New movie releases this week include Katherine Heigl’s return to the big screen, plus The Promise, Truman, and more
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., April 21
A skit comedian who works best in five-minute spurts produces and stars in a feature length film based on a short story. It’s The Children’s Minute when a pair of spiteful teenage girls play matchmaker for one of their fathers (Guy Pearce, as a nowhere-near recovering alcoholic) and an invisible, emotionally neglected nanny (Kristen Wiig). This is Wiig’s first dramatic performance, and while it’s always wise to stack the deck with proven talent (Nick Nolte, Christine Lahti, Jennifer Jason Leigh), it comes at the risk of being outperformed. What’s a cast of A-list players to do when all they’re given to bounce off of is Wiig’s inexpressive, semi-catatonic Rain Main type? Hailee Steinfeld’s sparkling naturalism smokes Wiig, whose placid exterior is only occasionally rippled by a self-conscious, contentedness-indicating eye-dart or upward tug at the corner of her mouth. Liza Johnson directs. 2014.