Movie spotlight: 'Question One' - and more

  • Article by: BY COLIN COVERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 10, 2012 - 3:09 PM
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"Question One"

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Gay marriage may well be the civil rights issue of the 21st century and it behooves people on either side of the cultural, societal and political divide not to caricature or demean their ideological adversaries. The value of "Question One" (★★★; unrated), a documentary by Joe Fox and James Nubile, is that it treats the activists in each camp with respect and understanding. There is a large amount of nonsense uttered here, but the filmmakers trust you to recognize it and reject it without their coaching. The film examines Maine's historic 2009 decision to legislatively grant same-sex couples the right to marry, and the "people's veto" referendum that repealed the law seven months later. Revealing interviews show foot soldiers breaking ranks with leaders over questionable campaign tactics, and individuals who feel upset and marginalized because their conception of family is under attack. As Minnesota prepares to consider its own marriage equality amendment in the fall, the issues considered in "Question One" are urgently timely and important. (7 p.m. Mon.-Sat. May 14-19 at Theatres at Mall of America. Co-director Joe Fox will be present at all screenings. $10, available online through www.twincitiesfilmfest.org.)

Australian director Simon Wincer has made a couple of lovely horse pictures ("Phar Lap" and "The Young Black Stallion"). His latest, "The Cup" (★ 1/2, unrated) is wonderfully handsome filmmaking, but Wincer's own script pulls up lame. Stephen Curry and Daniel MacPherson play brothers who are Australia's top jockeys training to face each other at the glamorous Melbourne Cup. Curry shocks the Australian racing establishment by riding against his brother on an Irish entry owned by Brendan Gleeson, but fate shockingly intervenes in the sibling showdown. Few images are more stirring than that of a horse in motion, but this half-empty "Cup" has nothing else to offer. (Block E.)

"Zombie Dawn," a gritty, low-budget commandos-vs.-ghouls horror-action film from Chile, was not screened for review. But really, with a title like that and an R rating "for bloody horror violence, a rape, brief nudity and pervasive language," what's left to say? In subtitled Spanish. (Block E.)

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