Starring Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as his wife and collaborator, Alma, director Sacha Gervasi puts a featherlight yet entertaining touch on the struggle to make the slasher film Psycho. The film centers on Hitchcock's professional and personal struggles, with Scarlett Johansson and James D'Arcy offering eerie impersonations of Psycho co-stars Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins. The spirit of Hitchcock comes through, but the film ultimately feels inconsequential. With Jessica Biel, Danny Huston and Toni Collette. PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content and thematic material.
Life of Pi HHH1/2
Author Yann Martel's tale of a shipwrecked youth cast adrift on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain) combines storytelling finesse with the most artful use of digital 3-D technology yet. Suraj Sharma stars as Pi, an Indian teen lost at sea with the ravenous big cat from his family's menagerie. Lee finds rich and clever ways to translate Pi's stillest moments through flashbacks, voice-overs and flashes of fantasy and hallucination. The computer-animated tiger is remarkably lifelike. PG for emotional thematic content throughout, and some scary action sequences and peril.
Red Dawn H
The army invading the United States in this remake of the 1984 original was changed in post-production from Chinese to North Korean. The original was made at the height of Cold War paranoia,
Rust and Bone HHH
A single father and part-time fighter falls into a romance with a whale trainer who's lost both her legs in a freak accident. Both must undergo drastic transformations and help each other heal. With intimate camerawork, director and co-writer Jacques Audiard avoids trite, sentimental uplift. Rust and Bone features Marion Cotillard as Stephanie, a trainer at Marineland in Antibes, France, and Ali (Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts), the bouncer at a club, who's recently arrived with his 5-year-old son, Sam (Armand Verdure). R for strong sexual content, brief graphic nudity, some violence and language. In French with English subtitles.
Silver Linings Playbook
David O. Russell's comic drama is a romantic comedy whose sweethearts suffer from bipolar disorder and depression. As both writer and director in adapting Matthew Quick's novel, Russell has developed affectionately fleshed-out characters in working-class Philadelphia. Silver Linings Playbook resembles The Fighter in its realism, but with off-kilter optimism. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence play against type as a high-school teacher who just left a mental institution after a breakdown and a young woman recently widowed after the death of her police-officer husband. R for language and some sexual content/nudity.