This Week's Movie Action

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The Iron Lady
  • The Iron Lady
January is an odd season for Chicago moviegoers: though it's known as a dumping ground for the big studios' absolute dogs, there are also Oscar-bait movies that opened in New York and Los Angeles in December to qualify for awards but are only just now arriving here (Carnage, The Iron Lady) and great repertory shows from local venues waking up after the holidays (Gene Siskel Film Center has retrospectives of Sergei Eisenstein and, beginning next week, Robert Bresson).

This week we have new reviews of Beneath the Blindfold, a recommended documentary on torture survivors that Film Center screens as part of its "Stranger Than Fiction" series; Carnage, Roman Polanski's latest, with John C. Reilly, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, and Christoph Waltz as antagonistic Manhattan parents; Charlotte Rampling: The Look, about the venerable international actress; Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night, a short documentary by Philadelphia independent Sonali Gulati about a call center in India; The Iron Lady, starring Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher; Joyful Noise, a comedy about a southern church choir, with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton; Man on a Mission, which documents the $30 million outer-space journey of a video-game designer; and Newlyweds, the latest Edward Burns romantic comedy, which Andrea Gronvall calls "an ode to New Yorkers . . . in the vein of vintage Woody Allen, but with an Irish-Catholic Spin."

Best bets for repertory this week would have to include Eisenstein's Potemkin (1925) and Alexander Nevsky (1939), both part of the Film Center retrospective. But there's also Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (1997), tonight at Doc Films; Jack Smith's Flaming Creatures, tonight at Roxaboxen Exhibitions; Mikio Naruse's Floating Clouds (1955), part of Doc's Monday-night series on Naruse; Stanley Kubrick's The Killing (1956), next Thursday at Doc; and Howard Hawks's To Have and Have Not (1944), Tuesday at Doc.

Last but not least, Crispin Glover descends on the Music Box once again for his Big Slide Show and screenings of his transgressive films What Is It? (2005) and It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine! (2007).

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