We’re still at an odd time on the movie calendar for the year since it’s right between the end of summer and the beginning of awards season. During this purgatory period, a strange group of newbies enter the fray this weekend with a pre-Hallooween horror flick, Insidious: Chapter 2, Luc Besson’s crime comedy starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, The Family, Billy Bob Thornton’s period southern period drama, Jayne Mansfield’s Car, and a handful of others.
Insidious: Chapter 2
Director: James Wan
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey
The haunted Lambert family seeks to uncover the mysterious childhood secret that has left them dangerously connected to the spirit world.
Oscar Potential: None, but Joey liked the direction this sequel takes the franchise in.
Director: Luc Besson
Starring: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron
The Manzoni family, a notorious mafia clan, is relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program, where fitting in soon becomes challenging as their old habits die hard.
Oscar Potential: Back when this Luc Besson film was known as Malavita, there was some talk about Oscar potential for its high-profile actor, but Joey thinks that is sadly not the case.
Jayne Mansfield’s Car
Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Starring: Tippi Hedren, Kevin Bacon, Ray Stevenson
Alabama; 1969: The death of a clan’s estranged wife and mother brings together two very different families. Do the scars of the past hide differences that will tear them apart, or expose truths that could lead to unexpected collisions?
Oscar Potential: Depending on critical reception, Thornton’s film might have a shot at a nomination or two, but it’s a long one since it’s looking like a pretty loaded year.
Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
Starring: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani
An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school’s Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.
Oscar Potential: This foreign drama had a strong showing at LAFF so it’s got a shot at a nomination. Check out Tiff’s review from the festival.
Director: Alexandre Moors
Starring: Isaiah Washington, Tequan Richmond, Tim Blake Nelson
An abandoned boy is lured to America and drawn into the shadow of a dangerous father figure. Inspired by the real life events that led to the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks.
Oscar Potential: Though its a captivating story about a troubling and vividly recalled series of events in recent American history, this film isn’t marketed to receive the proper notice for awards. Still might be worth a look, though.
Director: Jamie Meltzer
Starring: Brandon Darby, Scott Crow, Lisa Fithian
A documentary on radical left-wing activist turned FBI informant, Brandon Darby.
Oscar Potential: The documentary category is already pretty loaded and this seems to be fairly typical to make the cut.
What will you see this weekend?