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Lots of International Film Festival entries this week, some don't have english subtitles...
By: Mass

My Perestroika
Release Date: March 23, 2011 (NY) 
Studio: IFC Films
Director: Robin Hessman 
Screenwriter: Robin Hessman 
Starring: Not Available 
Genre: Documentary 
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Robin Hessman's intimate and lovingly crafted portrait of the last generation of Soviet children brought up behind the Iron Curtain. When the USSR broke apart in 1991, a generation of young people faced a new realm of possibilities. Hessman's feature documentary debut tells the story of five Moscow schoolmates who went from sheltered Soviet childhoods through the hopes of Gorbachev's Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (restructuring) to the chaos of the USSR's dissolution. Today, Borya and Lyuba are married history teachers; Olga is a single mother who works for a billiard table rental company; Ruslan, once a famous punk musician, now busks in the Moscow metro; and Andrei owns a thriving chain of menswear stores. With candor and humor, each paints a picture of the challenges, dreams and disillusionment they've faced in Russia's post-communist era. Interweaving the contemporary world with vintage home movies and Soviet propaganda footage from the era, director Hessman, who spent years living in Moscow as a film student and later as a producer on the Russian Sesame Street, reveals a Russia rarely ever seen on film, where people are frank about their lives and forthcoming about their country. Engaging, funny and positively inspiring, in "My Perestroika" politics is personal, and history progresses one day, one life at a time. 

The 5th Quarter
Release Date: March 25, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Rocky Mountain Pictures
Director: Rick Bieber
Screenwriter: Rick Bieber
Starring: Andie MacDowell, Aidan Quinn
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "The 5th Quarter" is an emotional, true story about family, inspiration, football and the gift of life. When a tragic car crash claims the life of fifteen year Luke Abbate, his older brother Jon considers ending his own college football career but instead decides to honor his brother's memory and continue playing. With his coach's aproval, Jon changes his jersey to Luke's number 5, and dedicates the upcoming football season in remembrance of his younger brother. Driven by Luke's memory, Jon leads his underdog Wake Forest Demon Deacons to the ACC Championship, as they become the most improved team in America. With the support of his family, as they struggle with the pain of Luke's loss, Jon helps rally a team, a school and a community to achieve more than could ever have been imagined.

Release Date: March 25, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Olive Films
Director: Semih Kaplanoglu
Screenwriter: Semih Kaplanoglu
Starring: Bora Altas, Erdal Besikçioglu
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: A beautiful meditation on familial love and the mysteries of nature. The third entry in Turkish filmmaker Semih Kaplanoglu's "Yusuf Trilogy," it relates the formative childhood influences on a young poet named Yusuf. A first year schoolboy, the sensitive Yusuf (Bora Altas) lives with his beekeeper father Yakup (Erdal Besikçioglu) and pretty young mother Zehra (Tülin Özen) in an isolated region in Northeast Turkey , bordering a magical forest where Yakup places his specially made hves and makes a living gathering prized black honey. Yusuf often accompanies his father, whom he greatly loves and admires, on these trips and they share a special bond, not only with each other but with the mystical countryside. However, with his family's livelihood endangered by the progressive disappearance of bees, Yakup has no choice but to venture into more treacherous mountainous areas to hang his hives. Days pass and Yakup does not return. Distraught, Yusuf slips into silence but finally summons all his courage and alone, runs deep into the forest to search for his father. 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Release Date: March 25, 2011
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: David Bowers
Screenwriter: Gabe Sachs, Jeff Judah
Starring: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Rachael Harris, Devon Bostick, Steve Zahn
Genre: Comedy, Family
MPAA Rating: PG (for some mild rude humor and mischief)Plot Summary: In this sequel to 2010's surprise hit, Greg Heffley, the kid who made "wimpy" cool is back in an all-new family comedy based on the best-selling follow-up novel by Jeff Kinney. (Kinney's "Wimpy Kid" series has thus far sold 42 million books.) As he begins seventh grade, Greg and his older brother - and chief tormentor - Rodrick must deal with their parents' misguided attempts to have them bond.

Release Date: March 25, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Film Movement
Director: Olivier Masset-Depasse
Screenwriter: Olivier Masset-Depasse
Starring: Anne Coesens
Genre: Drama, Thriller
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: This French and Russian language film from writer/director Olivier Masset-Depasse explores burning issues of immigration, family and reunion. Tania is a former teacher from Russia, living illegally in Belgium with her son, Ivan. One day she is stopped for a routine check by the police and is arrested. Separated from Ivan, who manages to escape, she is placed in an immigration detention center for women and children. While utterly refusing to face expulsion, Tania thus begins a fight to preserve her dignity, identity and humanity, as well as find her son.

Release Date: March 25, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Lorber Films
Director: Tony Gatlif
Screenwriter: Tony Gatlif
Starring: Marc Lavoine, Marie-Josée Croze, James Thiérrée
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: Not AvailablePlot Summary: A Gypsy tribe travels the French country roads during WWII. Upon reaching a town where they traditionally stop for a few months to work the vineyards, they learn that a new law forbids their nomadic existence. Moved by their situation, the town mayor and schoolteacher join forces to help the family find some land where they must settle – or face capture and internment by the Germans. But, shaped by hundreds of years of nomadic culture, the Gypsies' deeply ingrained thirst for freedom makes this sedentary lifestyle difficult to bear. Gatlif's depiction of the "gypsy soul" has never been more visceral than in this magnificent paean to the mad ecstasy of freedom.

The Lion of Judah
Release Date: March 25, 2011 (3D/2D theaters)
Studio: Animated Family Films
Director: Deryck Broom, Roger Hawkins
Screenwriter: Not Available
Starring: Georgina Cordova, Ernest Borgnine, Michael Madsen, Scott Eastwood, Anupam Kher, Omar Miller, Sandi Patty
Genre: Action, Adventure, Family
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: "The Lion of Judah," a laugh-filled, heart warming story seen through the eyes of a zany cast of stable animals. Take an eye-opening adventure with a lovable pig (Horace), a faint-hearted horse (Monty), a finicky rat (Slink), a rambling rooster (Drake), a motherly cow (Esmay), a downtrodden donkey (Jack) and a heroic lamb (Judah) and you have got a classic in the making. Upon learning that Judah has been trapped in the clutches of the townspeople and faces the possibility of being the sacrifice at the annualFestival, the stable mates leave their cozy barn and embark on a hilariously funny series of adventures to find and free their friend. During their numerous attempts to find Judah, a wonderful story emerges as they intercept, interact and entwine with history finally seeking out the King, who was born in their stable more than 30 years earlier. The antics of our unique cast crates a uniquely funny and entertaining epic as it winds its way through numerous side-splitting encounters and historical scenes. The whole family will enjoy the telling of this wonderful story as it delicately combines biblical texture and timing and treats the most impacting events with care and humility. Without a doubt, "The Lion of Judah" will leave you in awe of the power that one lamb can command. 

Mia and the Magoo
Release Date: March 25, 2011 (NY; wide: April 22)
Studio: GKIDS
Director: Jacques-Rémy Girerd
Screenwriter: Benoît Chieux, Jacques-Rémy Girerd
Starring: John DiMaggio, Whoopi Goldberg, Matthew Modine, Wallace Shawn, James Woods
Genre: Animation, Fantasy
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: Created from an astonishing 500,000 hand-painted frames of animation, the gorgeous second feature from French animator Jacques-Rémy Girerd is a work of art, breathtaking to behold. Figures are outlined in pencil and then bathed in rustic watercolors, with backgrounds that burst at the seams with painterly detail, like a Miyazaki film painted by Van Gogh. The story is a thrilling family adventure that pits a plucky, wild haired young heroine Mia against profit-hungry developers, with the future of life on Earth in the balance. One night Mia has a premonition. So after saying a few words of parting at her mother's grave, she sets out on a journey across mountains and jungles to search for her father, who has been trapped in a landslide at a disaster-plagued construction site on a remote tropical lake. In the middle of the lake stands the ancient Tree of Life, watched over by innocent, bumbling forest spirits called the Migoo, who grow and change shape as they please, morphing from small childlike beings to petulant giants. It is the Migoo who have been disrupting the construction to protect this sacred site – and now together with Mia - they join in a fight to find Mia's father and save the Tree.

