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Limited Releases are Sweet this Week

February 1st, 2008

A soft week for limited releases with only one film, Caramel, that seems likely to score with moviegoers. And even that film has an uphill battle.

Caramel - Reviews
The biggest film to ever come out of Lebanon, the film has earned more than $7 million internationally. (More than half of that has come from France where it was co-produced.) The movie details the lives of five women who work in a beauty parlor and help each other with their love lives. This is a plot we've seen before, but the reviews are still excellent, (battling Hannah Montana for best for the week). Caramel is also the widest limited release of the week playing in 11 theaters, mostly in the Los Angeles area.

Praying with Lior - Reviews
A documentary about a boy named Lior, who has Down syndrome, and whom many think is closer to God because of it. The film is weak reviews compared to most limited releases and that will make it very tough to carve out an audience. Praying with Lior opens tonight at the Cinema Village in New York City.

Shrooms - Official Site
An independent horror film from Ireland. There's no way this movie will survive in limited release, as it is not a genre that has done well there recently. In fact, I can't think of the last horror that managed to grow out of a limited release (I think you have to go back all the way to Blair Witch to do that). Shrooms opens tonight, but there's little hope for it theatrically; on the other hand, as long as the DVD release is good, it should find an audience on the home market.

The Silence Before Bach - Reviews
Experimental filmmaking using the music Bach with different vignettes for each composition. Films like this usually wow critics and should do well with art house moviegoers, but it is very unlikely that it will expand. The Silence Before Bach opens tonight at the Film Forum in New York City.

The Witness - Reviews
A French drama set in 1984 looking at the lives of five people as the AIDS epidemic starts to affect them. Written and directed by André Téchiné, this is arguably his best film in a decade and manages to avoid most of the pitfalls that come with this type of movie, specifically the Movie-of the-Week / Disease of the Week feel. The Witness opens tonight in three theaters, including the IFC Center in New York City.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Sukkar banat, Praying with Lior, Les Témoins, Shrooms