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thumbnail Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019 France)

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Director: Céline Sciamma
Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Luàna Bajrami
Historical drama
122 mins         Rated R

18th century France before the Revolution. An artist, Marianne undertakes a difficult sea voyage to reach an aristocratic family’s remote Brittany estate. There, a young woman Héloïse is about to be married off to a Milanese nobleman, but there’s a catch: the would-be husband insists on having a portrait of her first. Marianne has to do what another artist had recently failed to do—paint the portrait of Héloïse, who had refused to pose. She is introduced as Héloïse’s walking companion, although, in the course of their strolls, she must closely observe and furtively sketch her and complete the portrait in secrecy. A friendship and romance develops, during a time when homosexual relations were forbidden. Director Céline Sciamma is not pedaling softcore lesbian porn. Her film is about the heady experience of an impossible first love and the transfixing power of art to capture the intimacy of flesh and spirit.

thumbnail The Truth (2019 France)

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Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke
Genre: Drama
Duration:  106 mins

Legends of French cinema Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche join masterful filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda (Shoplifters) to paint a moving portrait of family dynamics. Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) is an aging French movie star who, despite her momentary lapses in memory, remains a venerable force to be reckoned with. Upon the publication of her memoirs, her daughter Lumir (Juliette Binoche) returns to Paris from New York with her husband (Ethan Hawke) and their young daughter to commemorate its release. A sharp and funny battle of wits ensues between the mother-daughter duo, as Lumir takes issue with Fabienne’s rose-colored version of the past. Reflected cleverly by Fabienne’s latest role in a sci-fi drama, their strained relationship takes a poignant journey toward possible reconciliation. Charming, bold, and imbued with endless emotional insight.

thumbnail Ida – Poland (2013)

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Poland 1962. Anna is a beautiful eighteen year old woman, preparing to become a nun at the convent where she has lived since orphaned as a child. Her Mother Superior orders her to visit her aunt in Lodz before she takes orders. Her aunt, she learns is not only a former hardline Communist state prosecutor, but also a Jew. Together, the two women embark on a voyage of discovery of each other and their past. Theirs is a journey into the heart of Poland’s church and state, into its Catholicism and anti-Semitism.

From acclaimed director Pawel Pawlikowski (Last Resort, My Summer of Love) and shot in luminous black and white. “I’m bored by the cinematic tricks of today. I wanted to make an anti-cinema film that’s a return to photographic qualities, to make a film that’s more like a meditation than a dramatic story.”

thumbnail Cloud Atlas (2012, USA)

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Director:Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer

Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarandon

Genre: Drama, Science Fiction
Duration:172 mins
Written, produced and directed by the Wachowski’s and Tom Tykwer and adapted from the 2004 novel by David Mitchell, the film consists of six interrelated and interwoven stories spanning different time periods between 1849 and 2346. According to Mitchell, the film is structured “as a sort of pointillist mosaic”. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the stories as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future. Each member of the ensemble appears in multiple roles as the stories reveal how people can become more good or more evil throughout their lifetimes. The cast includes Ben Whishaw, David Gyasi, Doona Bae, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, James D’Arcy, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Keith David, Susan Sarandon, Tom Hanks, and Zhou Xu.

At The Movies Review for Cloud Atlas here
Read reviews of Cloud Atlas here
More information on Cloud Atlas from IMDb
Movie website Cloud Atlas here

thumbnail The Devil’s Playground (1976, Australia)

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Director: Fred Schepisi
Starring: Charles McCallum, John Frawley, Arthur Dignam, Nick Tate, Peter Cox
Genre: Drama
Duration: 107 mins

Fred Schepisi’s semi-autobiographical feature film debut was winner of six AFI awards including Best Film and Best Director. In a Catholic seminary in the 1950s, 13-year-old Tom Allan finds himself coming of age against a backdrop of severe rules and austere faith. Torn between the demands of the priesthood and the giddy lures of the flesh, he faces a difficult reconciliation between the call of God and the need for love. Deeply controversial at the time of its release, Schepisi’s startling study of religion, passion and sexuality instantly established him as a powerful new voice in Australian filmmaking.

