Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Alfonso Cuarón. (PG) Opens Friday, June 4, at multiple locations. Reviewed in this issue.
Twilight Samurai Yoji Yamada. (unrated) Opens Friday, June 4, at the Tivoli. Reviewed in this issue.
Valentín Alejandro Agresti. (PG-13) It's a hard-knock life for nauseatingly "adorable" little Valentín (Rodrigo Noya). The streets have claimed his mother, and his absentee father (played by veteran Argentine director Alejandro Agresti) is a cruel bigot who can't sustain a girlfriend. Thus, the bespectacled moppet abides with his deteriorating grandmother (Carmen Maura) while forging a friendship between a jolly Jewish musician (Mex Urtizburea) and one of Dad's statuesque conquests (Julieta Cardinali). And that's it. This slight postcard of a movie duly delivers twee sentiment and sketches of local color but neglects to include a sincere wish-you-were-here. Despite a few spotty amusements, the dialogue is mostly pedestrian. A charming scene involving a reluctantly noble doctor (Carlos Roffé) briefly lifts the proceedings, but themes of mortality, revolutionary politics and even the crux of abandonment feel tacked-on. Essentially this is a pale imitation of My Life as a Dog or Cinema Paradiso. It means well, but it's only a "feel-good" experience if your concept of that term involves being jerked around and doused in sap. Opens Friday, June 4, at the Plaza Frontenac. (Gregory Weinkauf)