by MIKE MACCOLLUM
Three movies open in limited release in Indiana this week, although most holdovers from previous weeks now have vanished- kicked out of the theaters where they had been playing by the avalanche of upcoming holiday releases. But while it may be a slow week for art house fare (and other limited releases) this time around, it looks like we have a better idea of when some potential awards winners will arrive in our fair state….
NOTE: True Grit and Little Fockers come out on Wednesday, December 22- so at least some of the movies mentioned below may have fewer show times (or may vanish from some theaters entirely) after Tuesday. Check with the theater in question if you want to see any of the movies mentioned below (well, except Tees Meer Khan) this Wednesday or Thursday.
Also, Black Swan is going into wide release- in the Indianapolis area, at least- this Friday, which means it is now beyond the scope of films covered by this column…. Around the rest of the state, though, it’s a different story- as of Wednesday evening, only a few other theaters in the state outside of the Indianapolis market will be playing Black Swan, starting on Friday: the Showplace Schererville 16, the Great Escape 16 in New Albany, and the Coldwater Crossing 14 and Jefferson Pointe 18, both in Fort Wayne.
And for a number of reasons, this column was mostly written on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, rather than Thursday. A few theaters haven’t posted their schedules for the next Friday through Tuesday yet, so I don’t have as complete a picture of what will be showing next week as I would like. It isn’t likely that there will be many additional movies/theaters to add, given the even-more-limited-than-usual number of screens available for anything besides big movies from big studios- but if I find out about anything extra, I will post a comment.
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Nagavalli– According to its Wikipedia page, this Telugu-language film from India is both a follow-up to a 2005 Tamil-language film, Chandramukhi, and a remake of a Kannada-language film, Aptha Rakshaka. And Aptha Rakshaka was a sequel to Apthamitra, which was itself a version of a Malayalam-language film, Manichithrathazhu… so this Nagavalli movie has a very complicated family tree, to say the least. Anyhow, Nagavalli is a horror film (per Wikipedia), or an action/fantasy/thriller (so sayeth the IMDb), or (most likely) a mix of all of the above, plus some comedy relief and (possibly) other things as well. (I base that on a viewing of the trailer a few days ago- but since the trailer lacked English subtitles, I can’t really be certain about some of what I saw.) The plot has something to do with strange goings on that plague a family after one of them wins a mysterious portrait of a woman named Nagavalli. This film- which most likely does not have English subtitles- is currently scheduled to be shown at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Friday, December 17 (at 6:30 and 9:30 PM) and Saturday, December 18 (at 2 PM).
Tamara Drewe– Stephen Frears directed this adaptation of the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds; Gemma Arterton plays the title character. According to its press kit, Tamara Drewe is a “contemporary comedy of manners” set in the English countryside. Ms. Drewe was once an ugly duckling, but now she’s a very attractive young woman who writes for a big newspaper- and she causes quite a stir when she returns to the village in which she was born.
Tees Maar Khan– Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif star in this Bollywood action comedy about a big time con man and crook who has evaded any and all authorities- from around the globe- for years. Now, though, he and his gang have been hired to pull off their biggest job yet, which involves robbing a fast-moving train with many guards…. Farah Khan (Om Shanti Om) directed Tees Maar Khan, which is in Hindi with English subtitles- and which is scheduled to start on Wednesday, December 22 at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
(A very different comedy (of sorts*) about a con man- I Love You, Phillip Morris– is supposed to open in Indianapolis fairly soon after Tees Maar Khan… on either December 25, or January 7. See “Next Week and Beyond” below.)
*(Extra credit assignment: compare ‘n’ contrast TMK and Phillip Morris, in 500 words or less.)
