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Toni Collette

Summer Daze: August Movie Preview

Summer is slowly winding down, giving Hollywood just a few more weeks to unload the last of its annual sequels, prequels and remakes before Oscar season begins in earnest. The bad news, for some: School will be back in session soon. The good news: August packs a promising lineup of big-screen spectacles, including:

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
(Aug. 5)
The primates: James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow, Andy Serkis

The Discreet Charm of The Black Balloon

There is nothing truly surprising in The Black Balloon, only affecting riffs on a familiar story.Thomas (Rhys Wakefield) is a typical teenager, handsome, shy around girls, and innocent enough that a peck on the cheek packs the power of a defining moment. His father (Erik Thomson) is a military man, cheerfully gruff but no rigid taskmaster. His very pregnant mother (Toni Collette), though immobilized by her globe-shaped belly, remains the doting queen of the household. And his brother Charlie (Luke Ford) is autistic.

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