Upbeat Leigh comedy

2009-02-20 00:00

THREE Oscar-nominated films — The Wrestler, Changeling and Happy-go-lucky — open at cinemas in the city this weekend.

Darren Aronofsky directs The Wrestler, which stars Mickey Rourke as professional wrestler Randy “The Ram” Robinson, who lives for the thrill of the show and the adoration of his fans.

When a heart attack forces him to consider retiring from the ring, he tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter, Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood), and he forms a close bond with an exotic dancer, Pam (Marisa Tomei), but his passion for wrestling pulls him back for one last bout.

The Wrestler is on at CineCentre (Liberty Midlands Mall), which is also screening the Oscar-nominated Clint Eastwood film, Changeling.

Inspired by actual events that occurred in twenties-era Los Angeles, the film tells the story of Christine Collins (Angelia Jolie), who believes that the boy returned to her after her nine-year-old son Walter’s disappearance is an impostor.

After confronting the Los Angeles Police Department, she is vilified, painted as an unfit mother and branded delusional. The only person willing to aid her in her search is local activist Reverend Briegleb, played by John Malkovich.

The third new film opening at CineCentre is Inkheart, a fantasy film based on the novel by Cornelia Funke. It tells the story of Mortimer “Mo” Folchart (Brendan Fraser) and his 12-year-old daughter, Meggie (Eliza Bennett), who are both able to bring characters from books to life when they read aloud. But there is a danger — when a character is brought to life from a book, a real person disappears into its pages.

On one of their trips to a second-hand book shop, Mo hears voices coming from the book Inkheart — it’s a book he’s been searching for since Meggie was three years old, when her mother, Resa (Sienna Guillory), vanished into its mystical world.

Opening at NuMetro is the Oscar-nominated Happy-go-lucky, directed by Mike Leigh and starring Sally Hawkins.

Set in London, the film tells the tale of Pauline “Poppy” Cross (Hawkins), an irrepressibly cheerful primary school teacher, who shares a flat with her best friend Zoë (Alexis Zegerman), and finds her inherent optimism being tested to the limit.

Hawkins won the Golden Globe for best performance by an actress in a motion picture — comedy or musical, and Leigh has been nominated for a writing Oscar.

NuMetro also adds Ghost Town, starring Ricky Gervais, and the animated film Igor to its line-up.

Also opening is the comedy, Sex Drive, in which 18-year-old Ian Lafferty (Josh Zuckerman) sets out on a cross-country drive with his best friends Lance (Clark Duke) and Felicia (Amanda Crew) in order to lose his virginity to a sexy woman he met on the Internet. Their journey is filled with misadventures and raunchy escapades and teaches all three more than they expected about life and love. — Arts Editor.

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