New reviews out the wazoo! In this week’s issue I’ve got four stars for 99 Homes, the latest from Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart, Chop Shop, Goodbye Solo), starring Andrew Garfield as a Florida man evicted from his home in the housing crash and Michael Shannon as the rancid real estate salesman who takes him under his wing. Coming Home is Zhang Yimou’s new Chinese drama set during the Cultural Revolution, and Ben Sachs likes Dukhtar, a Pakistani drama about a woman trying to rescue her ten-year-old girl from an arranged marriage; it screens as part of the Chicago South Asian Film Festival.
Newly reviewed this week: The Cut, an epic drama of the Armenian genocide, directed by Fatih Akin (Head On, The Edge of Heaven); The Martian, the latest from Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner), starring Matt Damon as an American astronaut mistakenly left for dead on the red planet; Mississippi Grind, a tale of degenerate gamblers from the writing and directing team of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, Sugar); Partisan, starring Vincent Cassel as the leader of an Australian religious cult; Prophet’s Prey, a documentary exposé of polygamous Mormon fundamentalists; The Walk, Robert Zemeckis’s drama about the 1974 wire walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center (previously treated in the Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire); and Welcome to Leith, the story of a white supremacist trying to take over the government in a tiny North Dakota town.
Best bets for repertory: George Lucas’s American Graffiti (1973), Friday and Sunday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Frank Tashlin’s Artists and Models (1955), Saturday and Tuesday at Gene Siskel Film Center, with a lecture by Fred Camper at the second screening; Eric Rohmer’s Le Beau Mariage (1982), Monday at Doc; Douglas Sirk’s The First Legion (1951), Sunday and Monday at Film Center; John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley (1941), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box, and The Long Voyage Home (1940), Sunday and Wednesday at Film Center; Gordon Parks’s The Learning Tree (1969), Thursday at Doc; John Cromwell’s Of Human Bondage (1934), Sunday at Doc; Ingmar Bergman’s Sawdust and Tinsel (1953), Wednesday at Doc; and George Cukor’s Sylvia Scarlett (1935), screening in 35-millimeter on Wednesday at Northbrook Public Library.
Don’t miss these special events: CineKink Film Festival, Saturday at Leather Archives and Museum; Nightcrawler, Wednesday at Columbia College Film Row Cinema as part of the ongoing Cinema Slapdown series; and 3-D Rarities at Logan Center for the Arts.