Once someone has not only won a Best Director Oscar but seen that movie go on to win Best Picture, it must be tempting to spend the rest of your career repeating the formula that resulted in such success and acclaim. Fortunately for moviegoers, Danny Boyle is making like the Coen brothers: Each project he’s helmed since the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire (127 Hours, the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics, and now Trance) has been a total departure from the one before.
Trance looks like Boyle’s take on an Inception-esque thriller, in which the characters and the audience can’t be entirely certain from scene to scene what’s real and what’s a dream, or a hypnotic suggestion, or a fantasy, or … you get the idea. James McAvoy is an art auctioneer who has no memory (or does he?!) of where he’s hidden a painting to protect it from thieves; Rosario Dawson is a hypnotherapist who might be able to help him with his amnesia (or is it?!); and Vincent Cassel is a skeevy French criminal, in what will probably not turn out to have been the biggest stretch of his career.
New and Notable
In this gentle comedy, Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker play a lesbian couple trying to determine their own fate (and avoid Fricker’s granddaughter’s interference) by road-tripping to Canada to marry each other.
Ginger & Rosa
In Sally Potter’s latest, a teenager (Elle Fanning) in post-war England is pulled between her conventional mother (Christina Hendricks) and her anti-nuclear activist father (Alessandro Nivola).
A French slacker undertakes to meet some of the 100-plus children who resulted from his frequent sperm donations.
The arrival of his estranged mother (or, at least, a woman claiming to be his mother) leads a loan shark to question his life choices.
The Adventures of Mickey Matson and the Copperhead Treasure
I’m guessing the producers of this one hope you don’t know that Percy Jackson is a totally different franchise and that your kids don’t either.
At the end of WWII, a Russian platoon happens upon a village where a mad scientist has been working on a squad of cyborg zombie soldiers.
Om Shanti Om
An actor is killed, then reincarnated into the present day to try to solve his own murder in this Bollywood movie.
Modern Family’s Nolan Gould costars alongside the titular man-eating ghoul.
“In Theaters” VOD Picks
Breaking the Girls
A couple of college girls hook up with each other and then conspire to kill one another’s nemeses.
If I say it’s yet another straight-to-home video joint starring Christian Slater, that’s all I need to say, right?
Early VOD Releases
Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson play craft brewery coworkers and best friends who are the last to know they are actually in love with each other.
The Time Being
Lonely old millionaire Frank Langella uses his money to manipulate painter Wes Bentley.
If you’ve ever wanted to see a psychological thriller starring Dan Fogler and Josh Duhamel, this may be your only chance.
Screenwriting powerhouses Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant wrote and costar in this comedy about a couple who move into a haunted house and end up with a demonically possessed baby.
Weird Indie of the Week
An actual moon man must evade pursuit by an angry president determined to conquer every inch of Earth, and if that sounds like the synopsis of a weird European kids’ movie, that’s because it is.
House Party: Tonight’s the Night
“The original house party movies actually taught life lessons. In those movies whoever tried to drink got kicked out. This is like a stupider version of project x.” You said it, YouTube commenter 1tmac4life.