Films to see: Weekend of June 29
We imagine your Independence Day will be occupied by fireworks and BBQ. Before then, though, there's no shortage of good movies opening during the pre–holiday weekend. Here's what you should see.
1. Grand Illusion
A tale of class conflict embedded in a rousing POW escape adventure, Jean Renoir's 1937 masterpiece returns to Chicago in a new print—with new subtitles—for its 75th anniversary. It's one of the rare war movies that feels legitimately anti-war, in large part because it features no combat footage. It starts Friday at the Siskel.
2. The Graduate
Dustin Hoffman, in the role that made him a star, is seduced by stocking-wearing cougar Anne Bancroft, then romances her daughter (Katharine Ross). Even if you own it on DVD or Blu-ray, Mike Nichols's classic coming-of-age comedy is worth seeing on a big screen—if only for those magnificent zooms. The Music Box is giving it a run beginning Friday.
3. Goodbye First Love
French director Mia Hansen-Løve (Father of My Children) weaves a story of fledgling romance and its messy, tumultuous aftermath. The film's insight, simple but affecting, is that young love is usually doomed to fail, because it's between two partners who've only just begun to develop into emotionally stable human beings—or, at the very least, into the people they'll be for the rest of their lives. The movie opens Friday at Facets Cinematheque.
4. To Rome with Love
If you've enjoyed the other films in Woody Allen's "travelogue" period (Midnight in Paris, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, et al.), you'll almost certainly be delighted by his four-story romp through the titular city. If, like this writer, you've hated those pandering, postcard-pretty sojourns, you may still enjoy the Woodman's latest. There are actual jokes here, not just audience-flattering references. The film expands to Chicago theaters on Friday.
5. North by Northwest
No event movie released this summer approaches the effervescent pleasures of Alfred Hitchcock's quintessential wrong-man thriller from 1959. Its set pieces, including Cary Grant's duel with the crop duster and the finale atop Mount Rushmore, are both exciting and perversely funny. Doc Films is showing a print Friday at 7 and 9:45pm.
See Film for reviews and showtimes.