Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Week of June 25 to July 1 (Mann)

What’s on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann

This week brings another rich, many layered, story to the Tropic screen, MOTHER AND CHILD.
Annette Bening is a physical therapist, good at her job but without much of a life. She’s tied down caring for her mother, and hostile to everyone, even a new staff doctor who tries to strike up an acquaintance. The great tragedy of her life is that she gave up a child for adoption decades earlier, and she’s never really come to terms with it.

Kerry Washington is a young wife seeking an adoptive child, negotiating the shoals of an open adoption from a willful college student who is very aware that she’s the one with the power.

Naomi Watts is a very successful, very beautiful, and very cold, thirty-something lawyer, determined to use both her savvy and her sex to get ahead. She has no time for children (she even had her tubes tied as a young woman, just to make sure), or for unproductive relationships.

Each has her story and, as you might imagine, they are destined to intersect… in unexpected ways. Each of the actors, and the characters they portray, is powerful. The movie packs a wallop. “The fine actors show how we bond to those not related to us by blood -- and also how we love,” says the Philadelphia Inquirer. Put it at the top of your list.

ONDINE is the latest from writer-director Neil Jordan, best-known for his breakthrough transgender film The Crying Game. In case you didn’t know it (I didn’t) ondines are mythological water nymphs, and like all such creatures, are surrounded by mysterious traits. Colin Farrell is Syracuse, an Irish fisherman, divorced and alone except for his devotion to his nine-year old daughter Annie who spends time with him. But then he hauls up a half-drowned woman in his net (Alicja Bachleda, Farrell’s real-life partner). Annie believes she is a “selkie,” an Irish ondine. Syracuse isn’t so sure, but certainly doesn’t mind her staying with him to recuperate. Is she or isn’t she? Director Jordan is always full of surprises.

SHREK FOREVER AFTER joins holdovers PLEASE GIVE, SEX AND THE CITY 2, and KILLERS on the theater’s summer fun calendar. Here’s an idea for a family outing. Dad takes the kids to see Shrek, while mom checks out Sex in the City. Or, should it be the other way around?

The Tropic has been unusually busy this summer, which of course is wonderful, but the staff is planning to take advantage of the slower season to undertake a major renovation of the lobby. They’ll be modifying the food service area to provide a second cash point and expand the self-service selection of treats, including new gourmet delectables. The hard tables and chairs will be replaced with comfy and congenial seating to encourage you to stop for a glass of wine and discussion after the film. Look for all this in a few weeks. But don’t worry, the theater will be running on all cylinders the whole time. Just be prepared to dodge a few obstacles.

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[from Key West, the newspaper -]

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