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Quartet Serenade Oscar

December 9th, 2005

Oscar is clearly the word of the day as four of the seven limited releases on this week's list are obvious Oscar bait. It is unlikely that all will be winners, but all could earn at least one nomination and more than a dozen in total.

Brokeback Mountain - Reviews
The first of several Oscar contenders opening this weekend, and this film is the most likely movie to earn the high prestige nominations (best picture, director, actor, etc.). The amazing reviews and the daring subject matter should make it a hit with Oscar voters, and might even be enough to get it a wide release in a few weeks time. Brokeback Mountain opens in 5 theatres tonight, including the Loews Lincoln Square 12 in New York City and Pacific The Grove Stadium 14 in Los Angeles.

Isn't This a Time! A Tribute Concert for Harold Levanthal - Reviews
Harold Levanthal is a legend in Folk music and this concert film is a tribute to him, with several important bands from that genre (The Weavers; Peter, Paul and Mary; Arlo Guthrie, etc.) It could also be considered a sequel of sorts to Wasn't That a Time!, which featured many of the same artists. For fans of the music this is a must see, and even those more ambivalent towards the music will be swept up in the enthusiasm. Isn't This a Time! opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Marebito - Reviews
Masuoka is a man looking for the very definition of fear, and during his search he finds a naked lady and albino dwarves, or something like that. Quite frankly, this is one of the more confused movies in the Japanese horror genre, and while there is some interesting imagery, the storyline doesn't make enough sense to draw the moviegoer in. Marebito opens tonight at the Sunshine Cinema in New York City and the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles.

Memoirs of a Geisha - Reviews
Busted Oscar Bait. The film was clearly going for Oscar glory but its reviews are nowhere near strong enough to get it there. However, even many of the critics who gave the film negative reviews admit it looks spectacular, and it would be surprising if it didn't earn nominations for make-up, costumes and set design it. Memoirs of a Geisha opens tonight in 8 theatres including the Arclight Cinemas in Los Angeles.

Mrs. Henderson Presents - Reviews
Another Oscar hopeful starting its run this weekend, this film isn't earning strong enough reviews to make a big splash, but it could earn nods for costumes and set design, and I wouldn't count Judi Dench out just yet. Her performance as the titular character, who inherits a theatre and decides to do nude reviews like they have in Paris, is the life of this picture and its clear she is having a blast. The film should also have a fairly successful run at the theatres and may even become a sleeper hit when it expands later in the month. Mrs. Henderson Presents opens tonight at the Lincoln Plaza in New York City, the Laemmles Sunset 5 in Los Angeles and four other theatres.

Neal n' Nikki - Reviews
No one will confuse this film with one of the films going for Oscar glory this week, and anyone who has seen their share of Bollywood musicals will know exactly how the film will end. But even so, the two leads have some chemistry together, there are some good lines, and the movie is a fun ride. It may earn back its production budget while in theatres ($1.5 million Canadian, which is surprisingly close to $1.5 million American), but will likely have to wait until the home market to earn the bulk of its money. Neal n' Nikki opens tonight in 40 theatres, making it the widest release on this week's list by a large margin.

The World's Fastest Indian - Reviews
This film isn't really opening this week, as it is just having its Oscar qualifying run, and looking at its reviews, it might score a nomination or two. (But the other three Oscar hopefuls will probably have a better chance at succeeding in that goal by their very nature.) We'll have full details when the film opens proper in February. In the meantime, it is playing at the Sunshine Cinema and City Cinemas Cinema 1, 2, and 3 in New York City and the AMC Century City 14 in Los Angeles.


Filed under: Brokeback Mountain, Memoirs of a Geisha, Mrs. Henderson Presents, The World's Fastest Indian