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Feasting on Limited Releases

November 24th, 2011

It's Thanksgiving long weekend, which means the openings of the limited releases are spread over three days. It also means there are a few Awards Season contenders making their theatrical debuts this week. Will any of the Oscar hopefuls snag a nomination? It's too soon to tell, but there's no shortage of contenders with five of the six films earning 80% positive reviews or better. The Artist is earning the best reviews, while A Dangerous Method will likely be the biggest box office hit of the group.

The Artist - Reviews
A French film set in Hollywood at the end of the Silent Era. However, it's not a foreign language film, because it's silent. That's a daring choice. One look at its reviews and it's clear it paid off. That said, while it could thrive on the art house circuit, and perhaps even earn some Awards Season buzz, I don't think it will expand enough to earn a measure of mainstream success. The Artist opens on Friday in four theaters, split between New York City and the Los Angeles area.

A Dangerous Method - Reviews
David Cronenberg teams up with Viggo Mortensen for the third time in the past five years. This time the actor is playing Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender plays Carl Jung. (Also in the movie is Keira Knightley.) The film looks at the relationship between the two men and the development of psychoanalysis. It's an interesting topic and with the talent on both sides of the camera, it should find a big audience with art house fans. It should do well enough to earn some measure of mainstream success. A Dangerous Method opened on Wednesday in four theaters in New York City and the Los Angeles area.

House of Pleasures - Reviews
A French film about a brothel at the turn of the 20th century that was closing, and how this impacted on the various women who worked there. The film is earning good reviews and it certainly has an art house appeal to it, but the competition is so strong this weekend, I'm not sure it will survive. House of Pleasures opens on Friday at the IFC Center in New York City.

My Week with Marilyn - Reviews
Michelle Williams stars as Marilyn Monroe in this film, but while she's the titular character, the film has an amazing ensemble cast that includes Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Emma Watson, just to name a few. Eddie Redmayne plays Colin Clark, a production assistant on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl, who got to spend a week with Marilyn showing her the British countryside while she was filming said movie. The reviews are amazing and there is some Awards Season buzz surrounding the film. My Week with Marilyn opened in 123 theaters on Wednesday, which is usually way too many for this type of film. However, it made $155,000 on opening day, which is a good sign. It should make enough to entice more theater owners to book the film, while the word-of-mouth should be very strong.

Rampart - Reviews
This film is based on real life events and stars Woody Harrelson as a corrupt cop who gets sucked into the Rampart corruption scandal. It opens this week for an Oscar qualifying run before getting a theatrical release in January. The reviews are good, but not great. I'm not sure it will thrive in limited release, while it will have a really hard time during Awards Season.

Romantics Anonymous - Reviews
The third French film on this week's list. It is about two shy chocolatiers, Isabelle Carre and Jean-Rene Van Den Hugde. The latter hires the former to help concoct new recipes in order to save his company, but when the pair begin to fall in love, it complicates matters. Like almost every other film on this week's list, it is earning excellent reviews. If it had the week to itself, it would have had a good shot at success. However, the competition might be too tight this week. Romantics Anonymous opens on Friday at the Quad Cinema in New York City.


Filed under: Limited Releases, My Week with Marilyn, Rampart, A Dangerous Method, Les Émotifs anonymes, The Artist, L'apollonide - souvenirs de la maison close