Brief capsules on new movies worth renting, including two of the year's best.
By R. Kurt Osenlund
, The Good Life
I AM LOVE
Italian filmmaker Luca Gadagnino directs Tilda Swinton in this sumptuous melodrama set in the tight-knit world of a wealthy Milanese textile dynasty. Playing a Russin immigrant who's adapted to Italian life, Swinton is a multicultural marvel, broadening her range and brightening her already-gleaming resume. Using Swinton's character's primal infidelity as its earth-shaking turning point, "I Am Love" takes every opportunity to arouse your senses, and succeeds wonderfully, emerging as one the year's best movies. (Now Available)
And speaking of year's best, writer/director Debra Granik's Sundance hit "Winter's Bone" is among the finest American films you'll see this year, with a breakthrough, Oscar-worthy performance from rising star Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence plays Ree, a strong-willed teen who must seek answers in her dangerous Ozark Mountains community in order to salvage her family's livelihood. Granik's story is rich and unique, creating an enormously suspenseful sense of dread and sidestepping sentimentality while also stressing the importance of family. "Winter's Bone" is a must-see gem. (Available Oct. 26)
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
Worthy of being dubbed a new kids' classic, the high-flying adventure "How to Train Your Dragon" is never better than when it's evoking old school dragon flicks like "Pete's Dragon" and "The Neverending Story." Like those movies, this Nordic tale of young a Viking named Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his pet fire-breather, Toothless, has an endearing boy-and-his-dog charm, and lifts your spirits as the chummy pair take to the skies. Cliches abound, but so does the fun. (Now Available)