IV No. 6
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
French-language comedy about the citizens
of a tiny fishing village who, aware that
they need a physician in residence to make
their town eligible for a new factory, resort
to subterfuge designed to lure an M.D. Directed
by Jean-François Pouliot from a screenplay
by Ken Scott (“Life After Love”).
With Raymond Bouchard (“Laura Cadieux
... La Suite”), David Boutin (“Hochelaga”),
Benoît Brière (“Stardom”),
Bruno Blanchet, Pierre Collin (“How
My Mother Gave Birth to Me During Menopause”)
and Lucie Laurier (“How My Mother Gave
Birth to Me During Menopause”). Also
known as “La Grande Seduction.” Flat.
109 min. July 2 in New York and Los Angeles;
wider July 16. Wellspring.
Comedy about rival 8th-grade slumber parties,
and a scavenger hunt that determines which
group of girls gets dibs on a primo school
lunch table. Directed by Joe Nussbaum (the
short “George Lucas in Love”) from
a screenplay by Elisa Bell (“Vegas Vacation”).
With Alexa Vega (the “Spy Kids” series),
Mika Boorem (“Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights”),
Sara Paxton (“Soldier”), Steven
Carell (“Bruce Almighty,” “Anchorman”),
Kallie Flynn Childress, Jane Lynch (“A
Mighty Wind”), Jeff Garlin (“Daddy
Day Care”), Sam Huntington (“Not
Another Teen Movie”), Summer Glau (TV’s “Firefly”),
Brie Larson (“13 Going on 30”),
Douglas Smith (“Blast From The Past”),
Ryan Slattery (“Cecil B. DeMented”)
and Sean Faris (“Pearl Harbor”).
Flat. PG: Thematic elements involving teen
dating; some sensuality; language. July 9.
of the Wolf
Post-apocalyptic French-language drama about
a refugee mother and her two children, who
wait for a train they hope will rescue them
from lives of deprivation and adversity.
Written and directed by Michael Haneke (“The
Piano Teacher”). With Isabelle Huppert
(“The Piano Teacher,” “8
Women”), Béatrice Dalle (“Trouble
Every Day”), Patrice Chéreau
(“Time Regained”), Rona Hartner
(“Le Divorce”), Maurice Bénichou
(“Amelie”) and Olivier Gourmet
(“The Son”). Also known as “Le
Temps du Loup.” Scope. 113 min. June
25 in New York; July 2 in Los Angeles. Palm.
French-language thriller, set in Brussels,
Belgium, about a beautiful transsexual who
becomes involved with a police chief as a
series of mysterious killings rock the city’s
underworld. Based on the French novel by
Brigitte Aubert. Directed by Francis Girod
from a screenplay by Girod and Philippe Cougrand.
With Richard Bohringer (“The Cat’s
Meow”), Robinson Stévenin, Stéphane
Metzger (“Girl on the Bridge”),
William Nadylam, Frédéric Pellegeay
(“The Statement”) and Ginette
Garcin. Also known as “Mauvais Genres.” Scope.
110 min. July 30 in New York. Picture This!
set in 1897, about a close-knit rural community
with a shared awareness of a mysterious race
of beings living in the adjacent forest.
Written and directed by M. Night Shymalan
With William Hurt (“Tuck Everlasting”),
Sigourney Weaver (“Holes”), Adrien
Brody (“Dummy”), Bryce Howard (“How
the Grinch Stole Christmas”), Joaquin
Phoenix (“Buffalo Soldiers”), Judy
Greer (“13 Going On 30”), Jesse
Eisenberg (“Roger Dodger”), Brendan
Gleeson (“Cold Mountain,” “Troy”)
and Michael Pitt (“The Dreamers”).
Flat. July 30. Buena Vista.
Comedy about a Harvard-educated biotech executive
who, after getting fired for snitching on
his bosses, begins providing his “services” to
lesbians desiring motherhood. Directed by
Spike Lee (“Bamboozled,” “25th
Hour”) from a screenplay by Lee and
Michael Genet. With Anthony Mackie (“Hollywood
Homicide,” “The Manchurian Candidate”),
Bai Ling (“My Baby’s Daddy”),
Ellen Barkin (“Someone Like You”),
Monica Bellucci (“The Passion of the
Christ”), Jim Brown (“Any Given
Sunday”), Sarita Choudhury (“It
Runs in the Family”), Ossie Davis (“Baadasssss!”),
Brian Dennehy (“Stolen Summer”),
Kim Director (“Bamboozled”),
Chiwetel Ejiofor (“Love Actually”),
Gary Evans (“The Royal Tenenbaums”),
Woody Harrelson (“Anger Management”),
Lonette McKee (“Honey”), Paula
Jai Parker (“My Baby’s Daddy”),
Q-Tip (“Poetic Justice”), John
Turturro (“Secret Window”) and
Kerry Washington (“Against the Ropes”).
Flat. R: Strong graphic sexuality/nudity;
language; a scene of violence. July 30. Sony
When a former astronaut sees his secret,
cutting-edge international rescue vehicles
commandeered by a ruthless criminal, it’s
up to the ex-astronaut’s youngest son
to effect a rescue. Based on the British
comic book and marionette TV series. Directed
by Jonathan Frakes (“Star Trek: Insurrection,” “Clockstoppers”)
from a screenplay by William Osborne (“The
Scorpion King”) and Michael McCullers
(“Austin Powers in Goldmember”).
With Brady Corbet (“Thirteen”),
Bill Paxton (“Broken Lizard’s
Club Dread”), Ben Kingsley (“House
of Sand and Fog”), Lex Shrapnel (“K-19:
The Widowmaker”), Philip Winchester
(“The Patriot”), Dominic Colenso,
Ben Togersen, Soren Fulton (“Van Wilder”),
Sophia Myles (“Underworld”),
Ron Cook (“24 Hour Party People”),
Vanessa Anne Hudgens (“Thirteen”)
and Anthony Edwards (“Northfork”)
as Brains. Flat. 91 min. PG: Intense action
sequences; language. July 30. Universal.
