Michael Shannon in Take Shelter

The best…

  • Take Shelter. Jeff Nichols’ Shotgun Stories was one of the more promising debuts in recent memory. Here he reunites with his Shotgun star Michael Shannon for the story of a small town Ohio man with a loving wife (Jessica Chastain) and a deaf daughter. Life is enough of a struggle before his family life is upended by nightmares about a coming apocalyptic storm. (NY, LA)
  • Margaret. Speaking of promising debuts, Kenneth Lonergan’s You Can Count On Me starring Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo made plenty of waves in 2000, but then Lonergan dropped off the map. Shooting began on this, Lonergan’s 2nd film, way back in 2005, but the filmmaker ran into trouble in the editing room. Word was he couldn’t get the 3 hour film down to a length acceptable to the studio. Fast forward to earlier this year when none other than Martin Scorsese supposedly got involved to arbitrate a cut of the film and here we are finally with a release. Unfortunately, critical word is not all that great so far with some calling it an ambitious failure. Anna Paquin stars as a 17-year-old who thinks she’s responsible for a fatal automobile accident. Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo and Matthew Broderick co-star. (Limited)
  • 50/50. Based on screenwriter Will Reiser’s own experience with cancer, 50/50 takes a camediodramatic look at the illness with Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as cancer boy. Seth Rogen is his supportive friend, Anna Kendrick is his therapist and Anjelica Huston is his nervous mother. (Wide)

And the rest…

  • Dream House. Daniel Craig in another “maybe the hero is crazy” haunted house story. Rachel Weisz plays the harried wife. Naomi Watts is a helpful neighbor… or IS she? (zing!) (Wide)
  • What’s Your Number? Anna Faris is a funny and appealing screen presence, but the films in which she stars usually aren’t much to write home about. If critics are to be believed this is another one to skip. Faris revisits old flames looking for “the one” when she reads an article that claims people who’ve had 20 or more relationships have missed their shot at a lasting one. Chris Evans plays the hunky neighbor who will inevitably end up being her last. (Wide)
  • American Teacher. This documentary about one of the most important but under-appreciated professions around follows four teachers from different parts of the country. It exposes the difficulties they face while also probing why good new teachers are so hard to find and why the best ones are hard to keep. (Limited)
  • Munger Road. You’ve got your holiday (Scarecrow Festival?), you’ve got your killer on the loose and you’ve got your four missing teenagers. (Limited)
  • Sarah Palin – You Betcha! I’m super done talking about soon-to-be little more than a historic footnote Sarah Palin so Nick Broomfield (Kurt & Courtney) can save his breath. (NY, LA)
  • Tucker & Dale vs. Evil. Comedy horror ensues when a couple of backwoods rednecks are mistaken for murderous hillbillies by a group of annoying college kids. 30 Rock cupcake stars as the damsel in distress. (Limited)
  • My Joy. Ye olde official blurbage: “A truck driver takes a wrong turn and finds himself lost in a bleak Russian underworld, struggling to survive amidst increasingly violent reminders of the country’s dark history. The first fiction film by acclaimed documentarian Sergei Loznitsa, My Joy is a mischievous, ultra-nihilistic parable of post-Communist Russia, shot by master cinematographer Oleg Muto (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days)” (NY)
  • You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantanamo. A documentary cut from 7 hours of Guantanamo interrogation footage recently declassified by the Canadian government. It’s the world’s first look inside the notorious detainment camp for prisoners of the war on terror. (NY Wed 9/28)

4 Responses to “Weekend Forecast: 9/30/11”

  1. Loved Shotgun Stories and Michael Shannon is great in Boardwalk Empire. Looking forward to seeing Take Shelter.

  2. American Teacher is certainly timely giving the country-wide attack on them.

  3. The critical praise for TAKE SHELTER is deafening, so I am scrambling to fit in a play date for the weekend. Hopefully I’ll be able to see it late tomorrow night. As far as 50/50 I will be seeing that tomorrow afternoon. But both films are looking like excellent prospects as you note here on the forecast!

    Too bad about the initial word on MARGARET, but as always the proof will be the pudding.

  4. I’ll have more to say hopefully on the Watercooler, but was amazed by Weekend last night.

    This afternoon I’m going to try and squeeze in 50/50, Take Shelter and Margaret.

    As for the latter, I’d rather watch an ambitious failure than something middle of the road.

    Alison, reviews of the doc haven’t been that great, but I’m curious to see it anyway. I was very disappointed in the last few docs about education, namely Waiting for Superman.

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