Read reviews of The Devil’s Playground here

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thumbnail A Gun In Each Hand (2013, Spain)

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Director: Cesc Gay
Starring: Javier Cámara, Ricardo Darín, Eduard Fernández, Jordi Mollà, Eduardo Noriega
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Duration: 94 mins

A witty and scathing portrait of forty-something manhood, and it’s shifting role in contemporary Barcelona. Chance encounters between old friends, ex-spouses and potential lovers form an engrossing series of six exquisitely-realised vignettes. Trumpeting the truism that character is plot, each tale is full of twists and turns that sees our growing affection for each beautifully-drawn character feel as engaging and riveting as any heist thriller. This battle-of-the-sexes comedy was a sleeper breakout success at the Spanish box office, and confirms writer/director Cesc Gay as one of the country’s brightest talents.

At The Movies Review for A Gun In Each Hand here

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thumbnail Inside Llewyn Davis (2013, USA)

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Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Starring: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Ethan Phillips, Robin Bartlett
Genre: Drama, Music
Duration: 105 mins

Follows a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, some of them of his own making. Written, directed and edited by the Coen brothers, this film won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

At The Movies Review for Inside Llewyn Davis here

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More information on Inside Llewyn Davis from IMDb
Movie website Inside Llewyn Davis here

thumbnail Love Story (2011, USA/NZ)

Comedy, Documentary, Event, Uncategorized , comments closed

Director: Florian Habicht

Starring: Shauna Goodgold, Florian Habicht, Masha Yakovenko

Genre: Comedy – Doco

Duration: 92 mins


A beautiful stranger on the Coney Island train becomes both lead actress and real life object of desire in this ‘choose your own adventure’ documentary about writing a fictional love story. Director Florian Habicht meets a young Russian woman, Masha, on the subway and together they act out a love story, with the twist that each scene in the story is suggested by everyday people in the streets and cafes of New York. What happens is remarkable and engaging.

Screening Date: April 14th

At The Movies Review for Love Story here

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thumbnail The Waiting City (2009, Australia)

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Director: Claire McCarthy
Starring: Radha Mitchell, Joel Edgerton, Samrat Chakrabarti, Isabel Lucas, Tillotama Shome
Genre: Drama, Romance
Duration: 103 mins
Rated: R

THE WAITING CITY tells the story of an outwardly happy Australian couple who journey to India to collect their adopted baby. When they arrive in Kolkata they discover that the adoption arrangements have still to be finalised. Soon the intoxicating mystic power of the city pulls them in separate and unexpected directions and the vulnerability of their marriage begins to reveal itself. The first Australian feature film to be shot entirely in India, THE WAITING CITY is an intimate, complex love story of transformation, set against the exhilarating epic backdrop of Kolkata.

Screening Date: May 13, 2012

Read reviews of The Waiting City here

More information on The Waiting City from IMDb

thumbnail Incendies (2011, Canada)

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Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Lubna Azabal, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette, Rémy Girard, Abdelghafour Elaaziz
Genre: Drama
Duration: 130 mins
Rated: R

Canada’s Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. When notary Lebel (Rémy Girard) sits down with Jeanne and Simon Marwan (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, Maxim Gaudette) to read them their mother’s will Nawal (Lubna Azabal), the twins are stunned to receive a pair of envelopes – one for the father they thought was dead and another for a brother they didn’t know existed.

In this enigmatic inheritance, Jeanne sees the key to Nawal’s retreat into unexplained silence during the final weeks of her life. She immediately decides to go to the Middle East to dig into a family history of which she knows next to nothing.

Simon is unmoved by the posthumous mind games of a mother who was always distant and cold. However, the love he has for his sister is strong, and he soon joins her in combing their ancestral homeland in search of a Nawal who is very different from the mother they knew.

With Lebel’s help, the twins piece together the story of the woman who brought them into the world, discovering a tragic fate forever marked by war and hatred as well as the courage of an exceptional woman.

An adaptation of Wajdi Mouawad’s hit play, Incendies, is a deeply moving coming-of-age story that brings the horror of war to a starkly personal level, delivering a powerful and poetic testament to the indelible scars of the cycle of violence, and the uncanny power of the will to survive.

Screening Date: August 12, 2012

Read reviews of Incendies here

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