Indie Film Guide: What's in Theaters, on DVD and Coming Soon in the World of Independent Film

Indie Film Guide: What's in Theaters, on DVD and Coming Soon in the World of Independent Film

Apr 12, 2012

Blue Like Jazz

In Theaters

Blue Like Jazz
Where: Nationwide, in limited release.
What: Based on a popular book of essays by Donald Miller, the drama focuses on the crisis of faith experienced by a young man from Texas (Marshall Allman) after he travels to Oregon to enroll in college at ‘the most godless campus in America.’ The filmmakers raised a portion of the budget through individual contributions, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Why Go: For a Christian-themed message movie, Blue Like Jazz goes easy on the proselityzing, instead relying on the easygoing charm of Allman and a strong performance by the lovely Claire Holt as a fellow student with a secret.

L!fe Happens
Where: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Orange (CA), Santa Monica, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose.
What: Krysten Ritter stars in this comedy as a single mother who jumps back into the dating scene with potentially hilarious results.
Why Go: It’s an R-rated comedy aimed at adult women, even though early reviews have not been highly enthusiastic. Still, Ritter is a very appealing presence, and it’s about time she had a lead role that showcases her talent. She co-wrote the script with her friend, Kat Coiro, who makes her feature directorial debut.
See also: Our interview with Ritter and Coiro.

Monsieur Lazhar

Where: Multiple theaters and cities in California and New York, as well as single theaters in Madison, CT; Coral Gables, FL; and Santa Fe, NM.
What: A substitute teacher must step in for an instructor who recently took her own life in a Montreal, Canada classroom. The grade-school students must overcome the tragedy and their own reluctance about a strange new teacher from Algeria who has his own ideas about education.
Why Go: Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film, the film has received generally warm plaudits from critics. It also provides a welcome place for parents to consider (and further appreciate) the role that teachers play in the daily lives of their children.

Sleeping Beauty

DVD Pick of the Week: Sleeping Beauty
The erotic drama stars Emily Browning as a young woman who enters willingly into a very strange house of prostitution. Critical reception was mixed, so a rental is suggested. (If you’re too bashful to rent or buy the DVD in person, it’s also available to watch via the Netflix streaming service.)
See also: To attract attention to the release, a PR company mounted a questionable contest that prompted our own Erik Davis to wonder: “Is This One of the Most Inappropriate Movie Marketing Campaigns Ever?”

Coming Soon: Darling Companion
Recently Perri Nemiroff cited the film’s poster as one of the worst promo items of the week, but we think the trailer for Lawrence Kasdan’s “lost dog” movie does a much better job of selling the charms of Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline as a troubled married couple. And what a cast! Darling Companion opens in limited release next week.


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