“A Country Called Home” (March 1)
Marking the directories debut of Anna Axster, “A Country Called Home” is a coming-of-age drama that tackles some heavy emotions and stars a strong ensemble cast. Rising star Imogen Poots gives one of her best performances to date as Ellie, a young woman living in Los Angeles who learns that her estranged alcoholic father has died. She goes back to her small hometown in Texas for the funeral and meets the rest of her family, including a distraught stepmother, an apprehensive stepbrother, a gutsy young musician and doting grandparents. Through these relationships, she learns more about the father she didn’t know and discovers a new perspective towards friendship, loyalty and family.
“Emelie” (March 4)
This shockingly effective indie horror film is bound to make parents and children alike squirm in their chairs. “Emelie” is about the worst babysitter imaginable. Played by Sarah Bolger (“Into the Badlands,” “Once Upon a Time”), the character’s end goal seems to be to destroy the innocence of the children she’s babysitting, or to just destroy them altogether. Playing around with “the call is coming from inside the house” horror motif, director Michael Thelin takes a unique approach to this horror archetype. Full of physiological disturbances, “Emelie” is one effective mind game.
“Camino” (March 8)
“Camino,” the new film written by Daniel Noah and directed by Josh C. Waller, stars stuntwoman and Tarantino favorite Zoe Bell as Avery, a photo journalist in 1985, as she documents a squad of missionaries led by the charismatic Spaniard “El Guero.” One night, she happens upon El Guero committing a heinous atrocity, capturing the vile act on film, an image with the potential to discredit and destroy him. Knowing this brilliant psychopath will employ every tactic at his disposal to destroy that photograph and the photographer who took it, Avery flees into the harsh jungle with nothing but the camera hanging around her neck in order to survive.
“Boom Bust Boom” (March 15)
A timely call to action, and a solid companion piece to Oscar winner “The Big Short,” ‘Boom Bust Boom’ investigates the worldwide economic crash of 2008, and how we can avoid another global collapse in the future. Analyzing the direct link between the unstable financial system and our reliance on mainstream economics, the film puts a spotlight on the mistakes of the past that some politicians and central bankers would like us to forget. Documentaries like this prove that will never happen.
“The Program” (March 18)
Never one to shy away from scandalous true stories, Stephen Frears tackles the controversial Lance Armstrong doping scandal in his new drama, “The Program.” The film had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, where lead actor Ben Foster earned substantial praise for his performance as the disgraced cycling icon. Chris O’Dowd, Dustin Hoffman, Jesse Plemons and Lee Pace co-star in the film, which was written by “Trainspotting” scribe John Hodge.
“Born to Be Blue” (March 31)
This spring, two of the most reliable actors in the business are resurrecting two icons of jazz music in two unconventional dramas that are not your typical biopics. Don Cheadle will be taking the reins as Miles Davis in “Miles Ahead” in April, but just a week before, Ethan Hawke will bring Chet Baker to the big screen in Robert Budreau’s “Born to Be Blue.” The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year and co-stars Carmen Ejogo and Callum Keith Rennie. Blending fact and fiction, Robert Budreau zeroes in on Baker’s life at a key moment in the 1960s, just as the musician attempts to stage a hard-fought comeback, spurred in part by a passionate romance with a new flame (Ejogo). It’s an innovative anti-biopic that stays true to its subject.