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L

DIANE LANE

NIGHTS IN RODANTHE: Diane Lane, Richard Gere, James Franco, Scott Glenn, Christopher Meloni, Mae Whitman, Viola Davis, Pablo Schreiber, Charlie Tahan, Austin James (Directed by George C. Wolfe; Written by Ann Peacock and John Romano; Warner Bros.) In “Unfaithful,” Adrian Lyne’s tense, sexy 2002 thriller, Diane Lane and Richard Gere were suitably shocking as a cheating wife and her murderously vengeful husband. Now, in an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel, they’re reteamed as a straying wife and a brooding stranger who meet and mate at a quaint Southern inn. She cheats because her loser of a husband doesn’t seem to want her to stick around; he broods because his estranged son--with whom he hopes to reconnect--considers him a jerk. Will this couple ever make it out of the inn? Now Playing


JESSICA LANGE

GREY GARDENS: Drew Barrymore, Jessica Lange, Olivia Waldriff (Directed by Michael Sucsy; Written by Patricia Rozema and Michael Sucsy; HBO Films) Little Edith Bouvier Beale was Jacqueline Kennedy's cousin, and her mother, Big Edith Bouvier Beale, was the First Lady’s aunt. At one time, the two Edies lived sumptuously on Manhattan’s Park Avenue, but they ended up in a squalid, raccoon-infested estate on Long Island. Thanks to the intervention of Jackie, the East Hampton health department did not carry through with its plan to raid the dump. But that didn’t keep the messy eccentrics out of the headlines, and eventually they became the subjects of “Grey Gardens,” a memorable 1976 documentary made by David and Albert Maysles. Now an expanded version of their story that includes material on the young Jackie Bouvier (portrayed by 8-year-old Olivia Waldriff) and covers Little Edie’s late-blooming career as a nightclub chanteuse is headed your way. Let us hope that Jessica Lange has more luck playing Drew Barrymore’s mom than she did playing Christina Ricci’s in the wretched “Prozac Nation.” Opening date to be announced


FRANK LANGELLA

FROST/NIXON: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Sam Rockwell, Kevin Bacon, Matthew Macfadyen, Oliver Platt, Patty McCormack, Toby Jones, Jenn Gotzon, Rebecca Hall (Directed by Ron Howard; Written by Peter Morgan; Universal) Richard Nixon may be the second worst president the American public ever had to endure. In 1977--three years after bidding a mortifying adieu to the White House, thereby avoiding impeachment because of the Watergate scandal--he agreed to appear in a series of televised conversations with British media giant David Frost. Nixon learned too late that he should have played harder to get; as it turned out, Frost stripped him bare, exposing his soul for anyone who owned a television set to see. Fortunately, Peter Morgan, author of the screenplay for “The Queen,” decided to explore the confrontation between these two strong-willed men in dramatic terms. The resulting play was a triumph in London and on Broadway. Best of all, director Ron Howard had the smarts to nail Frank Langella and Michael Sheen, the duo who brought Nixon and Frost to riveting life on stage (Langella won a Best Actor Tony for his take on Tricky Dicky). An unexpected bonus: Patty McCormack, the kid who received an Oscar nomination for her playing of the title role in the 1956 flick "The Bad Seed," plays the long-suffering Pat Nixon this time out. To read about other new movies based on plays, click here. Now Playing

ALL GOOD THINGS: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kristin Wiig, Trini Alvarado, Philip Baker Hall, Diane Venora, Lily Rabe, John Cullum, Nick Offerman (Directed by Andrew Jarecki; Written by Andrew Jarecki, Marc Smerling and Marcus Hinchey; The Weinstein Co.) Real estate is almost always a profitable game to play in Manhattan, but sometimes it can be murder. Literally, as it turns out in this thriller about a wealthy family that plays--and perhaps slays--together. The movie marks the fictional-feature debut of Andrew Jarecki, who directed “Capturing the Friedmans,” the chilling documentary about a very different sort of family. Opening date to be announced

