HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE
2009, Warner Bros., 153 min, USA/UK, Dir: David Yates

After the dark intensity of ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, this sixth entry in the Harry Potter series takes on a tone of light romantic comedy, as Harry and his friends deal with young love. After Harry takes on the task of convincing Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) to return to Hogwarts and the Death Eaters fly over London, however, things grow more serious and threatening yet again.


BIG EYES
2014, The Weinstein Company, 106 min, USA, Dir: Tim Burton

Director Tim Burton reteams with ED WOOD screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski for an insightful look at another outsider artist. Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) painted portraits of children with huge, doleful eyes that became famous in the 1960s – after her husband Walter (Christoph Waltz) attached his name to the works and mass-marketed them. Jason Schwartzman, Krysten Ritter and Terence Stamp costar in this colorful portrait of a woman not content to stand silently behind her man.


INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
2013, CBS Films, 105 min, USA, Dir: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Just before the early-1960s folk boom turned them into magnets for aspiring singers, the clubs and coffeehouses of Greenwich Village were peopled by the likes of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a struggling troubadour whose traditional repertoire puts him on the margins of the music business along with a handful of other earnest and occasionally eccentric characters. The Coen brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS brings the birth of folk into focus as effectively as their O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? did bluegrass. That earlier film’s musical midwife, T Bone Burnett, handles similar duties here as an Executive Music Producer, and stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake all do their own singing on screen. The film was the Grand Prix award winner at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.


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