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"His Girl Friday"


AMOUR—Nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture, a drama about an elderly couple dealing with the decline of the wife after she suffers a stroke. Starring Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, and Isabelle Huppert. Directed by Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon). Reviewed this issue. Amherst, Eastern Hills

BARBARA—Germany’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is this drama about a doctor under investigation by the Stasi in a small town in East Germany. Starring Nina Hoss, Ronald Zehrfeld, and Rainer Bock. Directed by Christian Petzold (Yella). Reviewed this issue. Eastern Hills

IDENTITY THIEF—Odd-couple road comedy pairing an accountant (Jason Bateman) and the woman who stole his identity and ruined his credit (Melissa McCarthy). With Amanda Peet, John Cho, Genesis Rodriguez, and Morris Chestnut. Directed by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses). Reviewed this issue. Flix, Maple Ridge, Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria

SIDE EFFECTS—Steven Soderbergh looks at psychotropic drugs in what he says will be his last film. Again. Starring Rooney Mara, Jude Law, and Vinessa Shaw. Flix, Maple Ridge, Market Arcade, Regal Elmwood, Regal Niagara Falls, Regal Quaker, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria


CASABLANCA (1941)—Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in what is by general consensus Hollywood’s greatest romance, if not the most popular Hollywood film period. Call it a miracle of studio craftsmanship, a whole that exceeds the sum of its parts, and an almost mythological example of why we love movies so much. Directed by Michael Curtiz. With Paul Heinreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, S. Z. Sakall, and Dooley Wilson. Screening Room, Hamburg Palace

THE ROLLING STONES: CHARLIE IS MY DARLING—Documentary shot during the band’s tour of Ireland in 1965, just when the success of “Satisfaction” was making them international stars. Directed by Mick Gochanour and Peter Whitehead. Amherst

DEPARTURES (Okuribito, 2008)—In this moving Japanese drama that was barely released in the US despite winning the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, a musician unable to make a living returns to his hometown and takes the only job he can get, preparing the bodies of the deceased for cremation in a ritualized ceremony that is considered shameful when not done by a family member. Directed by Yojiro Takita. Presented by the Hubbard Film Society. Aurora

DON CARLO—From the Teatro Alla Scala, the 1884 four-act version (in Italian) of the opera that critics consider the most intense, deep, nuanced, rich, and masterful work of Giuseppe Verdi’s late period. Starring Ferruccio Furlanetto, Stuart Neill, and Dalibor Jenis. Directed by Stéphane Braunschweig. Amherst, Eastern Hills

HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940)—If Howard Hawks’s adaptation of the newspaper comedy The Front Page isn’t the funniest movie ever made, I don’t know what is. Hawks’s stroke of genius was to rewrite the part of reporter Hildy Johnson for a woman (casting Rosalind Russell was pretty smart, too), adding a layer of sexual tension to her dealings with editor Cary Grant. Despite the heavy competition, Ralph Bellamy nearly steals the show as the boob who gets between them. Screening Room

TOUCH OF EVIL (1958)—After Citizen Kane, this pulp noir was as close as Orson Welles ever got to making a studio film on his own terms. It’s hard to tell how seriously he expects viewers to take the melodramatic story pitting Charleton Heston (as a Mexican DEA agent!) against corrupt border town cop (a shockingly bloated Welles), but the craftsmanship and enjoyment of storytelling shines through in every scene, beginning with the still-astonishing crane shot that opens the film. Co-starring Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff, Marlene Dietrich, and Mercedes McCambridge. Presented as part of the Buffalo Film Seminars. Market Arcade