love, Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman. But their complex bond has been forged by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Watanabe lives with the influence of death everywhere. That is, until Midori, a girl who is everything that Naoko is not – outgoing, vivacious, supremely self-confident – marches into his life and Watanabe must choose between his past and his future. (Courtesy of the film’s website).
- In the dead of night, a group of men – including a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor and a murder suspect – drive through the tenebrous Anatolian countryside, the serpentine roads and rolling hills lit only by the headlights of their cars. They are searching for a corpse, the victim of a brutal murder. The suspect, who claims he was drunk, can’t remember where he buried the body. As the night draws on, details about the murder emerge and the investigators’ own secrets and hypocrisies come to light. In the Anatolian steppes, nothing is what it seems; and when the body is found, the real questions begin. (Courtesy of the film’s website).
- Canned from a 20-year job as roadie for Blue Oyster Cult, Jimmy is broke and desperate. With nowhere else to go, he returns home to Forest Hills, Queens to visit his aging mother, where a wild night with some hard-partying high school friends shows him that some things never change. From director Michael Cuesta, Roadie features powerful performances from Ron Eldard, Bobby Cannavale, Jill Hennessy and a refreshingly eclectic 70s hard rock soundtrack. (Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures).
- A French family with two daughters, 10-year-old Laure and 6-year-old Jeanne, moves to a new neighborhood during the summer holidays. With her Jean Seberg haircut and tomboy ways, Laure is immediately mistaken for a boy by the local kids and passes herself off as Michael. Filmmaker Céline Sciamma brings a light and charming touch to this drama of childhood gender confusion. Zoe Heran as Laure/Michael and Malonn Levanna as Jeanne are nothing less than brilliant. This is a relationship movie: relationships between children, and the even more complicated one between one’s heart and body. (Courtesy of Rocket Releasing)