Friday Indie Movie Thread

It’s difficult to be objective about a movie in which your daughter appears, and in which you were an extra, and she gets a credit and you don’t. Oh, it’s “A Star Is Born” time around our house.

Local filmmaker Patrick Coyle’s “Into Temptation” had its cast-and-crew-and-investors-and-friends premier last night at the Riverview.

Themain stars – Kristin Chenoweth, Jeremy Sisto, and Brian Baumgartner (Kevin from “The Office”) weren’t there, but everyone else was – including former Twin Citian Russell Holsapple, who wrote the score, and all the moms of my daughter’s Brownie Troop. That’s how it works: one of the Moms is producing a movie with her husband; they need angelic little girls for a scene in a church; the girls get their badges in Retakes, Blocking, and Yelling at their Agents on Pretend CellPhones Which Are Actually Full of Candy. I’ve never seen a movie with the people who made it or were in it, and it makes for occasional applause as the audience recognizes a friend, a location, a scene that turned out better than anyone thought.

Big chestal-area swelling when everyone hooted and clapped at the words FILMED ENTIRELY ON LOCATION IN MINNEAPOLIS.

But was it good? It was wonderful. The premise sounds grim – priest looks for prostitute who confessed that she was going to kill herself – but if you’re thinking some DeNiro wannabe arguing with a cross in a darkened church, scenes of Grim Spiritual Torment intercut with Gritty Secular Realities, well, no.  Can’t quite think of a single word that does it justice – it’s funny, but it’s not a comedy; it’s suspenseful, but it’s not a nail-biter. It’s quiet, genuine, and heartfelt, with a kicker at the end I would have never seen if I hadn’t been an extra in the last scene. Loved it. Now comes the struggle to get it distributed. File the name away: “Into Temptation.” If you see it on a marquee, a DVD box, a cable listing – watch it.

Let’s share some favorite small, independent movies this morning. Make your recommendations for weekend viewing. I love the big-budget stuff when done right, but for every gigantic production with credits that roll for nine hours, there’s a movie like Patrick’s. Tell us: what have we missed?

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