THE CALLER: Frank Langella, Elliott Gould, Laura Harring, Anabel Sosa, Helen Stenborg, Gregory Ellis, Axel Feldmann (Directed by Richard Ledes; Written by Richard Ledes and Alain Didier-Weill; Belladonna Productions) Whistle blowers are, almost by definition, losers. They may experience a rush of pride, a flash of glory for their role in exposing the corrupt schemes and brutal deeds of their corporate bosses, but in the end they are the ones left without a job or friends to offer a supporting hand. Or sometimes--as in the case of Jimmy Stevens, a tell-all employee at a firm whose top executives are guilty of major criminal activity (including murder) in Latin America--they are left without much hope of staying alive. That’s why Jimmy (Frank Langella) hires Frank Turlotte, a quirky but reliable private eye (Elliott Gould) to keep tabs on people who might be tailing him. Before long, Turlotte suspects that the man he should be tailing is Jimmy Stevens himself. And it seems clear that the detective should not lose sight of the femme fatale played by Laura Harring (slinking back on track in the aftermath of all the schlock roles that followed her dynamite performance in David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive.”) This noir thriller is one of what appears to be a trio of upcoming winners for veteran actor Frank Langella, the other two being “Frost/Nixon,” in which he creates his Tony Award performance as the disgraced Tricky Dicky, and “All Good Things,” a murder mystery from Andrew Jarecki, director of the terrific documentary, “Capturing the Friedmans.” And it’s good to have Elliott Gould back in what sounds like a role of substance. Click here for Guy Flatley's 1973 New York Times interview with Elliott Gould. Opening date to be announced

QUEEN LATIFAH

MAD MONEY: Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes, Ted Danson, Adam Rothenberg (Directed by Callie Khouri; Written by Glenn Gers; Overture Films) What’s Bridget Cardigan (Diane Keaton), a cultured upper-class wife and mom, to do when Don (Ted Danson), her corporate-executive husband, is shown the door by his heartless firm? If she’s a flaky, latter-day Annie Hall, she blithely gets the only kind of job available to a woman of a certain age with no work history and a useless English degree. She picks up a bucket of water and starts mopping away at the Federal Reserve Bank. Not only does she rapidly become a first-rate janitor, but (with the help of a couple of sticky-fingered sister-employees played by Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes), a breadwinner to make her downsized hubby drool with envy. Now Playing

JUDE LAW

THE REPOSSESSION MAMBO: Jude Law, Liev Schreiber, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga (Directed by Miguel Sapochnik; Written by Eric Garcia and Garret Lerner; Universal) Would you buy an artificial organ on an installment plan from a company that reserved the right to terminate you if you default on payment? That’s the decision facing somebody--perhaps Jude Law and/or Forest Whitaker--in this sci-fi thriller set in the near future. If things go as planned, “The Repossession Mambo” will take possession of your local theater before “Repo! The Genetic Opera,” a similarly themed musical directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, whose previous assaults on our sanity include "Saw II," "Saw III" and "Saw IV." Opening date to be announced


JENNIFER JASON LEIGH

MARGOT AT THE WEDDING: Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Black, Zane Pais, John Turturro, Ciaran Hinds, Halley Feiffer (Written and directed by Noah Baumbach; Paramount Classics) “The Squid and the Whale” was one of the sharpest, funniest and most moving films of 2005, and it should have won at least one Oscar--maybe the Best Original Screenplay award, for which writer/director Noah Baumbach was nominated. In Baumbach's follow-up film, the Margot who goes to the wedding of her pregnant sister Pauline is played by Nicole Kidman; Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Pauline, and Jack Black is Malcolm, the blushing, bungling groom-to-be. Now Playing

LAURA LINNEY

THE SAVAGES: Laura Linney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Philip Bosco, Peter Friedman, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Cara Seymour, Debra Monk, Margo Martindale, Salem Ludwig (Written and directed by Tamara Jenkins; Fox Searchlight) Wendy and Jon Savage (Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman) are siblings who loathe one another with an intensity that does indeed border on the savage. Fortunately, they now live in different cities and are never ever tempted to turn back the clock and replay traumatic scenes from their dysfunctional-family past. Wendy, a wannabe playwright who dabbles in meds and steady-dates a guy she hopes to marry (the chief obstacle being his claim that he is madly in love with his current wife), resides in New York’s East Village. Brother Jon, on the other hand, has shuffled off to Buffalo, where his twin obsessions are the writing of perversely esoteric books and dodging conversations about commitment and marriage with his natural-born-homemaker girlfriend. What could possibly derail Wendy and Jon from their individual pursuits of non-familial happiness? Phone calls informing them that their dear old dad (Philip Bosco) is more demented than usual and in urgent need of hands-on caretaking. Sounds like a family reunion to remember. Now Playing

