'Lincoln,' Grande Ballroom documentary, midnight 'Clueless,' and more at the movies this week
AP / DreamWorks / 20th Century Fox
In "Lincoln," Steven Spielberg directs Daniel Day-Lewis in this revealing drama that focuses on the 16th president's tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Abraham Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come. Richard Corliss of TIME Magazine says, "'Lincoln' is brain food and, at another pivotal moment in American political history, an instructive feast." "Lincoln" opens Friday.
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2" comes to its astonishing conclusion to the series! After the birth of Renesmee, Bella and Edward gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi. "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2" opens Friday.
In "A Late Quartet," the four members of a world-renowned string quartet (Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, and Mark Ivanir) struggle to stay together in the face of death, competing egos and insuppressible lust. Ty Burr of the Boston Globe says, "You don't have to be a classical fan to appreciate the film's air of inside baseball—the ease with which it navigates a hermetic world of people who understand music better than they understand themselves." "A Late Quartet" opens Wednesday, Nov. 21 at the Michigan Theater.
"Keep the Lights On" chronicles an emotionally and sexually charged journey of two men in New York City through love, friendship, and addiction. When filmmaker Erik (Thure Lindhardt) and closeted lawyer Paul (Zachary Booth) meet through a casual encounter, they soon find a deeper connection and become a couple. In an almost decade-long relationship defined by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries and dignity while being true to himself. Andrew O'Hehir of salon.com says, "Not only does this film gloriously fulfill the potential that [director] Ira Sachs has tantalized movie-lovers with for years, it also help explains what took him so long." "Keep the Lights On" opens Monday, Nov. 19 at the Michigan Theater.
"The Perks of Being a Wallflower," based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, the film is a moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope - and the unforgettable friends that help us through life. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" opens Wednesday, Nov. 21 at the State Theatre.
Special screenings downtown
Returning to the Michigan Theater as part of the Motor City Movies series is "Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story," which looks at the Detroit rock music scene that spawned bands such as Iggy & The Stooges, Alice Cooper, The Frost, and The SRC. "Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story" plays Monday, Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Michigan Theater.
"Perseverance: The Story of Dr. Billy Taylor" is a compact, hard-hitting and ultimately uplifting look at the life of one of Michigan's great running backs. The film documents Taylor's football accomplishments, but goes deeper to explore the tragic events leading to his dramatic fall - events that made national news, destroyed Taylor's reputation, and sent him on a 40-year roller coaster ride, with lows to equal the highs. "Perseverance: The Story of Dr. Billy Taylor" plays Friday, Nov. 16th at 7:30 and 9:55 p.m. at the Michigan Theater.
The State's midnight movie this week is "Clueless!" Alicia Silverstone stars as a pampered upper-class girl who cares less about getting good grades than she does about wearing the right clothes and being as popular as possible. "Clueless" plays Saturday, Nov. 17 at 11:59 p.m. at the State Theatre.
See you at the movies!
Russ Collins is executive director of the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. Tune in to the audio version of “Cinema Chat” on WEMU radio (89.1-FM) each Thursday at 7:40 a.m. and 5:40 p.m., or listen to it online at WEMU's web site.