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Will Limited Releases be Prophetable?

February 26th, 2010

Starting the weekend off with a pun so bad it makes me embarrassed that I wrote it. ... Embarrassed and a little proud. There are a few limited releases of note, including A Prophet, which recently earned an Oscar nomination. However, the movie I'm most interested in is the Canadian release, Defendor.

The Art of the Steal - Reviews
A documentary about an art collection donated to a small university in Philadelphia under the condition that it would never be used for commercial purposes. However, now a big museum wants to appropriate the collection and add it to their own, which they would then charge money to see. The film is earning great reviews with only a few critics complaining that it isn't as balanced as it could be. However, this is a advocacy documentary, and they are not supposed to be balanced, they are supposed to argue a point. The Art of the Steal opens tonight in three theaters, two in New York City and one in Philadelphia.

Defendor - Reviews
After opening in its native Canada, this movie makes its debut in the United States this week. Early reviews were amazing; in fact, its first seven reviews were all positive. However, they are now at 67% positive, which is great for a wide release but soft for a limited release. That said, there's a lot of praise going to the acting by Kat Denning, Sandra Oh, Elias Koteas, Lisa Ray in a cameo, and especially Woody Harrelson. I'm not overly bullish on the film's chances theatrically, but it could be a sleeper hit while it should do well on DVD. Defendor opens tonight at the Landmark in Los Angeles.

Prodigal Sons - Reviews
A documentary about the sibling rivalry between the filmmaker and her estranged brother. The film has earned a few Film Festival awards and its reviews are good, but it still has an uphill climb. Prodigal Sons opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

A Prophet - Reviews
This French film was recently nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and it has the reviews to back that up. It is about a Muslim sentenced to a short prison term who becomes a member of the mob once he gets there. A Prophet opens tonight in six theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area, but also in New York City.

Toe to Toe - Reviews
A coming of age story about two prep school students from opposite economic backgrounds, and different races personalities, but who form a friendship. But that friendship is threatened when they are both interested in the same boy. Reviews are mixed with most people praising the two leads, but little else. Toe to Toe opens tonight at the City Cinemas Village East in New York City.

The Yellow Handkerchief - Reviews
A road trip movie with William Hurt hitching a ride with Eddie Redmayne and Kristen Stewart (whom just met) to see his estranged wife, played by Mario Bello. The film has a good cast, but I'm not sure the reviews are strong enough to help it thrive in limited release. The Yellow Handkerchief opens tonight in a handful of theaters, mostly in New York City and the Los Angeles area.


Filed under: Limited Releases, The Yellow Handkerchief, Un Prophète, Toe to Toe, Defendor