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Limited Releases - Days Looking for Oscar Glory

February 16th, 2007

Two Oscar-nominated films are being released this week. Well, technically it's eleven, but I'm counting the 10 shorts being released under one banner as a single film. In addition, nearly every other film is earning great reviews, making for an excellent choice for art-house moviegoers.

2006 Academy Award Nominated Short Films - No Reviews
I love this idea. All ten Oscar nominated short films (both animated and live action), playing together as one feature. Short films allow people to tell stories that just wouldn't work in feature-length films. However, there's almost no commercially viable way to get them to a mass audience. Granted, the 35 theaters this mini-film festival are playing in is hardly a mass audience, but it's a start. Hopefully people will take advantage of this opportunity and the festival will grow bigger each year.

Avenue Montaigne - Reviews
Set in Avenue Montaigne area of Paris, which is the artist village in a city renowned for its artists and artistic community. It stars Cecile de France of High Tension as a waitress who, through her job, interacts with several characters, including an aging actress who is successful as a soap star but wants more substantive movie roles, a piano prodigy who is preparing for an important recital, an art connoisseur who personal collection is to be sold off, and more. Reviews have been very strong and the film should please the art-house crowd, but the potential to expand is limited. Avenue Montaigne opens tonight in two theaters in New York City, including the Angelika Film Center.

Bamako - Reviews
In Bamako, the capital city of Mali, Africans gather for public meetings to protest the IMF, the World Bank, and the corporations they feel have contributed to Africa's woes. With that as the backdrop, the movie focuses on a family going through troubles and uses these two aspects to create a compelling story. Bamako opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Close to Home - Reviews
A movie about two Israeli women soldiers who share a bond after nearly dying in a bomb blast. The film uses this relationship to talk about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but this is less than successful. Part of the problem is the sheer number of films on this subject mean that it takes something amazing to feel fresh. Close to Home opened on Wednesday at the IFC Center in New York City.

Days of Glory - Reviews
The second to last of this year's Oscar nominated foreign language films. Only Denmark's After the Wedding as yet to open. This film tells the story of a group of North African soldiers fighting in the French army during World War II. As its Oscar nomination would suggest, it is earning excellent reviews. On the other hand, even the best foreign language films have an uphill battle at the box office, and this one is no different. Days of Glory opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and one in Los Angeles.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Fauteils d'orchestre, Indigènes, Bamako, Karov La Bayit, 2006 Academy Award Nominated Short Films