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It's a week for cinephiles. No, not just like, lovers, but also cinephiles.
From the soft cozy "Your Place or Mine" to the subversive "Somebody I Used to Know," there are also a number of decidedly non-lovey-dovey movies in the works, including horror movies like "Consecration" and "Huesara: The Bone Woman."
But cinema? We have it, with love and romance and sexiness to spare. Next up, Maryam Touzani's lone IndieWire Critic's Pick of the Week, "The Blue Caftan," a stunning film that's all about commitment in all its forms, and a truly remarkable picture with much on its mind. Lastly, "Magic Mike's Last Dance," a film about Channing Tatum and Steven Soderbergh going all out on their male
Every film is now available in a cinema near you or at your own home (or, in some cases, both).
IndieWire will continue to review new movies as they are released during the COVID-19 epidemic when necessary. We encourage readers to take the appropriate safety precautions provided by the CDC and health authorities. Additionally, our coverage will provide alternative viewing options whenever they are available.
"The Blue Caftan" (directed by Maryam Touzani) — IndieWire Critic's Pick Distributor: Strand Releasing Where to Find It: Some theaters, with further expansion to follow
When an aging couple who is running a struggling Moroccan dress shop hires a promising young apprentice, some of the first words out of his mouth are "I work fast." That also describes the film's filmmaker, Maryam Touzani, who develops the basic plot in such a way that you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd have the whole movie figured out in five minutes. A closeted gay tailor, who fights his wife about money, begins mentoring a young man who is more beautiful than any
Touzani's sophomore feature is a testament to the institution of marriage, rather than trying to defy the status quo. The story at its core is one between a gay man and his wife, rather than a shambles of fortune.
"The Blue Caftan"
The Strand Is Coming Back
IFC Midnight, Shudder Where to Find It: Theaters (directed by Christopher Smith) Distributor: IFC Midnight, Shudder Where to Find It: Theaters
The prickly focus of "Consecration," set in an isolated Scottish convent, feels like a blank slate, albeit a self-possessed one.
XYZ Films Where to Find It: Theaters, plus various VOD platforms for "Huesara: The Bone Woman" (directed by Michelle Garza Cervera)
When you hire a holistic exorcist and the first thing she tells you is "you're in deep shit," you're never in a good position. At least you've got witchcraft as a backup plan. But when your illness stumps three older Mexican ladies who practice ancient sorcery in a hidden room, you're essentially screwed.
Valeria (Natalie Solian) finds herself in a similar situation, but by that point the young mother has gone too much to be particularly dissatisfied with it. After all, pregnancy problems are just par for the course in "Huesera: The Bone Woman," but the film's main theme is universal: the joys of parenting aren't for everyone.
"Huesera: The Bone Woman"
Courtesy of XYZ Films
Warner Bros. Where to Find It: Theaters (directed by Steven Soderbergh)
The "Magic Mike" films may be best known for delivering the bodily thrills of hunky male strippers in a blockbuster comedy package, but Mike Lane is more than just a stripper. The character, created by Channing Tatum and inspired by his early experiences in Tampa, Florida, has always been more than the sum of his (very impressive) parts. In the film's pas de deux culmination, Tatum proves that we're not in Tampa anymore.
As Mike (Tatum) examines his vast ocean territory, we learn that he had been harmed by the epidemic and a looming recession. He impresses hostess Max (Salma Hayek Pinault), an impulsive woman determined to spend all of her ex-husband's money.
AppleTV, A24 Where to Find It: Select theaters, streaming on AppleTV+ on Friday, February 17
The opening credits of Benjamin Caron's stunningly-made con artist drama "Sharper" are slick, a little mean, and quite silly. In fact, "credits" is too generous a term, since Caron starts his feature film career with a single word: "one who lives by their wits."
Isn't that everybody? Not like this, not like these people. God, you'd hope to not be like these people.
"Shaper" is a classic con story that is reimagined as its own sort of whodunit, one where everyone is some degree of guilty or guilty or just damn deserving of being tricked, and delights in dumping the just plain mean twists for the hell of it. Despite being told backwards (until it's really just about all of them), it's still entertaining to watch.
A24, Apple Original Films
This week, there are also new products available.
