Friday night at the movies
Thinking about catching a flick this weekend? Here's what to see...
AN EDUCATION: Spirited, 16-year-old overachiever Jenny (Carey Mulligan) falls under the spell of David Goldman (Peter Sarsgaard), a thirtysomething Jewish entrepreneur, who begins whisking Jenny off to glamorous concerts and art auctions--and not just for her erudition. (Uptown Theatre)
City Pages: "This classily directed year-I-became-a-woman nostalgia trip conceals a surprisingly tart, morally ambiguous center. ... Mulligan's enchanting central performance gives us the sense that, right before our eyes, a star is born."
Star Tribune: 4 stars Pioneer Press: 3 stars RottenTomatoes.com: 92% positive
HALLOWEEN: Pity the teenage movie fan who thinks Scream is the Rosetta stone of horror. If only he or she could've seen John Carpenter's peerless proto-slasher film in 1978--without advance word or warning, before decades of imitators turned its poppin'-fresh scares into formula. The plot is simplicity itself: After escaping from an asylum, a madman spends Halloween night in a tranquil small town systematically slaughtering teenage girls. The director spring-loads every corner of the frame with nasty surprises, using his implacable five-note piano theme to set the mood of pounding menace. (Theatres at Mall of America, Friday and Saturday at midnight)
THE FILMS OF ROY ANDERSSON: For most American moviegoers, Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson will be a pleasant discovery. Oak Street Cinema screens two of his films in a double bill this week. Swedish Love Story (Friday-Sunday at 7:15 p.m., Monday and Tuesday at 9:15 p.m.), from 1970, is a surprisingly sweet and touching comedy about the teenage romance between a car mechanic and the daughter of a refrigerator salesman. You, the Living (Friday at 9:15 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 5:15 and 9:15 p.m, Monday and Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.) flips through 50-some single-panel vignettes, many very funny, of lugubrious Stockholmians. Andersson delights particularly in left-outs: the guy who can't squeeze into the bus stop during a downpour; the natty little suitor getting his bouquet smashed in a slamming door. The sum total is the reflection of a worldview rather than a narrative. (Oak Street Cinema)
THE DAMNED UNITED: You don't necessarily have to like soccer to like this film about the friendship between a small-town British football coach and his assistant who turned a third-rate soccer team into division champs, then got a shot at the big-time that strained their relationship. An intimate character study enriched by a stellar British cast. (Uptown Theatre)
GOOD HAIR: Chris Rock got the idea for this entertaining documentary when one of his two young daughters plaintively asked, "Daddy, how come I don't have good hair?" Rock takes his cameras to black beauty salons, a hairdressing competition, and even to India, where women sell their hair to be used in expensive weaves in the U.S., all in an effort to explore the attitudes of black women toward their hair. (area theaters)
THE HORSE BOY: The parents of a 6-year-old autistic boy, whose tantrums are oddly calmed by contact with horses, try a radical therapy: taking their son on a riding tour of Outer Mongolia to consult tribal shamans in the hope of untangling his mental blocks.
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: The low-budget thriller has become a word-of-mouth sensation. Refreshingly blood-free, it demands to be seen in a crowded theater. (area theaters)
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE: The longtime children's-book classic is visually a joy to behold. Some reviewers have labeled it an instant classic; others say its spirit is less adventurous and subversive than the book. (area theaters)
For more film ideas, capsule reviews, and showtimes, click here.