“With September and the rest of the fall now bursting with major Hollywood releases and Academy Award aspirants, the previously uncrowded terrain of summer no longer looks so hospitable for more serious movies. In the next five weeks alone Oscar hopefuls like A Mighty Heart and Evening, Sundance favorites like Joshua and Broken English, Cannes sensations like Sicko, Don Cheadle’s star turn in Talk to Meand films directed by the likes of Steve Buscemi (Interview), Werner Herzog (Rescue Dawn), Danny Boyle (Sunshine) and Griffin Dunne (Fierce People) will jockey for position with sleeper summer hits like Waitress and Once, not to mention the mainstream blockbusters.” — from David Halbfinger‘s N.Y. Times piece about indie counter-programming.
Reality check,Separating wheat from the chaff. etc.: An inexplicably low first-weekend gross awaits A Mighty Heart, despite it being a gripping procedural as well as the best film Michael Winterbottom has ever made with a near-great performance by Angelina Jolie. Evening has the best people and the best pedigree, and it’s a flat-liner from the get-go. The third act of Sunshine is absolutely infuriating. Fierce People is an off-balance film about some very odd people. I haven’t seen Joshua or Talk To Me, but the rest — particularly Sicko, Interview and Rescue Dawn — are highly recommended.