Sunday, February 3, 2013

Week of February 1 to February 7 (Rhoades)

Tropic Cinema Loads Up
On Oscar Nominees

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

In case you missed “Les Misérables” or want to see it again (my wife has seen it three times and plans to go back again), the acclaimed Oscar-nominated musical has begun its run at the Tropic Cinema.
And I recommend you go just to hear it!
During other local runs, the sound was in monaural, but the Tropic is cranking up its high-tech stereo system to bring you this great music as you’ve never heard it before. Anne Hathaway’s plaintive “I Dreamed a Dream” will bring tears to your eyes, the bouncy “Master of the House” will have you dancing in the aisles, and “In My Life” will make your heart swoon during this great story of love and redemption amid France’s 1832 June Rebellion.
You’ll rejoice in the singing performances of Hugh Jackman as convict-turned-mayor Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as the relentless police inspector Javert, Amanda Seyfried as Jean Valjean’s adopted daughter Cosette, Eddie Redmayne as love-smitten Marius, Samantha Barks as the rejected Éponine, and Anne Hathaway (following in her mother’s footsteps) as the tragic Fantine -- for which she’s likely to receive an Academy Award.
However, if you prefer a visual spectacle to an audial one, “Life of Pi” remains on the Tropic screens. Ang Lee’s masterful tale of an Indian boy marooned on a lifeboat with a snarling tiger is a great metaphor about life, beliefs, and survival.
Based on the celebrated book by Yann Martel, it’s a story that everyone in Hollywood said couldn’t be translated to film, yet here it is. You have to see it just to admire the tiger, a CGI creation that I defy you to tell from the real creature, every hair, every gleaming fang, in place thanks to cinematic magic.
If you prefer lighter fare, don’t miss “Silver Linings Playbook,” the feel-good rom-com about two crazy people (literally) who find each other. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence force us to root for them as nutty-couple Pat and Tiffany against all odds, psychiatric evaluations, and family interference. Both are up for Oscars, as is Robert DeNiro as Pat’s obsessive-gambler dad and Jacki Weaver as his caring mom. Following Jennifer Lawrence’s wins at Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild, look for her to walk away with a golden statuette too.
A different kind of historical drama, “A Royal Affair” reveals the true ménage à trois between Mad King Christian VII of Denmark, his unfaithful queen, and the German doctor who ruled the kingdom. Mikkel Boe Folsgaard, Alicia Vikander, and Mads Mikkelsen bring this threesome to life. This riveting bit of filmmaking is up for an Academy  Award as Best Foreign Language Film.
And if you’re ready for something new to see, even though it’s a look back to the tragic AIDS pandemic of the ’80s and ’90s, “How to Survive a Plague” is an important documentary that hits home to many residents of Key West. Director David France has used archival footage and new interviews to trace the search for a cure to this deadly human immunodeficiency virus infection.
These films currently playing at the Tropic Cinema represent some 34 Oscar nominations, so you won’t want to miss them. After all, the Tropic’s annual Academy Awards gala is coming up on February 24th.

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