THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14
Little Miss Sunshine
Drama/Comedy. A riotous romp through America by way of an old VW bus driven by a hapless motivational speaker (Greg Kinnear) and his colorful oddball family (Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, Steve Carell, Paul Dano and Abigail Breslin) of Proust scholars, porn lovers and pageant winner wannabes.
The Last King of Scotland
Drama/Thriller. A cinematic feast of political betrayal and Ugandan violence that is being lauded (Oscar, Oscar, Oscar!) for Forest Whitaker’s complex portrayal of one of the world’s most notoriously brutal dictators, Idi Amin, as seen through the eyes of a young (fictional) Scottish doctor, who is also getting it on with one of Amin’s wives.
Into Great Silence
Documentary. A glimpse into the Carthusian monastery of France (built in 1688), where visitors are not allowed and the monks who reside there have dedicated their lives to God and silence. Shh…
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15
No films today.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16
Animation/Family. The latest loaded-with-merchandise-appeal Pixar pic (like Toy Story, The Incredibles, et al) that anthropomorphizes automobiles, basically turning your rusty brown ‘83 Tercel into the embodiment of your favorite unemployed uncle, Tony. Featuring the voices of Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, George Carlin and Bonnie Hunt.
Drama. It’s directed by Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, Virgin Suicides), was shot at Versailles, stars Kirsten Dunst and Rip Torn, features The Cure and Bow Wow Wow on its soundtrack and is a biopic of the lady who said, “Let them eat cake.” Really, what else do you need to know?
Drama. A fictionalized account of the day RFK was shot, featuring an impressive all-star cast (Anthony Hopkins, Lindsay Lohan, Elijah Wood, Helen Hunt and Sharon Stone) and directed by Emilio Estevez.
Breaking and Entering
Drama/Romance/Thriller. Race, class and sex collide in this stylish melodrama that twists and cracks like the streets of its London locale. Stars Jude Law, Robin Wright Penn and Juliette Binoche.
(Rating TBD. 120 min.)
Drama/Foreign. Italy’s submission to this year’s Academy Awards about a family who emigrates to the U.S. from Sicily. Stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Vincenzo Amato.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17
Drama. A speculative meditation about what happened on the fourth plane hijacked on September 11, 2001, in a comprehensive and emotional film that is praised for being “intense, stunning” “respectful, accomplished” and “as raw as an exposed nerve” by critics.
A Prairie Home Companion
Musical/Comedy. A classic Altman look into Americana that captures the last gasps of one of radio’s longest running programs. The late-great director Robert Altman’s last film, with Meryl Streep, Garrison Keillor, Lily Tomlin, Woody Harrelson and many others.
Drama/Action. Uh-oh, it’s another Mel Gibson historical tour de force—this time about the last days of the Mayans—which means an ambitious movie with serious guts and glory, and a healthy dollop of good ole Hollywood values.
Shut Up and Sing
Documentary/Musical. A disturbing account of the backlash country stars The Dixie Chicks received following an anti-Bush comment they made onstage.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 18
No films today.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 19
A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
Drama/Mystery. Director Dito Montiel’s bittersweet (aw, my favorite flavor!) autobiographical tale of growing up on the streets of Queens, New York, in the mid-’80s. Stars Robert Downey,Jr., Dianne Wiest and Chazz Palminteri.
Drama. A story of a teacher on crack (Ryan Gosling) and a street-smart student (Shareeka Epps) that inspired Marc Savlov of the Austin Chronicle to say, “Half Nelson, with its bleakly hopeful view of humanity both damned and redeemed—simultaneously—is uncomfortably, almost exactly right.”
Drama/Fantasy/Foreign. Mexico’s submission for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language that depicts the parallel universe between a group of rebels in war-torn Spain in the 1940’s and a young girl’s fantastical journey into the heart of an overgrown labyrinth where she meets an ancient satyr.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 20
Comedy/Drama/Foreign. Argentina’s Official Entry for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film about the age-old tale of trying to make your papa proud, while your wife is away on a Pilates retreat.
Drama/Action. He’s baaack. Rocky returns to the ring as a 50-something widower to fight the present World Champ. Written and directed by Sylvester Stallone.
We Are Marshall
Drama/Action. Based on the true story of the rebuilding of a college football team, and its small town, after the tragedy of losing 75 of its teammates and coaching staff in a plane crash in 1970. Stars good ole American hotties Matthew McConaughey and Matthew Fox.
Tickets: $10 adults, $5 keiki, $40 4-Film VIP FastPass. Free parking. For more info, visit www.MauiFilmFestival.com or call 572-3456. The Castle Theater is located in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, One Cameron Way, Kahului, 242-7469. MTW