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Shall We See a Limited Release?

March 27th, 2009

Not a strong week for limited releases with only one film, Goodbye Solo, earning overwhelmingly positive reviews. And I'm not sure that will be enough for that movie to thrive, as its writer / director doesn't have a strong track record at the box office. Hopefully this will be his breakout success.

American Swing - Reviews
A documentary about the famous swing club in New York City, Plato's Retreat. Unfortunately, the film is not earning good reviews, as too many critics are complaining that the film is too shallow to deal with a complex issue like this. American Swing Quad Cinema in New York City.

The Education of Charlie Banks - Reviews
Originally scheduled for a limited opening in late 2007, the film was pushed back till now, probably to take advantage of Jesse Eisenberg's upcoming film, Adventureland. Sadly, the reviews are mixed, as in 50% positive and 50% negative, which is normally a death sentence for limited releases. It will be interesting to see if it can beat Fred Durst's second film's per theater average. That's not a high standard to set, but I'm not sure it will be able to do it. The Education of Charlie Banks opens tonight in three theaters, two in the Los Angeles area and one in New York City.

Goodbye Solo - Reviews
Ramin Bahrani's follow-up to Man Push Cart and Chop Shop, both of which were nominated for Independent Spirit Awards. Given this film's reviews, I would be shocked if this film didn't also earn a few more nominations. (It was one of two films that helped Jason Orans earn a nomination for the producers award.) Hopefully the film will also show growth at box office, as he hasn't been rewarded for his critical success. Goodbye Solo opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and the third in Chicago.

Guest of Cindy Sherman - Reviews
A documentary about artist Cindy Sherman. The film was started 15 years ago by videographer Paul Hasegawa-Overacker, who fell in love with his subject, literally. It does give this movie an unique perspective, but not all critics think this is a good thing. Guest of Cindy Sherman opens tonight in 2 theaters: the Cinema Village 12th Street in New York City and the Santa Fe Film Center in Santa Fe.

The Headless Woman - Reviews
Writer / director Lucrecia Martel's follow-up to The Holy Girl. This film is not earning as much critical praise, in fact, it has only received two reviews so far, and both are negative. The film was nominated for the Golden Palm at this Cannes Film Festival, but I don't know if that will be enough to overcome other obstacles. One of the obstacles is no official site, and no official theater listing.

Shall We Kiss? - Reviews
A French film writer, directed, and starring Emmanuel Mouret. It's a romantic comedy, which is not a genre that does particularly well in limited release, and its reviews are only good, but not great. Add in the foreign language aspect, and there's almost no chance it will expand significantly, but it might find a receptive audience, even if it's a niche audience. Shall We Kiss? opens tonight in a handful of theaters in New York City.

Spinning Into Butter - Reviews
This film might have opened last weekend, or it could be opening tonight. There are mixed signals here. What isn't mixed are its reviews, which are bad for a wide release, fatal for a limited release. Star power could help, but I wouldn't bet on it. Spinning Into Butter opens tonight in four theaters, including ones in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C.


Filed under: Limited Releases, The Education of Charlie Banks