‘Love Is Strange,’ ‘The Trip to Italy’ and other new movies, reviewed

August 29, 2014

In this week’s new releases, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina star in “Love Is Strange,” a film about a recently married couple and the unexpected difficulties they face. British comedians Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan hit the road in “The Trip to Italy;” the film receives 2 1/2 stars.

 “Love Is Strange” (R) “A common adage about great screen acting is that it’s less about doing than being. Alfred Molina and John Lithgow provide a master class in that subtle, sublime endeavor in ‘Love Is Strange,’ a delicate, superbly crafted and deeply moving portrait of family in its many forms and emotional permutations.” – Ann Hornaday

½The Trip to Italy” (Unrated) “‘The Trip to Italy’ is like most vacations: a few bumps here and there, but over all too quickly” – Ann Hornaday

 “Jealousy” (Unrated) ““Jealousy” is less cynical than it sounds. While certainly no love story, this dry-eyed tale feels achingly, maybe even exhilaratingly alive.” – Michael O’Sullivan

 “Life of Crime” (R) “‘Life of Crime’ feels like a rambling car ride through the countryside with friends. The scenery is great, and the passengers are diverting, but you keep wondering where the driver is headed.” – Michael O’Sullivan

 “May in the Summer” (R) “Given how underrepresented women are in Hollywood, it’s understandable to want to root for ‘May in the Summer.’ But a movie has to be more than a hopeful symbol of progress, and this one only sporadically lives up to the promises of a good cast and a filmmaker, Cherien Dabis, who won over critics and festival crowds five years ago with the drama ‘Amreeka.’” – Stephanie Merry

½Kundo: Age of the Rampant” (Unrated) “When it opened in Korea last month, ‘Kundo’ set a box-office record, only to have it toppled seven days later by the equally bold and brutal ‘The Admiral: Roaring Currents,’ the 16th-century naval epic that arrived in Washington two weeks ago. Both are fine examples of the energy that today’s Korean cinema is drawing from the past.” – Mark Jenkins

 A Letter to Momo” (Unrated) “‘A Letter to Momo’ is unquestionably lovely to look at, but viewers may not be able to shake the feeling that they’ve seen much of it before, and done better.” – Ann Hornaday

½The Congress” (Unrated) “The film is ambitious and heartfelt, with pressing concerns about the virtualization and fantasization of reality. But it’s a blunder, one interesting mostly for what it might have been.” – John DeFore

The November Man” (R) “‘The November Man’ is less a movie than cinematic filler, the kind of audio-visual wallpaper meant to keep movie screens occupied with bland, instantly forgettable product while ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ plays itself out and better, smarter, movies settle nervously into their gates for the fall awards race.” – Ann Hornaday

½As Above, So Below” (R) “‘As Above, So Below’ is inherently absurd, but it would be somewhat less so had it fully committed to just one of its ridiculous premises.” – Mark Jenkins

Macy L. Freeman is an editorial aide for the Weekend/Going Out Guide section at The Washington Post.
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