Movie Tickets: What to See Beyond the Multiplex

This week in cinema: Visit the Siberian gulag, peek in on a marriage, and go on the road with an unusual young man

By: Sophie Gilbert

Of all the surprises at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday—Natalie Portman’s dubious speech, Paul Giamatti winning for a film nobody has ever heard of, Christian Bale being positively genial—the award for best TV movie or miniseries not going to an HBO production was one of the biggest of all. Instead, French director Olivier Assayas’s Carlos, a little-known series about the infamous terrorist Carlos the Jackal, took the prize, beating out the mighty Temple Grandin.

You can catch an edited screening of Carlos at the Avalon Theatre Wednesday, as part of the French Embassy’s cinema showcase. Other film highlights to look out for this week: an Oscar-tipped study of a failing marriage, a local horror story, and an unlikely German hit.

Wednesday, January 19
For a relatively small and obscure foreign production, Carlos has generated a lot of buzz, winning accolades at the Cannes Film Festival and Sundance, in addition to that Golden Globe win. The original three-part miniseries was almost six hours long, but you can catch an edited 165-minute screening at the Avalon Wednesday. Tickets ($11) are available here.

Thursday, January 20
Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling are both getting rave reviews for Blue Valentine, the Derek Cianfrance-directed poignant study of a relationship in crisis. The movie opened at AFI Silver Theatre last weekend and runs through early February, so you can catch it before it gets a predictable Oscar nod or two. Tickets ($11) are available here.

Friday, January 21
West End Cinema’s Local Filmmaker Series presents Kalamity, opening January 21. Northern Virginia native James M. Hausler returns to his roots with this psychological thriller, which explores a disillusioned young man coming face to face with his best friend’s mental (and possibly homicidal) breakdown. Nick Stahl of Terminator 3 and Mirrors 2 plays the lead. Tickets ($11) are available here.

Saturday, January 22
Film Neu, Washington’s annual festival dedicated to cinema from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, returns January 21 through 27 at the Goethe-Institut. Among the picks Saturday night is Vincent Wants to Sea, a charming road movie about a young man (played by writer and German soap-opera star Florian David Fitz) with Tourette’s Syndrome who escapes from an institution and sets off with two unlikely friends to scatter his mother’s ashes in Italy. Tickets ($10) are available here.

Sunday, January 23
The latest offering from filmmaker extraordinaire Mike Leigh, Another Year explores a happily married London couple whose life is intertwined with the dramas of their troubled and troublesome friends. British acting institution Jim Broadbent (Bridget Jones’ Diary, Moulin Rouge) stars along with Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville, and Imelda Staunton. It’s at Landmark E Street and Bethesda starting Friday. Tickets ($10) are available here.

Monday, January 24
Australian director Peter Weir (Witness, The Truman Show, Master and Commander) returns to the big screen with The Way Back, a drama about a group of prisoners who escape from a Siberian gulag and travel thousands of miles to freedom. Colin Farrell, Ed Harris, and Saoirse Ronan star; the movie was called “riveting” by the London Guardian. Tickets ($11) are available here.

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