Friday, February 20, 2009

Week of February 20 to February 26 (Mann)

What's On At The Tropic
by Phil Mann

It's actresses front and center this week at the Tropic. Kate Winslet, who is busily laying claim to the title of the most versatile as well at the most talented actress working today, plays a German tram conductor in THE READER. And Ann Hathaway, who has cut her teeth on popular Hollywood fare, takes on a very serious dramatic role as an addict furloughed from rehab in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED.

Both actresses are nominated for this year's Academy Award. And both films have been awards magnets this season. THE READER has five Oscar nominations, including the coveted Best Film and Best Director categories. RACHEL has three Oscar nominations, and is in the running for the Independent Spirit Award’s Best Film. The movies will be running all week, but Friday and Saturday is your last chance to see them if you want to get a leg up for a “pick the winners” pool.

If you're looking for an Oscar pool to enter, the Tropic will be conducting one and also showing all the Oscar ceremonies live on its big screens on Sunday night, starting at 7:00pm. It's the annual Academy Award Gala with Key West's own VIP red carpet show hosted by Christopher Peterson. Tickets on sale now.

The Tropic will also be showing the Independent Spirit Awards, live in the Sussman Lounge, starting at 5:00pm on Saturday afternoon. That's a free show. No tickets required.

Getting back to Kate Winslet, she's also starring in another film at the theater this week, the continuing run of REVOLUTIONARY ROAD. I talked about that one last week. Winslet doesn't have an Oscar nomination for that movie, but at this year's British Oscars (BAFTA) she had a double nomination for Best Actress, for both The Reader and Revolutionary Road! She won it for The Reader, and rightly so in my opinion. It is by far the more powerful of the two movies, and her character in it is much more complex. Though many of you will have read the novel, I don't want to spoil it for those who have not. But it does not give anything away to say that Winslet's character is a middle-aged woman who seduces a young man and then returns to his life years later through fascinating plot twists. The Oscar nomination for THE READER, and for Winslet, are well-deserved.

As for Ann Hathaway, you'll cringe with the rest of the guests at the pre-nuptial dinner as she acts out in inappropriate, but sadly expectable, ways. She and Winslet have been duking it out in the pre-Oscar awards, but the smart money is on Winslet for the big one. The only other real possibility is Melissa Leo from Frozen River, a great little movie that played at the Tropic back in November.

Mentioning Frozen River brings to mind the fact that all five movies carrying Best Actress nominations were shown (or will be shown) at the Tropic. In addition to the three just mentioned, there's also Angelina Jolie in Changeling (shown in December) and Meryl Streep in Doubt, coming next month. Turning to Best Picture, four of the five nominees -- The Reader, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, and Frost/Nixon (coming next month) – are Tropic movies. And so on. I've said it before, but it bears repeating: The Tropic is Key West's theater for great movies, as well as being a non-profit community treasure. If you don't go to the Tropic you miss it all... or at least 80%.

Heading up the Special Events calendar is a quite extraordinary concert: Two Pianos, Two Talents, and Jazz. Dominique and Tristan Lofficial are a father and son, but they are also jazz pianists, with performing credits on stages from the Paris Opera to the Kennedy Center. This week they’ll add the Tropic Cinema. By special arrangement, a pair of grand pianos are being temporarily installed on the stage, mated to serve the improvisational talents of this generational duo. Local musicians have always praised the superb acoustics of the Tropic’s Carper Theater. This promises to be a great chance to show them off. Thanks to some local fans for arranging this treat. One show only on Tuesday at 8:15.

The Tropic's Fifth Anniversary is coming up in April. Isn't it time to take out a membership so you can save money on every ticket, and support a great Key West asset?

More info and online tickets at Comments to
[from Key West, the Newspaper -]

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