In this week’s long review I try to decide who makes the better Brian Wilson—Paul Dano or John Cusack—in the tuneful biopic Love & Mercy. We’ve also got a roundup for the Chicago African Diaspora Film Festival, running Friday through Thursday at Facets Cinematheque.
Check out our new reviews of: Age of Panic, a French comedy about a divorced husband and wife haggling over child custody during the 2012 presidential election; Fair Play, a Czech drama whose two female characters each chafe against the government structures of communism; The Farewell Party, an Israeli comedy about some friends at a retirement home who find themselves in demand after they build a suicide machine; Insidious: Chapter 3, rumored to be the sequel to Insidious: Chapter 2; Jauja, starring Viggo Mortensen as a Danish surveyor in Patagonia who chases after his runaway daughter; Jurassic World, which, viewed through the wrong end of a telescope, appears to be about tiny lizards running wild; Live From New York!, an eminently missable documentary about Saturday Night Live; Madame Bovary, starring Mia Wasikowska as the title character (obviously Flaubert was lying when he said “Madame Bovary—c’est moi”); Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, a comedy about a high school misfit who strikes up a friendship with a leukemia-stricken classmate; The Rendez-vous of Deja Vu, a low-budget French comedy jammed with cinema in-jokes; Results, the latest gem from indie writer-director Andrew Bujalski (Mutual Appreciation, Computer Chess), and Testament of Youth, a screen adaptation of Vera Brittain’s memoir about the British home front during World War I.
Best bets for repertory: Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982), midnight Friday and Saturday at Landmark’s Century Centre; David Lynch’s Blue Velvet (1986), midnight Friday and Saturday at Music Box; and Orson Welles’s The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box.
Don’t forget these special events: On Sunday at Saint John Cantius Church, the Those Were the Days Radio Players present a live performance of The Green Hornet, with live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren (a Laurel & Hardy short precedes the performance). And on Saturday at Chicago Filmmakers, local artist Sharon Zurek presents two lesbian-themed mash-ups as part of Midsommarfest Mash-up Madness.