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by Peter Knegt
May 31, 2011 2:02 AM
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The 5 Indie Films You Must See This June

"Beginners," "Film Socialisme" and "Submarine."

There's a whopping 25 films listed on indieWIRE's June calendar, which is why we're offering monthly must-see lists to make your cinematic decision-making as easy as possible. From Jean-Luc Godard to Christopher Plummer, documenting The New York Times to imitating Michael Caine, check out indieWIRE's picks for your five best options, and then check out the full calendar or our summer movie preview; there's many worthy films that didn't make this list.

1. Beginners (June 3; Focus)

What's The Deal? Mike Mills' follow-up his 2005 indie hits "Thumbsucker;" Focus picked up the film after its warmly received debut in Toronto last year. An oddly charming, whimsical take on thirtysomething romance (with an even more charming coming-out-in-your-seventies subplot), "Beginners" finds Ewan McGregor struggling to overcome the death of his gay father (played by an Oscar-nomination worthy Christopher Plummer in flashbacks) through a budding romance with Melanie Laurent.

Who's Already Seen It? Eighteen critics gave "Beginners" an average of B on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why See It? Check out indieWIRE's review of "Beginners" here, which confirms it as the hipster date movie of the summer (rivaled only by "The Future," directed by Mills' wife, Miranda July)


2. The Trip (June 10; IFC Films)

What's The Deal? Michael Winterbottom follows up his controversially violent "The Killer Inside Me" with something completely different: Largely improvised, "The Trip" follows fictionalized versions of actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as they stop at some of the best restaurants and inns in the north of England.

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

Why See It? Coogan and Brydon are on top of their game here, spending much of "The Trip" trying to one-up each other with dueling impersonations of Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, Sean Connery and Woody Allen. A contender for summer's funniest indie option.


3. Submarine (June 3; The Weinstein Company)

What's The Deal? British comic Richard Ayoade gives audiences a nice jolt of teen angst with this stylish coming-of-age comedy. The 1980s-set tale follows Oliver Tate (Craig Roberts), a boy on a mission to save his parents (Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor) from the dissolution of their marriage and to lose his virginity before he turns 16.

Who's Already Seen It? Twenty critics also gave "Submarine" an average of B+ on the film's criticWIRE page.

Why See It? One of the freshest and distinctively clever teen tales to head our way in some time,"Submarine" should also give us two of this summer's big indie breakouts in director Ayoade and star Roberts.


4. Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times (June 17; Magnolia Pictures)

What's The Deal? Andrew Rossi's doc takes on the inner workings of The New York Times, adopting a verité approach to delve into debates about tensions between old and new in today's fragile media industry.

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

Why See It? Very well received at its Sundance debut, indieWIRE called "Page One" "a cogent, provocative portrait of the intellectual process behind conventional newsmaking and the forces opposed to it" in its review.


5. Film Socialisme (June 3; Kino Lorber)

What's The Deal? More 50 years after "Breathless," Jean-Luc Godard continues to expand his oeuvre with this extraordinarily divisive and difficult to summarize film, which debuted at last year's Cannes Film Festival. A "symphony in three movements," "Film Socialisme" involves a Mediterranean cruise, true or false myths, and children who have summoned their parents to "appear before the court of their childhood," among many other things.

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

Why See It? With criticWIRE grades ranging from "C-"s to "A+"s, it depends on who you ask. In his review from Cannes, indieWIRE's Eric Kohn, for example, said the film is "a highly fragmented piece that moves between several locales and situations with no easy guide to help sort through the mess." That said, if you want to be part of the summer's most controversial cinephile conversation, "Film Socialisme" is a must.

The full calendar:
May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011.

Peter Knegt is indieWIRE's Associate Editor. Follow him on Twitter and on his blog.

TAGS: Beginners
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4 Comments

  • Saturday Stevens | June 10, 2011 1:27 AMReply

    Film Socialisme is available on Youtube.

  • Steve French | June 3, 2011 3:44 AMReply

    Beginners is one of my favourite movies now. I really loved it. So well done. Is it just me or are indie films just that much better than big bidget Hollywood garbage? Everyone was fantastic in Beginners. Go see it!

  • jingmei | June 1, 2011 2:51 AMReply

    June maybe a saying for this summer, but if for summer, for sure not just five films, gonna be more films maybe more worthy of being checked out. Also, if you pick Film Socialisme, might not interested in Submarine.

  • Daire | May 31, 2011 10:31 AMReply

    Darn, I was looking forward to seeing what the five films were & was disappointed to realise that I've seen two of them - 'The Trip' on BBC & 'Submarine' in the cinema - as both have already been shown here (Ireland - & the UK for that matter). Hmmm, there's always 'Beginners', I guess...