The low-down on this week’s premieres
Making a stand against a totalitarian government, a mysterious and masked freedom fighter known only as V (Hugo Weaving) sets out to battle oppression in V for Vendetta. He does this with the help of Evey Hammond (a hairless Natalie Portman), a young female prisoner he saves from the tyrannous secret police. The film, based on the limited-issue comic book series by Alan Moore, was adapted by Matrix creators the Wachowski brothers.
In the political satire Thank You For Smoking, Aaron Eckhart plays tobacco lobbyist Nick Naylor, global spokesperson for cigarettes, who attempts to balance his life as a cancer-stick pusher and father to his 12-year-old son Joey (Cameron Bright). The film lights up with an all-star cast, including Katie Holmes, William H. Macy, and Robert Duvall.
|Aaron Eckhart in Thank You For Smoking.|
In the only film opening this week without a political motive, She’s the Man follows Viola (Amanda Bynes) as she takes the place of her brother at his boarding school when he ditches class for London. As 1999’s Ten Things I Hate About You reinvented Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew for a new generation, Man is supposed to do the same for his Twelfth Night.
Although they’ve been pushed back on the theater’s schedule more than once, the Bijou should open Manderlay and Why We Fight this week. In Manderlay, which is the second part of director Lars von Trier’s dark political trilogy, “USA - Land of Opportunities,” Margaret Mulligan (Bryce Dallas Howard) walks onto a small southern plantation in the 1930s and liberates a group of slaves, who are not quite sure what they should do after they are set free. `See “Never say never,” February 22-28, 2006.` In the documentary Why We Fight, director Eugene Jarecki (The Trials of Henry Kissinger) asks the important question, why do we go to war? `See, “We follow the money,” March 1-7, 2006.`
Local premiere dates for limited-release films are tentative and can change at the last minute. Please check your local theater listings to confirm showtimes. •