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by Peter Knegt
August 31, 2011 5:34 AM
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Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Must-See Indies

Four of this Fall's most anticipated films: "Like Crazy," "Melancholia," "A Dangerous Method," "We Need to Talk About Kevin."

Summer is essentially over. Maybe not by the calendar, but certainly when it comes to Hollywood. The "Transformers 3"s and "Pirates of the Caribbean 4"s have come and gone, and for anyone who likes a mediocre $200 million-budgeted film aimed at teenaged boys, you're out of luck for at least a few months. (Editor's note: Yay.)

Not to say this summer didn't give cinema-goers plenty of nice alternatives, from rare summer studio fare that pleased audiences and critics ("Bridesmaids" and, yes, "Rise of the Planet of the Apes") to a good dozen arthouse films. But fall is a whole other monster. And more often than not, it's a monster that's a good friend to any cinephile.

The final months of 2011's specialty release schedule should easily fulfill the needs of any film lover. There's works from auteurs both international and domestic, a considerable documentary presence, many biopics and the annual plethora of Oscar-bait. And indieWIRE has decided to offer the following list of 30 notable titles to watch for.

In addition, iW sorted those 30 and a few dozen extra via the calendar, listing the releases by date and giving each its own page complete with a plethora of information (cast, distributor, synopsis, trailer, etc.).

It's more than likely said calendar will find a few notable additions once the Venice and Toronto dust settles. Films like Steve McQueen's "Shame," Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz," Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights," Oren Moverman's "Rampart," and scores of others, remain distributor free. A number of them could find themselves in theaters by year's end, but for now no films without release dates or distributors are included in this list.

Of note: indieWIRE's list veers away from studio efforts that very well could be high on one's fall to-see list. Defining what is and is not a "specialty film" is murky at best, making this rule problematic on numerous occasions. Many "studio films" specifically that would have surely been on and perhaps even near the top of this list include Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion" (released by Warner Bros.), George Clooney's "The Ides of March" (Sony/Columbia), Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" (Paramount), Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" (Warner Brothers) David Fincher's "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" (Sony/Columbia), Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" (Disney), and Bennett Miller's "Moneyball" (Sony/Columbia).

All seven films have film pages, which can be found amidst full listings for September, October, November and December.

But before treading through that lineup, consider the following 30 films first. From Madonna, Pedro Almodóvar and Roman Polanski to Sigmund Freud, Margaret Thatcher and Nicolae Ceausescu, a fall indie preview:


1. Melancholia (November 11, Magnolia)

What's The Deal? It's the end of the world as we know it, and Lars von Trier definitely does not feel fine. Using the most depressing wedding ever as an entry point, von Trier goes apocalyptic through the story of two sisters (Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg) in dispute as the life of the planet is threatened by the planet Melancholia, which is heading toward Earth. Oh, and did we mention when the film premiered at Cannes, von Trier made jokes about Hitler and Nazis that led the festival to declare him "persona non grata"?

Who's Already Seen It? 31 critics gave it an average of B+ on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? von Trier's controversial Cannes comments aside, many critics -- including indieWIRE's own Eric Kohn -- have declared "Melancholia" a full-fledged masterpiece. Don't you want to be the judge of that?


2. A Dangerous Method (November 23, Sony Pictures Classics)

What's The Deal? David Cronenberg gives us his third Viggo Mortensen collaboration in a row with this historical film detailing the turbulent relationships between psychiatrist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), his mentor Sigmund Freud (Mortensen, though it was originally going to be Christoph Waltz) and Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), the troubled but beautiful young woman who comes between them.

Who's Already Seen It? No one yet. But check back with the film's criticWIRE page after it screens in Venice and Toronto.

Why is it a "Must See"? If the unbeatable combo of Cronenberg and Mortensen isn't enough for you, the addition of Fassbender (reason enough to see any film in himself), Knightley (said to be Oscar worthy here) and Vincent Cassel (as Otto Gross) better be.


3. Carnage (December 16, Sony Pictures Classics)

What's The Deal? Completing this hat trick of controversial auteurs that lead off this list, Roman Polanski follows up "The Ghost Writer" with an adaptation of Yasmina Reza's play "God of Carnage." It depicts two sets of parents (Kate Winslet & Christoph Waltz and Jodie Foster & John C. Reilly) who meet up to talk after their children have been in a fight that day at school.

