Why not wait until 48 hours before the SXSW Film Festival kicks off to post our preview? That’s a question that will haunt Squally until we crawl into our premature grave. While nobler movie bloggers pack their bags for Austin–visions of Harry Knowles smeared with BBQ dancing in their heads—here’s a humble look at what’s screening over the next nine days. First up: a rattle bag of marquee fodder which includes the Duplasses’ venture into the mainstream, Robert Duvall facing off against Bill Murray, Rhys Ifans as a stoner hero and the triumphant return of Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Click on the titles to watch trailers.
The Duplass Brothers do a David Gordon Green, moving to a bigger budget and familiar faces, while mining a familiar seam of discomfort that doesn’t seem so radical in hindsight. Things look like they’re turning around for loser John C. Reilly when he meets the hot Marisa Tomei. The problem is she has a stay-at-home son played by Jonah Hill. That means he’s going to be plenty gross and creepy.
Fresh from Sundance, where it failed to raise hackles, comes British satirist Chris Morris’s terrorist comedy. A quartet of hapless Sheffield Muslims cook up a suicide bomber plot that, in the best tradition of Anglo-cringe comedy, comes undone through their own stupidity. The point is that while fundamentalism and dimwittedness go hand-in-hand, the results are no laughing matter. Feel-badness all ‘round, then.
Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek are reunited for the first time since—Jesus God–Four Christmases. Duvall plays a Tennessee backwoods hermit who makes a rare venture into town. He’s looking to plan his own funeral party, which he wants to savor while he’s still alive. Lucas Black is incredulous; Bill Murray steals the show as a mortician cashing in on Duvall’s monosyllabic fatalist. Directed by Aaron Schneider.
Responsible for way too many fan-boy erections than our addled mind can handle, this much anticipated adaptation of Mark Millar’s comic makes its world premiere at SXSW. A nerdy high schooler puts funny book theory into practice and throws on some tights to defend himself from sophomore bullies. It’s an entrée into the world of costumed vigilantes, who are all a little more psychotic than he’d like to believe.
Really, Lorne Michaels?
Delicatessen director Jean-Pierre Jeunet has been MIA for a few years and it’s good to have him back. His first film since 2004 is a caper where jilted employee Dany Boon (Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis) decides to hit back against France’s military-industrial complex. Joining him is a gang of misfits that includes the peerless Dominique Pinon and Yolande Moreau.
Howard Marks became something of a legend when he was arrested for hashish smuggling in 1990. The amiable Welshman’s defense was that he was in the employ of the CIA. After spending years in chokey, the scallywag turned his tales into a bestselling memoir, inspired Super Furry Animals, and continues to enjoy a toke. Should be the role of Rhys Ifans’ lifetime. Chloe Sevigny is the long-suffering Mrs. Marks.
To be fair, The Runaways are a distant ‘70s memory remembered through occasional plays of their sole hit “Cherry Bomb.” Give music video-maker Floria Sigismondi a hand, then. She’s turned the all-girl group’s story into a pageant of teen lesbianism, Svengali scheming, feather cuts and polyester jumpsuits whose eye-popping appeal may be rivaled only by Enter the Void. Oh, and it’s got KRISTEN STEWART! O and indeed, MG.
Tags: Aaron Schneider, Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis, Bill Murray, Chloe Sevigny, Chris Morris, Cyrus, Dany Boon, David Gordon Green, Dominique Pinon, Enter the Void, Floria Sigismondi, Four Christmases, Four Lions, Get Low, Howard Marks, Jay Duplass, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill, Kick-Ass, Kristen Stewart, Lorne Michaels, Lucas Black, MacGruber, Marisa Tomei, Mark Duplass, Mark Millar, Micmacs à tire-larigot, Mr. Nice, Nicolas Cage, Rhys Ifans, Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Sundance Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, The Runaways, Will Forte, Yolande Moreau