Vera Farmiga directs Vera Farmiga and John Hawkes in Higher Ground
  • Higher Ground. We already know Vera Farmiga can act, but apparently she’s got a knack for directing too. Higher Ground got great reviews when it debuted at Sundance back in January. Set amid the social revolution of the 1960s, it tells the story of a woman (Farmiga) who turns to a community of religious fundamentalists to find meaning in her life, but some of the group’s more extreme beliefs threaten to lead her into spiritual crisis. John Hawkes and a bunch of noted New York theater actors co-star. (NY, LA)
  • Brighton Rock. Screenwriter Rowan Joffe (The American, 28 Weeks Later) shifts Graham Greene’s 1939 novel to the mid-60s as a young gangster (Sam Riley – Control) struggles to rise up the ranks of Britain’s underworld. When a waitress (Andrea Riseborough – Made in Dagenham) fingers him for a murder, he seduces her. Is he just trying to keep her quiet or has he really fallen for her? Helen Mirren, Andy Serkis and John Hurt co-star. It’s got a great cast and the trailer looks suitably moody, but period noir can be tricky to pull off. (NY, LA)

  • Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure. In the late 80’s a pair of roommates surreptitiously recorded the knock-down, drag-out fights between the two men living in the apartment next door, an odd couple pairing of a gay man and a homophobic straight man. They shared their recordings with friends and they became a pre-reality show, pre-YouTube viral sensation that even lead to a Daniel Clowes comic. Years later, the two roommates set out to track down their neighbors to find out if they were in fact lovers. The more I think about this movie, the more repellently exploitative it sounds. Let’s all gather around the hearth and laugh at our fellows’ human misery, shall we? Don’t we have enough of this repulsive, voyeuristic crap on TV? (SF. NY, LA 9/16)
  • Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. “Guillermo del Toro presents” this remake of a 1973 TV movie that del Toro says is the scariest ever made. A little girl (Bailee Madison – Brothers, Phoebe in Wonderland) comes to stay in a creepy old mansion with her father (Guy Pierce) and her father’s new girlfriend (Katie Holmes). I’m guessing those creepy voices in the basement are bad news. (Wide)
  • Our Idiot Brother. Paul Rudd is the family black sheep, a naive organic farming pot smoker who moves in with one unwilling sister after another when his girlfriend dumps him. Can they learn anything from his sunny outlook before he drives them completely crazy? Of course he can! Emily Mortimer, Elizabeth Banks and Zooey Deschanel co-star. (Wide)
  • Colombiana. From a screenplay by Luc Besson. Zoe Saldana stars as a woman who became a revenge-seeking assassin because her parents were murdered when she was a lass. Not original maybe, but it sounds simple, too the point and potentially entertaining if they don’t muck up the action scenes. It could be the perfect end of summer blast, or it could be a total dud. Reviews haven’t been great which is too bad because Zoe Saldana has the stuff to carry a good action movie. (Wide)
  • The Family Tree. A bout of amnesia stirs up the lives of a zany family living in the (no doubt ironically named) suburb of Serenity, Ohio. Reviews have been brutal, but it’s got a great cast including Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Chi McBride, Max Thieriot, Selma Blair, Keith Carradine and many more. (NY, LA)
  • Chasing Madoff. The story of Harry Markopolos’ 10-year investigation into the dirty dealings of now-infamous financial sleazebag Bernie Madoff and how Markopolos tried unsuccessfully to bring Madoff’s crimes to the attention of the SEC and the press years before they finally came out. (Limited)
  • Circumstance. Official blurb: “Atafeh and her brother, Mehran, have grown up privileged, in a home filled with music, art, and intellectual curiosity. While Atafeh dreams of fame and adventure, and she and her best friend, Shireen, explore Tehran’s underground scene with youthful exuberance and determination to be themselves, her brother returns home from drug rehab, renounces his former decadent life, and replaces his once obsessive practice of classical music with more destructive pursuits.” (Limited)
  • Special Treatment. A match between two people unhappy in their careers: a high-class prostitute (Isabelle Hupert) and a troubled psychoanalyst with marriage problems. From director Jeanne Labrune. (Limited)

4 Responses to “Weekend Forecast: Putting a nail in summer’s coffin”

  1. Higher Ground sounds interesting. And the title is so apropos for this weekend given that here in NYC everyone living in low-lying areas has been ordered to evacuate to higher ground.

    I’ll be holed up in the apartment all weekend watching TCM as long as the power doesn’t go out.

  2. Stay safe and dry, Alison!

  3. Luc Besson. When will you go back to directing kick-ass action movies, instead of just handing the scripts you write to journeymen?

  4. Weird that he’s directed The Lady with Michelle Yeoh, isn’t it?

    Don’t imagine there will be much call for her to be kicking ass in that one.

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