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Amanda Seyfried Regrets Her Writing Job

In the big name opening of the week, legendary actress Shirley MacLaine is paired with newer actress Amanda Seyfried. Their comedy involves a control freak attempting to re-write the story she tells of herself.

While Amanda Seyfried has appeared in quite a few Hollywood films, it’s highly doubtful she’d have appeared in one of Howard Brookner’s films. That late director did films on the likes of William S. Burroughs and an avant garde theater director. Viewers ignorant of Howard Brookner’s life will get introduced to it via his nephew’s loving portrait.

Badrinath Ki Dulhania

When the rich but goofy Badri (Varun Dhawan) meets the strong-willed Vaidehi (Alia Bhatt) at a wedding, he decides to court her. Vaidehi rejects Badri because she feels marriage un-ready and pursuing an air hostess career matters more. But the woman’s persistent rejections fail to deter the heir from his marital pursuit of her. In case you were wondering, this is supposed to be a romantic comedy.

Opens March 10 at the Century 12 San Mateo

Donald Cried

After leaving his working class Rhode Island home town fifteen years ago, Peter expected to spend his life being a big Wall Street player. His grandmother’s death forces Peter’s return home. But his stay becomes longer than anticipated after he loses his wallet. The Wall Street bigshot’s only hope is former best friend and still shaggy weirdo Donald (director/writer Kris Avedisian). But a simple favor soon turns into a forced revisit of Peter and Donald’s teenage glory days.

Opens March 10 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

The Last Word

Once successful businesswoman Harriet Lauler (Shirley MacLaine) retains local writer Anne Sherman (Amanda Seyfried) to pen her biography. But Lauler has a well-earned reputation of being a control freak with disastrous relationships with family and friends. So when Anne’s initial draft doesn’t meet Harriet’s inflated expectations, the businesswoman makes the unwilling writer an accomplice in creating a more pleasing account.

Opens March 10 at the Embarcadero Center Cinema and the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Mr. Gaga

Internationally acclaimed choreographer Ohad Naharin is the creator of the dance and movement language known as Gaga. Determined to hone Gaga on his own terms, he left America to become Artistic Director of Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company. This documentary portrait of Naharin’s career shows that worldwide acclaim has not stopped his continual honing of his dance form. And even the president of Israel can’t stop Naharin’s pursuit of his vision.

Opens March 10 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas, the Shattuck Cinemas, and the Smith Rafael Film Center

The Ottoman Lieutenant

A beautiful strong-willed woman (Hera Hilmar) leaves America to join Jude’s (Josh Hartnett) medical mission in a remote part of the Ottoman Empire. But her loyalty to the mission and herself soon gets tested. A lieutenant in the Ottoman Imperial Army (Michiel Huisman) has become her lover. More problematic is the world’s imminent plunge into the First World War, where the Ottomans are on the enemy’s side.

Opens March 10 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

Uncle Howard

Director Aaron Brookner was only seven when his uncle Howard Brookner died of AIDS. The deceased uncle had been a rising filmmaker. His cinematic portrait of writer William S. Burroughs became a cult classic. When Aaron Brookner set out to make a documentary portrait of his late uncle, it included looking into the making of the Burroughs film. What proved unexpected was discovering 300 cans of film shot by uncle Howard. The material included Burroughs film outtakes as well as footage of Howard’s life in the late 1970s and early 1980s New York City arts scene. Aaron Brookner’s film is a love letter to the beloved and talented uncle taken way too soon. Such luminaries as Jim Jarmusch, Patti Smith, and John Waters make appearances.

Opens March 10 at the Roxie Theatre. A restored edition of “Burroughs: The Movie” will be screened in conjunction with the documentary.

About the Author

I’m a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film…but don’t tell anyone.

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