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Happy Tears -- Out director Mitchell Lichtenstein directs Parker Posey and Demi Moore in this story of sisters who return home to care for their ailing father (Rip Torn) and confront not-so-pleasant memories of their childhood. Lichtenstein's last film was about a woman born with teeth in her vagina (let that one settle for a second), so it's clear that, as a gay man, he has a lot to say. He says the story was born out of his observation that gays and lesbians often become caregivers for ailing parents because they're the ones without children to care for. What quirky life lesson will he bring to the table here? With Moore and Posey in the leads, anything is possible.
The Good Guy -- A straight romantic comedy set among the world of stockbrokers, The Good Guy positions itself as Sex and the City meets Wall Street for the 20-something set (ladies talking sex over cocktails and lamenting that all the good ones are gay). With Gilmore Girls star Alexis Bledel in the lead, reviews suggest it's really more like a poor attempt at remaking Wall Street for lovelorn women who like money. If gays as the punch line and the best friend are your thing, check it out.
The Ghost Writer -- Whatever your feelings about Roman Polanski as a person, as a director, he's in a league all his own. Here he tries his hand at an ode to film noir with the story of a ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) who goes to work on the memoirs of a British prime minister (Pierce Brosnan) and stumbles upon a slew of political secrets best kept buried. Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City's Samantha) pops up as Brosnan's mistress (the icy blond present in all Hitchcockian thrillers), and reviews for the film are particularly strong.
Shutter Island -- Martin Scorsese is back with this psychological thriller-horror flick about detectives (Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo) investigating the disappearance of an inmate of a mental asylum. Gay favorites Michelle Williams and Patricia Clarkson pop up in supporting roles, and while this hasn't exactly been scoring raves, it's a Scorsese pic, which means reviews are stronger than for most films this time of year.
New Amerykah, Part II by Erykah Badu -- This fierce talent, who can sing about love or money with equal power and fury, is back with the second half of her New Amerykah opus. Badu told Billboard.com that this album is lighter and more fun than the first album, which was rightfully lauded by critics. Expect top-notch production thanks to collaborators like ?uestlove, Lil' Wayne, and Andre 3000, the father of Badu's son, Seven.
Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom -- She may be better known for dating SNL's Andy Samberg, but Newsom is a talent in her own right. The willowy harpist's Have One on Me is a three-disc project with more than two hours of music.
"Rocket" by Goldfrapp --The new single by the electronica duo of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory is a return to the upbeat sounds of Supernature and Black Cherry, though certainly more '80s and more pop than those two amazing albums. Prepare to have your blood boiled with "Rocket," the first single from Head First, the English group's next album. "Rocket" is out March 9 (so no preview is available yet), Head First two weeks later. Here's a snippet of "Head First," the album's eponymous single. Welcome back, Alison and Will!
The Informant! -- Matt Damon in the role that really should have scored him an Oscar nomination is the informant, a corporate America VP who may or may not have info that could take down his company. Director Steven Soderbergh's spoof on corporate life presents a true acting challenge to Damon, who rises to the occasion. He's nominated for Invictus, but his truly stellar work of the year was here.
Coco Before Chanel -- Coco Chanel (rumored to be antigay but, according to the director of this biopic, Anne Fontaine, anything but) came from obscure beginnings before rising to the top of France's fashion world around the start of World War I. Amelie's Audrey Tautou plays the fashion icon in this French flick with English subtitles.
The September Issue - The September Issue may position itself as a documentary about Vogue editor Anna Wintour and a behind-the-scenes look at creating the 2007 fall fashion issue, but creative director Grace Coddington is the one who comes out smelling like roses here. She steals the film right out from under the "devil" in Prada and instantly wins over viewers. In fairness, near the film's end, Wintour (in a rare moment of praise) calls Coddington a genius. The film also shows Andre Leon Talley doing a whole lot of nothing. A must-see for fashion nuts, but also genuinely entertaining as a film.