There are more than enough streaming and VOD titles of all genres in the specialty arena making their debut this weekend as they shift from theatrical to streaming for your quarantine entertainment. For those who need to quench their thirst for a rom-com, Mike Doyle’s Almost Love is set to premiere.
The Vertical Entertainment film made its debut in 2019 at Toronto’s LGBTQ film fest Inside Out and already took a bow in the UK in March under the title Sell By. Now, audiences stateside can stream the ensemble pic starring Scott Evans.
The film follows a group of friends as they navigate love, life, and relationships as they reach a mid-point. The story hones in on Adam (Evans), a talented painter now stuck ghost painting for the successful contemporary artist, Ravella Brewer (Patricia Clarkson). He and Marklin (Augustus Prew) are at the five-year mark of their relationship — and the existential question of “Is that all there is?” is put on the table. This is the same predicament presented to their circle of friends. Adam’s BFF Elizabeth (Kate Walsh) starts to reevaluate her 15-year marriage after she discovers her husband’s inappropriate text relationship with a younger woman while Cammy (Michelle Buteau) is dating Henry (Colin Donnell), but they never leave the house. As for Haley (Zoe Chao), she is just trying to unpack her feelings for Scott James (Christopher Gray). Everyone is trying to make their life less messy.
'Our Friend', 'Identifying Features' And A Stack Of Oscar International Feature Contenders Make Their Debuts - Specialty Preview
The film is available on VOD today, but on April 7, writer and director Mike Doyle will be joined by producer Mandy Ward and lead actor Scott Evans to participate in a webcast where they will discuss how they have shifted their release strategy to release during the pandemic.
Watch the trailer below.
For those who are drawn to films about cults, IFC will debut Małgorzata Szumowska’s The Other Lamb starring Raffey Cassidy (Vox Lux), Michiel Huisman (Game Of Thrones) and Denise Gough (Colette).
The film written by Catherine S. McMullen made its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last year and was featured on the 2017 Black List, Hit List and Blood List.
The film tells the story of Selah (Cassidy), a young girl born into an alternative religion known as the Flock. The members of the Flock – all women and female children – live in a rural compound and are cut off from modern society. Leading them is one messiah-like figure, known only as Shepherd (Huisman). Selah begins to bond with Sarah (Denise Gough), an outcast wife who has grown skeptical of Shepherd’s teachings. When Selah takes part in the sacred ritual of the birthing of the lambs she has a shocking and transformative experience.
Watch the trailer below.
John Abrahams’ Clover will also bow this weekend on streaming as it brings the delightful energy of a mob comedy that, based on the trailer alone, feels like a delightful mash-up of Guy Ritchie, Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese films.
The film stars Mark Webber and Jon Abrahams as Irish twins Jackie and Mickey as they attempt to pay off their father’s debt to a local mob boss Tony Davolo (Chazz Palminteri). Considering, the mob is involved, it’s not that simple. As the situation unfolds, things get more complicated as the titular Clover (Nicole Elizabeth Berger) forces the pair to take to the streets in an attempt to out-run Tony’s pair of hitwomen and keep Clover out of harm’s way. The brothers develop an unlikely rapport with Clover and learn that she is just not just an ordinary angsty, tough-as-nails teenager.
The film is written by Michael Testone and features an ensemble that includes Ron Perlman, Tichina Arnold, Erika Christensen, Julia Jones, Jessica Szohr, Michael Godere and Jake Webber.
Watch the trailer below.
Like many of the titles featured on this list, Spencer T. Folmar’s Shooting Heroin was set for a theatrical release before coronavirus caused a box office shutdown — but this isn’t stopping the pic from having a premiere. The film, which addresses the opioid epidemic in the country, will have a virtual red carpet premiere today at 2:30 pm PT with members of the cast and crew.
Shooting Heroin tells the story of a Pennsylvania community that comes together to fight back against the spread of drugs. In order to do so, a group of vigilantes from the small town takes justice into their own hands. The film stars Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), Alan Powell (Quantico), Garry Pastore (The Deuce), Nicholas Turturro (SVU), Cathy Moriarty (Raging Bull) and Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs (Cooley High).
Also opening this weekend is Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance’s documentary Slay The Dragon, which puts the topic of gerrymandering in the spotlight as it follows a handful of citizens’ groups as they express outrage against the practice of redrawing electoral maps to serve the party in power.
The aforementioned titles join a list of titles that had a theatrical debut but have landed on streaming sooner rather than later. The supernatural comedy Extra Ordinary, initially released at the beginning in March will have its digital debut this weekend while box office overachiever Impractical Jokers: The Movie made its way to streaming earlier than expected. The Focus Features Eliza Hittman critically acclaimed drama Never Rarely Sometimes Always opened in theaters on March 13, right before theaters closed their doors. Earlier this week, Focus announced that it is now available on-demand.
The Brian Cox drama The Etruscan Smile had a limited qualifying theatrical run for awards season in November and now through May 31 the film’s distributor Lightyear Entertainment is teaming with Film Movement and Arthouse Convergence to offer audiences a virtual theatrical release. The streaming platform Film Movement Plus will partner with theaters that were forced to close so that they can offer virtual tickets to watch the film. Virtual tickets will cost $12 and 50% of proceeds will go to the participating theaters.
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