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La La Land

128 Minutes/ Rated PG-13
Directed by: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone

Showtimes

  •  Monday, January 16: (12:00), 2:30, 5:15, 8:00
  • Tuesday, January 17 - Thursday, January 19: (5:15), 8:00

 

Written and directed by Academy Award (R) nominee Damien Chazelle, LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia [Emma Stone], an aspiring actress, and Sebastian [Ryan Gosling], a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.

Four stars: 'La La Land' is worth the trip

“La La Land” takes a fresh approach to the classic Hollywood musical, to heartfelt and exhilarating effect. Working from his own screenplay, director Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”) understands that musicals exist in a state of heightened reality, in which bursting into song is just another mode of expression. And in Stone and Gosling, he has actors who can dive into that emotional flow and carry us along with them.

Gosling is terrific as the coolly introspective yet disarmingly charming Sebastian. And Stone is deservedly generating Oscar buzz for her portrayal of an artist who can’t quite believe she’ll ever be anything other than a barista.

At a time when musicals seldom grace the big screen, “La La Land” is practically a miracle.

- - - Calvin Wilson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Four stars out of four •

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Jackie

100 Minutes/ Rated R
Directed by: Pablo Larrain
Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard

Showtimes

  •  Monday, January 16: (1:45), 4:15, 6:45
  • Tuesday, January 17 - Thursday, January 19: (4:15) 6:45
JACKIE is a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history, seen through the eyes of the iconic First Lady, then Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Natalie Portman). JACKIE places us in her world during the days immediately following her husband's assassination. Known for her extraordinary dignity and poise, here we see a psychological portrait of the First Lady as she struggles to maintain her husband's legacy and the world of "Camelot" that they created and loved so well.
 

Four stars: 'Jackie' captures a moment in time

“Jackie,” one of the best and most ambitious films of the year, is not a conventional biopic. Working from an intricate screenplay by Noah Oppenheim (“The Maze Runner”), Chilean director Pablo Larrain (“Neruda”) conjures a multifaceted portrait of a woman under the influence of politics, celebrity and grief. Larrain deftly balances mainstream moviemaking with an art-film sensibility, which is all the more impressive considering that this is his English-language debut.

Portman is simply brilliant, getting to the essence of Jackie without resorting to a mere impersonation. Particularly in her scenes with Crudup, she’s mesmerizing even when she’s disagreeable. It’s an Oscar-worthy performance.

This may not be the “Jackie” you know, but it’s a vision of the former first lady that’s nonetheless fascinating.

 

- - - Calvin Wilson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Four stars out of four •

 

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