This week's new crop of independent films explore the search for truth and justice, while the characters find what's true deep within. Here are our picks for the best newly available indies that you can watch right now.
Noovie's Alt. Movie Pick: The Mauritanian
Political and legal thriller, "The Mauritanian" follows the true story of Mohamedou Ould Salahi (Tahar Rahim) a man detained in Guantanamo Bay for years without having any charges brought against him by the U.S. government. Upon hearing his case, defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodi Foster) and her colleague Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley) fight for justice but uncover a deep-seated conspiracy. Kevin Macdonald uses his award-winning documentarian background to construct a riveting docudrama about fairness and truth, while Foster shines in a role that just won her the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. Rahim also stands out in his Golden Globe-nominated performance.
Actress Robin Wright makes her directorial debut with this stark wilderness drama about a woman (Wright) who, after suffering great trauma, searches for new meaning in life after a near-death experience. Following its premiere at this year's virtual Sundance Film Festival, critics praised Wright's quiet yet impactful drama and her panoramic direction that takes you deep into the mountains.
Eddie Huang, chef and author of memoir "Fresh off the Boat" (which became a popular ABC sitcom), makes his directorial debut with this coming-of-age drama. The film follows teen basketball phenom Alfred "Boogie" Chin (Taylor Takahashi) as he navigates love while following his passion in Queens, NY. Chin's parents, however, have other plans for him. A personal story, "Boogie" doesn't just focus on the drama of a young man's conflict between dreams and expectations, it also sheds light on the challenges that many Asian Americans go through as they try to carve out a life in the Land of Opportunity.
- Where to watch: In theaters
My Salinger Year
Based on the memoir of the same name, "My Salinger Year" follows aspiring writer Joanna (Margaret Qualley) as she leaves Berkeley for New York to work at a literary agency that unbeknownst to her looks after the interests of reclusive author J.D. Salinger. As she works for her old-fashioned boss (Sigourney Weaver) handling Salinger's fan mail, Joanna soon finds her literary voice. "My Salinger Year" premiered last year at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Following on from her lauded performance in Amazon's "Sound of Metal," Olivia Cooke takes center stage in this British comedy crime thriller as the titular Pixie, who helps two men after a heist gone wrong. The trio soon find themselves in way over their heads as they cross paths with a criminal gang and a lethal priest (Alec Baldwin) out for vengeance. "Pixie" clearly has learned a lot from Guy Ritchie capers, and Cooke proves that her charm can take the lead and carry a film.
The Truffle Hunters
Filmmakers Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw take their cameras into the forests of Piedmont, Italy as they follow a group of older men hunting for a rare truffle. The fungi in question is the white Alba truffle, which is renowned for its flavor, and its difficulty to cultivate. Dweck and Kershaw have fun with the Italian landscape, and the free-spirited subjects, in a doc that's just as savory as it is operatic.
- Where to watch: In select theaters
Hot Indie Trailer: About Endlessness
Sweedish director Roy Andersson is known for his absurdist and pensive journeys. Case in point is his "Living" trilogy which uses cinema as a living canvas to paint a series of interconnected portraits about the farcicality of life. Andersson's new slow cinema drama fits into this, as a dreamy narrator gently takes us through various incongruous events that seem banal on the surface, but might be hiding a deeper significance. Or not. That's life.
- In select theaters and on VOD April 30th
About the Author
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.