Laura Dvorak 5:47 p.m., Dec. 6
Opening this week
With the onslaught of a particularly weak season of Christmas films, you might want to check out a few of the more obsure finds playing our local art screens.
Matt was impressed by the "intimate but not sentimental, revealing but not exploitative" nature of Starlet, opening today at Landmark's Ken Cinema. Matt also scored an interview with the film's director, Sean Baker.
This week's "my gay dad" movie (Any Day Now opens next week) is a tad long on improvisational dialog, but In the Family, houses a markedly restrained tour-de-force performance by Patrick Wang, the film’s writer-director. It's a heartbreaker, but well worth your time. In the Family opens exclusively at UA Horton Plaza.
Two Catherine Zeta-Jones films open this week and at least one of them is reason enough to stay away from the multiplex. Lay the Favorite, which co-stars Bruce Willis, begins its exclusive engagement at Reading Cinemas Gaslamp 15. There were no screeners or advance screenings, so you're on your own.
Playing for Keeps, a new vat of Biel bile, opens wide today, but not wider than the exit door you'll run through after experiencing 10 minutes of the monstrously unappealing film. The film's highlight: Fox 5's Josh Board's mid-show cry of, "Hey! Could you take your noisy kid outta' here?" It didn't work, of course, but his form and delivery was spot on.