Friday, December 15, 2017
Movies

Holocaust film 'In Darkness' exclusively at Woodlands Square 20 in Oldsmar

In Darkness (R) (145 min.) — Oskar Schindler wasn't the only World War II opportunist to see the light and save Jews from capture by Nazis, just the first with a movie based on that conscience shift, and a better one than this. Director Agnieszka Holland's overlong, at times indecipherable movie was nominated for the best foreign language film Academy Award but against A Separation it never had a chance of winning.

The theme of In Darkness is familiar to anyone who saw Schindler's List, but Holland's portrayal is decidedly less compelling than Steven Spielberg's. The unlikely saint in this case is an amoral sewer worker named Leopold Socha (Robert Wieckiewicz), who discovered Jews hiding beneath the streets of Lvov, Poland.

Rather than turning over the fugitives to Nazi occupiers, Socha profited from them, selling supplies to survive in a murky, septic underworld. Holland spends much of her film exploring these gloomy catacombs, and viewers should hope the projector is fitted with a new lamp, as dimly as the drama plays out in largely natural lighting. Of all the feelings this story could inspire, eyestrain shouldn't be one.

Unlike Spielberg, Holland doesn't canonize the victims, at times making the hidden Jews an unseemly lot, rutting in the shadows like animals in heat and deceiving each other when they should unite. This may be honest — the film is based on Robert Marshall's true-life book — but it undercuts the significance of Socha's risky acts. At times the sewer dwellers don't appear worth saving, except for Socha's profiting. This can't be the filmmaker's intention but it's there.

In Darkness is shown with English subtitles, exclusively at Woodlands Square 20 in Oldsmar. B-

Steve Persall, Times movie critic

Comments
Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 billion deal

Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 billion deal

NEW YORK — Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion in stock, including film and television studios and cable and international TV businesses, as it tries to meet competition from technology compa...
Published: 12/14/17
Now isn’t a good time for Woody Allen to make a bad movie but ‘Wonder Wheel’ is awful

Now isn’t a good time for Woody Allen to make a bad movie but ‘Wonder Wheel’ is awful

Now isn’t a good time for Woody Allen to make a bad movie, while broken silence resurrects whispers of his own alleged sexual misconduct.Wonder Wheel (PG-13) is exactly what the 82-year-old Oscar winner doesn’t need, a reason beyond social outrage fo...
Published: 12/13/17
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has everything The Force Awakens was missing

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has everything The Force Awakens was missing

When The Force Awakens landed two years ago, it was everything Star Wars fans wanted yet not entirely what we needed. It was a rousing tribute missing its own vision, introducing new characters and crises hinting at old ones. Star Wars: The Last Jed...
Published: 12/12/17
13 new movies you have to see over the holiday season

13 new movies you have to see over the holiday season

Hollywood has enough movies left to get everyone through the holidays plus any New Year’s hangover. Many are aiming for awards glory, a few are just here for the party. The really serious contenders won’t open nationwide until early 2018...
Published: 12/12/17
Six places to see a movie and eat dinner at the same time

Six places to see a movie and eat dinner at the same time

Back in my day ...Go on. Say the words. Apply it to the cost of movies. Once a casual weekend outing, seeing a flick can be an enormously expensive experience in streaming-happy 2017. Tickets can climb upwards of $15 these days, depending on the thea...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/13/17
Golden Globe-nominated movies and when to see them in Tampa Bay

Golden Globe-nominated movies and when to see them in Tampa Bay

Guillermo Del Toro’s romantic creature feature The Shape of Water soaked up seven Golden Globes nominations Monday, kicking off another marathon awards season. The Shape of Water is nominated for best dramatic motion picture alongside Christop...
Published: 12/11/17
Updated: 12/12/17
‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

‘Shape of Water,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ lead Golden Globes

Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War-era fairytale "The Shape of Water" swam away with a leading seven nominations from the Golden Globes, while the HBO drama "Big Little Lies" led television nominees with six nods. In what’s being viewed as a wide-open Osc...
Published: 12/11/17
Five offbeat movie choices to get you away from the multiplex this week

Five offbeat movie choices to get you away from the multiplex this week

Hollywood is backloading December, waiting for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to bring moviegoers back to multiplexes. After no major releases last week, only James Franco’s The Disaster Artist is making any new impression at box offices this weekend. (Cli...
Published: 12/06/17
Updated: 12/12/17
Olaf is being let go: Olaf short is being dropped from Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’

Olaf is being let go: Olaf short is being dropped from Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’

Winter is still weeks away but everyone’s favorite snowman is already melting from view.In a cruel twist on Frozen’s showstopper, Olaf is being let go.Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, the 21-minute animated "short" preceding Disney-Pixar’s Coco in theaters w...
Published: 12/05/17
‘The Disaster Artist’ takes us inside ‘The Room’ as it notoriously happened

‘The Disaster Artist’ takes us inside ‘The Room’ as it notoriously happened

James Franco found a kooky, kindred spirit in Tommy Wiseau, The Disaster Artist whose 2003 cine-trocity The Room is hailed as one of the worst movies ever.Like Wiseau, Franco can be accused of stretching his talent way too far. Unlike Wiseau, Franco ...
Published: 12/04/17