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Weekend Preview: From Steve Jobs and Paul Simon to France, Lebanon & Japan

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood May 10, 2012 at 5:04PM

Take your pick: A Johnny Depp-Tim Burton misfire, a slight but charming Lebanese comedy-musical (Toronto's People's Choice Award, "Where Do We Go Now"), an anti-American shoot 'em up ("God Bless America"), a delightful Japanese kids' movie ("I Wish"), the impeccably reviewed thriller "Sleepless Night" or Paul Simon music doc "Under African Skies" -- and that's just a few of this weekend's offerings. Details on these and more below. Indiewire has reviews for 15 indies hitting theaters.
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"Sleepless Night"
"Sleepless Night"

Take your pick: A Johnny Depp-Tim Burton misfire, a slight but charming Lebanese comedy-musical (Toronto's People's Choice Award, "Where Do We Go Now"), an anti-American shoot 'em up ("God Bless America"), a delightful Japanese kids' movie ("I Wish"), the impeccably reviewed thriller "Sleepless Night" or Paul Simon music doc "Under African Skies" -- and that's just a few of this weekend's offerings. Details on these and more below. Indiewire has reviews for 15 indies hitting theaters.

Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard in Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows"
Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard in Tim Burton's "Dark Shadows"

"Sleepless Night" Tribeca Film, FR/BEL/LUX | Dir: Frédéric Jardin; Cast: Tomer Sisley, Serge Riaboukine | Criticwire's Pick | 100% Fresh | Time Out NY says: "An American remake is already being prepped. We suggest Hollywood simply cries uncle now and calls it a day."

"Under African Skies" A&E IndieFilms, US/SA | Dir: Joe Berlinger; With: Paul Simon | Criticwire's Pick | 100% Fresh | THR calls it "A pure-bliss celebration of Paul Simon's landmark album Graceland coupled with an interesting if not unbiased look at the controversy surrounding its release."

"I Wish" Magnolia, JAP | Dir: Hirokazu Koreeda; Cast: Koki Maeda, Ohshirô Maeda | ThePlaylist hails it as "The Rare Example Of A Great Kids Film That Actually Understands Kids" | 85% Fresh | AV Club says: "Full of life, heart, and funny little details about daily existence, as it meanders its way toward moments of real profundity."

"Dark Shadows" Warner Bros. US | Dir: Tim Burton; Cast: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earle Haley | TOH! Review & round-up | 48% Rotten.

"God Bless America" Magnet Releasing, US | Dir: Bobcat Goldthwait; Cast: Joel Murray, Tara Lynn Barr | Indiewire's Filmmakers You Should Know | 70% Fresh |

"Where Do We Go Now?"
"Where Do We Go Now?"
"Where Do We Go Now" Sony Pictures Classics, FR/LEB/EGY/IT | Dir: Nadine Labaki; Cast: Nadine Labaki, Claude Baz Moussawbaa, Layla Hakim, Yvonne Maalouf | Indiewire interviews Labaki | 50% Rotten | Roger Moore: "Slow moving...it isn't a great film but it is an entertaining one, a touchy subject given a feel-good flavor."

"Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview" Magnolia, US | Dir: Paul Sen, Interviewer/Writer: Robert X. Cringely | Magnolia buys the "Fascinating Document" | Roger Ebert says: "It's a tribute to the singular popularity of Steve Jobs that he's probably the only talking head people would pay to watch for more than an hour."

"Nobody Else But You" First Run, FR | Dir: Gérald Hustache-Mathieu; Cast: Jean-Paul Rouve, Sophie Quinton | 83% Fresh | Variety calls it "A subversive and strange little film noir."

This article is related to: Weekend Preview, Reviews, Reviews, God Bless America, Where Do We Go Now? (Et maintenant on va ou?), Under African Skies, Dark Shadows, I Wish, Sleepless Night, Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, Critics, Trailers


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.