What’s Playing, Madison?

love is strange movie madison wisconsin


The Car (6:30p — Central Library, Rm 302)

“Is it a phantom, a demon, or the Devil himself?” cries the poster for this 1977 James Brolin “thriller.” I’ve got a feeling Bad Cinema will just make you plain cry with this one. FREE.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (7:00p — Union South Marquee)

Ralph Fiennes’ hotel concierge takes Zero Mostel’s lobby boy under his wing. Well, after you get past three rich, introspective, and self-critical framing devices. Wes Anderson’s best film since The Royal Tenenbaums is also among the year’s best releases period. Naturally. FREE.

Obvious Child (9:30p — Union South Marquee)

Gillian Robespierre directs SNL exile Jenny Slate in this Wisconsin Film Fest alum that’s more than your average “abortion dramedy.” Wait, what? FREE.

All freakin’ weekend

Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago (Sundance)

Lydia Smith’s profile of six pilgrims and their 500-mile trip to the famous Way of St. James plumbs the transformative nature of hiking for spirituality, heat, and plenty of blisters. Smith will appear in person for Q&As on Sept. 20 and Sept. 21.

Love is Strange (Sundance)

John Lithgow is fired after the Catholic school he works for discovers his marriage to his partner of 39 years (Alfred Molina). Yet despite its near unanimous praise and the fact that this drama is about “as clean as a Mr. Rogers episode,” Love is Strange “earned” an R-rating. The MPAA is stranger.

Tusk (AMC Star, Point, Eastgate)

Justin Long’s famous podcaster is kidnapped by a homicidal maniac (Michael Parks) who slowly morphs Long into a man-walrus. It’s become all too easy (and somewhat justifiable) to poke fun at Kevin Smith, but you can’t blame the man for trying again in his latter day work… can you?

This is Where I Leave You (Sundance, AMC Star, Point, Eastgate)

Adapted from lifetime cynic Jonathan Tropper, This is Where I Leave You sticks Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Adam Driver, and Corey Stoll under the same roof. Even if it means sitting Shiva to fulfill my dead father’s last request, how can that not be an entertaining week?

A Walk Among the Tombstones (AMC Star, Point, Eastgate)

Liam Neeson plays a former ______ who must use his special skills to exact revenge on ________ for kidnapping a woman (__________).

The Maze Runner (AMC Star, Point, Eastgate)

A young man awakens inside a giant maze and must orchestrate an escape with other teenagers while avoiding deadly monsters. I’ve never read James Dashner’s novel, but I did make it through the ending of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.


Obvious Child (6:00p — Union South Marquee)


The Last Unicorn (6:45p, 9:15p — Point)

This 2k restoration of The Last Unicorn, complete with a digital “appearance” by author Peter S. Beagle, is sure to please fans of Rankin and Bass’s beloved children’s film. — and by fans I mean people in their 40s.

The Brink’s Job (7:00p — 4070 Vilas Hall)

William Friedkin recreates 1950’s Great Brink’s Robbery and its $3 million payout with the help of Peter Falk and Peter Boyle. FREE.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (8:30p — Union South Marquee)


Wizard People, Dear Reader (11:00p — Union South Marquee)

Not quite a movie and not quite a soundtrack, comic book artist Brad Neely lays down the “real” version of the first Harry Potter film with Harry, Ron and Hermione. Ahem, excuse me. With Master P, Ronnie the Effing Bear, and The Wretched Harmony. (Pay no attention to the fact that Neely’s never read the books.) FREE.


The Man in the White Suit (7:00p — 4070 Vilas Hall)

Alec Guinness’ textile chemist upsets the trade unions when he accidentally invents a white fabric that never soils or wears out. Arguably the most important entry in Cinematheque’s Ealing Studios features, because laundry. FREE.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (7:00p — Union South Marquee)


Obvious Child (9:30p — Union South Marquee)


Labyrinth (11:30p — Union South Marquee)

If Wikipedia is correct and this is responsible for reducing David Bowie to “the one who’s in Labyrinth,” Jim Henson’s tonedeaf cocktail of weirdness and vague pedophilia is more dangerous than we could have possibly imagined. FREE.


Sabotage (2:00p — Chazen Art Museum)

Early Hitchcock thriller = good Hitchcock thriller. FREE.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (3:00p — Union South Marquee)


See You Next Tuesday (7:00p — 4070 Vilas hall)

Brandon Colvin’s FREE microbudget series features this probable future cult-hit about a very ornery and very pregnant young woman who moves in with her estranged lesbian sister. I love Girls as much as the next 20-something liberal arts graduate, but anything IndieWIRE dubs “an angry rejoinder to Tiny Furniture” is appointment viewing. Director Drew Tobia will appear via Skype for a post-show Q&A.


Away From Her (2:00p — Alicia Ashman Branch Library)

Actor-turned-director Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell was one of the best films of last year, but it all started with this drama about Julie Christie’s Alzheimer’s. FREE.


Doctor Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1:50p, 6:55p — Sundance)

The Waiting Room (7:00p — Union South Marquee)

Peter Nicks’ documentary on a hospital caring for uninsured patients doubles as a screed on the modern state of American Health Care. Co-presented FREE by WUD Film, Students for a National Health Plan, and American Medical Student Association (AMSA).