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ALOHA

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Starts Thursday, May 28
ALOHA
Thursday, May 28 - Thursday, June 4
Thursday: 7:30
Friday - Sunday: (1:00, 3:10, 5:15), 7:30 and 9:40
Monday - Thursday: (5:15), 7:30 and 9:40
105 minutes / Rated PG13
Directed by: Cameron Crowe
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin

In the romantic, dramatic comedy Aloha, a celebrated military contractor (Bradley Cooper) returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs—the U.S. Space program in Honolulu, Hawaii—and reconnects with a long-ago love (Rachel McAdams), while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog (Emma Stone) assigned to him. Written and directed by Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous), Aloha also stars Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Danny McBride and Alec Baldwin. Music by Jónsi & Alex.

WOMAN IN GOLD

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Featured at the Backlot..Ends Thursday!
WOMAN IN GOLD
Thursday, May, 28
Thursday: (4:15)
108 minutes / Rated PG13
Directed by: Simon Curtis
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl

Woman in Gold is the remarkable true story of one woman's journey to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family. Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt's famous painting "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I." Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer (Ryan Reynolds), she embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court, and forces her to confront difficult truths about the past along the way. Also starring Daniel Brühl (Rush). Directed by Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn).

'Woman in Gold' is war story painted in broad strokes
It’s a cautionary tale: First the Nazis came for our neighbors. Then they came for us. Then they came for our paintings. The Weinstein Company keeps finding new angles from which to view the Holocaust, and “The Woman in Gold” is a culturally lofty one. It’s the true story of a postwar custody battle — not for an orphaned girl but for a pilfered portrait of a lady. The painting by Gustav Klimt is known as “Woman in Gold,” but to the art establishment in postwar Austria, the painting in the Viennese museum is the nation’s “Mona Lisa.” Despite a debatable focus and dubious moralizing —money plays a pivotal role in the final outcome — “The Woman in Gold” works, largely because of the odd-couple chemistry between Mirren and Reynolds. It just goes to show that broad strokes are appealing when they’re in the right frame. - - - Joe Williams / St. Louis Post-Dispatch

FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD

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FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD
Thursday, May, 28 - Thursday, June 4
Thursday: (4:45) and 7:30
Friday - Sunday: (2:00, 4:30) and 7:00
Monday - Thursday: (4:30) and 7:30
119 minutes / PG13
Director: Thomas Vinterberg
Cast: Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge and Juno Temple

Based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd is the story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan, An Education), who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her fetching willfulness; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love—as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt, The Celebration).

'Madding Crowd' is a four-way romance
It’s “madding,” not “maddening.” That’s what the genteel folk of southwestern England thought of places such as faraway London, which scarcely casts a shadow over this lovely adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel. It doesn’t require a spoiler alert to say that any woman raised on romance novels will develop a rooting interest early in this film. The pleasure of “Far From the Madding Crowd” comes from swallowing the golden-hued Kool-Aid without any bothersome pulp. Among the movie’s assets is a sterling cast. Mulligan uses her beguiling smile to defuse the dramatic underpinnings of the story, and Sheen adds another shading to his gallery of great performances. But it’s Belgian actor Schoenaerts who will leave the target audience atwitter. Seemingly incapable of cracking a smile, he fits securely in the stoic-farmer tradition that stretches from John Wayne in “The Quiet Man” to Russell Crowe in “The Water Diviner.” “Far From the Madding Crowd” is the closest thing this season to a crowd-sourced romance. - - - Joe Williams / St. Louis Post-Dispatch (three out of four stars)