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What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, July 3

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Alan Rickman and Kate Winslet star in 'A Little Chaos'.

Delve into the story of two geeky filmmakers who suddenly confront something very serious, and get a view into the the French court of the 17th century. Whatever your tastes, our indie, foreign and documentary film critics have quite a selection for your holiday weekend.

Wolfpack, R, Tivoli

  • Cynthia Haines: I have some reservations about it. The kinds of films he showed his kids was kind of strange since the reason he was keeping his kids locked up was to avoid the drugs and violence of New York City. My question was, "How much of this really was true?" I don’t want people not to see it; everyone is going to come to their own conclusion.
  • Steve Walker: It’s a very strange movie, and there was reference to domestic violence of the father to the mother. But what upset me was that we’re missing the context of how the woman met (the family) on the street and why social services never got involved. Something is really off. What makes them interesting is that they are smart and they have this huge appetite for all these films.

The Overnight, R, Glenwood Arts, AMC: BarryWoods, Independence, Studio 28, Town Center 20

  • Steve: Do you remember Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, about the swingers? It seems like this is a similar model. There’s four people, and some strange things happen. What’s going on here? Are we being seduced, drugged, challenged?
  • Cynthia: If I didn’t have to review this film I would have walked out. I think it’s rude and crude. Taylor Schilling made a horrible choice in going to the big screen with this. Not that I’m a prude, but I sat there and said, “This is funny? This obsessions with penises?" If you liked Ted and Ted 2, this is your movie.

A Little Chaos, R, Glenwood Arts

  • Steve: She was a feminist way before her time. She has an idea that a little chaos is what you need in design, I really liked that argument about does art always need to be neat and tidy or can art be ugly and manipulative and a little shadowy. I think it’s a beautiful movie.
  • Cynthia: It was directed by Alan Rickman, and he plays Louis XIV, and he was just wonderful. The element that was missing for me was the chemistry between Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts’ character. I felt like it could be a double feature with Far From the Madding Crowd. There’s a lot of humor in it, but it’s about repression.

I'll See You In My Dreams, PG-13, Tivoli, Rio, Cinetopia

  • Steve: The thing about Blythe Danner is that she’s always been good, but she hasn’t been given this kind of screen time. Danner’s face during that speed-dating scene of the various schlubs that come in front of her is so funny. Her performance is so true and genuine and funny.
  • Cynthia: I wasn’t that crazy about it. I think part of it is the lack of energy I saw in the film and also my frustration with well-to-do middle-aged older women who are bored. 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, PG-13, Tivoli, Glenwood Arts, Phoenix Legends, B&B Lee’s Summit, AMC: Ward Parkway, BarryWoods, Independence, Studio 28

  • Cynthia: It kind of follows "The Fault in Our Stars" and "If I Stay", this teen genre of kids with cancer (and other serious illness or injury)… and how other kids their age deal with death and dying. It’s a bittersweet coming of age film with interracial relationships, love and rites of passage. I was broadsided by the end of the film. A lot of the success of the movie rests on Rachel Cook’s performance.
  • Steve: What must be said is that he and his friend Earl have been making cheesy cheap versions of classic films. The first hour, I’m like, “I don’t buy this at all.” Then there’s a scene where he and the girl talk about a decision she’s made about her care. It’s shot in one, uninterrupted six or seven-minute take. The camera never moves, and I went, "Wow." I was really going, "Oh brother." I almost left at one point, and then that scene… It packs a wallop.

Dope, R, Regal Kansas City, Cinemark 20, Cinemark Palace, AMC: Ward Parkway, BarryWoods, Independence, Studio 28, Town Center

  • Cynthia: The heroes of the film are the geeks. They inadvertently come into possession of some drugs, so there’s a heist element. I’m really sad that the movie is rated R. This is a film for young teenagers, and they’re not allowed to see it. I think parents ought to go see it with their kids and ask questions afterwards.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.