Jonathan Glazer’s unusual Holocaust film The Zone Of Interest opens in four theaters in New York and LA today as Cord Jefferson’s satirical comedy American Fiction debuts in seven, the latest trenchant specialty offerings in a fall market full of strong titles as year-end approaches and the awards season clicks into high gear after Golden Globe nominations this week.
From A24, The Zone of Interest premiered at Cannes (Deadline review here), winning the Grand Prix, and the FIPRESCI Prize. The (actual) commandant of Auschwitz, Rudolf Höss (Christian Friedel) and his wife Hedwig (Sandra Hüller, who also starred in Neon’s Palme d’Or Winning Anatomy of A Fall) strive to build a dream life for their growing family in a lovely villa and garden whose back wall abuts the concentration camp. The film opens with the family picnicking and frolicking on a lush riverbank, then trekking happily home.
Auschwitz itself is never shown but present in muffled sounds of gunshots, commands, cries and bellowing smoke. “There are two films, the one you see and the one you hear,” Glazer said speaking after a screening at the New York Film Festival in October. Zone won Cannes best soundtrack (Mica Levy) and CST Artist-Technician (Johnnie Burn). This week, it took Golden Globe nominations for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Motion Picture Non-English, and Soundtrack.
Opens at the Lincoln Square and Angelika in NYC, Century City and Vista in LA.
American Fiction from MGM starts in seven theaters in NY, LA and Austin, rolling out next week before expanding throughout January. Based upon the novel 2001 Erasure by Percival Everett. America Fiction premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival taking its People’s Choice Award. See Deadline review.
Jefferson’s directorial debut nabbed Golden Globe nominations for Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, and Actor for Jeffrey Wright. The film has five Critics Choice Award Nominations – Best Picture, Best Comedy, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor (Sterling K. Brown), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Jefferson).
Wright stars as Monk, a frustrated novelist fed up with the establishment profiting from “Black” entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, Monk uses a pen name to write an outlandish “Black” book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain. The film confronts our culture’s obsession with reducing people to outrageous stereotypes. Also stars Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Adam Brody, Keith David.
Playing AMC Century City, AMC Grove, AMC Burbank, AMC LSQ, Angelika NY, Alamo Brooklyn and Alamo South Lamar.
Magnolia Pictures is playing Denny Tedesco’s music doc Immediate Family in two theaters in NY and LA after Tuesday night event screenings at 75 locations nationwide. The film tracks the rise and collaborations of a group of legendary session musicians Danny Kortchmar, Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel, and Waddy Wachtel through the 1970s and onward, chronicling their illustrious partnerships and their formidable record of hit-making. Recalls the foundations of their enduring friendship, formed on the road and in studios through intimate interviews with the guys themselves, as well as the memories of some of rock’s most iconic voices including Carole King, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Keith Richards, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Lyle Lovett, Phil Collins, and more.
It’s been on the festival circuit winning Best Music Documentary Film at the 2023 Hollywood Music In Media Awards; Audience Choice at 2023 DOCLANDS Film Festival; Audience Award, 2022 Woodstock Film Festival; Audience Award, 2022 Tallgrass Film Festival. Tedesco’s 2008 documentary The Wrecking Crew followed the first wave of studio musicians in the 60s and the booming era of the singer-songwriter when the talents of these four musicians were in furious demand.
Expansions: Searchlight Pictures Poor Things starring Emma Stone expands after a strong limited opening on nine screens last week and following seven Golden Globe nominations. The Yorgos Lanthimos-directed film had noms for Best Musical or Comedy Motion Picture, Director, Actress, Screenplay, Score and two supporting noms for Willem DaFoe and Mark Ruffalo. Expanding in LA, NY, Austin and San Francisco, and adding another 17 cities in the U.S. and Canada, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, DC, Portland, Orlando, Toronto, Vancouver.
Netflix expands Bradley Cooper’s Maestro to about 400 theaters. Golden Globe noms for Motion Picture – Drama, Director, and Performances for Cooper and Carey Mulligan. The streamer also opens Zach Snyder’s sci-fi Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child Of Fire in 70mm at the Paris in NYC and the Egyptian in LA. Deadline review.
Bleecker Street is extending Waitress: The Musical on about 800+ screens after a strong openings last weekend for the film version of the popular Broadway musical. Directed by Brett Sullivan, starring Sara Bareilles.