In the midst of awards season, you would think that the movies coming out now would be palate cleansers—lightweight feel-good movies that aren’t necessarily vying for recognition. But some of this week’s movies, the foreign ones in particular, are totally killing it. So get thee to an indie theater and shake off some of that Hollywood-hating mojo that’s been going around! Catch this week’s new movies after the jump.
The Movie: “No Strings Attached”
The Trailer: Emma (Natalie Portman) is on her way to becoming a doctor. She and her life-long friend Adam (Ashton Kutcher) try to have a love and jealousy-free relationship based on sex. Love gets in the way. Obvs.
The Hitch: As much as I want to trash-talk this movie right now, I’m a sucker for rom-coms and if they’re going to exist anyway, I’m glad that this one includes awesome actresses like Olivia Thirlby, Greta Gerwig and Mindy Kaling. Obviously, Natalie Portman is adorable, and against my better judgment, I find Ashton Kutcher super endearing. But being an expert on the friends with benefits relationship, I can tell you how it will end—badly.
The Movie: “The Way Back”
The Trailer: World War II prisoners (Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess and Ed Harris have escaped their Siberian prison and are walking 4,000 miles across the Himalayan mountains to India. Along the way, a young girl (Saoirse Ronan) joins their ranks and they all fight for survival during the excruciating trek.
The Hitch: I will watch anything that Jim Sturgess does because he is the dreamiest, but this movie also looks like an adventure. It doesn’t hurt that it’s based on a true story and they gave Colin Farrell some gnarly-hot hand tattoos. And whenever you’re feeling sorry for yourself, you can just say, “Well, at least I’m not stuck trying to cross the Himalayan mountains to my freedom!”
The Movie: “The Housemaid”
The Trailer: A maid (Jeon Do-yeon) goes to work at a rich family’s house, gets pregnant by the cocky husband and decides she wants to keep the baby. Bad things happen.
The Hitch: This lush, sexy thriller looks like a must-see. It’s cinematically beautiful and is an interesting peek into a world I don’t know much about, i.e. the world of terribly rich people. Oh, and South Koreans, I guess.
The Movie: “Applause”
The Trailer: Thea Barfoed (Paprika Steen) is starring as Martha in a production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Meanwhile, her alcoholic tendencies have ruined her marriage and caused her to lose custody of her two sons.
The Hitch: Between South Korea and Holland, Hollywood had better watch its back! Roger Ebert has already sung his praises for Paprika Steen and if you can handle the subtitles, this will be a strong choice this weekend. Oh, and it will probably help if you are in a good mood and can handle some heavy issues.