We’ve entered September, the point where the films aren’t bombastic enough for summer (but not outright crap reserved for August), and don’t have the longevity or clout to be remembered come Oscar time. Ten movies made the cut, along with a swath of honorable mentions, so September might be a good time to take a break from school or work and go hit the multiplex!
Synopsis: A documentary seeking to lift the veil on reclusive writer J.D. Salinger. Predominately known for writing “The Catcher in the Rye,” filmmaker Shane Salerno goes deep to explore Salinger’s childhood, his marriages, and the writing process that aided in the creation of his masterpieces of fiction.
What You Need to Know: Countless attempts have been made to secure the rights to “Catcher in the Rye” all the way back to the book’s publication. With that being a lost cause, Salerno’s documentary will delve deeper than just that work and explore the author as a person. The first trailer plays up the mysterious character that Salinger is, and with over 150 people interviewed, this should be an incredibly fascinating documentary for novice fans of Salinger, or fans who believe they know everything. The documentary coincides with a new published biography on the author, and there’s even a rumor—aided by preview audiences being told to sign non-disclosure agreements—that a few unpublished Salinger manuscripts will see publication. Literary aficionados and documentary lovers will want to seek this one out.
Release Date: September 6th in limited release
Synopsis: Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) is a massage therapist who suddenly develops an aversion to human touch. As Abby struggles with this predicament and how it affects her own identity, her dentist brother Paul (Josh Pais) and his daughter Jenny (Ellen Page) discover that he might actually possess a “healing touch.”
What You Need to Know: Director Lynn Shelton has become an indie darling ever since her 2009 film, “Humpday” (it wasn’t her debut, but it put her name out there). Since then, Shelton has worked on two projects with Rosemarie Dewitt; “Touchy Feely” being Shelton’s second pairing with Dewitt after 2011’s “Your Sister’s Sister.” Our own Rodrigo Perez saw “Touchy Feely” at Sundance and commended Shelton for breaking out of “observational and dialogue-driven films” of her past and focusing on “sound, tenor, editing, and cinematography.” However, Perez was left unimpressed, giving the movie a “B-,” believing the film to be “muted” and “low-energy.” However, fans of Shelton and Dewitt’s past work should be interested enough to check it out.
Release Date: September 6th in limited release.
“And While We Were Here”
Synopsis: A woman (Kate Bosworth) finds love with a younger man (Jamie Blackley) during a romantic Italian vacation with her husband (Iddo Goldberg).
What You Need to Know: “And While We Were Here” has gone through some intriguing changes as it works its ways into theaters and VOD. Originally titled, “While We Were Here,” writer Gabe Toro found the film “sublime” at the Tribeca Film Festival; he also applauded the movie’s use of black and white photography which has been colorized in the latest trailer. While something may be lost having the film in color, the movie, plot, and acting is the same. Toro gave the film a B+ upon release, and whether it’s in black and white or color; it’s still one to seek out.
Release Date: Out now on VOD; opens September 6th in limited release.
Synopsis: The life of the Beltway sniper is detailed in this disturbing tale of a father figure (Isaiah Washington) and the young boy he adopts.
What You Need to Know: True-life crime stories are a dime a dozen in media, and “Blue Caprice” has been on our radar for awhile; it made our 25 Most Anticipated of the Sundance Film Festival list back in January. Since then, there’s been little movement outside of playing the festival circuit (and unfortunately we missed it during its Sundance run). The first trailer is filled with dread, apprehension, and atmosphere making it a crime drama to watch out for.
Release Date: September 13th in limited release.
Synopsis: Wadjda is a 10-year-old Middle Eastern girl who dreams of purchasing a bicycle. When her plans fall apart, she learns of a Koran recitation contest where the cash prize could be enough to secure her the bike.
What You Need to Know: Saudi Arabia has produced a minute output of films due to a cinematic ban on movie theaters for the last thirty years. In 2005, theaters started to pop up within the country and six years ago the first Saudi film came to theaters. “Wadjda” holds the distinction of being the first Saudi Arabian film shot within the country as well as directed by a woman (Haifaa Al-Mansour). The tender tale of a little girl and her bike dazzled Playlist writer Oliver Lyttelton when he saw it at the London Film Festival last October. His “A” review praised the production’s “warmth and comedy” as well as its desire to not sugarcoat the country’s problems. Saudi Arabia is slowly becoming a contender in the international market, and they may have hit one out of the park with “Wadjda.”
Release Date: September 13th in New York and Los Angeles