|6:30 & 8:45 each evening|
Rated PG-13; 110 minutes
Melissa Maerz, Entertainment Weekly (excerpted)
Tracks follows real-life pioneer Robyn Davidson (Mia Wasikowska) as she treks 1,700 miles through the Australian desert with four camels and a dog by her side. She went on to write a National Geographic piece about the experience that she then expanded into a best-seller.
This lush adaptation from director John Curran (The Painted Veil) is remarkable for accomplishing so much with so little. There's no love story, although Adam Driver is marvelously dorky as a National Geographic photographer who meets up with Davidson every so often and might be nursing a crush. There's minimal dialogue — and, really Wasikowska's riveting performance tells you everything you need to know about how solitude can chip away at the mind. There's virtually no attempt to psychoanalyze Davidson's motives for taking the journey: The script thwarts any attempt to brand her as a women's-rights activist or a nature conqueror, stating only that she wanted to ''feel free.''
Still, what's on screen will leave you in a state of wonder. The sweeping cinematography surveys the cracked earth and Davidson's chapped skin with equal intensity, as if to remind us how vulnerable we puny mortals are. There's a powerful message about human endurance here, and no one needs to hear it more than this generation, which came of age too late for Joseph Campbell's rites-of-passage ceremonies and would never survive in the desert without an iPhone compass app.
The Two Faces of January
|6:00 & 8:00 through Thursday|
|8:00 only each evening
Starting Friday, October 24
Rated PG-13; 97 minutes
Tim Robey, The Daily Telegraph (excerpted)
The Two Faces of January, adapted from the novel by Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr Ripley), is an elegantly pleasurable period thriller, a film of tidy precision and class. It’s the directorial debut of Hossein Amini (best-known for screenwriting the Oscar-nominated The Wings of the Dove). His skill as a scenarist shines through in this three-person rummy game - tightly engineered, no wasted words. It’s also a treat to look at and listen to, evoking old-fashioned movie virtues, and showing us a lush but suspenseful good time.
As holidaying Americans Chester (Viggo Mortensen) and Colette (Kirsten Dunst) take a turn around the Parthenon in 1962, we get that tingle that comes with feeling in safe hands. Amini has borrowed cinematographer, Marcel Zyskind, from Michael Winterbottom, and composer Alberto Iglesias, from Pedro Almódovar. Their combined efforts are seductive and expressive, honed to a purpose. And the lemon dress Dunst is wearing may be the most perfectly stylish thing we’ve ever seen her in. You want her performance to live up to her gorgeous look, and it does.
This couple, the MacFarlands, have escaped for the summer, and for a brief stretch they look like prey, at least to the unscrupulous gaze of a small-time con artist called Rydal (Oscar Isaac). Handsome as a faun, this devil has been charming young travellers as a tour guide, then exploiting their faulty Greek to short-change them, a tactic he tries out on these two fellow Americans at a street market. His hand around Colette’s wrist, as he helps her to try on a bracelet, is a virtual promise of amorous frissons to come. But there turns out to be larceny on both sides.