Kino Lorber Where to Find It: The Quad in NYC, with additional locations to follow "Cinema Sabaya" (directed by Orit Fouks Rotem)
Dark Star Pictures Where to Find It: Theaters, VOD, and streaming services for "Daughter" (directed by Corey Deshon)
Paramount Pictures Where to Find It: Theaters, VOD, and streaming services for "Disquiet" (directed by Michael Winnick)
Gravitas Ventures, Lionsgate Where to Find It: Theaters, and various VOD and streaming platforms distribute "Seriously Red."
"At Midnight" (directed by Jonah Feingold) Distributor: Paramount+ Where to Find It: Streaming on Paramount+
Well, with all endeavors that go above and beyond, one crashes inevitably back to Earth.
Monica Barbaro, a Paramount+ romantic comedy adaptation of "Notting Hill," with a dash of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," is quietly leading "At Midnight," an updated take on "Notting Hill." Sadly, with the film premiering February 10, audiences would be better off watching star-studded (and better filmed) Super Bowl commercials on loop for 105 minutes.
Sophie Wilder, a rising actress, is a super-hero who has been dating Adam for five years and who is pondering how she will complete the next "Super Society" superhero installment. Production in Mexico begins, where Sophie and her posse including her best friend Rachel (Catherine Cohen, doing her best Rachel Sennott impression) and publicist Chris (Casey Thomas Brown) try to reconcile Sophie's broken hearts.
"Somebody I Used to Know" by Jay Ellis and Alison Brie
"Somebody I Used to Know" (directed by Dave Franco) Distributor: Amazon Where to Find It: Streaming on Prime Video
Taylor Swift's "Midnights," SZA's "SOS," and Emily Henry's novel "Book Lovers," it's clear that 2023 is the year of women not apologizing for their relationship statuses, nor being neatly regulated to peppy Band-Aids like Galentine's Day to soften the blow of the annual lovefest coupledom that is Valentine's Day. It's not our fault: we've ignored self-love as the core
With 'Somebody I Used to Know,' Alison Brie and Dave Franco continue to push the unapologetic, workaholic single woman a trend. (Yes, Julia Roberts' classic is name-checked in the film once viewers recognize the rhythm of a woman planning to ruin a wedding.)
Netflix Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix (directed by Aline Brosh McKenna)
"Your Place or Mine," Netflix's latest reminder that the streamer is the home of the churned-out rom-coms that used to dominate the multiplex, something we should be grateful for, began in 2003. The same year that "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," "Something's Gotta Give," and "Love Actually" all landed in the top 50 films of the year.
It is, ironically enough, not a criticism of the film; it is a product of a genre that lives and dies by how acceptable and comfortable it is for cinematic consumption. Tropes and predictable plotlines are, after all, the meat and potatoes of the rom-com, but that does not mean that these films should not be without conflict, with little worry that happily ever-after will pass.
This week, there is also a new item available:
Distributor: Shudder Where to Find It: Streaming on Shudder
IndieWire will continue to monitor new movies as they come out in theaters during the COVID-19 epidemic. We encourage readers to take the appropriate safety measures, as well as other viewing options whenever they are available.
Magnet Releases Where to Find It: Limited theaters, as well as various digital and VOD platforms for "Baby Ruby"
Despite its title, writer/director Bess Wohl's debut feature "Baby Ruby" isn't primarily about the titular infant; rather, it concerns her beleaguered mother Jo (Noémie Merlant of "Portrait of a Lady on Fire"), who is an online magazine influencer. Spencer, a "game of Thrones"), is a shady and illogical husband. The couple, on paper, are the kind of people who post their beautiful baby pictures online to en
Wohl's presentation of the performative exteriority of motherhood as a means to inflict real-life terrors, paranoia, insomnia, and hallucinations isn't new. It's a trend that is speeding up with films like "Kindred," "Umma," and "Lamb."
Shout! Factory Where to Find It: Limited theaters, plus diverse digital and VOD platforms for "Body Parts" (directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan)
The New York Times and The New Yorker ran a pair of shocking revelations about Hollywood's most horrifying open secret, revealing that Harvey Weinstein was a sexual predator, thus sweeping the #MeToo movement worldwide and forever shifting the conversation around the film industry's horrifying treatment of women. But there are many women in Hollywood who want to keep the issues front and center.
