This Weekend's Indies: From Spring Breakers to Snoop Lion
Here's the rare limited release that's being given all the publicity of a wide release. We've heard a lot about Spring Breakers lately, from director Harmony Korine's elliptical explanations of the film's scuzzy intentions to raves over James Franco's scuzzy performance. The film itself has gotten shockingly fantastic reviews and seems to have arrived at some Pure Trash zenith. The film will almost certainly roll out to the rest of America -- besides Franco, you've got actresses like Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Benson, all of whom have preexisting fanbases from TV projects.
Ginger & Rosa
In many ways, this is a delayed 2012 release. Sally Potter's film played festivals all through last fall, and it opened briefly in Los Angeles at the end of the year, in order to qualify for Oscar attention. It didn't get any, though it probably should have. Elle Fanning, playing English, gives a delicate, empathetic performance, and she leads a rather stellar cast, featuring ace turns by Alessandro Nivola, Alice Englert (Beautiful Creatures), and Annette Bening.
I am not prepared for the crazy of this movie, and neither are you. Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess are star-crossed lovers who live on different planets, but whose planets are, like, rubbing up against each other, so that one is always upside-down atop the other one. It's at this point that I'd like to thank whatever kind soul smoked weed, did a handstand above a mirror, and then wrote down the first idea that came into his head thereafter. This looks bananas in the best way.
From Up on Poppy Hill
From legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki's son Goro, this latest release from Studio Ghibli feels less fantastical in concept than earlier Gibli works like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, though it does seem to involve ghosts in some way. The Ghibli label -- and the Miyazaki one, more specifically -- is as reliable an indicator of film quality as there is, and the American voice cast, including Gillian Anderson, Christina Hendricks, Ron Howard, Aubrey Plaza, and Jamie Lee Curtis, is quite the draw as well.
So maybe you heard something about Snoop Dogg changing his name to Snoop Lion and you were wondering what exactly the story was? This documentary is your answer. It involves a soul-searching journey to Jamaica, an embrace of reggae, and, surprise, a good bit of weed.
Laura Prepon (Are You There, Chelsea?) makes the jump from TV to movies with this indie morsel about a birthday party (hers) and the chaos that swirls around her and her circle of friends. It feels like a thirtysomething, hipster-adjacent version of Can't Hardly Wait? If that makes sense? Dreama Walker, Bryan Greenberg, and Amber Stevens co-star.