Tiger Eyes
Distributor: Freestyle Releasing
Like the much-beloved kid lit of its source author, "Tiger Eyes," the first proper film adaptation of a Judy Blume novel, is effectively tailored to a very specific target viewer. For a certain type of contemplative teen girl, its sensitive handling of heavy material will surely prove affecting, though the pic sometimes veers too far to the sleepy end of low-key. In the end, it represents a solid blueprint for a later, better Blume adaptation, but that's hardly anything to scoff at. Directed by the author's son, Lawrence Blume (who adapted along with his mother), "Tiger" looks destined for a limited, if appreciative audience.
-- Andrew Barker
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Wish You Were Here
Distributor:
Entertainment One
With a storyline that coils around and around itself until viewers may have trouble breathing, "Wish You Were Here" is the incandescent feature debut of helmer Kieran Darcy-Smith, and a rare kind of showcase for leads Joel Edgerton ("Warrior") and co-writer Felicity Price as a couple whose South Asian vacation comes back to haunt them. Taut construction, deft acting and a gift for keeping auds off balance will make this Aussie drama a winner in offshore release and a springboard for its veteran screenwriter-cum-director.
-- John Anderson
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Violet & Daisy
Distributor:
Cinedigm
Following his Oscar-winning script for "Precious," Geoffrey Fletcher's directorial debut manages to be precious in a whole different way, sadly far-removed from the approach he took adapting the novel "Push" by Sapphire. Last and least in a run of pics that fancy teen girls as cold-blooded killers, "Violet & Daisy" offers a questionably sentimental spin on the Hit Girl gimmick seen in "Kick-Ass," casting the armed-and-dangerous stars of "Sin City" (Alexis Bledel) and "Hanna" (Saoirse Ronan) as a pair of implausible assassins. This cutesy dark comedy seems destined for cult status, but could also connect with less Puritanical overseas auds.
-- Peter Debruge
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London: The Modern Babylon
Distributor:
Cinedigm/Docurama
A swooning, punch-drunk love letter to one of the world's greatest cities, "London: The Modern Babylon" unspools a magnificent collage of vintage and original material, offering a rousing unofficial history of Blighty's capitol. Having found his groove as a documaker after a patchy career in features, helmer and local boy Julien Temple goes ape in the archives to illustrate a loose-limbed thesis about London's vitality, diversity and irrepressible energy from the early 20th century to the present.
-- Leslie Felperin
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