Ben Affleck really loves Boston. Both of his 2010 films, The Town and The Company Men, were set in Beantown, and we can’t really blame him—if we’d made friends with a ten-year-old Jason Bourne in our hometown, we’d probably have a deep affection for it, too. You can see the latter film in Washington this week along with a particularly diverse group of films from countries as exotic as Italy, Spain, Israel—and England.
Tuesday, January 25
We don’t normally get too excited about big-name marquee films, but this one looks promising, and it closes Thursday after a relatively short run. The Company Men, starring Ben Affleck as a laid-off Boston executive—and Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, and Chris Cooper as his colleagues—runs at Regal Bethesda, Regal Gallery Place, and AMC Loews Georgetown this week. It debuted at Sundance last January and was named as one of the best films of the year by the New Yorker’s David Denby. Tickets ($11) are available at fandango.com.
Wednesday, January 26
Reel Israel DC’s January screening is The Human Resources Manager, winner of five 2010 Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Eran Riklis’s bittersweet tale about—you guessed it—a human-resources manager who travels to Romania to return the body of one of his dead employees was also named as the Israeli entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2011 Oscars. It’s at Avalon Theatre 8. Tickets ($11) are available here.
Thursday, January 27
Today marks the last chance to see Made in Dagenham, which closes this week at Landmark Bethesda Row. The feel-good British comedy is about a troupe of female factory workers in the 1960s who protest for equal pay, and it stars Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky) as the strike leader and Bob Hoskins (Mermaids, Who Framed Roger Rabbit) as the crafty union rep. Director Nigel Cole also made the similarly themed (and similarly successful) Calendar Girls in 2003. Tickets ($10) are available here.
Friday, January 28
If, like us, you blinked a few times upon hearing that Paul Giamatti had won a Golden Globe for a movie you’d never heard of, then this weekend is your opportunity to catch up. Barney’s Version opens at Landmark E Street and Bethesda today, and it has a stellar cast including Rosamund Pike, Dustin Hoffman, Rachelle Lefevre, Minnie Driver, and Scott Speedman. Tickets ($10) are available here.
Also opening Friday: And Everything Is Going Fine, Steven Soderbergh’s documentary ode to monologuist Spalding Gray. Tickets ($11) are available here.
Saturday, January 29
Another foreign-language film selected to represent its country (Spain) at the Academy Awards is Biutiful, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarrritu’s (Babel, 21 Grams) story of a man (Javier Bardem) trying to support his children in Barcelona’s gritty underworld. Biutiful just nabbed Bardem a Best Actor nod, and he’s been nominated for a BAFTA and a Goya for his performance, too. The movie is at Landmark Bethesda Row; tickets ($10) are available here.
Sunday, January 30
The National Gallery’s “Neorealismo” film series continues with a screening of Paisan today at 4:30. The six short stories directed by Roberto Rossellini (and written by Fellini, Amidei, and Rossellini, among others) tell the story of Italy’s liberation during World War II, and is often called one of the best examples of the neorealist genre. Free.
Monday, January 31
The West End Cinema hosts a screening of La Traviata, direct from the Royal Opera House in London. Famed soprano Renee Fleming stars as Violetta in Verdi’s opera about the ill-fated romance between a courtesan and a nobleman. The screening is a part of West End’s regular Opera in Cinema series. Tickets ($11) are available here.