With Comic-Con occupying the fanboys, there's a great selection of limited-release indie and foreign films arriving this weekend to satiate hungry cinephiles. "Ice Age: Continental Drift" also arrives and should do decent business with family audiences despite mixed reviews. This week's Immersed in Movies delves into the franchise for its 10th anniversary.
Michael Winterbottom's "Trishna" has its charms but plays like the outline of what could have been a more meaningfully provocative film. Bart Layton's "The Imposter," meanwhile, delivers a truly engrossing doc that explores a story too bizarre to be fiction.
Here's our take on the intimate and sexy period drama "Farewell, My Queen," from Benoît Jacquot, which lands in theaters after opening the Berlin and San Francisco festivals and playing at COLCOA, starring two of Europe's most beautiful actresses, Lea Seydoux and Diane Kruger. "Alps," Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos' follow-up to his bizarre and beloved 2009 film, "Dogtooth," also arrives in limited release this weekend.
More details, trailers and reviews on these films and more below:
"Ice Age: Continental Drift" Twentieth C. Fox, US | DIR: Steve Martino; CAST (voice): Aziz Ansari, Joy Behar, Peter Dinklage, Drake | 50% Rotten | A.O. Scott: "like its predecessors, is much too friendly to dislike, and its vision of interspecies multiculturalism is generous and appealing." Ebert: "The characters are manic and idiotic, the dialogue is rat-a-tat chatter, the action is entirely at the service of the 3-D."
"Trishna" IFC, UK | DIR: Michael Winterbottom; CAST: Freida Pinto, Riz Ahmed | 78% Fresh | Time Out NY: "Winterbottom's risks are welcome; it may be time, though, to invest more heart instead of head." Slant: "[a] blunt, self-consciously brutal, and rather loose updating of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles."
"The Imposter" Indomina, UK | DIR: Bart Layton | 96% Fresh | EW: "It tells a true story that is so oh wow! unbelievable, so deeply, compellingly stranger than fiction, that you don't so much watch the film as get addicted to it." THR: "That old idiom about truth being stranger than fiction is an understatement when applied to Bart Layton's enthralling documentary."
"Easy Money" TWC, SWE | DIR: Daniél Espinosa; CAST: Joel Kinnaman, Matias Padin Varela | 81% Fresh | The Atlantic: "Bleaker, quieter, and more despairing than its American equivalents, the film nevertheless plays like a smarter-than-average spin on any number of Hollywood thrillers."
"Farewell, My Queen" CMG, FR/SP | DIR: Benoît Jacquot; CAST: Léa Seydoux, Diane Kruger, Virginie Ledoyen, Xavier Beauvois, Noémie Lvovsky | 87% Fresh | New Yorker: "Jacquot gazes avidly at this closed-in world of women; if his camera pressed any closer to them, it would be subcutaneous." | EW: "Farewell, My Queen was shot in Versailles, but its flat schematism only highlights that the backdrops had a better story to tell."
"Alps" Kino Lorber, GR | DIR: Yorgos Lanthimos; CAST: Aggeliki Papoulia, Aris Servetalis, Johnny Vekris, Ariane Labed | 87% Fresh | Time: "It simply demands to be stared at, in awe or incomprehension." Quickflix: "Feels very much like a companion piece to Dogtooth; albeit a subtler, less confronting, and also less powerful one. How could it possibly compare? But Alps does have one trump card; a profoundly sad beating heart."
"Red Lights" Millenium, SP/US | DIR: Rodrigo Cortés; CAST: Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy, Toby Jones, Elizabeth Olsen | 42% Fresh | Salon: "it's got nothing to say (beyond the repeated insistence that it's got many dark and troubling things to say)."
Trailers on next page.