V No. 11
publication of the National Association of Theatre Owners
in In Focus
The King’s Men
Remake of the 1949 drama about a working-class citizen
whose ascent from a blue-collar laborer to an influential
Southern governor ends in corruption, scandal and
political downfall. Based on the 1946 novel by Robert
Penn Warren. Written and directed by Steven Zaillian
(“Searching for Bobby Fischer,” “A
Civil Action”). With Sean Penn (“The
Interpreter”), Jude Law (“The Aviator”),
Anthony Hopkins (“Proof”), Kate Winslet
(“Finding Neverland”), Mark Ruffalo (“Just
Like Heaven,” “Rumor Has It”) and
James Gandolfini (“Surviving Christmas”).
Flat. 141 min. Dec. 16. Sony.
Romantic drama, set in Texas and Wyoming during
the 1960s and ‘70s, about two cowboys who
find it hard to sustain their heterosexual marriages
following a homosexual encounter. Based on a New
Yorker short story by Annie Proulx (“The
Shipping News”). Directed by Ang Lee (“Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” “The Hulk”)
from a screenplay by Larry McMurtry (“Falling
From Grace”) and Diana Ossana (the TV miniseries “Johnson
County War”). With Jake Gyllenhaal (“Proof,” “Jarhead”),
Heath Ledger (“The Brothers Grimm,” “Casanova”),
Anne Hathaway (“Princess Diaries 2”),
Linda Cardellini (“Scooby Doo 2”),
Michelle Williams (“The Baxter”), Anna
Faris (“Waiting”), Randy Quaid (“Grind,” “Ice
Harvest”) and Scott Michael Campbell (“The
Flight of the Phoenix”). Flat. 134 min. R:
Sexuality; nudity; language; some violence. Dec.
9 limited; wider Dec. 16. Focus.
Period romantic drama about the legendary womanizer,
who sets out to discover the real meaning of love
when he meets the one woman he can’t seduce:
the sister of a boy he’s tutoring. Directed
by Lasse Hallström (“The Shipping News,” “An
Unfinished Life”) from a screenplay by Kimberly
Simi and Jeffrey Hatcher (“Stage Beauty”).
With Heath Ledger (“The Brothers Grimm,” “Brokeback
Mountain”), Sienna Miller (“Layer Cake”),
Jeremy Irons (“Kingdom of Heaven”),
Oliver Platt (“Kinsey,” “Ice
Harvest”) and Lena Olin (“The United
States of Leland”). 110 min. R: Some sexual
content. Dec. 25 limited; Jan. 6 wider. Buena Vista.
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and
Period fantasy-adventure about four London children
who, dispatched to an eccentric professor’s
country home to avoid Nazi bombings, discover within
a wardrobe closet a mysterious world – a
world in which they find themselves teaming with
a lion-god to defeat an evil witch. Based on the
series of children’s novels by C.S. Lewis
(“The Screwtape Letters”). Directed
by Andrew Adamson (the “Shrek” series)
from a screenplay by Adamson, Christopher Markus,
Stephen McFeely and Anne Peacock. With James Cosmo
(“Troy”), James McAvoy (“Rory
O’Shea Was Here”), Jim Broadbent (“Vera
Drake”), Elizabeth Hawthorne (“The
Frighteners”) and Tilda Swinton (“Thumbsucker”).
Dec. 9. Buena Vista.
Drama about the racial tensions that ignite after
a poor white New Jersey woman blames the death
of her child on an African-American from a nearby
housing project. Based on the novel by Richard
Price (“Clockers”). Directed by Joe
Roth (“Christmas with the Kranks”)
from a screenplay by Price (“Shaft”).
With Samuel L. Jackson (“The Man”),
Julianne Moore (“The Prize Winner of Defiance,
Ohio”), Edie Falco (“Sunshine State”),
Ron Eldard (“House of Sand and Fog”),
Anthony Mackie (“The Man”), William
Forsythe (“The Devil’s Rejects”)
and Aunjanue Ellis (“Ray”). Scope.
R: Language; some violent content. Dec. 23 in New
York and Los Angeles; Jan. 13 wide. Sony.
Sci-fi actioner, set 400 years in the future, about
a top espionage operative who uncovers a world
of secrets after she is assigned to kill a top
government official. Based on the 1995 animated
MTV series of the same name. Directed by Karyn
Kusama (“Girlfight”) from a screenplay
by Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi (“crazy/
beautiful,” “The Tuxedo”). With
Charlize Theron (“Head in the Clouds,” “North
Country”), Frances McDormand (“Something’s
Gotta Give,” “North Country”),
Marton Csokas (“The Great Raid”), Sophie
Okonedo (“Hotel Rwanda”), Jonny Lee
Miller (“Melinda and Melinda”) and
Amelia Warner (“Quills,” “Winter
Passing”). Dec. 2. Paramount.
To Love Me
Documentary about folk-blues singer-songwriter
Townes Van Zandt (1944-1997), the substance-abusing
Texan who authored, among many other compositions,
the country hits “Pancho & Lefty” and “If
I Needed You.” Directed by first time documentarian
Margaret Brown. Featuring Emmylou Harris, Kris
Kristofferson, Steve Earle and Willie Nelson.
Dec. 2 in New York and Los Angeles. Palm.
French-language thriller about a well-to-do couple
harassed by someone sending them increasingly intimate
videotapes of their lives. Written and directed by
Michael Haneke (“Time of the Wolf”).
With Juliette Binoche (“In My Country”),
Daniel Auteuil (“Après Vous”),
Maurice Bénichou (“Time of the Wolf”),
Annie Girardot (“The Piano Teacher”),
Daniel Duval, Bernard Le Coq, Aïssa Maïga
and Nathalie Richard (“Le Divorce”).
Dec. 23. Sony Pictures Classics.
By The Dozen 2
The 12-member Baker clan heads out on vacation,
and finds itself in competition with another
enormous family. A sequel to the 2003 blockbuster.
Returnees from part one include screenwriter
Sam Harper (“Rookie of the Year,” “Just
Married”) and actors Steve Martin (“Cheaper
By the Dozen,” “Shopgirl”),
Bonnie Hunt (“Stolen Summer”), Piper
Perabo (“The Cave”), Tom Welling
(“The Fog”) and Hilary Duff (“A
Perfect Man”). Newcomers to the franchise
include director Adam Shankman (“Bringing
Down the House,” “The Pacifier”)
and actors Eugene Levy (“The Man”),
Jaime King (“Two For the Money”)
and Carmen Electra (“Starsky & Hutch”).
Scope. Dec. 21. Fox.
Documentary exploring this history of snowboarding,
from its backyard origins in the 1970s to its subsequent
emergence as a mainstream winter sport and billion-dollar
industry. Directed by Kemp Curly and Kevin Harrison.
Featuring Shawn Farmer, Nick Peralta, Hannah Teter,
Terje Haakonsen and Shaun White. Dec. 2. Universal.