Outsiders abound in this week’s new movie releases, including The Shape of Water and The Other Side of Hope
Matthew Lickona 3 p.m., Dec. 8
Old man (Clint Eastwood, 84) makes movie about old musical group (Frankie Valli, 80, and The Four Seasons) and manages to keep the whole enterprise from getting either stiff in the joints or whiffy with nostalgia. It's a neat piece of work, accomplished partly through the risky trick of having his four leads take turns addressing the camera. They take us through the four seasons of the band's life: spring beginnings (handled by streetwise manager-type Tommy DeVito); summer success (brainy songwriter Bob Gaudio), fall foibles (workaday bass-bassist Nick Massi), and deathly winter (bighearted frontman Valli). Especially in the early going, the banter serves as an invitation to intimacy with these guys and their neighborhood back in the day. The story is much more about making it than it is about making art; short on surprises but engaging all the same, and not without delight. With a tastefully restrained Christopher Walken. 2014.