BOXOFFICE.COM FEATURED INDEPENDENT FILM:
Declaration of War/ La guerre est déclarée
Real life couple, writer/actor Jérémie Elkaïm and director/writer/actress Valérie Donzelli spent the first eight years of their son's life nursing him through cancer. The couple find ways of coping that are tearing and exuberant—they snow sled, go to amusement parks, take up jogging-and combat the threat of death with a joyful determination that keeps this from being another Boy In The Plastic Bubble.
Director: Valérie Donzelli
Writers: Jérémie Elkaïm, Valérie Donzelli
Stars: Valérie Donzelli, Jérémie Elkaïm, César Desseix
Glenn Close starred in, produced and co-wrote this drama about a woman passing as a man in Victorian Ireland. It's a transparent bid "For Consideration" (that paid off with a nomination), but it's also a platform for stellar performances. Albert Nobbs poignantly suggests the real cost of repression happens inside—when asked for her "real name" by another woman passing passing as a man, Albert quizzically responds "Albert?"
Director: Rodrigo García
Writers: Glenn Close, John Banville
Stars: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson
Five Time Champion
A family drama and a festival darling, this regional Texas tale watches Julius, a young but ferocious observer of nature, try to find "natural order" in his oddball family. His father left under suspicions of homosexuality, his mother may be cheating, his grandfather may have shown mom how, and his best friend has a crush on him. Adolescence would be easier without these unnatural obstacles.
Director: Berndt Mader
Writer: Berndt Mader
Stars: Ryan Akin, Justin Arnold, Jill Blackwood
The Theater Bizarre
Penny is fascinated with the ramshackle Theater Bizarre and enters for a peek into the eerie. The story she sees is different every time in this piecemeal flick made by seven B- and Z-grade horror directors who each shot a short to be slung together under the banner of one transportive and creepy theater sideshow.
Directors: Douglas Buck, Buddy Giovinazzo, David Gregory, Karim Hussain, Jeremy Kasten, Tom Savini, Richard Stanley
Writers: Zach Chassler, Richard Stanley, Scarlett Amaris, Emiliano Ranzani, Buddy Giovinazzo, John Esposito, Douglas Buck, David Gregory, Karim Hussain
Stars: Udo Kier, Virginia Newcomb, Amanda Marquardt
The Wicker Tree
Made by the director of 1973's Wicker Man, this mystery reinvents the pagan-horror in all its distorted wholesomeness and features original star Christopher Lee. Wicker Man came out when free love was popular, freaky and natural. What does Wicker Tree say to a generation obsessed with technology? That nature worship is still scary-but now for totally new reasons.
Director: Robin Hardy
Writers: Robin Hardy
Stars: Brittania Nicol, Christopher Lee, Graham McTavish
An Inconsistent Truth
Positing a snarky reply to Al Gore and Davis Guggenheim's An Inconvenient Truth, this doc looks to the opposition and not only responds to Gore's claims that the world is getting warmer, but interrogates the eco-movements it produced. To be digested with a grain of salt.
Director: Shayne Edwards
How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster
Architects, particularly the ingenious ones, often come up with a view of the world that's as utilitarian as it is whimsical. Such seems true for Norman Foster, the man behind Berlin's Reichstag and Beijing's International Airport. Named for something Buckminster Fuller once asked him, this doc explores Foster's work and how he used design to service our ever-changing needs.
Directors: Carlos Carcas, Norberto López Amado
After Fall, Winter
A writer who's lost his verve heads to France for inspiration. Once there, he falls for a nurse who moonlights as a dominatrix—don't have to tell you how he finds that out) They're kindred spirits who find a complicated pleasure in suffering—until a kid with leukemia proves how selfish these two can be. How do you say "Schadenfreude" in French?
Director: Eric Schaeffer
Writer: Eric Schaeffer
Stars: Heather Aitken, Lizzie Brocheré
All's Well, Ends Well / Baat seng bou hei
How martial arts master Donnie Yen figures into this comic romance remains to be seen, but as the All's Well, Ends Well series of Chinese-language rom coms is typically about four couples stumbling into love, and as Yen will be starring with his Flash Point costar Louis Koo, one presumes we'll see two particularly skillful guys fling fists for a lady.
Director: Hing-Ka Chan
Writers: Hing-Ka Chan, Janet Chun
Stars: Donnie Yen, Lynn Hung, Louis Koo
Vijay's father is a man of high standing and principles, so when a drug dealer kills him, Vijay is left to bring his siblings and pregnant mother to safe haven. Once grown, he plots to return to his village and reap justice on the man who hung his father, thereby reclaiming the honor of his family name.
Director: Karan Malhotra
Writers: Karan Malhotra
Stars: Hrithik Roshan, Arush Bhiwandiwala, Deven Bhojani
Love on Air / Won-deo-pool Ra-di-o
The head of the once hot girl-band Purple runs a radio show called "Wonderful Radio." Clearly, "wonderful" is subjective and the show loses its producer to bad ratings. The new producer is a curmudgeonly workhorse who could care less about the Purple girl's fame or diva demands. They showdown to see who can complain loudest: the face of bureaucratic malaise or the passed-over primadonna?
Director: Chil-in Kwon
Stars: Min-jung Lee, Jeong-jin Lee, Kwang Soo