IndieWIRE Pick of the Week Martha Marcy May Marlene and Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre are this weekend’s best bets, scoring high with critics across the board. JC Chandor’s Margin Call — a showcase for talented actors — is arriving at a propitious moment, and could Occupy the box office with the same conviction that protesters are sticking it to Wall Street. (Producer-star Zachary Quinto’s pitch-perfect coming out was also well-timed.) Brit import Oranges and Sunshine offers earnest true-story TV-level drama; critics cite Norman‘s always-watchable Richard Jenkins; Paranormal Activity 3 serves up ample scares; and yet another The Three Musketeers proves just how cheesy 3-D profiteering can be.
Martha Marcy May Marlene, Fox Searchlight, US | Director: Sean Durkin; Cast: Elizabeth Olsen, Brady Corbet, Hugh Dancy, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson | A- criticWIRE | 92% Tomatometer | Village Voice: “A deft, old-school psychological thriller (or perhaps horror film) that relies mainly on the power of suggestion and memories of hippie cult crazies.” | Sundance Panel Video.
Le Havre, Janus Films, FIN/FR/GER | Director: Aki Kaurismäki; Cast: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, André Wilms, Elina Salo | B+ criticWIRE | 100% Tomatometer | Village Voice: “Le Havre is utopian precisely because it shows everything as it is not.” | Globe and Mail: “Kaurismaki conveys his critique of social injustice without a hint of self-righteousness.” | TOH! Review Round-up.
Margin Call, Lionsgate, US | Director: J.C. Chandor; Cast: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci | C+ criticWIRE | 81% Tomatometer | Orlando Sentinel: “Margin Call isn’t a sermon, it’s a dissection, an all-star big-name top-to-bottom/bottom-to-top analysis of the sorts of people and the kind of mindsets that brought the world to its dire financial state today.” | TOH! Interviews Quinto
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, Submarine Entertainment, US | Director: Constance Marks; Cast: Bill Barretta, Fran Bill, Kevin Clash, Joan Ganz Cooney, Whoopi Goldberg | B+ criticWIRE | 86% Tomatometer | THR: “Profile of exceptional performer charms with unexpected delights.”
Norman, US | Director: Jonathan Segal; Cast: Dan Byrd, Emily VanCamp, Richard Jenkins, Adam Goldberg, Billy Lush | iW | 43% Tomatometer | Roger Ebert: “For me, Richard Jenkins is the heart of Norman. How often I’ve admired him; even in unworthy roles, he has such strength, he never seems the need to try.” | ThePlaylist: “A Well-Observed, Tender & Moving Ode To Adolescence & Loss.”
Oranges and Sunshine, Cohen Media Group, UK/AUS | Director: Jim Loach; Cast: Hugo Weaving, Emily Watson, David Wenham, Greg Stone, Tara Morice | iW | 76% Tomatometer | Variety: “A deeply moving study of emotionally scarred adults.” | THR: “Loach has his heart in the right place for his feature debut, but a plodding script and muted staging strangely strip away the emotional punch.” | TOH! Interviews Watson |
Paranormal Activity 3, Paramount, US | Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman; Cast: Katie Featherston, Zayd Jaber | 82% Tomatometer | Roger Ebert: “Inexplicably, there are people who still haven’t had enough of these movies. The first was a nifty novelty. Now the appeal has worn threadbare.” | Variety: “[It] earns points for its low-key ability to keep viewers primed over long stretches to expect that something very bad, or even worse, may happen at any moment.”
The Three Musketeers, Summit, GER/FR/UK/US | Director: Paul W. S. Anderson; Cast: Luke Evans, Matthew MacFadyen, Logan Lerman, Milla Jovovich, Orlando Bloom, Ray Stevenson | 26% Tomatometer | Chicago Tribune: “Seriously: What the hell?” | Toronto Star: “The very existence of this film illustrates barrel-scraping desperation of the Hollywood kind.” | One of the Summer’s Worst Movie Trailers.