Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie Dewitt, Debra Winger, Bill Irwin | R

bgwhite bgwhite bgwhite  



DRAMA
After an extended stint in rehab for drugs and drinking, Kym Buchman (Hathaway) nervously returns home to her family's rambling house in Connecticut. Her older sister Rachel (Dewitt), a Ph.D. candidate in psychology, is getting married and, over a long celebratory weekend, an emotionally fragile Kym desperately tries to bridge old rifts and reconnect with her family—or in lashing out at least make them acknowledge her.

The appealing Rachel Getting Married is at its heart about facing up to past hurts and learning to forgive. There is much to like and admire here, starting with an exquisitely complex performance by Hathaway as the often irritating Kym. She gets the externals right—Kym's messy, can't-be-bothered haircut and twitchy movements—but it's her needy, plaintive gaze that is most haunting. As Kym's father and sister, Irwin and Dewitt are terrific but it's Winger, as Kym's self-involved mom, who blisters the screen with her intensity.

My quibble? Director Jonathan Demme (Beloved) self-indulgently wanders off track too often, especially by allowing extended musical turns during the wedding scenes. You've got great main characters in this film. Keep them front and center.

Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham, Alan Alda | PG-13

bgwhite bgwhite   



DRAMA
Next time it rains, when you switch on the wipers to clear your windshield, mutter a quick thanks to Robert Kearns. He invented the intermittent wiper, though it took him years and a Sisyphean legal battle to prove it. Flash of Genius, despite its title, is a workmanlike retelling of his story. Kearns (Kinnear, reliable as ever), an electrical engineering prof in Detroit, dreams up the device in the '60s, thrilled that he can now provide the good life for his beloved wife (Graham) and six kids. He takes his idea to the Ford Motor Co., which promptly swipes the technology but denies him credit (or a cut of the profits), and so begins his long, lonely battle for recognition. It's a fascinating tale but, as depicted here, not an especially compelling one.

• The Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist star, 20, stays levelheaded after Superbad fame.

YOU STILL LIVE IN ONTARIO.
Well, my family does and I [also] have a place in L.A. But everyone's here that I grew up with. It's home.

WEREN'T YOU IN A BAND?
Me and my friend made a MySpace page [for the Long Goodbye] but we were never really a band. But I still play guitar.

DO YOUR FRIENDS TREAT YOU DIFFERENTLY NOW?
Definitely not. That would be strange. We [still pay tabs] equally.

YOU'RE NEVER SEEN AT CLUBS.
I don't like loud places. And I don't really like drunk people.

>The daughter of famed director Sidney Lumet is getting her own share of Oscar buzz for her first screenplay, Rachel Getting Married.

DID DAD PULL ANY STRINGS?
I said, "You're never going to see your grandson again unless you freakin' help me!" and it totally worked. I advise that heartily: Extort!

WHAT'S YOUR STAR, ANNE HATHAWAY, LIKE?
She's not what you think. She's fiery. At heart she's a tough, fast-talking Jersey girl.

ARE PEOPLE COMPARING YOU TO DIABLO CODY, WHO WON AN OSCAR FOR HER FIRST SCREENPLAY, JUNO?
Only those who have seen me naked. Kidding.

BLINDNESS
Julianne Moore (below), along with Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover and Gael Garcia Bernal, can't breathe life into a heavy-handed allegorical drama about a plague that robs people of their sight. (R)

bgwhite bgwhite   



NICK & NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST
Suburban teens Michael Cera and Kat Dennings (below) spend a long night wandering New York City—and falling in love—in a kindhearted comedy. (PG-13)

bgwhite bgwhite   



BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA
The trailer—featuring dancing dogs—is way more fun than the movie, a kiddie comedy about a spoiled pooch (Drew Barrymore) who's dognapped. (PG)

bgwhite    



• The TV star hits the big screen as the wife of the man who invented the intermittent windshield wiper in Flash of Genius

YOU DON'T HAVE KIDS, BUT YOU RAISE THEM ONSCREEN. WHAT'S THE MOST DOMESTIC THING ABOUT YOU?
I make butterscotch brownies. It's my aunt Kathy's recipe. It's a family secret.

IN GENIUS, YOU PLAY A HARRIED MOM OF SIX. COULD YOU PULL A CAROL BRADY IN REAL LIFE?
I could! As long as their moms came and got them at the end of the day!

HAVE YOUR OWN PARENTS INFLUENCED YOU?
My dad was a single parent for a number of years. It was a difference to deal with, and it defines who I am today.

WAS HE A HIP, GILMORE GIRLS TYPE OF SINGLE PARENT?
It's tough to parent through friendship. You have to command respect.

SOUNDS LIKE YOU WERE A HANDFUL.
I had a year where I got into lots of fender benders. I skipped a grade and drove not entirely legally because my friends let me drive their cars.