"Body Parts," a clever and revealing documentary on filming nudity, sex scenes, and women's bodies, is a powerful and thoughtful message. Read IndieWire's entire review.
Janus Films Where to Find It: Limited theaters, with expansion to follow in "Godland" (directed by Hlynur Pálmason)
Hlynur Pálmason's life and work are suspended in a liminal space between his Icelandic homeland and the Danish country where he studied filmmaking and has now raised a family, and nowhere is this interstitial status more evident than in his third and finest feature yet, "Godland," a disturbingly beautiful and philosophically provocative bilingual historical drama about mankind's inability to accept nature's cruel mercies, the inherent failures of colonial enterprises, and how these
Lucas (Elliott Crosset Hove), a 19th century Danish priest of the Lutheran faith, is explored as a defining feature in his men's turbulent emotional journeys in "Winter Brothers" and "A White, White Day."
Universal Pictures Where to Find It: Theaters (directed by M. Night Shyamalan) Distributor: "Knock at the Cabin"
"Knock at the Cabin," a new thriller by M. Night Shyamalan, is about... two single-child gay dads who are dealing with a worldly fate. Despite their opinions on the film's quality, it's still a tick toward representation, despite Shyamalan's cheaply optimistic end-times narrative.
"Knock at the Cabin" starts off as a traditional home invasion thriller, involving their daughter Wen (Kristen Cui) for a summer vacation at a lakeside New Hampshire cabin. The exteriors have that rustic "Carrie Bradshaw in Suffern" feel, but the insides convey that gay-decorator, toile de jouy authenticity.
Distributor: Independent Lens Where to Find It: Limited theaters, available on PBS on February 13
A review of IndieWire will be published later.
This week, there is a new item available:
RLJE Films Where to Find It: Limited theaters, plus various digital and VOD platforms for "A Lot of Nothing" (directed by Mo McRae)
Viva Pictures Where to Find It: Limited theaters, plus various digital and VOD platforms, in "The Amazing Maurice" (directed by Toby Genkel)
Cinedigm and Fandor Where to Find It: Limited theaters, streaming on Fandor on March 14
Paramount Pictures Where to Find It: Theaters in "80 for Brady" (directed by Kyle Marvin)
Music Box Films Where to Find It: Limited theaters, with expansion to follow "Full Time" (directed by Éric Gravel)
Cohen Media Group Where to Find It: Limited theaters, with expansion to follow
Producer: Paramount Pictures, Roxwell Films Where to Find It: Limited theaters, as well as several digital and VOD platforms, in "Little Dixie" (directed by John Swab).
Distributor of "The Locksmith" (directed by Nicolas Harvard): Limited theaters, plus several digital and VOD platforms
Brainstorm Media is the distributor of "She Is Love" with a limited number of theaters and digital and VOD platforms.
This week, there is a new item on sale:
Netflix Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix (directed by Sarah Spillane)
IndieWire will continue to review new films when they become available during the COVID-19 epidemic. Additionally, our coverage will offer alternative viewing choices whenever they become available.
Samuel Goldwyn Films Where to Find It: "Cairo Conspiracy" (directed by Tarik Saleh) Limited theaters
In "Cairo Conspiracy," Adam (Tawfeek Barhom) discovers a golden ticket after receiving an acceptance letter from his village's imam, who acts as the supreme ruler of Sunni Islamic power. At night, he reads it again, lighting the thick cream paper with a phone light held under the bedclothes.
Adam, a cautious youngster who is forced into a moral quagmire without any safeguards, is picked up nicely by Barhom. "Your soul is still pure. But this place will destroy it," says a fellow student, Zizo, who shortly after Adam's arrival is discovered murdered in the school courtyard. The fate of who exactly is elected to fill his shoes is of vital political importance to the ruthless powerbrokers behind the scenes.
A24 Where to Find It: Theaters (directed by Lukas Dhont) Distributor: "Close"
"Close" is the second feature by Belgian filmmaker Lukas Dhont, who was both enthralled by its casting of a transgender boy in the role of a trans ballet dancer in the film in 2019. Dhont's 2019 film "Girl" was also well-known for its final scenes that weakened the film's clarity toward a violent conclusion that resembled the emotionally pornographic.
