(R; 90 minutes; Smokehouse): “Money Monster” is the kind of film that Hollywood pundits mourn in the era of endless superhero franchises. A juicy yet serious thriller for grown-ups. It’s immensely refreshing to see Jodie Foster bring her talents as a director to this kind of smart, adult entertainment, as well as George Clooney, who not only stars in, but produced the picture. Not to mention his co-star, Julia Roberts. The two of them together prove not only that they still have it, and show just how it’s done.
“Money Monster” is a “Network” for the financial crisis era, mashing up the sensationalist nature of cable news with anxieties about corporate greed and unregulated Wild West financial practices.
Its message is straightforward: People are good, and greed is immoral, even if it isn’t illegal. It uses the newsworthy setting as an opportunity to wring out human drama, and the results are deliciously satisfying, driven by the performances of Roberts and Clooney.
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Contains language throughout, some sexuality and brief violence. Tribune News Service
‘Love and Friendship’
(PG; 94 minutes; Westerly): Whit Stillman’s brisk, bustling and wonderfully comic reworking of a posthumously published Jane Austen novella comes with all the trappings of the Austen oeuvre: gossipy lords and ladies, grand country houses, splendid 18th-century garb, obsequious servants transporting earthshaking missives hither and yon, and strong-willed young women struggling, if ever so delicately, against the rigid social dictums of the day.
But one of the things that distinguishes “Love & Friendship” from the multitude of Austen adaptations is its heroine. Lady Susan Vernon, a widow of devilish charms, is as frank and fearless a character as Austen ever imagined. As played by a terrific Kate Beckinsale, Lady Susan is scheming, manipulative, and man-hungry.
There is so much plot, so many tricky relationships, that Stillman supplies title cards at the outset to introduce his cast of characters and their respective entanglements.
With stately music (harp and strings and piano forte) and stately gardens (historic Ireland subbing for historic Britain), “Love & Friendship” is a comedy of manners, and manors, and more. It’s a comedy of empowerment and sexual politics, dressed up in the best Austen finery.
(PG-13; 104 minutes; Riverstone): “Genius,” Michael Grandage’s stalwart if staid biopic about literary editor Maxwell Perkins and author Thomas Wolfe, is anchored by a quietly sympathetic performance by Colin Firth – the most reliable actor on the planet when it comes to personifying diffidence and moral rectitude.
Based on A. Scott Berg’s 1978 biography of Perkins, “Genius” begins in 1929, when the editor was working at Scribner’s, where he had already discovered F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.
The film shows the literary bromance between Perkins – puritanical, concise, self-effacing and conservative – and Thomas Wolfe, the garrulous, expansive, self-sabotaging wunderkind from North Carolina, portrayed with puppyish overeagerness by Jude Law. Temperamental opposites who have an almost telepathic mutual understanding, the two would collaborate on “Look Homeward, Angel” and Wolfe’s only bestseller, “Of Time and the River.”
“Genius” possesses an autumnal beauty – both in its visuals and a lovely, Coplandesque musical score by Adam Cork – that feels appropriate to the melancholic spirit of the story.
Contains some thematic elements and suggestive content. Washington Post
Also out Sept. 6
- “Now You See Me 2”
- “The Meddler”
- “American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson”
- “The Darkness”
- “A Bigger Splash”
- “Tale of Tales”
- “The Ones Below”
- “All the Way”
- “Hard Target 2”
- “Honey 3: Dare to Dance”
- “Night of the Living Deb”
- “CSI Cyber: Season 2”
- “Limitless: Season 1”
- “South Park: Season 19”
- “Supernatural: Season 11”
- “The Flash: Season 2”