Comedy, set in Canada, about a homosexual
who finds his life in chaos after his ardent
Muslim mother announces she’s coming
for a visit. Written and directed by Ian
Iqbal Rashid. With Jimi Mistry (“Ella
Enchanted”), Kyle MacLachlan (“Northfork”),
Sue Mathew (“Life or Something Like
It”), Kristen Holden-Reid (“K-19:
The Widowmaker”), Veena Sood (“Connie & Carla”),
Raoul Bhaneja (“Godsend”) and
Brian George (“Bubble Boy”).
Flat. 92 min. R: Sexual content; brief language.
July 16. Sony Pictures Classics.
Comedy, set in a rural Wales, about a funeral
director who confesses his love for a local
woman just as his livelihood becomes threatened
by the arrival of more modern and stylish American
competitors. Directed by Nick Hurran (“Virtual
Sexuality”) from a screenplay by Frederick
Ponzlov. With Alfred Molina (“Identity,” “Coffee
and Cigarettes,” “Spider-Man 2”),
Naomi Watts (“Ned Kelly”), Christopher
Walken (“Man on Fire,” “Envy,” “The
Stepford Wives”), Brenda Blethyn (“Sonny”),
Robert Pugh (“Master and Commander: The
Far Side of the World”) and Lee Evans
(“The Medallion”). Also known as “Plots
With a View.” July 2 in New York and
Los Angeles. Miramax.
drama about a painter whose passionate love
affair with a shy poet is disrupted when,
on a train, she encounters a charming veterinarian.
Directed by Sun Zhou from a screenplay by
Bei Cun and Zhang Mei. With Gong Li (“The
Emperor and the Assassin”), Tony Leung
Ka Fai (“The Lover,” “A Touch
of Evil”), Honglei Sun (“The Road
Home”) and Zhixiong Li. Flat. 97 min.
PG-13: Sexuality. July 2 in New York and
Los Angeles. Sony Pictures Classics.
Documentary about the deceased beat poet and author Charles Bukowski,
whose use of shockingly frank layman’s language has garnered
cult status for novels such as “Love is a Dog from Hell” and “Notes
of a Dirty Old Man.” Directed by John Dullaghan. Featuring
archival footage as well as interviews with U2 frontman Bono, actors
Harry Dean Stanton and Sean Penn, and director Taylor Hackford.
Flat. 113 min. June 18. Magnolia.
Persian-language drama, set in Iran, about
a local teacher who agrees to help a stranded
motorist fix his car while the motorist’s
wife supervises the teacher’s students.
Directed by Alireza Raisian from a screenplay
by Kambuzia Partovi (“The Circle”).
With Leila Hatami (“Leila”),
Nezam Manouchehri, Mehran Rajabi and Mahmoud
Pak Neeyat. Also known as “Istgah-Matrouk.” Flat.
88 min. June 11 in New York. First Run.
wildlife adventure, set in 1920s Cambodia,
about two juvenile tigers who embark on two
very different career paths after they’re
taken into captivity: one becomes a circus
performer, the other a trained killer. Directed
by Jean-Jacques Annaud (“Seven Years
in Tibet,” “Enemy at the Gates”)
from a screenplay by Annaud and Alain Godard
(“Wings of Courage,” “Enemy
at the Gates”). With Guy Pearce (“The
Hard Word,” “A Slipping Down Life”),
Jean-Claude Dreyfus (“The Lady and the
Duke”), Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu (“Vatel”),
Freddie Highmore and Le Mai Anh. Flat. 105
min. PG: Mild violence. June 25. Universal.
Arabic- and English-language documentary about the coverage of
Al Jazeera, the most widely-viewed Arabic news network, during
the United States’ war with Iraq. Directed by Jehane Noujaim
(“Startup.com”). 84 min. June 11. Magnolia.
As former neighbor
Mary Jane Watson pursues a successful modelling
career and dates an astronaut, Peter Parker
must use his bizarre superpowers to combat
the freakish, multi-armed supervillain Dr.
Otto Octavius. Based on the Marvel Comics
characters created by Stan Lee (“X-Men,” “Daredevil,” “Hulk”).
Returnees from part one include director Sam
Raimi (“The Gift”) as well as actors
Tobey Maguire (“Seabiscuit”) as
Parker, Kirsten Dunst (“Eternal Sunshine
of the Spotless Mind”) as Mary Jane,
James Franco (“The Company”) as
Harry Osborne, J.K. Simmons (“The Ladykillers,” “Off
the Map”) as J. Jonah Jameson, Ted Raimi
(“For Love of the Game”) as Ted
Hoffman, Rosemary Harris (“The Gift”)
as Aunt May, Elizabeth Banks (“Catch
Me If You Can”) as Betty Brandt, and
Bruce Campbell (“The Majestic”)
as the snooty usher. Newcomers to the series
include screenwriters Michael Chabon (the novel “The
Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay”)
and Alvin Sargent (“Anywhere But Here,” “Unfaithful”)
as well as actors Alfred Molina (“Identity,” “Coffee
and Cigarettes,” “Undertaking Betty”)
as Doc Ock, Dylan Baker (“How To Deal”)
as Curt Connors, Daniel Gillies (TV’s “Jeremiah”)
as astronaut John Jameson, Daniel Dae Kim (“Hulk”)
as Raymond, and Donna Murphy (“Center
Stage,” “Door in the Floor”)
as Rosalie Octavius. PG-13: Stylized action
violence. June 30. Sony.