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Limited Releases: Tinker, Tailor, Nominee, Winner?

December 9th, 2011

It's an excellent week for limited releases with several films earning reviews that are strong enough to suggest they can thrive in limited release (Tomatometer Scores of 80% positive or more). There are even a few that have reviews that are strong enough to suggest they will be players during Awards Season. Of these, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy probably has the best shot at winning awards, but Young Adult likely has the best shot at mainstream success.

I Melt with You - Reviews
Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, and Christian McKay play four college friends, who get together every year to celebrate one of the four's birthday. "Celebrate" being a code word for doing a lot of drugs. The film's Tomatometer Score is barely in the double digits, so even with a cost and more name recognition than most limited releases have, it has little hope of thriving at the box office. I Melt with You has been playing on Video on Demand since November, but opens in two theaters tonight, one in New York City (Quad Cinema) and the other in Los Angeles (Nuart Theatre).

Knuckle - Reviews
A documentary about illegal Irish barefisted boxing. It took 12 years to make as the documentarian followed several families involved in this fighting showing rivalries that result from it. The film is earning amazing reviews, but wasn't on the short list for this year's Oscar nominations for documentary. (There were a lot of snubs on the list this year.) Perhaps it will still find an audience without the buzz over the big prize. Knuckle opens tonight in three theaters, including the Cinema Village in New York City.

Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl - No Reviews
The widest release the week. This Bollywood film is about a conman who specializes in seducing women and getting them to pay for his lavish lifestyle. But when the women try and get revenge, he may have to pay the price. Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl opens tonight in 80 theaters in the usual Hindi friendly markets.

London River - Reviews
In the aftermath of the London Bombings, two people from different parts of the world travel to London for the same purpose, to find a child that may or may not have been a victim of this terrorist attack. The film's reviews are excellent and there's a chance the film will find an audience in limited release. London River opened on Wednesday at the Cinema Village in New York City, while it expands to Los Angeles next Friday.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Reviews
Based on a classic Cold War novel, the film has an incredible cast and the reviews, so far, are award-worthy. Gary Oldman stars as a semi-retired spy who is asked to perform one last task. After a spy mission ends in failure, the government thinks one of their high ranking agents is in fact a Russian mole. The film's Tomatometer Score is currently 90% positive, with much of the complaints focusing on the previous BBC mini-series, which is the better adaptation. (It also has twice the running time to develop the story.) Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opens tonight in four theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but it should have no real trouble expanding in the coming weeks.

We Need to Talk About Kevin - Reviews
A psychological drama starring Tilda Swinton as a mother who thinks there is something wrong with her son. However, the question arises whether or not there is something wrong with Kevin or whether her treatment of Kevin causes the problems she thinks he has. The film is earning excellent reviews, especially for Tilda Swinton's performance and it has a legitimate shot at success in limited release, and perhaps even success during Awards Season. We Need to Talk About Kevin opens tonight for a one-week Oscar qualifying run, before getting a full theatrical release in January.

Young Adult - Reviews
This film has great buzz with a lot of talent on both sides of the camera. The director has an Oscar nomination, the screenwriter and star have both won an Oscar, while it wouldn't be a shock if all three added more nominations to their list of Awards Season success thanks to this film. Young Adult opens tonight in eight theaters and expands wide next week, so we will have more details then.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Young Adult, I Melt with You, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Knuckle, Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, London River