The Strength of Water posterI have to keep this brief as time is short. There are another six films opening at Wellington cinemas this week, three returning from the Film Festival and three more. First up Ang Lee’s return to English-language filmmaking (after the atmospheric Chinese thriller Lust, Caution in 2007) Taking Woodstock. Released worldwide to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, the legendary three day mud and music event, the film tells the behind-the-scenes story of how it all happened. Readings, Empire and Penthouse.

Multiplex-only releases this week are another demon-child horror, Orphan, and another Katherine Heigl rom-com, The Ugly Truth. I saw both this evening and can only say that new lows have been struck for both genres. Readings and Sky City Cinemas.

[The rest of this week’s new releases after the jump.]

Festival hit Séraphine returns to the Penthouse and Lighthouse. Winner of France’s Best Film Award last year, it is the powerful story of ‘naïve’ artist Séraphine de Senlis whose paintings are now considered masterpieces around the world but who at the time believed she was channeling God.

The Paramount picks up the film that probably got the most coverage of the Festival (if not the greatest audiences). The Cove is a powerful and moving documentary about how marine park dolphins are captured for our amusement. Former Hollywood trainer ("Flipper") turned dolphin defender Ric O’Barry features strongly.

Finally, my pick of the bunch (although to be fair I haven’t yet seen Séraphine or The Cove) is The Strength of Water, directed by Armagan Ballantyne and written by Briar Grace-Smith. A constantly surprising, dark and earthy tale of alienation, loss and recovery set in a small Hokianga village, the acting is first-rate from a cast of mostly non-professionals and the story is totally involving. Penthouse and Lighthouse.

All these films will be reviewed in next week’s Capital Times (and feel free by the way to vote for the film coverage in the annual readers’ survey of in this week’s issue) and online at Funerals & Snakes some time in 2010 at this rate. I’ve been feeling a little behind recently, as the saying goes.