Breakfast With Curtis – Curtis is a shy young boy who lives next door to his complete opposite, Syd. Syd is a middle-aged bookseller, who spends most of his days drinking red wine and waxing poetically about this and that, but he needs some money, and that is where Curtis comes in. He manages to convince Curtis to shoot commercials for his book business, which he does, and Curtis is exposed to a whole new world through Syd. Free of cliches and irony, this small chamber piece is light and fun with an awful lot of heart. Starring Theo Green, Jonah Parker, David Parker, Yvonne Parker, Aaron Jungels, and Virginia Laffey. Written and directed by Laura Colella. In limited release from Abramorama Entertainment.
Inside Llewyn Davis – The season is winter, the year is 1961, the place is Greenwich Village, New York, and the man is Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac). Davis is a down on his luck folk singer with only his guitar, his cat, and his problems (many of which he created himself) to keep him company. Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, and F. Murray Abraham star alongside Isaac, but it is the writing and directing team of Joel and Ethan Coen that really steal the show. Out in limited release from CBS Films.
The Last Days On Mars – There is something on Mars, something evil. A crew is wrapping up their last few days when one of them discovers evidence of life in the form of bacteria. Trying to keep it secret doesn’t work, and the other members get involved, if only for the reflected glory. Then something goes horribly wrong, bet they wished they stayed out of it. Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai, Elias Koteas, Olivia Williams, Johnny Harris, and Goran Kostic either need to get the hell out of dodge, or keep it from getting back to Earth. Written by Sydney J. Bounds and Clive Dawson and directed by Ruairi Robinson. Out in limited release from Magnolia Pictures.
Lenny Cooke – Just look at all those professional athletes: filthy rich, supermodels, expensive cars, giant houses, and all at the early age. Yet, these are the success stories. The road to the NBA, NFL, and MLB is littered with those who peaked early, blew up too fast, and couldn’t sustain it. Lenny Cooke is that story, at one time on par with the likes of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and now, just another bitter and broken man. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it, and then what? Directed by Ben Safdie and Joshua Safdie and featuring a whole host of NBA talent. Out in limited release from Shop Korn Productions.
Out Of The Furnace – Russell (Christian Bale) and Rodney (Casey Affleck) are two brothers that would do anything for each other. That “anything” is tested when Rodney returns from a tour of Iraq and starts bare knuckle brawling for money. The man running those fights is Curtis (Woody Harrelson) who also happens to be the local meth kingpin. When Rodney goes missing, things do not look good, and Russell decides to take action. Standing on the sidelines are Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Forest Whitaker and more. Written by Scott Cooper and Brad Ingelsby with Cooper directing as well. Out in wide release from Relativity Media.
Paradise: Hope – Ulrich Seidl’s unusual Paradise Trilogy comes to a close with a story about a teenage fat camp. Melanie Lenz is the daughter of the heroine in the first film and the niece of the heroine of the second film, and in this one, she is shuffled off to a summer fat camp. She learns to appreciate not just her own body, but the male body as well. The only problem is the man she has fallen for is the camp director and a good forty years her senior. Verena Lehbauer, Michael Thomas, Joseph Lorenz, Johanna Schmid, and Vivian Bartsch co-star, and the husband and wife team of Seidl and Veronika Franz wrap up a very productive and successful year. In limited release from Strand Releasing.
Revolution – Writer, director, activist, documentarian Rob Stewart set out to make a film about sharks and ended up discovering one hell of a problem. The oceans are dying, and not dying in the sense that we are all dying, and will one day, die. They are dying-dying, it is happening right in front of us, and we are to blame. Over fishing, over polluting, too many ships, too many chemicals, whatever you want to blame is all playing its deadly part. We are still at that tipping point, where we can go back, but we have to make that choice to go back. Maybe this doc will sway a few opinions. Out in limited release from Revolutionary Films.
S#x Acts – Gili (Sivan Levy) has changed schools and decides on a new reputation. She is young and coming into her own sexuality, and decides to win over friends by sleeping with them. Like most things, opening one door will only lead to more doors presenting themselves, some of them enjoyable, some of them damaging. Gili quickly finds herself in worse and worse situations, constantly pushing the line further back in search of gratification and acceptance. Being a teenager is tough. Roy Nik, Tal Grushka, Eviatar Mor, Niv Zilberberg, and Eran Ivanir join Levy in Jonathan Gurfinkel debut, penned by Rona Segal. This Israeli film is in the limited release from Tribeca Films.
Twice Born – All beings are born twice. The first is a physical birth, the second is of spiritual or intellectual matter. Sometimes, the life of one will give birth to the life of another, and not in the biological sense. Here we have two lovers who meet abroad, Gemma (Penelope Cruz) and Diego (Emile Hirsch) and it is their love that brings about their second birth. Of course, the world does what it can to intervene: wars, death, affairs, etc., but their love will live on. Written by Margaret Mazzantini and Sergio Castellitto with Castellitto directing as well, Twice Born gets a limited release from Entertainment One Films.
White Reindeer – Suzanne (Anne Margaret Hollyman) and Jeff (Nathan Williams) are the very picture of white idealism. They work in real estate, celebrate the holidays in true American fashion, and live lives of quiet discontent. Then Jeff dies. Then Suzanne finds out that Jeff and a stripper named Fantasia (Laura Lemar) had an on going affair. Then Suzanne decides what is good for the goose is good for the gander and starts hanging out with Fantasia, even if that means stealing, swinging, and snorting cocaine. How quickly the veneer can peel off. Written and directed by Zach Clark and out in limited release from IFC Films.