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Varsity Theatre

How to Cook Your Life

In German with English subtitles

Filmmaker Doris Dorrie turns her attention to Buddhism and that age-old saying, "you are what you eat." Dorrie enlists the help of the charismatic Zen Master Edward Espe Brown to explain the guiding principles of Zen Buddhism as they apply to the preparation of food and life itself. Brown began cooking as a self-described "arrogant, bossy, short-tempered know-it-all," and conceived and wrote the landmark Tassajara BVarsity read Book.

PG-13 for brief strong language/92m/F/Roadside Attractions

Lust, Caution

1938. WWII. Japanese occupied China. Shy Wong Chia Chi has been left behind by her father, who has escaped to England. As a freshman at university, she meets fellow student Kuang Yu Min, who has started a drama society to shore up patriotism. As the theater troupe's new leading lady, Wong realizes that she has found her calling, able to move and inspire audiences &

and Kuang. He convenes a core group of students to carry out a radical and ambitious plan to assassinate a top Japanese collaborator, Mr. Yee. Wong will be Mrs. Mak, who will gain Yee's trust by befriending his wife and then drawing the man into an affair. A startling erotic espionage thriller about the fate of an ordinary woman's heart.

Directed by Ang Lee ("Brokeback Mountain", "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon")

Written by Wang Hui Ling, James Schamus based on a short story by Eileen Chang

Tony Leung, Tang Wei, Joan Chen, Wang Lee Hom

NC-17 for some explicit sexuality/157m/F/Focus

Into the Wild

After graduating from Emory University in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness.

Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, Catherine Keener, Kristen Stewart, Jena Malone, Hal Holbrook

R for language and some nudity/149m/S/Paramount Vantage

Dan in Real Life

Advice columnist Dan Burns is an expert on relationships, but struggles to succeed as a brother, a son and a single parent in this heartfelt comedy.

Directed and co-written by Peter Hedges ("Pieces of April")

PG-13 for some innuendo/98m/F/Buena Vista

Lars and the Real Girl

Lars Lindstrom is a loveable introvert whose emotional baggage has kept him from fully embracing life. After years of what is almost solitude, he invites Bianca, a friend he met on the internet to visit him. He introduces her to his family and they are stunned - she is a life-size doll, not a real person, and he is treating her as though she is alive. They consult the family doctor, who explains this is a delusion he's created &

for what reason she doesn't yet know but they should all go along with it. What follows is an emotional journey for Lars and the people around him.

Directed by Craig Gillespie ("Mr. Woodcock"); Written by Nancy Oliver ("Six Feet Under")

Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider, Kelli Garner, Patricia Clarkson

PG-13/107m/F/MGM

Ashland Street Cinema

American Gangster

Frank Lucas, the quiet driver to one of the inner city's leading black crime bosses, exploits the opening in the power structure when his boss dies to build his own empire and create his own version of the American Dream. Through ingenuity and a strict business ethic, he comes to rule the inner-city drug trade. Lucas outplays all of the leading crime syndicates and becomes not only one of the city's mainline corrupters, but part of its circle of legit civic superstars. Richie Roberts is an outcast cop who believes someone is climbing the rungs above the known Mafia families and starts to suspect that a black power player has come from nowhere to dominate the scene. Both Lucas and Roberts share a rigorous ethical code that sets them apart from their own colleagues, making them lone figures on opposite sides of the law. The true juggernaut success story of a cult hero from the streets of 1970s Harlem.

Directed by Ridley Scott ("Gladiator") ; written by Steve Zaillian ("Schindler's List")

Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Josh Brolin, Armand Assante, RZA, John Ortiz, John Hawkes, Ted Levine

R for violence, pervasive drug content and language, nudity and sexuality/157m/F/Universal

Martian Child

A recently widowed science fiction writer forms an unlikely family with a close friend and a young boy he adopts who claims to be from Mars. Ignoring sage parenting advice from the widower's sister, they get more than they bargained for when events lead them to believe that the child's claim may be true.

Based on an award-winning short story by David Gerrold; Starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Joan Cusack, Oliver Platt, Sophie Okonedo, Bobby Coleman

PG for thematic elements and mild language/108m/F/New Line

Bee Movie

A bee by the name of Barry B. Benson is disillusioned with the prospect of having only one career choice &

honey. As he ventures outside of the hive for the first time, he breaks one of the cardinal rules of the bee world and talks to a human. He discovers that humans have been stealing and eating the bees' honey for centuries, and ultimately realizes his true calling in life.

Voice talents of Jerry Seinfeld, Ren&

233;e Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, Alan Arkin, Patrick Warburton

PG for mild suggestive humor/91m/F/Paramount

Across the Universe

A love story set against the backdrop of the 1960s amid the turbulent years of anti-war protest, mind exploration and rock 'n roll, the film moves from the dockyards of Liverpool to the creative psychedelia of Greenwich Village, from the riot-torn streets of Detroit to the killing fields of Vietnam.

Star-crossed lovers Jude and Lucy, along with a small group of friends and musicians, are swept up into the emerging anti-war and counterculture movements, with "Dr. Robert" (Bono) and "Mr. Kite" (Eddie Izzard) as their guides. Tumultuous forces outside their control ultimately tear the young lovers apart, forcing Jude and Lucy &

against all odds &

to find their own way back to each other.

Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Eddie Izzard, Joe Anderson, Bono

PG13 for some drug content, nudity, sexuality, violence and language/134m/S/Sony

Saw IV

When SWAT Commander Rigg is abducted and thrust into a game, the last officer untouched by Jigsaw has but ninety minutes to overcome a series of demented traps and save an old friend or face the deadly consequences.

Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Bahar Soomekh

R for sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture throughout, and for language/95m/F/Lionsgate

Michael Clayton

Michael Clayton is an in-house "fixer" at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. A former criminal prosecutor, he takes care of their dirtiest work. Though burned out, his divorce and mounting debt have left Clayton inextricably tied to the firm. But when a brilliant and guilt-ridden attorney sabotages a multi-million dollar case, Clayton faces the biggest challenge of his career and his life.

Directed and written by Tony Gilroy (wrote the screenplays for all three "Bourne" films)

George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack, Pamela Gray

R for language including some sexual dialogue/120m/S/Warner Bros.

Gone, Baby, Gone

Ben Affleck's directorial debut, based on the novel from the acclaimed author of "Mystic River", is an intense look inside an ongoing investigation about the mysterious disappearance of a little girl. Two young private detectives are hired to take a closer look at the case and soon discover that nothing is what it seems.

Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris

R for violence, drug content and pervasive language/113m/F/Miramax