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A Sampling of Limited Releases

September 13th, 2013

The list of new limited releases is shorter than it was last week, but there are more films earning Award-worthy reviews this week than there were last week. Wadjda, Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, Sample This, and Blue Caprice are all either above 90%, or very close to it. Of those four, Blue Caprice has the best shot at breakout success, but I hope they all thrive in limited release.

Blue Caprice - Reviews
If I were to pick a film on this list with the best chance to succeed at the box office, it would be this film. Not only does it have outstanding reviews, but it is also inspired by real life events, which is something Awards Season voters love. There is already Oscar buzz surrounding this film. On the other hand, limited release is never a sure thing and there is always a chance it will struggled out of the gate and disappear before the word-of-mouth grows enough to matter. Let's hope that doesn't happen. Blue Caprice opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction - Reviews
A documentary about Harry Dean Stanton, who is one of the greatest actors of all time. I don't think I've ever seen him in a movie where he didn't elevate the material. The reviews for this film are amazing and it should do well with art house aficionados, but I'm not sure it will find a major audience in theaters. Documentaries rarely do. Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction opens tonight in New York City and Los Angeles.

Jayne Mansfield's Car - Reviews
This film is co-written and directed by Billy Bob Thornton, who previous wrote and directed Sling Blade. This film is no Sling Blade. Its Tomatometer Score is currently 32% positive, which would be bad for a wide release and will likely prove fatal for this limited release. It does have a strong cast, so perhaps that will help it thrive for one weekend, but it also also been playing on Video on Demand for nearly a month. Jayne Mansfield's Car opens tonight in 11 theaters in select cities.

Plush - Reviews
Emily Browning stars as a musician who recently lost two loved ones to drug overdoses. She herself reaches a low point in her life, but a new member of the band helps her recover. The film is directed by Catherine Hardwicke, who has had some success with limited releases, but there are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a terrible sign. Plush opens tonight in ten theaters in select cities. Check the official site for more details.

Sample This - Reviews
A documentary about one of the most sampled albums of all time, which sadly wasn't a major hit in its own right. There are a lot of musicians interviewed in this film and nearly all of the critics agree they bring enough heft to an admittedly thin subject that it is worth checking out. Hopefully it will find an audience in theaters and it will do well, at least compared to other documentaries. Sample This opens tonight in more than a dozen theaters in select cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and even Toronto, Canada. Check the Official Site for more details.

Wadjda - Reviews
Ten-year old Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) wants a green bike and the only way she can get it is to win a Koran reciting contest. This coming of age tale is earning nearly perfect reviews, which should help it out at the box office. Plus it is Saudi Arabia's official entrant for Foreign-Language Oscar competition, and that should also help at the box office. Unfortunately, it is never easy for a Foreign-Language film to find an audience in theaters. Wadjda opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and one in Los Angeles, while it expands slowly over the coming weeks and months.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Jayne Mansfield's Car, Wadjda, Blue Caprice, Plush, Sample This, Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, Emily Browning, Catherine Hardwicke, Harry Dean Stanton, Billy Bob Thornton