The Missing

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Daniel Ostroff
  • Writers: Thomas Eidson, Ken Kaufman
  • Genres: Adventure, Thriller, Western
  • Actors: Tommy Lee Jones, Cate Blanchett, Eric Schweig, Evan Rachel Wood, Jenna Boyd, Ray McKinnon, Val Kilmer, and Aaron Eckhart

Set in the late 19th-century New Mexico, Samuel Jones (Jones) reappears hoping to reconcile with his adult daughter Maggie Gilkeson (Blanchett). She is unable to forgive him for abandoning the family and leaving her mother to a hard life and early death. This situation changes when an Apache medicine man (Eric Schweig) and a dozen of his followers who have left the reservation pass through the area, ritualistically killing settlers and taking their daughters to be sold into prostitution south of the American border. Among those captured is the elder daughter of the family, Lily.

The U.S. Cavalry refuses to help retrieve the captive women as its resources are tied up conducting forced relocation of captive Native Americans. This leaves Maggie, her father, and the younger daughter alone in tracking the attackers. The group meets up with Kayitah, a Chiricahua, and an old friend of Jones, who also happens to be tracking the attackers with his son Honesco, because among the captives is a young Chiricahua woman who is engaged to Honesco. After the two agree to join the group, and Maggie treats Honesco’s injuries, Kayitah informs Maggie that Jones had been a member of their Chiricahua band where he gained the name Chaa-duu-ba-its-iidan (translates as “shit for luck”) during his wanderings.

It is finally with the combined efforts of the two families that they are able to free the women at the cost of Kayitah’s life and immediately flee to the mountains with the kidnappers behind them. Knowing they have no other choice but to stand their ground, the group fights off the remaining kidnappers and during the battle, Jones fights El Brujo, the one responsible for kidnapping his granddaughter, Lily. When Brujo attempts to kill Maggie, Jones sacrifices his life to save his daughter as both he and Brujo fall to their deaths. Maggie realizes her father’s love for her and finally forgives him at his death.

Whatever Works

  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Letty Aronson, Stephen Tenenbaum
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood, Henry Cavill, Patricia Clarkson, Ed Begley Jr, Michael McKean

Boris Yelnikoff (Larry David), an eccentric, misanthropic University of Chicago graduate and chess teacher, rants with his friends about politics and anthropology. He breaks the fourth wall and monologues to the audience explaining his life in recent years: A few years ago, he wakes up in the middle of the night with a panic attack and jumps out the window, but lands on a canopy and survives with only a marked limp. He soon divorces his wife and virtually secludes himself from the world, criticizing everyone he meets for not having his level of intellect.

Years pass and Boris comes home one night to find Melodie, a simple-minded 21-year-old woman, (Evan Rachel Wood) lying on his doorstep. He reluctantly lets her in for a meal and soon she tells him her story that she ran away from her conservative Christian family in Mississippi. As she attempts to get to know him, he retaliates with sarcasm and insults. She asks if she can stay the night, which Boris eventually allows. For some time, and despite his friends’ skepticism, Boris allows Melodie to stay with him until she can find a job and support herself. Boris and Melodie soon go to various landmarks of New York City, and Melodie continues to harbor a primarily optimistic view of things, in contrast to Boris’ pessimism. Melodie develops a crush on Boris based on his mentality and intellectual strength despite their 40 year age difference and their varying cultures and intelligence.

Finally, Boris hosts a New Year’s Eve party, at which everyone is seen in their new relationships: Marietta with Kevin and Morgenstern, John with Howard, Melodie with Randy, and finally Boris with Helena. They all kiss and Boris tells the audience that you just have to find all the enjoyment that you can get out because you have to find “whatever works.”

Terra

  • Directors: Aristomenis Tsirbas
  • Producers: Ryan Colucci, Keith Calder
  • Writers: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Story, Aristomenis Tsirbas
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure
  • Actors: Brian Cox, James Garner, Evan Rachel Wood, Justin Long, Dennis Quaid, Amanda Peet

On a distant planet, Mala and her best friend Senn, members of a sentient, tadpole-like species, skip class to joyride in wooden flying machines that resemble hang gliders. The pair soar above the dense cloud cover of their world, which teems with life, interacting with flying creatures similar to whales and rays. Following a dangerous incident in which Mala is nearly sucked into a “wind tunnel” (a large cave that draws in and blasts out strong gusts of air), Senn tells her that the two of them should cease their exploring and head back home. Mala pauses near the boundary of a group of statues which rise above the clouds and hold up their hands in a blocking pose; Senn claims that area is forbidden to them. A defiant Mala is about to investigate further when an enormous shadow sweeps across the clouds. She and Senn look up to discover that a huge object has appeared in the sky, so large that it almost completely blocks out the light of the sun. This sight finally prompts Mala to return with Senn.

