Noovie's Alt. Movies: 'Saint Frances,' 'Tread,' 'The Roads Not Taken'

Here's the latest on what's new, what's next, and what you should watch this weekend from across the indie scene.

Matt Lissauer

By Matt Lissauer

scene from saint frances movie

Here's your weekly round up all the fresh lo-fi movie news and trailers not tied to mega-franchises or superheroes.

Alt Movie Pick of the Week - "Saint Frances"

© Oscilloscope / courtesy Everett Collection

© Oscilloscope / courtesy Everett Collection

Who's in it?

Kelly O'Sullivan, William Drain, Laura T. Fisher, Mary Beth Fisher, Meighan Gerachis, Francis Guinan, Ramona Edith Williams. Written by Kelly O'Sullivan. Directed by Alex Thompson.

What's it about?

After getting an abortion, a flailing nanny (Kelly O'Sullivan) makes an unlikely friendship with the six-year-old she's hired to watch.

What's the buzz?

Newcomer Kelly O'Sullivan takes her personal journey and transforms it into a deeply emotional character study. Her film premiered to praise at last year's SXSW Film Festival where it won the Audience Award for Narrative Feature and a Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Voice. The subject matter – specifically abortion and postpartum depression – have long been taboo feminine subjects that screenwriters largely avoided or simply handled in passing. This is exactly the reason why distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories picked it up – so more people can hear these stories and connect with them. As studio head Dan Berger said upon acquiring the film, "[director] Alex [Thompson] and [screenwriter and actor] Kelly [O'Sullivan] have created a story that deals with a host of complicated elements that millions of people face every day...stories that are normally given short shrift are given a crucial voice here. This is some good s@#!"

Who's it for?

While the subject matter might be heavy, O'Sullivan approaches the material with grace and humor. There's something also to be said about watching characters go through the pains of life and grow on screen, just as real humans do in real life. Sometimes it seems like movie characters know it all and say only the perfect things, but as film critic Sheila O'Malley explains in her review for RogerEbert.com, "It's truly refreshing to watch a film where nobody has anything figured out, where life proceeds messily and imperfectly. 'Saint Frances' is unpredictable in a very human way." "Saint Frances" currently holds a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Beyond the Theater: New Indies Now Streaming on a Platform Near You

© Gravitas Ventures

© Gravitas Ventures

Noovie's Streaming Pick: Tread - Filmmaker Paul Solet explores the true story of a disgruntled small business owner who went on a rampage in his hometown in a fully armored bulldozer.

10 Things We Should Do Before We Break Up - Cynical lovers (Christina Ricci and Hamish Linklater) must find a way to build a relationship when fate intervenes.

Guns Akimbo - A video game developer (Daniel Radcliffe) becomes caught up in a real-life death match.

Indie News Flash

Here's your run-down of fresh, interesting indie news and fun features on cinematic classics that hit the web this week:

  • The 2020 Berlin Film Festival is taking a great leap towards gender inclusion as many crowds were enthralled over female-directed films. Indiewire
  • Also at Berlin, "Parasite" distributor Neon nabbed the festival's first pick up, "Gunda," a documentary about the treatment of livestock, from filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky ("Aquarela") and produced by Joaquin Phoenix. The Wrap
  • Speaking of "Parasite," good things will come to those who wait as the Best Picture winner will head to Hulu on April 8th. Vulture
  • As foreign films like "Parasite" and "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" become more and more accessible, now has never been a better time to be in the business of dubbing and subtitling. Indiewire
  • Netflix also reports that their foriegn film, the Brazilian dramedy "Airplane Mode," is the most popular non-English film streaming on its platform. Variety
Saint Frances Poster

Saint Frances

Comedy Drama

February 28, 2020

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Matt Lissauer

Matt Lissauer is a writer & data manager for Noovie. When he is not busy writing listicles, Matt is enjoying life in New Jersey with his lovely wife and three kids.

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