Thursday, January 16, 2014

At Middleton (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

“At Middleton” Offers a Live Moment
With Andy Garcia

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

While the Tropic Cinema has a great record for bringing in directors and other film luminaries for us to meet as we watch their movies, Key West (like most non-urban outposts) doesn’t get access to some of the bigger-name actors and directors. You have to live in Los Angeles or New York City to enjoy that privilege.

But that’s changed … in a way.

The Tropic is now hosting the New York Film Critics series, where we get to see live interviews with stars and filmmakers streamed directly to the Tropic’s screen in high-definition simulcast. It’s now a monthly program.

Last month we got an advance preview of “American Hustle” (it won a Golden Globe as 2013’s Best Comedy and been nominated for the Best Picture Oscar) -- as well as watched Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers conduct a live interview with the film’s director, David O. Russell.

This month is no exception. Next Tuesday night at 8 p.m. the Tropic will again host a live broadcast of Travers interviewing director Adam Rogers and stars Andy Garcia and Vera Farminga, while showing “At Middleton.”

“At Middleton” is an offbeat romance for grownups.

Andy Garcia portrays George, a rather dull man who takes his son on a college tour. There he meets Emily, played by Vera Farminga, a spirited woman who has brought her daughter to the old campus to take the tour.

Turns out, George and Emily go against the grain and play hooky, ducking the tour to explore the scenic campus on their own. Yes, love blossoms. That’s no spoiler. I told you this was a romance.

So it’s not the end result, but the afternoon’s journey that you should find engrossing. You could put this in the “Before Midnight” school of talky relationship pictures. Not a bad place to be.

Picked by the AARP Life@50+ Expo as one of its Movies for Grownups, “At Middleton” helps examine the question of not just how we’ve prepared our kids to leave the nest, but how we’ve prepared ourselves.

As one moviegoer observed, “The interaction of the actors — mother and daughter, father and son, strangers meeting and feeling something they never expected — is amusing at times, heartbreaking at others, real and true throughout.”

Mark Ehrenkranz, the producer behind the New York Film Critics series says the NYFCS is dedicated to producing inspiring events in a collaborative environment. “Now everyone throughout the country can enjoy up close and personal moments from major movie stars, producers, writers and directors,” he told me during a recent phone call. “All in the comfort of their own neighborhood theaters.”

You’ll agree as you watch “At Middleton” over a glass of wine at the Tropic, then set back in your plush theatre seat and let Andy Garcia (“The Godfather: Part III,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” “City Island”) chat with you about the movie you’ve just seen.

That’s better than talking with your friends around the water cooler the next day. In fact, why not bring them along with you to the Tropic? They would enjoy “meeting” Andy Garcia too!

No comments: