My pick of the week is the underseen Cautiva, a drama from Argentina. Cristina's biological parents were "disappeared" during the 1970s, but she knew nothing about it and is none too happy when she is torn away from her comfortable upper class existence to live with them. Cautiva (AKA Captive) does not dig very deeply into the political issues that it raises -- and I kept wishing that Cristina would react to her situation instead of simply slumping her shoulders -- but it is fascinating for its new twists on the old coming of age story.

More fully realized on every level, Away From Her marked the assured directorial debut of actress Sarah Polley. She paints a delicate portrait of a long-time marriage that reaches a breaking point from which it may never recover. In his Sundance review, our own James Rocchi wrote: "Away from Her is a truly romantic film, and it moves us because it knows the cruel, beautiful fact that how much love and life give us is often matched by how much they can cost." Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent star. The DVD includes an audio commentary with Christie, plus deleted scenes and commentary by Polley.

Triad Election is a riveting drama starring Simon Yam as a Hong Kong mob boss who desperately wants to stay in power. Johnny To masterfully directed. Cinematical's Jeffrey M. Anderson says that "the movie's real strength comes in the performances, the interplay, and the unknown levels of trust." Triad Election is actually the second part of a drama that begins with 2005's Election, which details Yam's rise to power. Unfortunately, Election won't be released on Region 1 DVD until November. Taken together, they are powerful, but even separated like this, Triad Election is well worth a look.

Other indie titles that may deserve a rental include Hungarian sports drama White Palms, character drama Snow Cake (featuring Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver), and nightlife comedy The Boys & Girls Guide to Getting Down.
categories Dvds, Cinematical