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Don't Be Heartless, See a Limited Release

November 19th, 2010

While there are not a lot of limited releases on this week's list, there are a few that are earning reviews that are good to great. This includes Made in Dagenham, which could be an Awards Season player, while White Material is also doing well enough to earn some measure of mainstream success. Or at least do better than the average Foreign Language film.

Guzaarish - Reviews
The widest release of the week is an Indian film that is opening in more than 100 theaters. However, it's not the typical Bollywood movie, because it is a message movie. The film tells the story of a stage magician who is paralyzed after an accident and who then fights for the right to end his life. The total lack of reviews makes it hard to judge its quality. While these films tend to do well within their target demographic, they have little to no crossover appeal.

Heartless - Reviews
A horror film opened in limited release. Oh boy. It's reviews are excellent compared to most horror films, but they are a little on the weak side compared to most limited releases that thrive. Jim Sturgess stars as a man who does battle with demons after making a deal with the devil. It will likely struggle theatrically, but should find a more receptive audience on the home market. Heartless opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Made in Dagenham - Reviews
This film will likely be the biggest hit on this week's list. Not only does it have an impressive cast and a compelling story, there's also already talk of multiple award nominations for acting, writing, directing, etc. Director Nigel Cole has had some success in the limited release front, having previously made Saving Grace and Calendar Girls. I don't expect this film to do that well, but it could find some measure of mainstream success. Made in Dagenham opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and the other in Los Angeles.

Queen of the Lot - Reviews
Tanna Frederick plays an up-and-coming actress who finally starts getting some publicity, after she's put under house arrest for a pair of DUIs. I've read some stories that call this film a sequel to Hollywood Dreams, which I previously reviewed. Both have similar styles and themes, but the first film earned bad reviews, so I'm not sure the filmmakers want this movie to be associated with it. Hopefully this is an improvement; the one review on Rotten Tomatoes is positive, so that's a promising sign. Queen of the Lot opens tonight in six theaters, all in the Los Angeles area.

Today's Special - Reviews
Co-writer Aasif Mandvi stars Samir, a sous chef that dreams of being the head chef at a trendy restaurant, but instead has to take over top duties at his father's failing Indian restaurant after he falls ill. He then has to rediscover his roots which he has intentionally abandoned. Reviews are good, but not great, and it is opening in more than 50 theaters, which is a lot for a limited release. Hopefully Today's Special will find an audience, but it will likely have to wait till it hits the home market to do so.

White Material - Reviews
Writer / Director Claire Denis is earning some of the best reviews of her career with this film. Since her previous film, 35 Shots of Rum, earned the best reviews of her career, she could have momentum on her side. On the other hand, it is still a Foreign Language film and it will likely not have a real shot at expanding wide enough to earn any measure of mainstream success. White Material opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and the third in Chicago.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Made in Dagenham, Guzaarish, Queen of the Lot, Today's Special, White Material, Heartless