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Get Low (Sony Classics; 103 minutes; PG-13; widescreen; 2010). Robert Duvall has played big-city roles throughout his movie output—think of his consigliore in the first two Godfather epics, or the corporate hatchet man in Network—and with age, it seems, the actor has been inhabiting grizzly cracker types in the not-so-lofty likes of Four Christmases and Secondhand Lions. But Duvall’s heart has always sided with characters that come across as key examples of rural Americana, such as his country singer in Tender Mercies and his holy roller from The Apostle. As Felix Bush, the cranky codger at the emotional center of the new indie art-house darling Get Low, Duvall’s new character at times feels like a kissin’ cousin to his debut film part, Boo Radley, in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962); both roles typify the outsider looking in, although he’s also the one harboring some dark secret that functions as a plot catalyst.Wake fake: Bill Murray in Get Low.
Winter’s Bone (Roadside Attractions; 100 minutes; R; 2010). One of the more impressive indie flicks to come out of last January’s Sundance Film Festival, director Debra Granik’s drama concerns the search for a man moviegoers never really see—but, much like the structure of Citizen Kane, brother, do we figure out what he’s all about.
For 17-year-old Ree Dolly (played by Jennifer Lawrence), a typical teen life of Facebook, iTunes and mallratting seems like an elusive daydream, especially since her missing daddy Jessup makes a shady living cooking crank in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, and the law is looking for him. It’s bad enough that Jessup has put up the family home as collateral for a bailbondsman, and that if he misses an impending court date, there goes the house. And it gets even worse that Ree is the de facto matriarch of the household while her dad is away, since her mama (Valerie Richards) has gone catatonic after years of Jessup’s outlaw behavior, plus Ree has her 12-year-old brother Sonny (Isaiah Stone) and 6-year-old sis Ashlee (Ashlee Thompson) to care for, too. No, what’s really devastating is that Ree has to find her old man on her lonesome and damn quick, amid a backwoods world of bloodlines, family secrets and drug dealing, although some unexpected assistance comes her way from her mean-ass uncle Teardrop (John Hawkes), a coke addict given to unpredictable shifts of violence.Into the woods: Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone.
The Girl Who Played with Fire. (Music Box; 129 minutes; R; 2010). The year’s biggest gift to art-house audiences comes from Chicago’s teensy distributor Music Box Films, which acquired the three movie adaptations of the late author Stieg Larsson’s popular Millennium trilogy and is in the process of doling out this Swedish cinema catnip. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo amassed $10 million last spring, not exactly chump change for an art-house release (it earned $93 million overseas), and now the middle book, The Girl Who Played with Fire, has hit theaters, with the grand finale, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, due before year’s end.
Rome’s eighth annual Capitolfest ushers in another August weekend of buried Tinseltown treasures
Rome, N.Y., might not be confused with Hollywood or even sun-kissed Cannes but for one weekend every summer it’s the “in” place to be for cinema cultists. Since 2003 the Capitolfest at Rome’s Capitol Theatre, 220 W. Dominick St., has presented forgotten flicks for a fervent fan base and this year’s eighth edition offers a slate of more oldies-but-goodies. Capitolfest 8 shanghais the 1928-era movie palace for 35mm screenings on Saturday, Aug. 14, and Sunday, Aug. 15.Flicker flacking: Among the classics at the Aug. 13-15 Capitolfest will be The Gang Buster (left) with Jean Arthur and Jack Oakie; Edna May Oliver, Mitzi Green, Jackie Searl and Louise Fazenda in Forbidden Adventure and El Brendel and his pet goose Bozo in You Never Know Women (bottom), all of which should give a good workout to the staff at the Capitol’s concession stand (below)
A local auteur explains the popular beanbag sport in Cornhole: The Movie
Don’t giggle when you hear the word “cornhole.” “It’s not what you think,” said Vernon Dew, a lead actor in the indie farce Cornhole: The Movie, which is slated for its East Coast premiere at the Palace Theatre on Thursday, June 24, 7:30 p.m., as a special presentation from the Syracuse International Film Festival. “It seems funny at first,” Dew admitted. “When people hear ‘cornhole’ they think of something dirty, not a game.”Hole lotta love: Cornhole the game is a fast-growing summertime recreation, as evidenced by Jamie Joss and Bob Brauchle, who played in a June 20 tournament in Quaker Steak and Lube. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTOS