What gets our goat

By Ben Zalkind and Aaron Allen

“Lonesome Jim”Directed by Steve BuscemiStarring Casey Affleck and Liv Tyler

Steve Buscemi, believe it or not, has been active as a director in the independent film scene for years. His latest project, a tragi-comic love story starring Casey Affleck and Liv Tyler, paints a slice-of-life portrait of the rural working-class.”Unknown White Male”Directed by Rupert Murray

British director Rupert Murray, best known for low-budget music explorations, drifts considerably from his area(s) of expertise to tackle the enigmatic nature of amnesia. In “Unknown White Male,” Murray attempts to not only to investigate the transitory nature of memory, but also to tell an engaging story. “Lila Says”Directed by Ziad DoueiriStarring Vahina Giocante, Mohammed Khouas, Karim Ben Haddou and Lotfi Chakri Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri takes a shot at breaking the dichotomy between what is moral and what is human in the Arab world. “Lila Says,” a poignant story of adolescent sexuality in a small Arab village, will hopefully be a valuable addition to what is becoming overly gleaned territory. “Me and You and Everyone We Know”Directed by Miranda JulyStarring John Hawkes, Miranda July, Miles Thompson, Brandon Ratcliff, Carlie Westerman, and Brad Henke

First-time director-and star of this film-Miranda July tackles isolation in a frigid, modern world. Obviously, the only way to effectively explore the dehumanization of American life is to chronicle the bizarre exploits of carefully contrived character amalgams, such as a 7-year-old who is having an Internet affair with a stranger. “Monsterthursday”Directed by Arild stin OmmundsenStarring Vegar Hoel, Andreas Cappelen, Silje Salomonsen, Kim Bodnia, Christian Skolmen, and Iben Hjejle

Who knew that Norway, like Northern California, harbors surf bums? Well, it does. Norwegian director Arild stin Ommundsen regales a tale of two starkly different friends struggling with betrayal, and trying to find purpose in their mundane, Scandinavian lives. “The Squid and the Whale”Directed by Noah BaumbachStarring Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline Set in the wealthy part of Brooklyn, and centering on a superficially well-to-do family, “The Squid and the Whale” probes the ever-delicate subject of divorce. Director Noah Baumbach, working with such capable actors as Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney, delves into the pathos of each character-the children and the partners-aiming to humanize an oft-neglected, agonizing process.

“The Devil and Daniel Johnston”Directed by Jeff Feuerzeig

“The Devil and Daniel Johnston,” directed by Jeff Feuerzeig, chronicles the life of manic-depressive musical prodigy Daniel Johnson, from his falling out with his fundamentalist Christian family, to his brush with fame, and finally, to his emotional descent. “The Talent Given Us”Directed by Andrew Wagner

A Brooklyn family drives cross-country to visit their filmmaker son in California. What sounds like a ho-hum road-movie is juiced up with some unexpected twists-the family is played by director Wagner’s actual family. “Pretty Persuasion”Directed by Marcos SiegaStarring Evan Rachel Wood, Ron Livingston and James Woods.

It’s “Mean Girls” meets “Wild Things” when three smokin’ and manipulative teeny-boppin’ witches accuse their high school teacher of sexual harassment.

“The Upside of Anger”Directed by Mike BinderStarring Keri Russell, Alicia Witt, Erika Christensen and Evan Rachel Wood

Kevin Costner plays a washed-up baseball star (Gee, there’s a stretch) who romances single parent Joan Allen. The impossibly attractive cast of characters includes headstrong daughters, ball players and…belligerent managers.

“The Ballad of Jack and Rose”Directed by Rebecca MillerStarring Daniel Day-Lewis

Miller directs her husband, Daniel Day-Lewis, in this story about a man who lives with his daughter on an island commune, “shielding” her from the evils of civilization. Let’s just hope Day-Lewis doesn’t dress up in a twiggy-fisted, porcupine-cloaked monster and chase his daughter through the woods, because that’d just plain suck-sorry Shyamalan.”The Chumscrubber”Directed by Arie PosinStarring Jamie Bell, Ralph Fiennes and Rita Wilson

The cast suffers from suburban angst. If the movies have taught me anything, it’s that suburban life will turn you into a pill-popping, suicidal zombie stuck with a bored family and a dead-end job.

“This Revolution”Directed by Stephen MarshallStarring Rosario Dawson

A photographer gets mixed up in political intrigue at the National Republican Convention. Rosario Dawson’s lips star as the leader of a group of anarchists.”Layer Cake”Directed by Matthew Vaughn

The producer of “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” hops into the director’s chair. By the sound of the title, we should expect a bullet-blazing, profanity-laced cooking show.Compiled byBen Zalkind and Aaron Allen