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Limited Releases take on Oscar

February 20th, 2009

It's Oscar weekend, which means the selection of limited releases is not particularly strong. There are a couple of films that have potential, but I don't suspect any will be breakout hits.

Delhi 6 - Reviews
The latest Indian release coming stateside is opening in close to 100 theaters and with reviews that are merely mixed. This is very common for this type of film, and it shouldn't hurt its box office potential. In other words, it should be the biggest hit on this week's list, at least in terms of raw dollars, while failing to find an audience outside of its niche.

Eleven Minutes - Reviews
An epilogue to Project Runway, this documentary follows fashion designer and former Project Runway winner, Jay McCarroll, as he presents his first fashion line at New York's Fashion Week. Fans of the show might be interested in the film, but mixed reviews suggests there crossover appeal will be limited. Eleven Minutes opens tonight in four theaters, half in the Los Angeles area, as well as in New York City and the Valley Art Theater in Tempe, Arizona.

Katyn - Reviews
A Polish movie about the atrocities Stalin committed when the Russian army invaded during World War II. The film was directed by Andrzej Wajda, one of Poland's most celebrated filmmakers ever, and it is hard to live up to his best films, but this is a very worthy addition to his filmography. Katyn opens tonight at the Film Forum in New York City.

Must Read After My Death - Reviews
A very personal documentary about the filmmakers grandmother, who created a massive number of recordings starting in the 1960s. At first these were to keep connected with her husband, who spent a great deal of time away on business, but soon they became an outlet for other issues. The review for this movie are unbelievably strong, but it might be too personal to appeal to enough moviegoers to expand significantly. Must Read After My Death opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Stone of Destiny - Reviews
A Canadian / British film set in Scotland that is based on a true story. Set in 1951, it tells the story of a group Scottish students who decide to steal the Stone of Scone and return it to its home in Scotland. The film has a rather impressive cast for a small film (it cost just 6 million Pounds to make) and the advertising north of the border has been strong (at least compared to most Canadian movies). However, the reviews are mixed, and it has an uphill battle ahead of it. Stone of Destiny opens tonight in major cities in Canada, but most won't get a chance to see it till it reaches the home market.

The Velveteen Rabbit - Reviews
Not a film I expect will do very well at the box office. As a kids movie, its target audience is not the one that usually heads to limited releases. Also, it is opening in far too many theaters for a limited release. Additionally, there are no reviews for the movie on Rotten Tomatoes. Finally, the movie is being marketed with cold calls; yes, they are using telemarketers to advertise this movie. None of these are good signs. The book it was based on was one of my favorites as a child, but there have been several versions of this story made for film, TV, etc. This includes a Canadian TV special narrated by Christopher Plummer. I'd much rather watch that one again than see this one.


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Filed under: Limited Releases, Katyn