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Indie Film Release Guide: February 19th [An ONTD Original]

ONTD Indie Release Guide Graphic.png

Mid-February would ordinarily be late for award contenders to go into wide release, but considering how far forward the window has shifted this year, Nomadland is premiering on Hulu right on time. Chloé Zhao's film is by far the biggest release of the weekend, but there are more films to choose from, of course, and you can see what those are under the cut.

The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia/Sony and Disney. All films listed will be available at their respective sources on Friday unless otherwise noted. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have already come to VOD: February 12th, February 5th, and January 29th.


Nomadland



Stars: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, Swankie
Writer: Chloé Zhao, based on the book by Jessica Bruder
Director: Chloé Zhao
Genre: Drama
Plot: After losing everything in the Great Recession, a woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.
What you should know: Won the Golden Lion at the 77th Venice International Film Festival.
Where to stream: Hulu




I Care a Lot



Stars: Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Eiza González, Dianne Wiest
Writer/Director: J Blakeson
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Thriller
Plot: A crooked legal guardian who drains the savings of her elderly wards meets her match when a woman she tries to swindle turns out to be more than she first appears.
What you should know: Premiered at TIFF 2020.
Where to stream: Netflix


Days of the Bagnold Summer



Stars: Monica Dolan, Earl Cave, Rob Brydon, Elliot Speller-Gillott
Writer: Lisa Owens
Director: Simon Bird
Genre: Comedy
Plot: A teenager spends his summer listening to heavy metal music and trying to get along with his librarian mom.
What you should know: Based on the graphic novel by Joff Winterhart, the film was released in the UK last year.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas, and available VOD


Jumbo



Stars: Noémie Merlant, Emmanuelle Bercot, Bastien Bouillon, Sam Louwyck
Writer/Director: Zoé Wittrock
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Plot: Jeanne, a shy young woman, works in an amusement park. Fascinated with carousels, she still lives at home with her mother. That's when Jeanne meets Jumbo, the park's new flagship attraction.
What you should know: It’s in French.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas


Truth to Power



Writer/Director: Garin Hovannisian
Genre: Documentary, Music
Storyline: The Grammy-winning lead singer of System of a Down, Serj Tankian helps to awaken a political revolution on the other side of the world, inspiring Armenia's struggle for democracy through his music and message.
What you should know: The decades-long campaign for formal U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide was finally approved by Congress last year.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas


Blithe Spirit



Stars: Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher, Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Michelle Dotrice
Writer: Piers Ashworth, Meg Leonard, Nick Moorcraft
Director: Edward Hall
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Plot: A spiritualist medium holds a seance for a writer suffering from writer's block but accidentally summons the spirit of his deceased first wife, which leads to an increasingly complex love triangle with his current wife of five years.
What you should know: Based on the play by Noël Coward, which was also made into a film in 1945.
Where to watch: In theaters, and available VOD


Sin



Stars: Alberto Testone, Adriano Chiaramida, Yuliya Vysotskaya, Orso Maria Guerrini
Writer: Andrey Konchalovskiy, Elena Kiseleva
Director: Andrey Konchalovskiy
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Plot: Although widely considered a genius by his contemporaries, Michelangelo Buonarroti is reduced to poverty and depleted by his struggle to finish the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When his commissioner and head of the Della Rovere nobility Pope Julius II dies, Michelangelo becomes obsessed with sourcing the finest marble to complete his tomb. The artist’s loyalty is tested when Leo X, of the rival Medici family, ascends to the papacy and charges him with a lucrative new commission – the façade of the San Lorenzo basilica. Forced to lie to maintain favor with both families, Michelangelo is progressively tormented by suspicion and hallucinations, leading him to ruthlessly examine his own moral and artistic failings.
What you should know: It’s in Italian.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas


Test Pattern



Stars: Brittany S. Hall, Will Brill, Gail Bean, Drew Fuller
Writer/Director: Shatara Michelle Ford
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Plot: TW: Rape[Spoiler (click to open)]An interracial couple’s relationship is put to the test after a Black woman is sexually assaulted and her white boyfriend drives her from hospital to hospital in search of a rape kit. Their story reveals the systemic injustices and social conditioning women face when navigating sex and consent within the American patriarchy.
What you should know: This is writer/director Shatara Michelle Ford’s first feature film.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas


Silk Road



Stars: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Yun, Jimmi Simpson, Jason Clarke
Writer/Director: Tiller Russell
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Plot: Philosophical twenty-something Ross Ulbricht creates Silk Road, a dark net website that sells narcotics, while DEA agent Rick Bowden goes undercover to bring him down.
What you should know: Based on the article by David Kushner.
Where to watch: In theaters, and available VOD


Shook



Stars: Daisye Tutor, Emily Goss, Nicola Posener, Stephanie Simbari
Writer: Alesia Glidewell, Jennifer Harrington
Director: Jennifer Harrington
Genre: Horror
Plot: When Mia, a social media star, becomes the target of an online terror campaign, she has to solve a series of games to prevent people she cares about from getting murdered. But is it real? Or is it just a game played at her expense?
What you should know: This is director Jennifer Harrington’s first feature film since 2015’s Housekeeping.
Where to stream: Shudder


More New Releases

Flora & Ulysses (Trailer) on Disney+
The Violent Heart (Trailer)
Rock Camp The Movie (Trailer)

New on Streaming

Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President (Trailer) on HBO Max
Sonic The Hedgehog (Trailer) on Amazon Prime/Hulu



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What have you been watching lately, ONTD?
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