Summer Movie Preview: The 50 Indies You Must See (Part 3)

Summer Movie Preview: The 50 Indies You Must See (Part 3)
Summer Movie Preview: The 50 Indies You Must See (Part 3)

Indiewire’s epic summer movie preview continues today with part 3 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 and to part 2 for the previous set (both of which are, like below, listed in alphabetical order).

The Hunt (July 12)

Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Cast: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Alexandra Rapaport, Annika Wedderkopp
Distributor: Magnolia

Criticwire Average: 35 critics gave it a B average

Why is it a “Must See”? Thomas Vinterberg’s latest received a fair amount of critical praise upon its premiere at Cannes last year, including a Best Actor win for star Mads Mikkelsen. Now, almost a year later, the film has premiered in every major European market and has screenings at a variety of festivals since Cannes, including a North American premiere at Toronto, and its finally gearing up for a US theatrical release this July through TrustNordisk. Mikkelsen stars as Lucas, who after a rough divorce finally begins to get his life back together with a new girlfriend and a new job at a local kindergarten. But a random lie by one of his students quickly turns the town hysterical, with Lucas facing false claims against him and finding very few still standing on his side. While far from traditional summer fare, Vinterberg has crafted a harrowing portrayal of a torn community and a man fighting for his dignity against impossible odds, along the way landing on many 2012 end of the year lists. [Cameron Sinz]

Check out the film’s trailer:

The Iceman (May 3)

Director: Ariel Vroman
Cast: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer, James Franco
Distributor: Millennium

Criticwire Average: 19 critics gave it a B- average

Why is it a “Must See”? Michael Shannon plays the titular Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski, the real-life hitman who killed more than 100 people and had a particular talent for disguising the time and cause of death of his victims by skillfully using freezers. But this writer’s “must see” interest lies in the presence of Winona Ryder as  his devoted and seemingly oblivious wife Deborah, who takes care of their daughters under the assumption her husband is heading to the office each morning. “A lot of my other roles were characters that were searching for the truth – the truth of who they are, or their lives – they’re just searching,” Ryder told Indiewire in an interview for the film. “This woman was the opposite. She was avoiding it. That was appealing. But I was definitely reluctant because of the violence. I’m very sensitive to that. I purposely stay away from it.  I mean, if it’s done really well, like ‘The Godfather’ or ‘Goodfellas,’ I’ve watched. But being a part of it made me a little scared of it being romanticized or exploited.  These are real people.” [Peter Knegt]

Check out the film’s trailer:

I’m So Excited (June 28)

Director: Pedro Almodovar
Cast:  Javier Cámara, Cecilia Roth, Lola Dueñas, Raúl Arévalo, Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

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

Why is it a “Must See”? How could you not be so excited for Pedro Almodovar’s new film? A narrative is set almost entirely on an airplane, it reteams Almodovar with Javier Cámara (“Talk To Her”), Cecilia Roth (“All About My Mother”), Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas (though the latter two in cameo roles) and judging from the below trailer it looks a campy return to Almodovar’s delightfully comic roots. The film is already a hit in Almodovar’s native Spain, and will open the LA Film Festival before heading into theaters at the end of June.  [Peter Knegt]

Check out the film’s trailer:

In a World…  (August 9)

Director: Lake Bell
Cast: Lake Bell, Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Fred Melamed, Tig Notaro
Distributor: Roadside Attractions

Criticwire Average: 10 critics gave it an A- average

Why is it a “Must See”? Lake Bell won the screenwriting award at Sundance for her first feature effort as a writer-director, in which she also stars. “In a World…” follows Carol Solomon (Bell), a struggling voice coach and daughter of the reigning king of movie trailer voice overs (Fred Melamed).  Carol’s career gets a big boost when she lands a gig for an “Hunger Games”-esque blockbuster series, placing her in direct competition with pops. “Though not as consistently funny as one might hope,” The Playlist wrote their generally positive Sundance review. “‘In A World…’ is still an endearing comedy and a promising debut for now-triple threat Lake Bell.” [Peter Knegt]

A trailer is not yet available, but check back.

The Kings of Summer (May 3)

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Cast: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie
Distributor: CBS Films

Criticwire Average: 10 critics gave it a A- average

Why is it a “Must See”? Summer is synonymous with coming-of-age story and that is just what new writer-director Jordan Vogt-Roberts has to offer. “The Kings of Summer” follows a Walden-like adventure of three teenage friends (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias) who decided to spend their summer building a house in the woods and live off the land, without. After framing their kidnapping, the boys escape to nature to find true independence and channel their inner Thoreau. Also starring Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, and Alison Brie as the boys’ parents, the film looks to be the refreshing, comedic summer indie that inspires us to hitch up a tent and embrace the wild–maybe even this year’s “Moonrise Kingdom.” If you’re still not convinced just check out the film’s simplistic first trailer from March where the boys make a drum out of a hollow pipe in the forest. [Erin Whitney]

Check out the film’s trailer:

Kiss of the Damned (May 3)

Director: Xan Cassevetes
Cast: Joséphine de La Baume, Roxane Mesquida, Milo Ventimiglia, Riley Keough
Distributor: Magnet Releasing

