When they announced the Oscar nominations for best animated feature, the one you didn't recognize was The Secret of Kells, a microbudget Irish feature that somehow was catapulted into the front line with Up, Coraline, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Princess and the Frog. You can find some of the details of this Cinderella story here; you can see the movie's Chicago premiere on Thursday as part of the closing-night program for the European Union Film Festival. Our sidebar for the festival includes a review of this film and five others; The Secret of Kells opens for a full week's run at Film Center on Friday, April 2.
Also in this week's issue, we have Critic's Choice boxes for three fine new releases: Chloe, a twisted Canadian thriller by Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter); Mother, a twisted Korean thriller by Bong Joon-ho (The Host); and Waking Sleeping Beauty, a twisted—well, a documentary about Disney animation. New movies reviewed in the issue include Greenberg, Noah Baumbach's latest festival of self-loathing; How to Train Your Dragon, a DreamWorks CG animation that Cliff Doerksen compares favorably to Avatar; and The Most Dangerous Man in America, a documentary profile of not Glenn Beck but Daniel Ellsberg, the Defense Department analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times.
There isn't much going on this week in the repertory department, but if you're free Saturday or Sunday morning, head over to the Music Box for Fritz Lang's classic noir melodrama Scarlet Street (1945), with Edward G. Robinson as a gentle amateur painter who's chewed up and spit out by controlling hooker Joan Bennett. See if this doesn't give you the cold sweats: