Summer Indie Movie Preview 2012

by RT Staff | Thursday, May. 10 2012

The Magic of Belle Isle

Cast: Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen, Kenan Thompson, Fred Willard
Director: Rob Reiner
Writers: Guy Thomas, Rob Reiner
Release Date: July 6

The last hit Rob Reiner had was The Bucket List, so it makes sense he'd tap that film's star, Morgan Freeman, to power his latest, a feelgood drama about an ornery novelist who rediscovers his passion for writing. After struggles with alcoholism, author Monte Wildhorn (Freeman) vacations on Belle Isle, where he befriends the attractive mother of three (Virginia Madsen) next door and slowly opens up to new inspiration. Expect general crotchetiness, nuggets of elderly wisdom, and oodles of warm sentimentality.

Killer Joe

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon, Thomas Haden Church
Director: William Friedkin
Writer: Tracy Letts
Release Date: July 27

Having prosecuted a killer in Bernie, Matthew McConaughey finds himself on the other side of Texan law as a hitman hired by trailer trash (Emile Hirsch) to knock off his mom (Gina Gershon) and collect her life insurance. What could be a generic Southern crime thriller is reportedly elevated into high-grade pulp by director William Friedkin, a man who knows his way around both criminal enterprise (The French Connection To Live and Die in L.A.) and the nature of evil (The Exorcist). Juno Temple co-stars in her quest to appear in every other movie released this year.

The Awakening

Cast: Rebecca Hall, Dominic West, Imelda Staunton
Director: Nick Murphy
Writers: Stephen Volk, Nick Murphy
Release Date: August 10

The Awakening is not based on the Kate Chopin novel if that's what you're thinking, smarty pants. But it is set around the same era and it does star a woman, so there you go. This Awakening is of the horror story variety, featuring ghosts and orphans and big mansions with lots of atmospheric dread. Rebecca Hall plays a writer who debunks supernatural phenomenons and hoaxes. A child dies at a nearby boarding school and she is hired to find a connection between the death and sightings of a ghost on the premise.

Chicken with Plums

Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Golshifteh Farahani
Directors: Vincent Paronnaud , Marjane Satrapi
Writers: Vincent Paronnaud , Marjane Satrapi
Release Date: August 17

In 2007, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud charmed the world with Persepolis, their prescient animated film about growing up against the backdrop of the Iranian Revolution. The film won the Jury Prize at Cannes and was nominated for Best Animated Feature, losing to another French-language film (if only partially): Ratatouille. Satrapi and Paronnaud's next film, Chicken with Plums, has similar origins: Like Perspeolis, it's based on a Satrapi graphic novel. This time, though, it's live-action, starring Mathieu Amalric as a violinist who falls for a woman named Irane. The rest of the film charts their seperate lives in a wistful, funny, and serious fashion.