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ex­po­si­tion, Clouzot and his cin­e­matog­ra­pher Claude Renoir took an un­com­pli­cated ap­proach, film­ing Pi­casso, who was in his seven­ties at the time, at work as he painted one com­po­si­tion af­ter an­other with­out com­men­tary or ex­pla­na­tion. Renoir shot the back of each can­vas as the works de­vel­oped, and they seem to paint them­selves, start­ing as lin­ear draw­ings and evolv­ing into full-fledged artis­tic vi­sions. Af­firm­ing, mes­mer­iz­ing, and aided by Ge­orge Auric’s mu­si­cal score, The Mys­tery

of Pi­casso is free from pre­ten­sion. Clouzot al­lowed his sub­ject to sim­ply be him­self, fully en­gaged in his pas­sion. Rated PG. 75 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Michael Abatemarco) THE NUN The pop­u­lar Con­jur­ing fran­chise hasn’t pro­duced a clas­sic hor­ror film, but sev­eral of its en­tries have of­fered some re­li­able scares and solid film­mak­ing. The Nun, a pre­quel based around the creepy nun who has pe­ri­od­i­cally ap­peared in other in­stall­ments, is not one of those films. It takes us back to a con­vent in 1950s Ro­ma­nia, where Fa­ther Burke (Demián Bichir) and Sis­ter Irene (Taissa Farmiga, sis­ter of se­ries star Vera Farmiga) travel to in­ves­ti­gate the ap­par­ent sui­cide of a young nun. They don’t find many peo­ple there, but soon dis­cover that some­thing evil is afoot and the de­mon Valak is re­spon­si­ble. Di­rec­tor Corin Hardy tries to pack the movie with scares for the full run­ning time, whereas most good hor­ror movies let view­ers spend much of the time in the nor­mal world while slowly in­tro­duc­ing the aw­ful into the ev­ery­day. A whole film of two peo­ple wan­der­ing a dark, empty monastery with a jump scare thrown in ev­ery cou­ple of min­utes gets bor­ing very quickly. Rated R. 96 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker) OP­ER­A­TION FI­NALE One of the mon­sters of his­tory, Adolf Eich­mann, the Nazi “Ar­chi­tect of the Fi­nal So­lu­tion,” was cap­tured in Ar­gentina in 1960 by an Is­raeli Mos­sad ini­tially re­luc­tant to pur­sue the case, and brought to Is­rael to stand trial. Di­rec­tor Chris Weitz tells the har­row­ing tale with a cast of fine ac­tors, led by Ben Kings­ley as Eich­mann and Os­car Isaac as Mos­sad agent Peter Malkin. The film gets flabby in places, but the two leads play out a riv­et­ing pas de deux psy­chodrama as Malkin works to get Eich­mann to sign the pa­per nec­es­sary to get him on the plane. There are some strings left dan­gling, and the movie doesn’t quite know when or how to end, but the drama it­self is pow­er­ful, the per­son­al­i­ties are complex, and the story still packs a punch to the gut. Rated PG-13. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jonathan Richards) PEP­PER­MINT In 2008, Taken rein­vig­o­rated the ac­tion genre by ap­ply­ing a well-known, mid­dle-aged ac­tor (Liam Nee­son) to a hard­core ac­tion movie. This for­mula has since been repli­cated many times, but rarely by the Taken di­rec­tor, Pierre Morel, him­self. Here, Morel tells a re­venge story about a woman (Jennifer Gar­ner) whose fam­ily is mur­dered by gang mem­bers. When a cor­rupt le­gal sys­tem re­fuses to give her jus­tice, she takes it into her own hands, dis­ap­pear­ing for years and re-emerg­ing as a highly trained killing force. Rated R. 102 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed) SEARCH­ING When teenage Mar­got Kim (Michelle La) dis­ap­pears, her fa­ther (John Cho) en­lists the help of a de­tec­tive (De­bra Mess­ing) and goes through Mar­got’s lap­top to fig­ure out what hap­pened to her. As he slowly con­tacts ev­ery­one in her so­cial me­dia con­tact lists, he dis­cov­ers that his daugh­ter is not who he thought she was. Co-writer and di­rec­tor Aneesh Cha­ganty shot the film en­tirely from the per­spec­tive of com­puter, tablet, and smart­phone screens. Rated PG-13. 102 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed) WE THE AN­I­MALS Child­hood is rarely de­picted on­screen with the nu­ance of this fea­ture-length de­but by Jeremiah Za­gar, which joins such films as Moon­light, Rat­catcher, and The Tree of Life in its por­trayal of three young boys liv­ing in mea­ger cir­cum­stances in up­state New York. We see events pri­mar­ily through the eyes of the youngest boy, Jonah (Evan Rosado), as he tries to puz­zle out the adult world as well as come to terms with his ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity. Za­gar uses a pas­toral vi­sion, a poet’s eye, and a strong sense of de­tail to show the ef­fects of poverty on men­tal health, as the two par­ents abuse each other and en­gage in in­ex­pli­ca­ble be­hav­ior such as stay­ing in bed for weeks or dig­ging ran­dom trenches in the yard. From Jonah’s per­spec­tive, this be­hav­ior is per­plex­ing yet nor­mal, and his mo­ments of joy shine through as vi­brantly as his pain. At one mo­ment, his fa­ther (a stel­lar Raúl Castillo), frus­trated by the cy­cle of gen­er­a­tional poverty, screams, “We’re never go­ing to es­cape this!” He may be right, but with Jonah, a soul­ful boy who is at­ten­tive to the emo­tional needs of his mother (Sheila Vand) and holds a se­cret in­ner world full of won­der, we sus­pect he will some­day be able to. Rated R. 94 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker) YA VER­E­MOS This com­edy stars Santi (Emil­iano Ara­mayo) as a young boy whose par­ents (Mauri­cio Och­mann and Fer­nanda Castillo) have split. When he is di­ag­nosed with an ill­ness that threat­ens to take his eye­sight, he wishes for his par­ents to get back to­gether. De­spite their dis­taste for one an­other, his par­ents do their best to oblige him. This movie en­joyed the sec­ond-big­gest open­ing of all time for a Mex­i­can film when it de­buted in Mex­ico ear­lier this year. Rated PG-13. 85 min­utes. In Span­ish with sub­ti­tles. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

Folie à deux: Anna Ken­drick and Blake Lively in A Sim­ple Fa­vor, at Re­gal Sta­dium 14 and Vi­o­let Crown

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