opening this week
BIUTIFUL Director Alejandro González Iñárritu is working here without his former writing collaborator Guillermo Arriaga (with whom he made 21 Grams and Babel). The result is more linear than those films, and it’s relentlessly grim. At almost two and a half hours, this foreignlanguage Oscar nominee is the Gone With the Wind of depressing movies. But it’s powerful, and it sometimes shocks you with its beauty and tragedy, while at other times it pummels you with its lugubrious excess. There are many reasons to see the film, highlighted by Javier Bardem’s extraordinary performance, which has earned him a best actor award at Cannes and an Oscar nomination. Rated R. 148 minutes. In Spanish with subtitles. Regal DeVargas, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards) See review, Page 44. BLUE VALENTINE In this exquisitely painful film, co-writer and director Derek Cianfrance presents — in excruciatingly realistic, almost documentary-like detail — the story of a young couple, Dean (Ryan Gosling) and Cindy (Oscar nominee Michelle Williams), as their love train derails and comes screeching to a heartbreaking halt. Gosling and Williams act intensely and truthfully, hitting every note just right. This is a fractured fairy tale that’s difficult to watch, but it’s so sweet, beautiful, and sad, you won’t want to look away. Rated R. 112 minutes. Regal DeVargas, Santa Fe. (Laurel Gladden) See review, Page 48.
DOGTOOTH Director Giorgos Lanthimos uses a flat, fixed-camera visual style to tell the unusual story of two parents who have never allowed their grown children to leave their property. Instead, they enforce their own rules and reality, which the kids have never known enough to question. The bizarre proceedings can be a bit one-note, but it’s difficult to tell what that note is. This is a curious and compelling film (up for an Oscar in the foreignlanguage category) that could play equally well as black comedy or emotional horror. Not rated, but not intended for children. 94 minutes. In Greek with subtitles. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Robert B. Ker) See review, Page 44.
THE MECHANIC Jason Statham plays an expert hit man who teaches a newcomer named Steve (Ben Foster) how to efficiently kill people and nonchalantly walk away from explosions. The two men have a mutual goal: to take out Steve’s father, who is played by Donald Sutherland. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe;
Dream Catcher, Española. Rated R. 100 minutes. (Not reviewed) NATIONAL THEATRE OF LONDON IN HD — KING LEAR
This broadcast comes from London’s Donmar Warehouse and stars Derek Jacobi as the title character in Shakespeare’s tragedy. 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3, only. Lensic Performing Arts
Center, Santa Fe. (Not reviewed)
NÉNETTE Documentary filmmaker Nicolas Philibert ( To Be and to Have) trades human subjects for an orangutan living out her twilight years in captivity at the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes in Paris. In this quiet, awkwardly static study of one ape’s confined life, human lessons abound. Unfortunately, the seriousness of the orangutan’s endangered state isn’t communicated. Despite a lack of consciousness regarding wildlife conservation, Philibert crafts a compelling example of mankind’s tendency to transfer its own insecurities onto the animals it holds behind walls of concrete, glass, and steel. Not rated. 70 minutes. In French with subtitles. CCA Cinematheque, Santa Fe. (Rob DeWalt) See review, Page 48.
PERFORMANCE AT THE SCREEN The series of high-definition screenings of performances from afar continues with an encore of the Bolshoi Ballet production of The Flames of Paris at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, and a double bill of Cavalleria
rusticana and Pagliacci from La Scala at 12:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 30. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Not reviewed)
THE RITE Anthony Hopkins and the horror genre go together like fava beans and a nice chianti. He stars here as Father Lucas, a veteran exorcist who is questioning his faith, in the latest “based on true events” exorcism movie. A younger priest (Colin O’Donoghue) visits Lucas while studying at exorcism school in Rome and gets plenty of hands-on training as a result. Rated PG-13. 107 minutes. Regal Stadium 14, Santa Fe; Dream Catcher, Española; Storyteller, Taos. (Not reviewed)
Eat right and get plenty of exorcise: Anthony Hopkins in The Rite, at Regal Stadium 14 in Santa Fe and DreamCatcher in Española