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Anthony Weiner Bares All

This weekend’s art house openings are a bit more high-minded. There’s a portrait of acclaimed artist David Hockney. Health insurance companies will dislike a Mexican thriller about a woman who pushes back against their bureaucracy. A documentary following Anthony Weiner as he tries making a political comeback provides the closest thing to a mainstream disaster movie.

Almost Holy

A Ukrainian pastor named Gennadiy Mokhnenko has an extreme solution for the children in his country who’ve become homeless, criminals, or drug addicts. He kidnaps these fallen children off the streets, take them to his improvised rehabilitation center, and forcibly restrains them until they can be cured. Is Pastor Mokhnenko a vigilante hero or a vigilante villain? Decide for yourself by watching this film produced by director Terence Malick.

Opens May 27 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Hockney

David Hockney is considered one of the greatest surviving painters of the 1960s. Even at 78, he still works daily in his studio. Given access to Hockney’s personal archives, filmmaker Randall Wright offers a cinematic diary of the famed artist’s life from his beginnings in the Yorkshire town of Bradford to his personal struggles with everything from relationships to the spectre of AIDS. An uplifting and often funny portrait of a unique artist.

Opens May 27 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

The Idol

Director Hany Abu-Assad (Paradise Now, Omar) dramatizes the true story of young Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf. Assaf lives in Gaza, where he’s both a wedding singer and a taxi driver. The Palestinian singer’s confidence in his musical gift and its effect on listeners leads him to decide to try out for “Arab Idol” auditions. However, the auditions are taking place in Cairo, and the borders of Gaza are closed. How can he escape and make it in front of the Egyptian judges?

Opens May 27 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

Maggie’s Plan

Writer/director Rebecca Miller (Personal Velocity) returns with this modern romantic comedy starring Greta Gerwig. Maggie Hardin (Gerwig) works in education but hasn’t found love. Her plans for single motherhood get abruptly changed after she meets and falls in love with anthropology professor John Harding (Ethan Hawke), who’s unhappily married to ambitious workaholic Georgette (Julianne Moore). With some help from eccentric best friends Tony and Felicia (Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph), Maggie comes up with a new plan that causes all their lives to connect in unexpected ways.

Opens May 27 at the AMC Metreon 16 and the Clay Theatre

A Monster With A Thousand Heads

Director Rodrigo Pla adapts his wife’s novel of the same title into a cracking thriller that will resonate with anyone who’s ever been frustrated dealing with a health insurance company. Sonia’s husband has terminal cancer and is in terrible pain. When she asks their health insurance company to approve treatment which would reduce that pain, not only does the company reject Sonia’s application but it also buries her in bureaucratic claptrap. The insurance company’s rejction causes Sonia to snap. With a gun in hand, Sonia climbs up the company’s chain of command as far as she needs to go to reverse the rejection.

Opens May 27 at the Rialto Cinemas Elmwood and the Roxie Theater

This Time

Ava and Coby have been BFFs since childhood, despite the fact that they only see each other during the summer time. Ava secretly hopes that their relationship turns into romance. However, those dreams get dashed when Coby announces that he’s traveling to the US with his grandfather Lolo Melchior to search for the older man’s lost love Ofelia. A second chance arrives for Ava three years later. She’s going to Japan for an art workshop when she encounters Coby again. Will this be the time the two friends finally admit their true feelings for each other?

Opens May 27 at the Century at Tanforan

Weiner

In 2013, publicly disgraced politician Anthony Weiner decided to make a political comeback by running for Mayor of New York City. Filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg were granted unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to both the campaign and Anthony Weiner himself. Two years earlier, Anthony Weiner ruined his political career through his involvement in a sex scandal. What Kriegman and Steinberg probably didn’t expect was to cinematically witness history repeating itself courtesy of the involvement of Anthony Weiner in a sexting scandal involving one Carlos Danger. Winner of the 2015 Sundance Grand Jury Prize.

Opens May 27 at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

About the Author

I'm a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film...but don't tell anyone.

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