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This Weekend's Indies: Ryan Gosling's At It Again

Opening this week in limited release: Kubrick obsessives, stunt bikers, and a Spanish Snow White.

The Place Beyond the Pines
Ryan Gosling reunites with his Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance and a rather all-star cast (Bradley Cooper, Eve Mendes, Ray Liotta) for a moody little crime drama. Try and follow this odd flow chart: Gosling is re-teaming with both Blue Valentine's Cianfrance AND Drive's Nicolas Winding Refn in 2013, but it's this one, Cianfrance's film, that seems the most like Drive. Instead of a stunt driver, Gosling plays a stunt motorcycle rider who gets mixed up in crime and tumultuous romance. The reviews have been quite good, with special notice being paid to performances by young actors Dane DeHaan and Emory Cohen.

Room 237
This festival-tested documentary about obsessive, theory-spinning fans of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining should be a fun sit for fans of the 1980 horror classic, or just fans of fans. Meanwhile, can we talk about what a fantastic trailer this is? I was laughing in the theater through the next two trailers.

Welcome to the Punch
James McAvoy, Mark Strong, and Andrea Riseborough star in this cat-and-mouse action drama from producer Ridley Scott. That's a lot of acting talent firing bullets at each other. Strong is a particularly effective bad guy, so it should be a pleasure to watch him do his thing as a master criminal.

Toni Collette plays a charismatic drifter who breezes into a fractured family's life in this, her re-teaming with Muriel's Wedding director PJ Hogan. We talked about the trailer a little bit ago, and a Collette/Hogan pairing is reason enough to give it a shot.

This arty twist on the Snow White story stars Maribel Verdu (Y Tu Mama Tambien) and has been compared to The Artist and Guy Maddin. It also took top honors at the Goyas, the Spanish version of the Oscars. If you're looking for something artsy and different, this could be your pick.


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