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Up To Date

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' April 13-15

Fox Searchlight Films
Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs' features the voices of Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum and Scarlett Johansson.

It's a good time of year for lovers of independent movies. Local cinemas are offering a bevy of intriguing plots, including a much-anticipated release from the symmetrically-inclined mind of Wes Anderson that features dogs you can comprehend and humans you can't (unless you understand Japanese). If stop-motion's not the fare for you, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have plenty more to recommend.

Steve Walker

"Finding Your Feet," PG-13

  • This cheeky comedy, with seasoned British actors like Imelda Staunton and Timothy Spall, centers around a priggish woman who leaves her cheating husband of 35 years and moves in with her bohemian sister.

"1945," not rated

  • Shot in beautifully crisp black-and-white, this Hungarian film finds a microcosm of European tensions between nationalists, Russians and Jews in a small village on an important wedding day.

"Isle of Dogs," PG-13

  • Wes Anderson's wildly creative animated film is a bittersweet tale about a human and canine revolt after all the dogs in a Japanese town are deported to Trash Island, a locale as grim and grimey as its name.

Cynthia Haines

"Finding Your Feet," PG-13

  • A newly-discovered affair on the part of her husband sends Sandra Abbott, played by Imelda Staunton, to London, where she and her estranged sister struggle to find common ground and help Sandra forget her philandering partner.

"1945," not rated

  • In a Hungarian village shortly after World War II, a troubled clerk hopes his son's wedding can help get the family back to normal. But an unexpected visit from two Jewish men with a mysterious trunk forces the town to fret over their wartime misdeeds.

"Isle of Dogs," PG-13

  • Wes Anderson's unmistakable style is front and center in this stop-motion fantasy feature, which follows a plucky group of intelligible dogs attempting to help a lost boy find his exiled canine companion.

Bob Butler

"A Quiet Place," PG-13

  • Wife Emily Blunt and husband John Krasinski, who also directs, star in this old-fashioned creature feature with a novel twist. The movie poster says it all; "If they hear you, they hunt you."

"Isle of Dogs," PG-13

  • When a tyrannical pro-cat mayor sends all the canines in town to live on a garbage-filled island, a 12-year-old boy and a motley pack of hounds scour the dirty dump for the boy's missing bodyguard-dog.

"The Death of Stalin," R

  • The political satirist responsible for "Veep" and "In the Loop," Armando Iannucci, is at the helm of this morbidly entertaining comedy about Stalin's underlings jockeying for position after the leader's inconvenient, messy demise.
As culture editor, I oversee KCUR’s coverage of race, culture, the arts, food and sports. I work with reporters to make sure our stories reflect the fullest view of the place we call home, so listeners and readers feel primed to explore the places, projects and people who make up a vibrant Kansas City. Email me at luke@kcur.org.
Since 1998, Steve Walker has contributed stories and interviews about theater, visual arts, and music as an arts reporter at KCUR. He's also one of Up to Date's regular trio of critics who discuss the latest in art, independent and documentary films playing on area screens.