The story of the notorious outlaw Ned Kelly is dropping on digital and on-demand today with the Justin Kurzel-directed True History of the Kelly Gang starring George MacKay (1917, Captain Fantastic), Russell Crowe (Boy Erased, The Loudest Voice) and Nicholas Hoult (The Banker, X-Men franchise).
The grimy western crime drama, which was adapted by Kurzel from the novel of the same name by Peter Carey, features MacKay as the titular Aussie outlaw Ned Kelly and has a foundation of a love story between a mother and a son. The film was acquired by IFC Films ahead of its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019.
The film, which currently sits at 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, is not a straightforward biopic about Kelly but is a loose telling of the armed robber who was executed by hanging in 1880 at the age of 25.
“In Australia, he’s made out to be a beacon,” Kurzel told Deadline at TIFF. “[His image] was at the beginning of our opening ceremony at the Olympics. The right-wing use him as a kind of icon. He’s been kind of stolen by everyone as something that is Australian, and I was really curious about why we place a certain sense of who we are on him. He was a kid when he died, and there was something about poking at the mythology of him that I thought could be really, really interesting.”
The film also stars Essie Davis, Charlie Hunnam, Thomasin Mckenzie, Sean Keenan, Earl Cave, Marlon Williams, Louis Hewison and Orlando Schwerdt.
Watch the trailer below.
Directed by Martha Stephens, the coming-of-age drama To The Stars hits digital today before migrating to on demand on June 1. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2019 in the U.S. Dramatic Competition before it was acquired by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
Written by Shannon Bradley-Colleary, critics are loving the drama as it is at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. Set in the 1960s in a conservative small town in Oklahoma, the story follows social outcast Iris (Kara Hayward) as she endures the booze-induced antics of her mother and is subject to bullying from her classmates. When she crosses paths with the new girl in town, Maggie (Liana Liberato), she begins to come out of her shell. All is good, but when Maggie’s mysterious past surfaces, the town is turned upside down, leaving Maggie to take drastic measures and inciting Iris to stand up for her friend and herself.
The film also stars Jordana Spiro, Shea Whigham with Malin Akerman and Tony Hale. Watch the trailer below.
Robert the Bruce was slated for a one-night-only April 16 release via Fathom followed by a theatrical debut on April 24, but has since shifted to a digital and on demand release starting today. Directed by Richard Gray and co-written by Eric Belgau and Angus Macfadyen, The film serves as follow-up to events depicted in the Oscar-winning epic Braveheart, about Scotland’s fight for independence from England in the 1300s.
The digital release coincides with the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, when Robert declared Scotland a free land, as well as the 25th anniversary of Braveheart, which was released in May 1995.
Macfadyen reprises his Braveheart role of the titular Robert, a member of the nobility who failed to support William Wallace’s rebellion at a key time, crowns himself king and takes on the cause of Scotland’s freedom. But he can’t overcome England’s power and eventually his army scatters, the nobility abandons him, and the King of England has a bounty on his head. Wounded and abandoned, he is taken in by a former soldier’s wife (Anna Hutchison), son and two orphans. After they nurse him back to health, he becomes a part of their family, and they become the first soldiers in his new army.
Robert the Bruce also stars Jared Harris (The Crown, Mad Men), Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous, Gone Girl), Zach McGowan (Shameless, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Emma Kenney (Shameless, The Conners), Talitha Bateman (Annabelle, Love, Simon), Gabriel Bateman (Annabelle, Child’s Play), Kevin McNally (Pirates of the Caribbean), Brandon Lessard (Broken Ghost), Diarmaid Murtagh (Chernobyl, The Monuments Men), Daniel Portman (Game of Thrones) and Melora Walters (Magnolia, Boogie Nights).
As an added bonus, on April 25 at 9pm ET, director Gray will be joined by Macfadyen, Hutchison, Harris, McGowan, Kenney, Murtagh, Coffey and Lessard for a Twitter chat.
Watch the trailer below.
Abramorama is teaming with Butlerfilms & Contemporary Dialogs to host a free screening of the American Heretics: The Politics of The Gospel on Facebook Live on April 25 4pm EST. The screening will be followed by a virtual panel via Zoom hosted by All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa. This marks the digital and broadcast debut of the docu which made its world premiere in the U.S. in June 2019.
American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel sheds light on the Christian heartland through the often misunderstood history of religion, race, and politics in America. Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Jeanine and Catherine Butler take a deep dive into the Bible belt of the country where a group of defiant ministers, congregations and community leaders challenge deeply rooted fundamentalist Christian doctrine.
“Given the current political environment it’s uniquely difficult to even consider reaching out to those whose beliefs and views are different from our own,” said Abramorama CEO Richard Abramowitz and COO Karol Martesko-Fenster. “We are pleased to be collaborating with the filmmakers and our Facebook Live ABCinemaNOW broadcast team to bring this timely film to a national audience.”
Watch the trailer below.