 

LINDSAY LOHAN

LABOR PAINS: Lindsay Lohan, Chris Parnell, Cheryl Hines, Luke Kirby, Connie Britton (Directed by Lara Shapiro; Written by Lara Shapiro and Stacey Kramer; Nu Image) Nobody ever suggested that toilers in the fiercely competitive field of publishing climb to the top by being sweet and supportive to their colleagues. And the cut-throat race to survive gets deadlier with each new cost-cutting, outsourcing day. That may or may not explain why the bright but shakily employed assistant played by Lindsay Lohan finds it necessary to feign pregnancy to prevent her heartless boss from giving her the sack. If the cad continues to harass her, she might have to slap him with a paternity suit. Opening date to be announced

JENNIFER LOPEZ

THE GOVERNESS: Jennifer Lopez (Directed by Nigel Cole; Written by Kevin Wade and Wendy Braff; Yari Film Group) Would Jennifer Lopez make a nifty nanny? We’ll find out when we see this comedy in which she watches over the three bratty kids of a wealthy, presumably marriageable widower. Not that J. Lo has plans for becoming a mom with a ready-made family--the only reason she signed on for this gig is that being employed by big-bucks daddy puts her on the path to the perfect bank heist. Did we forget to mention that this versatile lady is a wildly successful thief? It should be noted that co-screenwriter Kevin Wade, also supplied the script for “Maid in Manhattan,” Lopez’s popular, if pathetic, romantic comedy. Ralph Fiennes, her leading man on that occasion, is not planning an encore. Opening date to be announced

AMERICAN DARLINGS: Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez (New Regency Films) Nicole and J. Lo were obviously born to play a couple of music-mad chicks determined to make it in the all-male, pre-World War II club scene. Lucky for the girls, Pearl Harbor happens along and things begin to open up for women musicians. But even then, Nicole and J. Lo are forced to depend on the kindness of numerous male strangers who've played in bands. Even though Kidman is so keen on this project that she agreed to serve as its producer (along with "Chicago" producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron), she definitely faces a challenge in selling it to Joe Public. I figure the only way she and J. Lo can make it fly is to sign up Ben Affleck, B. Diddy, Marc Anthony, Tom Cruise, Ewan McGregor and Keith Urban to play some of the boys in the band. Opening date to be announced

BRIDGE AND TUNNEL: Jennifer Lopez (Directed by Greg Berlanti; Written by Greg Berlanti and Michael Green; New Line) You’ve got to hand it to J. Lo--she’ll try anything. In this movie--optimistically categorized as a romantic comedy--she plays an enterprising Manhattan stock trader who hires a suburban teenager to make her look smart by researching promising trades for her on his own little home PC. Well, why shouldn’t she? Opening date to be announced

SOPHIA LOREN

NINE: Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Stacy Ferguson, Kate Hudson, Sophia Loren (Directed by Rob Marshall; Written by Anthony Minghella and Michael Tolkin; Weinstein Company) Who could forget “8 1⁄2,” the stunning 1963 film in which Marcello Mastroianni, under the direction of Federico Fellini, played a Felliniesque director who made more women than movies? Certainly, composer Maury Yeston and dramatist Arthur Kopit could not erase this classic from their memories. That’s why, in 1982, they came up with a Broadway musicalization of it starring the late, great Raul Julia as the womanizing auteur on the verge of a nervous breakdown. The show, called “Nine,” was successfully revived in 2003, showcasing the song-and-dance skills of Antonio Banderas. And now, here comes the movie version of the hit musical, directed by Rob Marshall, who gave us “Chicago,” and starring Daniel Day Lewis, one of the few actors now working who could be ranked alongside Marcello Mastroianni. Penelope Cruz plays his mistress, Marion Cotillard, who triumphed as Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose,” is his shortchanged wife, Nicole Kidman is an actress who greatly inspires him, Kate Hudson is a fashion reporter who intrigues him, and Sophia Loren will presumably haunt him and us as the ghost of his Mama. Opens 11/25/09

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