This Week at the Movies
What to Watch: Clooney and The Blonde Bombshell on Austin screens this week
Whether you plan on spending your Thanksgiving weekend with family (The Muppets, of course!) or checking out indie films, Austin screens have you covered. Consider a family dramedy from one of indie filmmaking's most consistently superb directors or a behind-the-scenes look at Norma Jean.
This Weekend at Violet Crown Cinema
Indie film superstar Alexander Payne (Election, About Schmidt, Sideways) is back with his latest, The Descendants, opening Wednesday (11/23). It is the story of Matt King (George Clooney), a man suddenly faced with challenges and decisions of enormous magnitude in his immediate and far extended families. At home, his wife is in a coma after a boating accident and his two daughters have decided to rebel against his authority. Matt is also faced with deciding what to do with thousands of acres of land his family (direct descendants of the first white land-owning peoples of Hawaii) owns on the island of Kauai. In typical Payne style, the director has gathered a stellar cast and brought a deeply flawed character (Clooney's character has been a distant patriarch which contributes greatly to his troubles after his wife's accident) to the front and delivers the family dramedy to beat this season. (The Descendants also opens Wednesday at Alamo South Lamar.)
This Weekend at the Drafthouse
Opening Friday at the Drafthouse Ritz is My Week with Marilyn. During the production of The Prince and the Showgirl, Colin Clark (played here by Eddie Redmayne) worked as a production assistant, keeping a detailed diary about the experience which was published as "The Prince, the Showgirl and Me." A week of time originally omitted from the diary was later published as "My Week with Marilyn." The newly revealed week of diary entries comes to life in the movie and covers the escapades of Clark and Marilyn Monroe (powerhouse performer Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine) as the two escape to England for a week to get a break from the tumult of Hollywood. Contributing to her need for reprieve is the tense relationship Marilyn has with her co-star/director Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh). Also starring Julia Ormand, Judi Dench, Emma Watson and Dominic Cooper, My Week with Marilyn is recommended for anyone looking to spend time with The Blonde Bombshell this weekend. (My Week with Marilyn also opens Friday at Regal Arbor Cinemas.)
Beyond the Weekend
The special event not to miss next week is definitely "A Very Green & Lynch Christmas" at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz (11/28). Directors Adam Green (Hatchet, Frozen) and Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2) will bring their signature classiness to the Ritz and will be showing shorts from their recent anthology film Chillerama, trailers the pair has edited together, promos for their new TV show ("Hollister"), an exclusive clip from Lynch's upcoming film Knights of Badassdom, and an obscure slasher film. That's more entertainment than most people experience in a month all available to lucky Austinites in one night along with DVD, Blu-rays and CDs to be given away through the night.