Moviecrazed
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OCTOBER 2008

RACHEL GETTING MARRIED: Anne Hathaway, Debra Winger, Bill Irwin, Rosemarie DeWitt, Tunde Adebimpe, Anna Deavere Smith, Dorian Missick, Tamyra Gray, Daphne Rubin-Vega (Directed by Jonathan Demme; Written by Jenny Lumet; Sony Pictures Classics) In 1983, director James Brooks skillfully explored the complicated relationship between an impetuous, disorderly rebel and her sweet, impeccably behaved daughter. Both Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger received Academy Award nominations for Best Actress of 1983, and mama MacLaine took home the Oscar. Now, 25 years later, esteemed director Jonathan Demme is focusing on another intriguing mother-daughter combo in “Rachel Getting Married.” This time, it’s Debra Winger who plays mom, a divorcee on the verge of reconnecting with her estranged daughter, a neurotic ex-model recently released from rehab and on her way home for her sister’s wedding. Perhaps Winger, whose career could stand a little rehabilitation, will nab her Oscar--though it’s possible the big winner could be Anne Hathaway, who no doubt welcomed the chance to soil her squeaky clean image in the role of Winger’s wayward sprout. Now Playing

BODY OF LIES: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Mark Strong, Golshifteh Farahani, Carise van Houten, Oscar Isaac, Simon McBurney (Directed by Ridley Scott; Written by William Monahan; Warner Bros.) Based on David Ignatius’ novel, this thriller is categorized as fiction, but it sounds scarily true. A brilliant, risk-taking journalist (Leonardo DiCaprio) covers the war in Iraq all too thoroughly and, as a result, is seriously wounded. Back in the states, his period of recuperation is interrupted by a forceful CIA operative (Russell Crowe) who persuades him to hit the road in the hope of nailing a major terorist leader. The screenplay is by William Monahan, who provided DiCaprio with a whopper of a role in “The Departed.” To read about more new movies based on books, click here. Now Playing

W.: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Ioan Gruffudd, Thandie Newton, Richard Dreyfuss, Scott Glenn, Jeffrey Wright, Ellen Burstyn, James Cromwell, Rob Corddry, Toby Jones, Michael Gaston (Directed by Oliver Stone; Written by Stanley Weiser; Lionsgate) In case you’re having trouble sorting through the merits and flaws of the Junior Bush administration, Oliver Stone will lend you a hand with “W.,” which is scheduled to open just before the 2008 presidential election. This inevitably absurdist extravaganza stars Josh Brolin, shown above, as George II--from hell-raising, booze-guzzling rogue to chatting-with-Jesus commander in chief. Richard Dreyfuss plays gun-toting, bunker-hugging VP Dick Cheney and Thandie Newton has been cast as the scholarly, vigorously inattentive Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; Scott Glenn is the you-fight-with-the-army-you’ve-got Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld; Elizabeth Banks is stand-by-your-cowboy Laura; and the senior Bushes are played by James Cromwell and Ellen Burstyn. Since Stone is the rascal who zeroed in on “JFK” and “Nixon,” we can probably count on him to capture these history-making characters, warts and all. Now Playing

CHANGELING: Angelina Jolie, John Malkovich, Jeffrey Donovan, Michael Kelly, Colm Feore, Amy Ryan, Geoff Pierson, Denis O'Hare, Frank Wood, Peter Gerety, Reed Birney, Gattlin Griffiith, Devon Conti, Eddie Alderson (Directed by Clint Eastwood; Written by J. Michael Straczynski; Universal) In real life, Angelina Jolie is Supermom--strong, fearless, protective, possessive, an unsinkable force of nature. But in this gritty drama, set in 1920s Los Angeles, Angelina is more victim than victor. At least, that’s what she is when we first meet her, around the time the single parent's 10-year-old son goes missing. But, thanks to the loosely law-abiding LAPD, she is soon reunited with her son. Or is she? Angelina’s initial joy quickly turns to doubt and then rage. No way is this kid the lad to whom she gave birth. Don’t be surprised if Angelina triumphs in the end and--given the fact that her director is the man who worked wonders for Hilary Swank in “Million Dollar Baby”--eventually cradles an Oscar for her performnce in this complex, blood-drenched tale based on Riverside County, California's grisly "Wineville Chicken Murders." Click here for Todd McCarthy's Variety review. Now Playing

PRIDE AND GLORY: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Noah Emmerich, Jennifer Ehle, Lake Bell (Directed by Gavin O’Connor; Written by Joe Carnahan and Gavin O’Connor; New Line Cinema) Sometimes a New York cop gives in to temptation and does something truly sinful. And that’s precisely what happens in this three-generational tale of a badge-wearing Irish-American family. Jon Voight is the proud--well, mostly proud--dad of Edward Norton and Noah Emmerich. And though Colin Farrell is also an Irish-American officer of the law, he is not a blood brother to Norton and Emmerich. Gavin O’Connor is the director who turned out “Tumbleweeds,” the terrific 1999 sleeper starring Janet McTeer as the fun-loving, over-the-top mom of a stressed-out teenager. Now Playing