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Limited Releases Offer a Plentiful Bounty

November 25th, 2005

Thanksgivings gives us a cornucopia of new limited releases, some of which opened on Wednesday and some of which open tonight.

39 Pounds of Love - Reviews
A documentary about Ami Ankilewitz, an artist from Israel who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This rare and usually fatal disorder limits muscle growth and has left him paralyzed except for one finger on his left hand. The film deals with a very difficult subject matter and the overall the documentary is not particularly well-crafted, but the story is inspiration enough that for many people it won't matter. 39 Pounds of Love opened on Wednesday at the Sunshine Cinema in New York City and opens next week at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles.

C.R.A.Z.Y. - Review
The first of two Canadian films on this week's chart. This is a gay-themed Comign of Age film that did huge business in its native province of Quebec, earning several million dollars, even though the entire population of Quebec is smaller than that of New York City. The film is now is opening in a handful of theatres in the rest of Canada including the Fifth Avenue and Granville Cinemas! in Vancouver and The Globe Theatre in Winnipeg.

Deewane Huye Paagal - Reviews
The latest Bollywood film opening both here and in its native India on the same weekend. Tanya's life is getting very complicated as a number of men have fallen in love with her, while a couple of gangsters want her dead. Like many such films, this one is getting a very wide opening, or at least wide for a limited release, opening yesterday in 48 theatres in major cities.

Down to the Bone - Reviews
The best-reviewed release of the week, Down to the Bone tells the story of a working class wife and mother who struggles with a cocaine addiction. It won two prizes at the Sundance Film Festival, which is even more impressive since it is director's Debra Granik first shot at directing a feature-length film. Down to the Bone opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

The Libertine - Reviews
This film is Busted Oscar Bait: a film made to bring home the hardware that just didn't measure up. A lot of people were betting on Johnny Depp scoring his third Oscar nomination in three years with this film, but that seems unlikely at this point. The Libertine starts its Oscar qualifying run tonight in Los Angeles and New York before opening in earnest in January.

Lie With Me - Review
Some have described this film as the most sexually explicit art-house film to ever come out of Canada. Unfortunately, the characters are so emotionally damaged that it is hard to care about them regardless of how well it is portrayed. The film opens tonight in theatres in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Streets of Legend - Reviews
A low-rent Fast and the Furious, which is earning even weaker reviews than that film earned. Even critics giving the film positive reviews say the film needs work. Streets of Legend opened on Wednesday at the famous Mann's Chinese Theatre, and there's a street party there tonight.

Syriana - Reviews
Out of all the movies opening in limited release this week, this is the one with the biggest box office potential. The film has an excellent cast, very topical subject matter, amazing reviews, and it just screams Oscar season. Syriana opened on Wednesday in five theatres (including the Angelika Film Center in New York City), and earned nearly $100,000. That bodes very well for the film's wide release on December 9th.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Syriana, The Libertine