It’s January, the month where films that didn’t meet expectations get dumped to underperform alongside big Christmas releases and Oscar contenders. There are very few new indie releases this week, so I’d recommend using your movie theater gift cards to check out some of the recent releases that may just be making their way to your local theaters - Mary, Queen of Scots, On the Basis of Sex, and If Beale Street Could Talk should all be expanding this weekend.
The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia and Disney. Note that some of the movies listed are in their first week or two of limited release in the USA, so it may take them a few more weeks (or months) to show up in your local arthouse theater or on VOD. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have just opened near you: December 28th, December 21st, and December 14th.
State Like Sleep
Stars: Katherine Waterston, Michael Huisman, Michael Shannon, Luke Evans
Written and directed by: Meredith Danluck
Plot: A woman grapples with the consequences of her celebrity husband's double life after he commits suicide.
What you should know: Waterston and Shannon were also costars in 2017’s The Current War, which looked terrible and still hasn’t been released.
Opens in: Select cities and on demand
Stars: Hermione Corfield, Denise Dal Vera, Jeremy Glazer, Laura Guzman
Writer: Julie Lipson, Stu Pollard
Director: Jen McGowan
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Plot: An overachieving college student gets lost on her way to a job interview. A wrong turn leaves her stranded deep in the Kentucky forest. The woman must defend herself against the harsh elements and a band of ruthless outlaws. She is forced into an uneasy alliance with a strange loner who has unknown intentions.
What you should know: Most of the key roles on the film are filled by women, and the film was awarded a Women in Film LA finishing fund grant.
Opens in: NYC and on demand
Director: Christian Frei, Maxim Arbugaev
Storyline: The film documents the hazardous daily lives of a group of men who gather valuable mammoth tusks in a remote archipelago, the New Siberian Islands, and illuminates the potential of genetic research and synthetic biology — the means by which researchers hope to bring the woolly mammoth back to life.
What you should know: Screened at Sundance 2018 in the World Cinema Documentary category, and was awarded a Jury Award for Cinematography.
Opens in: NYC
Director: Anna Zamecka
Storyline: Ola, a 14-year-old girl, takes care of her dysfunctional father, autistic brother, and a mother who doesn't live with them and tries to reunite the family.
What you should know: It’s in Polish, and was originally released in 2016.
Opens in: Select cities
The Vanishing (aka Keepers)
Stars: Gerard Butler, Peter Mullan, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, Gary Lewis
Writer: Joe Bone, Celyn Jones
Director: Kristoffer Nyholm
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Plot: Three lighthouse keepers on the remote Flannan Isles find a hidden trunk of gold, leading to their mysterious disappearance.
What you should know: The film is inspired by the real-life Flannan Isles mystery. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flannan_Isles_Lighthouse
Opens in: Select cities
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Vincent Kartheiser, Oliver Dennis, Paul Braunstein
Written and directed by: Wilson Coneybeare
Plot: An unidentified man posts a live feed on social media showing that he has kidnapped two strangers and intends to kill one before the day is out. His intention is to hold a capital "trial" online. As the authorities recognize what's happening, it becomes apparent that the online public is going to act as judge and jury.
What you should know: Tbh, I can’t find a theater that this will actually be shown in - it might just be VOD - but beggars can’t be choosers.
Opens in: Select cities (?) and on demand
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What have you been watching lately, ONTD? Do you plan to see anything this weekend? I am ready for the Golden Globes!