Independent films are likely to attract Oscar attention

12/04/2011 5:00 AM

08/08/2014 10:06 AM

In the midst of the big-budget holiday movie season, don’t forget the little guys. There are several cool independent films now playing or on the way, and many will attract awards attention.

Here’s a look (dates are subject to change):

Now playing

“Like Crazy” – This romance stars Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as a couple who try to make a long-distance relationship work. It won the audience award and a special acting prize for Jones at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and Jones just nabbed a Gotham Awards nomination as breakthrough actor. (Warren Theatre east)

“The Ides of March” – Ryan Gosling could get acting nods for his role as a corrupt politician’s assistant in this drama written and directed by George Clooney. (Warren Theatre west)

“The Skin I Live In” – Wildly imaginative director Pedro Almodovar ventures into thriller territory with this dark tale of a brilliant plastic surgeon (a smoldering Antonio Banderas) who invents a new synthetic human skin after his wife burns and dies in a car crash. But things get ugly – or pretty, depending on how you look at it – when he finds a person to test it on. This could be a contender for best foreign film come Oscar time. (Warren Theatre east)

“50/50” – Joseph Gordon-Levitt deserves Oscar attention for his role as a young man who discovers he has cancer. Despite its subject matter, it’s an exhilarating, euphoric film. (Palace West)

Showing Tuesday and Thursday

“Weekend” – This love story follows two gay men who meet one lonely night at a bar and find themselves caught up in a lost weekend of drugs and intimate conversation. The film won the Emerging Visions award at the prestigious SXSW Film Festival in Austin. (7:30 p.m. both days; Murdock Theatre, 536 N. Broadway)

Coming Friday

“Take Shelter” – Michael Shannon is sure to attract Oscar attention for his riveting performance as a man who sees creepy apocalyptic visions. But since his mother has mental problems, he fears he may have inherited her sickness. Should he protect his family from the impending doom or himself? (Warren Theatre east)

“The Descendants” – Director Alexander Payne (“Election,” “About Schmidt”) returns with this quirky tale of a husband (George Clooney) who discovers his sick wife may have cheated on him. (Warren Theatre east)

Dec. 16

“Young Adult” – Charlize Theron stars as a fiction writer who returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with an ex-boyfriend, now happily married with kids. (Warren Theatre east)

Also in December (tentative)

“My Week With Marilyn” – Michelle Williams (“Blue Valentine”) could attract Oscar attention as Marilyn Monroe in this account of her relationship with Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branaugh).

“The Artist” – This silent film follows a silent movie star who wonders if the arrival of talking pictures will cause him to fade into oblivion. It just won best film from the New York Film Critics’ Circle, usually an indicator of Oscar contenders.

January (tentative)

“Shame” – Michael Fassbender is getting raves in this tale of a New Yorker who freely indulges in his sexual addiction until his sister (Carey Mulligan) arrives unannounced for an indefinite stay.

“The Iron Lady” – Meryl Streep could finally get that long overdue third Oscar in this biopic as Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

About Movie Maniac

The Eagle's Rod Pocowatchit offers his musings on the screen scene.

Reach Rod at rpocowatchit@wichitaeagle.com.

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