It's a weekend of stellar and star-packed openings, with well-reviewed X-Men: First Class opening (finally fanboys get a glimpse at naked Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, picture below), along with buzzing indies Beginners, Submarine and Beautiful Boy. While Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor shine in Mike Mills' Beginners, and in rookie Richard Ayoade's Submarine the "excruciating and the hilarious mingle nearly to perfection, Shawn Ku's Beautiful Boy throws a pity party. Stars Maria Bello and Michael Sheen give as much as they can, but their audience will be severely limited by this grief-stricken drama that labors more than it elevates.
Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme and Bill Haney's documentary, The Last Mountain are also in theaters. Reviews, trailers and more details below:
BoxOffice says: "X-Men: First Class will have no problem fending off The Hangover Part II and Kung Fu Panda 2 in order to claim the top spot at the box office this coming weekend."
Fangango says: 42% of ticket sales are for X-Men: First Class: "Fandango enjoyed its second-best-selling May in the company’s 11-year history, and its best-ever Memorial Day Weekend ticket sales, thanks in part to The Hangover Part II, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Bridesmaids.”
X-Men: First Class, Twentieth Century Fox | Dir: Matthew Vaughn; Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, Kevin Bacon | TOH! Review Round-up | TOH! Interviews Scripter/producer Simon Kinberg.
Beginners, Focus Features | Dir: Mike Mills; Cast: Christopher Plummer, Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic | B criticWIRE | ThePlaylist: "A Wonderfully Attuned & Empathetic Look At Love, Life & Grief."
Film Socialisme, Dir: Jean-Luc Godard, Farbrice Aragno, Jean-Paul Battaggia, Pierre Binggeli, Paul Grivas, Anne-Marie Mieville, Louma Sanbar; Cast: Patti Smith, Elisabeth Vitali, Alain Badiou, Christian Sinniger, Louma Sanbar, Maurice Sarfati | B criticWIRE | ThePlaylist: "A Pointless Exercise In…We Don’t Even Know What"
Beautiful Boy, Anchor Bay | Dir: Shawn Ku; Cast: Maria Bello, Michael Sheen | ThePlaylist: "Beautiful Boy tests the extent to which one can wallow in another person’s grief before it becomes unbearable."
Submarine, The Weinstein Co. | Dir: Richard Ayoade; Cast: Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, Paddy Considine, Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige | B+ criticWIRE | ThePlaylist: "A Smart & Sharp Coming-Of-Age Comedy & A Promising Debut." | "Must See."
The Last Mountain, Dada Films (Doc) | Dir: Bill Haney | indieWIRE Interviews Haney: "This film took a village to birth!”