opening this week
THE BIG LEBOWSKI The Coen brothers’ 1998 comedy about a bowling-loving burnout ( Jeff Bridges) and his case of mistaken identity has grown into the biggest cult movie of the last 15 years. It’s so beloved that it has even spawned Lebowski Fests, where fans dress as the characters, go bowling, quote the film, and drink White Russians. But as with any cult movie, there are people who find Lebowski insufferable — and I’m one of them. Where others see the existential absurdity of Waiting for Godot or The Maltese Falcon, I see excruciating tedium. Where others find laughs, I find grating self-indulgence. Still, I’ll admit that the soundtrack is aces, the dream sequences are delightful, and Bridges’ central performance as The Dude is certainly iconic, if only occasionally entertaining. 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, only. Rated R. 117 minutes. The Lensic Performing Arts Center, Santa Fe. (Robert B. Ker) NORA’S WILL First-time writer-director Mariana Chenillo gathered seven Ariel Awards (the Mexican equivalent of the Oscars) for this funny, touching, lovingly rendered battle of wills between a Jewish suicide victim and the man who had loved her for half a century — 30 years as her husband and the next 20 as her ex. It’s a struggle between faith and atheism, with the chips scattering where they may, and it’s a profoundly human comedy. Not rated. 92 minutes. In Spanish with subtitles. Regal DeVargas, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards) See review, Page 48.
NO STRINGS ATTACHED Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman play two friends who decide to sleep together and believe they can have this kind of relationship without one of them developing deeper feelings for the other. It may sound ludicrous, but then, so is one of the co-stars — rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges. Ivan Reitman ( Ghost Busters) directs. Rated R. 110 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; Dream Catcher, Española. (Not reviewed)
PERFORMANCE AT THE SCREEN A series of high-definition screenings of performances from afar begins with Aida, from La Scala in Milan, at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, and 12:30 pm. Wednesday, Jan. 26. A Bolshoi Ballet production of The Flames of Paris plays at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22. And at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, is a showing of Love’s Labour’s Lost from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in
London. The Screen, Santa Fe.
THE WAY BACK Peter Weir ( Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) directs this adventure, based on a true story, about a group of men who escape a Siberian gulag in 1940. They pick up a stray teenage girl along the way and walk some 4,000 miles to India, including a stretch across the Himalayas. Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, and Saoirse Ronan star. After leaving this movie, January in New Mexico will feel downright balmy. Rated PG-13. 132 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe. (Not reviewed)
WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS: A MAN
WITHIN The groundbreaking novels of William S. Burroughs, which mixed science fiction and biting political satire with gay erotica and hard drug use, are unlike anything else written in the 20th century. His books earned him a legion of indie-hipster art-world admirers, and this film is built on interviews with them — Thurston Moore, Laurie Anderson, John Waters, Iggy Pop, and lots of Patti Smith. Unfortunately, director Yoni Leyser has stitched together a ragged documentary that has very little to say about Burroughs’ literature, leaving the erroneous impression that his style and his admirers were more important than anything he wrote. Burroughs’ friend Kathelin Gray appears in person at the 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 21, screening. Not rated. 87 minutes. CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe. (Casey Sanchez) See review, Page 48.
Swans, how I like you, how I like you: Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman in No Strings Attached,
at Regal Stadium 14 in Santa Fe and DreamCatcher in Española