Who's Already Seen It? No one yet. But check back with the film's criticWIRE page after it screens in Venice and the New York Film Festival.

Why is it a "Must See"? From the source material (a Tony Award for best play ain't too shabby) to that remarkable cast (Jodie Foster seems to have accepted the first role worthy of her in a decade) to Polanski himself (he's on a professional roll lately, even if personally that's not so much the case), "Carnage" has absolutely everything going for it.


4. & 5. Martha Marcy May Marlene (October 21, Fox Searchlight) and Like Crazy (October 28, Paramount Vantage)

"Martha Marcy May Marlene." Fox Searchlight.

What's The Deal? The narrative MVPs of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival make their way to theaters this October with U.S. Directing winner "Marlene" and U.S. Grand Jury Prize winner "Crazy." They're extraordinarily different films with the former detailing a young woman's experiences during and after a stint in an abusive cult, and the latter a largely improvised long-distance love story. But together, they're the great hopes of the sales surge that was Sundance 2011, and Fox Searchlight and Paramount Vantage clearly have very high expectations.

Who's Already Seen Them? 24 critics gave "Marcy" an average of A- on the film's criticWIRE page; 15 critics gave "Crazy" an average of B+ on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why Are They "Must Sees"? Despite significant plot differences, the films do share one major thing in common: Both star one of this year's breakout indie actresses in Elizabeth Olsen ("Marlene") and Felicity Jones ("Crazy"). Oscar campaigns for both are all but assured, giving "Iron" Meryl some fresh indie meat to contend with. But beyond that, though, they're both thoughtful, original American indies in the truest sense and deserve your attention amidst the more established star-studded field that surrounds them.


6. The Descendants (November 23, Fox Searchlight)

What's The Deal? Seven years after "Sideways," Alexander Payne is back with this adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemmings's novel about a land baron (George Clooney), who tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident (and, tthickening the plot, it also turns out she was having an affair).

Who's Already Seen It? No one yet. But check back with the film's criticWIRE page after it screens in Toronto.

Why is it a "Must See"? In his four previous features ("Citizen Ruth," "Election," "About Schmidt" and "Sideways"), Payne has never disappointed (although that might depend on who you ask), giving no reason to suggest "The Descendants" will be any different. It's also part two of the generally reliable George Clooney's considerable fall presence, coming after his studio release "The Ides of March" (which he notably directed, produced, wrote and starred in).


7. We Need To Talk About Kevin (December 2; Oscilloscope)

What's The Deal? Making Payne's hiatus look short by comparison, its been a staggering nine years since we last saw a Lynne Ramsay film (though notably she was trying to make "The Lovely Bones" in the midst of that). But that ends with "We Need To Talk About Kevin," an adaptation of Lionel Shriver's award-winning 2003 novel about a mother (Tilda Swinton) recounting the events leading up to following her son Kevin's massacre of students and teachers at his high school.

Who's Already Seen It? 16 critics gave it an average of B on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? The film earned some raves when it debuted at Cannes, including from indieWIRE's Eric Kohn, who called it "a sensationally moving evocation of the ultimate dysfunctional family." There's also the Swinton factor: The iconic actress rarely steers her fans in a direction that isn't wholly interesting and worthwhile.


8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (December 9, Focus Features)

What's The Deal? "Let The Right One In" director Tomas Alfredson makes his English-language debut in this new adaptation of John le Carré's 1974 novel of the same name. And boy did he find a cast: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ciarán Hinds round it out, with Oldman leading as a middle-aged intelligence expert in forced retirement who is recalled to hunt down a Russian spy.

Who's Already Seen It? No one yet. But check back with the film's criticWIRE page after it screens in Venice.

Why is it a "Must See"? Early word has been extraordinary, with many suggesting this could finally be the film to earn Gary Oldman an Oscar nomination. Yes, despite "Sid and Nancy," “Prick Up Your Ears," "Dracula," and "The Contender," the man has never received one.


9. The Artist (November 23, The Weinstein Company)

What's The Deal? A black-and-white film with no stars and no dialogue, Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist” emerged out of Cannes as the most unlikely of major Oscar contenders. France-produced but Hollywood-set, the film takes place between 1927 and 1931 and focuses on a declining male film star and a rising actress as silent cinema grows out of fashion. Harvey Weinstein himself clearly saw something in it, nabbing it off the Croisette and into theaters this November.

