Director: Mirra Bank. With Maurice Sendak, Pilobolus Dance Theatre. (84 min.)
Sterritt *** Documentary about the collaboration between children's-book author Sendak and the Pilobolus dance troupe to create "A Selection," an internationally successful dance dealing with Holocaust themes. The film is hardly a blistering look behind the scenes, but it gives a more balanced account of the creative process including dissension and disagreement than most arts-related movies of its ilk.
Sex/Nudity: 7 instances, including full nudity. Violence: 2 instances. Profanity: 10 strong expressions. Drugs: 14 None.
Director: Blair Treu. With Evan Rachel Wood, Michael Angarano, Vivica A. Fox. (100 min.)
Sterritt ** Emily is a gifted and disciplined adolescent who may succeed as a budding violinist if she doesn't get distracted by the new boy in her neighborhood, and if she can come to terms with an innocent secret she carries bottled up inside her. This easygoing comedy-drama is gentle and wholesome, if not very realistic or convincing in the long run.
Director: Sandra Nettelbeck. With Martina Gedeck, Sergio Castellitto. (107 min.)
Staff ***1/2 Martha is a perfectionist chef in Hamburg who can't quite cope when her 8-year-old niece unexpectedly comes to live with her. There's no recipe for raising Lina, but slowly Martha finds a new rhythm especially when she gets over feeling threatened by a free-spirited chef who joins the staff at her restaurant, and accepts his help. Not to be seen on an empty stomach, this beautiful film is equal parts drama and humor, seasoned with a hint of romance. By Stacy A. Teicher
Sex/Nudity: 1 instance innuendo. Violence: 1 scene with slapping. Profanity: 5 mild expressions. Drugs: 3 smoking scenes. 9 scenes with drinking or cooking with alcohol.