Director Nigel Cole and writer William Ivory opt for Norma Rae populism, but in a dated way they “feminize” the story and dilute its force. They pivot the work struggle on emotional relationships, including Rita’s resentful husband, her friend with a war-damaged spouse, a cute blonde who craves some glamour, and a chic executive’s wife (excellent Rosamund Pike) who roots for Rita. We agree, rather mechanically. Speeches and music forklift the story into place, as pat satisfaction rolls off a feel-good assembly line. (Opens December 25.)
The Legend of Pale Male
Aimless in Manhattan at 30, Frederic Lilien of Belgium looked into the sky above Central Park. He saw Pale Male, and thus found his mission: filming an elegant, red-tailed hawk nesting on the façade of a posh Fifth Avenue building. Lilien joined a growing band of fans and birders and for years kept vigil on the habits of the new, wild celebrity. The Legend of Pale Male is a little padded, complete with National Geographic images and some trite, solemn narration that verges on Jonathan Livingston Seagull. But the locations are terrific, the bird is splendid, and the fans are entertaining urbanites. This flighty charmer is almost as finely feathered as The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.
Newly reviewed in this week’s capsules: Tron: Legacy.