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS AND EVENTS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Buried– Ryan Reynolds stars as Paul, a man who has been working as a truck driver in Iraq. He awakens in a dark, cramped space, and finds that he has been buried alive in a sort of coffin. While the people who did this to Paul left a flashlight and cell phone in the coffin with him, Paul also realizes that there isn’t all that much oxygen in there- and he’d better think fast if he’s going to have any hope of staying alive…. This suspense drama has been getting pretty good reviews from most critics, by the way, but it probably isn’t a good movie for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia- the audience spends a great deal of time stuck in the same confined space as the main character. Buried holds over this week at the Cinemark Movies 8 Washington Market in Indianapolis, where it will have two showings per day (at 6:55 and 9:20 PM).
The Eclipse– According to its official site, this is “a film about the challenges of love, fear of the unknown and release from the burden of grief.” Since the death of his wife two years ago, teacher Michael Farr has been raising his two children himself. More recently, he has started to have odd visions- and hearing weird noises- in the night. When Michael volunteers at a literary festival in his town, he meets author Lena Morelle, whose books deal with haunted houses and other unearthly topics; Michael tells Lena all about what he has been going through, in the hope that he has found someone who might believe that his house could be haunted. But Lena is distracted by the presence of fellow writer Nicholas Holden. Over the next few days, Michael, Lena and Nicholas will find their lives altered in ways they never could have expected. Ciarán Hinds, Iben Hjejle and Aidan Quinn star in The Eclipse, which will be shown (free of charge) this Friday and Saturday at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington; see The Ryder’s site for times.
Fair Game– Doug Liman (Swingers, Go, The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) directed this ripped-from-the-not-all-that-recent headlines account of Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), her husband, Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), and the political firestorm in which they were involved beginning in 2003. Bruce McGill, Sam Shepard, Polly Holliday, Brooke Smith, Iris Bahr and Adam LeFevre are all in the supporting cast. Fair Game holds over this week at both the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis- and it starts on Friday, December 17, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest– The cinematic version of the third book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy features Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) once again fighting to expose powerful people who prey on others- although Lisabeth reportedly spends a fairly substantial chunk of this installment confined to an intensive care unit, recovering from the injuries she suffered at the end of The Girl Who Played With Fire. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest will be shown this week at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne; it also will be screened this Saturday and Sunday at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington; see The Ryder’s site for show times.
It’s a Wonderful Life– Last week, the holiday classic had a few weekend showings at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre. This week, it will be playing a regular run (at least through Tuesday), with four showings per day, at the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute. To see Frank Capra’s film- classic though it may be- getting a run at a regular commercial theater is a real surprise- right up there with “Landmark buying Glendale” on my “things I didn’t expect” list….
It’s Kind of a Funny Story– Keir Gilchrist stars as Craig, a young man suffering from depression; when Craig checks into a psych ward, he meets some people who have a big impact on his life. Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham, and Jim Gaffigan also star in this comedy/drama, which was directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Sugar)- and which holds over this week (with three showings per day) at the Fort Wayne Coventry 13.
Mother– Bong Joon-ho (The Host; Memories of Murder) directed this murder mystery about a single mother with a twenty-seven year old son, Do-joon. After getting drunk one night, Do-joon sees a schoolgirl, and he follows her until he loses track of her. When the girl’s body is found the next morning, Do-joon is accused of committing the crime. Since the local police don’t really put a lot of effort into the case- and since the Do-joon has less-than-top-flight legal representation- he is quickly convicted. Do-joon’s mother, however, cannot believe that her son is a killer, and sets out to find the real murderer. Mother will be shown (free of charge) in Bloomington this Saturday and Sunday; go to The Ryder’s site for time and location info.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation– The historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin will show this 1989 comedy at 2 and 7:30 PM on Friday, December 17, and Saturday, December 18. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo are back for their third “Vacation,” and Randy Quaid and Miriam Flynn return to the series (after sitting out the second entry); plus, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, E. G. Marshall, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Diane Ladd, Doris Roberts, John Randolph, William Hickey, and Mae Questel (the voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl) are along for the ride this time.
