In Young Adult, Jason Reitman’s unsentimental portrait of a mean girl who clings to the memory of her high-school glory days – even in her late 30s – Patton Oswalt plays Matt, a misfit permanently scarred (literally and physically) by a run-in with homophobic bullies.
He’s just the sort that Mavis, Charize Theron’s aging beauty, would have ignored back in school, and she’d probably keep ignoring him, if not for her own desperate neediness. Returning to her small-town Minnesota home after a modestly successful stint as a ghost writer in the “Mini Apple,” Mavis finds companionship where she can, leading her time and again back to Matt’s nerdy man-cave.
The International Asian American Film Festival heads south to San Jose through March 20, paving the way for next week's return of the Disposable Film Festival, a four-day celebration of do-it-yourself filmmaking kicking off at the Castro on Thursday. Looking for more immediate gratification? Try tonight's debut of The Lincoln Lawyer – a must-see for fans of law, order and Matthew McConaughey's down-home Southern drawl – at the Sundance Kabuki.
1. The Disposable Film Festival's Competitive Shorts Night
Catch Patricia Clarkson in two movies now playing at the city's Landmark theaters: Cairo Time (see below) and Legendary, opening Friday at the Lumiere, in which the 50-year-old Oscar nominee plays the frustrated mother of WWE star John Cena's boozy, bulked-up former high-school wrestler. Elsewhere:
With the second-ever Athiest Film Festival arriving at the Red Vic and the Sausalito Film Festival celebrating its opening night with the regional premiere of Ryan Piers Williams' The Dry Land, Bay Area cinephiles might find their dance cards full this Friday – and the rest of the week seems just as promising. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.
It took him the better part of a decade, but producer Dean Zanuck, whose charming new drama Get Low opens this Friday, finally got his men.
After working with original screenwriter Chris Provenzano (TV’s Mad Men) for three years and eventually recruiting first-time feature director Aaron Schneider to the project, Zanuck, 37, grandson of the legendary Hollywood mogul Darryl F., reached out to Academy Award winner Robert Duvall, his first choice to play ornery hermit Felix Bush. Then he pressed his luck.
Just a month remains before the September release of Casey Affleck's long-rumored documentary about Joaquin Phoenix's bumpy transition from the big screen to the recording studio. (The Oscar-nominated Walk the Line star reportedly aspires to rap.) You can try holding your breath in the meantime, but you'd be wiser to visit one of the city's lovely indie theaters, where the following fine films await you.
1. Rebel Without a Cause
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Aug. 6
The 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival, the longest-running celebration of cinema in North America, is in full swing at its primary venues, including the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, the Castro Theatre, the Clay Theatre and the Pacific Film Archive. Here's a list of some of this year's most tantalizing offerings. For tickets, click here.
With Christmas, Kwanzaa and Festivus just a week away, the holiday season is in full swing, the malls are packed with last-minute shoppers, and the city's indie theaters are playing host to some of the year's most satisfying films.
Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox is hardly the groundbreaking spectacle we’ve come to expect as Hollywood animation studios race to push the genre to dizzying heights of digital wizardry.
The stop-motion creations here are brilliantly colorful but crude – deliberately so, I suspect, as if Anderson is rejecting the idea that storytelling need follow the lead of technology. What he offers instead is a delightfully exhilarating comedy, filled with fully realized characters and faithful, at least in spirit, to Roald Dahl’s popular children’s book.