by Phil Mann
Woody’s back!! Continuing his European road trip, his new film, TO ROME WITH LOVE, is set in the Italian capital. As usual he’s got a cast of stars, including some of his old favorites – Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis and Woody, himself – and some new ones, including Alec Baldwin, Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg and Roberto Benigni. There are four, largely unrelated stories, all of love and angst, and all played out against the magnificent plazas and piazzas of the Eternal City.
We have an aging opera director (Allen) who discovers a great, but oddly disabled tenor; a mature architect (Baldwin) who befriends a young protégé (Eisenberg) who is seduced by a young actress (Page); an Italian newlywed (Alesandro Tiberi) who is hooked up with a call girl (Cruz), etc., etc. The permutations go on and on in this satirical romp, sometimes in English and sometimes in Italian, but always in good fun. ”To Rome with Love is light and fast, with some of the sharpest dialogue and acting that he's put on the screen in years.” (David Denby, The New Yorker)
Moving from the sunny South of Europe to the Nordic regions, brings us to HEADHUNTERS, a dark Norwegian murder-mystery/heist-thriller that’s a worthy successor to the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) is a corporate headhunter/art thief who’s looking for a big score to satisfy his beautiful, avaricious wife and his own sense of manliness. When his latest victim is a former Dutch special forces honcho with a Reubens painting, the stakes go up, and up. “A transgenre thriller that glides effortlessly from crisp social commentary through off-kilter comedy to paranoid terror, it's on my short list of the most enjoyable movies in recent memory.” (Joe Morgenstern, Wall St. Journal) “A dark adult entertainment, a wild and bloody adrenaline rush of a movie that deals in gleeful grotesqueness and over-the-top implausibilities.” (Kenneth Turan, L.A. Times)
For those of us in Key West these movies are escapes from reality. Not so for THE ISLAND PRESIDENT the true story of the President of the Maldives, an island chain in the Indian Ocean rising less than five feet above sea level. “There’s no hill in the Maldives,” they say. Sound familiar? Mohamed Nasheed, a photogenic, Western-educated reformer, was elected President in 2008, ousting a 30-year dictatorship, and immediately embarked upon an aggressive campaign against global warming. If there’s any canary in the global warming coal mine, the Maldives are it, and we’re only a few feet behind. Guess you could call the Keys the American canary.
With unprecedented access, documentarian Jon Shenk (Lost Boys of the Sudan) follows Nasheed both in the Maldives (“paradise upon paradise”) and at environmental conferences in New York and Copenhagen, as he argues his case. It’s “a mostly compelling documentary about that rarest of breeds, an appealing politician.” (Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle)
I’m sorry to report that Nasheed was deposed last year in a counter-coup by forces of the former dictator, who no longer seem to be interested in the submergence of his country. No doubt he has a very large yacht. Meanwhile, we might think about recruiting him here, to help get the message out to the yachting class of America. Check out this link for an interview with Nasheed. http://tinyurl.com/85628qj
Held over are THE AVENGERS and MEN IN BLACK 3 (both in 3D), and MOONRISE KINGDOM. Did you know that Tropic members see 3D movies with no surcharge?
It's a busy week for Special Events. Saturday morning it’s the $1 Kids Club showing DOLPHIN TALE, and Monday evening the Road Trippin’ Classic is NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION.
But the really Special event of the week is a concert by the SOUTH FLORIDA SYMPHONY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA with pieces by Dvořák and Mozart. Reception at 7 followed by concert and dessert afterward. An elegant addition to the summer scene. Tickets available at TropicCinema.com/special.html.
Full schedules and info at TropicCinema.com.