Film Guide - April 13, 2012

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Margaret: There’s a lot happening on screen, but Anna Paquin and company do a good job of steering through the morass of information. The strong performances are compelling in this often off-putting but well-observed New York story. *** HR

Material: Serio-comedy set in the Muslim community of Fordsburg, with stand-up comedy alternating a family drama from the director of Jozi. *** TS

Ordinary People: Three men’s lives are eternally altered by the impactful words of a potato farmer. **** TG

Project X: Teenage high school debauchery is had in a massive party blowout that causes the biggest mayhem in town. H* TG

Putting It Together: The final film of the Broadway season, this one provides a unique look and listen to the genre and music of Stephen Sondheim. The cast includes the spectacular Carol Burnett and hugely entertaining Bronson Pinchot. If you’re fascinated by the musical as a genre, this should fit the bill. **** DdB

Safe House: Denzel Washington as a CIA agent gone rogue and Ryan Reynolds tuning SAPS in Afrikaans – all in Cape Town. What’s not to love? **** HH

Semi-soet: This is the second time round for the director and producers and a first attempt at an Afrikaans romantic comedy. Great idea with some cool rhythms, but they need to keep up the hip factor and not fall back on the tried and tired. *** DdB

Take Shelter: Slow-burning pressure cooker of a film which documents the descent into madness of one man, or maybe he’s not the one going mad …. Critically acclaimed performance from Michael Shannon. **** TS

The Artist: Black and white, silent, Oscar winner about an actor at the height of fame, who struggles to adapt to the advent of talkies in the 1930s, as a fellow actress’s star takes off. **** TS

The Lorax: Dr Seuss’ tale about caring for the planet features the voices of Zac Efron, Danny DeVito, Taylor Swift and Betty White. *** HH

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Excellent ensemble cast and tight directing turns John le Carré’s Cold War spy novel into a classy puzzle of a thriller with a great soundtrack. **** TS

Titanic 3D: That sinking feeling when you discover the (barely there) 3D version of the 1997 original film doesn’t omit the Celine Dion song … Still stars Leonardo diCaprio and Kate Winslet. *** HH

Wrath of the Titans 3D: Gorgeous scenery but the flat, clichéd dialogue and poor scripting drags it along. The action sequences are well filmed, but would be nauseating in 3D. ** TS

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