Release Date: March 25, 2011 (NY, LA)
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Director: Julian Schnabel
Screenwriter: Rula Jebreal
Starring: Hiam Abbass, Freida Pinto, Omar Metwally
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for thematic appeal, and some violent content including a sexual assault)
Plot Summary: From Julian Schnabel, Academy Award-nominated director of "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "Before Night Falls" and "Basquiat" comes "Miral," the story of four women whose lives intertwine in the starkly human search for justice, hope and reconciliation amid a world overshadowed by conflict, rage and war. The story begins in war-torn Jerusalem in 1948 when Hind Husseini (Hiam Abbass, "The Visitor," "Amreeka") opens an orphanage for refugee children that quickly becomes home to 2000 orphans. One of the children is seventeen year old "Miral" (Freida Pinto, "Slumdog Millionaire") who arrived at the orphanage 10 years earlier, following her mother's tragic death. On the cusp of the Intifada resistance, Miral is assigned to teach at a refugee camp where she falls for a fervent political activist, Hani (Omar Metwally, "Munich," "Rendition") and finds herself in a personal battle that mirrors the greater dilemma around her: to fight like those before her or follow Mama Hind's defiant belief that education will pave a road to peace.

Peep World
Release Date: March 25, 2011 (limited)
Studio: IFC Films
Director: Barry Blaustein
Screenwriter: Peter Himmelstein
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Ben Schwartz, Judy Greer, Kate Mara, Taraji Henson, Lesley Ann Warren, Ron Rifkin
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: Not Available
Plot Summary: On the day of their father's 70th birthday party, four siblings come to terms with the publication of a novel written by the youngest sibling that exposes the family's most intimate secrets. 

Release Date: March 25, 2011 (NY)
Studio: Music Box Films
Director: François Ozon
Screenwriter: François Ozon
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Karin Viard, Judith Godreche, Jeremie Renier
Genre: Comedy
MPAA Rating: R (for some sexuality)
Plot Summary: Set in 1977 in a provincial French town, "Potiche" is a free adaptation of the 1970s eponymous hit comic play. Catherine Deneuve is Suzanne Pujol, a submissive, housebound 'trophy housewife' (or "potiche,") who steps in to manage her wealthy and tyrannical husband (Fabrice Lucchini)'s umbrella factory after the workers go on strike and take him hostage. To everyone's surprise, Suzanne proves herself a competent and assertive woman of action. But when her husband returns from a restful cruise in top form, things get complicated. Gerard Depardieu plays a former union leader and Suzanne's ex-beau who still holds a flame for her. Acclaimed writer-director Francois Ozon ("Swimming Pool," "Under the Sand," "Time to Leave,") who had previously directed Ms. Deneuve in "8 Women," twists the original play on its head to create his own satirical and hilarious take on the war between the sexes and classes. 

Sucker Punch
Release Date: March 25, 2011 (conventional theaters and IMAX)
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Director: Zack Snyder
Screenwriter: Steve Shibuya, Zack Snyder
Starring: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, Carla Gugino, Jon Hamm, Oscar Isaac, Scott Glenn
Genre: Action, Fantasy
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for thematic material involving sexuality, violence and combat sequences, and for language)
Plot Summary: Close your eyes. Open your mind. You will be unprepared. "Sucker Punch" is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what's real and what is imaginary. She has been locked away against her will, but Babydoll (Emily Browning) has not lost her will to survive. Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four other young girls—the outspoken Rocket (Jena Malone), the street-smart Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), the fiercely loyal Amber (Jamie Chung) and the reluctant Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish)—to band together and try to escape their terrible fate at the hands of their captors, Blue (Oscar Isaac), Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino) and the High Roller (Jon Hamm). Led by Babydoll, the girls engage in fantastical warfare against everything from samurais to serpents, with a virtual arsenal at their disposal. Together, they must decide what they are willing to sacrifice in order to stay alive. But with the help of a Wise Man (Scott Glenn), their unbelievable journey—if they succeed—will set them free. 

White Irish Drinkers
Release Date: March 25, 2011 (limited)
Studio: Screen Media Films
Director: John Gray
Screenwriter: John Gray
Starring: Nick Thurston, Geoff Wigdor, Leslie Murphy, Stephen Lang, Karen Allen, Peter Riegert
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: R (for pervasive language, some sexuality and violence)
Plot Summary: A coming of age story set in 1975 working-class Brooklyn, in which two teenage brothers living with their abusive father and their well-meaning but ineffective mother are caught up in a life of petty crime. Older brother Danny concocts a daring scheme to steal enough money for the two to escape, timed around the chaos of an upcoming Rolling Stones concert. The sensitive younger brother, Brian, ultimately has a choice: remain loyal to the brother with whom he shares a powerful love-hate bond, or use his hidden talent as an artist as his own ticket out of their dead-end existence. 


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