David Mackenzie can’t catch a break: despite having made such highly regarded dramas as Young Adam (2003), Asylum (2005), Mister Foe (2007), Spread (2009), and Tonight You’re Mine (2011), this Scottish filmmaker can’t get any traction here in the U.S. Now Ben Sachs has a four-star review of his prison drama Starred Up, in which a father and son are reunited in the slammer; it screens for one week only at Facets Cinematheque, and after that you can kiss it goodbye.
Also this week, we review at The Congress, a live-action/animation hybrid starring Robin Wright as a movie actress (coincidentally named Robin Wright) who agrees to be scanned into a computer and then retire forever so that the studio can do with her image as it pleases. And we’ve got recommended reviews of Rich Hill, a documentary about three poor white kids in the title Missouri ‘burb, and Norte, the End of History, a masterful Filipino drama about a jaded law-school dropout who murders a local moneylender and the impoverished family man who gets the blame.
Check out this week’s issue for new reviews of: As Above/So Below, a subterranean horror flick about explorers messing around in the Catacombs of Paris; A Five Star Life, a French comedy about a hotel inspector trying to balance love and work; The Identical, a spiritual drama in which Elvis Presley’s twin brother doesn’t die in childbirth but instead grows up to become an Elvis impersonator; The Last of Robin Hood, a Hollywood biopic starring Kevin Kline as the cradle-robbing Errol Flynn and Dakota Fanning as his 15-year-old lover; and Life After Beth, a zombie comedy with Aubrey Plaza as the title flesh-eater.
Best bets for repertory: Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel (1930), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; Preston Sturges’s Christmas in July (1940), Friday and Tuesday at Gene Siskel Film Center, the latter screening introduced by Jonathan Rosenbaum; Agnieszka Holland’s Interrogation (1982), Wednesday by DVD projection at Chicago Cultural Center; and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes’s The Kid With a Bike (2011), Tuesday by DVD projection at Transistor.