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Weekend Watch: Set Your Table for Two for Kiarostami’s Certified Copy

Today we begin what will be a Friday tradition here on the site. IONCINEMA.com’s Weekend Watch is a basic rundown of cinematic opening weekend offerings with Erica Elson guiding your choices in U.S Indie, Foreign, Documentaries and Studio film releases. This weekend you’ll definitely want to skip the studio picks and the duelling alien items and if you’re lucky enough to be in L.A or NYC you’ll want to check out Abbas Kiarostami’s gem Certified Copy.

Today we begin what will be a Friday tradition here on the site. IONCINEMA.com’s Weekend Watch is a basic rundown of cinematic opening weekend offerings with Erica Elson guiding your choices in U.S Indie, Foreign, Documentaries and Studio film releases. This weekend you’ll definitely want to skip the studio picks and the duelling alien items and if you’re lucky enough to be in L.A or NYC you’ll want to check out Abbas Kiarostami’s gem Certified Copy.

U.S Indie 

3 Backyards – Eric Mendelsohn – Screen Media

Edie Falco stars in this atmospheric drama that takes place over the course of an autumn afternoon. It’s been getting very positive reviews and won the Directing Award at Sundance in 2010. This is Mendelsohn’s big return since 1999’s Judy Berlin.

Metacritic: 75% MovieReviewIntelligence: 66.5%

Elektra Luxx – Sebastian Gutierrez – Samuel Goldwyn Films

A pregnant ex-porn star goes on a series of adventures in an attempt to make some extra cash in this sequel to the 2009 film Women in Trouble, which grossed $18,000. Not necessarily the most promising release this weekend.

Metacritic: 55% MovieReviewIntelligence: 45.7%

Jane Eyre – Cary Fukunaga – Focus Features

Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender star in this film based on the novel by the same name. Despite the fact that the story is nothing new, critics say it’s an all around beautiful and compelling picture – we say “you’re fine waiting for what Fukanaga does next”.

Metacritic: 77% MovieReviewIntelligence: 79.1%

Monogamy – Dana Adam Shapiro – Oscilloscope

This Tribeca 2010 preemed project from Murderball helmer is about photographer who starts a gig taking voyeuristic pictures of his clients in this drama that’s been described as “indie” in the bad sense of the term.

Metacritic: 46% MovieReviewIntelligence: 53.4%

Foreign

Black Death – Christopher Smith – Magnet Releasing

Set during the black plague in England, the film follows a monk who, among other things, is looking for a person who can bring the dead back to life. Early reviews say the film’s strength is in its questioning of blind faith and nuanced look at religion. Check out our viral coverage

Metacritic: 71% MovieReviewIntelligence: 61.3%

Certified Copy – Abbas Kiarostami – IFC Films

Juliette Binoche won the Best Actress prize at Cannes for her portrayal of an art collector who meets a man who’s written a book about authenticity in art. An exquisite watch, this is one of the most compelling relationship films of recent times. Here’s our 4-star review.

Metacritic: 84% MovieReviewIntelligence: 86.6%

Bay Rong (Clash) – Le Thanh Son – Variance Films

Not much has been said yet about this Vietnamese martial arts film by first time director Le Thanh Son. It was a top grossing film in Vietnam in 2009 and received a very positive review in the LA times, so this may just be an underdog worth the detour for action fans.

Metacritic: N/A MovieReviewIntelligence: 87.6%

Kill the Irishman – Jonathan Hensleigh – Anchor Bay Ent.

This mob film based on a true story is directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, who penned Die Hard, Armageddon and Jumanji, among other things. Reviews are mixed and say there’s lots of action, but most of it is predictable.

Metacritic: 48% MovieReviewIntelligence: 63.2%

Documentaries

The Desert of Forbidden Art – Pope & Georgiev

This highly praised docu tells the story of a man who saved thousands of pieces of Russian avant-guard art from the Soviet government by placing them in a museum in the desert of Uzbekiztan. Most appealing to devout art lovers, the film won the Documentary Award at the Palm Beach FF.

Metacritic: 72% MovieReviewIntelligence: 74.9%

Making the Boys – Crayton Robey – First Run Features

This documentary recounts the making of the first ever gay play to reach a mainstream audience, “The Boys in the Band”. Seems like an insightful insight into a part or theatre history many don’t know about.

Metacritic: 63% MovieReviewIntelligence: 68.6%

Studio Releases

Battle: Los Angeles – Jonathan Liebesman – Columbia

Aaron Eckhardt stars in this thriller (from the helmer behind stinker The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) about aliens attacking humans. Seems like your standard uninspired March action release, with added unnecessary camera shaking.

Metacritic: 37% MovieReviewIntelligence: 36.8%

Mars Needs Moms – Simon Wells – Walt Disney Pictures

Robert Zemeckis produces this animated film about a 9 year-old who tries to get his mom back when she is kidnapped by a spaceship full of Martians. Somewhat non-sensical and poorly written, but perhaps good for those who want a G-rated alien film this week-end.

Metacritic: 49% MovieReviewIntelligence: 46.3%

Red Riding Hood – Catherine Hardwicke – Warner Bros.

Girl likes boy. Parents want her to like different boy. Girl’s sister gets killed by a werewolf. Girl realizes one of the two boys may be a werewolf. Tensions ensue. If this sounds like “Twilight” but with werewolves, it’s because it’s from the same director. 

Metacritic: 29% MovieReviewIntelligence: 33.9%

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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