Week of January 27 - February 2: “La La Land” and 4 Other Films Sound Their Siren Song at Tropic

Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades

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You can almost hear them calling, the five films at the Tropic Cinema this week.

 La La Land is the record-challenging musical staring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Who needs Busby Berkley when we have Damien Chazelle? San Jose Mercury News forewarns, “If you haven’t already fallen for this gauzy romp through the city of Angels at this point, you surely will during the last scene, with its bittersweet homage to the way times goes by.” An Film Ireland Magazine calls it “an unapologetically bona fide love affair with love and dreams.”

 Hidden Figures uncovers the story of African American women (portrayed by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe) who helped launch John Glenn into space. The Atlantic says the film “doesn’t try to push many artistic boundaries, but it tells its story so well that it doesn’t really have to.” And Combustible Celluloid tells us, “The story is a good one, and the movie never feels too heavy or preachy.”

 Lion is a true story of a young Indian boy who gets lost, adopted by a nice Australian family, then as a young man finds his way home using Google Earth. Dev Patel and Sunny Pawar play the Lion as man and boy. Washington Post describes it as “a complex movie, with its profound themes of home and identity.” And Seattle Times adds, “Lion has one of those plot lines that feels like a Hollywood screenplay — except it actually happened.”

 Elle is Paul Verhoeven’s mystery drama about a rape victim (Isabelle Huppert) who describes to handle the stalker in her own way. St. Louis Post-Dispatch orders, “Get over your subtitle phobia and check out one of the best films of the year.” And tonymacklin.net sums it up: “It’s a doozy. Women rule.”

 New to the screen is The Eagle Huntress, a documentary about a 13-year- old Kazakh girl who aspires to be the first female to become an eagle huntress. It’s narrated by Daisy Ridley of Star Wars fame. Irish Times observes that the “camera seems to fly over the steppe as dozens of eagle hunters gather for the national championship where this well-loved daughter and classic sports underdog must prove herself in a stirring contest.” And We Got This Covered sums it up, “Feminist by nature rather than design and consistently visually dazzling, The Eagle Huntress is top flight documentary cinema.”

Another week of films at the Tropic that are calling to you.

srhoades@aol.com

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