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Limited Releases: Feeling Serene

March 27th, 2015

Serena poster

It's a pretty good week as far as limited releases are concerned with a number of them earning excellent reviews. Unfortunately, the biggest in terms of cast and theater count is Serena, but its reviews are among the worst of the week. Hopefully films like Serena (Reviews) or Man from Reno (Reviews) can pick up the slack.

52 Tuesdays - Reviews
A story of a mother-daughter relationship complicated by the mother transitioning to a man. The film's reviews are good, but not great, and I'm not sure the target audience is large enough to thrive in limited release. 52 Tuesdays opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City.

Cupcakes - Reviews
A group of friends in Tel Aviv are watching the Eurovision Song Contest and they think the Israeli song is so bad that they could make a better song. They do and it becomes popular enough that they are chosen to be Israel's next competitor. The reviews are very good, perhaps good enough to find a niche audience in theaters. Cupcakes opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City with expansions over the coming weeks. Check out the official site for more details.

A Girl Like Her - Reviews
Lexi Ainsworth stars as a high school girl who is being bullied by her former best friend, Hunter King. She works with another student, Jimmy Bennett, to capture proof of her torment. It is an important subject, but while the two leading actresses have earned praise, the overall movie is only generating mixed reviews and it likely won't find an audience in theaters.

The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq - Reviews
So as far as I can tell, real-life French author Michel Houcellebecq was on a book tour when no one was able to reach him for a few days. The French newspapers began to speculate he had been kidnapped. In reality, his internet connection went down. ... If anyone makes fun of the news where you live, tell them this story. This film purports to tell the "real story", but instead goes with the kidnapping angle. The reviews are excellent and French cinema certainly has an audience among art house aficionados, but it likely won't expand significantly. The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq opened on Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.

Man from Reno - Reviews
A sheriff in a small town accidentally hits a pedestrian and takes them to the hospital. There, they meet a Japanese author. But when they disappear, the sheriff and the author try and figure out what happened. The film is earning some of the best reviews of the week, but I'm not sure about its buzz. Man from Reno opens tonight in three cities, New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, with planned expansions to come. Check out the official site for more details.

The Riot Club - Reviews
This film follows a college club where only the sons of the richest and most powerful can join. The new year brings a new recruit, Max Irons, who at first is amused by their antics, but soon things take a dark turn. This isn't an original idea, while the execution is merely good and not great. Additionally, the film is playing on Video on Demand, so its box office chances are even lower.

Salt of the Earth - Reviews
A documentary about Sebastião Salgado, a photographer who traveled the world. The film earned an Oscar nomination and given its reviews, that is not a surprise. On the other hand, documentaries rarely have break-out success in limited release. Salt of the Earth opens tonight in four theaters, split evenly between New York City and Los Angeles, while it has planned expansions for the coming weeks / months. Check out the official site for more details.

Serena - Reviews
The amount of talent on both sides of the camera is amazing, but the reviews are among the worst of the weekend. I don't need to explain who Jennifer Lawrence or Bradley Cooper are, while Susanne Bier is an award-winning director from Denmark. This should have been an Oscar-worthy film. As it is, it will likely bomb in theaters. Serena opens tonight in nearly 60 theaters, as well as on Video on Demand.

Welcome to New York - Reviews
Inspired by the life of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was a powerful French politician who made enemies and predicted he would be taken down by a manufactured sex scandal. He was either right, or said that because he knew a sex scandal was inevitable, given his lifestyle. The film's reviews have been good with praise aimed at its star, Gerard Depardieu; however, usually limited releases need better than 73% positive reviews to thrive. Welcome to New York opens tonight in one theater, as well as on Video on Demand.

While We're Young - Reviews
The latest from writer-director Noah Baumbach. The filmmaker has only written one movie that opened wide, but he's also had several limited releases that have earned some measure of mainstream success. This film's reviews suggest it might do the same. While We're Young opens tonight in four theaters, split evenly between New York City and Los Angeles, while Noah Baumbach will hold Q&A sessions after several screenings. Check out the official site for more details.

White God - Reviews
A young girl loses her dog, because it is a mix-breed and is therefore considered unfit by the State. The film is earning excellent reviews and I'm interested to see if it will find an audience in theaters. White God opened this week in seven theaters, including five in Canada. Check out the official site for more details.

Wolf at the Door - Reviews
When a couple's 6-year old daughter is kidnapped from school, the husband admits he's been having an affair and his mistress is the most likely suspect. Inspired by real-life events, this film has been wowing critics and might find an audience in limited release. On the other hand, it is a foreign-language film, so its chances to expand are limited. Wolf at the Door opens tonight in two theaters, one in New York City and the other in Los Angeles, while it expands to Columbus next month. Check out the official site for more details.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Man from Reno, The Riot Club, While We're Young, Welcome to New York, 52 Tuesdays, , Serena, Feher isten, A Girl Like Her, Cupcakes, L'enlèvement de Michel Houellebecq, O Lobo atrás da Porta, Noah Baumbach, Jimmy Bennett, Bradley Cooper, Gerard Depardieu, Max Irons, Jennifer Lawrence, Pepe Serna, Susanne Bier, Ayako Fujitani, Zsofia Psotta, Hunter King, Lexi Ainsworth, Michel Houcellebecq