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Friday, June 24, 2005

Short Takes: June 24, 2005


Bus 174

Director: Jose Padilha
Language: Portuguese
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

This documentary depicts a real-life incident that occurred in Rio de Janeiro on June 12, 2000, when a man named Sandro do Nascimento hijacked a bus carrying 11 people. Because it was broadcast across Brazil, police incompetence came under heavy scrutiny. News footage and interviews of survivors and police officers are shown as director Padilha delves into the young criminal's past. Internationally praised, the shocking film reveals serious problems, such as the inhumane treatment of prisoners and the harshness of life in the slums.


Dear Frankie

Director: Shona Auerbach
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

This is the story of a single mom (Emily Mortimer) on the run from her abusive husband with her deaf 9-year-old son Frankie (Jack McElhone) and her own chain-smoking mother in tow. Frankie has been told that his father is a merchant seaman on a ship called the Accra. When he learns that the real Accra has docked in Glasgow, his mom has to hire a stranger (Gerard Butler) to play the part of Frankie's dad. He and Frankie hit it off and the mother finds herself drawn to the reticent man who seems to understand everything without being told. The film suffers from too many plot contrivances but tugs at the heartstrings all the same. (Kaori Shoji)


Elvis Has Left the Building

Director: Joel Zwick
Language: English
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

Kim Basinger plays Harmony Jones, a cosmetics sales rep whose fate seems linked to Elvis. On her way to a Las Vegas convention in her pink Cadillac convertible, she encounters a couple of Elvis impersonators . . . and accidentally ends up killing them. When she later falls in love with a man whom she mistakenly assumes is also an Elvis freak, she flees just as the relationship starts heating up. Look for cameos by Tom Hanks and the director, who also helmed the indie blockbuster "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," as King wannabes.


Ladies in Lavender

Director: Charles Dance
Language: English, German and Polish
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

In this quaint period drama, set in 1936, spinster sisters, Janet (Maggie Smith) and Ursula (Judi Dench), are leading a quiet life in a coastal village of Cornwall -- until they find a young man washed ashore. They discover he is a gifted Polish violinist who was en route to the United States. As they nurse him back to health, Ursula gradually develops an attraction toward him (and Janet doesn't approve). Jealousy raises its head when Andrea falls for a beautiful young woman, who just happens to be the sister of a prominent violinist.


My Little Bride

Director: Kim Ho Joon
Language: Korean
Currently showing
[See Japan Times movie listings]

Childhood friends Sang Min and Boeun get hitched to fulfill their grandfathers' wish to make them in-laws, but the marriage is doomed: Sang Min is a college playboy and Boeun is a high-school girl in love with a senior jock. The newlyweds try to hide their dysfunctional relationship, but things get complicated when Sang Min begins his training as a teacher at Boeun's school. With one of the teachers hitting on Sang Min and Boeun's crush blossoming into a real romance, their days as husband and wife are numbered.



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