Venus posterThis week the Paramount has a special attraction for fans of oddball genius David Lynch: Inland Empire has been acclaimed by (several) critics worldwide as a return to the edgy and outrageous Lynch of his early career (think Eraserhead rather than, say, The Straight Story). Inland Empire screens exclusively at the Paramount for one week only. Set aside plenty of time.

Also returning from successful screenings at this year’s Festival is Venus, starring Peter O’Toole as an ageing actor getting a new lease on life when he meets a brash and beautiful teenage girl. Dominion-Post critic Graeme Tuckett has called it his film of the year although that may have changed since Eastern Promises. Venus is written by the never less than interesting Hanif Kureishi (My Beautiful Laundrette and Intimacy) and plays at the Embassy, Paramount, Rialto and Sky City Queensgate.

The rest of this week’s releases after the jump…

Fans of intelligent and artistic Westerns will converge with fans of Brad Pitt for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford at Readings and Lighthouse Petone: described by one contributor to IMDb as “the most beautiful film ever made”. Also found in the ‘quality’ compartment is Evening starring Claire Danes, Toni Collette and Vanessa Redgrave. It’s an adaptation by Michael (The Hours) Cunningham of the acclaimed novel by Susan Minot and plays at Readings, Lighthouse Petone, Penthouse and Sky City Queensgate.

Stephen King is adapted once again for 1408, a scary tale of a writer (John Cusack) trapped in a haunted hotel room. Meanwhile, The Rock gets Disney-fied in The Game Plan as a successful tough-guy football player who discovers the cute child he never knew he had. You can find them both at Readings, Regent-on-Manners and Queensgate.

All these films will be reviewed at Funerals & Snakes next Wednesday and in print in the Capital Times on the same day.