Film & TV

Cineast Movie Previews: ‘Noble,’ ‘I Am Big Bird,’ ‘The D Train’

Read the synopses and watch the trailers for the new flicks Noble, I Am Big Bird and The D Train.

Deirdre O’Kane stars in Noble, a biopic chronicling the life of the Irish humanitarian Christina Noble. Born to a large, impoverished family, Noble loses her mother at a very young age, and she and her siblings are scattered to separate Catholic foster homes. Subjected to the strict discipline of these institutions, and later having her out-of-wedlock child basically kidnapped by nuns and put up for adoption, Noble nonetheless holds onto her faith and tries to listen to what her God desires of her. In the late ’80s, Nobletravels to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (at that time Vietnam was still very much off-limits for outsiders) and, with very little money and under constant scrutiny from the authorities, manages to set up shelters for homeless children there. Shot vividly, on location in Ho Chi Minh City, Noble presents a true-life story of triumph over tremendous adversity.

I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story
Caroll Spinney has played Big Bird on Sesame Street since the show’s debut in 1969. In that time, Big Bird—a huge, cheerful, bright-yellow-feathered creature who behaves and thinks like a 6-year-old—has become one of the most beloved children’s characters of our time. Spinney is now 81, and although he’s still able to do Big Bird’s cute, high-pitched voice, he sometimes delegates the heavy work of physically operating Big Bird to his double. Because while Jim Henson’s smaller Muppets are played by puppeteers that stand below the Muppets and work them with sticks, Big Bird is more of a costume that stands over eight feet tall, with a person inside operating Big Bird’s mouth with his hands—to say it’s physically demanding would be putting it mildly. In I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story, the history of Spinney and Big Bird is brought to life with vintage footage and given heart through an intimate portrait of Spinney’s long, loving marriage and Spinney’s enduring love and respect for Big Bird’s creator, the late Jim Henson.

The D Train
Jack Black stars in The D Train, a dark comedy about a lifelong dork who, 20 years after graduating from high school, is still pathetically hoping to become popular. Black plays Dan Landsman, who is now involved in planning his high school class’s 20th reunion and who for some reason decides that, if he can convince his famous classmate Oliver Lawless (James Marsden) to attend the reunion, his own social standing will finally change. The title The D Train has nothing to do with the New York Subway, but is a reference to Landsman’s continual attempts to get his fellow reunion planners to confer a cool nickname on him.

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