Opening January 9
“The Monuments Men” – evoking “The Dirty Dozen” and “Inglorious Basterds”, a US Army team invades Europe to recover stolen art treasures before the Nazis destroy them. George Clooney directs and stars, with Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett joining in.
“Saving Mr Banks” – Emma Thompson plays Australian author P. L. Travers confronting Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) about how to film her novel “Mary Poppins”.
“The Book Thief” – an illiterate girl sent to live with a German foster family discovers books. Evocative of the Nazi book burnings (May 10, 1933) and KrystalNacht (November 9, 1938). Geoffrey Rush stars.
Opening January 16
“Grace of Monaco” – Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly during a crisis of marriage and identity, a political dispute and a possible French invasion of Monaco in the early 1960s. Cast list looks more promising than subject content.
“Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom” – Idris Elba plays the adult Madiba on the journey from rural childhood to inauguration as South Africa’s first democratically elected president. Much to tell, 139 minutes to tell it. So very poignant in light of his death.
“47 Ronin” – Outcast Kai (Keanu Reeves) joins a company of Ronin avenging the death of their beloved master and falls for the master’s daughter. Ho hum.
Information provided by cinema chains and the International Movie Database. Classifications unavailable at time of compilation.