Monday, March 24 - Thursday, April 3, 2008
The Brattle continues its tradition of bringing back exceptional films to the Boston area for a second look after their initial theatrical releases. This edition of RECENT RAVES takes us from the Oscar nominated (WAR/DANCE, I'M NOT THERE) to the Oscar snubbed (THE ORPHANAGE, BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD). Also included are some criminally overlooked films such as the unique documentary PROTAGONIST and the critic dividing new film from Francis Ford Coppola. Smack in the middle, on March 30, you will find our homegrown awards celebration held by The Chlotrudis Society For Independent Film - don't miss this fun annual event!
(2007) dir Sean Fine & Andrea Nix [105 min]
Set in Uganda, a country ravaged by more than two decades of civil war, WAR/DANCE tells the story of three children whose families have been torn apart, their homes destroyed, and who currently reside in a displaced persons camp. When they are invited to compete in a music and dance festival, their historic journey to the nation's capital is also an opportunity to regain a part of their childhood and to taste victory for the first time in their lives.
"4 Stars! Among the most affecting films I've seen all year." - Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
(2007) dir Jan Antonia Bayona w/Belén Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Princep [100 min]
Snfortunately marketed as some kind of follow-up to Pan's Labyrinth, to which it bears little resemblance, THE ORPHANAGE is, on its own merits, a very effective ghost story. A couple and their young son move to the Spanish coast to start a school for sick and disabled children. However, the building they have chosen holds dark secrets and some frighteningly playful ghosts. Full of wonderful, old-fashioned haunted house atmospherics, sporting a passionate performance by Belén Rueda, and stylishly directed, THE ORPHANAGE is a real treat on the big screen.
"Seriously scary." - David Ansen, Newsweek
(2007) dir Todd Haynes w/Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Cristian Bale [135 min]
Todd Haynes fractured portrait of the artist (Bob Dylan) as multiple personalities is idiosyncratic in form but practically flawless in execution. Highly recommended even for non-Dylan fans, I'M NOT THERE sports not-only some inspired performances (including Blanchett's Oscar nominated turn) but also a (not surprisingly) stupendous soundtrack and bold, distinctive choices by Haynes.
(2007) dir Jessica Yu [90 min]
In The Realms Of The Unreal director Yu returns with one of the boldest documentaries of the year. PROTAGONIST weaves together the stories of 4 men: a German terrorist, a bank robber, a gay evangelist and a martial arts student. At first glance the characters appear disconnected. But as their stories unfold in riveting detail, one starts to see the parallels between the uncommon, common experience of these four men.
"Highly original." - Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
(2007) dir Francis Ford Coppola w/Tim Roth, Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz [124 min]
YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH is the much anticipated (and much debated) return, after a 10-year filmmaking absence, of Francis Ford Coppola. Decide for yourself whether the legendary filmmaker has created an audacious return to his iconoclastic early form or a hapless reflection of former genius (we lean towards the former). The film is a metaphysical journey through mid-century Europe as Dominic (Roth) an aging professor is inexplicably made young again (and much smarter) after being struck by lightning.
"Well-crafted, personal, and movie-movie old-fashioned even in its vanguard aspirations." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Charlie Wilson's War
(2007) dir Mike Nichols w/Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Julia Roberts [97 min]
Hoffman shines in his Oscar nominated role as the sharp CIA counterpart to Hanks congressman with questionable ethics but airtight intuition. CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR fictionalizes real-life Congressman Wilson's one man campaign to bring Afghanistan's entrenched struggle against Soviet aggression to an end - with the pleasant side effect of ending the Cold War.
Before The Devil Knows You're Dead
(2007) dir Sidney Lumet w/Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei [117 min]
Here, Hoffman plays Andy, an overextended broker who lures his younger brother, Hank (Hawke), into a scheme to rob a suburban mom-and-pop jewelry store that appears to be the quintessential easy target. The problem is, the storeowners are Andy and Hank's actual mom and pop, and, when the seemingly perfect crime goes awry, the damage lands right at their doorstep.