Thu 10.30.2014

Don’t-Miss Indies—What to Watch in November

w2w nov

Life Partners
When: November 6
Where: iTunes/VOD
Director: Susanna Fogel
Starring: Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs
Why We’re Excited: Susanna Fogel’s lighthearted feature film debut may seem like just another gal-pal/rom-com at first glance, but there’s a dynamic that makes it a bit more fresh and unique. The film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, chronicles the relationship between Sasha and Paige, two best friends who are joined at the hip. While the co-dependent duo is alike in most ways, they differ when it comes to sexual preference, and their friendship is put to the test when a charming man enters the equation.
firsttime LGBT female

The Way He Looks
When: November 7
Where: Theaters
Director: Daniel Ribeiro
Starring: Ghilherme Lobo, Fabio Audi
Why We’re Excited: Daniel Ribeiro’s feature debut was an Audience Award Winner at multiple major LGBT fests this past year, including Outfest and New York’s Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The film follows a blind, gay teenager named Leonardo, who starts to see the world differently when he meets Gabriel in this bittersweet tale of adolescence and falling in love for the first time.
firsttime LGBT

The Theory of Everything
When: November 7
Where: Theaters
Director: James Marsh
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones
Why We’re Excited: One of the tearjerkers from the Toronto Film Fest hits theaters (and the Film Independent Sloan Summit!) this month. A portrait of famous physicist Stephen Hawking’s inspirational journey is brought to the big screen, boasting his successful achievements in his field while battling ALS. It’s also a touching and heartbreaking romance, based on the loving memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, by his wife Jane.

When: November 7
Where: Theaters
Director: Robert Greene
Starring: Brandy Burre
Why We’re Excited: Actors, both aspiring and working in the industry, are sure to be intrigued and perhaps inspired by the latest documentary from Robert Greene. Cameras follow The Wire actress Brandy Burre as she attempts to resuscitate her career after taking a hiatus for motherhood. Greene’s “non-fiction/melodrama hybrid,” as he describes it, showcases the challenges of balancing a personal life while trying to make a living in Hollywood.

21 Years: Richard Linklater
When: November 11
Where: Theaters
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Keanu Reeves and too many more to mention!
Why We’re Excited: This glance back at the career of iconic indie filmmaker Richard Linklater is a testament and tribute to a true pioneer in the “DIY”/anti-Hollywood game. This collection of interviews with the actors he’s worked with and other filmmakers he’s paved the way for will surely get the next generation of independent filmmakers inspired. It’s also a first-time feature for co-director Tara Wood.
firsttime female

Beyond the Lights
When: November 14
Where: Theaters
Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver
Why We’re Excited: Fresh from its premiere at Toronto, the latest from Film Independent Spirit Award Winner Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love & Basketball) is a romantic drama that showcases the pressures success places on an artist on the brink of superstardom. Music lovers especially will be intrigued by the film, which is co-produced by Film Independent Member and Los Angeles Film Festival Creative Director Stephanie Allain.
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When: November 14
Where: Theaters
Director: Jon Stewart
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Shohreh Aghdashloo
Why We’re Excited: Jon Stewart, the incomparable, countless-award-winning host of The Daily Show, has always worn many hats. He can now add filmmaker to his list of accomplishments. Stewart’s debut is based on the memoir They Came for Me, written by Maziar Bahari. Bahari (portrayed by Gael Garcia Bernal in the film), a London-based journalist, was imprisoned and brutally interrogated in Iran for over 100 days because of an interview he conducted on The Daily Show in 2009. The film also stars Film Independent Spirit Award Winner Shohreh Aghdashloo.
firsttime spiritaward

When: November 14
Where: Theaters
Director: Bennett Miller
Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo
Why We’re Excited: Based on the shocking true story of Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz, this psychological drama has already received Oscar buzz for the performances of its leading men, especially Carrell and Tatum, who are not typically known for these types of roles. It’s a big-budget film that still captures the spirit of independent film. Miller was awarded the Best Director honor at Cannes, where the film competed for the Palme d’Or.

The Imitation Game
When: November 21
Where: Theaters
Director: Morton Tyldum
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode
Why We’re Excited: A dramatic and suspenseful biographical portrait of English mathematician Alan Turing, who was best known for creating the Bombe, a code-breaking machine that deciphered messages encoded by German machines during World War II. While the film depicts the thrilling journey of what he and his team accomplished, it also details his personal life as a gay man. Despite Turing’s astounding professional achievements, he was prosecuted for engaging in homosexual activity, which was illegal in England at the time.

The Babadook
When: November 28
Where: Theaters & VOD
Director: Jennifer Kent
Starring: Essie Davis
Why We’re Excited: After making its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Australian filmmaker Jennifer Kent’s debut feature started to scare up a lot of buzz. This creepy thriller follows a single mother who is coping with the violent death of her husband and her son’s allegations that there is a sinister presence in their home. While the plot may sound generic, Kent’s film has been well received for relying on “real horror” vs. cheap scares.
firsttime female

Chris Lombardi / Film Independent Blogger 

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