Films This Week
Check out the movies playing around town.
With reviews and trailers.
The average moviegoer may enjoy this film version of Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling book. The movie doesn’t require much effort on the audience’s part. All one needs to do is sit and be led to believe that one is witnessing a major transformation taking place in the life of a troubled writer named Liz (played by Julia Roberts). But anybody who truly understands (or wants to) the art of real personal triumphs—transformations that hit you to the core and set you sailing somewhere profoundly new—must know that real change can be hard work.
'Anton Chekhov's The Duel' an exercise in ennui
It might surprise 19th Century Russian playwright Anton Chekhov to see naked women in a adaptation of his work. But it's not entirely gratuitous in Anton Chekhov's The Duel, an international co-production of a Chekhov novella whose heroine, a young society matron transplanted to a sleepy seaside resort in the Caucuses, is so ripe for life, she's fairly bursting out of her corsets. Which makes her the perfect visual and emotional contrast to the story's protagonist, a slight, sallow, petulant malcontent whose only response to the natural beauty of both the seaside and his mistress is profound boredom.
Searing tragedy of intolerance reduced to melodrama in 'Agora' |
There's a fascinating, heartbreaking, infuriating true story at the center of Agora, a sumptuous drama of ancient Alexandria from Spanish filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar. But even as the female scholar protagonist lectures her students that every system in the universe must revolve around a center or it will collapse, Amenábar clutters up his narrative with so much bombast and portent, it's own center finally cannot hold.