THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU
2004, Buena Vista Pictures, 119 min, USA, Dir: Wes Anderson

Featuring an all-star cast, this wonderfully strange film about an oceanographer and hack undersea documentarian (Bill Murray) seeking revenge on the shark that ate his partner is both hilarious and melancholy. A combination Jacques Cousteau and Captain Ahab, Murray plans to film his underwater revenge on the infamous jaguar shark. Those along for the journey include his ex-wife (Anjelica Huston), her ex-husband (Jeff Goldblum), a salty seaman (Willem Dafoe) and a man who may or may not be his son (Owen Wilson).


THE GRIFTERS
1990, Miramax, 110 min, USA, Dir: Stephen Frears

After a small-time scam backfires, Roy Dillon (John Cusack) is hospitalized, bringing his estranged mother Lilly (Anjelica Huston) back into his life. When she tries to turn him away from girlfriend Myra (Annette Bening), Roy finds himself caught between con artists whose talent for deception far outstrips his own. Adapted from the Jim Thompson novel, this suspenseful neo-noir earned Oscar nominations for Frears, Huston, Bening and screenwriter Donald E. Westlake.


CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS
1989, MGM Repertory, 104 min, USA, Dir: Woody Allen

Comedy is tragedy plus time.” Successful ophthalmologist and wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing Judah Rosenthal (Martin Landau) is in a bind when longtime mistress Dolores (Anjelica Huston), fed up with years of noncommitment and empty promises, threatens to go to his wife with the truth. While Judah considers a wickedly devastating solution to his problem, documentary filmmaker Clifford Stern (Woody Allen) must put aside his passion project about a philosophy professor and instead profile his successful weasel of a brother-in-law Lester (Alan Alda). All of Allen’s hilariously hyperbolic obsessions are in fine form here - religion, guilt, sex, death, disgust with the mainstream - but darkly tainted with a bleakness rarely seen in his career of filmmaking.


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