Criticwire Average: 3 critics gave it a B+ average

Why is it a “Must See”? No one wants another vampire movie, but before you walk away yet just consider the latest from Xan Cassevetes–yes daughter of John Cassevetes. “Kiss of the Damned,” which premiered at SXSW this year, is more of an homage to classic horror than the hackneyed blooodsucker flicks we get in excess today. The film follows vampires Djuna and Paola who indulge in a passionate romance before Djuna’s sister visits and threatens their love. In an interview with Indieiwre, Cassavetes explained that the film more so recalls the work of European masters like Michelangelo Antonioni, Claude Chabrol, Louis Feuillade, and even Dario Argento, and not so much the work of her father. [Erin Whitney]

Check out the film’s trailer:

Laurence Anyways (June TBA)

Director: Xavier Dolan
Cast: Melvil Poupaud, Susanne Clement, Nathalie Baye, Monia Chokri
Distributor: Breaking Glass

Criticwire Average: 27 critics gave it a B average

Why is it a “Must See”? The young Canadian filmmaker dazzled us with his unique, honest style in his breakout film “I Killed My Mother” in 2009 and with his gorgeous follow-up “Heartbeats.” While Xavier Dolan has only released two films so far, we’re all still dying to see what he’s bringing next with his latest film “Laurence Anyways,” which comes to theaters this summer after premiering at Cannes a year ago. Continuing Dolan’s style of following the lives of LGBT characters and the struggles they encounter with their identity, “Laurence” is a portrait of a male-to-female transexual in the 80s. Melvil Poupaud plays Laurence, a high school teacher who decides to undergo a sex change all while fighting to hold on to his relationship with girlfriend Fred (Suzanne Clément) — Dolan keeps switching up gender norms and we love it! Whether you’re already a part of the Dolan craze or you haven’t heard of him yet, “Laurence Anyways” is sure to get you hooked. [Erin Whitney]

Check out the film’s trailer:

Love Is All You Need (May 3)

Director: Susanne Bier
Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Paprika Steen, Trine Dyrholm
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Criticwire Average: 11 critics gave it a B average

Why is it a “Must See”? After winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film for her searing drama “In a Better World,” Danish director Susanne Bier has switched gears completely to helm “Love Is All You Need,” a romantic comedy about two families brought together for a wedding in Italy. To those familiar with Bier’s recent output — including the powerful dramas “Open Hearts” and “Brothers” — “Love Is All You Need” might come as a huge surprise, but go back to her breakthrough film, “The One and Only,” and it’s clear Bier has a knack for light-hearted fare too. Reuniting with her “In a Better World” star Trine Dyrholm, “Love Is All You Need” stars Dyrholm as grief stricken woman who heads to Sorento alone to attend her daughter’s wedding, after discovering that her husband had been cheating on her. It’s there that she forms a bond with her daughter’s soon-to-be father-in-law, Philip (Pierce Brosnan). Bier’s frequent star Paprika Sheen also makes an appearance. [Nigel M. Smith]

Check out the film’s trailer:

Lovelace (August 9)

Director: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria, Bobby Canavale, Chris Noth, Adam Brody, Demi Moore, Eric Roberts, Robert Patrick, Wes Bentley, Sharon Stone and Juno Temple
Distributor: RADiUS-TWC

Criticwire Average: 11 critics have it a B- average.

Why is it a “Must See”? Amanda Seyfried seems set to prove she’s an actress to contend with in the upcoming indie biopic “Lovelace,” in which she plays Linda Lovelace, the pornographic movie actress and star of “Deep Throat,” the hard-core cultural sensation, who led an abused and troubled life. Best known as the actress with the voice of an angel (put to good use in “Mamma Mia!” and “Les Miserables”), Seyfried hasn’t had a chance to show off her lead-worthy dramatic chops in a film worth seeing (“Chloe” and last year’s dud “Gone” were DOA). With the “HOWL” directing duo of Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman at the helm and a great cast that includes Peter Sarsgaard as Lovelace’s domineering husband, chances are this will be worth your time. [Nigel M. Smith]

Check out a clip from the film:

Much Ado About Nothing (June 7)

Director: Joss Whedon
Cast: Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Reed Diamond, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, Spencer Treat Clark
Distributor: Roadside Attractions

Criticwire Average: 19 critics gave it a B+ average.

Why is it a “Must See”? After directing one of the largest films of all time with last year’s “The Avengers,” its hard to blame Joss Whedon for wanting to return to his indie roots for his next film, but just how far he went remains surprising for the man who brought us “Buffy” and “Firefly.” Shot over 12 days at his Los Angeles home, the film, shot in black and white and starring many of his close friends, is a reworking of The Bard’s classic comedy in modern day and just about as far away from the excess of Marvel’s multiple-film master plan as possible. It’s also one of the most fun and sexy Shakespeare adaptations in years and a stark reminder of Whedon’s directorial abilities, and after receiving raves at Toronto and SXSW is finally receiving a theatrical release this June.

Check out the film’s trailer:

READ MORE: Summer Movie Preview: The 50 Indies You Must See (Part 1)

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

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