In the treetop city that is Mala’s home, the people ponder the meaning of the object’s appearance, some claiming that it is a “new god”. When Mala herself asks her father Roven about it, he dismissively replies that it will be “whatever the Elders say it is”. The inquisitive Mala is not satisfied with this answer, and says that she could build a tool with which to better observe the object; however, Roven warns her that no inventions may be constructed without the approval of the Elders because that is the law. Mala declares that perhaps the law is wrong, and Roven orders her to her room. As Mala turns to leave, she observes Roven handling a woodcarving of himself, Mala, and an adult female, revealing that Roven is a widower, and that his wife is missed by both of them.

In her village, Mala joins in the victory celebration, learning that Senn survived the crash of his ship. Orin credits her with winning the battle, but Mala says it was Stanton’s actions that saved them all. Mala is relieved that her people have survived, but is also saddened by the plight of the humans; she dejectedly notes that without any food, water, or air, they can do nothing but wait to die. However, Orin reminds her that there are always other options. Some time later, Mala and Senn are seen flying above the clouds once more, as they were at the beginning of the film; this time they are joined by Stewart, piloting an Earth Force fighter, who offers Mala a salute before flying through a hatch in a massive dome similar to the oxygen tent Mala constructed for Stanton. It is here that the humans from the Ark have established a new colony, using Terra’s oxygen-producing plants and opening diplomatic relations with the native Terranians; Orin is seen meeting with President Chen. Stewart flies high above the budding colony, observing a statue that is still under construction: it is a memorial to his brother, who is being remembered as a true hero.

Across the Universe

  • Directors: Julie Taymor
  • Producers: Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd, Charles Newirth
  • Writers: Julie Taymor, Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Evan Rachel Wood, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson, Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther McCoy, T V Carpio

The film’s plot and narrative structure interweave the stories of several characters whose lives cross paths during events set against the backdrop of the turbulent late-1960s. The story apparently takes place from about 1965 to 1969.[1]

The story begins in Liverpool, England with a young shipyard worker named Jude Feeny (Jim Sturgess). Against the wishes of both his mother and his girlfriend Molly, Jude enlists in the merchant navy and travels by ship to the United States. He jumps ship in New York City to search for his American G.I. father, Wes Hubert (Robert Clohessy), whom he has never met and who does not know he exists. He learns that his father works at Princeton as a janitor. After meeting his father, Jude has nowhere to go. He befriends a Princeton student, Max Carrigan (Joe Anderson). Max is a rebellious and eccentric young man from a privileged background. Max and his friends come from upper class families who pay for their schooling, so they mess around, drink, and do drugs. When Max goes home for Thanksgiving, bringing Jude with him, Jude meets Max’s younger sister Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood). After a heated argument with his parents about his future, Max drops out of college and moves to New York City, accompanied by Jude. Max works as a taxi driver, while Jude pursues work as a freelance artist. They become roommates in a bohemian enclave in the Village, where they share an apartment with others, most notably Sadie (Dana Fuchs), their landlady, who is an aspiring singer and a representation of Janis Joplin. Other residents include Jojo (Martin Luther McCoy), a guitarist representing Jimi Hendrix, who arrives from Detroit after the death of his younger brother during the 12th Street Riot; and Prudence (T. V. Carpio), a young woman who has hitchhiked to New York from Dayton, Ohio where she was seen pining after a fellow cheerleader. After Lucy’s boyfriend, Daniel (Spencer Liff) is killed in Vietnam, she goes to New York to visit Max before she starts college, despite the fact that her parents are against the idea.

The scene now shifts between Jude and Max at different bars, and Max begins to sing “Hey Jude” as Jude goes back to New York. Max picks him up from the port and drives him to hear Sadie and Jojo sing “Don’t Let Me Down” atop a building, in reference to the last concert of The Beatles, on the rooftop of the Apple Records building in London, where the band played some songs, Don’t Let Me Down included. Jude then sings “All You Need is Love” a cappella. The refrain from “She Loves You” plays briefly over the song as Lucy is revealed to be watching Jude sing from a neighboring rooftop. Over the credits, Bono (with background vocals by The Edge) sings “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” “Flying” is reprised in a cover version by The Secret Machines.