Aug 13, 2007

Film Critics Choice of this week

Listings for Friday, August 10, through Thursday, August 16, 2007

Deep Valley

Before getting swamped by overproduced CinemaScope features, Jean Negulesco was a skillful director of noirs and other small pictures, as evidenced by Road House (1948) and this neglected drama about a couple on the run (1947). Ida Lupino plays a poor, eccentric 22-year-old in rural California, traumatized by abusive and dysfunctional parents (Henry Hull and Faye Bainter), who falls for a sensitive but volatile escaped convict (Dane Clark). If you can get past the obtrusive Max Steiner score and a surfeit of dog reaction shots, this has a feeling for outcasts and strong, quirky performances that build to the kind of affecting and socially subversive romantic melodrama Nicholas Ray excelled at. With Wayne Morris. 104 min. 16mm. Also on the program: Cell Bound (1955), one of Tex Avery's creepier and more manic cartoons. -- Jonathan Rosenbaum

This movie is currently playing at: LaSalle Bank Cinema

The Treatment
Chris Eigeman, a key actor in the movies of Whit Stillman and Noah Baumbach, finally gets to show his range in this romantic comedy, adapted from Daniel Menaker's first novel. The tone is set in the opening scene, when Eigeman's character, who teaches English and coaches basketball at a Manhattan prep school, runs into an ex-girlfriend. "Are you seeing anybody?" she asks. "I mean therapy. Are you seeing a shrink?" In fact he's engaged in Freudian psychoanalysis with a comically punitive Argentinean (Ian Holm), and when he gets involved with a wealthy widow (Famke Janssen), both the shrink sessions and the movie shift into high gear. John Zorn's ethnically tinged score is effectively minimalist without succumbing to Philip Glass-style monotony, and Harris Yulin is effective as the hero's semi-estranged father. Oren Rudavsky directed. -- Jonathan Rosenbaum

This movie is currently playing at: Landmark's Century Centre

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