|6:30 Monday, Wednesday & Thursday*|
|*No 6:30 show
Tuesday, September 23
Get On Up
|8:30 each evening|
Rated R; 100 minutes
Matthew Turner, View London (excerpted)
Writer-director John Michael McDonagh's Calvary is a superbly written, darkly funny and powerfully moving mystery with a terrific supporting cast and a magnificent central performance from Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson stars as Father James, a parish priest in a coastal village in County Sligo, Ireland, who receives a death sentence from one of his parishioners during confession. The man in question gives Father James a week to get his house in order, telling him that he will meet and kill him on the beach, a week on Sunday.
Though Father James apparently knows the identity of his would-be murderer, he nonetheless calmly goes about his weekly rounds, encountering a number of potential suspects. Gleeson is magnificent, delivering an eminently compassionate performance that is genuinely moving to watch, as each of his parishioners attempts to undermine, denigrate or challenge his faith. His interactions with Fiona (Kelly Reilly), his troubled daughter from his marriage before he joined the priesthood after his wife's death, are particularly touching, as he struggles with the knowledge that his decision to join the priesthood has meant that he has, paradoxically, swapped being a father for being a Father.
The superbly written script keeps you guessing throughout as to the would-be killer's identity, unfolding less as a whodunnit than a who's-gonna-do-it, while providing a contemplative portrait of faith and guilt that is ultimately deeply moving, regardless of your own personal convictions. The dialogue is packed full of delicious lines and McDonagh orchestrates a number of powerfully memorable scenes that will stay with you long after you leave the cinema.
Get On Up
Rated PG-13; 138 minutes
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone (excerpted)
To play James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, in Get On Up, cautious just won't cut it. No worries. Chadwick Boseman tears into the role like a man possessed. You can't take your eyes off him. Boseman's got the moves, the pompadour, the funk and the swagger to play the abandoned, abused South Carolina kid who reinvented himself as a musical icon. It was Brown, after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who helped heal a nation by leaping to the stage to sing, "Say it loud/I'm black and I'm proud."
Brown, who died in 2006 at 73, had a big life that resists being crammed into one movie. Director Tate Taylor (The Help), working from a script by the British brothers Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, tries to do it anyway, jumping around in time and dropping in a slew of characters, including Brown's mother (Viola Davis), aunt (Octavia Spencer), second wife DeeDee (Jill Scott), manager Ben Bart (Dan Aykroyd) and best friend Bobby Byrd (a terrific Nelsan Ellis).
And when Boseman shows us Brown doing his thing onstage, the movie comes alive. Boseman mostly moves his lips to Brown's vocals on classics such as "Please, Please, Please," "Night Train," "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "Try Me," but there's no denying how the spirit moves him. And us.
The Trip to Italy
|6:00 & 8:15 each evening|
Not Rated; 115 minutes
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly (excerpted)
In 2011, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon starred in The Trip, Michael Winterbottom's largely improvised road movie about two comedians (named Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon) who accept a magazine assignment to travel around northern England's Lake District and sample the region's finer restaurants. The larkish pleasure of the film was the carbonated chemistry between the two professional cutups: Coogan, the acerbic, hilariously self-centered "star", and Brydon, a whip-smart Welsh mimic who fires off impressions of Michael Caine and Hugh Grant like a parrot manning a howitzer.
Now Winterbottom and his two merry midlife muses have recycled the recipe and returned with seconds — and it's just as soulful and silly. In a rented Mini Cooper convertible, the two hopscotch from Rome to the Amalfi Coast to Capri, twirling endless courses of pasta while tracing the footsteps of the poets Byron and Shelley. That may sound a tad highbrow, but it doesn't take long for Coogan and Brydon to bust out their dueling impersonations of Al Pacino and the various James Bonds, or wax philosophical about Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill.
Bubbling beneath all of the riffing are the duo's unspoken anxieties about their careers (Coogan is always quick to passive-aggressively point out that he's a bigger star than his pal riding shotgun), their complicated marriages (their lack of fidelity masking an unwillingness to grow up), and aging (Brydon's one-sided conversation with a plaster-cast Pompeii mummy is one of the film's most touching moments). At its heart, The Trip to Italy is more than just a travelogue about food. It's about friendship and the appetite for experience we all share.