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Monday, November 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 37.0° F  Light Drizzle
The Daily

MOVIES

A Late Quartet stars Christopher Walken as a musician in decline

If you long to see Christopher Walken play a character other than a wacky eccentric who speaks with a weird cadence, get yourself to the cinema to see A Late Quartet. But beware: This is the most interesting part of the movie, despite its intriguing premise and stellar cast. A Late Quartet remains earthbound when it should soar. >More
 UW's Odyssey Project fights poverty with humanities classes and a new documentary film

When professor Emily Auerbach hears the word "Madison," she doesn't immediately picture the glowing granite Capitol or the most postcard-worthy scenes on the UW campus, where she teaches English and co-hosts Wisconsin Public Radio's University of the Air program. Instead, two Madisons appear in her mind's eye: one filled with opportunity and another sorely lacking it. >More
 Anna Karenina brings theatrical energy to a stolid movie genre

Historical costume dramas based on literary classics are all over theaters during the awards-baiting winter months. They fill their casts with great actors, place these actors in meticulously decorated rooms and have them speak the words of the world's greatest writers. Also, a whole lot of them suck. >More
 Killing Them Softly stars a menagerie of criminal characters

Killing Them Softly -- the new crime caper from writer-director Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) -- is set in 2008, during the panic over the financial collapse and the run-up to Barack Obama's election. You might miss that crucial bit of subtext if you're completely out to lunch. >More
 Stunning images redeem Life of Pi's tale of a man and a tiger

It makes almost no logical sense to turn some books into movies. Yann Martel's Life of Pi is one of them. While this novel is a critical success, it's hardly a household name. Make it a mix of gritty survival drama and otherworldly visuals, as though somebody dipped Cast Away into a vat of Avatar. >More
 You'd never guess that an Oscar-winning director made The Twillight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

So here it is: the final installment of the Twilight saga, or "our long national nightmare," as I have come to think of it. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 picks up with former human Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) getting her first taste of vampire life, after her bloodsucker husband, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), saved her during the difficult childbirth that concluded Part 1. >More
 Why is downtown Madison film culture disappearing?

Perhaps you read Roger Ebert's rave review of Leos Carax's Holy Motors earlier this month, when the film opened in Chicago. Perhaps you were intrigued. Unfortunately, you've already missed this movie in Madison. You're likely to miss nearly all of downtown's most interesting films unless you venture to nontheatrical venues. Though former movie palaces pepper the city center, permanent projectors are few and far between near the Capitol. >More
 Lincoln celebrates the lost art of political compromise

"Compromise... or you risk it all," the president of the United States warns an ideologue in his own party. You haven't just walked into a campaign 2012 reality show. These words are from Steven Spielberg's grand yet intimate drama Lincoln. It's January 1865, and the president (Daniel Day-Lewis) is trying to garner support for the 13th Amendment, the abolition of slavery. >More
 The Sessions explores a disabled man's quest for a physical connection

The Sessions tells the story of a 38-year-old virgin, but unlike the Steve Carell movie about a 40-year-old celibate, it doesn't treat the hero's predicament as a farce. The Sessions is based on the experiences of journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, a polio survivor who recounted how he lost his virginity in a University of Wisconsin Press book called How I Became a Human Being. >More
 Skyfall proves that 007 is still relevant

The James Bond franchise seems to be feeling a bit defensive. After 007 (Daniel Craig) chases a killer through Istanbul to recover a hard drive containing information about undercover agents, M (Judi Dench) wonders if it's time for him to hang up his Walther PPK. Bond and the young tech wiz Q (Ben Whishaw) trade zingers about how espionage has changed into something that's not just about "exploding pens." And when M is called before a government committee, she has to explain why her field agents are still relevant. >More
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