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The Life Story of J.P. De Joria And Life In Mid-1990s Manhattan

The amazing rags-to-riches story of famed entrepeneur Jean Paul de Joria might be the big film opening this week.

But if so, the de Joria story has stiff competition from a 30th anniversary revival of James Ivory’s adaptation of a famed E.M. Forster novel. The other strong competitor will probably be an ensemble drama from the director of Obvious Child, who tugs a bit at 1990s nostalgia.

Under the radar film of the week will probably be a tale of a housesitter who gets to liking the idea of having a family and sets out to make one of his own.

Family Life

Distant cousins have asked Martin to housesit and care for their cat Mississippi while they spend time in France for a few months. The house-sitting experience becomes so enjoyable for the emotionally unattached and unemployed man that he gets used to treating his cousins’ house as his own and even fantasizing about family life. During a search for the missing Mississippi, Martin meets attractive single mother Pachi. A mutual attraction leads Martin to lie about being a divorcee and even form a pseudo-family with Pachi and her son. But as the day for the real family’s return approaches, things begin to unravel for Martin’s improvised family.

Opens July 28 at the Roxie Theatre

Good Fortune

Entrepeneur John Paul De Joria grew up poor and occasionally homeless. Along the way, he sold encyclopedias door-to-door and hung out with the Hell’s Angels. It was the De Joria partnership with pioneering hair stylist Paul Mitchell that would lead to his first commercial success. De Joria succeeded again when he founded the luxury tequila brand Patron. Nowadays, he owns seven corporations. But De Joria also donates to 150 organizations and is still, friends say, the same down-to-earth decent person he was growing up. De Joria friend Dan Aykroyd narrates the film.

Opens July 28 at the AMC Van Ness 14

Landline

Director Gilles Robespierre’s follow-up to Obvious Child re-unites her with that film’s star Jenny Slate. This new film follows the misadventures of the Jacobs family in 1995 Manhattan, a time of CD listening stations and family dysfunction. Eldest daughter Dana (Slate) decides to indulge her wild side before her marriage to strait-laced Ben (Jay Duplass). High schooler Ali secretly leads a life of clubbing, sex, and drugs. When the sisters discover love letters penned by their father (John Turturro), they try to discover the truth without tipping off their too composed mother (Edie Falco).

Opens July 28 at the AMC Dine-In Kabuki 8 and the Shattuck Cinemas

Maurice

James Ivory’s adaptation of E.M. Forster’s gay classic gets a digital restoration for its 30th anniversary revival. In Edwardian England, Cambridge students Maurice Hall (James Whilby) and Clive Durham (Hugh Grant) start falling in love with each other. But the arrest of a fellow gay student scares Clive enough to abandon Maurice and marry a woman. Heartbroken Maurice meanwhile loses confidence in himself. During a stay with Clive and his shallow wife, Maurice meets and falls for a servant (Rupert Graves). That passion will lead to great changes in Maurice’s life.

Opens July 28 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

The Midwife

Claire (Catherine Frot) is an incredibly gifted and proud midwife whose methods often clash with modern hospital practices. One day, she receives a call from Beatrice (Catherine Deneuve), who disappeared 30 years ago without a trace. Beatrice was once the frivolous mistress of Claire’s now dead father. The ex-mistress’ call concerns some important news. The midwife reluctantly agrees to meet with Beatrice, and that meeting will lead to moving past old hurts and even making up for lost years.

Opens July 28 at the Clay Theatre and the Shattuck Cinemas

Wolf Warrior 2

Disgraced Chinese Special Forces operative Leng Feng (writer/director Wu Jing) has settled into a simple directionless life on the sea. But Leng’s plans go south after a band of mercenaries (led by Frank Grillo of The Purge) terrorizes innocent civilians in an unnamed war-torn African country. The military operative must step in to save helpless Chinese and African workers in a factory targeted by the mercenaries. Remember to bring your Mainland China flags to wave and celebrate Chinese ass-kicking, kids.

Opens July 28 at the AMC Metreon 16 and the Century 20 Daly City

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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