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Limited Releases Leave Politics Behind for Award Season

October 15th, 2004

With the Presidential elections just two and a half weeks away, it is too late influence voters with a theatrical release, so the limited releases are again dominated by award season hopefuls. However, no film really looks like an early favorite, but a few performances might be remembered come February 27th.

Being Julia - Reviews
The film tells the story of a middle-aged stage actress in the 1930s and is the big award season hopeful opening this week. However, the reviews are not strong enough for it to win many awards, but a certain actress could be singled out for praise. The film opens in seven theatres in Los Angeles and New York tonight.

The Dust Factory - Reviews
A story of a mute boy who travels to a fantasy realm where anything is possible. Unfortunately, there's not enough imagination to pull the story off. The film opens in 22 theatres across the nation tonight.

Eulogy - Reviews
Not as bad as I thought it would be. Not an ringing endorsement, but I figured the film would earn between 20% and 30% positive so to see it sitting about 50% is a bit of a pleasant surprise. However, it's still unlikely to find mainstream success.

The Final Cut - Reviews
Another case of excellent premise ruined by a flawed execution. The Zoë Chip is implanted into a person at birth and records everything they see and hear. Then when they die the footage is cut together into a tribute piece for their funeral. Robin Williams plays a cutter whose job it is to make the clients look as good as possible. The film is opening nationwide in 117 theatres, which is an awkward theatre count to open in. Too many for a targeted ad campaign, but too few for a national one.

Hair Show - Reviews
There have been an amazing number of movies about hair stylist competitions recently. Blow Dry, The Big Tease, and now Hair Show. Ok, I could only think of three of them, but that's a lot considering the absolute niche market they are aimed at. The first two films were not hits, or were even able to top $1 million at the box office, and I don't think this film will buck that trend.

Moolade - Reviews
Deals with the horrible practice of female genital mutilation, and that alone will turn most people away from the film. And that's a shame since the film is a powerful film about a woman's struggle to abolish this barbaric practice in her village. The film opens in two theatres tonight in New York.

P.S. - Reviews
Another film with a great disparity in reviews between the cream of the crop and the run of the mill reviewers. Laura Linney and Topher Grace are earning praise for their portrayals, but some of the other actors / characters are not up to the same level.

Riding the Bullet - Reviews
An average adaptation for a Stephen King e-novel. The cream of the crop reviews have given this film 0% positive reviews, but its earning much higher reviews from the run of the mill reviewer. The film opens in more than 100 theatres, which as mentioned with The Final Cut is an awkward theatre count to open with.

Spin - Reviews
The film is most notable for being the directorial debut of James Redford, the son of Robert Redford. It is also notable for opening in several theatres in Tucson, Arizona and Salt Lake City, Utah. Not the usual places limited releases usually open in.

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Filed under: Limited Releases, Final Cut, Hair Show, Moolade, P.S., Riding the Bullet, Eulogy, Spin, The Dust Factory