A24 of Priscilla by Sofia Coppola catapults from four screens to 1,300, Alexander Payne’s Holdovers from Focus Features expands to 60 from 6 and two new indies have wide debuts – What Happens Later from Bleecker Street, directed by and starring Meg Ryan, opens in 1,400 locations and stars Daisy Ridley The daughter of the king of Marsh from over 1,000 Roadside Attractions.
What Happens Later moved here from its original location Oct. 16, avoids The Eras Tour opening crush. Meg Ryan’s first rom-com (When Harry meets Sally, Sleepless in Seattle) after the long disappearance of actors David Duchovny. Based on the game shooting star by Steven Dietz, the picture follows a chance encounter between two ex-lovers, Willa and Bill, who are snowed in at the regional airport and indefinitely delayed. See the deadline review.
The daughter of the king of Marsh stars Daisy Ridley and Ben Mendelsohn in an adaptation of Karen Dionne’s best-selling 2017 thriller, Where the Crawdads Sing. That film, also based on a popular book, was cleaned with women as well King of the MarshThe distributor hopes that they will come out this time as well. Directed by Neil Burger (Divergent, The Illusionist, The Upside), see the deadline review. Ridley is Helena, a woman whose seemingly normal life hides a dark and dangerous truth: her estranged father (Mendelsohn) is the famous Marsh King, the man who kept her and her mother captive in the wilderness for years. When he escapes from prison, Helena must face him after knowing that he will hunt her and her family.
Also out this weekend on Roadside Attractions, the hit documentary Except for Utopia is back for an extended Oscar-eligible run on 11 screens in six major markets (following two Fathom Events screenings in October). Madeline Gavin’s documentary combines interviews and secretly filmed footage that shows the hardships faced by North Korean rebels and reveals a brutal way of life unknown to most of the world. It started in Telluride.
Another special opening: IFC Films presents the sci-fi anime romance Tunnel to Summer, Exit Greetings on 167 screens. Directed by Tomohisa Taguchi and Kanji Miyake. The Urashima Tunnel can grant any wish, but at a price. High school boy Kaoru, haunted by a troubled past, teams up with Anzu to investigate the Tunnel in a summer story of nostalgia, young love and bending time itself. He received the Paul Grimault prize in Annecy.
HBO Documentary Films presents Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project at Film Forum in NYC and Laemmle Royal in LA. Directed by Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson (America’s promise). The United States documentary winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance goes to great lengths to reveal the lasting influence of Nikki Giovanni, one of America’s greatest living artists and social commentators. Giovanni contemplates the inevitable passage of time in intimate vérité and uncovers archived recordings that accompany moments in American history, live readings and engaging treatments of his poetry.
At the gates, a psychological drama from Picturehouse, directed by Augustus Meleo Bernstein, opens in LA (AMC Burbank), expanding to NYC next week (See 57th and Quad). Stars Miranda Otto, Noah Wyle, Ezekiel Pacheco, Vanessa Benavente, Sadie Stanley, Jack Eyman. When immigration police arrive at the home of a wealthy family looking for their maid and her son, the tenants persuade them to hide in the family’s basement. What ensues is a thrilling drama of two families who begin to question each other’s true intentions as the days go by. Deadline review here.
Greenwich Entertainment presents The subject with three runs in NYC (IFC), LA (Laemmle Glendale) and Chicago (Music Box). Jennifer Tiexiera and Camilla Hall produced and directed the film, which premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Festival. It examines fictional films and the sometimes fine line between the script and the exploitation that goes on behind the scenes. The film looks at the documents, from The Hoop Dreams in Ckidnapping the Friedmans, The Wolfpack, The Square again The Staircaseexploring the often murky ethical dilemmas and complex relationships that can exist between documentary filmmakers and their real-life participants.