In "Inside Llewyn Davis," a sublime shaggy-dog story from the Coen brothers, Oscar Isaac plays Llewyn Davis, a mooch and a bit of a jerk. But in 1961 Greenwich Village, he also seems to be unequal parts of the many folk singers who broke on the scene about that time.
Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup, a free man in 1841 New York who is abducted and sold into slavery in the South. The Oscar-nominated Ejiofor turns in a powerful, passionate yet unaffected performance as Northup, who documented his experiences of torture and humiliation at the hands of his various owners in a best-selling book of the time, which Oscar-nominated John Ridley used for the screenplay.
Turn a couple of skeptics loose with a camera and a harebrained theory and the result might be something like Tim’s Vermeer, an engaging new documentary from magicians Penn and Teller. The duo uses no sleight-of-hand, however, in their quest to uncover how the 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer created his striking masterpieces, filled with luminous details created by his famous “painting with light.”
Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman star in the 1942 classic Casablanca. Turner Classic Movies is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a free screening of the classic Casablanca in 20 cities, and Dallas is among them. Director Michael Curtiz’s wartime romance screens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Angelika Dallas, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane. In the movie, Rick (Bogart) owns a nightclub and gets involved in smuggling refugees out of Vichy-controlled Casablanca. Ilsa (Bergman) is the one who got away from Rick, and is trying to escape the Nazis with her husband (Paul Henreid). Casablanca earned eight Academy Award nominations, and won for best picture, best director and best screenplay.
Director and co-writer Alfonso Cuaron delivers a magnificent work with plenty of twists and striking images while also paying homage to past classics of the outer-space genre. Gravity conveys to viewers what it feels like to actually be in space — and, worse, to be lost in space.
Ballet buffs can see the Royal Ballet perform Swan Lake without airfare, and for the price of a few movie tickets. At 7 p.m. today, Fathom Events, Anthony Dowell, Arts Alliance Media and the Royal Opera House will broadcast Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s first score of the legendary ballet, which remains one of the most popular ballets of all time. And for the first time ever, American dancer Nehemiah Kish will dance the role of Prince Siegfried, with Zenaida Yanowsky as Odette/Odile. The ballet screens at the Denton Cinemark 14, 2825 Wind River Lane. Swan Lake is part of the 2014 Royal Ballet Cinema Season. For tickets, visit www.cinemark.com/royal-ballet-swan-lake .
Denton native and filmmaker David Barrow thinks Denton is a special place. And it isn’t special by accident. In his documentary film When We Were All Broncos, Barrow takes a look back at the people — the decisions they made and the hard work they did — who brought this small Texas town from beneath the shadow of Jim Crow.
...Soprano Renee Fleming sings her first Met “Live in HD” performance of one of her signature roles, the title character in Dvorak’s Rusalka. The Metropolitan Opera performance screens at 11:55 a.m. Feb. 8 at Cinemark 15 Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville. The opera is about a water spirit’s tragic romance with a human prince. It’s drawn from several folk tales, including Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” Conductor Yannick Nezet-Segu leads a cast that includes Piotr Beczala as the handsome Prince Rusalka, who yearns to love; Dolora Zajick as the swamp witch Jezibaba; Emily Magee as the foreign princess and John Relyea as Rusalka’s father. Fleming has sung the role of Rusalka more than any other artist in Met history. Susan Graham hosts. Running time is about 4 hours, including two intermissions. Tickets cost $24 for adults, $22 for seniors and $16 for children. For tickets, visit www.cinemark.com/met-opera-rusalka-(2014)
Unlike some unnamed egomaniacs, Dario Argento is one of the few directors qualified enough to have his name in the title, as least on a horror film. In this 2012 release (variously called Argento’s Dracula, Dario Argento’s Dracula and even Argento’s Dracula 3D) the horror-meister renders a fairly straightforward interpretation of Bram Stoker’s original novel.
Thin Line, the documentary film festival that happens each February, has added music to its schedule, marking a change in the event’s identity. The change could take a big bite out of both the sponsorship money and volunteer base for another popular yearly festival, 35 Denton.
MacMillan (Robert Loggia, left) and Josh (Tom Hanks) go for a spin on the keys in Big. While Tom Hanks is still getting raves for his turn as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks, Cinemark theaters will screen his 1988 hit Big. In the film, a boy named Josh wishes to be “big” at a magical fortune-telling machine. The next morning, Josh is indeed a grown-up — but on the inside, he’s still a 12-year-old boy. What happens when a boy has to navigate the world of grown-ups in disguise? Big is the first in the new Cinemark Iconic Film Series, which features movies of the 1980s and ’90s. The comedy screens at 2 p.m. Sunday and at 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Denton Cinemark 14, 2825 Wind River Lane. For tickets, visit www.cinemark.
Eight films created by University of North Texas students pursuing degrees in the Department of Radio, Television and Film’s documentary filmmaking program will be presented in a free screening tonight, followed by a question-and-answer session with the student directors.