Reel-View Ratings: The Bigger The Beard, The Better The Movie
A MAN CALLED OVE
Ove, a curmudgeonly old Swedish man, longs to join his dear wife in death, only to find new hope in life when a rowdy Iranian family moves in next door. Yes, it’s a meeting of archetypes on archetypes. And while it should be dull, it’s surprisingly … not. The movie’s structure takes repetition and uses it well to show off Ove’s improving mindset, from his repeated suicide attempts to his regular prowls of the neighborhood for rules violators. It knows the tropes, embraces the tropes … and transcends them, for a strangely fresh-feeling feel-good flick.
Plays at 11 a.m., 3, 5 and 9 p.m. Jan. 8; and 11:15 a.m., 3 and 6:45 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Movie Museum
A MONSTER CALLS
A young boy (Lewis MacDougall) struggles with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) failing battle against cancer, his father’s absenteeism and his grandmother’s (Sigourney Weaver) coldness — a world of woes, laid at his preteen feet. The supernatural twists into the story when a nearby tree monster (Liam Neeson) arrives to tell him nightly parables that relate to his problems. It’s really an absurdly complex premise for a very simple, sadder story (spoiler: the tree isn’t the titular monster), even if parts of it evoke the wonder of Pan’s Labyrinth. Something is just … not fully fleshed out. Tears will flow, but they will be wrung out.
Opens Jan. 6 in wide release
A down-on-her-luck girl, Star (Sasha Lane), is wooed to traipse around America with a crew of door-to-door magazine sellers, including the sleazy Jake (Shia LeBeouf) and Confederate bikini-clad boss Krystal (Riley Keough). Director Andrea Arnold is out to say something about America’s disaffected youth … kind of, sort of, somewhere in this 162-minute beast. It meanders. It may lose audiences who hope for a more rigorous kind of film, rather than a series of authentic moments. Arnold’s plot is lackadaisical because what she’s pursuing is a feeling: love, maybe, in a hopeless place.
Plays at 12:30, 3:15, 6 and 8:45 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Movie Museum