Mistress America A screwball comedy about female friendship, betrayal, and theft starring the crazily gesticulative Greta Gerwig as a know-it-all New Yorker who decides to mentor a lonely college freshman new to the big city, played by Lola Kirke. Noah Baumbach directs from a screenplay on which he and Gerwig collaborated, between breaks watching Howard Hawks and Preston Sturges. R
Industrious microbudget moviemaker Joe Swanberg assembles another impressive troupe of actors for another slice-o'-life shamble, his characters angsting about fidelity, commitment, sex, parenting, friendship, aging, and - in the case of Digging for Fire - about human bones discovered in some shrubs.
Mistress America Greta Gerwig and Lola Kirke star in the Noah Baumbach-directed, Baumbach-and-Gerwig- scripted girl-com about a hustling, bustling New Yorker who decides to mentor her younger, prospective stepsister, a Barnard freshman with
Clark Park Movie Series Fridays through Sept. 18, Clark Park, Chester Avenue and 43d Street, beginning at dusk. Movies al fresco in University City's happening public common, with an obscure 1940s title, Casablanca - starring some guy named Bogart, some dame named Bergman - showing Friday.
The Diary of a Teenage Girl A 15-year-old in freewheeling 1970s San Francisco has an affair with her mother's boyfriend in this honest and unblurred examination of a tricky voyage into womanhood. It may sound scandalous, or exploitative, or deeply inappropiate, but the film - written and directed by Marielle Heller, adapted from Phoebe Gloeckner's graphic novel - is none of those things. Bel Powley stars, with Kristin Wiig and Alexander Skarsgard. R
Owen Wilson, action hero? Well, yes, kind of. In No Escape, an unexpectedly gripping, gut-rustling thriller opening in theaters Wednesday, Wilson plays a Texas techie, a water-purification engineer, who moves his wife and girls to an unnamed Southeast Asian country.
A straight-ahead documentary tribute, Rosenwald - about Julius Rosenwald, the hugely generous philanthropist and president of Sears - screened last month at the annual meeting of the NAACP here in Philadelphia. Why would the life of a son of Jewish immigrants from Germany be of special interest to African Americans?
'I had sex today," 15-year-old Minnie Goetze declares, elated, astonished, in the early going of The Diary of a Teenage Girl. Wide-eyed and raging with hormones and insecurity, Minnie - beautifully and bravely played by Bel Powley - talks into a cassette recorder in the privacy of her bedroom, sharing her deepest secrets and yearnings with no one but herself. And her big cat, Domino.
American Ultra If you haven't had enough of Jesse Eisenberg after watching The End of the Tour, try this action comedy about a hapless underachiever who turns out to be - much to his own surprise - a highly trained sleeper secret-ops dude. Kristen Stewart is Eisenberg's girlfriend. Topher Grace and Cinnie Britton also star. R
Amy Powerful documentary portrait of Amy Winehouse, the British singer who died in 2011, at age 27, a victim of drink, drugs, and fame. Soul-stirring, heartbreaking, the film uses a trove of archival footage, much of it recorded on smartphones by friends, lovers, bandmates, roadies, record execs, and fans, to trace the life and blazing career of the singer and songwriter with the trademark beehive and fearsome talent. R
If looks could kill, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. would be lethal. A perfectly tailored period piece (the early 1960s, with funny Eastern Block automobiles and bold French couture), Guy Ritchie's reboot of the old TV spy show stars a trio of exceedingly handsome actors dashing and deadpanning their way around some exceedingly handsome locales.
One of the bigger surprises in Best of Enemies, the lively documentary about William F. Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal's debates-turned-death-matches during ABC News' coverage of the 1968 Republican and Democratic Conventions, is that the network promoted the two pundits as intellectuals. All brains, no brawn.
Listen to Me Marlon. Brilliant documentary portrait of Marlon Brando, narrated by the actor himself - culled from more than 200 hours of personal audiotapes in which the iconic star reflects on his life, his work. Lacerating, self-lacerating, full of insight and regret, Brando's commentary brings a career back into sharp focus. With clips from A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, The Godfather, and much more. No MPAA rating