This weekend you can have your mornings and afternoons to yourself. Your evenings belong to me. The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque offers stellar movies for your enjoyment.
I thought My Left Foot (1989) might have been the first film where I saw, and was dazzled by Daniel Day-Lewis, but I was mistaken. Before that film, for which he won the first (of three, so far) Oscars for Best Actor, I saw him in My Beautiful Laundrette and A Room with a View (both in 1985) and the unforgettable The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), all of which you should try to see right now, today, if you haven’t already. He had also appeared in other films and TV shows, too, which you might remember if you’re more on top of things than I am.
In My Left Foot, Day-Lewis plays Christy Brown, the Irish author and hero of the book by the same name. The author’s left foot merits the title, because it’s the only part of the body he can control, due to cerebral palsy. With that foot, Brown wrote his autobiography and also painted pictures, more than most of us accomplish with four working appendages. I read the book around the same time as my dad, a paraplegic with a special interest in the subject matter. I remember feeling it was a pretty adult book with some scandalous parts, and I felt grown up reading it along with my dad. My memory is that the inspiration is leavened with a little Celtic bawdiness, but that was a long-ago, innocent time.
It’s a great story, with an Oscar-winning performance, too, by Brenda Fricker. One should not pass up chances to see Daniel Day-Lewis. (July 11 at 6:00 pm; July 13 at 7:25)
Your second movie of the weekend is Ginger and Rosa, a lovely, recent coming-of-age story set in 1962, starring Elle Fanning in a very impressive performance (nailing an English accent), directed by Sally Potter. Annette Bening and Oliver Platt also star. Two devoted teenage friends become estranged, as one grows concerned with nuclear disarmament and the other with boys, and then with a particular, particularly inappropriate, man. Loved this when I saw it at the Cedar-Lee. (July 11 at 8:05 pm; July 12 at 9:40 pm)
Last but absolutely not least is Jason and the Argonauts, the eminently enjoyable 1963 epic with dazzlingly wonderful special effects by the legendary Ray Harryhausen, who died in May. He appeared at the Cinematheque 20 years ago and was charming and disarming and gracious. See this movie and hear Bernard Hermann’s fine music where they belong, in a theater. Bring the kids. (July 12 at 5:15; July 13 at 5:15)
I can’t give a personal testimonial about the weekend’s other offering, but it sounds good. Something in the Air (a weird translation of the French title, Apres Mai) takes place after the student uprisings in Paris in 1968 and depicts young people finding their places in that highly charged, radically changing world. This recent offering by director Olivier Assayas was well received at last year’s New York Film Festival. (July 12 at 7:20 pm; July 13 at 9:30)
There you go. Weekend plans made, and you have Sunday free to relax, or post here about how you liked the movies.