Friday, April 10, 2009

Week of April 10 to April 16

What’s on at the Tropic
By Phil Mann

It’s going to be an exciting week at the Tropic, with two big new movies, two opera shows, two classic films, and the annual Robert Frost Poetry Festival special event.

Heading the program is DUPLICITY, a spy-thriller, full of witty banter and double-dealing between co-stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. David Denby nails it in his New Yorker review: it’s “an enormously enjoyable hybrid, a romantic comedy set at the center of a caper movie.” Roberts is a former CIA agent, now into corporate espionage. Owen is out of the Brit equivalent, MI6, also trying to make a dime (more like $40 million) in the corporate game. The plot is convoluted, tense and full of surprises, thanks to the skills of writer-director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, the Bourne screenplays). This film was booked into that other movie theater in town for a week or two, but they let it go early. No surprise. Duplicity is clever, sophisticated and intelligent. The Tropic is where it belongs. I’ve had some people tell me they had trouble following the plot. You know what? Don’t worry. Just kick back and enjoy the crackerjack dialogue, the great locales (Dubai, Miami, Zurich, the Bahamas, London, Cleveland, New York and Rome) and have a glass of wine with your friends in the lobby afterward to figure out what was going on.

WENDY AND LUCY is very different, from the Frozen River indie slice-of-live school of filmmaking. Wendy is on the road to Alaska, in need of a job. Lucy is her dog. And, as you might guess, the trip doesn’t go well as Wendy confronts more than her share of the troubles which build into a life you wish you could just rewind. Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) got an Independent Spirit nomination for her portrayal of Wendy, and the movie was featured at Cannes and the New York Film Festival. But don’t worry, this movie didn’t get any screen time at the Regal. Thank you, Tropic Cinema for bringing it in.

The operas are Tchaikovsky’s EUGENE ONEGIN performed by the Bolshoi Theater, and featuring Tatyana Monogarova and Mariusz Kwiecien (Saturday matinee), and RIGOLETTO from Parma’s Verdi Festival, starring Leo Nucci and Nino Machaidze (Tuesday matinee). Both are part of this year’s Great Operas of Europe series.

This week’s classic films are the 1950 CYRANO DE BERGERAC (Saturday matinee) and Hitchcock’s 1935 masterpiece, THE 39 STEPS (Monday evening). I’m pleased to report that local film buff and TV impresario Mary Sparacio is again leading discussion of the Monday night classic.

The featured special event of the week is ROBERT FROST GOES TO THE MOVIES, on Wednesday evening. This is the kickoff event for the five-day Robert Frost celebration. Starting at 8:00pm, featured poets Michael Wyndham Thomas from England, Charles Trumbull, Lee Gurga, Rosalind Brackenbury, Richard Grusin and Annette Basalyga will read from their own work and famous Key West poets from the past. A film on poets and poetry will follow. Details are still evolving, but check for more information.

And get ready for the return of Bruce Moore and Bobby Nesbitt’s HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD:MUSIC FROM MOVIES, coming on Sunday, April 19. Bruce and Bobby sing and dance (on the wooden dance floor newly laid on the Carper Theater stage) along with clips from great movies. One show only at 2:00pm. Tickets on sale now and going quick at the box office or

As always, check for full schedules and info.
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[from Key West, the Newspaper -]

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