This week's roundup of independent and foreign movies includes an Oscar winner, an ultraviolent masked vigilante movie, and a movie that would give the Michelin man nightmares.
In a Better World
Danish director Susanne Bier's "In A Better World" traces the story of two Danish families. Anton (Mikael Persbrandt) is a doctor who divides his time between Denmark and a refugee camp in a nameless African country, where he treats not just the victims of war crimes but also their perpetrators. Meanwhile, his son's struggle with a schoolyard bully soon devolves horrifically. The original Danish title is "Revenge," to give you an idea of where the plot goes from there. This movie won the best foreign movie at the 83rd Academy Awards and has been earning rave reviews on the film fest circuit. See it just to decide for yourself if it's more worthy of Oscar gold than fantastically weird fellow-nominee "Dogtooth."
James Gunn's last feature, the comedy horror flick "Slither" was about a town plagued with alien parasites that look distressingly like slugs. The film was a commercial bomb, but it got rave reviews from critics and has since gone on to develop a cult following. For his latest feature, "Super," Gunn veers from horror and instead plunges into superhero geekery. Frank D'Arbo (Rainn Wilson) transforms from a mild-mannered schlub into the wrench-wielding would-be superhero, The Crimson Bolt, when his wife, Sarah, shacks up with a drug dealer. Ellen Page plays a comic-book maven turned vigilante sidekick, Boltie. If you liked "Kick Ass" and are looking for another tale about a costumed avenger, this movie might be your bag. Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, and Rob Zombie also star.
Under the stage name of Mr. Oizo, Quentin Dupieux developed a lucrative career spinning glitchy, retro beats as a techno DJ. Last year, though, he made a splash at Cannes with his bizarro horror flick "Rubber," which features, among other things, a sentient rubber tire with a homicidal streak, exploded human heads, clever plot twists, and an extended philosophical monologue on the importance of "no reason." Think "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" meets "The Red Balloon" meets Jean Luc Godard's "Weekend."
See the trailers from this week's indie movies: