Pick of the week: “Listen Up Philip” (all week, Sundance) — I’m a bit self-serving here, as I’m hosting a post-show Q&A on Tuesday, Oct. 28 after the 7:05 p.m. showing. But I still think Alex Ross Perry’s scathing comedy-drama, starring Jason Schwartzman as a misanhtropic writer in the Philip Roth mold, should be a good one.
“St. Vincent” (all week, Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — About the time I saw a guy at a bar in California wearing a T-shirt depicting Bill Murray as a leprechaun, I wondered if our collective deification of the comic actor might have hit its saturation point. Yet, I still love him, and it looks like he’s got his best lead role since “Lost in Translation” in this comedy-drama about a drunken Vietnam vet who grudgingly agrees to care for a neighbor’s kid.
“Dear White People” (all week, Sundance) — This debut film was a big hit at Sundance, and should touch a nerve in Madison, a charged satire about the few African-American students trying to survive and maintain their identity at a largely white Ivy League collage.
“Eastern Boys” (7 p.m. Wednesday, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, 227 State St.) — I was a big fan of director Laurent Cantet’s “Time Out” and “The Class,” and I’m interested to see what the writer of those films, Robin Campillo, does as a director. In this thriller with profound things to say about France’s immigrant culture, a middle-aged Frenchman picks up an Ukranian teen at a train station, only to find himself with more than he bargained for. FREE for museum members, $7 for all others.
“The Visitor” (7:30 p.m. Monday, Union South Marquee Theatre, 1208 W. Regent St.) — The latest Marquee Monday show hosted by the UW-Cinematheque is a sci-fi film that seemingly mashes up every genre film, good and bad, from the ’70s. The film follows a girl with possibly devilish telekinetic powers, and has a cast includes John Huston, Shelley Winters and Glenn Ford, but the fact that the credits include Franco Nero as “Space Jesus” should seal the deal. FREE!