127 Hours– James Franco plays mountain climber Aron Ralston in Danny Boyle’s follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire; it holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis. In case Ralston’s name doesn’t ring a bell, you may remember a story in the news back in 2003, about the man who had to cut off one of his own arms- and survived- after the limb got trapped underneath a large, immovable rock. Well, that was Aron Ralston- and that scene is pretty intense. Amber Tamblyn, Treat Williams, Lizzy Caplan, Kate Burton, Kate Mara and Clémence Poésy are also in 127 Hours, per the IMDb, but most of them aren’t in the movie for all that long- Franco is onscreen by himself for the majority of the film.
Rare Exorts: A Christmas Tale– According to the page for this Finnish film on the site of its US distributor, Oscilloscope, Rare Exports is “a wildly humorous nightmare,” “a fantastically bizarre polemic on modern-day morality,” and “a darkly comic gem” about what happens when the not-so-merry real-life Santa Claus is discovered in the frozen wilds of northern Finland. The site for The Ryder says that Rare Exports will be shown this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at IU’s Fine Arts building.
Waiting for Superman– Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) directed this documentary about education in America- in particular, the film deals with public schools vs. charter schools, and the fate of five individual students, each of them hoping to get a good education. Waiting for Superman holds over this week at the Showplace Bloomington 11 (where it will be shown once or twice per day, depending on the day of the week).
Also on big screens in Indiana this week: The children’s film Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas will show at a number of Indiana theaters throughout the week; other theaters will show it only on the weekend. Also, Titanica continues at the IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis.
For more information on either one of the above (including theater locations and/or show times), click on the highlighted text above, and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumb links until you find what you need to know.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
As of Wednesday evening, I knew of one limited release movie scheduled to open in Indiana next week “for sure,” and another one that may start next week… plus, Made in Dagenham may have been spotted in the near future as well….
The King’s Speech– Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, Derek Jacobi, Claire Bloom, Timothy Spall, Jennifer Ehle- it sounds like they managed to get an okay* cast for this one, eh? Firth stars as a royal family member who unexpectedly finds himself in the king’s chair in the 1930s. Since he has horrible trouble speaking in public- and since England wants to hear from its monarch as Europe seems to be heading towards another major war- this means the new king will have to find someone to help him overcome his problem. That’s where speech therapist Lionel Logue (Rush) enters the picture…. Tom Hooper (The Damned United, the John Adams mini-series) directed The King’s Speech, which seems to be a favorite in at least a few awards categories- as of now, at least. The King’s Speech is currently scheduled to start on Saturday, December 25, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
(*In the same sense that winning $20 million dollars or so is “okay,” that is.)
I Love You, Phillip Morris– So this comedy/drama starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor starts at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on either Saturday, December 25, or Friday, January 7- depending on which part of Landmark’s Indianapolis page you believe. Whenever Phillip Morris gets to Indianapolis, it was written and directed by Bad Santa writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and co-stars Leslie Mann. (I’m forgoing a plot summary on this one for now, since the trailer had been in theaters- and the trailer and other publicity material have been online- for quite a while now, as the distribution of this movie was delayed for months and months by various factors… so I assume most everybody knows what this one is about already anyway.)
Made in Dagenham– Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Geraldine James and Rosamund Pike head the cast of this based-on-a-true-story comedy/drama from Britain. Hawkins stars as Rita O’Grady, who works at a Ford factory in Dagenham, England, in the 1960s. Rita is talked into going to a meeting with a representative of the car company, with shop steward Connie (James) also in attendance. After Rita observes the lack of respect which she and her fellow female employees are given by management, she leads the women in a struggle against the company (among others) for better treatment. One part of Landmark’s page for Indianapolis (the “show times” feature at the left side of the page) says that Made in Dagenham is scheduled to start on Friday, January 7, at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis- but the other part of the page (at the bottom part of the right two thirds of the screen) knows nothing of Dagenham, as of this week.