Welcome to the Rileys

Years after their teenage daughter’s death, Lois and Doug Riley, an upstanding Indiana couple, are frozen by estranging grief. Doug escapes to New Orleans on a business trip. Compelled by urgencies he doesn’t understand, he insinuates himself into the life of an underage hooker, becoming her platonic guardian.

Life During Wartime

Life During Wartime is a film by Todd Solondz. It is a sequel to his 1998 film Happiness, even though the characters are all played by different actors. It stars Allison Janney, Shirley Henderson, and Ciarán Hinds, among others. The official synopsis of the film is: “Friends, family, and lovers struggle to find love, forgiveness, and meaning in a war-torn world riddled with comedy and pathos”. Solondz said Life During Wartime was “a little more politically overt” than previous works.” It won the Golden Osella award for best screenplay at the 66th Venice Film Festival.

Little Sister

October, 2008. Young nun Colleen is avoiding all contact from her family, until an email from her mother announces, “Your brother is home.” On returning to her childhood home in Asheville, NC, she finds her old room exactly how she left it: painted black and covered in goth/metal posters. Her parents are happy enough to see her, but unease and awkwardness abounds. Her brother is living as a recluse in the guesthouse since returning home from the Iraq war. During Colleen’s visit, tensions rise and fall with a little help from Halloween, pot cupcakes, and GWAR. Little Sister is a sad comedy about family – a schmaltz-free, pathos-drenched, feel good movie for the little goth girl inside us all. [Synopsis courtesy of SXSW]

Fugly!

Jesse Sanchez (John Leguizamo) is the “fugly” ghetto nerd from the Bronx in the 1970’s, growing up in the shadow of his older, better-looking brother. Jesse heads off to college where he takes advantage of the incredible ratio of 6 girls to every guy. It is there that this boy undergoes a transformation. It’s where he meets Lara (Radha Mitchell) and learns to take command of the stage. As a college grad back in New York, during a spur of the moment local comedy night performance infused with his own style of in your face bits on sex, Jesse is discovered by agent Stoddard (Ally Sheedy) who says she has found the next Latino sensation. Moments later he meets Zowie (Rosie Perez), a sexy Nuyorican poetess and passionate lover in search of a man who will take her to the top of the industry. Later, with a rising film and television career, Jesse has newfound fame, money, and a strong social media following. He experiences a life-changing moment that allows him to reflect upon his career and the true love of his life. Back on stage, Jesse finds himself in competition with his ex’s new beau Jeffery (Griffin Dunne). Then, director Alfredo de Villa’s hilarious anti-romantic comedy takes a shocking turn.