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NORMAN United States/Israel. 2017. Directed by Joseph Cedar. (117 mins.) Not Rated. in English with some Hebrew
NORMAN is the sharp and keenly etched study of an infuriating man whose innate decency is a shining beacon in a world of ethical compromise!
"Gere tones down his star charisma and hits a new career peak as a Jewish fixer on the ropes in Joseph Cedar's compulsively watchable character study." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
absorbing, imaginative and richly detailed character study, writer-director Joseph Cedar's (Oscar Nominee FOOTNOTE) wry gaze migrates to New York's network of fixers, connectors and middlemen - those who know the right people and get things done. Richard Gere is simultaneously seductive, vulnerable and enigmatic as Norman, a charismatic man who, while vying for prestige, gets in over his head when he sets out to impress a visiting Israeli dignitary. Infused with Cedar's trademark poetics, NORMAN is a profoundly satisfying comedic drama about the movers and the shakers, their pure luck and the societal sleight of hand that can make or break them.
THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC UK. 2017. Directed by Simon About. (92 mins.) Rated PG.
THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC is a charming and beautifully photographed modern fairy tale about love, friendship and gardening!
"Writer-director Simon Aboud doesn't push the quirk factor; even when the narrative is at its most playful, he keeps it rooted to a lived-in reality. Mining familiar territory with an earnest clarity, he shapes a winning fantasy about hearts opening and friendships blooming." - Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
An English AMELIE, if you will, this whimsical modern fairytale spins a sweet, brightly-hued yarn about the most unlikely of friendships between a reclusive young woman and a curmudgeonly widower. Bella (Downton Abbey's Jessica Brown Findlay) is an upbeat, inventive young librarian who dreams of becoming a children's book author. She meets her match in her nosy next-door neighbor (Tom Wilkinson), a cantankerous horticulturist determined to have her evicted if she doesn't dig in and take care of her garden. THIS BEAUTIFUL FANTASTIC, set in the heart of London, is a wonderfully sweet treat about fate and facing fears.
COLOSSAL Canada/Spain. 2017. Directed by Nacho Vigalando. (110 mins.) Rated R.
COLOSSAL is a savvy, off the wall, genre-bending creature feature with a touching message about the beasts we each carry inside us and how difficult they can be to tame!
"It's a sci-fi / horror / psychodrama / comedy / thriller / revenge / romance film - and that jumble of a description not only works, it does so in spectacular fashion." - Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"For those who embrace Vigalondo's wild wavelength, the rewards are innumerable." - Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail
Bonus short included!
Five Short Films About Technology
Canada. 2016. Directed by Peter Huang. (5 mins.) Rated R.
The characters in Peter Huang’s razor-sharp satire are as dependent as the rest of us on the devices that are supposed to make us smarter, better and faster. But, as this hilarious series of scenarios reveals, all that tech may be making us the exact opposite of what we’ve been promised.
Wildly imaginative and impassioned, COLOSSAL brilliantly blurs the lines between sci-fi, fantasy and drama. Out of work and recently dumped by her serious and sensible boyfriend, Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is forced to move back to her tiny hometown to get her life back on track. She reconnects with her childhood chum Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), a good-natured bar owner with a gaggle of goofy drinking buddies. Stumbling through her directionless life, Gloria emerges from her haze to the news that a giant monster is stomping its way through the panicked metropolis of Seoul and discovers an oddly terrifying connection to the rampaging beast. It is a creative, quirky and hilarious flight of fancy that is deliriously full of poignant and profound insights into the varying struggles with our personal demons.
THEIR FINEST UK. 2017. Directed by Lone Scherfig. (117 mins.) Rated R.
THEIR FINEST, a sly, bittersweet romantic comedy with a gentle feminist twist, beautifully balances wit and charm with life-or-death drama!
"The charming, rousing WWII romance Their Finest is a film that openly stumps for two causes: the value of women in the workplace, and the power of cinema to tell stories that people need to hear." - Noel Murray, The Playlist
In this rousing romantic comedy set in Britain's wartime film industry, Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig (AN EDUCATION) directs a sterling cast that includes Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston and Richard E. Grant. Catrin Cole (Arterton) is a "slop" scriptwriter, charged with the daunting task of bringing a female perspective to the morale-boosting propaganda films produced by the Ministry of Information. Popping with witty banter and rich, endearing characters, THEIR FINEST is a stirring, delightful film about a young woman forging her place in the world with immense humor and grace.
THE LOST CITY OF Z United States. 2017. Directed by James Gray. (141 mins.) Rated PG-13. in English with some Spanish, Portuguese & German
THE LOST CITY OF Z is the captivating true tale about British explorer Percy Fawcett's thrilling adventures into the Amazon jungle!
"The Lost City of Z is a miraculous movie, at once moving, intimidating, and gorgeous to behold." - David Sims, The Atlantic
"Pictures with the grand sweep and dreamy energy of The Lost City of Z don't come along every year." - Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine
Exquisitely pitched between rapture and daring thrills, this true adventure tale about a feverish, decades-long obsession is an emotionally and visually resplendent masterpiece. Private Percy Fawcett's (Charlie Hunnam) fascination with the jungle leads him to a strenuous expedition into the Amazon rain forest where he discovers vestiges of lost civilizations. Convinced that this is proof that a sunken metropolis exists, the explorer is driven by the desire to document his theory despite the mockery of his colleagues. Director James Gray delivers a cinematic wonder with THE LOST CITY OF Z, crafting a spellbinding story with the grace, sweeping grandeur and romance of epic, old-school classics.
THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE United States. 2017. Directed by Niki Caro. (124 mins.) Rated PG-13.
THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE, with an incredible performance from Jessica Chastain, pays tribute to an unsung heroine who selflessly put her life on the line in the face of unspeakable evil!
"The Zookeeper's Wife may have appeal to history buffs of that turbulent time but the story has a more universal appeal about love and compassion for all animals, even us humans." - Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
Drawn from Antonina Zabinska's diary, letters, family photos and postwar interviews, THE ZOOKEEPER'S WIFE tells a haunting but hopeful tale of one brave, charitable and passionate woman facing adversity and putting herself and her family at great risk. In 1939 Poland, when the Nazis bombed Warsaw, not a single creature was safe. To fight back, Antonina (Jessica Chastain) and her husband rose as fearless defenders and covertly began to work with the Resistance, creating a sanctuary in their zoo to hide Polish Jews until they could be smuggled out of the country. It is a beautifully acted, gorgeously shot story of fierce compassion and camaraderie!
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