Friday, December 31, 2004

Billy Crudup as Ned Kynaston and Claire Danes as Maria in "Stage Beauty," a film directed by Richard Eyre. Echoing reality, they play actors having an affair.

Film finale

The Maui Film Festival wraps up its FirstLight Academy holiday screenings this weekend, with more of the films most likely to be contenders in the upcoming awards season.

All films will be screened at the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. There also will be live music, dinner, dessert and complimentary massages at the CandleLight Cafe between 5 and 7:30 p.m. screenings.

The cost is $10 per film ($5 for kids under 12 for PG and PG-13 films), or pick up a FirstLight 4-Film VIP FastPass for $40 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center box office and Borders Kahului. For more information, call 808-572-3456. Here's the lineup:


» "P.S.": Laura Linney plays a college admissions officer, and Topher Grace is a confident New York art-school applicant in a dramedy about a 30-something given a second chance at first love (R); 2 p.m.

» "Stage Beauty": Favorably compared with "Shakespeare in Love," this film explores an era when women were not allowed to act and men played female roles. It stars Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Rupert Everett, Tom Wilkinson and Ben Chaplin (R); 5 p.m.

» "Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera": British actor Gerard Butler plays the title role in this lavish adaptation of the Broadway sensation. Also stars Emmy Rossum and Minnie Driver (PG-13); 7:30 p.m.


» "Born into Brothels": This winner of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival Documentary Audience Award explores the lives of prostitutes' children in Calcutta (unrated); 2 p.m.

» "Tell Them Who You Are": Documentary featuring Julia Roberts, Michael Douglas, Jane Fonda, Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Billy Crystal, Dennis Hopper, Martin Sheen, George Lucas and others. The actors talk about working with acclaimed cinematographer Haskell Wexler (unrated); 5 p.m.

» "The Assassination of Richard Nixon": Sean Penn delivers a quietly explosive performance in this exploration of the dark side of the American Dream set against the backdrop of the Watergate scandal (R); 7:30 p.m.

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