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My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 8/29-9/4/2015
ON NETFLIX: Marvin’s Room, written by Scott McPherson from his own play and directed by Jerry Zaks, is an often funny, but also deeply moving movie about love and death, so of course it stars Diane Keaton (who battles it out with co-star Meryl Streep for acting recognition—Keaton got the Oscar nom, Streep the Golden Globe). Bessie needs a bone marrow transplant so she looks to her estranged sister Lee and her troubled nephew Hank. The cast is filled out with Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Hume Cronym, Gwen Verdon, Dan Hedaya, Margo Martindale and Cynthia Nixon.
ON HULU: In Belle de Jour, the ravishing Catherine Deneuve plays a housewife who can’t bring herself to sleep with her husband so she works afternoons being ravished as a prostitute. Leave it to sly, naughty writer/director Louis Bunuel to come up with this one, with screenplay help by one of the finer European screenwriters Jean-Claude Carriere.
SPECIAL SHOWINGS: Nuart Theater is showing Forbidden Games, the classic French film about a little girl orphaned by an air raid during WWII who ends up living with the family of a young boy. They become fast friends and try to come to terms with death by creating rituals and a cemetery for dead animals. Georges Poujouly, who played the boy, later appeared in such classics as Elevator to the Gallows and Diabolique, and Brigitte Fossey, the little girl, was later seen in films like The Man Who Loved Women and Cinema Paridiso. The director Rene Clement also directed Purple Noon and Joy House.
FIRST RUN and OPENING: Z for Zachariah; American Ultra; Grandma; Straight Outta Compton; Mistress America; Shaun the Sheep Movie; Diary of a Teenage Girl; Ricki and the Flash; The Gift; Cop Car; Tangerine; Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation; I Touched All Your Stuff; Butterfly Girl; The Second Mother
REVIVAL AND ART HOUSES:
AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE at The Aero: Spirited Away, Ponyo, 8/28; Kiki’s Delivery Service, Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Sky, 8/29; My Neighbor Totoro, Porco Rosso, The Wind Rises, 8/30; Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Notorious, 9/4
NEW BEVERLY: Suspicion, Notorious, 8/29-30; A Fistful of Dollars, 8/30-9/5
LACMA: The War of the Worlds, 9/1
CINEFAMILY at the Silent Movie Theater: The Look of Silence, 8/28 and 8/30-9/2