Opening: Your Sister’s Sister
Where: New York and Los Angeles.
What: Two sisters share an isolated island cabin with a friend; secrets are revealed and relationships are examined.
Why Go: The sisters are played by Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt, and Mark Duplass plays the friend, whose need to recover from the recent death of his brother sets in motion a roundelay of emotions. “This is the sort of film that a summary can never properly capture, where the magic comes from how characters play off each other rather than any intricacies of plot,” observed our own Monika Bartyzel. Lynn Shelton (Humpday) wrote and directed.
Where: In limited release; also available on various Video On Demand. platforms.
What: A one-night stand is interrupted by an alien invasion.
Why Go: Writer/director Nacho Vigalando debuted with the intelligent suspense thriller Timecrimes; his sophomore feature is a much lighter twist on a familiar sci-fi premise. After spending the night together, Julio (Julián Villagrán) and Julia (Michelle Jenner) wake up to discover aliens have landed, the city has been abandoned, and all communication has been cut off. The humor arises from everyday, likable characters who must deal with an extraordinary mystery; it’s funny, warm, and altogether refreshing semi-romantic comedy.
Opening: The Woman in the Fifth
Where: In limited release.
What: An American in Paris seeking to reconcile with his ex-wife instead ends up in an affair with a mysterious woman.
Why Go: Ethan Hawke is a novelist whose hopes at reconciliation quickly go awry. He ends up employed by a mobster -- and romancing Kirstin Scott Thomas -- but finds that he may be losing his grip on reality. As the mystery builds, the film loses its way, according to the mixed critical reviews. Still, writer/director Pawel Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love) is a consistently interesting filmmaker, and however flawed the mystery may be, it sounds lovely to escape to Paris for a couple of hours.
DVD Pick of the Week
What: Polish Jews go underground to survive the Holocaust.
Why See It: Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Agnieszka Holland’s drama, based on a true story, follows an enterprising sewer worker who agrees to hide a small group of Jewish families evading the Nazis during World War II. Where he hides them is down in the sewer system, which means they must survive for years with the rats and the filth and the fear. It’s a sturdy film that seldom illuminates, but has the virtue of shining a light on a rarely-told story.
The Invisible War
What: An examination of rape in the U.S. military.
Why We Want to See It: The Audience Award winner for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, the latest film from Kirby Dick (This Film is Not Yet Rated) investigatates the startling report that “a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.” According to advance reviews, interviews with victims, combined with a careful examination of the systemic injustices involved, make the case effectively. Look for it on June 22.