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This Week's New Movies: "Another Year" Ends With a "Blue Valentine"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Writer-director Mike Leigh resents another brilliant film, starring Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen as an older couple who play host to their friends and family across the four seasons.

    The final week of 2010 brings us two of our favorite films of the year: one about a very successful marriage, the other about a marriage slowly to falling pieces. Both films feature brilliant acting, great scripts and fantastic direction, and will likely be in play come Oscar time.

    "Another Year"
    From writer-director Mike Leigh comes one of the best films of his storied career. It stars Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen as Tom and Gerri, a married couple playing host to friends and family in four vignettes, one for each season of the year -- and life. Lesley Manville’s performance as Gerri’s best friend has been earning rave reviews and awards from all corners. In limited release Wednesday, read our review and watch the trailer

    “Blue Valentine”
    Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling prove yet again that they’re two of their generation’s best with a pair of fearless performances as Cindy and Dean, a couple whose marriage unravels right before your eyes. The pain of the break-up is made all the more real by being interspersed with moments from their courtship seven years earlier. Thanks to an impassioned plea from Harvey Weinstein, this fantastic film, from writer-director Derek Cianfrance, narrowly avoided the death sentence that comes with an X rating. In limited release Wednesday, read our review and watch the trailer

    "Blue Valentine"

    [NATL] "Blue Valentine"
    Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star as a couple whose marriage is falling apart while we watch scenes from their courtship in flashback.

    “The Red Chapel”
    By turns funny, sad, bleak and bizarre, documentarian Mads Brugger uses two Danish-Koreans, one a comedian, the other a self-identified “spastic,” as decoys to get his cameras inside Kim Jong-il’s Hermit Kingdom, for an all to rare look at life in Pyongyang. In New York City Wednesday, read our review and watch the trailer