IV No. 12
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
Thriller about a psychologist who, after
his wife dies, discovers that the “make-believe” friend
his daughter created is actually a real and
dangerous entity. Directed by John Polson
(“Swimfan”) from a screenplay
by Ari Schlossberg. With Robert De Niro (“Godsend,” “Meet
the Fockers”), Dakota Fanning (“Man
on Fire”), Famke Janssen (“X2,” “Eulogy”),
Amy Irving (“Tuck Everlasting”),
Elisabeth Shue (“Hollow Man,” “Dreamer”),
Dylan Baker (“Spider-Man 2,” “Kinsey”),
Robert John Burke (“Connie and Carla”),
James McCaffrey (“She Hate Me”)
and Melissa Leo (“21 Grams”).
Scope. Jan. 28. Fox.
Love Song For Bobby Long
Drama about a woman who returns to New Orleans
following the death of her estranged mother.
Written and directed by Shainee Gabel (the
documentary “Anthem”). With Scarlett
Johansson (“The Perfect Score,” “Synergy”),
John Travolta (“The Punisher,” “Ladder
49”), Gabriel Macht (“The Recruit”)
and Deborah Unger (“Stander,” “White
Noise”). Flat. 119 min. Dec. 19 in
New York and Los Angeles; wider Jan. 7.
Japanese-language drama, based on a true
story, about a 12-year-old forced to
care for his three younger half-siblings
when their young mother abandons them
in their Tokyo apartment. Written and
directed by Hirokazu Koreeda (“After
Life”). Yûya Yagira stars
as Akira. With Ayu Kitaura, Hiei Kimura,
Momoko Shimizu and Japanese TV personality
YOU as the mother. Flat. 138 min. Jan.
28 in New York. IFC.
Thriller about a man who makes supernatural
contact with his murdered wife. Directed
by Geoffrey Sax from a screenplay by Niall
Johnson. With Michael Keaton (“First
Daughter”), Deborah Unger (“Thirteen,” “Stander,” “A
Love Song for Bobby Long”), Ian McNeice
(“Around the World in 80 Days,” “Bridget
Jones: The Edge of Reason”), Chandra
West (“The Salton Sea”), Aaron
Douglas (“Catwoman”), Suzanne
Ristic (“Air Bud: Golden Receiver”),
Amber Rothwell (“We Don’t Live
Here Anymore”), April Telek (“Walking
Tall”), Miranda Frigon (TV’s “Jake
2.0”), and Anastasia Corbett (TV’s “The
Days”). Jan. 7. Universal.
French-language drama, set in a strict boys’ reform
school in the 1950s, about a new teacher’s
efforts to bring positive change to students’ lives
by forming them into a choir. Directed by
Christophe Barratier from a screenplay by
Barratier and Philippe Lopes-Curval. With
Gérard Jugnot (“Grosse Fatigue”)
François Berléand (“The
Transporter”), Jean-Baptiste Maunier,
Jacques Perrin (“Brotherhood of the
Wolf”), Kad Merad, Marie Bunel (“My
Life in Pink”) and Philippe Du Janerand
(“The Messenger: The Story of Joan
of Arc”). Also known as “Chorists.” Scope.
96 min. Jan. 14 in New York and Los Angeles.
Drama, set in New York City, about the misadventures
of a woman trying to find her husband, who
stormed out into the streets following a
heated argument with her. Written and directed
by Joe Maggio (“Virgil Bliss”).
With Kirsten Russell (“Virgil Bliss”),
Clint Jordan (“Virgil Bliss”),
Eleanor Hutchins (“Margarita Happy
Hour”), Greg Amici (“Virgil Bliss”),
Anthony Howard and Dudley Findlay Jr. Flat.
90 min. Jan. 21 in New York. Wellspring.
Live-action adventure about an abandoned
zebra who, with help from his barnyard
pals (and a young girl who dreams of
becoming a jockey), embarks on a racing
career. Directed by Frederik Du Chau
(“Quest for Camelot”) from
a screenplay by David Schmidt. With Hayden
Panettiere (“The Dust Factory”),
Bruce Greenwood (“Being Julia”),
Wendie Malick (“Manna From Heaven”),
Gary Bullock (“Holes”) and
M. Emmet Walsh (“Christmas With
the Kranks”). Featuring the voices
of Dustin Hoffman, Frankie Muniz, Michael
Clarke Duncan, Jeff Foxworthy and Whoopi
Goldberg. PG: Mild crude humor; some
language. Jan. 14. Warner Bros.
Merchant of Venice
Drama about a 16th-century Venetian who finds himself in a bind
after he secures – with a pound of his own flesh – a
loan from a vengeful moneylender. Based on the play by William
Shakespeare (“Titus Andronicus,” “Love’s
Labour’s Lost”). Written and directed by Michael
Radford (“B. Monkey,” “Dancing at the Blue
Iguana”). With Al Pacino (“Gigli”), Joseph
Fiennes (“Enemy at the Gates,” “Luther”),
Lynn Collins (“13 Going on 30”), Zuleikha Robinson
(“Hidalgo”), Mackenzie Crook (“Pirates of the
Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”), Gregor Fisher
(“Love Actually”) and Allan Corduner (“Vera
Drake”). 138 min. Dec. 29 in New York and Los Angeles.
Sony Pictures Classics.
Drama about an ex-fighter who mentors a young woman determined
to pursue a boxing career. Based on a collection of short stories
by F.X. Toole. Directed by Clint Eastwood (“Blood Work,” “Mystic
River”) from a screenplay by Paul Haggis (TV’s “EZ
Streets”). With Eastwood (“Blood Work”), Hilary
Swank (“The Core”), Morgan Freeman (“The Big
Bounce,” “An Unfinished Life”), Anthony Mackie
(“She Hate Me”), Margo Martindale (“It’s
All About Love”) and Christina Cox (“The Chronicles
of Riddick”). Also known as “Rope Burns.” Scope.
Dec. 17 limited. Warner Bros.