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Summer Movie Preview: The 50 Indies You Must See (Part 2)

By Indiewire | Indiewire April 23, 2013 at 1:14PM

Indiewire's epic summer movie preview continues today with part 2 of our 5 part series highlight 50 indie films we think you should see this summer. Head back over to part 1 for a full introduction and the first batch of films (which, like below, are listed in alphabetical order).
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The English Teacher (May 17)

Director: Craig Zisk
Cast: Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear, Michael Angarano, Nathan Lane, Lily Collins
Distributor: Tribeca Film

Criticwire Average: The film has yet to receive grades, but check back here.

Why is it a "Must See"? Craig Zisk makes his directorial debut after working on numerous television series ("The Big C," "Weeds") with "The English Teacher," which is currently premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival before hitting theaters on May 17th. The film stars Julianne Moore as the titular teacher, who lives a solitary existence in a small town until a former student (Michael Angarano) comes back and the two begin to collaborate on a school play. It's a great cast (Greg Kinnear and Nathan Lane also star) and offers some nice counterprogramming to the likes of "The Hangover Part III" and "Fast and Furious 6" (which both open a few days later). [Peter Knegt]

Check out the film's trailer:


Fill The Void (May 24)

Director: Rama Burshtein
Cast: Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg, Chaim Sharir, Razia Israely, Hila Feldman, Renana Raz, Yael Tal, Michael David Weigl, Ido Samuel, Neta Moran, Melech Thal
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Criticwire Average: 19 critics gave it a B+ average

Why is it a "Must See"? Israel's submission to last year's Academy Awards, Rama Burshtein's "Fill The Void" hits American theaters nine months after it won the best actress award at last year's Venice Film Festival (for star Hadas Yaron). The film follows a well to-do family in Haredi Jewish community in Tel Aviv, Israel that suffers a tragedy when his daughter Esther dies in childbirth. As a result the family's younger daughter is pressured by her mother to marry her deceased sister's husband (hence the title). In a review back in September, Indiewire said the film's storytelling is "deliberate, nuanced and memorable, but don’t expect anything reassuring." That might not sound like an optimal summer night at the movies, but trust us "Fill The Void" is worth your while. [Peter Knegt].  

Check out the film's trailer:


Frances Ha (May 17)

Director: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver
Distributor: IFC Films

Criticwire Average: 38 critics gave it an A- average.

Why is it a "Must See"? Greta Gerwig gives her most appealing performance yet in Noah Baumbach’s seemingly effortless black-and-white comedy that, yes, does share a lot of similarities to Lena Dunham’s hit HBO show “Girls.” Centered on the bumbling life of Frances (Gerwig), a struggling post-modern dancer living and loving in the Big Apple, “Frances Ha” doesn’t tell a story, so much as force you to get to know the protagonist. As written by both Baumbach and Gerwig, Frances is a hot mess, but an endearing, awkward and hilarious one. [Nigel M. Smith]

Check out the film's trailer:


Fruitvale Station (July 26)

Director: Ryan Coogler
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Criticwire Average: 10 critics gave it an A- average.

Why is it a "Must See"? The film formerly known just as "Fruitvale" heads into its release with the considerable status of having won both the grand jury prize and audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. The Weinstein Company -- who acquired the film at the fest-- pushed up its date from October to July, a strategy that certainly helped last year's big Sundance winner "Beasts of the Southern Wild" (which also went to Cannes before heading to theaters, which "Fruitvale Station" will do next month). The film tells the story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, and his experiences on the last day of his life, before he was fatally shot in the early morning hours of New Year's Day 2009. Of all the films on this list it's perhaps the one most likely to be remembered come Oscar season time (save maybe "Before Midnight"), particular for the standout performances of Jordan, Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz. [Peter Knegt]

A trailer for the film has yet to be released but check back.

This article is related to: Summer Movie Preview