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ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL United States. 2015. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. (104 mins.) Rated PG-13.
The funny and bruising Sundance sensation, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL is a brilliant, precocious, fresh take on friendship!
Greg Gaines is an awkward, movie-obsessed misfit determined to coast through his senior year of high school as anonymously as possible. Avoiding social interactions like the plague, Greg spends most of his time putting his own wacky DIY twist on cinematic classics with his only friend, Earl. When Greg's well-meaning mother forces him to befriend Rachel, a classmate who's been diagnosed with leukemia, Greg reluctantly concedes but discovers a kindred spirit in this irreverent young woman. Bristling with wit from a clever screenplay, director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's emotionally resonant take on the boy-meets-girl romantic comedy is a poignant coming-of-age tale peppered with hilarious graphics and enchanting performances from its mostly young cast. The toast of this year's Sundance Festival, where it won both Grand Jury and Audience Awards, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL will tickle your funny bone and tug at your heart.
A LITTLE CHAOS UK. 2015. Directed by Alan Rickman. (117 mins.) Rated R.
A LITTLE CHAOS is a charming, richly enjoyable period piece of pure sense and sensibility starring Kate Winslet!
In this sumptuous historical drama from actor-director Alan Rickman, King Louis XIV is determined to prove that France can conjure unparalleled splendor despite being steeped in tradition. He commissions a renowned landscape artist (Matthias Schoenaerts, THE DROP) famous for his exacting sense of symmetry and scale to design the grand gardens for the Palace of Versailles, but when a young woman (Kate Winslet) who prizes spontaneity and surprise is hired to work alongside him, it's a passionate clash of personalities. With courtiers mocking and a jealous wife scheming to undermine their plans, they've got their work cut out for them. An intriguing, stylish and engrossing navigation of gender and class, A LITTLE CHAOS is a sly, hilarious and witty tale.
ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST France/Spain/Belgium/Panama. 2015. Directed by Andrea Di Stefano. (120 mins.) Rated R. in English and in Spanish with English subtitles
ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST is the story of patriarch Pablo Escobar and his niece's romance with a young surfer who finds himself pulled into the dangerous world of the family business!
More than twenty years after his death in 1993, Pablo Escobar's impact on Colombia is still impossible to measure. His cocaine trafficking empire made him one of the wealthiest criminals in history, and he was responsible for the deaths of thousands. Yet the Robin Hood-like persona he cultivated, along with his brief political career, rendered him a folk hero among some of his fellow Colombians. Told from the perspective of Nick (Josh Hutcherson), an innocent surfer from Canada who meets the woman of his dreams while she is busy campaigning for Escobar (Benicio Del Toro) - her uncle - this impressive fictionalized thriller immerses us in a world of wild extravagance and corruption. ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST is a chilling drama that offers a fascinating glimpse of Escobar's deadly allure and takes us on a careening journey we won't soon forget.
I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS United States. 2015. Directed by Brett Haley. (92 mins.) Rated PG-13.
I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS is an emotionally rich and endearing drama that conveys the sunshine and shadows of new romance!
The authenticity and honesty coursing through every scene of I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS perfectly echoes the characters' no-nonsense attitudes. Blythe Danner plays Carol, a retired schoolteacher and longtime widow in her 70s who enjoys her tranquil, relaxing routine. When circumstances create a situation that draws new emotional experiences and excitement into her world, her three loyal girlfriends (June Squibb, Rhea Perlman and Mary Kay Place) exuberantly encourage her to embrace love, adventure and a spark of magic she thought was lost to her past. The understated beauty and grace of living life out loud at any age is a wonder to behold!Also starring Sam Elliott!
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD United States/UK. 2015. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg. (119 mins.) Rated PG-13.
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is a beautifully moody, romantic and sweeping adaptation with a cool and confident performance from Carey Mulligan!
Based on the breathtaking literary classic by Thomas Hardy, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is an extremely smart, spirited period drama of romantic entanglements that will make your heart flutter with its beautiful story and rich leading cast. A marvelously sparkling Carey Mulligan illuminates the screen as Bathsheba, an independent, resilient young woman who comes into property and finds herself being courted by three very different suitors: Gabriel (Matthias Schoenaerts) is a sheep farmer captivated by her fetching willfulness, Frank (Tom Sturridge) is a handsome but reckless sergeant and William (Michael Sheen) is a delicately proud, prosperous bachelor. Each will tug at the heartstrings of our wavering heroine. Bringing a contemporary, ravishing tang to a beloved Victorian classic, this amazing meditation on yearning is a lush, involving and utterly entertaining adaptation.
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL United States. 2015. Directed by John Madden. (122 mins.) Rated PG.
THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is a rare and optimistic portrait of aging gracefully... and what a delightful treat to revisit this charismatic cast of characters!
As heartwarming, funny and touching as the first, THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is a resoundingly welcome sequel to the 2012 Salem Cinema hit, reuniting our favorite British ensemble cast. With their existing hotel at capacity, enthusiastic young proprietor Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel) and his acerbic-tongued partner Muriel Donnelly (Maggie Smith) have their sights set on expanding the business. Director John Madden marvelously melds each character's story into a splendid mosaic. Through vibrant images, remarkable acting and exceptional storytelling, this lovely film reminds us all that life is an adventure regardless of your age and that the only limits are the ones we place on them.
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