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Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014

Film Clips: Feb. 6

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The Invisible Woman R

In The Invisible Woman, Ralph Fiennes is the director and star, playing Charles Dickens during his long affair with a much younger actress, Nelly (Felicity Jones). Based on Claire Tomalin’s biographical sleuthing, the dramatization paints the big picture with historical fidelity and emotional accuracy regardless of some details being fictionalized. To a companion of Dickens with “progressive” ideas of sexual liberation, Nelly answers that his agenda is all about male desire and leaves nothing for the women. Great expectations are never met. The Invisible Woman is an engaging drama that captures the reticence and opaqueness of its time and place. (David Luhrssen)

Opens Friday, Feb. 7, Downer Theatre.

 

The Lego Movie PG

The Lego world is sharply divided. Bricksburg ruler Lord Business (voiced by Will Ferrell) decrees that all lives are to be lived and buildings assembled according to instructions. A different view is held by the Master Builders—visionaries imagining new forms built from Lego blocks. Emmet (Chris Pratt) is a Bricksburg builder whose routine life is interrupted when he is whisked away by freedom fighter Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). She takes Emmet to unexplored parts of the Lego universe and introduces him to her boyfriend, Lego Batman (Will Arnett). Here Emmet learns he is “The Chosen” savior foretold in a prophecy. Can Emmet summon the strength needed to lead the fight against Lord Business and his ilk? Clever and irreverent while respectful of the Lego brand, this odd little movie has as much fun with its blocky characters as children do when making their own Lego creations. (Lisa Miller)

 

The Monuments Men PG-13

Drawn from the Allied campaign to rescue the art stolen by the Nazis, The Monuments Men was directed by George Clooney as if afraid no one would be interested in a realistic account of this great treasure hunt, or else half wanting to transform his soldier aesthetes into “Band of Goofballs” or the “Hogan’s Heroes” of art history. The film’s release was pushed back as Clooney and crew tried to find the right tone. They got it all wrong, producing a queasy cocktail of sentimentality and seriousness, daft comedy and espionage caper. Clooney heads an all-star cast often in roles loosely “based” on real GIs and Allies involved in the effort to rescue Europe’s cultural heritage, including Matt Damon, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and John Goodman. (D.L.)

 

Vampire Academy PG-13

Seventeen-year-old Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) is a human-vampire hybrid known as a dhampir. Rose is psychically bonded to her BFF Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry), a royal vampire belonging to the Moroi, 12 families who elect a prince or princess to rule all peaceful, mortal vampires. Having escaped St. Vladimir’s Academy two years prior, Rose and Lissa are dragged back to the school where they become increasingly aware of a dangerous hierarchy that exists within its walls. Rose soon discovers her attraction to her dhampir mentor, Russian hottie Dimitri Belikov (Danila Kozlovsky), but alas, romance is not to be. Besides, Rose has bigger problems protecting Lissa from the threat posed by bloodthirsty, undead vampires known as strigoi. Adapted from a bestselling series of young adult books by Richelle Mead, the fate of The Weinstein Company’s undead franchise depends upon whether teen ticket buyers cooperate. (L.M.)

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