Going to the movies sounds particularly good when 9 inches of wet, heavy spring snow falls in late March.

So, to those seeking a sanctuary from winter’s resurgence, I’d suggest taking a look at the weird sci-fi romance Spring over at the St. Anthony Main Theatre. I reviewed the film last week, and although it has some issues, I can hear its siren song of Mediterranean cityscapes calling to me from Italy.

Also in theaters – alongside hits like Divergent, Cinderella and Run All Night – are a well-balanced documentary about ballet in New York City, last year’s Best Picture winner, and a $5 screening of my favorite Noah Baumbach movie.

And over on Netflix, you can now stream that wonderful documentary on the life of America’s most beloved film critic, the late Roger Ebert.

Take a look.

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New On Netflix: Life Itself (Streaming)

Based on Roger Ebert’s memoir, this doc shows the life of the celebrated and uniquely popular film critic from the time he was in school to when he was struggling to live with cancer. While he doesn’t exactly come off as a saint, his open-mindedness and love of cinema stand out and inspire. He even earned the title “soldier of cinema” from the legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog. I can think of no higher honor.

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Tuesday, March 24: Frances Ha (St. Anthony Main Theatre)

This Noah Baumbach gem will have you break into blossom. Or, at least, it’ll get you in the springtime mentality. Its story of a twenty-something girl looking for her life’s purpose in the big city has an evergreen quality. Just try not to fall in love with Greta Gerwig. To watch her dance, in black and white, through New York City’s busy streets is to witness joy in motion. And to make this screening even more irresistible, tickets are only $5.

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Until Thursday: Birdman (Riverview Theater)

Still need to catch up on last year’s Best Picture Oscar winner? You’ve no excuse now.

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman is playing at Minneapolis’ wonderful Riverview Theater. That means you can soak up the full cinematic experience, and do so on the cheap.

And if you end up thinking it wasn’t that great, feel free to join me on Team Boyhood.

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Until Thursday: Ballet 422 (Lagoon Cinema)

This doc isn’t so much about dance as it is about the immense amount of planning that goes into a ballet production. With a curious lens and incredible access, filmmaker Jody Lee Lipes follows the young choreographer Justin Peck as the 25-year-old crafts the New York City Ballet’s 422nd original work. As much as Peck is shown working with the dancers — who are all amazing performers with incredible athletic ability — he’s also shown working alongside the costume designers, the lighting department, the orchestra musicians, and alone by himself. The film manages to take ballet off the highbrow top shelf and show the muscle, sweat and brains that go into making the art form flow.

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Jonathon Sharp

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