Film This Weekend at the Movies
posted by January 26 at 14:00 PMon
Better late than never!
Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday. Not a bad year at all for the major categories, though the foreign film selections are an embarrassing mess. The ceremony itself is still imperiled, but the WGA made some significant concessions this week, raising hopes for a red carpet with actual stars.
After high expectations, sales were quite slow at Sundance. Baghead, a horror-comedy by the directors of the laidback The Puffy Chair, sold yesterday to the mini-major Sony Pictures Classics, so you should be seeing that in theaters sometime this year. Previously sold: Frozen River, about poverty and human smuggling in upstate New York; the high school doc American Teen; an adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke; the high school comedy Hamlet 2; and Henry Poole Was Here, a “spiritual drama” starring Luke Wilson. Manohla Dargis loves Sugar, which sounds awesome (it’s a baseball drama from the directors of Half Nelson), and a strong crop of regional films.
And you all already know Heath Ledger is dead, right? Depressing.
Opening this week:
In On Screen this week, it’s all about the ladies. The engaging Persepolis (an adaptation of the graphic-novel memoir about growing up during the Iranian Revolution, by Marjane Satrapi, whom I interview here), the John Cusack-starring Grace Is Gone (technically about a dead lady—Jen Graves says, “The whole movie is a fake, charming though it may be in the scenes that feature blissfully ignorant 8-year-old Dawn, played by Gracie Bednarczyk, who could be forgiven for not realizing she’s in a sad movie”), the vagina dentata-themed Teeth (me: “The studiously insipid imagery, the ersatz ‘promise’ rings—abstinence-only education was way past due for a camp takedown”), and the Canadian-Caribbean step extravaganza How She Move (me again: “The only reason to watch How She Move is the elaborate, thrilling dance routines at the climactic competition”).
A ridiculous number of limited runs this week, thanks to a wide-ranging Children’s Film Festival at NWFF (labeled “CFF” in the drop-down movie times search) and the awesome Rialto series at SIFF Cinema. Don’t miss Eyes Without a Face tonight or Band of Outsiders Wednesday (playing in a double feature with Two or Three Things I Know About Her). For something more lowbrow, check out the rare prints in the grindhouse double feature at Grand Illusion. Prefer something free? Check out Banished: How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town in America, an advance look at an upcoming PBS doc.