THIS WEEK’S THEATRICAL RELEASES:
Amour: This startlingly warm, honest, loving and eventually heart-wrenching drama by Michael Haneke (“The Piano Teacher,” “Cache” and “The White Ribbon”) stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva as octogenarians Georges and Anne, retired music teachers whose daughter (Isabelle Huppert) lives abroad with her family. When Anne suffers a stroke and is left paralyzed on one side of her body, the couple’s abiding love for each other is put to the test. Haneke — not one to pull his punches — here depicts the ravishes of age — and the true glory of love — with unvarnished, unflinching realism. Winner of the Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Language film. In French with English subtitles. Bonus features include “The Making of Amour” and a Q&A with Haneke. From Sony.
Solid, delightful family CGI-animated film about a disbelieving teenager who visits her scientist dad’s home — where he’s trying to prove the existence of a tiny kingdom in the forest — and who gets shrunken down to miniature size and transported to a magical world. There she’s recruited by a nature spirit, Queen Tara, to help the “Leafmen” save their existence — and ours — from evil warriors known as the Boggans. With the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Blake Anderson, Aziz Ansari, Allison Bills, Jim Conroy, Todd Cummings, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Pitbull and Beyonce. Bonus features include several behind-the-scenes featurettes and an “Epic Coloring & Storybook Builder App” for your iOS or Android devices that allows you to become the story teller by recording your own voice and sharing with family and friends. From Fox.
Scary MoVie V:
The latest installment in what seems like an endless line of horror movie spoofs includes send ups of “Paranormal Activity,” “Mama,” “Sinister,” “The Evil Dead,” “Inception,” “Black Swan,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and pop culture in general — but, unlike earlier spoofs, this one lacks the laughs. Stars Ashley Tisdale, Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, Snoop Dogg, Katt Williams, Molly Shannon, Terry Crews, Simon Rex, Jerry O’Connell, Sarah Hyland, Katrina Bowden, Tyler Posey, Shad Moss aka Bow Wow, Kate Walsh, Heather Locklear, Mac Miller and Mike Tyson. Bonus features include extended and deleted scenes. From Dimension Films/Anchor Bay Entertainment.
The Criterion Collection has two remarkable films from the great Satyajit Ray. “The Big City”
(1963), set in mid-1950s Calcutta, follows the personal triumphs and frustrations of Arati (Madhabi Mukherjee), who decides, despite the initial protests of her bank-clerk husband, to take a job to help support their family. With remarkable sensitivity and attention to the details of everyday working-class life, Ray gradually builds a powerful human drama that is at once a hopeful morality tale and a commentary on the identity of the contemporary Indian woman. And “Charulata” (1964). Set in late 19th-century, pre-independence India, this film about a woman’s artistic and romantic yearning takes place in the gracious home of a liberal-minded, workaholic newspaper editor and his lonely, stifled wife, Charulata (Madhabi Mukherjee), whose exquisitely composed features mask a burning creativity. When her husband’s poet cousin comes to stay with them, Charulata finds herself both inspired by him to pursue her own writing and dangerously drawn to him physically. Based on a novella by Rabindranath Tagore, “Charulata” is a work of subtle textures, a delicate tale of a marriage in jeopardy and a woman taking the first steps toward establishing her own voice. Both films are in new 2K digital film restorations, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray editions.