Film clips / Dec. 7-13



Director Julian Schnabel's journey inside the world and mind of a person who, despite skepticism, ridicule and illness, created some of the world's most beloved and stunning works of art. This is not a forensic biography, but rather scenes based on Vincent van Gogh's (Willem Dafoe) letters, common agreement about events in his life that present as facts, hearsay, and moments that are just plain invented. With Niels Arestrup, Patrick Chesnais, Mads Mikkelsen, Oscar Isaac, Rupert Friend. 1 hour, 51 minutes. TC / TM


A slavishly conventional rock biopic about Queen's Freddie Mercury that at every turn opts for the stereotypical despite a subject who devoted himself to the unconventional. Yet while "Bohemian Rhapsody" is so hollowly, even comically formulaic, it's filled, often fantastically, by Rami Malek's sinuous, fully inhabited performance as the Queen frontman. It's as if he didn't get the note about the half-hearted filmmaking going on around him. Malek, the "Mr. Robot" actor, throws himself into every strutting second of screen time as Mercury. He lacks both Mercury's voice (it was overdubbed for singing and performance scenes) and Mercury's teeth (Malek was outfitted with fake ones). But Malek's performance, especially on stage, is so full-bodied that he transcends both his own differences with Mercury and the tepid surrounding melodrama. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 11/2). 2 hours, 14 minutes. BC / BM / CT / NAM


"Boy Erased" is based on the true story of a young man, Garrard Conley, whose Baptist family put him in a conversion therapy center to "cure" his homosexuality when he was just 19-years-old. Conley wrote about his experiences in a memoir, which writer-director-actor Joel Edgerton has adapted for the screen in a manner that is admirably and almost radically empathetic to all its characters — even the villains. In the film, the protagonist is called Jared Eamons. He is played with deep soulfulness by the talented actor Lucas Hedges who has yet to meet a role he can't conquer. His parents are Marshall Eamons (Russell Crowe), a respected local pastor and car salesman in Arkansas, and Nancy Eamons (Nicole Kidman), a dutiful wife and caring mother with a penchant for tastefully bedazzled clothing. Even though it might be difficult to watch at times, it's done with such evident love and sensitivity that it's hard to imagine a human being not connecting in some way, and perhaps even learning something along the way. With Joel Edgerton, Cherry Jones. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 11/24). 1 hour, 54 minutes. TC


Melissa McCarthy stars in the adaptation of the memoir by best-selling celebrity biographer (and friend to cats) Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) who made her living in the 1970s and '80s profiling the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee is no longer able to get published because she has fallen out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E. Grant). "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" has justly won praise as one of McCarthy's best and most dramatic performances. She plays a gloriously embittered, hard-drinking curmudgeon incapable of holding her tongue — a distinctly New York creature if ever there was one. As the even-more-down-on-his-luck Hock, Grant is a paragon of debauched decadence, tragic and magnificent at once. His regal bearing crackles with a sly wickedness. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 11/10). 1 hour, 47 minutes. TC


"Creed II " pulls off a rather amazing feat by adding to the luster of its predecessor and propelling the narrative into a bright future while also reaching back to honor its past, resurrecting unfinished business from "Rocky IV" and adding a dash of "Rocky III." The sequel pits Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) against man-mountain Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago, who killed Adonis Creed's father, Apollo Creed, in the ring in "Rocky IV." That stirs up trauma for Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) who feels responsible for the elder Creed's demise. This spin-off franchise is clearly in very good hands — ones that are heavily wrapped, protected by a glove and aiming for your gut. With Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, Max Kellerman, Dolf Lungren. (Kennedy, The Associated Press — 11/21). 2 hours, 8 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TC


When the Whos decide to make Christmas bigger and brighter, the disgruntled Grinch realizes there is one way to gain peace and quiet. With help from Max, the green grump hatches a scheme to pose as Santa Claus, steal Christmas and silence the Whos' holiday cheer once and for all. Liberties are taken. Some are just padding, some quite mistaken. It's suggested that our old friend the Grinch is an orphan, as though that excuses inflicting misfortune. There's a new sidekick, a plump reindeer named Fred, and the remaking of Cindy's mom as unwed. Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the part, with an American accent — to give him less heart? Credit goes to the film's visual effects folk, who made fur alive and gave texture to smoke. But retreading this story with a Cumberbatch, should send Hollywood bigwigs into the booby hatch. With the voices of Pharell Williams, Angela Lansbury. (Kennedy, The Associated Press — 11/9). 1 hour, 45 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TM