Once again, a sudden trauma so intense that it bleeds into every other scene of the film (past and future, alike); this time, however, the violence falls from the sky at the end of the first act, sacrificing a palpably specific (and already heartbreaking) portrait of male friendship in the face of heteronormativity at the altar of a much larger portrait of loss.
Neon Where to Find It: Theaters (directed by Brandon Cronenberg) Distributor: "Infinity Pool"
Brandon Cronenberg, the son of filmmaker David, has never strayed far from the truth in imagining ultra-explicit body horror movies that focus on disturbing orifices, organs, and organs being torn apart. His latest nightmare, the dystopian tourism horror film "Infinity Pool," continues this tradition to frightening lengths, highlighting the destructive power of sensual pleasure.
As a failing novelist and a mysterious tour guide, Alexander Skarsgärd and Mia Goth have delivered terrifically unhinged performances, and Cronenberg has absolutely no shortage of original ideas, but the whole thing feels bloodless, cold, and clammy as a speculum. Read IndieWire's whole review.
Sony Pictures Classics Where to Find It: Theaters with "One Fine Morning" (directed by Mia Hansen-Lve) Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics Where to Find It: Theaters
All French filmmakers are required to make at least one documentary about an extramarital affair, but few have been more suited to the task than Mia Hansen-Lve, who thrives in the messy spaces where fear and excitement collide and where loss and possibility are as implacable from each other as in 2016's exquisite "Things to Come."
Sandra (Léa Seydoux) has gotten a little too used to her role as a mediator, often in response to her fear of being lost between them. Read IndieWire's complete review.
This week, there are two new titles available:
Vertical Entertainment Where to Find It: Theaters, plus numerous VOD platforms for "Blood" (directed by Brad Anderson)
Magnet Distribution: Where to Find It: Theaters, as well as various VOD platforms "Kompromat" (directed by Jérôme Salle)
IFC Films Where to Find It: Theaters, plus various VOD platforms, in "Life Upside Down" (directed by Cecilia Miniucchi) Distributor: IFC Films Where to Find It: Theaters, plus various VOD platforms
Greenwich Entertainment Where to Find It: "The Man in the Basement" (directed by Philippe Le Guay)
Vertical Entertainment Where to Find It: Theaters "Maybe I Do" (directed by Michael Jacobs)
DarkStar Pictures Where to Find It: "Petit Mal" (directed by Ruth Caudeli) will be released on January 31 in select theaters.
Abramorama/PBS Great Performance "Remember This" (directed by Jeff Hutchens) Distributor: Where to Find It: Select theaters
The Distributor of "Shotgun Wedding" (directed by Jason Moore): Amazon Where to Find It: Streaming on Prime Video
Jennifer Lopez is the sole person who knows how to have a great marriage in 2022! She is also one of the few performers capable of sprinkling a shotgun in a wedding outfit (without causing too much harm to fourth-wave feminism) for the otherwise unsatisfactory "Shotgun Wedding".
If we can take a minute to reflect on her onscreen husband, Ryan Reynolds went from charming to adamant, ruthless kid who left the job in January 2021 after being accused of sexual assault to Josh Duhamel, who was suddenly forced to leave the country with no more than a month's notice.
Netflix's Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix (directed by Kenya Barris)
Kenya Barris' comedic worldview has become more clear in the nine years since "Black-ish" was first broadcast on ABC (and subsequent launches a galaxy of spinoffs). His films tend to focus on the interactions between well-off Black people and well-intentioned but clueless white liberals, often tapping comedy from the blind spots when both groups manage to be hilariously wrong.
"You People," a feature-directed comedy that he's ever been able to produce, is one of the greatest achievements of his career. It's the kind of film we keep wishing Hollywood didn't make anymore.
IndieWire will continue to review new movies as soon as they become available in theaters during the COVID-19 epidemic. We encourage readers to follow the CDC and health authorities' safety guidelines. Moreover, our coverage will provide alternative viewing options when they are available.
