Jia Zhang-ke’s A Touch of Sin, which took best screenplay at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, opens Friday at Music Box; our long review is here. We also recommend Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, about an old man (Bruce Dern) and his grown son (Will Forte) driving cross-country to claim a sweepstakes prize, and Stephen Frears’s Philomena (opening Wednesday, November 27), about an elderly Irish woman (Judi Dench) and a British journalist (Steve Coogan) trying to track down the son she gave up for adoption a half-century earlier.
Reviewed this week: American Promise, a documentary tracing the educational progress of two black boys through an elite private school in Manhattan; Baby, the Rain Must Fall, with Steve McQueen as an obstreperous Texas rocker and Lee Remick as his loyal girlfriend; Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn as a Brooklyn truck driver who learns that his donations to a sperm bank have produced 533 children; The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the second installment of the young-adult franchise; Newlyweeds, an indie feature about two young lovers who can’t stop getting high; and Oh Boy, a German comedy in the Woody Allen vein.
Best bets for repertory: Terence Davies’s The House of Mirth (2000), Monday at University of Chicago Doc Films; John Cassavetes’s Opening Night (1977), Wednesday at Doc; David Fincher’s The Social Network (2010), Friday and Sunday at Doc; Claire Denis’ 35 Shots of Rum (2008), Sunday and Wednesday at Gene Siskel Film Center; and Robert Zemeckis’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Sunday at Doc.
The Chicago Food Film Festival continues all weekend, with documentaries about food and actual food as well. And Friday through Thursday, Music Box presents daily double features to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the theater’s 1983 reopening. If you think I’m going to list them all, you’re crazy, but you can peruse the lineup here.