This Week in Movies
What to watch: Identity crises and hunted men on Austin screens this week
With the 2012 Oscar nominations unveiled, anticipation for the event swelling, Sundance in full swing and SXSW just on the horizon, all eyes seem to be on film right now. Austinites have a chance to check out a gender bending drama about Victorian oppression and identity as well as a surprisingly layered adventure film on screens this weekend.
This Weekend at Regal Arbor
In Albert Nobbs, opening Friday at the Regal Arbor, Glenn Close (who has a screenplay credit on the film) plays the titular character, a male persona created by a woman in 19th century Ireland in order to be able to work. Albert saves money so that he might one day open a tobacco shop, confides in his closest friend Hubert Page (Janet McTeer is another woman-playing-a-man role) and begins to fall for a new young servant girl at the hotel where he works.
Oppressed by Victorian society, Albert and the woman underneath his facade must struggle with heavy issues such as identity and personal freedom. Albert Nobbs, a passion project for Close, received much praise late last year on the festival circuit and is poised to charm Austin audiences starting this weekend.
This Weekend at the Drafthouse
Director Joe Carnhan, known for over-the-top action films The A-Team and Smokin' Aces, returns with a surprising new film. In The Grey, Liam Neeson is Ottway, a member of an Alaskan oil drilling team, who takes charge after the plane he is on goes down in the snowy wilderness leaving just a few survivors. Ottway, who has frequent visions of his wife with whom his current relationship is unclear at the start of the film, has a deep understanding of nature and in particular wolves.
This will come in handy as an aggressive and large pack is hunting the stranded men. The Grey sounds like a thrilling action film and, at times, it is. It has a deeper core, though, and a strong emotional journey for Ottway that elevates the material to something much better than the logline would suggest. Catch the film beginning Friday at the Alamo Ritz.
Beyond the Weekend
Those guys over at the Alamo Drafthouse have done it again, putting together a truly original show that promises to be unmissable. COMPUTER ERROR: The WORST CGI in Movie History will be a journey through the worst computer generated images ever put on film. Cultivated by cinematic purists, the show should be an eye-opening look into the corners computers allow filmmakers to cut.