Friday, December 28, 2012

Week of Dec. 28 to Jan. 3 (Rhoades)

Tropic Holds Its Lincoln Lineup
For Holidays, Adds Surreal Flick

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Sticking with a good thing, the Tropic Cinema holds its movie lineup for Christmas week, adding only a French surreal head-scratcher.
Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” continues to impress audiences with Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance as the 16th President of the United States. Based in part on historian Doris Keene Goodwin’s book, the film examines the political machinations that Lincoln initiated in order to pass the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, abolishing slavery.
Aside from great turns by Sally Field, David Strathairm, and Tommy Lee Jones, moviegoers have been impressed by the historical detail of the film. Count on Oscar nods for Day-Lewis and Field.
Also holding over is “The Guilt Trip,” a very funny mother-son road trip starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen. When a young inventor invites his mother to spend eight days on a business trip with him, the results are predictable – bickering, confusion, a generation gap, and (as the title implies) Jewish guilt. But in the end both learn valuable lessons about themselves. The kvetching chemistry between the iconic Oscar-winning diva and the young upstart comic is worth the ride.
Movie buffs will definitely want to see “Hitchcock,” the biopic about the director behind such classics as “Rear Window” and “Vertigo.” Here, the story focuses on the making of “Psycho,” a horror film that changed the genre, and was a shocking entry from the roly-poly British director known for his breezy mysteries. Oscar-winners Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren portray the Master of Suspense and his brains-behind-the-scenes wife Alma Reville. Hopkins in a fat suit and Mirren with a short bob capture the familial tension between the couple as Hitch bets his career on a movie ears recording receding glaciers and ice floes around the world. The imagery we see is amazing – and frightening – as we watch the changes taking place to our planet.
The one new entry for the holidays is “Holy Motors,” a film that will leave you puzzling with your friends exactly what you just saw – a Master of Disguises riding about Paris in a white stretch limousine, going from assignment to assignment where he takes on different roles as if moving through parallel universes. Beggar woman, mob hitman, a shuffling madman who kidnaps a beautiful model, a dying man, a character in a musical, a stern father, a thwarted lover,  we’re left wondering who Mr. Oscar really is. This surreal masterpiece by Leos Carax is a commentary on “the increasing digitalization of society” – maybe.
Give yourself a holiday treat and catch one of these interesting films at the Tropic.

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