New films in theaters this week:
— “The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2010” (Animated Program) (not rated), a compilation of animated shorts from around the world. With subtitles.
— “The Oscar Nominated Short Films 2010” (Live-Action Program) (not rated), a compilation of live-action shorts from around the world. With subtitles.
— “The Last Station” (rated R), a drama about the final days of author Leo Tolstoy. Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren star.
— “Shutter Island” (rated R), Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of the best-selling Dennis Lehane mystery-thriller. Leonardo DiCaprio stars.
Both of the shorts programs are mixed-bag collections. The live-action ones are very familiar and at least three are heavy-handed in their intentions. The Swedish comedy “Instead of Abracadabra” is goofy fun, though.
And one short — the tiresome “Logorama” — ensures that the animated program isn’t completely family friendly, which is a shame. Especially since it features “A Matter of Loaf and Death,” the newest Wallace & Gromit short. This one is hilarious and clever, as always.
Oscar nominees Plummer and Mirren are the main reason to see “The Last Station.” There are a few unfortunate, R-rated moments, though, and the romance subplot involving James McAvoy’s character goes nowhere.
Poster art courtesy Paramount Pictures
The week’s best movie is the flawed but atmospheric and creepy “Shutter Island.” It definitely has some tense and intense sequences, and is pretty effective. Also, DiCaprio steps out of his usual comfort zone, and has some fun with his conflicted federal marshal character.
Which, if any, of these movies fit into your weekend viewing plans?