The second of five all new adventures in J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World. At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. This film is a mixed bag of wonders. Often dazzling, occasionally wondrous and always atmospheric, it is also a bit of a mess. Even magic bags can be overweight. With Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz, Callum Turner, Claudia Kim, William Nadylam, Carmen Ejogo, Jude Law. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 11/17). 2 hours, 14 minutes. BC / BM / NAM


The first cinematic treatment of photographer Garry Winogrand's work, including selections from the thousands of rolls of film still undeveloped upon his unexpected death in 1984. 1 hour, 30 minutes. LC


Based on a true story, "Green Book" recounts a 1962 road trip when a Bronx bred Italian-American Frank Anthony Vallelonga, also known as Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), was hired to drive a renowned black pianist, Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), to all of his concert engagements across the Deep South. The two men are obviously mismatched — what would anyone have to learn if they weren't? The constructs will feel familiar and well-worn and surprises are few on this journey toward acceptance and friendship, but the pleasure of this film is in the larger than life characters created by the two leads and their perfectly askew chemistry. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 11/26). 2 hours, 10 minutes). TM


When Pete and Ellie decide to start a family, they stumble into the world of foster care adoption. They hope to take in one small child, but when they meet three siblings, including a rebellious 15-year-old girl, they find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight. Now, Pete and Ellie must try to learn the ropes of instant parenthood in the hope of becoming a family. With Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne. 2 hours. BM / NAM


Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World Wide Web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope's video game, "Sugar Rush." In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet -- the netizens -- to help navigate their way.It would be better if this sequel wrestled more with the online world than used it as another bits and bytes background. Really, it doesn't quite live up to the title. Ralph could have done more damage. With the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman. 1 hour, 54 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TC

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Robin of Loxley (Taron Egerton) a war-hardened Crusader and his Moorish commander (Jamie Foxx) mount an audacious revolt against the corrupt English crown. 1 hour, 56 minutes. BM


Twenty-fifth anniversary release of Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-winning true-life drama about German industrialist Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) who plots with his accountant (Ben Kingsley) to save Jewish prisoners from the Nazis. 3 hours, 15 minutes. BM


In this Palme d'Or winning film from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, shoplifting is a way of life for the Shibata clan, a poor, multi-generational family, living on the seeming brink of homelessness in a tiny apartment somewhere in Tokyo where they sleep two and three to a mat and they're about to add yet another mouth to feed to their cramped settings. 2 hours, 1 minute. IC


Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford), from his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck), who becomes captivated with Forrest's commitment to his craft, and a woman (played by a sweetly moving Sissy Spacek), who loves him in spite of his chosen profession. Were it not for Redford the film would be — well, why even ask, because Redford is the point. He chose the role, optioned the New Yorker article upon which the film is based, chose the director. It's a perfect role for his swan song. (Noveck, The Associated Press — 10/13). 1 hour, 33 minutes. IC


A shocking exorcism spirals out of control, claiming the life of a young woman. Months later, morgue worker Megan Reed takes delivery of a disfigured cadaver during the graveyard shift. Locked inside the basement corridors, Megan's horrifying visions soon lead her to believe that the body is possessed by a demonic force. 1 hour, 26 minutes. BM


A police shootout leaves four thieves dead during an explosive armed robbery attempt in Chicago. Their widows -- Veronica, Linda, Alice and Belle -- have nothing in common except a debt left behind by their spouses' criminal activities. Hoping to forge a future on their own terms, Veronica joins forces with the other three women to pull off a heist that her husband was planning. Director Steve McQuen builds tension masterfully throughout. The ensemble is a blast but it is Viola Davis and her unforgettable searing intensity who owns "Widows" from start to finish. With Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo, Elizabeth Debicki, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Brian Tyree Henry, Kaluuya. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 11/17). 2 hours, 9 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TC


The theaters at which the movies listed in Film Clips are playing are:

BC: Beacon Cinema (57 North St., Pittsfield)

BM: Berkshire Mall 10 (Route 8, Lanesborough)

CT: Crandell Theatre (48 Main St., Chatham, N.Y.)

IC: Images Cinema (50 Spring St.,Williamstown)

LC: Little Cinema (Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield)

NAM: North Adams Movieplex 8 (80 Main St., North Adams)

TC: Triplex Cinema (70 Railroad St., Great Barrington)

TM: The Moviehouse, 48 Main St., Millerton, N.Y.


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