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In Between Days-Directed by So Yong Kim. A Korean-American teenage immigrant (Kim) falls in love with her boyfriend (Taegu Andy Kang) while adjusting to the new American culture. Many scenes drag with little character or plot development. Even the cinematography is unimpressive and awkward. A few moments of odd humor donít make up for a lack of real dramatic conflict. Entertainment Value: Low. Spiritual Value: None. Released by Kino International. Opens June 27th, 2007 at the IFC Center. Iraq in Fragments-Director James Longley documents the daily life of people in the Muslim world in three segments: Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. Each segment is rich with life and shows,through sights and sounds, the brutal reality of living in such a Third World country. The powerful, beautifully-shot images speak for themselves without the need for any preachy narration. Entertainment Value: High. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Released by Typecast Releasing. Opens November 8th, 2006 at the Film Forum.
Sherrybaby-Directed by Laurie Collyer. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Sherry Swanson, a young mother and drug addict who tries to bond with her young daughter after serving time in jail. The premise sounds similar to Clean's premise, except this film is much smarter and engaging thanks to Gyllenhaal who bares it all (literally and figuratively) and gives a luminous performance. A few scenes feel redundant in the second act, but the subtle, thought-provoking ending makes up for it. Entertainment Value: High. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Released by IFC Films. Opens September 8th, 2006 at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and Landmark Sunshine Cinemas. .
Stephanie Daley-Directed by Hilary Brougher. Tilda Swinton plays a forensic psychiatrist who deals with the case of Stephanie Daley (Tamblyn), a 16 year-old girl charged with murdering her infant. Both Swinton and Tamblyn give strong performances, but the script awkwardly jumps between the past and the present without enough focus and dramatic tension. Also, a subplot involving the psychiatristís dysfunctional relationship with her husband (Hutton) doesnít amount to much. Director Hilary Brougher includes impressive cinematography and a good use of subtle foreshadows. Entertainment Value: Moderate. Spiritual Value: Moderate. Released by Regent Releasing/Here! Films. Opens April 20th, 2007.