Welcome back to Alt Weekly, a column in which we shine a spotlight on the independent films brave enough to open opposite Hollywood's behemoth blockbusters before rolling out in wider release. This week, Alfred Hitchcock's wife and other whale trainers face off against both the Wolverines and the Guardians.
'THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE'
Filmmaker Cred: Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns stands as one of this film's three directors.
Star Power: None.
Festival/Awards Buzz: Uniformly positive since its Cannes premiere last May.
Release Details: Three screens in NYC only this weekend, but the film will be available nationwide On Demand as of December 7th.
See This If... A true-life tale of decades-old injustice is likely to get your blood pumping.
Filmmaker Cred: This is the narrative debut for "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" director Sacha Gervasi.
Star Power: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, James D'Arcy.
Festival/Awards Buzz: Fox Searchlight played this one close to the vest, positioning it for this year's Oscar race at a relatively late date and not premiering until this month's AFI Fest, where it played as the Opening Night selection and received decent - though not ecstatic - reviews.
Release Details: 15 screens at first in major markets, but due to expand in the coming weeks.
See This If... The story behind the making of "Psycho" sounds intriguing enough even without considering that cast.
'RUST AND BONE'
Filmmaker Cred: Director Jacques Audiard earned considerable acclaim with his last film, the Oscar-nominated prison drama "A Prophet."
Star Power: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts ("Bullhead").
Release Details: NY this weekend, LA on 12/7, and these cities to follow.
See This If... You're willing to watch a reportedly rough-and-tumble romance unfold.