An adaptation of an infamous best-seller and a few Oscar nominees compete for your attention in Utah theaters this weekend.
Scott Renshaw finds that, with the purple-prosed erotica stripped away, Fifty Shades of Grey
(pictured) offers some potent female empowerment and a great breakout performance by Dakota Johnson, but not enough to make up for its tedious plotting. He finds plenty of imaginative action in the circa-Roger-Moore James Bond homage Kingsman: The Secret Service
, which only occasionally gets discomfiting in its sexism and sadism. The faith-based romantic drama Old Fashioned
wears its corniness on its sleeve, and proves thoughtful when it's not poking sluggishly along. And Julianne Moore's powerful Oscar-nominated performance as a professor stricken with Alzheimer's in Still Alice
carries the story a long way, but not past the story's misguided focus on her inexorable decline.
Eric D. Snider loves wunderkind Xavier Dolan's powerfully cinematic take on a mother trying to help her troubled teenage son in Mommy
Danny Bowes visits the five Academy Award nominees for Best Documentary Short (broken up into two different programs
), and finds plenty of focus on dark, depressing subjects.
In this week's feature review, Scott Renshaw weighs surprise Animated Feature nominee Song of the Sea
against a better-known surprise non-nominee.