SERIES, REVIVALS, ONE-OFFS
(SOME OF) THE BEST OF 2019
“Atlantics," Jan. 10
“Missing Link,” Jan 11
“The Farewell,” Jan. 11
“Booksmart," Jan. 11
DANCE AT THE CINEMA
“Raymonda,” Jan. 5
Museum of Fine Arts
“The Lighthouse” (2019), Jan. 8
“Redoubt” (2018), Jan. 9 and 11
“Waves” (2019), Jan. 10
“Catch Me If You Can” (2002), “Chasing Amy” ( 1997), “Inception” (2010), “Julie & Julia” (2009), “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006), “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999)
Available on Netflix
“The Lighthouse” (2019)
Available on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, YouTube
TWO YEARS AGO PEOPLE WERE WATCHING . . .
★★★★ Star Wars: The Last Jedi The “Star Wars” movies have always been pop-culture candy; this is the first one that tastes like steak. Writer-director Rian Johnson rearranges the beloved characters in ways that feel visually and emotionally fresh. It’s not a perfect movie but it is a great one, and it’s immensely satisfying. With Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, and Oscar Isaac. (152 min., PG-13) (Ty Burr)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY . . .
Bradley Cooper (Jan. 5, 1975)
Forty-five is a tricky age for a male star, if nowhere near as tricky as it is for a female. Ask Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron, or Angelina Jolie, all of whom turn 45 this year. Bradley Cooper’s career started allowing for trickiness fairly early on, so this birthday should be happy for him.
Cooper’s filmography has seen several swerves, all of them in good directions. He became a star playing arrogant, good-looking jerks: in the three “Hangover” movies (2009, ’11, and ’13) and “The A-Team” (2010). Things started to get interesting with “Limitless” (2011) and “The Place Beyond the Pines” (2012). The latter showed his willingness to be in movies that weren’t “Bradley Cooper movies.”
Joining forces with director David O. Russell wasn’t so much swerve as corkscrew. Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012), but Cooper gave the richer, more challenging performance. He didn’t mind letting his character look foolish in “American Hustle” (2013) — lack of actorly ego is no small thing — and his TV-producer cameo was a jolt of energy that “Joy” (2015) could have used a lot more of.
In 2014 Cooper pulled off the neat trick of swerving in opposite directions: The hilarious mouthiness of his voice work as Rocket Raccoon in “Guardians of the Galaxy” could hardly differ more from the darkness of “American Sniper.” His days of playing arrogant, good-looking jerks were over. So why not try writing, directing . . . and singing? “A Star Is Born” (2018) saw — and heard — him do all those things, and notably well. But what was most impressive about it was his generosity, as costar no less than director, toward Lady Gaga. A movie star was being born, with Cooper present at the creation.
Later this year, another swerve awaits — take a deep breath — a Leonard Bernstein biopic, with Cooper directing, cowriting, and playing the composer. In a nice quirk of Hollywood coincidence, Steven Spielberg’s remake of “West Side Story” arrives this year, too. Something’s coming? Oh yes, something’s definitely coming.
Mark Feeney can be reached at email@example.com.