Who's Already Seen It? Two critics gave it an average of B+ on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? Surprisingly accessible and endlessly entertaining, "The Artist" has the making of a extraordinarily unique specialty breakout: When was the last time a silent film brought home the bucks? With the help of Oscar, "The Artist" could very well do just that.


10. Weekend (September 23, IFC Films)

What's The Deal? Over the course of its titular timeframe, this SXSW favorite follows Russell (Tom Cullen) and Glen (Chris New), two men who extend their blurry and drunken one-night stand into 48 hours to remember. Russell is a pragmatic and semi-closeted lifeguard; Glen is a stubborn intellectual who “doesn’t do boyfriends.”

Who's Already Seen It? 9 critics gave it an average of B+ on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? Tender, talky and intensely sexy, the film could reductively be described as a sort of gay "Before Sunrise." Which is meant a compliment. The star-crossed romance in "Weekend" is perfectly executed by director Haigh, who lets the film quietly creep up on the viewer as a powerful new entry into the queer cinema lexicon.

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11. Drive (September 18, FilmDistrict)

What's The Deal? Nicolas Winding Refn goes Hollywood (at least relatively) in this adaptation of James Sallis' novel, which follows a Hollywood stunt performer (Ryan Gosling) who moonlights as a wheelman only to discover that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong.

Who's Already Seen It? 18 critics gave it an average of B+ on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? "If 'The Fast and the Furious' franchise borrowed liberally from 1980s action tropes and ditched plot in favor of sheer speed, it would probably resemble the mad hustle of 'Drive,'" indieWIRE's Eric Kohn wrote in his positive review of the film, which won critical raves and the best director award at Cannes (over the likes of Terrence Malick, the Dardenne Brothers and Pedro Almodovar, which is no small feat).


12. The Skin I Live In (October 14, Sony Pictures Classics)

What's The Deal? The first collaboration in 21 years between Pedro Almodóvar and former regular cast member Antonio Banderas, "The Skin I Live In" ("La piel que habito") has been described by Almodóvar as "a horror story without screams or frights." It follows a eminent plastic surgeon (Banderas) who has long been interested in creating a new skin that would have saved his dead wife when she was burned in a car crash.

Who's Already Seen It? 18 critics gave it an average of B on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? Two words: Pedro Almodóvar.


13. & 14. My Week With Marilyn (November 4, The Weinstein Company) and The Iron Lady (December 16, The Weinstein Company)

"The Iron Lady." The Weinstein Company.

What's The Deal? The Weinstein Company brings us two British set, Oscar-hungry biopics (I wonder wherever did they get that idea?) in Simon Curtis' "My Week With Marilyn" and Phyllida Lloyd's "The Iron Lady." The former stars Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, detailing the week in which Monroe spent in London filming "The Prince and the Showgirl" with Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh). The latter, meanwhile, finds Meryl Streep aiming for Oscar #3 as she takes on former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Who's Already Seen Them? No one yet. But check back with the "Marilyn"'s criticWIRE page after it debuts at the New York Film Festival. Grades for "The Iron Lady" are likely a bit farther off, as it has no set festival dates as of yet.

Why Are They "Must Sees"? It remains to be seen whether either film does their subjects justice, but Michelle Williams and Meryl Streep are masters of their respective generations, and generally should be trusted. Seeing them both should also give considerable insight into this year's best actress Oscar race, of which 2/5ths could likely come from this duo.


15. Take Shelter (September 30, Sony Pictures Classics)

What's The Deal? Jeff Nichols won over critics at the Sundance Film Festival (and won Cannes' Critics Week) with this story of a young husband and father (Michael Shannon) who begins being plagued by a series of apocalyptic visions that threatens the comfortable existence he has with his loving wife (2011's actress of the year Jessica Chastain).

Who's Already Seen It? 24 critics gave it an average of B+ on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? Featuring remarkable performances from Shannon and Chastain, "Shelter" is an exceptional example of the year in cinema's apocalyptic vibe. "Burrowing into the subconscious of a damaged man," Eric Kohn wrote in his Sundance review, "[Nichols] delivers a modern American epic with extraordinary restraint."


