On Demand movie highlights


(Encore on Comcast) This Charlie Kaufman-Spike Jonze collaboration concerns a tubby and depressive screenwriter named Charlie Kaufman (Nicolas Cage) fighting to extract a movie from a book in which a magazine writer (Meryl Streep) tries to understand a man (Chris Cooper) hunting a rare flower. The process drives him nuts. Combining Darwin, the rules of screenwriting, and Charlie’s twin brother (Cage, brilliant again), the actual film is extraordinary, intelligent, and profoundly sincere. (R; runs through May 1)

Kramer vs. Kramer

(Encore on Comcast) The ’70s was a decade marked by separation, divorce, and broken homes. Robert Benton’s adaptation of Avery Corman’s novel, incited by a brilliant performance by Dustin Hoffman, takes this phenomenon and humanizes it. The story of a career-oriented man whose wife leaves him with their 6-year-old son resonates with a heartfelt authenticity. Meryl Streep and Justin Henry are extraordinary as the mother and son and the movie expands beyond the trendy cuteness of “An Unmarried Woman” and “Carnal Knowledge.” (PG; runs through May 1)

Breaking the Waves ½

(Showtime on Comcast) Lars von Trier’s neo-primitive love story is breathtaking in the raw purity of its emotions. Emily Watson is the woman of intense religious faith who must react to her oil-rig worker husband’s incapacitating injury in their punishing community in a Scottish coastal town. (R; runs through May 6)