A little lightness this week to offset last week’s doom and gloom in theaters; love is in the air, as we enjoy imported romance alongside some family friendly animation and docs on the film industry and its players.
“The Beaches of Agnès”
While most people commit their memoirs to the page, Belgian octogenarian auteur Agnès Varda has constructed a nostalgic visual document of her life, times and work. Flitting between past and present, Varda assembles a collage of memory and experience channeled to us through whimsical reconstruction, archival photographs, home movies and abstract compositions (including a room where the walls are entirely comprised of 35mm prints from her failed stab at fantasy, “Les Créatures”) that frame the rich tapestry of her life in her own inimitable style.
Opens in New York.
“The Girl From Monaco”
Courtroom drama meets bedroom farce in this breezy multigenerational romantic dramedy from French co-writer/director Anne Fontaine. Veteran thesp Fabrice Luchini stars as Bertrand Beauvois, a slick defense attorney who’s a smooth talker in the courtroom, but a fumbling neurotic in the bedroom. Fortunately, he has his buttoned-down bodyguard Christophe (Roschdy Zem) to rely on for advice with the ladies when the trial of Bertrand’s life is complicated by his burgeoning relationship with weather girl Audrey (former real-life celebrity weather girl Louise Bourgoin). In French with subtitles.
Opens in limited release.
“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs”
With the spectacularly poor “Titan A.E” now a distant memory, Fox Animation has given Pixar and DreamWorks something to think about, with their Blue Sky Studios delivering a succession of solidly entertaining animated hits in recent years. This third installment to the sub-zero family saga from returning director Carlos Saldanha finds expectant mammoth couple Manny and Ellie (Ray Romano and Queen Latifah) and smart ass saber-tooth Diego (Denis Leary) on a mission to rescue Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), who’s nabbed himself some dinosaur eggs. The real star of the show remains Scrat, the squirrel-rat whose inept pursuit of the perfect nut is now complicated by competition from a wily female.
“I Hate Valentine’s Day”
Less than a month after she returned to screens with “My Life in Ruins,” Nia Vardalos is reuniting with her “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” co-star John Corbett, as this most profitable of indie screen pairings try their hand at the unromantic romantic comedy subgenre. In her directorial debut, Vardalos stars as Genevieve, a perennially unlucky in love New Yorker whose serial disappointment with the dating scene has led her to adopt a hard and fast rule of five dates max. After a newly arrived restaurateur (Corbett) with commitment issues turns her head, Genevieve seizes her opportunity to woo him with the idea of commitment-free dating.
Opens in limited release and on demand.