What’s playing in Madison theaters: March 21-27, 2014

grandbudapest

All week

The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Point, Sundance) — The  film of the spring for Madisonians of a certain stripe, Wes Anderson’s latest features an all-star cast led by a surprisingly comic Ralph Fiennes.

Muppets Most Wanted” (Point, Eastgate, Cinema) — My full review is here. The gang return in a cross-European caper comedy that’s not quite as good as 2011’s “The Muppets,” but still a lot of fun. With Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, and dozens of celebrity cameos.

Divergent” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — It’s the classic teen drama dilemma — what if you’re awesome at everything? Shailene Woodley lives in a dystopian future where society is divided up by attributes — only she doesn’t fit in.

Stranger By The Lake” (Sundance) — My full review is here. At a small French beach frequented by gay men looking for an anonymous past, one man falls for another who may be a murderer. I’m doing a post-show chat after the Tuesday 7:05 p.m. show.

Friday

Wisconsin Film Festival Sneak Peek” (7 p.m., Madison Public Library’s Central, Pinney and Alicia Ashman branches) — With the festival less than two weeks away (really!), festival programmers are presenting a look at what’s coming. Each of the three library locations will be presenting an hour of trailers and clips from movies playing at the festival. FREE!

Saturday

Wisconsin Film Festival Sneak Peek” (2 p.m., Alicia Ashman Public Library, 733 N. High Point Blvd.) — Bring the kids and check out some of the trailers for the family-friendly offerings at this year’s festival. FREE!

Frozen” (2 p.m., Madison Public Library Pinney Branch, 204 Cottage Grove Road.) — My full review is here. “Let It Go” has basically been on a non-stop loop in our house since December, and I’d still see Disney’s animated fable again. That’s how good it is. FREE!

Monday

Little Shop of Horrors” (Monday through Thursday, Point and Eastgate) — Marcus winds up its month of musicals with Frank Oz’s 1986 musical, your typical boy-meets-girl, boy-meets-plant, dentist-meets-laughing gas tale.

The Way We Get By” (2 p.m., Alicia Ashman Public Library) — I’m guessing the Spoon song doesn’t make an appearance in this documentary about senior citizens who greet soldiers returning home from overseas, but I could be wrong. FREE!

Tuesday

Freedom Riders” (7 p.m., Wisconsin Historical Society, 816 State St.) — The historical society continues its series of civil rights documentaries with this inspiring and insightful look at volunteers riding a bus into the deep South, including never before seen footage of an attack by Klansmen in which a bus was set on fire. FREE!

Wednesday

The Shawshank Redemption” (1:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Sundance) — Most recently parodied in “Muppets Most Wanted,” Frank Darabont’s film about prison and friendship is probably on TBS tonight anyway, but still much better to see on the big screen.

A Place at the Table” (7 p.m, Union South Marquee, 1308 W. Dayton St.) — My full review is here. As Congress slashed food stamps yet again and Paul Ryan rails about laziness in the “inner city,” this timely documentary looks at how hunger cuts across all locations and demographics. FREE!

Winter of Cyclists” (7 p.m., Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave.) — This documentary looks at cycling enthusiasts who don’t let a little thing like winter slow them down. The director and cast member Heather McCullough, a UW grad, will be at the screening. $10.

Thursday

Dead Man Walking” (6:30 p.m, Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St.) — With the Madison Opera set to perform “Dead Man Walking” next month, the library will show the acclaimed 1995 film about the bond between Sister Helen Prejean (Susan Sarandon) and a death row inmate (Sean Penn). FREE!

LakeFront Cinema: Video pioneer Aaron Granat” (6:30 p.m, Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St.) — Madison visual artist Granat will present some of his meditative short films. FREE!

Damage Control: The Films of Adam Paradis and JB Mabe” (7 p.m., Union South Marquee) — The Chicago experimental filmmakers will be on hand to present a wide range of their short films, which range from Super 8 to 16mm. FREE!

Russian Ark” (9 p.m, Union South Marquee) — Past and present intermingle in Alexander Sokurov’s groundbreaking film set in the famed Hermitage, and shot in a single, unbroken take. FREE!

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