What’s Screening: March 17 – 23

The newsletter is kind of short this week. I’ve been under the weather.

Festivals & Series

Festival Recommendations: Berlin & Beyond

A- The Forger (2022), Roxie, Thursday, 9:00pmCioma Schönhaus was an extraordinary forger. It’s a useful job for a young Jewish man in Berlin during the Nazi years. He forges everything from food rations to passes. He does it for himself, but he’s also connected to an illegal organization that we don’t really understand. Based on a true story, if that means anything.

New films opening theatrically

B The Lost King, Rafael, opens Friday

In the 15th century, William Shakespeare ruined the reputation of King Richard III by turning him into a villain. In the 21st century, Philippa Langley changed all that. She found Richard’s body and changed England’s view of Richard. Did screenwriter Steve Coogan and director Stephen Frears change Langley’s story as much as Shakespeare did? The always wonderful Sally Hawkins plays the woman who changed Richard’s reputation. But I must admit that I prefer the evil Richard of Shakespeare’s imagination.

B- Linoleum, Opera Plaza, Rafael, opens Friday

I usually enjoy whatever movie wins the Sloan Science on Screen Award, but for most of its runtime, Colin West’s Linoleum rolls out flat. Until the last few minutes, this strange movie is almost entirely impossible to understand. Jim Gaffigan plays a TV science teacher – sort of like an unsuccessful Bill Nye. Aside from his professional problems, he has marriage problems. His teenage daughter has her own problems. The film has its moments, some of them excellent, but all together, it’s a mess.

Another chance to see (theatrically)

A- Lady Bird (2017), 4-Star, Wednesday, 5:30pm & Thursday, 7:30pm

As you would expect from Greta Gerwig, this coming-of-age film is both touching and funny. Every character seems real and worthy of our sympathy, and yet their foibles make us laugh. Christine, who prefers the nickname Lady Bird, is a senior in a Sacramento Catholic high school. She hates Sacramento and hates her money-obsessed mother. Class issues play a major part here, since Lady Bird’s family is on “the wrong side of the tracks.” Many of her friends and potential boyfriends live in mansions. The story is set in 2002, as America is about to invade Iraq. Read my full review.

Theatrical revivals

B+ Clueless (1995), New Parkway, Friday, 10:30pm

Loosely adapted from Jane Austen’s Emma, this coming-of-age comedy follows a rich, well-meaning, but superficial teenage girl (Alicia Silverstone) as she tries to fix other people’s problems as well as her own. Sweet and funny, it looks at adolescent foibles with a sympathetic eye, rarely judging youthful behavior. With a surprisingly young Paul Rudd as the great guy she can’t appreciate.

Continuing engagements

Frequently-revived classics

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