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WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY United States. 2019. Directed by Madeleine Olnek. (84 mins.) Rated PG-13. [CC]
Silly yet deceptively sly, WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY is an utterly entertaining, engaging peek into the life of American treasure Emily Dickinson!
"With each silly flourish, Olnek offers joy and companionship to a figure whose history was more conveniently presented to generations of readers as solitary." - Teo Bugbee, New York Times
Emily Dickinson's perceived persona, popularized after her death as that of a delicate, reclusive spinster too sensitive for this world, is boldly challenged in this vivacious, irreverent, and hilarious depiction of the infamous poet. In fact, in the mid-19th century, Dickinson (beloved comedienne Molly Shannon) is writing prolifically, baking gingerbread, and enjoying a passionate, lifelong romantic relationship with her sister-in-law Susan. Informed by her private letters, WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY is not only the story of Dickinson's mysterious struggle for a place in history, but a timely critique of how women's history has been reprehensibly rewritten.
RED JOAN UK. 2019. Directed by Trevor Nunn. (110 mins.) Rated R. [CC,AD]
Inspired by the story of a real-life spy, Judi Dench and Sophie Cookson shine in RED JOAN, a spellbinding portrayal of a timid woman who overcame denigration and manipulation!
"Dench, in her limited screen time, gives us tantalizing hints of who this weary-looking woman, slumped by the weight of secrets, might be." - Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
Based on a sensational true story, Academy Award winner Judi Dench and Sophie Cookson tackle the complex persona and legacy of Joan Stanley, the seemingly demure physicist who was also a long-serving British spy for the KGB. Now a widow living out a quiet retirement in the suburbs, Stanley is shockingly charged by the British Secret Service for providing classified scientific information to the Soviet government. As she is interrogated, Joan relives the dramatic events that shaped her life: her studious days at Cambridge, a tumultuous love affair with a dashing political radical, and the devastation of World War II. Vividly bringing to life the conflicts between patriotism and idealism, love and duty, courage and betrayal, RED JOAN is the fascinating story of a woman who quietly changed the course of history.
TOLKIEN United States. 2019. Directed by Dome Karukoski. (112 mins.) Rated PG-13.
When trying to decide where to watch TOLKIEN, we hope you'll choose your favorite locally-owned, independent movie theater where you know that you and movies always matter!
An enchanting portrait, TOLKIEN is a provocative look at the writer's early inspirations!
"Hoult brings a quiet, romantic intensity to the young Tolkien..." - Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
This imaginative biopic is a fastidious, keen-minded look at the tumultuous youth of J.R.R. Tolkien (a charismatic Nicholas Hoult), renowned author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, as he finds friendship, courage and inspiration. Having lost his parents at a young age, he was placed in the care of Father Francis Morgan (Colm Meaney) where he blossomed into a cunningly clever student at the distinguished King Edward's School in Birmingham. Here he formed a close bond with three classmates who vow to change the world through the power of art – until the outbreak of the First World War threatens to tear their fellowship apart. TOLKIEN is an enthralling look at ground zero where the seeds of his fantastical, medieval tales were spectacularly sown.
SUNSET Hungary/France. 2019. Directed by Laszlo Nemes. (142 mins.) Rated R. in Hungarian and German with English subtitles
A sprawling and immersive drama, SUNSET is the stylish, intriguing tale of a woman determined to uncover her family's past in 1913 Budapest!
"An entirely absorbing film. Son of Saul director László Nemes deftly conjures the death throes of the Austro-Hungarian empire in an atmospheric mystery drama." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Set against the backdrop of a civilization on the eve of its downfall, this latest masterpiece from Oscar Winner László Nemes (SON OF SAUL) centers on a young woman eager to work as a milliner at the legendary hat store that belonged to her late parents. She is immediately recognized, creating a stir, and when she is turned away by the new owner, she embarks on a quest to uncover her lost past. Her search leads her to unearth a dark and troubling secret about her family. SUNSET, a mysterious tale fraught with political upheaval, is a lavishly gorgeous and triumphant character study.
AMAZING GRACE United States. 2019. Directed by Alan Elliott, Sydney Pollack. (87 mins.) Rated G. [CC]
An utterly thrilling, must-watch documentary for Aretha Franklin fans, AMAZING GRACE is a foot-stomping, roof-raising, soul-stirring experience!
"The voice of Aretha Franklin is touched by God. And the glory is all there in this landmark concert film of her 1972 gospel shows, long delayed by technical problems. They say good things are worth waiting for. This shining light of a film proves it."
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
In 1972, legendary singer Aretha Franklin, on the heels of three albums yielding hit singles, elected to create a compilation of gospel music to honor her spiritual upbringing. She recorded it before a live audience at a Baptist church in Los Angeles. Filmed by Sydney Pollack, it sat unseen in a vault for more than 40 years for a host of reasons both technical and legal, but has now been lovingly restored into a transcendent, transporting and astonishingly glorious historic document. AMAZING GRACE preserves our Queen of Soul at the peak of her powers. Her fervent voice soars, filling the room and mystically imbuing the mesmerized crowd with an energy to match her own.
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