Memorial Weekend: Mom Hits the Beach, Chaplin Hits the Boards

Helen Hunt’s wild ride on a surfboard trumps Disney’s thrill ride to the future in theaters this weekend. At home, Clint Eastwood’s on-target portrait of an American hero makes perfect Memorial Day viewing.   Tomorrowland As director, Brad Bird gives us a dazzling glimpse of an idealized future city. As co-writer, though, he leaves us somewhere this side of Utopia with a muddled plot about a mismatched pair—grizzled, cantankerous George Clooney and perky, ever-optimistic Britt Robertson—trying to stave off the end of …

MFG Movie and Video Preview: May 9

Mother’s Day Weekend beings three fine new films-two based on true stories-that focus on women of all ages and stages of life.     Belle Handsomely filmed, beautifully acted, the true story of a half-African woman raised in an aristocrat’s home at the tail end of slavery in the British Empire takes some of the hard themes studied in 12 Years a Slave and wraps them in Jane Austen finery. The luminous Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays the title role; Tom Wilkinson …

Hey Oscar, You Forgot Something!

  I’m confused. This was a great year for Movies for Grownups. Some of them even made a ton of money. So why is the  85th annual Oscar nominations list such a mixed bag for grownup movie lovers? On one hand, it’s nice to see Amour-a powerful French film about the undying love of an 80-something couple-nominated for Best Picture (and also Foreign Film, which may be a first). And Argo, Les Misérables, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark …