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Limited Releases: Stuck in a Cold Norwegian Winter

January 6th, 2012

While it is a weak time of year for wide releases, it is a devastating time of year for limited releases. Not only is it too late to qualify for the Oscars, but art house theaters are crowded with films vying for awards. There is one exception to this rule, Foreign Language Films. (They have to be released in their native country during the year in question.) So it should come as no surprise the only film earning Oscar-worthy reviews is one such film, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. However, Norwegian Wood is actually earning a bit more buzz, even if the reviews are not quite as high as I would like.

Beneath-the-Darkness - Reviews
Dennis Quad plays an upstanding member of a small town. He was the star quarterback in high school and married his high school sweetheart. But when she died a couple years ago, he became very withdrawn. This caused high school students to make up rumors of supernatural events. However, when four friends sneak into his house to figure out what's going on, they find something very real. The film's reviews are universally negative and it's the wrong genre for the limited release market. Beneath-the-Darkness opens tonight in nine theaters, including some in New York City, the Los Angeles area, the Dallas / Fort Worth area and others.

It's All About You - Reviews
A documentary about John Mellencamp's 2009 tour and the recording of his 2010 album. While it was a popular tour, the reviews have been merely mixed and I don't think it will find an audience outside of his fans. It's All About You opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center New York City and expands to the Laemmles Music Hall in Los Angeles on Friday.

Norwegian Wood - Reviews
Based on the famous novel by Haruki Murakami, which became very famous in his home nation of Japan. It deals with suicide and romance in the middle of a political upheveal. The buzz for this film is pretty good, especially for a limited release. However, the reviews are good, but I'm not sure if they are good enough to thrive in limited release. Hopefully the buzz will help it during its opening weekend and the word-of-mouth will be better than its Tomatometer Score. Norwegian Wood opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia - Reviews
A group of men travel during the night looking for the body of murder victim. This group includes the police commissioner, the prosecutor, and the man who confessed to the crime, but who now can't remember where he buried the victim. This is the only film on this week's list to earn overwhelmingly positive reviews and it is also on the shortlist for Best Foreign Language Oscar, so it could do well at the box office. On the other hand, it is still a foreign language film, and not a lot of Turkish films do well at the box office here. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Roadie - Reviews
Ron Eldard plays Jimmy, a longtime Roadie for Blue Oyster Cult who was recently fired and moves home with his mom. He then reconnects with an old flame from high school, Jill Hennessy, who married his high school rival, Bobby Cannavale. Its reviews are good, but not great, and it might struggle to find an audience. Roadie opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Beneath the Darkness, Noruwei no mori, Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da, Roadie, It's About You