16. Pariah (TBD, Focus Features)

What's The Deal? Rounding out the quartet of acclaimed Sundance dramas coming out this fall, "Pariah" marks the directorial debut of Dee Rees. The film stars newcomer Adepero Oduye as a 17-year-old Brooklyn high school student coming to terms with her sexuality.

Who's Already Seen It? 11 critics gave it an average of B+ on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? While comparisons to "Precious" are all but assured (African-American femalecentric narratives to win raves out of Sundance aren't exactly commonplace), "Pariah" is an entirely different entity, in large part because it avoids being as precious as "Precious." Offering a fresh take on the coming out narrative, it provides an all-too-rare look at the triple-edged sword of repression that comes with being female, African-American and gay.


17. Sleeping Beauty (October 28, Sundance Selects)

What's The Deal? Australian novelist-turned-filmmaker Julia Leigh rose many eyebrows when she made it into Cannes' official competition on her feature film debut. Starring Emily Browning as a high end prostitute who is sedated while wealthy men have their way with her, the film rose even more when it actually debuted.

Who's Already Seen It? 19 critics gave it an average of B- on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? Endorsed by Australian cinema icon Jane Campion, "Beauty" marks a director to watch in Leigh. While it is sure to scare off filmgoers uncomfortable with its content, Eric Kohn's Cannes review suggests it well worth the ride for anyone that can handle it.


18. 50/50 (September 30, Summit Entertainment)

"50/50." Summit Entertainment.

What's The Deal? Summit Entertainment has been advance screening Jonathan Levine's cancer dramedy all summer in hopes of gaining Oscar traction leading into its September debut. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anna Kendrick and Anjelica Huston, the film is loosely based on screenwriter Will Reiser's real-life battle with cancer in his 20s.

Who's Already Seen It? No one yet. But check back with the film's criticWIRE page after it screens in Toronto.

Why is it a "Must See"? Oscar bait or not, "50/50" should be a welcome opportunity for Gordon-Levitt and Rogen to show off their dramatic acting chops, and give audiences an intelligent, accessible and uplifting alternative to the typically lackluster September studio fare.


19. & 20. In The Land of Blood and Honey (December 23, FilmDistrict) & W.E. (December 9, The Weinstein Company)

What's The Deal? Madonna and Angeline Jolie aren't exactly the filmmakers one associates with a list of must-see "indies." Truthfully, Madonna and Angeline Jolie aren't exactly people associated with being filmmakers. But this December both will attempt just that as Jolie's directorial debut "In The Land of Blood and Honey" and Madonna's follow-up to her little-seen "Filth and Wisdom," "W.E." both hit theaters through specialty distributors FilmDistrict and The Weinstein Company, respectively. And both are quite ambitious. Jolie's film is a love story set during the Bosnian War that she managed to shoot in both English and in the Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian language known as BCS (it will be released in two versions). Madonna's film travels back and forth between two narratives, one set in contemporary times and the other during the romance of King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.

Who's Already Seen Them? No one yet. But check back with the "W.E."'s criticWIRE page after it debuts in Venice. Grades for "Blood" are likely a bit farther off, as it has no set festival dates as of yet.

Why Are They "Must Sees"? C'mon, admit it: You're at least a little bit curious.

-this article continues on the next page-

21. Albert Nobbs (TBD, Roadside Attractions)

What's The Deal? A major passion project for actress Glenn Close, "Albert Nobbs" portrays an Englishwoman (Close) who disguises herself as a man and works as a butler to survive in male-dominated 19th century Ireland. Close first played the titular character in a 1982 stage production and has fought to have the play turned into a film ever since (she also co-wrote the screenplay and produced).

Who's Already Seen It? No one yet. But check back with the film's criticWIRE page after it screens in Venice and Toronto.

Why is it a "Must See"? Joined by an admirable supporting cast in Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson, Brendan Gleeson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, the film could bring Close back into the Oscar mix for the first time since 1988, when she ended a streak that saw her nab five nominations in seven years (but no wins).


22. Warrior (September 9, Lionsgate)

"Warrior." Lionsgate.

