Released around Springtime on the IMAX 6 story screen, **How to Train Your Dragon** quietly amassed over 200 million dollars at the box office and talk of sequel is on the Dreamworks drawing board. Released last weekend at the Museum of Discovery IMAX screen by Warner Brother Studios, **Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole** has the potential to perform similar business success, in the familiar quiet way. The animation is superb with microscopic attention to detail with important themes about warriors and bullies.
Soren and his brother, two young owls, are kidnapped by a cult of evil owls who brainwash younglings. Soren manages to escape to the mythical land of Ga'Hoole and learns that the legends have become a fact. While undergoing training from his elders, Soran finds himself becoming emotional distant from his confused brother.
The magnified action scenes suffer from too many closeups of owl talons, which might prove too intense for preschool viewers. Fans of Kathryn Lasky's novel will appreciate **Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole** for it's all purpose storytelling.
Under the darkness days of the Great Depression, movie musicals were great box office for the movies. Songs songs by Ginger Rogers like **We're in the Money" still resonate eighty five years later, if anything, for their irony. Despite the recent announcement that the current recession ended last June, the reality is that many people are struggling to make a living. Taking lesson from those who survived the Great Depression, perhaps it is time to watch a musical. **Bran Nue Dae** is an antidote to the current malaise.
The moment **Bran Nue Dae** opens, the viewer knows that they have entered a vacation of the mind. The colorful cinematography opens and one thinks they are in the Baptist Church with a great gospel singer. Actually the location is Australia and the music is just as good as the Harlem Gospel Choir. We are introduced to Willie (Rocky McKenzie) who is infatuated with the singer, Rosie
(Jessica Mauboy). The two develop a relationship in their idyllic fishing community, until Big Mama arrives and ships Willie to a religious mission for better education.
Willie crosses academic sabers with Father Benedictus (Geoffrey Rush), a missionary with many secrets of his own. As the facial plot motivations play out, the music gets better and better. With a cross section of country, blues, Broadway chorus and indigenous sounds of Australia, one will leave **Bran Nue Dae** with a lifted heart.
A French film with English subtitles, **Mademoiselle Chambon** is currently screening locally. A piece of visual poetry, **Mademoiselle Chambon** is a César Award Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay. Based on a novel by Eric Holder, **Mademoiselle Chambon** has echoes with Clint Eastwood's **The Bridges of Madison County.**
Construction worker Jean (Vincent Lindon) lives a tranquil life with his wife and son. While attempting to decipher his son's homework, Jean meets the boy's homeroom teacher, Mademoiselle Chambon (Sandrine Kiberlain, Lindon’s former wife). It is a mutual attraction and both try to to keep their desires from turning into infidelity.
However, passion is expressed in numerous ways. Jean repairs Champon's window which creates better illumination. Champon replays the gesture introducing Jean to famous violin solos. This mutual attraction becomes obvious to Jean's family and neighbors.
**Mademoiselle Chambon** is a quiet film that grows on you. Both Vincent Lindon and Sandrine Kiberlain underplay their roles, which provides maximum vulnerability as the characters develop. The plot is simple about two uncommunicative people, but the creative use of hammers and violins makes **Mademoiselle Chambon**a thought provoking movie.