5 Movies You Can See Instead of X-Men, Transformers, or Jersey Boys

Don’t settle for yet another sequel to a sequel. Get out there and really explore movies in theaters this summer. 

Begin Again

For those familiar with Once, the Oscar-nominated film (and now Broadway musical) about two lost musicians, the same writer-director has a new film out called Begin Again. If you liked Once, this might be your new cup of tea. Like Once, the film depicts a songwriting couple, although this time, they are played by Keira Knightley and Adam Levine and 1/2 of them start out successful. The Weinstein Company, notorious for its choice of stirring indie films led by strong narratives and title characters, helms the picture. 

Yves Saint Laurent

Paris, 1957. So the story of the fashion powerhouse begins in this new biopic following its French namesake’s journey to fashion infamy. The film follows Saint Laurent from his quick ascent and demise as Christian Dior’s successor to creating a globally revered fashion empire, all in spite of a deeply troubled personal life.The film is a fictionalized take on the life of a creative genius, offering a different kind of movie for anyone needing a change of pace from comedies or action blockbusters. 

Venus in Fur 

David Ives’ Broadway play is adapted by filmmaker Roman Polanski in this official 2013 Cannes Film Festival entry about an actress auditioning for a theater role before an exhausted director. The comedy is filled with layered roles (e.g. hot mess but talented actress; grumpy director in charge) that carry the story and serve up provocative theater humor. 

Boyhood

Richard Linklater’s new film was made over the last two decades, using the same actor, Ellar Coltrane, in a story chronicling a young man’s life from ages 5 to 18. The film, a winner of the Louis Black/Lone Star Award at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, is a first of its kind in using the aging of its actor as a driving plot device. Also starring Patricia Arquette an longtime Linklater collaborator Ethan Hawke, this buzzy film is one most likely to be worth its weight in hype. 

Obvious Child 

A comedy about a comedian in the dumps. Fans of Parks and Recreation might recognize lead actress Jenny Slate as spoiled rich kid Jean-Ralphio’s equally spoiled and entitled little sister, Mona Lisa, but in this new film, Slate’s character shines in the sober moments. Slate plays Donna Stern, an aspiring comedian who milks her “twentysomething female” lifestyle for comedic effect until it starts to suck: e.g. she gets dumped, loses her job, and finds herself in an unwanted pregnancy. Tone-wise, think Bridesmaids meets Louie. 

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