What's The Deal? On few people's radar until advanced screenings gained it many fans, Gavin O'Connor's "Warrior" tells the story of alcoholic former boxer (Nick Nolte) who trains his youngest son (Tom Hardy) for mixed martial arts tournament that puts him on a collision course with his older brother (Joel Edgerton)

Who's Already Seen It? No one yet. But check back with the film's criticWIRE page as its release date approaches.

Why is it a "Must See"? Buzz for the performances of Hardy, Edgerton and Nolte has been through the roof, suggesting "Warrior" will be a welcome addition to the extraordinarily long list of movies about competitive fighting.


23. A Separation (December 30, Sony Pictures Classics)

What's The Deal? This Iranian import from director Asghar Farhadi focuses on a middle-class couple who separate, and the intrigues which follow when the husband hires a lower-class caretaker for his elderly father.

Who's Already Seen It? Three critics gave it an average of A- on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? The film received the Golden Bear for Best Film and the Silver Bears for Best Actress and Best Actor at the Berlin International Film Festival this past February, becoming the first Iranian film to win the Golden Bear. Picked up by Sony Classics, who likely have high hopes for its contention in the best foreign language film Oscar category.


24. Coriolanus (December 2, The Weinstein Company)

What's The Deal? Another Berlinale alum (and another actor-turned-director debut), Ralph Fiennes takes on Shakespeare's epic tragedy about a banished hero who allies with a sworn enemy. Fiennes also assembled an impressive cast to assist him: Gerald Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain, and Fiennes himself.

Who's Already Seen It? Three critics gave it an average of C+ on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? "Coriolanus" will come out a few weeks after Roland Emmerich's "Anonymous," which is surprisingly gaining nice buzz for its story that suggests Shakespeare did not actually write his plays. Both films star Vanessa Redgrave, who could oddly be in contention with herself come Oscar time: One for a Shakespearean adaptation, the other for a film that suggests there's no such thing.


25. & 26. The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (September 9, Sundance Selects) & We Were Here (September 9, Red Flag)

What's The Deal? The history of American minorities and their struggles gets chronicled with these two acclaimed Sundance docs. Göran Hugo Olsson's "Black Power Mixtape" looks at the black power movement between 1967 and 1974 via a series of archival footage and interviews, while David Weissman's "We Were Here" does the same in its powerful portrayal of the onset of AIDS in San Francisco.

Who's Already Seen Them? 5 critics gave "Black Power" an average of A- on the film's criticWIRE page; 8 critics gave "We Were Here" an average of A- on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why Are They "Must Sees"? Both hitting theaters September 9, this duo provides an extraordinarily worthwhile window into two crucial moments in the history of 20th-century America.


27. Tyrannosaur (TBD, Strand Releasing)

"Tyrannosaur." Strand Releasing.

What's The Deal? The first feature entirely written and directed by actor Paddy Considine, "Tyrannosaur" stars Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman and Eddie Marsan. Mullan stars as a troubled man whose life gets a chance of redemption appears in the form of Hannah (Olivia Colman), a Christian charity shop worker.

Who's Already Seen It? Seven critics gave it an average of B on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? Eric Kohn writes in his Sundance review: "The discomfiting story of a middle-aged drunkard overcoming his booze-fueled woes, Considine announces his directorial vision with a morbid character piece sustained by two remarkably intense performances." He speaks of course of Mullan and Colman, who have received widespread acclaim for their work.


28. The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (September 9, The Film Desk)

What's The Deal? Culled from one thousand hours (!) of archival footage and four years in the making, Andrei Ujica’s epic montage documentary unfolds the story of former Romanian ruler Nicolae Ceausescu.

Who's Already Seen It? 6 critics gave it an average of A- on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why is it a "Must See"? Sure its 180 minutes long, but reviews have rarely been kinder to a film. You'll also walk out feeling like you just took a fascinating course in Romanian history.


29. The Rum Diary (October 28, FilmDistrict)

What's The Deal? For his first film in almost 20 years, Bruce Robinson ("Withnail and I") reunited Johnny Depp with Hunter S. Thompson with this adaptation of Thompson's novel about an itinerant journalist (Depp) who tires of America under the Eisenhower administration and travels to Puerto Rico to write for The San Juan Star.

Who's Already Seen It? No one yet. But check back with the film's criticWIRE page closer to the film's release.

