Middle of Nowhere

imgresWith everyone expecting Mockingjay to keep its place at the top of the charts this weekend, a few smaller pictures are arriving as counter-programming. Shall we see what’s what?

 Awake: The Life of Yogananda: Glenn didn’t have much patience for this documentary about Paramahansa Yogananda, who may or may not have been an inspiration to Steve Jobs. Well, then.

Copenhagen: Toronto-born director Mark Raso makes his feature debut with a nicely observed tale of two people connecting on a deeper level than either of them is prepared for. I am very keen to see what he does for an encore.

Fall: Michael Murphy plays a priest struggling with his past in the most oblique and pointless way possible in Terrance Odette’s suffocating character study, which probably plays a lot more effectively if you haven’t seen Doubt or Calvary.

Gemma Bovery: Gemma Arterton is the whole show in Anne Fontaine’s weirdly listless adaptation of Posy Simmonds’ riff on Flaubert. And she’s good enough to make the thing worth sitting through.

Serena: Susanne Bier’s 1920s mining-town drama, which reunites the David O. Russell-certified team of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, arrives under a cloud of negative publicity. Susan finds most of the bad press is, sadly, deserved.

The Wandering Muse: Tamás Wormser’s diasporia doc surveys the state of Jewish musicians (but not necessarily Jewish music) around the world. Rad finds it formulaic and unremarkable.

Wild: Reese Witherspoon walks in Cheryl Strayed’s footsteps — more or less literally — in Jean-Marc Vallée’s moody, absorbing drama, which is not nearly as awards-baity as you might have been led to believe.

Also, Bad Turn Worse — which played TIFF 2013 under its original title, We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place — is opening for a weekend run at the Royal. I’ve got that covered in today’s web column, which will be online later this afternoon.

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