Movie Diary 5/27/2009

Sweet Crude (Sandy Cioffi, 2009). A walloping study of the effects of oil in the Niger Delta, another of the world’s messes that has been woefully ignored (and badly reported). It’s typical of the film’s calm fury that the arrest of the filmmaker last year by Nigerian authorities is relegated to a brief epilogue; the real story is more significant than that. (Screens at SIFF 6/3; 6/7; 6/13)

Away We Go (Sam Mendes, 2009). Road trip with young-pregnant-unmarried John Krazinski and Maya Rudolph, featuring variable levels of comedy and a few standout supporting turns — notably by Alison Janney and Catherine O’Hara. (full review 6/5)

Everything Strange and New (Frazer Bradshaw, 2009). This tightly-controlled puzzle is very close to being something really fine, and it’s already very distinctive. (Screens at SIFF 6/4; 6/6)

Cold Souls (Sophie Barthes, 2009). A little like a leftover fragment from Synecdoche, New York, this one has Paul Giamatti signing up for a process of soul removal. Fun at first, until the thing collapses under the weight of supporting its whimsical premise for so long. (Screens at SIFF 6/8; 6/10)