Indie Film Release Guide: February 8th [An ONTD Original]

Feb 07, 2019 12:48

This week, there are plentiful big studio options coming to theaters - the sequel to the Lego Movie, the genderswapped remake of What Women Want (imaginatively titled What Men Want), and Lords of Chaos, which stars sequel Culkin brother Rory as a devotee of Norwegian Black Metal. The indie offerings for this week are plentiful, too, and they are listed below.

The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia and Disney. Note that some of the movies listed are in their first week or two of limited release in the USA, so it may take them a few more weeks (or months) to show up in your local arthouse theater or on VOD. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have just opened near you: February 1st, January 25th, and January 18th.

The Prodigy

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Stars: Taylor Schilling, Brittany Allen, Jackson Robert Scott, Colm Feore
Writer: Jeff Buhler
Director: Nicholas McCarthy
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Plot: A mother concerned about her young son's disturbing behavior thinks something supernatural may be affecting him.
What you should know: The child in the movie has heterochromia - one eye is brown, while the other eye is blue.
Opens in: Wide release

Everybody Knows

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Stars: Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Ricardo Darin, Eduard Fernández
Writer/Director: Asghar Farhadi
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Plot: Laura, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her two children to attend her sister's wedding. However, the trip is upset by unexpected events that bring secrets into the open.
What you should know: It’s mainly in Spanish.
Opens in: Select cities

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot

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Stars: Sam Elliott, Aidan Turner, Ron Livingston, Caitlin FitzGerald
Writer/Director: Robert D. Kryzkowski
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Plot: A legendary American war veteran is recruited to hunt a mythical creature.
What you should know: Co-stars Aidan Turner and Caitlin FitzGerald started dating after working on this film together.
Opens in: Select cities

High Flying Bird

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Stars: André Holland, Zazie Beetz, Melvin Gregg, Sonja Sohn
Writer: Tarell Alvin McCraney
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Genre: Drama, Sport
Plot: A sports agent pitches a rookie basketball client on an intriguing and controversial business opportunity during a lockout.
What you should know: This is the second film that director Steven Soderbergh has shot on an iPhone.
Opens in: Select cities & on Netflix

The Isle

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Stars: Conleth Hill, Alex Hassell, Tori Butler-Hart, Fisayo Akinade
Writer: Matthew Butler-Hart, Tori Butler-Hart
Director: Matthew Butler-Hart
Genre: Fantasy, History, Horror
Plot: Based loosely on Scottish ghostly folklore with inspiration from Greek sirens, the tale is set in 1846 on a remote island off the west coast of Scotland, where three survivors from a mysterious sinking of their merchant ship find themselves stranded on a small misty isle.
What you should know: It was filmed in Scotland and England.
Opens in: Select cities

The Divorce Party

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Stars: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Katrina Bowden, Claire Holt, Thomas Cocquerel
Writer: Mark Famiglietti, Lane Garrison
Director: Hughes William Thompson
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Plot: A recently dumped divorcee in his late-twenties sets out to plan a wedding-sized divorced party in an attempt to get his life back on track.
What you should know: This is the director’s first feature film.
Opens in: Select theaters and on demand


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Stars: Alice Eve, Jamie Dornan, Billy Crystal, Jemima Kirke
Writer/Director: Emma Forrest
Genre: Drama
Plot: Andrea is a recently sober writer whose career has stalled since she published her debut novel several years ago. She strikes up an affair with Nick, a doctor-turned-writer who is hailed for his wartime memoir. At the same time, her sister Tara, a massage therapist dating an aging rock star, finds herself inexorably drawn to a newfound religious zeal and, particularly, to a politically engaged rabbi.
What you should know: This is the director’s feature debut.
Opens in: Select cities

Berlin, I Love You

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Stars: Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Luke Wilson, Jim Sturgess
Writer: Various
Director: Various
Genre: Drama, Romance
Plot: Latest installment of the Cities of Love franchise (Paris, je t'aime / New York, I Love You / Rio, Eu Te Amo), this collective feature-film is made of ten stories of romance set in the German capital.
What you should know: Actress Dianna Agron directed one of the shorts.
Opens in: NYC and LA

Under the Eiffel Tower

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Stars: Matt Walsh, Judith Godrèche, Reid Scott, Michaela Watkins
Writer: Archie Borders, Judith Godrèche, David Henry
Director: Archie Borders
Genre: Romance
Plot: Stuart is a having a mid-life crisis. Desperate for something more in life, he tags along on his best friend's family vacation to Paris - then proposes to his friend's 26-year-old daughter, Rosalind, while standing under the Eiffel Tower.
What you should know: This is based on a true story told to the film’s director.
Opens in: Select cities

Oscar Nominated Short Films - Live Action, Animated and Documentary

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Live Action Short Films: Program includes Detainment (Ireland), based on the true story of two ten-year-old boys who are detained by police under suspicion of abducting and murdering a toddler (nota bene: this is the short based on a true story that the mother of the toddler tried to get eliminated from Oscar contention) ; Fauve (Canada), set in a surface mine, where two boys sink into a seemingly innocent power game with Mother Nature as the sole observer; Madre (Mother) (Spain), about a single mother who receives a disturbing call from her seven-year-old son who is on vacation with his father in the French Basque Country; Marguerite (Canada), about an aging woman and her nurse who develop a friendship that inspires her to unearth unacknowledged longing and thus help her make peace with her past; and Skin (USA), in which an innocuous moment sends two gangs into a ruthless war that ends with a shocking backlash.

Animated Short Films: Program includes Animal Behaviour (Canada), in which five animals meet regularly to discuss their inner angst in a group therapy session led by a canine psychotherapist; Disney-Pixar’s Bao(USA), the story of an aging Chinese mom suffering from empty nest syndrome who gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life as a lively, giggly dumpling boy;,  Late Afternoon (Ireland), about an elderly woman who journeys into an inner world, reliving moments from her life; One Small Step (USA/China), about a vibrant young Chinese American girl who dreams of becoming an astronaut; and Weekends (USA), the story of a young boy shuffling between the homes of his recently divorced parents.

Documentary Short Films: Program includes Black Sheep, about a family’s move in the aftermath of the high-profile killing; End Game, about visionary medical practitioners who are working on the cutting edge of life and death; Lifeboat, about volunteers from a German non-profit who risk the waves of the Mediterranean to pluck refugees from sinking rafts pushing off from Libya in the middle of the night; A Night at the Garden, about a 1939 Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden that has been largely forgotten; and PERIOD. END OF SENTENCE, about the deeply rooted stigma against menstruation in a rural village outside Dehli, India.

What you should know: All of the Oscar-nominated short films are being shown in select theaters, grouped together by category. Be aware that some theaters are splitting the Documentary shorts into two showings.
Opens in: Select cities, presented by ShortsTV. You can find some of the shorts online as well.

Also opening: Cold Pursuit (Trailer), To Dust (Trailer), St. Agatha (Trailer), The Final Wish (Trailer), The Amityville Murders (Trailer), Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year (Trailer)

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What have you been watching lately, ONTD? Planning to see anything soon?

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