For Hicksflicks.com, Friday, April 10, 2015

A new LDS film from the writer-director of “The Saratov Approach” is playing all over the state (it opened Wednesday), along with some bigger-budget pictures with such stars as Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, among others.

“Freetown” (PG-13) was filmed in Ghana but is set in 1989 Liberia, the true story of six Mormon missionaries whose lives are threatened when war breaks out, so with the help of a church member that has a car they make their way to the border and the title town in Sierra Leone, with miracles helping them along their journey.

“Woman in Gold” (PG-13) is also a true story, with Helen Mirren as an aging Jewish refugee who was ousted from her homeland by the Nazis. Now she wants to retrieve a famous painting that was stolen during the war, but also to send a message about the lives and families that were disrupted. Co-stars include Daniel Bruhl, Tatiana Maslany, Charles Dance, Katie Holmes, Elizabeth McGovern, Frances Fisher and Jonathan Pryce.

“The Longest Ride” (PG-13) is adapted from a Nicholas Sparks romance novel (which means someone will die) about a self-centered rodeo champion (Scott Eastwood, son of Clint) wooing a wide-eyed artist (Britt Robertson) who is about to head to New York. Co-stars are Alan Alda, Lolita Davidovich, Gloria Reuben and Oona Chaplin (Charlie’s granddaughter).

“Danny Collins” (R) is loosely based on a true incident, when John Lennon apparently wrote a fan letter to a young musician. This film hinges on the idea that the letter isn’t delivered until the musician is in his 60s, rich and famous, but with the lingering feeling that he’s sold himself out. Al Pacino stars in this comedy-drama, with Annette Bening, Jennifer Garner, Bobby Cannavale and Christopher Plummer.

“While We’re Young” (R) stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as childless 40-somethings who feel out of step in their circle of friends with kids, then they link up with a free-spirited younger couple (Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried) and rethink the generation gap. Another angst-comedy from filmmaker Noah Baumbach (“Greenberg”).

“A Tale of Winter” (not rated, in French with English subtitles). This 1992 French romance is the second of Eric Rohmer’s four-film “Tales of the Four Seasons” franchise. The story follows Felice (Charlotte Very), who falls in love with Charles (Frederic van den Driessche) over the Christmas holidays, but due to a mix-up in addresses he is unable to find her later. Five years pass and as Felice is wooed by two men, she suddenly bumps into Charles.