Why is it a "Must See"? Long delayed and skipping the festival circuit, buzz hasn't exactly been strong for the film. However, the combination of Robinson, Depp and Thompson really should be enough for us all to have a little more faith.


30. Margaret (September 30, Fox Searchlight)

What's The Deal? A full-length book is more appropriate for this question. Kenneth Lonergan's long-awaited follow up to "You Can Count On Me" - which stars Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo and many others - was originally scheduled for release back in 2007 but was continuously delayed as the director struggled to create a final cut he was happy with. This resulted in multiple court cases and the fear that the film might never actually be released. This September, however, all signs point to that actually happening.

Who's Already Seen It? In various carnations, quite a few producers and Fox Searchlight execs. But for official considerations, check back with the film's criticWIRE page closer to the film's release.

Why is it a "Must See"? Five years in the making, its only reasonable to pay your respects to the fact that "Margaret" is actually being released.

Check out dozens of other notable films in indieWIRE's listings for September, October, November and December.

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12 Comments

  • Thomas | September 12, 2011 5:15 AMReply

    Your hostility and chest thumping, I'm sexist that way. I wish you peace. Night.

  • Calm Down | September 12, 2011 4:43 AMReply

    @thomas Why do you assume that I'm a man? Good call on the misspell though! And I'm glad you shower, it's hygienic.

  • Thomas | September 12, 2011 4:36 AMReply

    So you took a film budgeted at $10,000,000 and made it your prime example to expose that I "clearly don't know" what I'm talking about? So there's no middle ground between a micro budget and $10,000,000? Or do you just buy into the Weinstein/Art house mentality that because these are serious films they must be "indies" regardless of a $30,000,000 budget? You need to, first, wake up, then second, take your own advice and calm down. And I believe it's spelled hipsterdom, not that the word applies to anything relevant. I shower regularly and I love money. I'll back down now because you're obviously a very, very smart man and I thank you for your erudite response. Someday I hope we'll sit together on our day bed made of $1,000 bills when we discover that the $80,000,000 mumblecore feature you made with J. Lo and Brad Pitt is #1 at the Box Office. Only then will I understand your explanation of the big picture. All my love, Thomas.

  • Calm Down | September 11, 2011 7:58 AMReply

    Hey Thomas,

    Dude, here are a few other treats coming out this fall:

    *Piranha 3DD
    *A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas
    *Happy Feet 2
    *Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked
    *Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
    *Plus 2 films from Steven Spielberg in less than a week.

    You're acting like indieWIRE is reporting on those films. Now I know the indieWIRE list might not be as microbudget friendly as you like. But it's still indie buddy. Sometimes you need to get your head out of hipsterdum to really grasp the big picture. If you think $10,000,000 constitutes "major studio backing" you clearly don't know what a major studio is.

  • Thomas | September 11, 2011 3:45 AMReply

    Well, Dana, here's just a few reasons why:
    1. Melancholia - budget $10,000,000 American dollars, Lars Von Trier directing
    2. Carnage - budget $25,000,000, Roman Polanski directing
    3. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - budget $30,000,000
    4. The Descendants - budget $20,000,000, Alexander Payne directing, starring George Clooney!

    - Still feeling the "indie" vibe from this list, Dana? This is not to say that a film like Weekend doesn't belong on this list, it does indeed. However, the majority of this list reeks of big studio backing, A-list directors and A-list stars.

  • Dana Harris | September 10, 2011 9:59 AMReply

    Curious, Thomas: Why do you think it's a stretch?

  • Thomas | September 10, 2011 9:35 AMReply

    Calling these films "indies" is a huge stretch.

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  • TigerTheFrog | August 31, 2011 11:26 AMReply

    Per IMDb, IN THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY is not Angelina Jolie's first film as a director. It's the 2007 documentary A PLACE IN TIME http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903636/

  • Ryan | August 31, 2011 8:30 AMReply

    "von Trier’s controversial Cannes comments aside". Oh yeah, forget that he is a Nazi. No problem.

  • Mark G. | August 31, 2011 6:55 AMReply

    Awesome list. I love iw's preview stories.

    Cheers,
    MG

  • Brian Fantana | August 31, 2011 6:54 AMReply

    I am a huge Keira Knightly fan but her performance here leaves a lot to be desired - but I guess you guys are going off of press notes given to you and Eric Kohn hasn't seen this one yet