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Limited Releases Race to Oscar

September 30th, 2005

Another week, another couple of Oscar contenders are being released into theatres. But there are also some other films include the very imaginative MirrorMask and the poorly marketed Duma that are worth checking out.

Capote - Reviews
The best reviewed new film this weekend and easily the likely Oscar winner. The Biopic is about Truman Capote, specifically the time when he was researching and writing his novel, "In Cold Blood," which changed the way people wrote non-fiction crime stories. I expect this film to win the Per Theatre Charts race and I also expect Philip Seymour Hoffman to be nominated for an Oscar, along with other members of the cast and crew. Capote opens tonight in a dozen theatres before expanding nationwide.

Duma - Reviews
After three test runs, this film finally gets a real release. However, the studio has really dropped the ball on this one and even with the best reviews it will still suffer at the box office. The film opens tonight in 42 theatres, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Forty Shades of Blue - Reviews
The acting performances by Rip Torn and Dina Korzun are excellent. The rest of the movie is melodramatic and predictable. The film opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City, but adds the Malco Cordova Cinema in Memphis tonight.

Going Shopping - Reviews
A film that is not nearly as strong as the sum of its parts. There are a lot of really good actresses saying a lot of very witty dialogue but the film never feels like a cohesive story. The film opens in half a dozen theatres tonight in New York City and Los Angeles including the Laemmles Sunset 5 and the Angelika Film Center

Little Manhattan - Reviews
A story of first love between two 11-year olds. The film has to travel the narrow path between creepy and corny, and for the most part succeeds. The film opens tonight at the Regal Union Square Stadium 14 and the Loews Cineplex Lincoln Square.

MirrorMask - Reviews
A combination of amazing visuals and lackluster story. This might be enough for many people, especially fans of Neil Gaiman and / or Jim Henson's Creature Shop creations. Since I fall into both categories I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie, but chances are its niche market appeal will mean it won't expand enough to come to my small town. MirrorMask opens tonight in 18 theatres in major cities.

The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio - Reviews
Another Oscar hopeful, but this time the reviews are not quite up to the level needed to become a major player. Julianne Moore could be nominated, which would be her fifth nomination, and being a period piece about jingles, there could be some technical nods. However, the film is overly sentimental at times and that is preventing it from earning widespread acclaim, but even so, it still hits all the right notes and should be a crowd-pleaser. The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio opens tonight in 41 theatres and should earn the best box office of all the films on this week's list.

Screen Door Jesus - Reviews
When it comes to films about religion, there are many ways a filmmaker can sabotage the film's chances of success. The topic can easily be offensive, divisive, preachy, etc. and that all becomes magnified when you start discussing the politics of religion. Fortunately, the film is able to ask the difficult questions in an intellectual enough way to avoid most pitfalls.

Sueno - Reviews
John Leguizamo stars as Antonio, a musician and a dreamer who enters a contest for a once in a lifetime chance to fulfill his dreams. The film's a little cliched to be fully successful. Sueno opens tonight in 10 theatres in southern California and the targeted approach should help the film's chances.

The War Within - Reviews
A film about a suicide bomber. Instead of demonizing him, the filmmakers try to make him sympathetic. By understanding these people, perhaps we can more effectively stop them from becoming suicide bombers in the first place. While that may have been the intent, the film doesn't succeed on that level. The War Within opens tonight at the Sunshine Cinema in New York City before expanding over the coming weeks.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Capote, Duma, MirrorMask, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, Little Manhattan, Forty Shades of Blue, The War Within, Screen Door Jesus, Going Shopping, Sueño