|6:30 & 8:45 each evening|
|1:30 & 4:00 matinees Fri, Sat & Sun|
Rated R; 119 minutes
Todd McCathy, The Hollywood Reporter (excerpted)
Intense emotional currents and the jagged feelings of volatile actors are turned loose to raucous dramatic and darkly comedic effect in one of the most sustained examples of visually fluid tour de force cinema anyone's ever seen. All in the service of a story that examines the changing nature of celebrity and the popular regard for fame over creative achievement.
An exemplary cast (including Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Emma Stone) are led by Michael Keaton in the highly self-referential title role of a former superhero-film star in desperate need of a legitimizing comeback. All fully meet the considerable demands placed upon them by director Alejandro G. Inarritu.
Dating back to his international breakthrough with Amores Perros 14 years ago, Inarritu's films (21 Grams, Babel, Biutiful) have always coursed with energy and challenges embraced. Here, he and his indispensable cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki have gone the extra mile to make a film that, like a far more complicated and sophisticated version of what Alfred Hitchcock did in Rope in 1948, tries to create the illusion of having been filmed all in one take.
The film's exhilarating originality, black comedy and tone that is at once empathetic and acidic will surely strike a strong chord with audiences looking for something fresh that will take them somewhere they haven't been before. Birdman flies very, very high.
|6:00 & 8:30 Fri, Sun - Thu|
|1:00 & 3:30 matinees Fri & Sun|
|12:30 & 8:30 Saturday, Nov. 29
(see Special Events)
Not Rated; 114 minutes
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone (excerpted)
We're so used to being conned by everyone that a film purporting to tell it like it is, raises suspicions. Laura Poitras directs this potent and profound documentary that bears cinematic witness to history with the actual participants instead of the usual pontificating talking heads. Citizenfour is a wake-up call that hits you like a cold slap in the face.
The subject is former NSA intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who first made contact with Poitras under the codename "citizenfour." We see Snowden, then 29, meeting in 2013 with Poitras, journalist Glenn Greenwald and U.K. intelligence reporter Ewen MacAskill over eight days in a Hong Kong hotel room. Snowden, charged with violating the Espionage Act, owns up to his personal responsibility, and his fear and vulnerability are palpable. His argument, cogently expressed, is that the public has a moral right to the know the widespread extent to which the government, cloaked in the defense of monitoring global terrorism, is spying on its citizens, right down to each email and Google search.
The film escalates in tension as the journalists help Snowden disseminate his stolen data to the world. Citizenfour leaves you reeling. That's its intention. It's a wow of a thriller with a soul that isn't computer generated. Poitras may be guilty of taking Snowden at face value, but she succeeds brilliantly in evoking a shadow villain intent on world domination. Big Brother is back, baby, and he's gone digital.