BFI Distribution Where to Find It: Theaters: "After Love" (directed by Aleem Khan)
Mary (Joanna Scanlan) fell in love with her Pakistani husband so much that she converted to Islam for him and lived a quiet life in rural England. Genevieve was so enamored with a married man that she had a decades-long affair with him while raising his illegitimate child; both are drawn together by the shared grief of losing the person you've chosen to your life.
Aleem Khan's feature film debut is a slow, meticulous examination of the role that devotion plays in our lives and the gaping void that can be left when we lose the basket with all of our eggs in it. It's an imperfect little film about the imperfect little relationships that life often thrusts us into at our lowest points, and a reminder of how certain kinds of individuals can continue to impact us long after they're gone.
Lionsgate Where to Find It: Theaters (directed by Mary Nighy)
"Alice, Darling," as seen in the film, is an essential piece of Mary Nighy's narrative about a woman (Alice) who is trapped in an abusive relationship with a Newcastle artist named Simon (Charlie Carrick), from her whereabouts to what she wears.
Despite a short 89-minute running time that already feels too long, Kendrick manages to keep her character's emotional journey moving from self-deception and denial to revelation and escape. Read the whole review here.
Sony Where to Find It: Theaters: "Missing" (directed by Nick Johnson and Will Merrick)
"Missing," the standalone sequel to "Searching," adopts a "bigger is better," involves two continents and multiple locations, and takes on more terrifying and horrifying turns than the first film. Written and directed by "Searching" co-editors Nick Johnson and Will Merrick, with a co-story credit from Chaganty, "Missing" switches protagonist from concerned parent to distant-turned-concerned daughter, played by Storm Reid of "Euphoria."
Grace (Nia Long) and her new boyfriend Kevin (Ken Leung) fail to return from their vacation in Colombia, and 18-year-old June (Reid) investigates their disappearance using all the technology she has at her disposal. Her primary helpers are Veena (Megan Suri) and Javier (Joaquim de Almeida), a lovely Colombian freelancer who assists June on the ground. What starts out as a scary missing-person case blossoms into
Sony Pictures Classics Where to Find It: Theaters with "The Son" (directed by Florian Zeller) Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics Where to Find It: Theaters
Florian Zeller does not make films, rather he controls birth control at 24 frames per second. "The Son" is a stout and straightforward family portrait that emphasizes humanity's senselessness in the face of a devastatingly cruel disease, and one that may provide some relief to people who have been cursed to live with unfathomable guilt over something they have little power to prevent.
"When You Finish Saving the World" (directed by Jesse Eisenberg) Distributor: A24 Where to Find It: Theaters
Finn Wolfhard plays a dopey live-streamer obsessed with the Karl Marx from his high school chemistry class, and Jesse Eisenberg continues to make impressive debut performances, with Paul Dano's "Wildlife," Romola Garai's "Amulet," and Rebecca Hall's "Passing" being three of the many standout performances.
The star-crossed teenage romance part is only part of the story, as "When You Finish Saving the World" only scratches the surface of Ziggy Katz's car accident of a crush on Lila (Alisha Boe) because it so clearly reflects both of them's failures. No one is perfect, but they both have their moments.
This week, there are also new titles available:
Vertical Entertainment Where to Find It: "Alone at Night" (directed by Jimmy Giannopoulos)
RLJE Films, Shudder Where to Find It: Select theaters, plus various digital and VOD platforms, is the distributor for "Kids vs. Aliens."
Strand Releasing Where to Find It: Select theaters
"There's Something Wrong With the Children," (directed by Roxanne Benjamin) Distributor: Paramount Where to Find It: Various VOD and digital platforms, streaming on MGM+ in March
The latest Blumhouse film about creepy kids is a great addition to one of horror's most popular subgenres, although it would have been a delightful Duffer Brothers-style supernatural twist. It's also infinitely more enjoyable than any direct-to-streaming January horror film.
Roxanne Benjamin's sophomore feature, "Body at Brighton Rock," is a throwback to a time when horror films were more enjoyable. A synth-heavy score that sounds like it's ripped straight from a John Carpenter book cover font. And an unabashed desire to have fun while not falling into the dreaded "self-awareness" that plagues many scary movies these days.
This week, there is a new publication available:
Netflix Where to Find It: Streaming on Netflix (directed by Yeon Sang-ho)