Passion: Brian DePalma's latest film has been bouncing around the festivals for a year or so now, and while the reviews have been a bumpy road, there appears to be an audacity to it that is attracting a second wave of recommendations. A similar fate to DePalma's The Black Dahlia, really. Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace co-star in a story that combines noir elements with sexy lesbian antics that may or may not be exploitive.
Afternoon Delight: Writer/director Jill Soloway made her bones on excellent TV series like Six Feet Under and United States of Tara, and her transition into features is a buzzy little indie. Kathryn Hahn (Wanderlust; Our Idiot Brother; Parks and Recreation) earned legitimate raves when this film premiered at Sundance. She plays a housewife who ends up taking a mentor-like interest in a stripper, played by Juno Temple. And with a cast that fills up with comedic talent like Jessica St. Clair, Michaela Watkins, Keegan Michael Key, and Jane Lynch, it's a solid bet for a good time.
The Lifeguard: Kristen Bell spent the bulk of this year making web videos promoting the Veronica Mars Kickstarter, but first she made this Sundance hit about an almost-30 young woman going through any number of personal and professional crises. This ends up including hooking up with a teenager. Also starring Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, and the all-too-rare screen presence of the wonderful Amy Madigan.
I Declare War: The idea here is that pre-teen War Games become all too real -- at least through the eyes of the kids. So I guess expect a mix of fantasy and reality that appears intended to blur the lines and show how much bloody warfare gets ingrained in the play habits of children. Plus laser-eyes, it looks like!