pick of the week Articles
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Director: Bharat Nalluri
Starring: Frances McDormand, Amy Adams, Ciarán Hinds, Lee Pace, Shirley HendersonThe Story: An unemployable governess finds a life-transforming position as a social secretary. The Lowdown: Style, wit and likable characters carry the day in this generally lightweight, but not brainless, comedy.
Genre: Black Comedy/Crime Thriller
Director: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy, Jordan PrenticeThe Story: A pair of hit men hide out in the picturesque Belgian village of Bruges while awaiting further orders from their boss. The Lowdown: Blisteringly vulgar and frankly brutal on occasion, In Bruges is both blackly funny comedy and compelling drama.
Genre: Animated Fanciful Biopic
Director: Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi
Starring: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Danielle Darrieux, Simon Abkarian, Gabrielle LopesThe Story: Animated coming-of-age story of a young Iranian woman. The Lowdown: An almost completely successful, wildly creative, funny and moving film that offers many surprises and rewards.
Director: Andrew Wagner
Starring: Frank Langella, Lauren Ambrose, Lili Taylor, Adrian Lester, Jessica HechtThe Story: An aging writer finds himself the object of an enthusiastic literary student's attention -- both professionally and personally. The Lowdown: A remarkably astute and penetrating character study with fine performances by all and a brilliant one by Frank Langella.
Genre: Biographical Drama
Director: Julian Schnabel
Starring: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Marie-Josée Croze, Anne Consigny, Max von SydowThe Story: The fact-based story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, who wrote a book about his life despite being paralyzed and unable to speak. The Lowdown: A celebration of the human spirit from Julian Schnabel that succeeds once it finds its approach.
Genre: Ghost-Story Thriller
Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Starring: Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Princep, Mabel Rivera, Montserrat Carulla, Geraldine ChaplinThe Story: A woman returns to the orphanage of her early childhood, only to find her son disappearing and the past closing in around her. The Lowdown: A beautifully crafted ghost story that also functions as a horror film and a psychological thriller.
Director: Joe Wright
Starring: James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Romola Garai, Vanessa RedgraveThe Story: A young girl's lie sets the stage for this period drama about doomed lovers. The Lowdown: A beautifully crafted, intelligent film that somehow misses being as emotionally powerful as it needs to be to cross the line into greatness.
Genre: Family Fantasy
Director: Jay Russell
Starring: Emily Watson, Alex Etel, Ben Chaplin, David Morrissey, Priyanka Xi, Brian CoxThe Story: Set during World War II, a lonely Scottish boy finds an egg that hatches to reveal a strange sea creature. The Lowdown: Surprisingly intelligent, well-made family fare that grounds the fantasy with believable characters of some depth and complexity.
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