"The Magic of Belle Isle," starring Morgan Freeman and seen only in limited release, is the next featured film at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House. It will be screened on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Opera House Cinema Series.
Reuniting with director Rob Reiner from the hit film, "The Bucket List," Freeman plays Monte Wildhorn, a famous novelist whose struggle with alcoholism has sapped his passion for writing. He takes a lakeside cabin for the summer in picturesque Belle Isle, and befriends the family next door an attractive single mom (Virginia Madsen) and her young daughters who help him find inspiration again. The film also stars Kenan Thompson, Fred Willard and Kevin Pollak with an original screenplay by Guy Thomas, Andrew Scheinman and Reiner.
Frank Scheck, in the Hollywood Reporter, calls the film "shamelessly schmaltzy from first moment to last" and says it "nonetheless manages to conjure a certain spell." Pete Hammond, in Boxoffice Magazine, calls it "one of Reiner's best." Stephen Holden, in the New York Times, says "the magic of this movie's title emanates from the beautiful, measured performances of its stars." Rex Reed, in the New York Observer, says "the tenderness and optimism are so powerful and ingratiating that only a viewer with the darkest sensibility will go away untouched." Rated PG for mild thematic elements and language including some suggestive comments, "The Magic of Belle Isle" runs 109 minutes.
The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank. Tickets are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students) the night of each screening. A book of 10 movie passes is available for $60 at the door, at the Box Office or online at www.fredopera.org.
For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 716-679-1891. The Cinema Series continues with the French film, "The Intouchables," on Oct. 6 and 9; and "The Words," starring Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Irons on Oct. 13 and 16.
Chautauqua County's only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.