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PARASITE South Korean. 2019. Directed by Bong Joon-ho. (132 mins.) Rated R. in Korean with English subtitles
If you can, go in not knowing too many details! However, PARASITE, the best reviewed movie of the year, is a sarcastic, clever, brilliant and unabashedly frenzied thriller!
"Let's just say it: the South Korean auteur Bong Joon Ho is some kind of genius and he tops himself with 'Parasite' – it's explosive filmmaking on every level and one of the cinema high points of 2019. You won't know what hit you."
?- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
South Korean master filmmaker Bong Joon-ho’s fiendishly clever Palme d’Or winner is an unpredictable comic suspense thriller for this age of class division and income inequality. The Kims, a poverty-stricken family of four, reside in a cramped basement apartment where they struggle to make ends meet. They craftily set their sights on manipulating their way into the good graces of the Park family, a wealthy but sometimes clueless clan of yuppies. But simmering class tensions are not so easily suppressed and an unstoppable string of mishaps lies in wait. Casting an elegant, pitiless gaze on the complacent rich and the resentful poor alike, PARASITE is a dark, funny and palpably urgent tale of economic disparity, social polarization and human desperation. Watch for multiple award nominations... Oscar's already got his eye on this one!
FRANKIE France/Portugal. 2019. Directed by Ira Sachs. (98 mins.) Rated PG-13. [CC,AD] in English and in French & Portuguese with English subtitles
With a warm heart and an ensemble cast that shines from top to bottom, FRANKIE is a mysterious, marvelous and moving tale of life, love and loss!
"What a thorough pleasure to be in the company of Frankie, a film that feels like a sumptuous beach read on a lazy sunny afternoon." - Tomris Laffry, RogerEbert.com
Working with a gloriously stellar ensemble cast, including Isabelle Huppert, Marisa Tomei, Brendan Gleeson and Greg Kinnear, director Ira Sachs’ (LITTLE MEN, LOVE IS STRANGE) latest tenderly observed character drama is a thought-provoking, soul-stirring look at one family’s turning point. With the intent of relaying news of her health, an aging actress (Huppert, the perfect anchor for this elegant fusion of light comedy and wise drama) summons her idiosyncratic extended family to share an idyllic holiday in Portugal, renowned for its sprawling gardens, handsome villas and healing waters. The overall tone of FRANKIE is breezy and mischievous, but just below its veneer of charming characters navigating romantic entanglements and quaint village pathways is a somber musing about family, mortality and the myriad ways we come to know ourselves by reaching out to others.
THE IRISHMAN United States. 2019. Directed by Martin Scorsese. (210 mins.) Rated R. [CC,AD]
Necessary big-screen viewing, THE IRISHMAN is Martin Scorsese's epic, richly textured, crime drama and a masterful film that elegantly captures the passage of time!
"Feels genuinely new and deeply satisfying -- for its subtlety, wit and resonance; for its serenely confident technique, meaning no truck with fancy tricks; for the sumptuous quality of the production; and for the epic scope of the story." - Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
Martin Scorsese brings together Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci for this much-anticipated scintillating saga. Spanning several decades, THE IRISHMAN is a monumental journey through organized crime in post-war America and its parasitic relationship with the mainstream politics that shaped modern history. Told through the eyes of WWII veteran Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a hustler and hitman who worked alongside some of the most notorious figures of the 20th century, this is an epic tale that winds through the hidden corridors, underbelly and rivalries of the mob. With fearless finesse, Scorsese crafts a tantalizing tale of loyalty and betrayal between violent and corrupt men.
“There’s no doubt that seeing a film with an audience is really important.” Scorsese doubled down to affirm his belief in the sanctity of the moviegoing experience, “What’s got to be protected is the singular experience, ideally with an audience,” he said at the BFI London Film Festival.
“I think everybody should go see this movie in the theater,” Bobby Cannavale, who plays Felix “Skinny Razor” DiTullio, told Variety on the carpet. “It’s just epic. You’re never going to see these guys together again making a movie and you should go see it in a movie theater because that’s where [Scorsese] intended for you to see it.”
JOJO RABBIT United States/Germany. 2019. Directed by Taika Waititi. (108 mins.) Rated PG-13. [CC,AD]
One of the best films of the year, JOJO RABBIT nimbly zips through the full gamut of emotions, by turns uproarious, warm, heart-rending, horrifying, silly, surreal, scary and joyous!
"A sprightly, attractively composed coming-of-age comedy set in World War II Germany, "Jojo Rabbit" is an audacious high-wire act." - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"A smart, accessible, inclusive film that opens doors at a time when many are slamming them shut. It's a celebration of the gift of life that's inviting you to dance with it. So dance with it." - Adam Graham, Detroit News
A dazzling takedown of fascist thinking and the violence it fuels, this riotous comedic satire from director Taika Waititi (HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS) delivers surprising emotional impact. Jojo Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) is a precocious, socially awkward kid in World War II Germany. A proud member of the Hitler Youth, Jojo passes much of his time with his imaginary friend Adolf (Waititi), a cuddly, energetic, pep-talking version of the Führer. Having completely given his blind allegiance to Nazi propaganda, Jojo is incensed when he discovers that his mother (Scarlett Johansson) has been working for the resistance, helping to keep safe the Jewish people he's been taught to hate. With Germany on the brink of collapse, the young boy is faced with the choice of clinging to his misguided beliefs or embracing his humanity. A wild and irreverent comedy infused with an abundance of heart and charm, JOJO RABBIT is a deeply funny and surprisingly touching depiction of our capacity for loathing and loving. This is a movie for the ages and is not to be missed!
United States. 2019. Directed by Kasi Lemmons. (125 mins.) Rated PG-13.
When deciding where to watch Harriet, we sincerely hope you'll choose your favorite, locally-owned independent movie theater where you know that you and movies always matter!
With an extraordinary performance from Cynthia Erivo in the title role, HARRIET is an impassioned, enlightening and stark reminder of a dark time in American History!
"The intensity and the lyrical fervor of Kasi Lemmons's direction lend this historical drama, about Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and her work with the Underground Railroad, the exalted energy of secular scripture." - Richard Brody, New Yorker
Bringing to light the impact of a crucial historical figure who worked to dismantle a deeply oppressive establishment unlike any other, this triumphant, edge-of-your-seat adventure is an inspiring and timeless tale. Living under slavery on a Maryland plantation in the 1840s, Araminta "Minty" Ross risks everything to set out at night, alone, to walk 100 miles north to Philadelphia where she hopes to claim her place in the new society. After adopting the name Harriet Tubman, she returns south to lead her loved ones to freedom with courage, ingenuity and tenacity. From acclaimed director Kasi Lemmons (EVE'S BAYOU, TALK TO ME), HARRIET, the story of one woman’s journey to freedom, remembers the dark and grueling realities of slavery in America.
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