Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
It’s probably fair to say that this weekend’s Specialty newcomers fall on opposite ends of the moral spectrum, at least for traditionalists. Roadside’s Gimme Shelter has received a friendly blessing from the Catholic Church ahead of its significant bow this weekend, something that is very unlikely to be enjoyed by Strand’s Stranger By The Lake, which will open in limited release. The Sundance Film Festival, however, gave it its thumbs up by programming it in its event, which is winding down in Park City. Roadside is also debuting Chile’s entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar consideration, Gloria, with a traditional art house release, while Cinedigm will open doc feature Visitors, beginning its limited run Friday.
It’s somewhat rare when mainstream movies find an ally with the Catholic Church, but Gimme Shelter apparently has friends, even in the highest reaches of the Vatican. The drama centers on a pregnant teen who flees her abusive mother in search of her father, but is rejected by him once she finds him. She’s forced to survive on the streets until a compassionate stranger offers “a hopeful alternative.” “We are spending media dollars in both the mainstream and [art house] space on this film,” said Roadside co-president Howard Cohen. “We have gotten support in the Catholic community. Even the Vatican has mentioned the movie [positively] and U.S. bishops have also talked about the movie.” (more…)