I haven’t seen many March films, but the good ones seem few and far between. By my yardstick the two best will emerge at the end of the month. Wayne Blair‘s The Sapphires (Weinstein Co., 3.22) is a partial knockout, but entirely worth seeing for Chris Dowd‘s landmark performance as a road manager who’s also a major Motown fanatic. If you’re a fan of The Shining, Rodney Ascher‘s Room 237 (IFC Films, 3.29) is the shit, a hoot, a trip — the smartest and sharpest film of the month. And no, the trailers haven’t done it justice

3.1: Ixnay on Stoker and the reviews for Jack the Giant Slayer haven’t been good. I still haven’t seen The Sweeney. If anything, Kim Nguyen‘s War Witch is probably the one to see. Honestly? I’ve only watched half of the screener. That’s not a criticism — just an admission of laziness.

3.8: The only interesting thing I’ve noticed so far about Sam Raimi‘s Oz: The Great and Powerful (which I’ve only seen traielrs for) is the black-and-white beginning. Cristian Mungiu‘s Beyond the Hills is deliberately paced, austere, and in my book first-rate. David Riker‘s The Girl has a commendable Abbie Cornish performance but is otherwise a bit of a mixed bag. I still haven’t seen Michel Gondry‘s The We And The I. I’m sorry but I felt underwhelmed by Peter Webber‘s Emperor.

3.15: I caught Sally Potter‘s Ginger and Rosa at last September’s Telluride Film Festival — distinctive, intriguing, less than fully satisfying. I won’t see Harmony Korine‘s Spring Breakers until Thursday. < strong>3.22: I haven’t seen Paul Weitz‘s comedic Admission but it’s apparently quite slight.