By Sarah Sluis
Now that Christmas is over, most of the big releases are coasting through the New Year. Just a few more movies will hit the screen this weekend, most of them indies.
The Iron Lady (4 theatres) will lead the pack. This portrait of controversial British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will surely attract fans of what critc Rex Roberts describes as the "peerless actress,"
Meryl Streep. I found Streep to be the most enjoyable part of the whole film, which spends a little too much time with the dementia-ridden older Thatcher. Roberts seconds his approval of Streep, who he predicts will win an Oscar for her performance. He also came out in favor of the "imaginative, entertaining biopic" as a whole. One thing we both agree on: It's definitely better than J. Edgar.
The small-but-worthy Pariah opened on Wednesday in four theatres. The "funny, deep, and tender film," as described by David Noh, "delves into the largely unfamiliar world of black lesbians living their lives in New York City in the 21st century." The "unerring incisiveness" makes the drama feel like an "anthropological exploration," and director Dee Rees (profiled here) is a Hollywood up-and-comer.
Finally, A Separation (3 theatres) joins the fray of well-regarded indies. The "legal procedural" fascinated Ethan Alter not only because it was a "damn fine movie," but also because its insights into everyday life in Iran serve as a "cultural-exchange tool." The drama is Iran's selection for `the Academy Awards' Best Foreign Language film, and it's definitely a contender.
The adult blockbusters Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Mission: Impossible--Ghost Protocol, and The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo should continue to make strong showings, and I have particular hope that the third popcorn pic will show holding power. All of these movies have the added bonus of playing just 30% off their peak during the weekdays, since so many people have vacation. For families, it appears that Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked will lead, followed by The Adventures of Tintin, We Bought a Zoo, and Hugo.
On Tuesday, Screener will be back from the holiday and reporting on which films brought in 2012 with a bang.