March 01 2013

What to Watch at the Miami International Film Festival

Miami-To Do

The Miami International Film Festival is back in town, and The Standard Spa is its official headquarters! Below, a few films you don't wanna miss ...

The Boy Who Smells Like Fish
Synopsis: Is Mica (Douglas Smith, of HBO’s Big Love) the world’s unluckiest teen? Saddled with an embarrassing medical condition, he positively reeks, which makes connecting with other kids his age near impossible, despite the efforts of his therapist, played by Carrie-Anne Moss. But just when he thought his life was completely stank, in wafts the lovely Laura (Zoë Kravitz), a kindred outcast soul.
What We Liked: It's funny, sure, but also poignant, offering insight into a rare disease and the power of empathy. Worth seeing for the fantasy musical sequences alone!

Venus and Serena
Synopsis: In 2011, the Williams sisters were very sick indeed: Venus was grappling with an energy-sapping auto-immune disorder; Serena, a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. Directors Maiken Baird and Michelle Major were there with cameras rolling, capturing their battle back to the top.
What We Liked: Bad-ass athletes to begin with, their intimate tale of super-human frailty is inspiring to anyone who's ever nursed an injury.

Dark Blood
Synopsis: Hollywood couple Harry (Jonathan Pryce) and Buffy (Judy Davis) are speeding through the desert on a second honeymoon in an attempt to salvage their marriage when their car breaks down, leaving them to find shelter in Boy’s (River Phoenix) beaten down shack, unaware they've become his prisoners. Twenty years after production was halted in the middle of shooting after Phoenix’s tragic death, director George Sluizer completes his unfinished work and presents it to audiences for the first time.
What We Liked: Is there a woman alive who didn’t have a crush on River Pheonix? And playing a bad guy???

Eenie Meenie Miney Moe
Synopsis: EM3 is about the hallucinatory spell the Magic City casts on three Miami men in their 20s—Raul, a tow truck driver who jacks rides and delivers them to chop shops; Marco, a South Beach hotel concierge who deals drugs on the side; and Vlad, a valet with dreams of joining the Russian mob. Through the sleek sheen of Miami’s mean streets, booty-shaking good times, so-true-its-scary scenes of family life and the values of Miami’s young, a majestic vision of our hometown’s inner soul is brought to light. Filmmaker Jokes and his co-writer, J. Bishop, spin tales of drugs, sex, nightclubs, fast cars, and suegras into a spectacular, flabbergasting piece of poetry.
What We Liked: “Do you know what I love about Miami?” one character asks another. “Everybody is dirty.”

Everybody Has a Plan (Todos Tenemos Un Plan)
Synopsis: Estranged brothers Agustín and Pedro (both played by Viggo Mortensen) grew up on the outskirts of Buenos Aires in a tiny island in the Tigre Delta. Pedro still lives there, taking care of honey bees and doing hazy jobs in order to survive, while Agustín has moved on to a successful career as a pediatrician in Buenos Aires. Pedro shows up at Agustín’s apartment and tells him that he has cancer. Pedro dies in front of his brother who decides to assume his identity and find freedom from his wife and all around dull life. Agustín embarks on a dangerous trip back to his former home, navigating the treacherous waters of the criminal life Pedro was involved in.
What We Liked: We love a good foreign-language film, and Viggo Mortensen crushes it.

Check out the full line up here.