Christine Champ June 18, 2010
While we adore the 2010 Seattle International Film Festival Golden Space Needle audience award‘s choice for best film — The Hedgehog — we’d like to weigh in with a few other festival features we think are definitely worth seeing.
Cybernetically enhanced geisha battling with butt swords (and other hidden weapons) and vomiting temples … RoboGeisha is a freaky sibling rivalry revenge ride that revels in outdoing its own ridiculousness.
Inspired by a true story, this isn’t the type of teen outcast tale you might be used to. Adventureland‘s Jesse Eisenberg rebels against his strict Brooklyn Hasidic Jewish community and finds himself even more trapped by his decision to deal Ecstasy.
Waiting for Superman
Even though An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim hasn’t released the final cut of his latest documentary, Waiting for Superman, its SIFF preview stirred up a heated debate. This is not surprising since it tackled a tough topic: the sad state of U.S. schools and who’s to blame. Guggenheim gives names to his statistics with heartbreaking chronicles of kids destined for “dropout factories.”
Inglourious Basterds‘ Melanie Laurent shines in this comic and uplifting musical miracle (with a Cesar-earning score) that follows a ragtag ensemble of musicians on a mission to impersonate Moscow’s famed Bolshoi orchestra.
Meet Monica Velour
Kim Cattrall trades Sex and the City chic for washed-up porn star skankiness in this humorous and heartfelt tale of a gawky, obsessed teen and his attempt to rescue his idol from ruin.
Jay Baruchel’s got the Trotskys. Well, actually, his character, Montreal high schooler Leon, believes he’s the reincarnation of Soviet icon Leon Trotsky. Leon gives new meaning to the term “student union” in this inventive and irreverent Wes Anderson-ish comedy.
Plug & Pray
In 20 years we’ll be more machine than human … That may sound like science fiction but it’s what many of today’s AI (artificial intelligence) researchers believe — at least according to documentary Plug & Pray. You’ll have to watch it to find out whether you should plug into their plans for a future manned by humanlike robots or pray it never happens.
It’s hard being hip in the U.S.S.R. in the 1950s. But watching this wacky, rainbow-colored Russian song-and-dance spectacle and its hipsters versus squares showdown is a blast.
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Forget everything you ever thought about horror films and hillbillies. This side-splitting spoof pits camping college kids against two country boys on vacation for a comedy of misunderstanding you don’t want to miss. (Plus fans of TV’s Reaper will rejoice to see Sock on the silver screen.)
Leaves of Grass
Ed Norton has tackled duality before — but twins? In Leaves of Grass Norton does double duty as identical twins with opposite ambitions: an Ivy League philosophy professor and a drug-dealing hick. It’s a Farrelly-esque farce that fuses pithy poetry with quirky personality.
I Killed My Mother
Twenty-one-year-old French writer/director Xavier Dolan’s scathingly hilarious, semi-autobiographical film will make you remember how much you wanted to kill your mother (figuratively speaking) as a teenager — or do now. Why does she chew her cream cheese bagel like a cow? You’ll wonder why you never filmed your own mother-angst memoir.
I Am Love
It’s likely you’ll either love I Am Love — or hate it. Tilda Swinton stars in a feast of the senses by Italian director Luca Guadagnino that’s besotted with food, fashion, flesh, and anything else you can touch, taste, see, smell, or hear. He serves it all up with a saucy tale of adultery and ambition.
This clock-ticking, edge-of-your-seat prison drama packs all the expected punches — danger, suspense, double crosses — and a few you might not anticipate, which makes the Goya Award-sweeping movie that much more unforgettable.
A darkly comic cloak-and-dagger tale set in post-war Warsaw, The Reverse melds Raymond Chandler-esque mystery with sassy, sharp-witted female leads and films it all in black-and-white lit with an alluring old-school MGM-style glow. It’s no surprise Borys Lankosz won SIFF’s Best New Director Grand Jury Prize.
What do you get when you put a suicidal 11-year-old, a frumpy, middle-aged Tolstoy-loving concierge, and a refined Japanese gentleman under one posh Parisian roof? A bittersweet and funny existentialist fairytale you’ll never forget.
Before cantankerous old Tennessee recluse Felix (Robert Duvall) gets low (as in six feet under), he wants the townsfolk to share their stories about him — flattering or damning — for his living funeral. It’s a formula for disaster, left-field laughs, and profound pathos that includes Bill Murray, Sissy Spacek, and a scandalous secret.
The Ozark mountains are a cold, menacing wilderness of poverty and meth-dealing biker clans whose severe social terrain teen Ree (Jennifer Lawrence) must navigate in order to find her father and keep her family from losing everything. Lawrence’s taut, tough performance has Oscar written all over it.
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