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Film Clips 9.15

Sep. 13, 2016
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blairwitch

Blair Witch R

Seventeen years later, no one’s learned from the past when a handful of young people go searching the woods for a legendary evil witch. Their story is told via found footage, although the dreaded, handheld shaky cam is largely replaced by an over-the-ear variety, or cameras hung from trees or floating beneath drones. Having recently seen new footage of his sister Heather’s Blair Witch experience on the internet, James (James Allen McCune) is determined to learn whether she’s alive. He and a few friends return to the house in the woods where Heather was seen last. The film is sprinkled with humor during its first half, but the final act is hardcore horror. (Lisa Miller)

 

Bridget Jones’s Baby R

Following a steamy night with her ex-beau, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and one (a day later) with an American named Jack (Patrick Dempsey), 43-year-old British publishing exec Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) finds herself pregnant, single and confused. Both men claim paternity and doggedly accompany Bridget to her ob-gyn (Emma Thompson, who also cowrote the screenplay) appointments, as well as her natural-birthing classes. Ever the klutz who relies on her unreliable instincts, Bridget is considered too old by her 20-something bosses, yet doesn’t fit in with settled-down married friends her own age. A good sign is the return of director Sharon Maguire, who helmed the first Bridget Jones. (L.M.)

 

Mia Madre R

Italian writer-director Nanni Moretti explores the overlap of movie reality and real reality in Mia Madre. Margherita (Margherita Buy) is a film director who can’t direct her own life. She struggles on the set and with her boyfriend at a time when her mother is in hospital and appears to be slipping away into vulnerability, confusion and death. With spot-on acting throughout, Mia Madre is at once a funny and emotionally moving story of professional and family life. John Turturro adds comic relief as a Hollywood actor in Margherita’s film who can barely memorize his lines and has trouble speaking the Italian dialogue. (David Luhrssen)

Opens Sept. 16, Downer Theatre.

 

Our Little Sister PG

When their estranged father dies, the three Kôda sisters journey to rural Japan for the funeral. There they meet the teenage half sister they never knew, Suzu, and invite her to live with them in the city. Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, Our Little Sister is a carefully nuanced, closely observed story of the fractures and connections within family life, especially in an era of multiple marriages. The sisters share a father whom they regard as “weak and useless” yet also as an often-kind man. Beautifully filmed and convincingly acted, Our Little Sister is a story sweet but never saccharine that never falls into Hollywood melodrama. (D.L.)

Opens Sept. 16 at the Oriental Theatre.

 

Snowden R

In 2013, after having worked as an intelligence analyst for both the CIA and NSA (National Security Agency), Edward Snowden gave reporters thousands of classified NSA documents showing the mass surveillance conducted on U.S. citizens by our government. Writer-director Oliver Stone seeks to illustrate what prompted Snowden’s desperate act, one making him a hero to some, but a traitor in the eyes of the law. The story attempts to show Snowden’s growing pangs of conscience via his romance with photographer Lindsay Mills (Shailene Woodley). A fascinating examination of individual rights versus security, Stone gathered a stellar cast, for this slick but flat production. (L.M.)

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