COMING SOON: ‘Life is to Whistle’ from Cuba

With a limited number of new films hitting the theater, this weekend will be the perfect time for filmgoers to catch up on the movies they missed during the holiday frenzy.

Opening in New York on Friday is the award-winning “Life is to Whistle” from Cuba . Expanded releases include the adaptation of John Irving‘s “The Cider House Rules” and Universal’s romantic drama “Snow Falling on Cedars” with Ethan Hawke.

Also in theaters Friday is the re-issue of Miramax’s “Music of the Heart” starring Meryl Streep, Gloria Estefan and Angela Bassett.

The following is a complete list of the films opening this week.

Limited Release


“Life is to Whistle” (New York) — The award-winning film from Fernando Perez follows the intersecting lives of three Cubans on the Day of Santa Barbara: a ballerina who ponders breaking the vow of chastity she made in order to land a coveted role; a sexually neurotic woman; and a male musician who enjoys seducing white tourists. Winner of the Special Jury Award in Latin American Cinema at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival.

Expanded Release

The Cider House Rules” (Miramax) — Directed by Lasse Hallstrom (“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape“) and adapted from John Irving‘s best-selling novel, this coming-of-age story casts Tobey Maguire as a young man who has spent his entire youth in an orphanage. Hungry for experience, he sets out to explore the world outside. Charlize Theron, Paul Rudd and Michael Caine co-star.

Snow Falling on Cedars” (Universal) — “Shine” director Scott Hicks returns with a tale of intrigue and love set in 1954 on an island in the Pacific Northwest. Ethan Hawke stars as a reporter assigned to cover the trial of a Japanese man accused of the murder of a local fisherman. Youki Kudoh co-stars as Hawke‘s childhood flame and the wife of the accused played by Rick Yune. Based on the best seller by David Guterson.


Music of the Heart” (Miramax) — Director Wes Craven forsakes his trail of horror and brings to the screen the inspiring story of violin teacher Roberta Guaspari. Meryl Streep plays the real-life music instructor whose fight to save her school’s music department pits her against the education system. Her extraordinary efforts eventually lead to a concert performance by her Harlem students at Carnegie Hall.