Lore, the nickname for Hannelore, is the title character of this most arresting film about a family. The year is 1945, the season is spring; the family comprises Mutti, Vati, two sisters, Lore and Liesel; twin brothers, Jurgen and Gunther, and an infant son named Peter for the father.
Forty-nine million Americans exist without enough to eat. It would be nice if it were enough for a thousand points of light to feed people one at a time. It would be nice if each food pantry fed all the hungry people so everyone else could gorge without shame. But hunger in America is not nice -- and it's not going away because these methods simply do not work. These sorry facts are highlighted in "A Place at the Table," a finely wrought documentary about what it will take to feed the hungry who live in food-rich America.
The National British Theater presents "The Magistrate" by Jove. It is currently on the boards of the Olivier Theater in London, but the Victorian farce was made available for viewing in movie theaters across America this winter as part of the digitally recorded series called National Theater Live.
"Happy People: A Year in the Taiga" might seem terribly exotic, even a bit off-putting in its foreignness, but it is very seductive.
Most of us have snapshots of our lives, records of the first day of school or the prom. "56 Up" is director Michael Apted's record of the lives of 14 Britishers tells their stories, albeit in brief, through film. "56 Up" continues what he started in 1964 when he first interviewed 10 boys and four girls, each age 7. Its cutesy title was "Seven Up," which explains the current title and those of films in between, shot at seven-year intervals.
Just as the song promises and "Broken City" delivers, New York, New York, is a "helluva town." Only, the movie, unlike the song, is dark and murderous and craven. "Broken City" posits that the Big Apple has a bad apple for a mayor, plus a killer cop, an adulterous First Lady, and thugs in every echelon of society.
Here's a crazy idea: Film some of the world's smallest, most delicate creatures, Monarch butterflies, in one of the world's largest film formats. Then spread those tiny creatures across a giant dome of a screen and hope it works to drop a caterpillar on heads of movie-goers.
This movie should be so much better. It squats solidly at the mediocre level, but, mercy! It should have been so much better, what with the proven actor, Dustin Hoffman, serving as director, and a roster of stars that should have sparkled all over the place.
As John Ronald Reuel Tolkien wrote the story, it begins: "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit." That hobbit, with his hairy bare feet is one Bilbo Baggins, a gentle soul, not made of stern stuff, a little man who likes his little life in Middle-earth.
With barely a word spoken, "Les Miserables" is closer to operetta than splashy musical. The Broadway musical and the movie are based on Victor Hugo's 1862 novel about poverty, death, injustice and orphans who would become so famous.
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