A24 continues its stream of special runs opening dark comedy Dream Scenario in limited release on six screens in New York and LA. Written and directed by Kristoffer Borgli (Sick Of Myself) and produced by Ari Aster, it stars Nicolas Cage as a hapless family man whose life is turned upside down when millions of strangers suddenly start seeing him in their dreams.
The film premiered at Toronto Film Festival to stellar reviews (see Deadline’s here). A24 had a SAG-AFTRA waiver and Cage began promoting the film at TIFF. The English-language debut for Norwegian helmer Borgli — whose satire Sick Of Myself premiered at Cannes last year — also features Julianne Nicholson, Michael Cera, Kate Berlant, Nicholas Braun and Noah Centineo.
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Opens NY at AMC Lincoln Square, Angelika, Alamo, In LA at The Grove, Century City, Burbank. Q&As with filmmaker Borgli and cast members Berlant (who plays an executive of a viral marketing firm) and YA star Centineo (a dream influencer). Dream Scenario is said to be seeing Priscilla level comps; that Sofia Coppola film opened late October to a solid $132k on four screens in NY and LA.
Noting Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers from Focus Features, starring Paul Giamatti, which is jumping to 778 screens from 60 with additional expansion planned.
Other specialty openings: Horror spoof It’s A Wonderful Knife from IFC Films opens at 923 theaters. Directed by Tyler McIntyre (Tragedy Girls) from a script by Michael Kennedy (Freaky), it stars Jane Widdop (Yellowjackets), Joel McHale (Community) and Justin Long (Barbarian). In this It’s A Wonderful Life by way of Scream, a woman saves her town from a psychotic killer on Christmas Eve. A year later, her life is less than wonderful. But when she wishes she’d never been born, she finds herself in a nightmare parallel universe.
Well Go USA presents thriller Your Lucky Day on ten screens, all Alamo Drafthouses. In the feature debut of writer-director Daniel Brown, a dispute over a winning lottery ticket turns into a deadly hostage situation. Premiered at Fantastic Fest and stars Jessica Garza (The Purge, Six, Penny Dreadful: City of Angles), Angus Cloud (Euphoria) in one of his final performances, Elliot Knight (The Boys, Hacks, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II), Mousa Hussein Kraish (The Day The Earth Stood Still, American Gods), and Jason O’Mara (Smother, Hypnotic, Truth Be Told).
Docs: A handful are opening including Sideshow/Janus Films’ presentation of Paul B. Preciado’s much decorated doc Orlando, My Political Biography at the film Forum in NYC.
Documentaries have been easier to promote during the actors’ strike with directors and subjects often on hand. Also underway in New York is Doc NYC, the biggest all-documentary festival in the U.S.
Orlando swept four awards in Berlin when it premiered, played Telluride, Toronto and the New York Film Festival. This is a personal essay, historical analysis and social manifesto by the academic turned filmmaker that takes as its starting point Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando: A Biography. Preciado casts a diverse cross-section of more than twenty trans and non-binary individuals in the role of Orlando as they perform interpretations of scenes from the novel, weaving their own stories of identity and transition into Woolf’s narrative.
Abramorama doc Holy Frit opens at the Laemmle Noho in LA after debuting in NYC last weekend. Expanding through November. In a three-year race against time, Tim Carey, a talented but unknown LA artist, bluffs his way into winning the commission to create the world’s largest stained-glass window of its kind. The film billed as “Not your grandmother’s stained glass movie!” won the Best Documentary Audience Award at Slamdance.
Abramorama is also out with A Still Small Voice, directed and produced by Luke Lorentzen (Midnight Family), at NYC’s DCTV Firehouse. Follows Mati, a chaplain completing a year-long residency at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital, as she learns to provide spiritual care to people confronting profound life changes. Digs into Mati’s spiritual work as an entry point to explore how we seek meaning in suffering, uncertainty and grief.
Oscilloscope presents L. Frances Henderson’s doc This Much We Know at DCTV Firehouse in NYC. Grieving the suicide of a friend, Henderson heads to Las Vegas — the suicide capitol of the nation — and the city where a teenager leapt to his death from a tower years before. She discovers the city is also scrambling to bury decades of nuclear waste under nearby Yucca mountain and her film maneuvers between the two stories. Will expand to the Laemmle Monica Film Center in LA on Wednesday.
Stamped From The Beginning from Netflix opens at the IFC Center in NYC, the Bay in LA and Landmark Opera Plaza in SF. Director Roger Ross Williams brings Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s 2016 New York Times bestseller to the screen. The National Book Award-winner chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history.
And MTV Documentary Films presents SXSW-premiering Pay Or Die from Rachael Dyer and Scott Alexander Ruderman, in LA. The personal stories of three families expose the human cost of America’s insulin affordability crisis, and the harrowing reality of life with chronic illness in the richest country in the world — where some 2 million people in the U.S. would die in days without insulin. Opens at the Laemmle Monica in LA.
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