That's a Wrap

If you’re one of the hundreds (thousands
If you’re one of the hundreds (thousands? more?) who cheered rabidly screenward in 2005 when Million Dollar Baby nabbed Best Picture (among roughly 46 or 47 other Oscars), and then again last year when Crash took Picture, Editing, and Original Screenplay, I don’t have to let you know that Flags of Our Fathers opens this weekend; you’ve already Fandangoed your tickets and are engaging in a spirited, celebratory Congress of the Crow with that pillowcase-plus-stapled-headshot Paul Haggis effigy you keep under your bed. (It’s cool. I know.) Also, if you’re one of those many, c’mere so I can smack you. Hard. Look, it’s not like they’re terrible movies, but if Flags is, like the other two were, a plodding, overwrought, shruggingly good-but-not-great affair that gets far too much praise … or worse, if it steals an award as egregiously as did Crash from The Squid and the Whale, I’m going to puke in your sex-pillowcase.

Speaking of Oscars, Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola’s long-awaited third feature, opens this weekend, reuniting the directrix with The Virgin Suicides it-girl Kirsten Dunst. (Check out an interview with Coppola and Dunst, page 21.)

Look, not to out anyone here, but Alison Lohman is 27 years old. OK? So let’s just knock it off with this teenager crap. White Oleander, Matchstick Men, Big Fish, and now, the girl-and-her-horse flick Flicka … she’s an extremely talented actress — let’s let her play someone who’s been to third base, huh?

Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman limn dueling magicians in the great-looking The Prestige, which I hope will be the first Chris Nolan picture I can honestly say I loved.

The U.S. vs. John Lennon attempts a glimpse into the life of the famously bespectacled Beatle during his shift to activism (review, page 23).

Maggie Smith, Rowan Atkinson, and Kristin Scott Thomas converge on Keeping Mum, a British comedy about a bumbling priest and a possibly homicidal nanny. Um, also with Patrick Swayze. (Yes, that one.)

A little pressed for space this time; back to long-winded meanderings next week. Promise.

Local premiere dates for limited-release films are tentative and can change at the last minute. Please check your local theater listings to confirm showtimes.

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